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Virginia Politics Blog: January 30, 2011 - February 5, 2011

Another Prince William resident to challenge Corey Stewart

A Prince William County eye surgeon announced his plans Thursday to vie for the chairman seat on the board of county supervisors come November,

By Jennifer Buske  | February 4, 2011; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Virginia House passes McDonnell's transportation funding plan

Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation proposal moved one step closer to reality Friday.

By Anita Kumar  | February 4, 2011; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, Transportation, William Howell  
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Senate GOP ratchets up protest while McDonnell still looking at ABC options

Senate Republicans have delivered a petition to Democrats who control the chamber, protesting the majority's refusal to hold hearings for some bills in committees this year, notably a proposal advanced by the governor to privatize state-run liquor stores.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 4, 2011; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Senate committee action effectively kills liquor store privatization plan

The senate's Rehabilitation and Social Services committee rejected an effort by a Republican to put consideration of the governor's plan to privatize state liquor stores Friday, essentially putting a final nail in the coffin of the proposal's legislative chances.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 4, 2011; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Liquor privatization, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate, William Howell  
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As economy improves, Va. predicts healthier revenue rebound

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has delivered some good budget news to leading budget writers in the senate and House, as they prepare to unveil their competing proposed spending plans on Sunday--the state will have $152 more than once predicted over the next two years.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 4, 2011; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Republican delegate asks Cuccinelli for opinion on autism bill

Del. Jackson Miller has asked Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to determine whether federal law allows the General Assembly to cap insurance coverage for families of autistic children at $35,000 a year as a House bill requires.

By Anita Kumar  | February 4, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, State Senate, William Howell  
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Coalition criticizes Va. transportation plan

The Coalition for Smarter Growth stepped up its criticism of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation plan soon after House gave tentative approval to the $3 billion package. As momentum built for the plan's approval, Stewart Schwartz, the coalition's executive director, warned that the initiative could soak taxpayers and worsen sprawl. Schwartz also questioned a George Mason University study that predicts major economic benefits from the governor's plan....

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 3, 2011; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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McDonnell, conservative legislators mingle at the mansion

Virginia's Conservative Caucus is meeting with a governor tonight for the first time in nearly a decade.

By Anita Kumar  | February 3, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Updated: Va. legislators accepted more than $255,000 in gifts last year

Lobbyists, companies and trade associations last year gave Virginia legislators international trips, tickets to Redskins football games and the Richmond Ballet and meals, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics.

By Anita Kumar  | February 3, 2011; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate  
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Radtke raises more than $100,000 for U.S. Senate race

Jamie Radtke, former chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, raised $100,165 in the period that ended Dec. 31 in her race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2012, according to documents she sent to the Federal Elections Commission. Radtke entered the race in December and campaign spokesman Chuck Hansen said she raised the money in just three weeks. "We're pleased,'' he said. "It shows a lot of support from conservatives across Virginia." Radtke faces former Virginia governor and senator George Allen, who jumped into the race last month. Allen did not report money during the fundraising period because he just entered the race this year. Sen. James Webb (D) raised over $12,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010, adding fuel to the belief in some Democratic circles that he doesn't plan to run for a second term. At least three Republicans have said they are interested...

By Anita Kumar  | February 3, 2011; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Election 2012, U.S. Senate  
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Va. Senate adopts bill to limit attorney general's power to investigate at colleges

The Democratic-led Virginia Senate has approved a bill to strip the attorney general of the power to issue civil subpoenas of academic work at universities, a reaction to an attempt by Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli's to seize emails and other documents related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 3, 2011; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Cuccinelli to seek immediate Supreme Court review in Virginia health-care suit

Virginia Attorney General Ken T. Cuccinelli II (R) announced Thursday that will seek immediate review by the U.S. Supreme Court of the state's constitutional challenge to the federal health care overhaul, a rare legal request to bypass the appellate court and appeal directly to the nation's highest court.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 3, 2011; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Va. cancels plans for I-395 HOT lanes inside Beltway

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton will announce Thursday that the state no longer plans to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on a six-mile stretch of I-395 inside the Capital Beltway, the subject of a contentious lawsuit filed by Arlington County against the state.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 2, 2011; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, Transportation  
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Is ABC bill hibernating -- or is it dead?

"Today is Groundhog Day. Today has turned out to be like every other day since January 20 when I introduced House Bill 2456, the governor's ABC privatization plan," Brink said. " I wake up in the morning filled with the hope that today will be the day my bill gets a hearing."

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 2, 2011; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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VA House passes bill mandating insurance for autism

"After we pass this bill, I'm confident that we'll have no more partisan attack speeches about big government, about taxes, about job-creating, about economic environment--no more hypocritical accusations," Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) said during the floor debate Tuesday. "That's all behind us now...So let's pass a good stiff mandate, one that was not even included in Obamacare itself."

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 2, 2011; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Fairfax County, Fredrick Kunkle, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Loudoun County, Prince William, William Howell  
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Prince William officials back McDonnell's transportation plan-- with conditions

Prince William County supervisors passed a resolution Tuesday to support Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's transportation funding plan, but with one stipulation- add another county road project to his list.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 2, 2011; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation  
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Updated: Northern Neck Democrat blasts Fairfax chamber over failure to support transportation bill

A trio of Northern Virginia Republicans who had proposed taxing out-of-state corporations to raise money for the state's traffic-clogged roads received a boost this week from an unlikely source: a Democrat from Northern Neck.

By Anita Kumar  | February 2, 2011; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate, Transportation  
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Senate approves protections for gay workers; House remains opposed

The Virginia Senate had adopted a bill to legally prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians in the state workforce on a tight 22 to 18, party-line vote.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 2, 2011; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Senate panel kills pension reform bills; issue bound for budget talks

The key Democratic-led senate finance committee agreed Wednesday to kill bills to reform Virginia's public pension system, indicating that the issue needs more study and negotiation with associations that represent public employees before adoption. But the issue is hardly over for the year.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 2, 2011; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Patrick Murray 'leaning toward' a rematch with Moran in 2012

Retired Army Col. Patrick Murray (R) says he is "leaning toward" challenging Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) next year, setting up a potential repeat of their 2010 contest that Moran won handily.

By Ben Pershing  | February 2, 2011; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, James P. Moran Jr.  
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Webb's slow fundraising pace draws more attention

Sen. James Webb's (D) anemic fundraising is drawing increased attention in the national media, as the political world waits to hear whether he will run for reelection in 2012.

By Ben Pershing  | February 2, 2011; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb  
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Tea party federation opposes Speaker-backed autism bill

The Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation, the umbrella group of tea party organizations in the state, has come out against a bill backed by House Speaker Bill Howell that would require businesses to provide insurance coverage for children with autism. "Autism is certainly a heartbreaking condition and the treatments are a terrible financial strain for many families,'' said Mark Kevin Lloyd, chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. "The concern of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation with this bill is the inappropriate use of government," Lloyd said. "There is nothing stopping individual insurance companies from adding this coverage themselves as part of free market competition. Virginia, and our nation, has a history of private individuals and groups assisting those who are in unfortunate circumstances. Government is not an arm of compassion, and no matter how well intended, can never replace faith-based and private initiatives." Howell's position, which all...

By Anita Kumar  | February 2, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate, William Howell  
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Leesburg utility proposal dies in Va. Senate panel

After receiving the support of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Monday, a state Senate bill that aimed to protect out-of-town Leesburg utility customers from disproportionate water and sewer rate charges failed to emerge from the Senate Local Government Committee after receiving a tie vote of 6-6, according to Leesburg officials. Leesburg Vice Mayor Kevin D. Wright and Leesburg Town Attorney Jeanette A. Irby testified against the bill before the committee, according to Leesburg Town Council member Kenneth "Ken" Reid. Senate Bill 1475, introduced in the Virginia General Assembly on Jan. 21 by state Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) and state Del. Joe T. May (R-Loudoun), sought to provide a permanent solution to a years-long battle over utility rates charged by Leesburg to customers located outside the town. Residents on both sides of Leesburg's boundary line receive water and sewer services through the town. But for years, customers living...

By Caitlin Gibson  | February 1, 2011; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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House kills bill to retain Don't Ask Don't Tell in Virginia National Guard

A House committee voted Tuesday evening to pass by indefinitely a proposal to retain the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy for gay service members in the Virginia National Guard, effectively killing the highly controversial and high-profile proposal.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 1, 2011; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Bob Marshall, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Black caucus disappointed after House kills proposals to restore rights to felons

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus expressed disappointment Tuesday that a House of Delegates subcommittee killed all proposed constitutional amendments that would have automatically restored civil rights to non-violent felons.

By Anita Kumar  | February 1, 2011; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Leesburg out-of-towners gain Loudoun board's support on water, sewer charges

Despite objections by the Leesburg Town Council, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to support state legislation that would protect out-of-town Leesburg utility customers from disproportionate water and sewer rate charges.

By Caitlin Gibson  | February 1, 2011; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Va. Senate to take harder line on tax credit proposals

Democrats and Republicans on the senate finance committee jointly agreed Tuesday to take a much harder look at proposed tax credits.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 1, 2011; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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UPDATED: Key Democratic panel approves McDonnell's transportation plan

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) scored a major legislative victory Tuesday, as a key Democratic-led committee approved his plan to spend about $3 billion on transportation over the next three years, largely in borrowed funds.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 1, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, Transportation  
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Virginia advocates for victims of childhood sexual assault blast Catholic Church for opposing bills

A group of bills that would target pedophiles' pocketbooks has advanced as a Northern Virginia Democrat warned that the General Assembly might be rushing them through, driven more by emotion than by a thorough consideration of the consequences.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 1, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds, General Assembly 2011  
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Environmentalists to protest McDonnell's speech at coal breakfast

Environmentalists will hold a protest Tuesday morning outside the downtown Richmond hotel where Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be attending the annual legislative coal awareness breakfast.

By Anita Kumar  | February 1, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Updated: Alfalfa Club's annual dinner draws group's president, Mark Warner, but no Obama

Our colleagues at The Reliable Source reported this weekend on the "consummate insiders' insider gathering, the Alfalfa Club, held its annual off-the-record (but always leaky) black-tie dinner at the Capital Hilton on Saturday."

By Anita Kumar  | January 31, 2011; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Cuccinelli, McDonnell praise Florida ruling striking down health-care law

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) are applauding a ruling by a federal judge in Florida striking down the nation's health care overhaul as unconstitutional.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 31, 2011; 5:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Alexandria city manager will step down

James K. Hartmann, Alexandria's city manager for the past six years, announced his resignation Monday afternoon. Hartmann said he wants to pursue other job opportunities, including a county manager position in Seminole County, Fla. "I was ready to pursue other career challenges and ... because it will be a very open environment, I thought it was best to close out this chapter as I'm building the next one," Hartmann said. After eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard, Hartmann worked in Orange County, Fla., for 13 years. His wife is originally from Orlando. Hartmann has previously worked as a county administrator in Eagle County, Colo., and Spartanburg County, S.C. He informed the city council and mayor of his intentions at the Jan. 25 meeting. His official resignation came Monday. The initial announcement "came as a total surprise and shock to all of us," said Mayor William D. Euille, who said...

By Christy Goodman  | January 31, 2011; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Alexandria, Christy Goodman  
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Conservative group targets Howell for his support of autism bill

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that opposes the federal health care overhaul, began robocalls statewide Monday targeting Bill Howell, powerful speaker of the House of Delegates, for his support of a bill to provide insurance coverage for children with autism.

By Anita Kumar  | January 31, 2011; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, William Howell  
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Tea party groups endorse liquor privatization

The Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation, the umbrella group of tea party organizations in the state, endorsed proposals Monday to privatize state liquor stores.

By Anita Kumar  | January 31, 2011; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host meetings on conservation plans for wildlife refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a series of public hearings this week about potentially opening the Featherstone Wildlife Refuge in Woodbridge to the public.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 31, 2011; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Northern Virginia counties receive more snow disaster aid

Virginia receives additional snow disaster aid from FEMA.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 31, 2011; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Jennifer Buske, Loudoun County, Prince William  
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Bill to send existing sales tax to Northern Virginia for roads faces 'tough' future

A House of Delegates subcommittee endorsed Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to designate a portion of the sales tax to road projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, but it faces an uncertain future in the state Senate.

By Anita Kumar  | January 31, 2011; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Democrats' ad campaign targets Hurt

The 2010 elections happened just three months ago, but the 2012 ad battle is already heating up -- and Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) is right in the middle.

By Ben Pershing  | January 31, 2011; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, Robert Hurt  
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Updated: In a first, Speaker pushes autism bill; some conservatives opposed

House Speaker William J. Howell (R) has put his considerable weight behind a bill that would require businesses to provide insurance coverage for children with autism after failing to support similar proposals in past years.

By Anita Kumar  | January 31, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate, William Howell  
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