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Virginia Politics Blog: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

McDonnell responds to O'Malley, Democrats

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, issued this response to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who addressed Virginia Democrats Saturday night: I want to welcome my friend Governor Martin O'Malley to Richmond tonight to join my other friends from the Democratic Party of Virginia at their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Over the past year, Governor O'Malley and I have worked together on numerous issues from Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts to ensuring that our Capital area Metro system is safe and dependable. This is a continuation of a partnership between our two states that dates back to the earliest days of our Republic. While Martin and I work well together, we do represent different political parties and advocate competing philosophies about the proper role of government. I believe that we should not hesitate to discuss these differences freely and thoughtfully, and that is what the Governor will...

By Anita Kumar  | February 19, 2011; 10:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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O'Malley's remarks to Virginia Democrats

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, addressed Virginia Democrats at the Jefferson Jackson dinner Saturday. Here are his remarks as prepared for delivery: Thank you all very much... Early this morning, three members of your Congressional delegation - Jim Moran, Bobby Scott and Gerry Connolly helped win the fight against national House Republican efforts, that would have taken 3,000 cops off the beat and 2,300 firef­­­­ighters out of our nation's firehouses. Let's have a round of applause for their leadership. Tim Kaine, it's great to join you here today. Governor Kaine and I have long had a bond, not just as governors of neighboring states, but as former mayors. Being Mayor is a great job because you manage for results on the front lines of the big challenges that impact our quality of life. There is no Democratic or Republican way of filling a...

By Anita Kumar  | February 19, 2011; 10:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Kaine tells enthusiastic Virginia Democrats he needs more time

Hundreds of Democrats from across Virginia descended on the capital city Saturday night to raise money for the state party, catch up with longtime friends and, of course, speculate about who might run for U.S. Senate next year. The state party's biggest fundraiser of the year turned into a guessing game as activists contemplated who among their party might run to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Webb in one of the most-closely watched Senate races of 2012. Timothy M. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia governor and possible candidate, was greeted by enthusiastic crowds of activists in his hometown by those wanting him to run. Numerous party leaders, including U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner and the state's congressmen, urged him from the stage to jump into the race. But after consulting with President Obama and being encouraged to run by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both of...

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 19, 2011; 9:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Barack Obama, George F. Allen, James P. Moran Jr., James Webb, Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, Terry McAuliffe, Timothy M. Kaine, Tom Perriello  
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House approves measure to delay JFCOM closure

The House approved language Friday evening that would delay the Pentagon's planned closure of the Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, the latest salvo in the effort by Virginia's elected officials to forestall the move.

By Ben Pershing  | February 18, 2011; 7:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Randy Forbes  
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Kaine will huddle with former staffers Sunday after Jefferson Jackson

A day after he appears at the Virginia Democrats' biggest fundraiser of the year, Tim Kaine will gather with his former gubernatorial staffers for a reunion in Richmond Sunday night. The event was planned long before the chairman of the Democratic National Committee was ever considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2012, but it's likely his potential candidacy will be foremost on staffers minds. Dozens and dozens of people were invited, including his former Cabinet secretaries. We hear some of those in attendance will be Wayne Turnage, former chief of staff who recently took a high level post in D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's administration; Larry Roberts, chief counselor who works for Kaine at the DNC; Preston Bryant, former secretary of natural resources who now works for McGuireWoods and Delacey Skinner, communications director who now works in the private sector in the District. Kaine is the first choice for many...

By Anita Kumar  | February 18, 2011; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Timothy M. Kaine  
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Attaboy! Va. legislators fix dropped 'at' in driving law

The Virginia General Assembly has agreed to fix a grammatical error in law that makes passing a stopped school bus considered reckless driving.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 18, 2011; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Va. parties draw battles lines around Wisconsin

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) waded into Wisconsin's budget battle, sending out a recorded video and a tweet in support of Gov. Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor.

By Anita Kumar and Ben Pershing  | February 18, 2011; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Ben Pershing, Robert F. McDonnell, Timothy M. Kaine  
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Senate Democrats strip local tax from districts of anti-tax opponents

In a bit of partisan point scoring, the senate approves a bill to repeal authorization for a series of 23 towns and counties to impose a hotel room tax at all, a move that would deprive the local governments that collect the tax hundreds of millions of dollars.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 18, 2011; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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House backs amendment blocking EPA's Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

The House is expected to vote as early as Friday on a measure that would delay the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, sparking debate between agricultural and environmental groups and splitting the Virginia congressional delegation in the process.

By Ben Pershing  | February 18, 2011; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, James P. Moran Jr., Robert Goodlatte  
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Virginia celebrates the Redskins

Dan Steinberg at the D.C. Sports Bog writes about how several Redskins dignitaries went to Richmond this week to celebrate the team's 40th anniversary of Virginia residence. As luck would have it, they were entering the Richmond Marriott at the same time the George Mason basketball team was exiting the hotel to go destroy VCU, The Post's Steven Goff reports. You see, Mason and the Skins are fated to be partners. Anyhow, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said quite a bit when discussing the Skins's history with his commonwealth. "Not only is [Redskins football] marvelous entertainment, not only do we live and die with that Sunday afternoon Redskins game, but we also understand what you bring to the Commonwealth of Virginia," McDonnell said, via Redskins.com. "We know you have a D.C. link, we know you play on Sundays in Maryland, but we know you spend most of your time in Ashburn,...

By Washington Post Editors  | February 18, 2011; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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O'Malley to accuse GOP of fiscal irresponsibility in Richmond speech

Washington Post staff writer John Wagner reports that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will employ some familiar themes with a partisan edge Saturday as he heads to Virginia to deliver the keynote address at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 18, 2011; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Guilty plea in Arlington voter fraud case

William Cockerham pleaded guilty to voter fraud Wednesday in Arlington Circuit court. Cockerham and Cheryl Simmons were indicted in December for voter fraud. Both were hired to collect petition signatures in a failed effort to change Arlington's form of government. Virginia law requires that each signature collected is witnessed by a person who can vote or register to vote. Cockerham signed off on petitions that he did not circulate and is a convicted felon, making him ineligible to vote in Virginia, said Richard E. Trodden, the commonwealth's attorney, in his proffer of evidence. Cockerham was hired by Shawn Wilmoth, president of Signature Masters, who was contracted to train local residents to collect 12,000 signatures. Cockerham agreed to be paid $2 per signature. Cockerham went with Wilmoth to notarize 58 petition pages June 28, Trodden said. "Approximately four of these sheets contained voter signatures that the defendant had obtained himself. Some...

By Christy Goodman  | February 17, 2011; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  !Elections, Arlington County, Christy Goodman  
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Longtime Alexandria state senator to retire at end of 2011

Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria), a former mayor of Alexandria who has served in the state senate since 1996, announced Thursday that she will retire from the senate when her term ends this year.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 17, 2011; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Virginia Latino groups challenge Manassas delegate's claims

"They've convinced themselves in their own minds that anyone who wants immigration reform hates Latinos. That's how they prop themselves up. That's how they get community support, by playing the race card," Miller said.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 17, 2011; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, Immigration, Prince William  
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Senate panel kills bill to end Virginia's HPV vaccine mandate

A senate committee has killed a bill that would ended Virginia's four-year old mandate that girls receive the vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus before enrolling in the sixth grade.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 17, 2011; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Obama: Kaine would be 'a great senator'

President Obama said Wednesday that Timothy M. Kaine would make a "great senator" for Virginia, but did not apply any public pressure on his friend to enter the 2012 contest to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D).

By Ben Pershing  | February 17, 2011; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb, Timothy M. Kaine, Tom Perriello, U.S. Senate  
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McDonnell helps Cantor raise money

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is lending a hand to fellow Virginia Republican -- House Majority Eric Cantor -- on Thursday and Friday.

By Anita Kumar  | February 17, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Eric Cantor, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Obama and Kaine speak

The Fix reports President Barack Obama and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine spoke via phone today, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. Kaine, former Virginia governor, is being encouraged by national and state Democrats to run for the Senate seat held by Democrat Jim Webb. There was no read out of the conversation, although it's hard to imagine Kaine's consideration of a Virginia Senate candidacy didn't come up, according to the Fix....

By Washington Post Editors  | February 16, 2011; 6:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Barack Obama, Election 2012, Timothy M. Kaine, U.S. Senate  
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Senate panel kills House-approved bills targeting illegal immigration

A Democratic-led Senate subcommittee on Wednesday made short work of Republican bills sent over from the GOP-led House to crack down on illegal immigration, including a measure that would have applied Prince William County's strategy to the whole state. HB1421 - the so-called anti-sanctuary bill sponsored by Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax)? Dead. HB1465 -- a bill from Del. Christopher Peace (R-Hanover) that would require colleges and universities to adopt written policies prohibiting the enrollment of illegal aliens? Dead. HB2332 -- Del. Scott Lingamfelter's proposal modeled on Prince William County that would require police to ascertain the immigration status of anyone arrested? Dead. Hurrying because the full Senate was to convene late in the day -- and perhaps because the outcome was all but pre-ordained -- Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw pestered the subcommittee chairman, Sen. John S. Edwards, to move things along. And Edwards (D-Roanoke) did, sometimes giving...

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 16, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011  
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Virginia House kills effort to curb Cuccinelli's subpoena powers

The Virginia House of Delegates has halted an effort by legislative Democrats to prevent the state's attorney general from issuing subpoenas for academic work to state universities.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 16, 2011; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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In wake of DOJ report, McDonnell proposes spending money to move developmentally disabled to community-based care

In response to a scathing report by the U.S. Department of Justice released Friday, Gov. Bob McDonnell is asking state legislators to set aside money to move residents from institutions that house developmentally disabled people to community-based care. McDonnell (R) has not asked for a specific amount of money but budget negotiators from the Republican-led House of Delegates and the Democratic-controlled Senate will hash out a number before the annual legislative session is scheduled to end Feb. 26. The bills -- introduced on McDonnell's behalf Wednesday -- are designed to send a signal to the Justice Department, which recommended the number of developmentally disabled people living in the state's five training centers across Virginia be reduced as quickly as possible. The Justice report released by the state Friday said the state has harmed residents by keeping people in large institutions instead of providing smaller, community-based homes....

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 16, 2011; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Back from Middle East, Perriello will 'consider' running for Senate if Kaine doesn't

Former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) said Wednesday that he would "consider" running to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D) in 2012, but only if Tim Kaine decides not to make the race.

By Ben Pershing  | February 16, 2011; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb, Timothy M. Kaine, Tom Perriello, U.S. Senate  
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Cuccinelli asks Va. Court of Appeals to free prisoner

Maria Glod reports on the Crime Scene blog that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II on Tuesday asked a judge to issue a rare writ of innocence to a prisoner who has spent 27 years behind bars for crimes prosecutors now agree he did not commit.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 16, 2011; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Democrats everywhere waiting for Kaine to decide on Senate race

Virginia Democrats are waiting this week for Tim Kaine, former governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to decide whether to run for U.S. Senate next year.

By Anita Kumar  | February 16, 2011; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb, Robert F. McDonnell, Timothy M. Kaine, U.S. Senate  
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Cuccinelli testifies before Congress on health care lawsuit

Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) told members of Congress Wednesday that his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law is "modest."

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 16, 2011; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman  
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Prince William seeks investigation of ICE

Prince William County Supervisors may pursue litigation against the Department of Homeland Security and are also requesting Congress do a full investigation on how the department has handled the illegal immigrants turned over by the county.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 15, 2011; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Prince William  
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House panel kills bill to add legal protections for gay state employees

A House of Delegates subcommittee has killed a proposal to write legal protections for gay state employees in Virginia code.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 15, 2011; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  General Assembly, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Taxes may climb slightly in Pr. William

Prince William County officials presented a proposed $878.3 million general fund budget Tuesday that raises taxes slightly to help reinvigorate the county's road and library projects. The general fund budget is 4 percent higher than in fiscal 2011 and all the new money associated with the tax hike will go toward the remaining road projects in the 2006 bond referendum and two new libraries, including one that has been on the books for 20 years, county officials said. "We believe right now is the time to reinvest in our future," Prince William County Executive Melissa Peacor said. "There is no better time to start these capital projects." The proposed tax rate is $1.213 per $100 of assessed value. Though the tax rate is lower than last year, because residential property assessments are expected to go up, the average residential tax bill would go up 3 percent to about $3,200. The...

By Jennifer Buske  | February 15, 2011; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Loudoun supervisors approve amended sign ordinance

After years of discussion and debate, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve proposed amendments to the county's sign ordinance that aim to encourage the growth and competitive ability of local businesses. The approved amendments will simplify the existing regulations, allowing certain signs to be erected without review and streamlining the process for sign exceptions that require special approval. The county's prohibition of billboards and other temporary roadside signs will remain intact. The amendments, which take effect March 1, also include related amendments to the schedule of fees for land development applications and the addition of standards for directional signs used for religious and civic purposes....

By Caitlin Gibson  | February 15, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Caitlin Gibson, Loudoun County  
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Virginia posts 12.6 percent revenue growth in January

State tax collections continued to show health returns in the month of January, as Virginia collected 12.6 percent more this January than last.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 15, 2011; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Budget, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Manassas officials approve plan to revitalize Georgetown South following last week's shooting spree

The Manassas City Council on Monday approved a neighborhood revitalization and safety plan for the city's Georgetown South community where a shooting spree last week left three people dead and three injured.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 15, 2011; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Computer audit blames hardware, human error for massive failure

An unprecedented statewide computer outage in August was caused first by the failure of a key data storage system and then prolonged by human error when replacing the memory board, according to an audit released Tuesday by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

By Anita Kumar  | February 15, 2011; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Virginia chooses 2012 presidential primary date, ending 'Potomac Primary' schedule

Virginia will hold its presidential primary election in 2012 on March 6, a date three weeks later than the election was held in 2008 and one that will likely mean the region won't have a repeat of that year's Potomac Primary.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 15, 2011; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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UPDATED: Governor laments Virginia Senate panel's killing tax credits for private school tuition

"Mr. Chairman, low income families are crying out for help," Massie said.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 15, 2011; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011  
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Budget conference to meet with McDonnell as work of compromise begins

Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked to meet today with the 12 senior senators and delegates assigned to work out a compromise between the two chambers plans for amending the state's two year budget. McDonnell requested a meeting with the budget conferees at 11 a.m., as they prepare to start their work. He has also asked to meet with the group for breakfast on Thursday.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 14, 2011; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Equal Rights Amendment, bipartisan redistricting die in subcommittee

A subcommittee of the House of Delegates has, as expected, killed a senate bill that would have made Virginia the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 14, 2011; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Kaine to appear at Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson dinner

Tim Kaine, former Virginia governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will appear at the Virginia Democrats' annual black-tie Jefferson-Jackson dinner Saturday. It's unclear whether that means Kaine is leaning toward running for U.S. Sen. Jim Webb's seat or not. Virginia Democrats have spent months trying to work with Kaine's schedulers to make him available to attend. Kaine is the first choice for many Democrats for the U.S. Senate, but the former Virginia governor previously said he was not interested in running. Some think he will change his mind if President Obama asks him to run. Some expect Kaine to make a decision on the Senate race before Saturday, the largest fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Virginia this year....

By Anita Kumar  | February 14, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Timothy M. Kaine  
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Manassas triple-slaying sparks emotional floor speech about illegal immigration

A frustrated and angry Del. Jackson Miller took to the House floor Monday to decry the growing problem of "illegal immigration criminals" in his Prince William County district.

By Anita Kumar  | February 14, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Prince William  
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Cuccinelli accuses Arlington of playing 'dirty' with HOT lanes lawsuit

Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) is accusing Arlington County of engaging in "legal thuggery" with an "an egregiously frivolous" and "dirty" lawsuit against the state's proposed construction of High Occupancy Toll lanes along I-95 in Northern Virginia.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 14, 2011; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Arlington County, Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman  
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Democratic leader calls union letter threatening to withhold support 'inappropriate'

House Leader Ward L. Armstrong described a letter from the Communications Workers of America to Democratic legislators threatening to withhold campaign donations and volunteers unless they vote against a communications bill "inappropriate".

By Anita Kumar  | February 14, 2011; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate  
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Updated: Warner: McDonnell's transportation plan is not 'fiscally conservative'

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D) said in an interview with WSLS that Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) plan to pump nearly $3 billion in the state's roads over three years is not "fiscally conservative" and will not solve the state's transportation problems.

By Anita Kumar  | February 14, 2011; 8:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, Transportation  
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