Archive: Terry McAuliffe
Posted at 7:11 AM ET, 10/30/2009
First Click -- Virginia
Friday, Oct. 30, 2009
Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.
With just four days until Tuesday's election, we are now at the stage where there is nothing new for the candidates to say. Just many more people for them to say it to, and quickly.
Each have launched their final sweeps through the state, as Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds start multi-day, many stop stumps.
McDonnell's five-day, 25-stop "New Jobs, More Opportunities: It Starts Now!" tour began yesterday, with stops in Glen Allen, Danville, Martinsville and Rocky Mount. Deeds was in Richmond and Roanoke.
Both candidates finished their days Thursday greeting spectators tailgating at the Virginia Tech-UNC football game. The fans surely were eager to discuss issues of importance to the Commonwealth. Or, perhaps they were drunk and excited for the opportunity to hand their cellphones to a candidate, after shouting to their girlfriends/buddies/mothers, "Hey, talk to this guy! He's running for governor!"
Deeds's final tour is a four-day. 20-stop "All in for Virginia" tour, which will focus heavily on get out the vote efforts. The Democrat will hit Northern Virginia today. McDonnell today is in Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Ashland and Virginia Beach.
Posted at 3:43 PM ET, 10/20/2009
Clinton: 'Governor Deeds' is 'the best choice'
Former president and Democratic celebrity Bill Clinton dropped into Virginia today to fire up the ground troops for Creigh Deeds, who is racing to catch up to Republican Robert F. McDonnell with just 14 days to go until Election Day.
Clinton spoke to about 300 supporters and a bank of TV cameras crowded into his friend Terry McAuliffe's old campaign headquarters in Tysons Corner. With McAuliffe and Deeds at his side, the former president praised Deeds's plans to create jobs, improve access to college, protect education funding and find new money to fix Virginia roads.
"Senator Deeds -- Governor Deeds. It sounds pretty good, huh?" Clinton said.
The room was filled with local elected officials and party organizers, many of whom expressed private doubts about Deeds's ability to overcome McDonnell's lead. But supporters greeted Clinton, McAuliffe and Deeds with excitement and cheers -- and they delivered laughter at all the right moments.
"I tried to help Terry McAuliffe beat Creigh Deeds, and we failed," Clinton said. "But I respect people who win and win fair and square. And I'm a lifetime Democrat and I like this guy. I like Creigh Deeds. I like the way he handled himself in the primary. I like the way he's handling himself in the general election. I believe he would be the best choice for the commonwealth of Virginia."
McAuliffe had a few laugh lines too, as well as an adoring introduction for Clinton.
"Let me say first that it is great to be back at my old headquarters. Not the way I thought I'd be back, but I am honored to be back with all of you today."
"When Creigh is elected governor, he is going to fight for the things we care about ... He's going to make sure we turn chicken waste into energy products."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:43 PM ET, 10/18/2009
McAuliffe tells Fairfax Dems: Don't count out Creigh
So if former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe is betting Gov. Jon Corzine takes New Jersey by seven, what about his former opponent Creigh Deeds in Virginia?
"Deeds by two," McAuliffe said this evening at the Fall Festival of the Dranesville Democratic Committee, at his McLean home.
Dozens of longtime Democrats were greeted by an enormous plastic pumpkin in front of the home before heading inside for the fundraiser and general pep rally. They crowded into the McAuliffe's kitchen to hear from Del. Margi Vanderhye and Del. Jim Scott, lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner, McAuliffe and Deeds' campaign manager Joe Abbey. A laminated copy of this morning's Washington Post endorsement of Deeds was propped up on the kitchen table.
Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 10/18/2009
On Fox, McAuliffe and Rove Wager $5 on Va., N.J.
Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe appeared this afternoon on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, along with Karl Rove, mostly to discuss recent charges by the White House that Fox's news coverage is slanted. But as the interview concluded, the two got into a brief but spirited debate over the outcomes of the Virginia and New Jersey races.
It started as Wallace was wrapping up the piece, with McAuliffe shouting out, "Democrats big win, Virginia and New Jersey, coming up!" That prompted Rove to pull out a folder he had brought for the occasion and hold up a print-out of a story from the Richmond Times Dispatch that ran just before the June 9 primary between McAuliffe, Brian Moran and now Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds.
"I agree with Terry McAuliffe," Karl Rove said.
"I said Deeds can win. Of course he can win. He's gonna win," said McAuliffe.
Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 10/16/2009
Clinton to Campaign for Deeds
The President's coming to Virginia for Democrat Creigh Deeds.
Former President Bill Clinton, that is. Clinton will hold a rally with Deeds somewhere inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia on Tuesday, the Deeds campaign confirms. Also in attendance will be Clinton buddy and Deeds's rival during the primary campaign, Terry McAuliffe.
Clinton did several appearances for McAuliffe before the June 9 primary. His work for Deeds comes as national Democrats swing into action to try to rev up a party base that polls have shown is unenthusiastic about Deeds's candidacy. This evening, Deeds holds a fundraiser with former vice president Al Gore.
Posted at 3:42 PM ET, 10/14/2009
Excerpts: Post Reporter, Fundraising Expert Take Your Questions
Washington Post staff writer Amy Gardner and David Poole, executive director of Campaign Finance for the Virginia Public Access Project, were online today to discuss the Virginia governor's race between Creigh Deeds (D) and Bob McDonnell (R) and the candidates' campaign financing. Excerpts follow. Read the full transcript here.
Charlottesville, Va.: Has the recession played much of a role in fundraising this year for Deeds and McDonnell? What about in the down-ticket races?
David Poole: Yes, the recession seems to be a factor. We know this anecdotally from talking to political fundraisers. People who are worth $25 million don't feel rich because, well, last year they were worth $50. We've seen this in the numbers, too. Here is a chart showing the trends in spending for the last few gubernatorial cycles.
You can see things have been on a fast-growth pace. You can ignore this year, because the numbers are preliminary. But through August 31, the amount raised by McDonnell-Deeds was less than raised four years ago at this point by Kilgore-Kaine.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:11 AM ET, 10/13/2009
First Click - Virginia
Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.
Just about every Virginia publication has a story about last night's bitter debate between gubernatorial candidates R. Creigh Deeds (D) and Robert F. McDonnell (R), who covered the same wide range of issues that have dominated the race, including transportation, education and the economy. Deeds's performance -- he accused McDonnell of "lying" then acknowledged the language might have been too harsh to reporters later -- will likely do little to appease critics who have said the Democratic nominee has been too negative. More on that from Politico and Talking Points Memo.
Deeds, who is behind in the polls, embarks on his second day of his "Hope and Opportunity Tour" of rural Virginia. McDonnell heads back to Northern Virginia for a Vienna rally with businesswoman Sheila Johnson, whose mocking of Deeds' speaking style apparently did not damage her standing with McDonnell's campaign. (And you can add Rush Limbaugh to the list of folks who have similarly attacked Deeds.)Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 10/ 5/2009
McAuliffe BBQ Nets $100,000 for House Dems
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is following through on a promise made in the spring to raise money for Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates, yesterday hosting a barbecue at his McLean home for House caucus chair Ken Plum's political action committee.
It may not be the millions he was rumored to have pledged to candidates if he were the nominee -- though Del. Plum insists the two had never talked numbers -- but Plum said the event netted about $100,000 for his Invest in Virginia committee. That's a pretty sizable figure given that Plum, who had endorsed McAuliffe, says the fund likely will raise $400,000 to $500,000 total this campaign season. And Plum said most attendees at the event were friends of McAuliffe who might not have given to the PAC otherwise.
"I never had an expectation he would necessarily do anything if he didn't get the nomination, so I'm very appreciative," Plum said. "I think he still has the potential for being a force in Virginia politics to keep us looking ahead and being progressive and working hard."
Is nominee Creigh Deeds being as supportive to House candidates? Plum said Deeds is doing what he can, but everyone recognizes he's got a tough campaign of his own to concentrate on. "There's an understanding that while Creigh Deeds is fully supportive and recognizes the need to win the House, he's got a race on his hands," Plum said.
Posted at 4:41 PM ET, 09/30/2009
Virginia Notebook: Wilder Again Plays His Hand Alone
It's one of the most popular parlor games in Virginia politics: guessing who, if anyone, will get former Democratic governor L. Douglas Wilder's endorsement.
This year, the game came to a swift end when Wilder announced last week that he would sit out the Virginia governor's race.
The decision itself wasn't shocking (he had done the same in prior years), but it was surprising this year considering he had been courted by President Obama and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, his party's national chairman.
Wilder said in a lengthy statement that he could not endorse Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in his race over Republican Robert F. McDonnell because Deeds supports a tax increase to pay for road and transit improvements ("This is not the time in our Commonwealth to talk about any kind of tax increase") and boasts a pro-gun record ("I do not see how endorsing a proposal to have more handguns brought into our cities and suburban areas qualifies as any type of urban renewal plan").
Wilder, an outspoken and sometimes combative politician who has a place in history books as the nation's first elected black governor, doesn't mind breaking with his party. He relishes the sport of keeping everyone guessing about what he's going to do -- and his pattern, if there is one, is to wait until the end and try to figure out who is going to win.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 09/23/2009
Moran to Hit the Trail for Deeds
On the day after the June Democratic primary, gubernatorial nominee also-rans Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran both promised to do whatever they could to get victor Creigh Deeds elected in November. McAuliffe's activities have been clear in recent weeks -- he's been sending his supporters a series of e-mails and personally donated $25,000 to Deeds. And Moran? After a summer spent resting and recovering in Maine, expect to see him on the trail starting Friday, when he will appear on Deeds's behalf.
Moran will serve as Deeds's surrogate at the 8th Congressional District's Kennedy/King Dinner, as the Deeds campaign begins to lean on Moran to help boost turnout in the Democratic strongholds of Arlington and Alexandria.
Posted at 8:50 AM ET, 09/11/2009
First Click -- Virginia
Friday, Sept. 11, 2009
Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.
Republican Bob McDonnell will be a guest on Mark Plotkin's radio show on WTOP at 10 a.m. (listen live online here) while Democrat Creigh Deeds is taking a day off from public events.
Later, the GOP ticket -- McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and attorney general hopeful Ken Cuccinelli -- talked health care. No surprise that they're not fans of President Obama's plan, and instead introduced their own.
The ads are coming fast and furious these days. Deeds launched a new TV ad accusing McDonnell of supporting power rate hikes in Southwest and Southside. Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association started airing TV and radio ads focusing on Deeds's past support of tax increases.
Former Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe gets back into the game by accusing McDonnell of stealing his energy slogan. (By the way, what was The Macker doing at the Palm with Billy Crystal and Pat Sajak?)Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 08/27/2009
What Might Have Been
Here's one headache Virginia Democrats must be relieved they do not have to face.
A top national Democratic financier has been charged with lying about his assets to get a $74 million loan from Citibank and leading Democrats have been racing to return his donations. Hassan Nemazee, son of an Iranian shipping tycoon and CEO of Nemazee Capital, served as co-chair of fundraising efforts for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year. And who was Clinton's campaign chairman? Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 08/24/2009
McAuliffe Heads to Harvard
First, Terry McAuliffe took his family on vacation to Turkey. Then, he headed to Las Vegas for pal Bill Clinton's birthday bash.
Now we hear that McAuliffe, who lost to Creigh Deeds in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in June, is joining Harvard University's Institute of Politics as a visiting fellow this fall.
Other fellows include former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (who lost to former comedian Al Franken), former Obama campaign advisor Stephanie Cutter and columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan.
McAuliffe will head to Boston in October where he will participate in classes, meet with student groups and lead discussions on his experiences. We're betting McAuliffe has a few stories to tell.
Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 08/13/2009
First Click -- Virginia
Aug. 13, 2009
Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.
Democrat Creigh Deeds will continue his week-long push on abortion, access to birth control and other women's health issues at a news conference in Portsmouth. Later, he will tour a shellfish hatchery in Willis Wharf and then hitch a ride on a boat to help workers load clam seed.
It already has been a long week for Deeds. Criticism (largely conservative, of course) of his abortion strategy and a Confederate flag flap quickly have been replaced by talk of a shake-up at his campaign.
Republican Bob McDonnell will spend the day on Wallops and Tangier islands off Virginia's Eastern Shore. (He'll temporarily ditch his RV for a helicopter). He'll tour the spaceport and talk up his grand plan to make it the top commercial spaceport in the country.
The trip comes a day after McDonnell released a lengthy proposal designed to curb crime in Virginia, including lifetime monitoring for sexual predators through GPS. Deeds may not like it, but McDonnell continues to talk about federal issues ("Are you running for Congress?") by touting a new study that shows the federal cap-and-trade bill would hurt Virginia workers and families.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:35 PM ET, 07/ 9/2009
Henry Joins Shannon's Campaign
Mike Henry is back.
Henry, who has a long track record of winning races for Democrats in general elections in Virginia and is seen as one of the driving forces behind the party's recent successes in the state, has signed on to manage Steve Shannon's campaign for attorney general.
It's a major coup for Shannon.
Henry, of course, finds himself unexpectedly free after managing Terry McAuliffe's losing gubernatorial campaign. We hear he will start his new job Monday.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:04 PM ET, 06/12/2009
Moran, McAuliffe Supporters Glad At Least Its Deeds
An observation from this afternoon's event at the Silver Diner in Arlington featuring new Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and attended by quite a number of people who had been supporting Deeds' opponents in the primary battle.
Supporters of both Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe said they were finding it easier to get on board for Deeds than they imagined they would have had their man lost to the other guy.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:46 PM ET, 06/10/2009
Four Primary Lessons
After a day for digestion, we asked Mark J. Rozell, who has a good sense of Virginia, his takeaways so far from the Deeds blowout. Rozell is a professor of public policy at George Mason University, a certified pundit and a quote machine.
Here are four:
1. Virginia primary voters are pragmatic
"That goes against type quite frankly. Most of the political science literature will tell you that primary voters tend to be more ideological than pragmatic. But we've seen in some recent election cycles that Democratic voters in Virginia have gone for more middle-of-the-road candidates, and perhaps taken lessons from Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine. They understand that having a candidate who runs more to the middle is prescription for success in this state."
2. Republican conventioneers celebrated too soon
"The last place anyone in Virginia would pop a champagne cork last night was the Bob McDonnell headquarters. I think they realize the Democrats picked their toughest opponent."
Posted at 6:58 PM ET, 06/10/2009
Looking For Nuggets
It was just 24 hours ago that the results of Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary began flooding in. The result came faster and was more definitive than nearly anyone expected.
It feels like it's been a lot longer than a day. Already President Obama has dipped his toes in with a call, and Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds have been racing through appearances and interviews like election day was just 145 days away. Wait. Election day is just 145 days away.
Still, how about a deep breath. Some of the experts were way off in the run-up to Tuesday. In early May, two years after Brian Moran launched his bid for governor, his pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Inc. had Terry McAuliffe at 31 percent, Moran at 29 percent and Deeds at 18 percent. Tuesday's results had Deeds with about twice the support of either of his rivals.
So what nuggets can be found in Tuesday's rush of actual returns?
Here's one: The more conservative candidate trounced his more liberal opponents in left-leaning Arlington: Deeds, 47 percent; Moran 37 percent, McAuliffe 16 percent. But Deeds also hit 47 percent in Loudoun, which continues to have deeper conservative roots than some of Washington's closer-in suburbs. There Moran was at 23 percent and McAuliffe was at 30.
Take a look at the State Board of Elections results by county here. And go deeper by clicking on "Votes by Precinct" in each jurisdiction. Drop us a line in the comments about what you find.
Posted at 5:27 PM ET, 06/10/2009
Commentators sometimes talk about Creigh Deeds' soft-edged demeanor or even his drawl in a way that suggests doubt about whether he has the mettle to take down a more polished politician such as Bob McDonnell. But as Deeds today continued settling into his role as his party's overwhelming choice, not just the guy in the middle, it's worth looking back at a key moment in the last formal debate between Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran.
At the end of the Washington Post-sponsored debate at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Deeds ended up with the final closing statement. With his opponents unable to respond from the stage, Deeds lit into them both in a way that was closer to ruthless than soft-edged. Republican leaders had taken some enjoyment in seeing the Democrats run each other -- and their campaign accounts -- down. Today, Democrats said the tough race helped turn Deeds into a tougher candidate. That might just be convenient spin. Or it might just be true.
Don't remember Deeds' late hits in that Annandale debate? Here's a reminder. Hit play then scroll over to about the 54:30 minute mark.
Posted at 3:22 PM ET, 06/10/2009
Getting Back Together After 'A Little Distance'
Beyond the cheering crowds and symbolism of today's unity rally in Richmond with Creigh Deeds and his rivals was a more sensitive and discrete task: Finding a way for Deeds to absorb and benefit from key staffers who have worked for months trying to defeat him.
Talks are in early stages. But an effort is underway to shift key personnel and other resources to Deeds and joint efforts to elect Democrats in November.
"All the sudden you have a lot of really talented, hard-working people...who are now ready to get behind the nominee. It's just kind of a matter of figuring out how it can happened," said Delacey Skinner, communications director for Terry McAuliffe's campaign.
Old colleagues who worked together four years ago on the coordinated campaign to elect Tim Kaine as governor and Creigh Deeds as attorney general are back talking again, Skinner said.
Staffers gathered in Richmond today were "reconnecting with people maybe we've had a little distance from," Skinner said.
McAuliffe had about 40 paid field organizers and about 6,000 people who signed up as volunteers. "We want to make sure we're helping anywhere we can," Skinner said.
Her own plans aren't yet clear, Skinner added. But she's busy "making sure that my staff has what they need to transition to whatever they want to do next."
Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 06/10/2009
Deeds' Own Precinct Reports Margins Not Seen Since USSR
The results are in: Creigh Deeds did pretty well in his home precinct.
The numbers in Deeds' Bath County voting spot (the Millboro precinct) looked like this, my colleague Freddy Kunkle reports:
Deeds: 198 (97 percent)
Terry McAuliffe: 6 (3 percent)
Brian Moran: 0
Things were not quite so definitive for his rivals.
Moran was strong at his Alexandria precinct, Temple Beth El Synagogue:
Deeds: 140 (25 percent)
McAuliffe: 68 (12 percent)
Moran: 358 (63 percent)
But McAuliffe had it tougher in Fairfax. Spring Hill:
Deeds: 168 (55 percent)
McAuliffe: 84 (28 percent)
Moran: 52 (17 percent)
Posted at 11:34 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Brian Moran, Knute Rockne, And Remembering The Titans
Candidates get punchy in a campaign's final hours.
Late Sunday night -- two years after Brian Moran launched his campaign in earnest, more than a year after he began spending his Sundays in Baptist churches meeting voters, and 12 hours after making his final appeal in the pews of north Richmond -- he stood before volunteers in an Arlington strip mall and set about rallying his team.
"There are differences between the candidates. I've been lumped in with these three white guys for too long. We might look the same, but there are differences," Moran said, his voice breaking and then recovering for a few flashes from his stump speech.
He looked out at the rapt volunteers staring back at him. It was after 8:30 p.m. "You all should be on the phones, but I'm talking to you," he said. And then he went on.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:30 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Family Time for McDonnell
So where was Bob McDonnell today while his three Democrats rivals campaigned hard in the last full day before tomorrow's primary?
Spending some quality time with his family.
The Republican nominee's in-laws, Frank and Gerry Gardner, introduced him to the residents at the vast Greenspring Retirement Community, where they live.
Greenspring, home to 2,000 residents, is a frequent stop for statewide candidates looking to meet some Virginians who are regular voters.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:09 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Moran Travels Home to Alexandria
Brian Moran of Alexandria chose to spend the final day before the election in his hometown, rallying about 250 supporters over the lunch hour in front of Alexandria City Hall in Old Town.
Glistening under a blazing sun, Moran stuck with the left-leaning message he has trumpeted for much of the campaign: promises to expand access to medical and dental care, push a transportation plan through the legislature, block off-shore drilling and repeal a constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage.
"All along 've been talking to voters about just how important this election is," Moran boomed to the crowd, flanked by more than a dozen local elected officials who support him. "We made history electing Barack Obama in the fall, but we need a partner for President Obama in the governor's office, and I intend to be that governor."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Deeds Sweeps Through the South
Sen. R. Creigh Deeds wrapped up a 16-stop, three-day blitz. He made five stops today in Danville, Martinsville, Bristol and Roanoke and will host a 9 p.m. rally in Charlottesville.
Along the way he collected an endorsement from the head of Martinsville's Democratic Committee. State Sen. Donald McEachin, a member of the legislative black caucus, also announced he is supporting Deeds.
Meanwhile, the campaign was working to drive voters to the polls.
Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey said six offices and some 200 volunteers across the state were making calls and sending people into neighborhoods to knock on doors.
The campaign also was targeting potential voters with robocalls and nearly matching McAuliffe dollar-for-dollar on television ads. Abbey said the campaign was spending about $950,000 compared with McAuliffe's $1 million.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:58 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
McAuliffe Rallies Supports
Democratic gubernatorial Terry McAuliffe appeared in front of 100 enthusiastic supporters wearing bright blue "McAuliffe for governor" stickers at a coffee shop near Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. McAuliffe signs snaked around the coffee shop and up and around the adjacent streets.
He bounded up the makeshift stage, wearing a suit jacket on one of the hotter days this summer, after he was introduced as the next governor of commonwealth of Virginia.
"Tomorrow's the big day!'' McAuliffe said to a crowd waving blue McAuliffe for governor signs. "This has been what you are working on for months!"
McAuliffe, who was losing his voice, rattled off his campaign's get-out-the vote-effort: Six thousand volunteers are projected to make 1 million phone calls and knocked on 8,500 doors in the state.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:51 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Jim Moran: "I'm Concerned"
With some last-minute polls suggesting that Brian Moran might be neck-and-neck or even lagging behind Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds on Moran's home turf in Northern Virginia, his big brother, Rep. Jim Moran, acknowledged being "concerned."
"Of course, I am," Jim Moran said while leaving a Fairfax County forum with local officals and other members of the Virginia congressional delegation on housing.
"I think the (Washington) Post endorsement is helping Creigh a great deal in Northern Virginia, which is where he had hoped to win it," Jim Moran said. "We figured if we could get two thirds of the vote in Northern Virginia and we get a good turnout, a good GOTV effort, we can win this, because Brian does have good support in Hampton Roads and in the Richmond area."
"But the Post endorsement has made a difference, and of course Terry has the resources to make an impressive final push. That's why we're very much concerned," Jim Moran said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:27 PM ET, 06/ 8/2009
'There's A Reason I'm Not In Politics'
The disconnect between the political class and avid voters on the one hand, and many average Virginians on the other, became even clearer around the Commonwealth today as the three men running for governor made their final appeals.
Just after noon in front of Alexandria's city hall, a 30-year-old Arlington IT worker named Anil Karthkia happened across a crowd of more then 250 people sweating in blazing sun as Brian Moran prepared for his final hometown rally and speech exhorting supporters to show up at the polls Tuesday.
Karthkia was there to tour Alexandria's Waterfront and missed most of the warm-up acts. He would have heard local legislators telling the crowd that Moran is the best general-election candidate to help Democrats take Virginia's House of Delegates in November.
"I'm very selfish. I'm thinking about who's the best person...to help me get reelected and to get my colleagues reelected, " said Fairfax County Del. Chuck Caputo. Caputo made a case for Moran the governor, but emphasized the case for Moran the campaigner. Flipping the House is the key to progress, Alexandria state Sen. Patsy Ticer added. "We in the Senate can't get a darn thing done until we do," Ticer said.
Once Moran took the stage to the blaring sounds of "Born to Run," he made his case and Karthkia tried to take it all in.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Puller Endorses Deeds
One of Northern Virginia's last remaining neutral voices has decided to make an endorsement in the waning hours before polls open tomorrow: State Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D-Fairfax), who said late last week that all three campaigns had called in recent days to ask for her support, has decided to endorse fellow Sen. Creigh Deeds.
Puller noted that she and Deeds were elected to the House of Delegates on the same day and have been deskmates in both the House and Senate chambers. She said she believed Deeds' rural roots would help him beat Repulican Bob McDonnell in the fall.
"I also admire Brian Moran, but I think Creigh is the one who now has the momentum," she said. "I think he has a good chance to win the primary--and I think he's our best hope to beat Bob McDonnell in the fall"
She said she believes Deeds' has his priorities straight--pledging to fix transportation in his first year in office.
Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 06/ 8/2009
Predictions of Low Turnout Continue
Here's more grist for the churning discussions about likely turnout for tomorrow's primary election.
Fairfax County Elections Registrar Rokey W. Suleman II is officially predicting it'll be low in his neck of the woods. Suleman said that as of Saturday night, voters had mailed 1,679 absentee ballots, of which, 759 had been returned to the office. An additional 754 Fairfax residents had voted early in person as of Saturday night, an option available since May 18.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:53 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
'You Don't Hear People Talking About It'
To understand what the words "Democratic stronghold" can mean, stop by Arlington's precinct 30.
President Obama took 87.72 percent of the vote here in November, the best showing in the bluest county in Northern Virginia. It is places like this that the Democrat who wins on Tuesday will count on for support in November.
But what are people thinking about the primary?
For many, the answer on a beautiful Sunday evening as children dash through water fountains at Drew park, is: Not much of anything.
"The governor's race, you don't hear a lot of talk about it," said former postal worker Jacqui Jackson, 43. "For the presidency, people were talking everywhere, just making conversation. It's kind of amazing. You don't hear people talking about it."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:28 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
It might seem like an odd rallying cry in a state that often takes a hard line on law-and-order matters. But today Democrats hammered at the issue to an enthusiastic response from the party's base.
When Terry McAuliffe this morning called for restoring voting rights for released felons in a stump speech from a church pulpit, parishioners rewarded him with a standing ovation, my colleague Freddy Kunkle reports. It was a big applause line for Brian Moran at a church stop today as well.
Mike Signer, an Arlington lawyer running against Jody Wagner in the lieutenant governor's race, has made the issue one of the pillars of his statewide campaign.
Nearly all states but Virginia allow felons to vote after their debt to society has been paid, Signer said, and not doing so has kept large numbers of African American men from becoming full citizens of the Commonwealth again.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:58 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
McAuliffe Visits Churches
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was ushered to the front row of the Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church in Norfolk as its pastor, the Rev. Kirk T. Houston, Jr., belted out a rocking gospel number with backing from the choir.
Then he introduced a young seminarian who was about to collect his degree from nearby Regent University--the university attended by GOP candidate Bob McDonnell.
Called to the pulpit next, McAuliffe gave a hoarse but rousing stump speech, bringing many in the congregation of approximately 300 people to their feet when he promised to work for the automatic restoration of voting rights to convicted felons.
"I want to make it crystal clear - I want to help people," McAuliffe said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:13 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
The Home Stretch
They're racing from Baptist churches to a motel, country club, and sports bar. On their last weekend day to rally voters, it's all locomotion and geographic bobbing and weaving for the three Democratic candidates for governor.
Here's some of where they have been and where they're going:
Creigh Deeds attended services at Zion Baptist Church in Hampton before heading to Roger Brown's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Portsmouth. He's scheduled to meet voters at Giuseppe's Pizza in Petersburg this afternoon and a supporter's home in Richmond tonight.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
Moran Woos Black Voters
Democratical gubernatorial hopeful Brian Moran began his day at a small Baptist church in the Highland Park neighborhood on the north side of Richmond -- the same place his rival, R. Creigh Deeds, appeared two months ago.
Only about 50 people attended the 8 a.m. service at Fifth Street Baptist Church, where the windows were adorned with stained glass and a yellow banner read "Bringing the Kingdom to the Community."
Evelyn Morris-Harris, chairwoman of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia, invited Moran to her church of six years and introduced him to the congregation.
"He's a family orientated man,'' she told them. "And we look for that. We need that. We need someone who understands what family is all about."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 06/ 7/2009
Where In The World Was Terry McAuliffe?
Porting snazzy technology to the campaign grind can net unexpected results.
Take, for instance, Terry McAuliffe's campaign stop off the coast of Ghana.
All he was trying to do was let everyone know about his town hall with chemical company workers outside Richmond. But he put himself in the hands of UberTwitter, software for mobile blogging from his Blackberry.
"Great townhall meeting with employees at ChemTreat. Got lots of questions about my jobs plan," he Tweeted Thursday, linking to his location and an image of himself in a blue shirt surrounded by eager listeners. But the automatically generated Google map, fed by cell tower information ("No GPS hardware required," says UberTwitter), put his smiling mug in the sea off the Ghanaian capital of Accra.
"Dunno what's up with twitter. First it says I'm in Bethesda, now I'm off the coast of Africa. We've been in VA all day," McAuliffe Tweeted later.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 06/ 7/2009
Ground Games: Who Has the Edge?
Two hundred thousand.
That's the astounding number of phone calls Terry McAuliffe's campaign says volunteers made on his behalf yesterday, as we reach the final hours before polls open for the Democratic primary Tuesday.
For weeks, McAuliffe strategists have insisted they were building a massive get-out-the- vote network they would activate in the final days before the election. Now, they say it's up and running. And, despite tightening in the polls, they have remained confident their ability to reach out and touch potential voters, including those who voted for president last year but don't typically take part in local elections, is far beyond anything Brian Moran or Creigh Deeds can muster.
Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 06/ 7/2009
After millions of dollars spent, thousands of miles traveled, and much talk of chicken waste, coal-fired power plants, and pre-K, it looks like we may be headed for rain Tuesday.
Our all-season colleagues over at the Capital Weather Gang have ginned up this forecast:
"Showers and thunderstorms are likely both Tuesday and Wednesday (60% chance), especially in the afternoon and evening. High temperatures both days will be in the 80s with lows in the 60s," writes Chief Meteorologist Jason Samenow.
But could the diehards courted by the campaigns using sophisticated databases and months of phone calls really be thrown off by a little rain?
Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 06/ 6/2009
Deeds Fights Back
Here's how we can tell we're in the midst of the final days of a hard-fought race: The attacks are coming fast and furious. It's hard to even keep up.
Each of the three Democrats running for governor -- Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran -- are accusing each other of unfair attacks daily. Forget daily. Try every few hours.
Most of the attacks have been aimed at Deeds, who recent polls show surging ahead of his rivals, and his lengthy record of support for gun rights.
McAuliffe sent out a mailer that poses the question: "Which of the Democratic candidates supports concealed weapons in bars?" And Moran has been hammering Deeds in his own campaign mailer as well as in radio interviews.
Now, Deeds is fighting back.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:24 PM ET, 06/ 6/2009
What's a Good Democrat To Do?
The offerings - make that demands - on the last weekend day before Tuesday's vote are bountiful.
President Obama would like to request your presence at one of Sunday's meetings to kickoff a push for health care reform. Organizing for America, the volunteer group that stemmed from the president's campaign, is calling for gatherings across the country.
But wait. Three smiling but increasingly frenzied would-be governors could also really use a final boost from energetic phone bankers and door knockers. And show up at the offices of one of the unheralded down-ballot candidates (Your future lieutenant governor wants YOU!) and you might make a friend for life.
Strategists in Virginia are trying to gauge the ratio of fatigue to continued excitement among Democrats after Obama's success in November. Turnout will drive the outcome in Tuesday's primary--and the race against Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall. In liberal power centers in Northern Virginia, competing demands will also be a factor.
Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 06/ 6/2009
Clinton Lends A Hand Once More
Bill Clinton, who has helped out his pal Terry McAuliffe throughout his race for governor, is at it again.
In the final frenzied days of campaigning before Tuesday's primary, the former president has recorded a phone call for McAuliffe asking Virginians to get out and vote.
"As your governor, Terry McAuliffe will fight harder than anyone to improve the economy and create jobs,'' Clinton says. Listen to the call here (MP3).
Clinton is making at least one more appearance in Virginia today to help out McAuliffe. He will be at McAuliffe's McLean home for a barbecue.
Posted at 9:51 AM ET, 06/ 6/2009
Last Minute Donations Pour In
So this might help explain the number of Creigh Deeds ads those of us who live in the expensive Washington media market have been seeing in the last day or so.
Deeds' campaign has taken in more than $276,000 in new donations since May 27, the cut-off deadline for inclusion in his last big June 1 fundraising report, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
That figure is dwarfed by the more than $500,000 Terry McAuliffe has raised in the same time period -- we've been seeing his ads too -- but we always knew McAuliffe would bring in more money than both his rivals. Deeds success here at the end -- he reported bringing in almost $115,000 of that figure on June 3 and 4 alone -- has buoyed the signs of life his campaign has been showing in its final days.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 06/ 5/2009
McAuliffe Picks Up Congressman's Support
So it looks like, at long last and after weeks of close ties and kind words, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott has essentially endorsed Terry McAuliffe.
We haven't yet heard him use the "e" word, but a McAuliffe mailer that hit yesterday features a photo of the two of them and quotes praising McAuliffe as representing "hope for Virginia." McAuliffe is far too careful a politician to send out a mailer like that without Scott's approval.
Scott's nod could be a key bit of support in his Hampton Roads district, helping to bring out black voters who could be critical to a possible McAuliffe victory. McAuliffe has also received the endorsements of the state's black newspapers.
You can read the mailer here.
Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 06/ 5/2009
The Repsonse to Schweitzer
As we all now know gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe was endorsed this morning by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who also happens to be chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
So what's been the response from his rivals?
Democrat Creigh Deeds tweeted about it this morning: "well I guess terry has a leg up in the montana precincts."
Brian Moran's campaign manager Andrew Roos said: "The guy who was rumored to be running for governor of New York, and wanted to be governor of Florida is having the governor of Montana tell us why he should be governor of Virginia?''Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:22 AM ET, 06/ 5/2009
Schweitzer, Rendell and the Endorsement Hierarchy
Cross-posted from The Fix:
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will receive two prominent endorsements of his Virginia gubernatorial candidacy today from Democratic Governors Association Chairman Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
Schweitzer will travel the state with McAuliffe while Rendell, a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will cut a video in support of the former DNC Chair.
The decision by two out-of-state elected officials to wade into a contested three-way primary -- state Sen. Creigh Deeds and former state Del. Brian Moran are also running -- just days before the June 9 votes begs one basic question: Will either endorsement have any impact on the outcome on Tuesday?Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 06/ 4/2009
Moran Mailer Targets Deeds
We're not sure what to make of the recent polls that seem to show some kind of movement by Creigh Deeds in the governor's race. As our polling director Jon Cohen has explained, we think some of them are unreliable. And we think polling is exceptionally difficult in a three-way primary in which turnout is expected to be low.
But, for what it's worth, we can add this bit of evidence to a growing picture of possible momentum: The other campaigns seems to be a bit anxious of the guy from Bath.
After weeks of taking on Terry McAuliffe in mailings, radio and tv ads, trying to suggest his record as a businessman is not what he has claimed, Brian Moran has a new target in a flier hitting mailboxes today: Deeds.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:24 PM ET, 06/ 4/2009
Democratic Governors Association Head Picks McAuliffe
Post political blogger Chris Cillizza, aka The Fix, reports a big endorsement for Terry McAuliffe today:
"Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, will endorse former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe's (Va.) gubernatorial primary bid tomorrow in northern Virginia, according to sources familiar with the move.
"Schweitzer will throw his support to McAulliffe tomorrow morning in Arlington and then the two will travel together to events in Richmond and Charlottesville. The endorsement comes just three days before Virginia Democrats head to the polls to choose between McAuliffe, state Sen. Creigh Deeds and former state Del. Brian Moran as their party's nominee for governor. Former state attorney general Bob McDonnell is the GOP nominee.
"Schweitzer's endorsement is in his capacity as governor of Montana not as chairman of the DGA, according to knowledgeable sources, but the practical effect is the same.
"Neither Schweitzer nor the McAuliffe campaign returned a call seeking comment."
Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 06/ 4/2009
Updated: Moran Scores an Unusual Endorsement
The folks at OpenCarry.org, a gun rights group, have done something we never would have expected: They endorsed Brian Moran in the Democratic primary for governor.
Moran, a former delegate from Alexandria who has a lengthy record of gun control votes, had no idea he was getting the endorsement -- or even why. As you might imagine, an endorsement from a gun rights group is not exactly what a candidate is looking for in a Democratic primary -- especially one who is trying to appeal to the most liberal voters.
So why did OpenCarry.org pick Moran, especially over state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who is well known for his gun rights votes and his NRA endorsement in 2005?
The group's Mike Stollenwerk says they don't trust Deeds anymore because he has changed his views on gun issues over the last couple years.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 06/ 4/2009
Suffolk University Poll: Most Voters Still Uncertain
UPDATE: Another poll out today, this one from Research 2000 for the liberal blog Daily Kos, also finds the race near even with a large number of undecideds -- Deeds at 30 percent, Moran at 27 and McAuliffe at 26 with 17 percent undecided -- but adds one thing the Suffolk poll does not have: trend.
In late May, the same poll found a vastly different race, with McAuliffe at 36 percent, Moran at 22 and Deeds lagging behind at 13 percent, suggesting the tides are moving in Deeds's direction across the state (he's climbed 16 points in Northern Virginia, 18 points in the rest of the state) as Election Day closes in.
With Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary just a few days away, a new poll from Suffolk University confirms one thing we know for sure about this race: there are a lot of undecided voters.
The new poll, conducted using live interviewers, adds to the stack of polling showing a large chunk of the potential electorate has not yet made up their mind on the contest, and those who express an opinion are fairly evenly divided, with no one candidate holding a statistically significant lead. More than one-fifth, 22 percent, of likely Democratic primary voters in the Suffolk poll said they are undecided, and half of those who did express support for a candidate said they are very or somewhat likely to change their minds before Tuesday's vote, meaning a combined 61 percent are uncertain of their vote.
Overall, the three candidates run nearly evenly: state senator Creigh Deeds at 29 percent, former DNC chair and Clinton campaign veteran Terry McAuliffe at 26 percent and former state delegate Brian Moran at 23 percent. But there is more air between the candidates among the 37 percent who said they are unlikely to switch candidates before Tuesday's vote. Deeds holds a slight lead among that group, 44 percent back him, compared with 34 percent who favor McAuliffe and 23 percent who back Moran.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:54 PM ET, 06/ 3/2009
Live Blog: WJLA/Politico Special
Good evening! We're sitting down to watch tonight's WJLA/Politico news special on the governor's race. We're betting many of our readers are doing the same. So join us as we share thoughts and observations live during the special.
This is not airing live and it's not a debate, so there's unlikely to be a lot of unpredictable going on and there will be no back and forth between the candidates. Still, this is an uninterrupted hour on prime time television. So it's certainly worth a watch.
We'll get going momentarily.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 06/ 3/2009
McAuliffe Consoles, Campaigns at GM Plant
From the annals of smart campaigning... Terry McAuliffe made a stop this afternoon at the GM plant in Fredericksburg that the company announced Monday it is shuttering as part of its bankruptcy filing.
Not a bad move for the candidate who has made job creation the centerpiece of his run for the governor's mansion. McAuliffe took a tour of the plant, which is scheduled to close in 2010, as a guest of local UAW leaders and Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors Chairman Henry "Hap" Connors Jr, whose endorsed his campaign.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 06/ 3/2009
Deeds Airs Ads in NoVa
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds will begin airing ads tonight on broadcast and cable TV in the pricey Northern Virginia market, and will continue them through the Tuesday primary.
The 30-second ad, Tradition, touts Deeds' recent endorsement from the Washington Post and claims that he is the "most prepared Democrat to build on the Warner-Kaine legacy."
Deeds' latest TV buy means the state senator from Bath County will be on TV in every media market in the state in the five days leading to the primary. Rival Terry McAuliffe began airing ads in Northern Virginia this week.
Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 06/ 3/2009
Is Deeds surging?
Six days before the Democratic primary for governor, that's certainly what state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds wants us to think.
His campaign has been quietly -- and not so quietly -- letting everyone who will listen know he is moving ahead in recent polls and could go down as one of the greatest come-from-behind success stories in recent state history. (Okay, well since Jim Webb, anyway).
"This huge surge for Creigh happened because of you,'' Deeds' campaign manager Joe Abbey wrote in a letter to supporters this week. "Now that we are in the lead, we can expect our opponents to come out swinging."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:26 PM ET, 06/ 2/2009
New Ads for McAuliffe, Moran
Another day, another new ad. Actually today, two new ads.
Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran release new TV ads today. McAuliffe's ad uses one of his better lines from the debates (President Kennedy didn't say we're going halfway to the moon - he said we're going all the way!) while Moran takes a swipe at Republican nominee Bob McDonnell.
Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 06/ 2/2009
Updated: More About Money
We told you yesterday that Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe has raised more cash than his rivals, R. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, heading into the final week of the primary.
Today, we are providing you with some of the interesting tidbits about their donations, according to campaign filings made public last night. Check back often because we will be updating this post as we discover new fun facts.
Both Deeds and Moran received money from Dominion Virginia Power's political action committee. Deeds' $5,000 came the day after he criticized McAuliffe about his pledge to refuse campaign contributions from one of the most influential companies in the state. Moran's $10,000 came after he stated in interviews that he had taken less money his opponents.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 06/ 1/2009
Updated: The Money Game
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe raised $1.8 million in the two-month period ending last week. He has nearly $1.3 million cash on hand as he heads into the last week before next Tuesday's primary.
Brian Moran raised $844,000 in the same period and has $700,000 in the bank. Creigh Deeds, raised $676,326 and has $521,135 in the bank.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell raised $3.7-million. He goes into the general election with $4.9 millon cash on hand.
Today is the deadline for candidates to report to the state how much money they raised in the two-month period ending last week. For Democrats, it will give us a good idea of how much money they have to spend on TV ads and-get-out-the-vote efforts as they head into the final week before next Tuesday's primary. For Republicans, it will tell us how much money they have going into the general election.
We will be providing you information as we get them from the candidates, so check back often as the day progresses. See other statewide candidates below:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 06/ 1/2009
Final Countdown Begins
The home stretch, the final spring, the last gasp. Welcome to it folks.
We're now eight days from primary Election Day, with Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran making their final arguments that they deserve the Democratic nomination for governor.
Posted at 4:44 PM ET, 05/31/2009
Deeds Picks Up More Newspaper Support
It's not particularly surprising for Deeds to receive backing in the south and southwest parts of the state, where he is expected to do better than his Northern Virginia-based opponents, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran.
But it is fair to note that, so far, Deeds has picked up support from the only three daily newspapers that have endorsed in the Democratic primary. Several major newspapers in the state, including the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, will not endorse.
Newspaper endorsements, especially those in Martinsville and Bristol, are not likely to change a lot of votes. But it helps perpetuate Deeds' message that he has seen momentum in the last few weeks and definitely should not be counted out. Besides, in a low turnout primary -- as this one is expected to be -- every little bit counts.
Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 05/30/2009
GOP Target: Terry
Bob McDonnell never mentioned his Democratic rivals by name in his speech today officially accepting the Republican nomination for governor. He didn't have to.
Enough other prominent Republicans made it clear this weekend at the state GOP convention in Richmond that they think former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe will win the primary next month and compete against McDonnell in the general election.
Here's what U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the House minority and an all around popular guy at the convention, said about McAuliffe:
"He saw Virginia's governship pop up on ebay and he wants to buy it,'' he told more than 10,000 cheering Republicans. "We won't let him do that."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 05/30/2009
The Last Chapter on the McAuliffe Business Plan
With a week and half left before the primary election, Terry McAuliffe has put out the last chapter of his oft-referenced "Business Plan for Virginia." Chapter Six is entitled "Paying for the Business Plan" and was posted to the campaign's website yesterday, without the accompanying news release that came with chapters one through five.
In the chapter, McAuliffe puts price tags on some of the proposal's he's been touting, identifies some areas of possible cost savings for the state, and prioritizes some of his ideas onto an immediate "to do" list and others onto a "let's get to this when the recession ends" list.
You can read it here.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:36 PM ET, 05/29/2009
An Ad Scorecard, Part II
We told you a bit earlier how much the Democrats are spending on TV ads in the hotly-contested three-way gubernatorial primary.
So where does Bob McDonnell fit in?
McDonnell, who will officially accept the Republican nomination tomorrow, is outspending all of the Democrats -- even though the general election hasn't even started yet. And he is about spend a lot more.
In just over two weeks, McDonenell has aired a whopping $1.2 million worth of spots all over the state, including pricey Northern Virginia, according to sources familiar with the purchase. He will spend another $700,000 In spots -- more than half in Northern Virginia -- in the nine-day period starting Monday following the state GOP convention, sources say.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:46 PM ET, 05/29/2009
An Ad Scorecard
So how dramatically is Brian Moran now being outspent on television ads by both Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe? As of May 27, Moran had aired a mere $43,000 worth of spots in Norfolk and Richmond. Meanwhile, McAuliffe had spent $900,000, in every Virginia market except the D.C. suburbs and Deeds had spent almost $400,000.
Those figures come from Evan Tracey, who tracks such things for the Campaign Media Analysis Group. Tracey says the gap between McAuliffe and Deeds has been narrowing. He says all of Deeds money has come within the last 30 days; McAuliffe's has spent about $535,000 in that time. And over the last two weeks, McAuliffe has outspent Deeds only $280,000 to $200,000.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 05/29/2009
New McAuliffe Ad Features Clinton
After picking up the endorsement of Virginia's largest black newspaper yesterday and the civil rights group the Crusade for Voters last week, Terry McAuliffe today is pressing his advantage in the African American community with a radio ad in Richmond and Norfolk noting the endorsements and featuring President Bill Clinton saying McAuliffe is "made for this moment in history."
McAuliffe clearly is confident that any resentments sparked during last year's presidential primary campaign, when Clinton's heated rhetoric leading to the South Carolina primary upset many black voters, are now long past. After all, Hillary Clinton and Obama appear close.
Assuming McAuliffe is right, the ads not only could draw votes from a key constituency but could help boost his friend Clinton's image as well, suggesting that last year's unpleasantness has not permanently damaged his once-stellar reputation in the black community.
Hear the ad here:
Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 05/28/2009
Nader Accuses McAuliffe of Suppressing Votes
Consumer activist Ralph Nader accused Terry McAuliffe Thursday of orchestrating an effort to remove him from the presidential ballot in 2004 when McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Nader said that McAuliffe offered him an unspecified amount of money to campaign in 31 states if Nader would agree to pull his campaign in 19 battleground states.
"When you get a call like that, first of all it's inappropriate,'' Nader said in an interview. "The other thing is if you don't immediately say no, it's like taffy, you get stuck with it."
The latest charge against McAuliffe, who is in a hotly-contested three-way Democratic primary for governor, calls into question -- again -- whether his political career is a liability for him as a candidate.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:04 PM ET, 05/28/2009
Bad Blood Between McAuliffe and Plotkin?
If there was any strategy at play when Terry McAuliffe jabbed at Mark Plotkin over a bit of ancient history during an interview earlier this year, it didn't seem to have worked.
Anyone wondering why Plotkin slammed McAuliffe on drive time radio this morning -- urging voters to support any other candidate but him -- may benefit from a little of the back story.
McAuliffe showed up late for his February appearance on WTOP's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin, then proceeded to rib the pugnacious Washington political commentator over some old business from the candidate's years as a banker. You can listen to the exchange by clicking the image below:
AUDIO | McAuliffe Says He Declined Radio Host's Bank Loan
McAuliffe became chairman of Federal City National Bank back in 1988, and joked on the air about declining to give Plotkin a loan.
"You're just mad I turned you down for your bank loan 20 years ago. Turned him down -- he's still mad at me. And it was the right thing to do," McAuliffe sniped.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:43 PM ET, 05/28/2009
McAuliffe Wooing Black Voters
Terry McAuliffe scores another small victory with black voters.
McAuliffe was endorsed by the Richmond Free Press, a free newspaper in the capital city that caters to the African American community. "He demonstrated his concern for the black community, showing up at events in our community as he did in other communities-and following up to assure that he means what he says,'' the newspaper writes in a lengthy editorial published today.
Last week, McAuliffe gotthe backing of the Richmond Crusade for Voters, a civil rights group.
In what is expected to be a low turnout primary, African American voters will play a crucial role in the June 9 primary. McAuliffe, Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran have launched aggressive campaigns to woo the state's African American voters through radio ads, endorsements and events.
Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 05/28/2009
Did McAuliffe Break His Pledge?
Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran are accusing rival Terry McAuliffe of breaking the pledge (he loves to repeat) to not go negative in a primary against fellow Democrats.
But his latest campaign mailer, just arriving in mailboxes in Northern Virginia, offers a comparison of the three candidates that seems, well, kind of negative.
The mailer compares the three Democrats and one Republican in the race for governor on four issues -- payday lending, campaign finance, lobby reform and renewable energy standard.
Deeds' campaign said McAuliffe's "deceptive" mailer shows he is running scared because recent polls show Deeds is gaining ground while Moran's camp says it shows McAuliffe can't be trusted.
Click the image below to see the ad.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 05/28/2009
Camelot on Display for Moran
There are quite a number of Terry McAuliffe signs along the roadways of tony McLean leading to to Ethel Kennedy's famed Hickory Hill estate, but behind the door of the stately white mansion--complete with Barack Obama sticker on its open glass door--it was all about Brian Moran last night, as we wrote in this morning's Post.
Well, Brian Moran and, of course, always the Kennedys. The home is absolutely full of Kennedy mementos, on every wall, on every graceful table and mantle, which guests at the Moran fundraiser last night soaked in with abandon. Paintings and etchings and drawings of Ethel Kennedy's husband Robert and, of course, his brother President John, all got snapped with camera phones, as guests munched on shrimp skewers and tiny rolls of roast beef.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:07 AM ET, 05/28/2009
Plotkin Disses McAuliffe
Just what did Terry McAuliffe do to Mark Plotkin?
Plotkin blasted McAuliffe on WTOP radio this morning as part of a scathing commentary in which he urged Virginains to vote for Brian Moran or Creigh Deeds and not -- under any circumstances -- McAuliffe.
He slammed McAuliffe for his lack of ties to Virginia, his interest in fundraising and his "exaggerations." He ended simply with this line:
"The Democratic primary for governor is Tuesday, June 9. Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds are qualified to be governor. Terry McAuliffe is not."
Plotkin has been miffed since McAuliffe canceled his appearance on his radio show a couple weeks ago. He was the only one of the three candidates who did not appear.
McAuiffe's spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith's only reaction today was this: "Terry has the record of creating thousands of jobs and turning around struggling businesses. That's the record that Virginias are looking for in their next governor.''
Check out the full transcript below:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:01 PM ET, 05/27/2009
McDonnell Can't Wait to Talk About Card Check
We told you yesterday how much Bob McDonnell was loving each of his Democratic rivals being forced to share their views on card check.
McDonnell wants to turn card check into the issue this year -- and he sure is doing his best. He talks about it everywhere he goes.
Check out today's effort. A video of Democrats Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran explaining -- sort of -- if they support card check.
Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 05/26/2009
Live Blog: Virginia FREE Luncheon
Good Afternoon. Today we come to you live from the Ritz-Carlton Tyson's Corner, where all four men seeking the governor's mansion in Virginia are about to begin addressing a roomful of business leaders and electeds for the Virginia Free lunch. The room is packed. Folks are now munching on salad. And Clayton Roberts is now reading the lengthy list of influential folks in the audience. We'll get started with a live blog in just a couple minutes, when the speechifying begins and keep with it as long as our technology holds out.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 05/25/2009
How Much Pie Can One Man Eat?
It's a good question for political candidates on Memorial Day weekend two weeks before an election, as they cram in as many barbecues and parades and festivals and fish fries as they can stomach, engaging in classic retail politics before voters go to the polls.
In the case of Brian Moran this weekend, it was a quite literal question. Moran took part in a pie eating contest at the Strawberry Festival in Virginia Beach on Saturday, where he endeavored to eat as much of a strawberry pie (natch) as he could in 90 seconds. He came in third. Of five.
We caught up with Moran today, a full 48 hours later, at the Viva Vienna festival in Fairfax, where he was still sporting a scrape on his nose from the pie tin.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 05/23/2009
Crusade Endorsement Problems, Part II
A few days ago, we told you how angry state Sen. Henry Marsh was about the Richmond Crusade for Voters endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for governor.
Turns out he is not the only one.
Two other influential African Americans, State Sen. Don McEachin and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, both longtime members of the storied civil rights group, join Marsh in accusing the Crusade of allowing non-members to vote at last Tuesday's endorsement meeting.
"It is a tainted endorsement,'' McEachin said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 05/23/2009
Deeds Bobbles Minimum Wage Question
Okay, so it couldn't be a perfect day for Creigh Deeds.
Yesterday morning, he snagged some momentum with the endorsement of our colleagues on the editorial board of the Washington Post. But not long after, he had a little flub on the Politics Hour with Mark Plotkin on WTOP that's got the bloggers twittering.
In response to a question about the minimum wage, it sure sounded like Deeds didn't know what the the minimum wage currently is in Virginia. Price of milk anyone?Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 05/22/2009
Kaine Sings. Yes, Really.
Gov. Tim Kaine played the harmonica and sang a couple songs last night in front of a few hundred people at his last fundraiser for his political action committee.
A casually dressed Kaine was joined by Boyd Tinsley, a violinist with the Dave Matthews Band, on stage in the park outside the historic Maymont house in Richmond.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:02 AM ET, 05/22/2009
Post Ed Board Endorses Deeds
It's got to be a particularly sunny day in Charlottesville at the headquarters of Creigh Deeds. That's because our colleagues on the editorial board of the Washington Post endorsed Deeds this morning for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Just to be clear, the ed board operates entirely separately from those of us on the news side. We provided no input for their decision; we got our first look at the editorial, like everyone else, over our morning coffee. (Or, rather, on our laptops last night just after midnight.)
But this still seems a potentially important development in the race worth examining.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:46 PM ET, 05/21/2009
McAuliffe Leads in Poll
A DailyKos/Research 2000 poll on the governor's race today shows that Terry McAuliffe leads opponents Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds among likely voters in the Democratic primary.
The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee had 36 percent compared to 22 percent for Moran and 13 percent for Deeds.
McAuliffe showed a huge gain, while Moran and Deeds remained virtually steady, since the last poll was conducted. In early April, the same poll showed that Moran was ahead of the other two among likely voters.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 05/21/2009
Moran vs. Moran
Last week, Democratic candidates for governor, R. Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe, said they oppose inmates from Guantanamo Bay detention facility being housed in Virginia.
But their rival Brian Moran refused to say. Until today.
Today, Moran told reporters on a conference call that he, too, opposes housing inmates in Virginia and as governor, his first priority would be to keep residents safe.
The decision puts him at odds with his brother, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, who last weekend raised some eyebrows that he would be open to inmates being housed in Virginia though he would not prefer it.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 05/21/2009
GOP Attacks McAuliffe On Union Ties
Republicans are blasting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe for touting this week that he hired all union workers in Florida because they say that violates the state's right-to-work law.
"I've gone into states like Florida -- right-to-work," McAuliffe said this week in a debate hosted by the Washington Post and News Channel 8 at Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus."And hired all union workers."
Florida, Virginia and 20 other states have laws that so not alow union membership to be a condition of employment.
"Terry McAuliffe either doesn't know or doesn't care what the letter and spirit of right-to-work laws are if he brags about discriminating against non-union workers," said party chairman Pat Mullins. "Requiring all workers to be unionized is against the policy of Virginia and it is shocking that he would boast about breaking it."
The GOP and Republican gubernatorial nominee have been hammering Democrats for their union ties and their support of the Employee Free Choice Act that, which would make it easier to form a union. But it's unclear whether criticisms like this one will stick.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:11 PM ET, 05/20/2009
Fact Checker: Dominion Rate Increase
All three Democrats running for governor claimed in yesterday's debate that they oppose Dominion Virginia Power's March proposal to raise electricity rates 6.9 percent to pay for equipment, salaries, plant construction and conservation projects.
That's not exactly true.
Only state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds called on the State Corporation Commission to reject the rate increase. His rivals Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran did not.
Deeds immediately issued a press release after Dominion announced the proposal. "This is the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it's simply not the time to ask Virginia families to pay more for their monthly energy bill,'' he said. "It's time to put the middle class first again. I call on the Virginia State Corporation Commission to reject this rate increase on Virginia's working families."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:12 PM ET, 05/20/2009
Excerpts: Terry McAuliffe Takes Post Readers' Questions
Governor's race Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe stopped by washingtonpost.com today to answer some readers' questions and discuss his campaigns and policies. Excerpts are below.
Fellow candidate Brian Moran took questions earlier today; Creigh Deeds will be by online at noon on May 29.
Alexandria, Va.: Brian Moran in the chat earlier today declared himself - a potential governor of the Old Dominion -- as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Sir, I ask as an undecided Democratic voter, your preference as a baseball fan.
Terry McAuliffe: Honestly, with the limited time I have now, the most baseball I watch -- and my favorite -- is my son Peter's little league games.
Arlington, Va.: One of my concerns about your candidacy is that it will heighten already partisan politics in Virginia due to your national profile and previous political work. Any thoughts about whether that would be true, and, if it is, whether that would be a bad thing?
Terry McAuliffe: I believe that to overcome the economic challenges we face, we've got to work together - that means across party lines and from all corners of the Commonwealth. There's no such thing as a Republican job or a Democratic job. Our next governor needs to bring everyone together to create good jobs. That's what I'm going to do.
I served the Chair of the DNC, but as I think Governor Kaine is demonstrating, that role can be about advocating for what you believe is right - it doesn't have to be about petty partisan politics. I'm always going to fight for what I believe in - good jobs with good benefits, decreasing our reliance on foreign oil and increasing our use of renewable energy, making health care available and affordable, solving our transportation challenges, and giving our kids the best education - but that isn't about partisan politics. That's about getting results and building our future.
I think the focus of my campaign - big ideas and bringing people together - gives you a good indication of what kind of governor I'd be.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 05/20/2009
Excerpts: Brian Moran Takes Post Readers' Questions
Governor's race Democratic candidate Brian Moran stopped by washingtonpost.com today to answer some readers' questions and discuss his campaigns and policies. Excerpts are below.
Fairfax County, Va.: I worked all last year on the Obama campaign as a volunteer in northern Virginia. I am still angry that Terry McAuliffe pointedly left Denver before President Obama's acceptance speech. But even before he entered the race, I was torn between you and Creigh Deeds on electability. Creigh seems like a more Jim-Webb-style, middle of the road, centrist candidate who people from other parts of the state can identify with. Why do you feel a northern Virginian with progressive views, such as yourself, can defeat McDonnell? I would love to be convinced you can -- please tell me.
Brian Moran: Thanks for that question. You're not the first person who I've heard that criticism about my opponent from. That's why I thought it was unfortunate he ran misleading radio ads claiming credit for electing President Obama.
To your question, I believe Creigh Deeds is a good man. But I believe he and I have a different philosophy on some issues important to Virginia Democrats. On the question of electability, Creigh ran last time and was unsuccessful. Since than, Bob McDonnell has raised his profile even more.
I've spent the last 8 years traveling across Virginia coordinating campaigns that win in tough Republican-leaning distircts from Loudoun to Lynchburg to Virginia Beach. I know how to win in suburban and rural communities and a I have a strong base here in Northern Virginia. Mark Warner won comming from Alexandria and Northern Virginia was key to Tim Kaine and Jim Webb's victory. Beyond that, I can go toe-to-toe with Bob McDonnell on the issues. Having been a prosecutor for 7 years, I will not let him make Democrats seem "soft" on safety issues and can win the debate on the major policy issues of the day.
It's worth noting that the major public polls on the general election have shown me as the strongest Democratic candidate against McDonnell in November.
I can, and will, beat Bob McDonnell ... like a drum.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:23 AM ET, 05/20/2009
Moran, McAuliffe Take Readers Questions Today
Democratic governor candidates Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe will be coming online at washingtonpost.com today to take readers questions about the campaign and what they intend to do if sent to Richmond.
Former Democratic National Committee chairman McAuliffe will answer questions starting at 3 p.m. ET today; submit questions for him here.
State Sen. Creigh Deeds will be taking readers questions on May 29.
Posted at 2:57 AM ET, 05/20/2009
Video: Debate-goers Offer Reactions
VIDEO | Virginia Voters React to Dem. Debate
Posted at 6:49 PM ET, 05/19/2009
Moran Airs Negative Ad
Brian Moran will begin airing his first television ad tonight during a broadcast of today's primary debate between the three Democratic candidates for governor. And no surprise Moran went negative.
Moran's ad hits hard at rival Terry McAuliffe's claims that he would bring a successful businessman background to the governor's mansion. Moran signaled that this would be a central theme for the closing days of the campaign: McAuliffe is not what he says he is. The ad will air in Hampton Roads and Richmond.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 05/19/2009
Live Blog: From the Washington Post Debate, Part II
Still with us? We're live in Annandale at the Washington Post debate.
2:57 p.m.: And that's it folks. Thanks for joining us.
2:56 p.m.: This debate it's Deeds with a more negative closing. Virginians don't want a governor who stands with Donald Trump and Wall Street (that's Terry) or a governor who stands with lobbyists under federal investigation. (that's moran)
2:53p.m.: Moran thanks the Washington Post. No, Brian, thank you. His closing is about his record--he's got a record of working to help people and that's what he would bring to the governor's mansion. This is a very different closing than his one at the last debate hosted by Virginia bloggers--much more about himself, much less about McAuliffe. (Maybe he's already hit those points in a debate that's focused a lot on McAuliffe.)
2:52 p.m.: Closing statements. McAuliffe says read his business plan. He's a candidate who will shake things up.
2:50 p.m.: McAuliffe says other states do these things. A good line from McAuliffe: You shoot for the moon. John Kennedy didn't say we're taking the rocket halfway to the moon.
2:48 p.m.: Deeds puts on his glasses to question McAuliffe. Can you afford all the promises you've made--you've promised teacher's car loans, student loans, home loans. You've promised to make Virginia the film capital of the country. You've promised Martinsville a new high school gym. And those are just the promises you've made in public. (Ouch.) Can you afford this?
2:45 p.m.: Harshest line of the debate: Moran to McAuliffe--"I don't have time to teach you the legislative process and Virginians don't have time for you to learn." This is about pay day lending and a 2002 bill that Moran voted for to regulate pay day lending that ended up allowing them to flourish. Line draws groans from the crowds.
2:43 p.m. Now each candidate gets to ask each other a question. Moran is questioning McAuliffe's job creating record. 100,000s of jobs? What about global crossing? How can you say you're running a credible campaign on this? McAuliffe says that's a personal attack and he lets his record stand. This has been a running debate on the trail for the last few weeks. Not sure we're coming to a conclusion on it today.
2:41 p.m.: A real substantive difference between our candidates! Deeds reiterates he thinks we can drill for oil, if we can find a way to protect water tourism. He says we can't take anything off the table--noting alternative energy solutions are a way off.
2:39 p.m.: We're talking oil drill--Deeds says he could be for it if Virginia gets royalties--a big process--and if it could be made environmentally sound. Moran says he's opposed. McAuliffe says he supports drilling for natural gas but not oil.
Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 05/19/2009
Live Blog: The Washington Post Debate
Greetings from the Ernst Community Cultural Center on the lovely Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Our moderators for this afternoon's shindig are Chris Cillizza and News Channel 8's Bruce DePuyt. On my left, is Anita Kumar, on my right Amy Gardner. Just call us the Angels of Washington Post Virginia coverage. (Hello Charlie -- I do mean you, editor Matt Mosk.)
I'll be live blogging this debate beginning at 2 p.m. Hit refresh frequently starting then to get the latest.
1:58: Okay, we're about to begin. The candidates have taken the stage. We've got Moran on the left, Deeds in the middle (seems to always happen at these debates) and McAuliffe on our far right. Let's get ready to rumble.
2:00 p.m. We're going right to questions. No opening statements at this baby. First question, posed by Chris Cillizza: What would you do differently to get sustained transportation solution?
2:03: Deeds says there's a reason Sens. Whipple, Howell, Saslaw are supporting him. They're all in the senate together? No, that's not it. It's that they know he'll get a sustained transportation solution in 2010.
2:05: McAuliffe frets about the state's ability to get federal matching funds for roads and ptiches high speed rail.
2:06 p.m.: Cilizza is following up with Moran--what would you do differently than Kaine? He's going to his record. Bingo, first hit of a major candidate campaign theme. Moran's gonna want to talk about his long time in the Assembly as much as possible.
2:07: Chris now at McAuliffe -- is it reasonable to think you can change Richmond without experience there. McAuliffe's answer: Yes.
Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 05/19/2009
McAuliffe: I Created Thousands of Jobs
Terry McAuliffe talked again today about how he has created thousands of jobs, and he made a new claim that many of those jobs are union jobs.
McAuliffe led a home-building company in Florida that did, indeed, create thousands of jobs in the construction trades. And most of those jobs were union.
But McAuliffe never created jobs in Virginia, despite claiming on the campaign trail that he started five businesses here. (McAuliffe did create five businesses in Virginia, but all are investment partnerships registered to his home address in McLean, and none has employees).
Posted at 2:03 PM ET, 05/19/2009
McAuliffe: Virginia To Lose Federal Highway Dollars?
In our first fact-checker item of today's debate at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, we'll take a look at a statement Terry McAuliffe made, not for the first time, that Virginia could soon lose federal highway dollars if it doesn't find new sources of transportation revenue.
It's true. Part of the discussion about Virginia's transportation crisis has revolved around that that more and more of the state's investment in highways has gone toward maintenance and repair rather than new construction. If the state allows its expenditure on construction to dip too low, it will miss out on federal highway dollars that are available on a matching basis to the states.
Currently, Virginia is eligible for about $1 billion in matching federal dollars, but it must spend about $200 million of its own money to qualify. It's generally viewed as a good bargain -- $4 of federal money for every $1 in state funds. But the state is on a trajectory right now not to have the money to take full advantage of the federal pool.
The alternative is to reduce spending on maintenance, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board tomorrow will propose doing just that in its next six-year transportation improvement program. But that path is fraught with peril too, most leaders say.
Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 05/19/2009
Showdown in Annandale
The stakes couldn't be higher for today's Democratic gubernatorial debate, sponsored by the Washington Post.
The debate, which will be held in front of a live audience of Northern Virginia Community College students and others at the Annandale campus of the school, will offer all three candidates a final chance to distinguish themselves on issues--and an opportunity to speak directly to Northern Virginians.
There may be more Democrats up here than in anywhere else in the state, but because the television market is so expensive, voters hear directly from the candidates far less often than in RoVa. You'll be able to watch the debate live here starting at 2 p.m. It will also air this evening at 8 p.m. on News Channel 8.
Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 05/19/2009
Kenny Alexander Did Not Approve This Ad
Del. Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk), chair of the legislative black caucus, asked Brian Moran to take his name off those radio ads blasting Terry McAuliffe for opposing Barack Obama in the presidential primary campaign, which we wrote about this morning.
The Moran camp confirms they removed Alexander's name from the ads, an original version of which was to air with a tag in Hampton Roads that told voters that Alexander "urges you to vote for Brian Moran for Governor."
Alexander said he still supports Moran for govenor but asked that his name be taken off after he learned that the ad included profanity--it notes that McAuliffe once joked that Obama could "kiss my ass" (a line that came on the Daily Show, it should be noted.) But the delegate said, beyond the profanity, he also didn't want to be associated with the ad's negative tone.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:26 PM ET, 05/18/2009
McAuliffe Gets Some Obama Star Power
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who has been hammered in recent days about his efforts to defeat Barack Obama in last year's presidential race, found a way to fight back today in a big way.
McAuliffe annnounced an endorsement from former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, one of Obama's earliest supporters and one of his national campaign co-chairmen.
"I was impressed by the time and energy Terry put into traveling across Virginia and the country on Barack Obama's behalf during the general election,'' Daschle said in a statement. "From the day Hillary Clinton ended her historic bid for president, Terry worked tirelessly to unify our party around Barack Obama and get him elected President. His energy and enthusiasm were tremendous assets on the campaign trail and we were grateful to have him on our side.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 05/18/2009
The Policy Rollouts Continue
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds used the unveiling of his energy plan this afternoon as an opportunity to take a subtle jab or two at his Democratic rivals for governor, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran.
Deeds didn't actually mention either of them by name, but criticized those who are fixated on using chicken waste to produce energy (McAuliffe) and those who oppose coal plants (Moran).
"No Democrat is better prepared to lead on energy than I am,'' Deeds said.
Deeds plan includes offering grants to companies that weatherize the homes of low-income families, establish biofuel plants in economically stressed areas and offering tax exemptions for solar and wind projects.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 05/17/2009
Moran To Go On TV
For those of you wondering (like us) when Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Brian Moran would start airing TV ads, you finally have your answer.
His campaign has bought air time starting this week in Norfolk and Richmond, according to several sources familiar with the purchase. But the buy is substantially smaller than what his rivals have bought in those markets.
Moran has been spending money quickly and had the least money in the bank as of the reporting period. It shows. He is the last to go on the air.
Terry McAuliffe has been on and off TV since January. R. Creigh Deeds has been up for two weeks. Even Republican Robert F. McDonnell, who faces no opposition for his party's nomination, went on air last week across the state and in pricey Northern Virginia.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 05/15/2009
Moran Snags A Kennedy
Another Kennedy is announcing support for Brian Moran's campaign for governor. Already, Ethel Kennedy, Robert F.'s widow, has announced she will host a Moran fundraiser later this month. Now, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy is backing the Massachusetts-born former delegate as well.
In a statement, Kennedy said that Moran is the one candidate in the race that "represents the same values, the same principles, and the same ideals that I have stood and fought for throughout my career in public service."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:42 PM ET, 05/14/2009
SBE Sends More Disclosure Letters
The State Board of Election promised to take a closer look at the financial disclosures forms of the big out-of-state groups pouring money into the Virginia gubernatorial race, after discussing the Democratic Governor's Association's forms were incomplete. And now it has.
After examining submissions, Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues said today that the board sent letters today to three organizations, warning them that their submissions might be incomplete. Rodrigues said one of those groups, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has already satisfied the board that its submission is, in fact, complete.
The board is waiting to hear back from the other two, she said, the Presidential Coalition LLC, which supports conservative candidates including Bob McDonnell, and the Republican Party Leadership Committee.
Posted at 4:02 PM ET, 05/14/2009
Live Blog: Greensprings Democratic Club--Now Complete
Greetings from Springfield, where all three men running for the Democratic nomination for governor in Virginia are participating in a forum hosted by the Democratic Club of the Greensprings Retirement Community. We're trying something new here today--a live blog of the forum.
2:13 p.m.: The director of the community just welcomed us, noting that there is a precinct located right here at Greensprings, with the highest turnout of any precinct in Virginia. "Every person you meet here is a registered voter, and every person is going to vote," he said.
2:16 p.m.: The head of the club is now explaining the rules for this forum--each candidate will first speak. Then there will be a question and answer period with questions submitted by the audience. The candidates agreed they will not speak about their opponents or their positions--only themselves.
2:20: McAuliffe's up first. He starts by noting he was in Norfolk with former President Clinton this morning. He says he's been asked why he didn't bring Clinton with him today--jokes the president hadn't been invited. Maybe next time.
2:22: Now McAuliffe is onto the economy--he says he doesn't plan to raise taxes in a down economy but wants to grow the budget by creating new jobs. He's providing his history--first job at 14, long history in business, rebuilding the DNC. "I've been very involved in politics, I've been very involved in politics. Now I want to come in and shake things up," he says.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 05/14/2009
Moran Sidesteps the Gitmo Issue
U.S. Rep. Jim Moran raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he wrote that he would be open to inmates from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility being housed in Virginia (though he would not prefer it).
So we thought we'd ask his little brother, gubernatial candidate Brian Moran, what he thought? But we didn't really get much of an answer.
"I have tremendous confidence in the leadership of President Obama,'' Moran said in a statement. "I look forward to his recommended plans and will evaluate them once they are released. It's important that we put a premium on protecting the community of Alexandria and preserving our local resources while ensuring everyone's legal rights."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/13/2009
Wilder...Will He or Won't He?
L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor who is being wooed by all four candidates in the governor's race, sure likes to keep everyone guessing.
Four weeks before the June 9 primary, Wilder still won't say whether he will endorse anyone. He said he may follow the lead of the state's top three Democrats -- Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and U.S. Sens. James Webb and Mark R. Warner -- and sit out the primary.
"If (Kaine) won't, Webb hasn't, Warner hasn't, why should I? Why?'' Wilder asked In a recent interview at his office at Virginia Commonwealth University. "Why should I endorse anyone?"Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/13/2009
Deeds Lays Off Staff
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, a Democratic candidate for governor, has laid off about five campaign staffers in order to keep airing TV ads four weeks before the June 9 primary.
Deeds now has 25 staffers across the state and six offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, Southside and Northern Virginia. Campaign officials refused to disclose how many staffers were fired but a month ago Deeds had 29 employees.
"With so much of the electorate still undecided, we've had to reassess our strategy and shift some of our resources so we can communicate Creigh's message to as many Virginians as possible,'' said Joe Abbey, Deeds campaign manager.
The layoffs are bad news for a campaign that has raised the least amount of money.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:43 PM ET, 05/11/2009
McAuliffe Fundraiser Revives Union Issue
A fundraising event for Terry McAuliffe in North Carolina last month has thrust into public view a bit political history McAuliffe might not want revived during his run for governor: His one-time role in the reelection of a Teamsters union president.
The 1996 union campaign resulted in a criminal conviction for a Teamsters official over illegal fundraising practices.
McAuliffe, who at the time was a top fundraiser for President Clinton, was never charged in connection with the incident. But Richard Sullivan, then finance director for the Democratic National Committee testified at a five-week federal trial of Teamsters official William W. Hamilton Jr. that McAuliffe had encouraged him to find a Democratic donor to contribute to Teamsters' president Ron Carey's reelection campaign in exchange for Teamsters' contributions to the party. No such donor swap, which would have been illegal, took place.
There is apparently no bad blood between McAuliffe and Sullivan. As first reported by the Washington Examiner, Sullivan held a fundraiser for McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign last month.
Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 05/11/2009
You Say He's Just A...
First Bill Clinton does robocalls for Arlington Democratic candidate Adam Parkhomenko.
Now hip-hop star Biz Markie is wading into the Virginia governor's race. That's right, Biz, who will perform tonight at the Clarendon Ballroom along with rapper will.i.am for Terry McAuliffe, recorded a phone call for McAuliffe to advertise the events.
Biz Markie gets down with the Rev. Al Sharpton in Boston on the eve of the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Click the player below to hear Markie's robocall for the 2009 Terry McAuliffe Campaign for Virginia Governor
According to an Arlington resident who received the call, the hip-hop star best known for the '80s hit "You Say He's Just a Friend," introduced himself as the "diabolical Biz Markie" and then invited recipients to attend.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 05/ 8/2009
Two Fronts Against McAuliffe
Campaigns for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds are pursuing a two-front effort to push back today against Terry McAuliffe, as he airs new radio ads and opens new campaign offices. It's hard to say if public polls out showing McAuliffe ahead are accurate, but both Moran and Deeds are spending considerable time mounting an offense against him.
For Deeds, the subject is new McAuliffe ads airing in urban radio markets that say McAuliffe is the only candidate to call for an end to payday lending in Virginia and blasts the General Assembly for a 2002 law that made the high-interest lending easier in the state.
Both Moran and Deeds were in the legislature at the time, but Deeds' campaign is crying foul, noting that all three candidates have now called to end the unpopular lending.
"It's inaccurate to say he's the only one wants to get payday out of the state," said Deeds spokesman Brooke Borkenhagen.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:59 PM ET, 05/ 5/2009
Farm Team Asks Moran to Alter Ad
Brian Moran's campaign has been slapped on the wrist by the organizers of the recent Farm Team debate in Williamsburg, for using video from the event in a You Tube campaign spot in violation of the debate's rules.
Campaigns had agreed they would not use video or audio from the event and Susan Platt, a Farm Team founder, emailed Moran today to complain. Jesse Ferguson, a Moran spokesman, said this evening that the video used only a short clip from the event and it will be removed.
"It's not fair for one campaign to break the rules when the other two have abided by them," Platt said in an interview.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:24 PM ET, 05/ 4/2009
Yes, McAuliffe, Can?
First Bill Clinton, now will.I.am.
The Terry McAuliffe camp has announced that musician, actor, Fergie-friend and all-around-cool guy will.I.am will campaign with McAuliffe campaign at a series of events on May 11.
Singer will.i.am performs at the Neighborhood Inaugural
Ball in Washington on Jan. 20. (AP Photo)
Singer will.i.am performs at the Neighborhood Inaugural
Besides once again adding a sheen of celeb excitement to the campaign, the will.i.am appearances may be designed to innocolate McAuliffe against charges that he was not sufficiently supportive of President Obama, given McAuliffe's role as Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 05/ 4/2009
Is McDonnell Looking to Wilder for Support?
Is Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell looking for an endorsement from former Democratic governor L. Douglas Wilder?
McDonnell and Wilder, who have had a good working relationship for years, are having lunch today, according to sources close to McDonnell.
All three Democratic candidates -- R. Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran -- have already met with Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, to seek an endorsement and advice on how to run a successful statewide campaign.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 05/ 4/2009
Deeds Goes Up on Air
Gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds has been saving his pennies, while his Democratic rivals Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran have been spending at a fast pace. Now we know why.
Deeds began airing two TV ads today in four markets -- Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke and Bristol -- in Virginia. McAuliffe has aired ads on and off for months, but Moran has not aired any.
See below to watch Deeds' two new ads:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:54 PM ET, 05/ 1/2009
Clinton to Campaign in NoVa
Former President Bill Clinton, who showed up on the campaign trail Monday for the first time stumping for his old friend Terry McAuliffe, will soon be bringing his star power to Northern Virginia as well.
Clinton will make an appearance in the vote-rich Washington suburbs on May 13, according to McAuliffe's campaign. Details have not yet been announced. He will appear in Norfolk the following day.
Posted at 3:06 PM ET, 04/30/2009
There were lots of interesting moments at last night's blogger-hosted debate near Virginia Tech. Perhaps the question that seemed to surprise the candidates most came from Fire Dog Lake's Jane Hamsher, who asked the men whether they had ever taken money from Virginia's Smithfield Foods.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:23 PM ET, 04/29/2009
McAuliffe's Number One Fan
Terry McAuliffe: He's not just the president of the Terry McAuliffe fan club, he's also a member.
This morning we wrote about attempts by the gubernatorial campaigns to make use of Internet tools like Twitter and Facebook to build grassroots networks and keep supporters up to date.
Right on cue, a blast went out today encouraging people to join the Terry McAuliffe fan group on Facebook. But, the email is already generating some giggles for the self-referential wording.
"Terry became a fan of Terry McAuliffe on Facebook and suggested you become a fan too," the email says.
It's good to know he's got that vote locked down.
Posted at 4:37 PM ET, 04/24/2009
Moran Raises Failed Company
Waiting to see the first time Terry McAuliffe's investment in failed telecommunications giant Global Crossing would pop up on the campaign trail? Last night was your night.
In an otherwise fairly placid debate on education, Brian Moran brought the company up in response to a question about teacher pensions.
Moran never mentioned McAuliffe by name and the reference likely went over the heads of most of the 700 teachers in the audience. But it was clearly a veiled slam at the former DNC head and millionaire entrepreneur.
Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 04/24/2009
All politicians make promises, and that is no different in the Virginia governor's race.
But the state's teachers discovered at last night's debate, Terry McAuliffe's pledges are particularly soaring.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:42 PM ET, 04/22/2009
Fact Checker: Democrats at Candidates' Forum
The three Democrats running for governor have been spending more time participating in debates and forums in recent days, giving them ample opporunity to boast about their records and promise dramatic changes for the state.
But occassionally, those off-the-cuff pronouncements can cross from campaign trail bluster into outright embelishment. And at times that was the case last night, when R. Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran participated in a candidates' forum in Richmond.
As needed, we'll use this space to step in and attempt to set the record straight. Here's what caught our attention:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 04/22/2009
Moran Responds to Clinton Visit
Brian Moran's been touting his long list of endorsements for some time, but no one on his list has quite the star power of a former president of the United States.
Standing next to a Henrico County school board member and a Richmond area delegate at an event to talk about education this afternoon, Moran was asked about the news that President Bill Clinton will be coming to Virginia next week to campaign for longtime friend Terry McAuliffe.
He smiled broadly.
"This race will be won with Virginia voters," he said. Then, he went through his familiar recitation of his long years of service as a prosecutor and delegate in Virginia. "That's what will win this primary," he said.
But McAuliffe said today that Clinton can offer Virginia voters his thoughts as a former governor from another southern state.
"If people are focused on jobs, I don't think anyone has the credibility to talk about job creation better than Bill Clinton," he said.
Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 04/22/2009
McAuliffe: Virginia Can Do Better on Job Creation
At an appearance last night before the civil rights organization the Richmond Crusade for Voters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe had harsh words for Virginia's recent efforts to lure new business to the state.
"Why are we losing all this business to six southern states?" he asked, then mentioned several examples -- a Dutch company manufacturing crystals for solar panels in Tennessee, another company that has opened a plant to build turbines and towers for wind farms in Arkansas.
"Why did we not bid on that here in Virginia?" he asked. "We should be bidding on every project."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 04/22/2009
Clinton To Campaign With McAuliffe
After considerable speculation about what role former president Bill Clinton would play in campaigning for his best friend, Terry McAuliffe, the answer should become considerably more clear Monday.
Clinton will campaign with the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Richmond and Roanoke.
For years, Clinton has made a powerful case for Democratic candidates around the country. But this time it's personal. The two were thick as thieves during Clinton's two presidential bids, and McAuliffe was chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:44 PM ET, 04/21/2009
McAuliffe's Top Donor Touched by AIPAC Investigation
Haim Saban, a wealthy California media mogul and Terry McAuliffe's top individual donor in his bid for Virginia governor, was part of an effort to influence a Justice Department investigation of two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of spying, according to a report published this week in The New York Times.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 04/21/2009
Virginia Partisans Back Moran
Brian Moran (D) continued to work to separate himself from his Democratic rivals for governor today by touting his endorsement by the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club. The nod came today partly in recognition of Moran's stand in Sunday's debate, where he was the only one of the three candidates who pledged to work to rescind Virginia's constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
Opponents Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds both said they opposed the amendment but begged off promising the two-year legislative battle plus ballot effort needed to overturn it.
Moran is gambling that Democratic primary voters will reward his willingness to vocally support gay rights, elsewhere a more mainstream party position. He says he opposes gay marriage but believes the constitutional amendment makes even contract agreements between same-sex partners illegal. But the stance will surely follow him if he wins his party nomination, where the position may be more risky.
The group's president acknowledged as much in making the endorsement. "Throughout his career, he's fought alongside us- not just in his voting record, but also in the leadership positions he has taken in support of equality," said President Charley Conrad said. "And even now, during this campaign, he continues to push pro-equality positions, despite any potential political risk. The LGBT community is standing firmly with Brian because he has always stood up for us."
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 04/20/2009
McDonnell Opposes Degree for Obama
Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell has stayed mostly silent on conservative social issues -- guns, the sanctity of marriage, school choice -- chosing instead to follow the lead of other statewide officials and tout himself as a moderate.
But Democrats are already starting to call attention to McDonnell's recent statement that the University of Notre Dame should not honor President Obama at its May graduation because of his views on abortion.
McDonnell, who attended Notre Dame, told WTOP radio that Obama should be allowed to speak, but should not be given an honorary degree because his views "appear to be in great conflict with the Catholic social teaching."
McDonnell did disagree with some Catholics who do not think Obama should be allowed to speak. "He's the president of the United States," McDonnell said. "We respect the office. I disagree with him on a number of issues, but I respect the fact that he is the leader of the free world."
Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 04/16/2009
Money, Money, Money
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran returned $8,500 in contributions from Citigroup and Virginia Commerce Bank -- companies that received taxpayer-funded bailout money, according to campaign filings made public last night.
Moran returned the money on the same day that rival Terry McAuliffe first pledged not to take corporate contributions from companies receiving bailout money.
The campaign finance reports also show that McAuliffe spent $31,600 on supporter lists and office furniture from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and $10,700 on office equipment from U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner's campaign.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:47 PM ET, 04/16/2009
Moran Picks Up A Little Labor Support
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran picked up a couple new endorsements, including one with ties to labor.
Barbara Easterling, the first woman ever to serve as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, endorsed Moran, citing recent polling that shows he is the strongest general election candidate against Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell.
"We know Brian will be with us as governor because he always has,'' Easterling said. "In these tough times, working families are facing real tough choices and Brian Moran understands what we're going through. I know he won't stop fighting until he gets us result and that's what we need as governor."
Moran's rival Terry McAuliffe has spent decades in Washington working with national Democratic leaders forging close ties to unions, and has receive many of the biggest labor endorsements.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:20 PM ET, 04/15/2009
Clinton & Friends Pony Up
Two of former President Bill Clinton's biggest supporters combined to donate half-a-million dollars to Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor, according to campaign filings made public this evening.
The former president pitched in $10,000 of his own towards McAuliffe's substantial haul of $4.2 million.
Rivals for the Democratic nomination in the 2009 gubernatorial campaign, Brian Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds, turned more to their Virginia neighbors for contributions. Moran raised $807,000 during the three month period that ended March 31. Deeds raised nearly $729,000.
A number of longtime Clinton donors appear to have provided the backbone of McAuliffe's fundraising machine, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. Hollywood moguls Haim Saban ($251,000) and Stephen Bing ($250,000) topped the list. Other familiar names from the Clinton fundraising team include New York businessman Bernard L. Schwartz ($20,000), former top Hillary Clinton fundraisers Hassan Nemazee ($10,000) and Alan J. Patricof ($5,000). Developer and television personality Donald Trump ($25,000) also pitched in.
Posted at 5:46 PM ET, 04/14/2009
Democratic Candidates Sign Petition
Almost 5,000 Virginians, including all three Democrats running for governor, signed a petition calling for GOP gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell and House Republicans to support an effort to collect $125 million in federal stimulus money for jobless Virginians.
The Democratic Party of Virginia launched the petition Monday. Twenty-four hours later, 4,817 Virginians had signed the petition calling for the General Assembly to return to Richmond and vote to accept the money.
"Bob McDonnell's opposition to urgent assistance for displaced workers is heartless,'' state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds said. "Bob McDonnell and Virginia Republicans are turning their backs on the Virginians who are hurting the most. It's time to put politics aside and get this done."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:14 PM ET, 04/14/2009
Richmond Leaders Endorse McAuliffe
More than a dozen Richmond community activists and leaders announced their support today for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
"We believe that Terry understands urban communities and the issues they face,'' they said in a joint statement. "Terry shares our concerns and will work with our communities to improve inner city schools, youth programs, neighborhood development, infrastructure improvements, voting rights issues and vital redistricting reform...Virginia needs Terry McAuliffe; he's the right man at the right time."
Endorsers include: Richmond City Council Marty Jewell; community activists Art Burton, Sharon Burton, Amelia Lightner, John Lloyd, Terry Binford, Hope Murphy Elliott, Reginald Malone, Carrie Cox, Rita Ricks, Regina L. Hatcher and and former school board members William Laffoon, Zarina Fazaldin.
Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 04/13/2009
McAuliffe, Deeds Unveil Education Plans
Two of three Democratic candidates for governor, Terry McAuliffe and R. Creigh Deeds, released proposals this morning to improve Virginia's education system.
McAuliffe told reporters on a conference call that he wants to commercialize more research at the state's universities to allow them to lower tuition costs. His proposal also includes providing a less expensive alternative for the first two years of community college, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, allowing high school juniors to bypass their senior year and go straight to college and increase incentives to attract teachers such as raising salaries to the national average.
"To attract the employers and jobs we want in the future, we need to ensure that Virginia has the best-educated, best-trained, most skilled workforce in the world," McAuliffe said. "Over the past eight years, we've seen steady progress and better results in education. The challenge for the next governor will be to make better use of what we have. That means we have to build more flexibility, more innovation and more creativity into the system."
Deeds announced at a press conference outside the state Capitol a plan that would create an additional 70,000 degrees over the next 10 years for two- and four-year degrees. He proposes creating a rainy day fund to help curb tuition increases during tough economic times, a loan forgiveness for teachers in high-need areas and a state grant for job training. His plan would cost about $78 million in the first year.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:47 PM ET, 04/10/2009
Moran Leads in Poll
A DailyKos/Research 2000 poll on the governor's race shows that former delegate Brian Moran leads former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe among likely voters in the Democratic primary, 24 percent to 19 percent. State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds had 16 percent.
The poll found that Moran was nearly tied with Republican Robert F. McDonnell in a general election. McAuliffe and Deeds each trailed McDonnell by 7 percent.
"Not only are we leading in the primary, but, more importantly, this poll confirms that Brian is the strongest Democrat to take on Bob McDonnell in November,'' Moran campaign manager Andrew Roos said. "Virginia Democrats know that we need a fighter and we need a winner come November, and this poll is further evidence that we are running a campaign that will accomplish exactly that."
Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 04/ 8/2009
McAuliffe Raises $4.2 Million: Moran $800,000
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe raised an impressive $4.2 million in his campaign for Virginia governor in the three-month period that ended last month, campaign officials said today.
Rival Brian Moran raised $800,000 in the same period -- more than he raised in the previous six months, but still far less than McAuliffe.
"We expect to be outspent, but we also expect to win,'' Moran Campaign Chairwoman Mame Reiley said. "Virginia Democrats have long confirmed that money in and of itself does not sway them to a candidate. Instead, they want someone who is a proven fighter for their families and a leader who can win in November."
McAuliffe has spent nearly half of the total amount that he has raised and has about $2.5 million cash on hand.
Democrat R. Creigh Deeds did not release his campaign finance reports today.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 04/ 8/2009
More Endorsements for Moran
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran received the support from several more local elected leaders, and is now far outpassing his rivals R. Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe in endorsements.
Moran is hoping his endorsers convince others to support him and get others out to the polls on June 9. It's unclear if the strategy will work on a day when turnout has historically been extremely low in Virginia.
Moran received the endorsement of nearly every elected Democrat in the City of Falls Church.
"Brian is grounded in our commonwealth and connected to our people,'' Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner said. "He knows how to fight and win for Virginia families, and that's why I'm standing behind him to be governor."
Also endorsing: Councilman Lawrence Webb, Councilman Dan Sze, Commissioner of the Revenue Tom Clinton, Sheriff Steve Bittle, Treasurer Cathy Kaye and former Democratic Committee Chair Edna Frady.
Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 04/ 7/2009
Greg Scanlon, research director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, won Republican guberanatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell's "bracket madness" last night when the University of North Carolina won the college championship.
Scanlon came out ahead of 786 other participants, largely because of his selection of Michigan State to advance to the national title game last night.
"This guy knows his basketball,'' McDonnell said. "Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell might want to check how much time he spends researching politics versus how much he spends on ESPN.com....Greg's win proves our campaign brings Republicans and Democrats together."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:40 PM ET, 04/ 6/2009
Deeds Files Petitions
Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds' campaign filed 15,942 signatures with the Virginia State Board of Elections today to get his name on the June 9 primary ballot.
The state requires candidates to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including those of least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.
"We are excited with our tremendous showing of grassroots support to get on the ballot on June 9th," Deeds said. "This puts us on the way to securing the nomination and beating Bob McDonnell in November."
His Democratic rivals, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran, submitted their petitions March 24 on the first day candidates were eligible to file.
Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 04/ 6/2009
GOP Group Gives McDonnell $1 Million
Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell received $1 million from the Republican Governor's Association last month for his campaign, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
"Everyone knows this is an important race with national implications,'' said Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman. "We welcome the strong support of the Republican Governor's Association. They are helping us take Bob McDonnell's positive message of new jobs and more opportunities to every voter in every region of Virginia."
Other groups that have donated large amounts in the governor's race include the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and the Firefighters Interested in Registration and Education. They contributed a total of $475,000 to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
"Terry's proud to have the support of working men and women across Virginia, including members of AFSCME and fire fighters,'' said Lis Smith, McAuliffe's spokeswoman. "As this report shows, the national Republican Party has made good on their promises to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, into the Virginia gubernatorial race by contributing $1 million to Republican Bob McDonnell's campaign. It's critical that Democrats nominate a candidate who will have the resources to build a statewide grassroots operation and compete against the national Republican Party in November."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:52 PM ET, 04/ 6/2009
Deeds Will Not Speak At Shad Planking
Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sen. R. Creigh Deeds will not appear at next week's Shad Planking, a longtime Virginia tradition where politicians come to see and be seen.
Deeds' decision is surprising because appearing at the Shad Planking is considered a must-do for statewide candidates.
"It's highly unusual,'' said Robert W. Bain, chairman of the Wakefield Ruritan Club, which organizes the event.
The three other gubernatorial candidates -- Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran and Republican Robert F. McDonnell -- will attend.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:17 PM ET, 04/ 3/2009
BGR, Rogers Helped Warner Too
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial Brian Moran blasted his rival Terry McAuliffe for attending a Washington fundraiser hosted by BGR Group, a lobbying firm founded in part by Republican Ed Rogers.
But it turns out BGR and Rogers hosted a fundraiser for another Virginia Democrat.
A fundraiser honoring U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia was held in October 2008 when the former governor was running for Senate. The invitation included Rogers, along with nine other lobbyists with BGR, including former Bush aide Eric Burgeson, Lanny Griffith, who worked in the George H.W. Bush White House and Bob Wood, chief of staff to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
Moran criticized McAuliffe last week for his relationship with Rogers, who helped carry the Republican message on TV last year with pointed references to President Obama's middle name, Hussein.
So what does Moran say now?Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:27 PM ET, 04/ 3/2009
Huckabee On the Hot Seat -- Again
Did Mike Huckabee's visit to Virginia this week end up helping or hurting Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell?
For the second day in a row, the former Aksanas governor and presidential candidate has come under fire by state Democrats for comments made earlier this week while campaigning with McDonnell.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds and C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, called on McDonnell to apologize for Huckabee's remark that Northern Virginians "aren't necessarily thinking the same way folks like you and me think."
"They may never have fully understood how hard it is for a lot of people to put a paycheck together, to be able to feed a family," he said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:07 PM ET, 04/ 3/2009
McAuliffe Rolls Out Homeownership Plan
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unveiled a plan today to encourage residents to buy home and keep homeowners in their houses.
His plan includes educating consumers on financial issues, creating savings accounts and a commonwealth-funded revolving loan program for homebuyers and protecting consumers from predatory lending practices.
"The severity of the current financial crisis overall, and the mortgage crisis in particular, undermines the most basic part of the American dream: homeownership," McAuliffe said. "Much is happening at the federal level to address the mortgage crisis and under Governor Kaine, Virginia has taken bold and aggressive steps to address the issues raised in the current crisis. We need to look beyond the crisis and keep our eye on the long-term goal: increasing homeownership for all in a sensible and realistic way."
McAuliffe also proposes limiting mortgage companies' ability to collect high-spread premiums and charge prepayment penalties, prohibiting foreclosure rescuers from gaining power of attorney from a homeowner, establishing a foreclosure mediation program and creating a foreclosure prevention hotline.
Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 04/ 2/2009
McAuliffe Blasts McDonnell
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe criticized Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell today McAuliffe for standing by silently while his surrogate Mike Huckabee encouraged Republicans to keep voters from the poll on Election Day.
Huckabee, former governor of Arkanses and presidential candidate in 2008, jokingly told supporters at a McDonnell campaign rally this week: "You have two jobs. One, get all those people who are going to vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they're not going to vote for Bob, you have another job. Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day. Keep 'em home. Do the Lord's work, my friend. I'm giving you an opportunity...yes, do the right thing." Members of the audience laughed.
McAuliffe told reporters that as chairman of the Democratic National Committee he started the Voting Rights Institute, designed to highlight the importance of voting rights and point out flaws in they voting systems across the country.
"Let's be clear: there are no jokes to be made about denying people the right to vote in this country,'' he said. "It's not a laughing matter. This is a right that people fought and died for, so as public figures, we must be sure that we are setting the standard."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 04/ 2/2009
McAuliffe Unveils Health, Education Plans
This morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe rolled out plans to make healthcare more affordable, increase access to higher education and secure retirement savings.
"Our economic struggles have not been evenly distributed around Virginia - some communities, some industries, have been hit much harder than others," McAuliffe said. "But Virginians everywhere can see what is happening, and they wonder how it may affect them. State government cannot solve all of our problems. But it should be an ally to the aspirations and goals of its citizens."
The three Democratic candidates for governor are feverishly campaigning across the state, releasing policy proposals several times a week. Yesterday, McAuliffe and rival Brian Moran unveiled proposals to lure Hollywood film crews to the state and boost the number of businesses owned by women and minorities.
Today, McAuliffe proposed offering unemployed workers low-interest loans to help buy health insurance or allowing them to buy into existing state health insurance programs or other health plans..Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:04 AM ET, 04/ 1/2009
Deeds Asks SCC to Reject Rate Hike
Energy has quickly become one of the top issues in the contest for the Democratic nomination for governor. The three candidates took similar approaches to the news yesterday afternoon that Dominion Virginia Power is seeking to raise electricity rates 6.9 percent during the next 14 months.
But only state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds called on the State Corporation Commission to reject the proposed increase.
"This is the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it's simply not the time to ask Virginia families to pay more for their monthly energy bill,'' he said. "It's time to put the middle class first again. I call on the Virginia State Corporation Commission to reject this rate increase on Virginia's working families."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:05 PM ET, 03/31/2009
Another Union Backs McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe, who has spent decades in Washington working with national Democratic leaders and forging close ties to unions, received another in a series of labor endorsements today in his race for governor.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO, was the latest to announce its support of McAuliffe, citing his approach to create and protect jobs.
"Like millions of other Americans, Boilermakers are nervous about the economy and about their future, and their children's future,'' Boilermakers International President Newton B. Jones said. "There is uncertainty and concern, but also hope. We believe our best days are ahead of us and Terry is the best answer to Virginia's need for a leader who can take on some very tough challenges and build a stronger economy."
In recent weeks, McAuliffe has been endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union in the AFL-CIO, and the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:02 AM ET, 03/31/2009
Anita Kumar today reports on the frequent, far-flung fundraising trips. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has made in the run-up to the governor's race primary in June. Use the map above to check out his 2009 out-of-state itinerary so far.
Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 03/30/2009
Union Endorses McAuliffe
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was endorsed this morning by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union in the AFL-CIO.
AFSCME, which has more than 10,000 members in Virginia, cited McAuliffe's leadership, business experience and vision, calling him the candidate best equipped to get the state's economy back on track.
"In these tough economic times, it is more critical than ever that we work to grow the economy," AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee said. "Terry McAuliffe...will work to address rising unemployment head-on by creating new jobs and new opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Not only do we support his vision of a stronger Virginia, we will be proud to work with him to make it happen."
Posted at 3:23 PM ET, 03/26/2009
McAuliffe Calls for Ban on Lobbyist Gifts
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe proposed today a complete ban on gifts from lobbyists to Virginia lawmakers and members of the executive branch.
He also said he would create a state-run Website that would detail lawmakers' campaign contributions, bills and the state budget. Those items are already available on various Websites but McAuliffe said he would put them all together in a more user friendly way.
McAuliffe's plan also calls for an online database of government contracts and improved ethics courses.
"As we work to grow our economy and create jobs across the Commonwealth, we must lead by example and demonstrate to taxpayers that their money is being spent fairly and wisely," McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe also pledged not to take any corporate contributions from companies receiving taxpayer-funded bailout money.
Posted at 2:32 AM ET, 03/26/2009
McAuliffe's Ties to Lobbyists
Terry McAuliffe's ties to lobbyists go beyond the political friendships that prompted a group of supporters to host a fundraiser for him this week in the offices of the BGR Group, a prominent Washington lobbying firm. For nearly 10 years, McAuliffe was the managing partner of a law firm with its own thriving lobbying practice.
The Washington Post reported this morning on Brian Moran's criticism of the fundraiser and effort to tar McAuliffe's long history as a Washington political insider.
That history includes his affiliation with the Washington law firm, McAuliffe Kelly Raffaelli, where he was managing partner until his departure in 1994. Although McAuliffe did not lobby himself, news clips and federal lobbying disclosure forms show that others with the firm represented the nuclear power industry, a chemical company, the telecommunications industry, fast-food chains and the foreign governments of Taiwan, India and Turkey. The company came under fire for some of that work.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:08 PM ET, 03/25/2009
Virginia Notebook: The Campaign Managers
If you were running for the Democratic nomination for governor, would you rather your campaign be run by:
a.) someone who has a long track record of winning races for Virginia Democrats in general elections but has never managed a successful hard-fought primary contest?
b.) someone who has never worked in Virginia but who has a record of winning Democratic primaries?
c.) someone who has not managed a statewide campaign but is viewed as a rising star in the Virginia Democratic consulting world?
If you think you know the best answer, you might be able, as well as anyone, to predict the winner of the June 9 Democratic primary.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 03/25/2009
Moran Chides McAuliffe on Fundraiser
Democratic gubernatorial Brian Moran criticized his rival Terry McAuliffe for attending a Washington fundraiser last night hosted by the prestigious BGR lobbying firm founded by Republicans Ed Rogers and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, now vice-chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Rogers has worked to defeat Democrats nationwide, including Barack Obama in the presidential race. He attacked Obama in several national TV appearances last year.
"Rogers joined Rush Limbaugh and others in raising racially and religiously charged attacks against then Senator Obama,'' said Andrew Roos, Moran's campaign manager. "It's sad that in the same week Terry McAuliffe aired a radio ad claiming credit for helping to elect Barack Obama, he's holding a fundraiser with someone who did everything he could to defeat him."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/25/2009
McAuliffe Swamps Rivals in Staff, Offices
Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe turned heads when he announced that he has already hired 98 staffers -- a record amount this early in a statewide campaign in Virginia. That's more than three times as much as his rivals.
Here's a rundown of staff and offices for all four gubernatorial candidates:
Terry McAuliffe (D): 98 staffers, 8 offices
Offices are in McLean, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Loudoun, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville. Two more offices in Hampton and Fredericksburg will open this week.
R. Creigh Deeds (D): 29 staffers, 4 offices
Offices are in Charlottesville, Richmond, Portsmouth and Alexandria. Two more offices will be open in the coming days.
Brian Moran (D): 25 staffers, 3 offices
Offices are in Alexandria, Arlington and Richmond.
Robert F. McDonnell (R): 30 staffers, 1 office
Office is in Richmond.
Posted at 1:31 PM ET, 03/24/2009
McAuliffe Hires Local Fox Reporter
Allyson Wilson, who had been a free-lance reporter for Fox 5 in Washington, has left her job and is now a traveling press secretary for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Wilson, 31, had been a regular face on Washington's Fox affiliate for nearly three years. She has also worked as a reporter and anchor in Memphis, Huntsville, Ala, and Savannah, Ga.
But Wilson said today she wanted to "learn a new skill set" because of the economic turmoil in the media industry. Wilson said she was drawn to McAuliffe's energy and enthusiasm.
"I was looking in the paper one day and was reading about him and I was excited about his momentum," Wilson said. "So I sent him my resume without there even being a job posting."
Wilson will work with Lis Smith, McAuliffe's press secretary.
McAuliffe now has 98 paid staffers, which is likely a record for a gubernatorial candidate in Virginia at this stage of a campaign.
Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 03/24/2009
McAuliffe Is First to Submit Petitions, May Get Top Spot
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, and Jody W. Wagner, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, were the first candidates today to submit the needed petitions to get on the ballot for the June 9 Democratic primary.
To secure a spot on the ballot, candidates need to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including the signatures of at least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. If McAuliffe and Wagner's signatures are verified, they will both gain the top spots on the ballot.
McAuliffe said he submitted 17,243 valid signatures. Wagner said she submitted 17,858.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:31 AM ET, 03/24/2009
Who Will Be First?
Democratic candidates for governor Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe will stop in Richmond today to turn in the signatures needed to be on the primary ballot June 9.
In Virginia, the candidate who turns in his petitions first gets their name on the ballot first.
McAuliffe and Moran both plan to be at the state Board Board of Elections office just before noon -- the first time the signatures will be accepted.
The three Democratic candidates have until April 10 to submit 10,000 signatures (including 400 from each congressional district) to the state.
State sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath will not turn in petitions today. He is expected to do so later in the month, ensuring that he will be last on the ballot.
Posted at 3:37 PM ET, 03/23/2009
McAuliffe Unveils Business Plan
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, said today that he would use infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions and other financial assistance to help bring more jobs to Virginia.
"There's no such thing as a Republican job or a Democratic job - we simply need to bring people together to create good jobs, and that's what I've been doing my whole life," McAuliffe said. "My Business Plan for Virginia is really a jobs plan - my number one priority as governor will be to create, attract, and keep good jobs with good wages and benefits for every Virginia family."
Speaking from Danville, McAuliffe announced that he would create a pilot project to award tax incentives to companies that create jobs that offer benefits, such as health insurance, and are in high-growth industries, such as energy, as well as allow some companies to defer their taxes.
He also pledged to form and serve as chairman of a new committee to advise him on economic issues and to expand small business incubators, which provide office space, supplies and other resources, to new companies.
Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 03/20/2009
Fact Checker: Change McAuliffe Can Believe In
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, released a new 60-second radio ad this week in which in the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee appears to claim some credit for helping get President Obama elected last year.
In his ad, McAuliffe uses Obama's name to make a direct appeal to African-Americans, who make up 20 percent of the state's population and even larger share of the Democratic primary electorate.
"Did you know that Terry McAuliffe fought to protect voting rights and led the effort to give Democrats in our region a stronger voice in deciding the party's presidential nominee?" a female asks in the ad, which is airing on black radio stations in Hampton Roads and Richmond.
"That's right," a male says. "Terry McAuliffe defended our rights and was the leader who brought us together and united the party. And in 2008 our voices were heard when we elected our president, Barack Obama."
But there are ample press accounts and YouTube footage to suggest that McAuliffe, who chaired Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, was among the handful of Americans late last spring who had not yet acknowledged that Obama had secured the Democratic
Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 03/16/2009
Endorsements for Deeds, McAuliffe
Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell), who is part of a very politically active family in Southwest Virginia, announced today he is endorsing Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
In announcing his decision, Puckett took a subtle swipe at Brian Moran, who resigned from the House of Delegates in December to focus on his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.
"Creigh Deeds is in this process to serve and get things done for Virginia," Puckett said. "That's what Creigh has done in the Virginia Senate and that's what he'll do as Governor. During the most serious economic crisis in our lifetime, Creigh didn't walk away from the tough decisions."
Meanwhile, the third candidate in the race, Terry McAuliffe, also announced today he's picked up more than a dozen new endorsements. The new McAuliffe supporter with the highest profile is Del. Kenneth Plum (D-Fairfax), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 03/12/2009
McAuliffe Picks Up Support from Bloggers
The three Democratic activists and bloggers who founded the "Draft James Webb" movement in 2006, which arguably is one of the reasons Democrats won back control of the U.S. Senate that year, announced today they are endorsing Terry McAuliffe's bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.
In a posting on the Blue Virginia blog, Josh Chernila, Lee Diamond and Lowell Feld said they are impressed with McAuliffe's message and his chances for success this fall against former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, the GOP nominee.
"McAuliffe has a solid grasp of issues, takes strong progressive stands and is able to communicate and fund his message," Chernila said.
In recent months, McAuliffe has been making an aggressive push to win over liberal bloggers in Virginia, a state with some of the most active state-level Democratic blogs in the country.
Feld was one the founders and longtime keepers of the popular Raising Kaine blog, which disbanded after the November 2008 election. Feld, a longtime party activist, now operates the Blue Virginia blog. Feld said he finds McAuliffe to be an "engaging, smart determined, focused, positive person" and also a "surprisingly strong pragmatic progressive with a working-class, populist streak."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 03/11/2009
McAuliffe Unveils Energy Plan
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unveiled his detailed energy proposal today, the first section of what he is calling his "business plan for Virginia."
At an event in Richmond, McAuliffe said he's got "big ideas" to make Virginia energy efficient and to grow the state's economy through the creation of green jobs.
"The is the most aggressive plan that has been put out in Virginia and one of the most aggressive plans in the country," McAuliffe said. He later added, "I don't want to follow other states, I want to lead other states. It's time for Virginia to be the number one renewable energy state in the country."
McAuliffe wants to require that 25 percent of the state's energy needs come from renewable energy by 2025. He also wants to offer new incentives to businesses that purchase renewable energy equipment such as solar panels. McAuliffe would put a heavy emphasis on biofuels, including trying to require that non-food biofuels be blended in all gasoline products.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 03/10/2009
McAuliffe's Endorsement List Shortens
Last month, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unveiled a list of 14 party activists from across the state who endorsed him in the Democratic primary.
But at least one of them never did.
Anita Hartke, chairwoman of Culpeper County Democratic Committee and candidate for Congress last year, said in an interview that she did not endorse McAuliffe over rivals R. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran. Hartke, whose father was a U.S. senator from Indiana, said she will not endorse any candidate in the June 9 primary.
"I believe we have three outstanding leaders with vision and drive running for governor in Virginia,'' she said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 7:49 PM ET, 03/ 9/2009
Former Congressman Endorses McAuliffe
Former U.S. Rep. Owen Pickett (D-Va.) endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe today.
Pickett, who represented the Hampton Roads area from 1987 to 2001 and has been an advocate for the region's military installations, cited McAuliffe's decades of experience creating jobs and turning around businesses.
"Terry McAuliffe has the dynamic leadership qualities and visionary problem solving ability that Virginia needs today to deal with the serious economic challenges confronting us, " Pickett said. "Whether it's his commitment to keeping the nuclear carriers in Norfolk or developing Virginia's green industry, Terry will bring the innovative ideas that we need in Richmond to create and keep good jobs here in the Commonwealth."
Posted at 2:35 PM ET, 03/ 6/2009
McAuliffe's Packed Schedule
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe attended a fundraiser last night at the Hollywood home of Haim Saban, a billionaire entertainment magnate and longtime supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
It's part of a packed schedule that is taking the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee across the state and nation.
Unlike his Democratic opponents, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former delegate Brian Moran, McAuliffe has the national contacts to raise money across the United States.
Check out his schedule this week:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 03/ 6/2009
Moran Gets Support of Williamsburg Mayor
Williamsburg Mayor Jeanne Zeidler announced her support of candidate Brian Moran in the Democratic primary for governor.
Zeidler cited Moran's proven record of working on transportation solutions and his plans to expand health care for every Virginia child.
"Brian Moran has a 20-year record of fighting for the people of Virginia," Zeidler said. "He will work hard for transportation solutions, to invest in education and to expand health care to every Virginia child...Brian's the type of leader who will wake up each and every day fighting for the people of Virginia and make our children his top priority."
Moran is running against state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe in the June 9 primary.
Posted at 8:05 PM ET, 03/ 4/2009
McDonnell Responds to Democrats' Attack
Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell accused the Democratic Party of Virginia of duping more than 50 local leaders into attacking him by providing them with false information about his stance on the stimulus package.
Last week, on a conference call organized by the Democratic party, the leaders called on McDonnell to pledge he would accept the federal stimulus package, but McDonnell had already said he would accept the money if elected governor.
"I am sorry the Democratic Party of Virginia leadership in Richmond gave you erroneous information, and asked you to launch an attack unsupported by the facts,'' McDonnell wrote in a letter to local leaders today. "Certainly every campaign should be characterized by full, open, and vigorous debate over the policy issues of the day. But when a political party ignores widely available public information in order to score political points that is not responsible. I am sure you did not appreciate being put out publicly in support of an assertion that was false."
Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic party, said McDonnell said he opposed to the stimulus package several times in February, claiming it would be bad "long-term for America" and said the best way to create opportunity and jobs is "not stimulus."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 03/ 4/2009
McAuliffe On The Move
While state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former delegate Brian Moran continue to look for a few headlines in Virginia, their Democratic rival for governor has been traveling across the United States this week.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday that Terry McAuliffe attended a fundraiser at a Chicago restuarant Monday night. Hosts include J.B. Pritzker, whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain, and attorney Kevin O'Keefe, a longtime friend of Hillary Rodham Clinton who headed Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in Illinois.
Tonight, McAuliffe will be in Phoenix for a happy hour event with the Arizona Democratic Council.
Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/28/2009
Kaine and The Men Who Want to Replace Him
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said this week that he told all three Democratic candidates for govenor -- Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former delegate Brian Moran -- that he will make himself available to them if they need campaign advice.
But in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors, Kaine, the new DNC chairman, said he plans to stay neutral in the race until after the June 9 primary.
What about Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell?
Kaine said that he and McDonnell had a good working relationship before McDonnell resigned last week as attorney general to campaign full time.
He said McDonnell even called him before President Obama's historic inauguration last month to ask for tickets for him and his family. "I'm just glad he wanted to go,'' Kaine said.
McDonnell, who talks frequently about how well he and Kaine worked together, said he knows things are about to change.
"Our relationship will change a little bit because his main mission in life is to beat me,'' McDonnell quipped.. "That will probably strain out friendship."
Posted at 12:37 PM ET, 02/27/2009
McDonnell Asks Rivals to Support Drilling
Former Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell called on his three rivals for governor to join him in writing a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to ask for the exploration of Virginia's offshore energy resources.
The decision comes after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) sent a letter to Salazar asking for a delay in developing energy resources off the Virginia coast.
The 25-year-old federal moratorium on energy exploration and development off the coast of Virginia expired last year. The leasing of rights off the coast is scheduled for 2011.
McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, said drilling will create thousands of jobs and produce hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. A delay, he said, would eliminate Virginia's ability to start drilling before other Atlantic states.
"I urge the Democratic candidates for governor to put aside their pandering to special interests and do what's right for Virginia families,'' McDonnell said. "Democrats need to stop saying no to new jobs and revenue for Virginia."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 02/26/2009
McAuliffe Looks To General Election
In a fundraising letter sent yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe ignored his Democratic opponents and instead went after Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell.
"It seems like every time we get a chance to put aside partisanship and get things done, Bob McDonnell chooses ideology over what's best for the Commonwealth,'' McAuliffe said. "Maybe that's why I heard Republicans are going to throw the kitchen sink into Virginia to help his campaign. Sure enough, Bob's planning to bring in people like Sean Hannity, John McCain and Sarah Palin in order to fuel it."
McDonnell's spokesman Tucker Martin countered McAuliffe's accusations. "Bob McDonnell has a record of building bipartisan coalitions to help Virginia,'' he said. "Chairman McAuliffe is a career partisan who has a record of professional fundraising to help the national Democratic Party. This defines empty rhetoric."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/25/2009
Moran Woos Southwest Virginia
Former delegate Brian Moran and his wife, Karyn, are on separate campaign swings this week through Southwest Virginia as he tries to reinforce an image that he can compete in every part of the state.
Moran, who lives in Alexandria, plans stops in more than a half-dozen cities and counties between now and Friday. At his first stop today in Pulaski County, Moran was endorsed by Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Fleenor and Sheriff Jim Davis.
"Brian has fought alongside us for over a decade; he's no stranger to Pulaski Democrats," Fleenor said. "He fought alongside Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and is ready to fight for the hard-working men and women of this region in the Governor's office."
At an event tomorrow in Smyth County, Moran will be joined by his wife. On Monday, Karyn Moran kicked off her own six-day tour of Southwest Virginia.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 02/23/2009
Moran, Wagner Prevail in Fairfax Straw Poll
Former delegate Brian Moran, a candidate for governor, and Jody Wagner, a candidate for lieutenant governor, came out on top at this weekend's Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee straw poll in Fairfax County.
According to party leaders, Moran won the straw poll with 83 votes. State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) came in second with 43 votes. Terry McAuliffe, also a Democratic candidate for governor, received 33 votes.
Deeds and Moran spoke at the event. McAuliffe was invited to speak, but he did not attend.
In the lieutenant governor's race, Wagner beat her nearest opponent by 18 votes. Wagner received 62 votes compared to Jon Bowerbank's 44 votes. Pat Edmonson, a Virginia Beach school board member, came in third with 18 votes. Attorney Michael Signer received 15 votes. Richmond-based political strategist Rich Savage got 10 votes.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 02/19/2009
McAuliffe Receives Support
Former Democratic National Committee ChairmanTerry McAuliffe announced today that his campaign for governor has received endorsements from Democratic leaders from across the state.
In supporting him, the leaders cited McAuliffe's vision for turning Virginia's economy around and their belief that McAuliffe is best qualified to carry on the tradition of leadership set by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and former Gov. Mark R. Warner.
"We Democrats have made such incredible gains over the past seven years, specifically because we have stayed focused on delivering results for Virginians," said Jim Turpin, vice chairman of finance for the Virginia Democratic Party. "Terry is the candidate in this race who is best qualified to get Virginia's economy back on track, and that's the result voters are looking for."
McAuliffe is running against state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath and former delegate Brian Moran of Alexandria. Both men have been running for governor for more than a year, and have already announced dozens of Democratic endorsements.
A list of McAuliffe's endorsements from today is below:
Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 02/18/2009
Firefighters Make it Official
The Virginia Professional Firefighters Association, an influential labor organization, officially endorsed Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary for governor today at an event in Richmond.
R. Michael Mohler, the president of the association, said the union trusts McAuliffe to create more jobs as governor and run a vigorous campaign this year that will also help Democrats retake control of the House of Delegates.
"We understand the connection between a strong economy and our jobs," Mohler told about 100 union members, who were wearing yellow "Firefighters for McAuliffe" t-shirts. "We have to turn the power of the legislature over to the Democrats. We intend to take on Bill Howell ....We are going to take him out. The person who can do that is with us today, the person with us today obviously has the financial resources, he's got the network, he's got the vision, he's got the energy to get out the message - its about jobs."
During his speech, McAuliffe pledged to create more jobs and talked about the day he spent working as a firefighter in Fairfax County (see video below).
Posted at 2:51 PM ET, 02/17/2009
Democrats Collect McAuliffe's Check
Terry McAuliffe has written the Democratic Party of Virginia a check for $74,750 for the 39 tables he purchased at last week's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, according to fundraising records.
The money, which came from McAuliffe's campaign account, amounts to one-tenth of the total money the state party claims it raised at the dinner.
Excluding transfers from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) political action committee and other national and local Democratic committees, McAuliffe's check appears to rank in the top 15 in terms of largest contribution the party has received at one time dating back to 1997, according to records available on the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics.
McAuliffe apparently did not get a break on the cost of the tables even though he helped the state party raise $100,000 last fall so it could buy the building that houses its Richmond headquarters.
Posted at 3:59 PM ET, 02/16/2009
Virginia Firefighters Likely To Endorse McAuliffe
The Virginia Professional Firefighters Association, an influential labor organization, will apparently endorse Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary for governor, according to sources familiar with the decision.
In recent days, the leadership of the VPFF has been sending signals to Brian Moran and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, also candidates for the nomination, that the firefighters union was going to get behind McAuliffe.
Now, the Henrico Professional Firefighters Union has a statement on its website saying the state association will make its endorsement of McAuliffe official on Wednesday at the State Capitol.
"President Mohler has notified the other candidates that we are endorsing Terry McAuliffe ...We need as many members there as possible," the announcement states. "We have a goal of assembling 200 people (please bring friends, family or anyone else willing to come.) We will have the yellow and gold trademark t-shirts for people to wear. I understand that Terry will be filming this event as part of a television ad that he will be running throughout his campaign."
Continue reading this post »
Posted at 6:28 PM ET, 02/13/2009
A Night of Laughs At VCCA Dinner
Style Weekly, Richmond's alternative newspaper, has put together a video of the speeches given by the four candidates for governor at the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association dinner.
At the event, which was held Wednesday, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the soon to be GOP nominee for governor, and the three Democratic candidates all roasted each other, the press and themselves.
Style Weekly offers up snippets of some of the jokes, including the harsh joke that McAuliffe landed on Joe Trippi, who is one of Moran's senior advisors.
Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 02/13/2009
McAuliffe's Wealth Comes Into Focus (Sort of)
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, has filed a financial disclosure form, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
The documents show McAuliffe has a net worth of at least $5.8 million. But McAuliffe is likely worth considerably more because candidates in Virginia do not have to report the exact value of an investment that tops $250,000.
McAuliffe reports 21 investments of at least $250,000. McAuliffe also has six investments whose value range from $50,001 to $250,000 and six whose value range from $10,001 to $50,000
According to published reports, McAuliffe is likely worth at least of tens of millions of dollars. As the campaign unfolds, how McAuliffe made his fortune will likely become a big part of the debate.
By comparison, Democratic candidate Brian J. Moran has only two investments whose value range from $50,001 to $250,000. Moran also reports one asset of between $10,000 and $50,000.
Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), also a candidate for the nomination, reports two investments whose value range from $10,001 to $50,000.
Posted at 3:12 PM ET, 02/ 9/2009
Congressmen Respond to Moran's JJ Speech
Two Virginia Democratic congressmen indicated today they were uncomfortable with Brian Moran's attacks on Terry McAuliffe at the state party's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner
Although he never mentioned McAuliffe by name, Moran took multiple swipes at McAuliffe.
When asked if Moran's criticisms of McAuliffe during the dinner were appropriate, U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va) replied: "Primaries can be hard fought and rough-in-tumble affairs and my own experience is trying to stay positive is the better course in the long run."
Connolly, who is neutral in the primary, declined further comment.
U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott noted there was a smattering of boos when Moran stated during his speech, "We need a fighter, not a fundraiser."
"Did you hear the public reaction?" Scott asked. "McAuliffe, and to a certain extent, Deeds were positive, had a positive agenda and Moran when he gave his criticisms he got booed. Have you been to many JJ Dinners? Do you ever remember any speaker getting booed?" Scott added he hopes all three Democratic candidates will rally behind the eventual nominee.
But U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.), said his brother, Brian, had "the right message."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 02/ 9/2009
McAuliffe Celebrates Birthday By Raising Money
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, turns 52 today.
To celebrate, McAuliffe will be hosting a "Birthday Bash" fundraiser Tuesday night at the Westin Arlington Gateway. Tickets range from $52 for "young professionals" to $5,200 for a host sponsor.
Virginia politicians have been mixing birthdays and fundraisers for years. In September, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran celebrated his 49th birthday by hosting a fundraiser.
Last year, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, also a candidate for the nomination, held a $100 a plate fundraiser to celebrate his 50th birthday. Deeds turned 51 last month.
There will also likely be plenty of GOP money raised around June 15. Both Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who is running for reelection, celebrate their birthdays on that day. Bolling will be turning 52 while McDonnell will be turning 55.
Posted at 4:21 PM ET, 02/ 8/2009
Moran Finds his Rhythm at JJ (But So Does McAuliffe)
At the Jefferson Jackson Day dinner last night, former delegate Brian Moran tried to pivot the race for the Democratic nomination for governor back on his terms, delivering a solid address that positioned himself as the politically mature, safe candidate in the race.
In a speech that took a surprising number of swipes as his rival for the nomination, Terry McAuliffe, Moran argued the stakes are too high for Democrats to risk the party's future with the new kid on the block.
"This campaign will be about who can win in November," Moran said. "It took us a generation to build this party. ... This was no overnight success -- the real leaders of our party served and fought for people first. "
A few hours later, McAuliffe was trying to send a signal that he, not Moran, will be the one defining the terms of who prevails in the primary. At a sweaty nightclub in downtown Richmond, there was McAuliffe with both hands above his head dancing to Hip Hop music.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:04 PM ET, 02/ 4/2009
Virginia Notebook: Democratic Dinner Holds Answers
The Virginia Democratic Party will have its annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner Saturday at the Richmond Convention Center. Former president Bill Clinton will headline the fundraiser.
A who's who of elected officials and party leaders and activists will attend.
But the focus will be on the three Democratic candidates for governor: Terry McAuliffe, Brian J. Moran and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath).
Here are 15 questions that the dinner should help to answer. Check back next week for the answers.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 02/ 4/2009
McAuliffe's Media Campaign Expands to Richmond
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, will expand his television advertising campaign to the Richmond market tomorrow, according to sources familar with his ad buy.
McAuliffe's Richmond ad buy, however, is relatively small. Sources say he purchased about $15,000 in airtime.
McAuliffe kicked off his media campaign last week by buying $30,000 in air time in the Norfolk market. On Sunday, McAuliffe aired an ad in Hampton Roads during the Super Bowl. McAuliffe is also airing radio ads in Richmond and Norfolk. McAuliffe's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Brian Moran and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), have not yet started a paid media campaign.
Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 02/ 3/2009
McAuliffe Unveils More Radio Ads
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, released two new radio ads today that are aimed at winning over African-American voters.
The ads, which focus on McAuliffe's pledge to create more jobs, will air on black radio stations in Richmond and Norfolk. In both spots, McAuliffe tries to preempt critics who argue he does not have deep enough roots in state and local politics.
"Virginia has been my home for nearly twenty years; it's where my wife Dorothy and I are raising our five children," McAuliffe states. "I've listened to your needs and know what families are facing."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:54 PM ET, 02/ 1/2009
McAuliffe Airs Ad During Super Bowl
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, aired a campaign commercial in Hampton Roads during the Super Bowl, according to a GOP strategist who saw the ad.
The 30-second ad aired on Norfolk's NBC affiliate at 9:07 p.m. just after the conclusion of the 3rd Quarter. A McAuliffe spokesman confirmed the ad buy, but was unable to say how much it cost to purchase the airtime.
McAuliffe began airing television ads in Hampton Roads last week, which is believed to be the earliest that any statewide candidate in Virginia has ever launched a paid media campaign.
McAuliffe now also probably becomes the first statewide candidate to ever air a campaign commercial during the Super Bowl.
Last year, President Obama made news when he aired a commerical in some markets during the Super Bowl, which occurred a few days before Super Tuesday. In McAuliffe's case, he is advertising for a Democratic primary that is still more than four months away.
Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 01/27/2009
Moran Camp Needles McAuliffe Over Fundraiser
Brian Moran's campaign is stepping up its efforts to draw contrasts with Terry McAuliffe, who is also a Democratic candidate for governor.
In a fundraising appeal sent out today, Moran strategist Mame Reiley jabbed McAuliffe for holding a fundraiser last week in New York. The email was titled "Park Avenue vs. Virginia."
"Last week, Terry McAuliffe was up on Wall Street at a glitzy Park Avenue location, collecting money while Brian Moran was announcing the boldest environmental plan of any candidate," Reiley wrote. "Yesterday, McAuliffe announced he's spending that Wall Street money on high-priced TV ads in Virginia."
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, McAuliffe raised $216,000 in 2008 from the finance and insurance industry but that does not include the donations he received last week in New York. Moran raised $139,000 from the finance and insurance industry last year.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 01/27/2009
Clinton Helps McAuliffe Raise Money
Former President Bill Clinton attended Terry McAuliffe's fundraiser last week on Park Avenue, according to the New York Observer.
The fundraiser was hosted by Hassan Nemazee, an investment banker; Marc Lasry, a billionaire financier whose company hired Chelsea Clinton; and Douglas Band, the former president's chief counsel.
According the Observer, Clinton introduced McAuliffe at the event, telling the audience, "it was an honor and a privilege to be a supporter of Terry McAuliffe and to be in a position to return the favor that he has done for me and Hillary for so many years."
The event raised $350,000, according to the Observer.
Clinton's endorsement of McAuliffe could make Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, who are also candidates in the June primary, a bit uncomfortable at next week's Jefferson Jackson Day dinner. On Sunday, the Virginia Democratic Party announced that Clinton will be the headline speaker at the dinner.
Posted at 9:34 AM ET, 01/26/2009
McAuliffe Goes on the Air
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, released today the first television ad of the 2009 governor's race. The 30-second spot will air in Hampton Roads, which will be a crucial battleground in this year's campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Mo Elleithee, a McAuliffe strategist, said the campaign has purchased a "healthy" ad buy that will be followed up in the coming weeks with additional ads that will air in other parts of the state.
"I've spent four decades building businesses and creating jobs," McAuliffe says in the ad. "Now, I'm running for Governor because I know we can create thousands more right here. I'll make it my job to protect your job - and get Virginia's economy moving."
Continue reading this post »
Posted at 1:09 PM ET, 01/22/2009
McAuliffe Hits Up Park Avenue for Cash
Some of the wealthiest men in New York City will be on Park Avenue tonight to help Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, raise money for his campaign.
The fundraiser will be held at the home of Hassan Nemazee, a multimillionaire investment banker. Nemazee is chairman of Nemazee Capital. Last year, Nemazee was a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's fundraising effort for her presidential campaign.
The McAuliffe fundraiser is also being hosted by Marc and Cathy Lasry and Douglas and Lily Band, according to an invitation. Marc Lasry is founder and senior managing director of Avenue Capital Group. In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked Lasry as the 317th wealthiest person in America, estimating he has a net worth $1.5 billion. When Chelsea Clinton graduated from Oxford, Lasry's company gave her a job.
Douglas Band also has close ties to the Clintons. Band serves as former President Clinton's chief counsel. Band joined the Clinton White House in the fall of 1995 as an unpaid intern working in the counsel's office. He became the president's personal aide full time in 1998.
The invitation does not specify the asking price for getting into the fundraiser.
Posted at 9:47 AM ET, 01/22/2009
McAuliffe Adds Press Secretary
Terry McAuliffe has hired Elisabeth Smith to be his press secretary. Smith, who goes by Liz, will work with Delacey Skinner, McAuliffe's communications director.
Last year, Smith worked for Dan Seals, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois. In 2006, Smith served as Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-Mo.) press secretary.
Posted at 9:05 AM ET, 01/22/2009
Virginia Notebook: Deeds, Moran vs. McAuliffe
During this year's campaign for governor of Virginia, one piece of trivia that will probably be invoked is that since Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976, the party that has won the White House has lost the state's race for governor the next year.
But here is another tidbit that might be more relevant in this year's contest: Since 1957, no delegate or state senator has won the nomination for governor without first leaving the General Assembly to serve in a higher office.
In Virginia, where governors can run for only one term, major party nominees in modern times have been sitting or former lieutenant governors, attorneys general, congressmen or businessmen.
Brian Moran (D), who resigned last month from the House of Delegates to focus on fundraising, and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) are hoping to buck that trend. But first, they have to get past Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:16 PM ET, 01/16/2009
McAuliffe Learns "Colors Matter" at UVA
Bob Gibson, a former reporter for Charlottesville's Daily Progress who continues to blog for the newspaper, reports Terry McAuliffe showed up at last night's University of Virginia game against North Carolina.
When he took his seat, McAuliffe apparently realized he was wearing the wrong color of blue sweater for a Virginia game against the Tar Heels. So McAuliffe apparently dispatched someone to the concessions stand to buy some Virginia merchandise.
Gibson gives a first-hand account of McAuliffe being a quick study in realizing "colors matter," especially for a politician battling perceptions that he is not an authentic Virginian.
Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 01/15/2009
McAuliffe Snags Two $100,000 Checks
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate for governor, already has two contributors who have given $100,000 to his campaign, according to campaign finance reports.
McAuliffe, who has so far raised about $950,000, collected $100,000 checks from Radford businessman Randal J. Kirk and Ed Haddock, a Richmond native who is now a businessman in Florida.
Novelist John Grisham, Huda A. Farouki, a finance and shipping mogul, John Raffaelli, a Washington attorney and lobbyist who lives in Alexandria, and Premium Distributors LLC each gave McAuliffe $50,000.
Eight of McAuliffe's donors gave $25,000.
Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/13/2009
Moran Rolls Out Aggressive Energy Plan
Former Del. Brian Moran, a Democratic candidate for governor this year, announced his support of a mandatory commitment to renewable and alternative energy in the hopes of creating thousands of jobs across the state.
Currently, Virginia has a voluntary goal of getting 12 percent of the state's energy from renewable resources. Moran's plan, which would more than double the current standard and make it mandatory, calls for a 25 percent mandatory standard by 2025. It would put Virginia in the top ten states nationally.
"I have proposed a bold step, which will make Virginia a leader in renewable energy," Moran said. "The next governor needs to be looking toward the future and creating an environment which will attract good high-paying green jobs, and help Virginia grow in the green economy. My commitment to our environment and our economy is too strong to do anything less."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 2:37 PM ET, 01/12/2009
McAuliffe Raises $1 million in 6 weeks
Terry McAuliffe announced today he's raised nearly $1 million since mid November for his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor.
In a memo to donors, McAuliffe said he doubled his goal of $500,000. The memo said almost all of the money came from people who own homes or businesses in Virginia. McAuliffe's campaign estimates that less than $40,000 came from out of state.
Campaign finance reports for July 1 to December 31 are due Thursday. McAuliffe becomes the first candidate to release his number. But his big number will likely send shudders through his opponents' campaigns.
During the first six months of 2008, Democratic candidate Brian J. Moran took in about $1.4 million, although some of that money was transferred from an old political account.
Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), also a Democratic candidate for governor next year, raised $783,000 in the January to June 2008 reporting period. Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the GOP nominee, took in $878,000 from last January to June.
McAuliffe has essentially raised in six weeks what Moran, Deeds and McDonnell raised in six months when they began their campaigns for governor. But Moran, Deeds and McDonnell had to stop raising money during the 60-day legislative session last winter.
Posted at 5:35 PM ET, 01/10/2009
McAuliffe Announces Work Days
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said today that he will participate in a series of work days around the state to get a firsthand look at the economy from the perspective of working Virginians.
McAuliffe will take on different jobs starting with bussing tables Monday at Roger Brown's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Portsmouth.
"I know that when it comes to getting our economy back on track, not every good idea comes from Richmond," McAuliffe said. "I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work alongside Virginians from all walks of life, as we find a way to get our economy moving again."
McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, faces state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County and former state delegate Brian J. Moran of Alexandria in a June 9 Democratic primary.
Posted at 5:09 PM ET, 01/ 8/2009
Novelist John Grisham Backs McAuliffe
Novelist John Grisham, who owns a home near Charlottesville, is backing Terry McAuliffe's bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, according to the Charlottesville Daily Progress.
According to the newspaper, Grisham said he and his wife support McAuliffe because they say he modernized the party when he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Grisham also told the newspaper that he thinks McAuliffe is the only Democrat who can defeat Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the GOP nominee, in the fall.
Grisham, who introduced McAuliffe at a town hall in Charlottesville Wednesday, has close political and personal ties to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). Grisham has contributed about $150,000 to Kaine's political efforts since 2005, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Grisham and his wife were also major supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) during last year's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. McAuliffe had served as the chairman of Clinton's campaign.
Grisham's decision to back McAuliffe could be another setback for Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath). During his unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 2005, Grisham was one of Deeds' biggest donors, giving him $52,000. Grisham is now the second major Deeds contributor from 2005 to defect to McAuliffe. Businessman R.J. Kirk, who gave Deeds $120,000 in 2005, has also come out for McAuliffe.
Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 01/ 7/2009
McAuliffe Aims High in Crucial Ground Game
Terry McAuliffe, who kicked off his campaign for governor today, said he will be deploying "dozens and dozens" of field organizers across Virginia in the coming weeks.
McAuliffe says he is trying to build off President-elect Barack Obama's successful effort in organizing Virginia Democrats last year. McAuliffe said his organizers will fan out across the state, positioning themselves in small and medium-sized cities.
"We are going to have probably the biggest ground game you will ever see in a gubernatorial race anywhere in the country," McAuliffe said.
Posted at 9:10 AM ET, 01/ 7/2009
McAuliffe Begins Airing Radio Ads
On the day he officially kicks off his campaign for governor, Terry McAuliffe began airing his first radio ad.
In the ad called Join, McAuliffe introduces himself to Virginians and talks about his focus on improving the state's economy. He invites listeners to join him at a town hall meeting.
"Our next governor has to have what it takes to create jobs and grow our economy," McAuliffe says. "To build on the progress of Tim Kaine and Mark Warner - governors with business and executive experience who know that not every good idea comes from Richmond."
The 60-second ad is running on adult urban contemporary, gospel and religious radio stations in the Norfolk and Richmond media markets.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 01/ 5/2009
McAuliffe Announces Staff
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe announced his leadership team this morning. Many of them worked on the campaigns of Democrats Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, former governor Mark R. Warner and Sen. James Webb.
Mike Henry, who served as campaign manager for Kaine's gubernatorial campaign in 2005 and Warner's senate campaign in 2008, will be McAuliffe's camapign manager. He also has worked to elect Democrats statewide, to elect Democratic senators across the nation and served as deputy campaign manager for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
"We're proud to have assembled an all-star team that has experience winning elections in Virginia," Henry said. "But we're even more proud to be working for a candidate who will bring the right kind of leadership to Richmond and get our economy back on track."
The staff list is below:Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:19 PM ET, 01/ 2/2009
Moran Challenges Rivals To Curb Fundraising
This morning on WTOP radio, former Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) called on his two rivals for the Democratic nomination for governor to refuse contributions from out-of-state donors.
"This election should be about who has a proven record of fighting for Virginia families and a vision for where to take the state," Moran said. "It should not be an election about who can raise more money from national donors. Virginia Democrats should choose our nominee."
Moran asked Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to make the pledge and continue it through the June 9 primary.
Moran is targeting McAuliffe, who is expected to announce Tuesday that he is running for governor. If he runs, he would likely be able to tap his personal funds and national fundraising network to raise millions of dollars quickly.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:26 PM ET, 12/31/2008
McDonnell Reaches Out To Wilder
Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, sent out a statement today praising Democrat L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor who is ending his tenure as Richmond mayor today.
"As the nation's first African-American Governor, Wilder made history. He governed Virginia well during a period of economic difficulty, and ensured that the Commonwealth would be well positioned to benefit from economic recovery,'' McDonnell said. "L. Douglas Wilder has dedicated his life to public service, and his contributions to Virginia will long be remembered."
None of the three Democratic candidates for governor sent out a statement on Wilder.
Wilder, who did not run for re-election, has been a fixture in Virginia politics for four decades. The charismatic, often flamboyant Wilder was known as an outspoken, sometimes combative Democrat who was not shy about breaking ranks with his party.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/31/2008
Fundraising Deadline Approaches
Candidates running for statewide office in 2009 are sending a flurry of last-minute emails to supporters to raise the last bit of money before tonight's fundraising deadline.
Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, sent out an email with the subject line: "Only 24 hours left!"
"While our Republican team is united, the Democrats are waging a costly, contentious nomination battle,'' McDonnell wrote. "With your help , we have a great opportunity to build our organization and spread our message."
Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) are running for the Democratic nomination. Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is expected to announce Tuesday that he is running.
"Every single donation shows the strength of our organization and helps us build momentum,'' Deeds wrote in his email to supporters.
Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 12/22/2008
Coelho, Fraioli Say McAuliffe Is In
Former Congressman Tony Coelho and Democratic fundraiser Michael Fraioli are telling their contacts that Terry McAuliffe "is running for governor" of Virginia and needs help raising money before the Dec. 31 campaign finance reporting deadline.
In an email, Coelho and Fraioli are directing people to McAuliffe's website so they can make a contribution.
"Please excuse us for the mass email," the two write. "As the subject line of this email indicates, and we suspect you already know, our friend Terry McAuliffe is running for governor of Virginia....forward this email with your own message encouraging your friends to make a contribution to Terry's campaign. Please make your contribution before December 31."
The email suggests McAuliffe, who had said he will wait until Jan. 7 before officially announcing whether he would be a candidate, has begun ramping up his fundraising operation.
Coehlo served in the House of Represenatives from 1978 to 1989. In the late 1980s, he was the House Majority Whip, but resigned after his name surfaced during the Savings and Loan scandal. Coehlo was never charged with any wrong-doing and later became chairman of Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. Fraioli heads up a Democratic consulting and fundraising firm in the District, Fraioli & Associates.
Posted at 2:38 PM ET, 12/19/2008
Democratic Candidates Give to Others
As Terry McAuliffe considers a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, he has to overcome the impression that he has thin ties to the Virginia Democratic party and its activists.
But when it comes to spending his own money, campaign finance reports outline how McAuliffe has been far more interested in helping federal versus state candidates for office.
McAuliffe, a wealthy businessman and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has contributed more than $200,000 to presidential, congressional and national party committees since 2000, according to the Federal Election Commission. McAuliffe's wife, Dorothy, has also donated tens of thousands of dollars to federal candidates.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics, McAuliffe has made only one contribution to a candidate running for state or local office in Virginia in the past eight years. On Oct. 28, after it was clear he was eyeing the governor's race, McAuliffe gave Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova (D) $500.
If McAuliffe made additional contributions to Virginia candidates this fall, they will be reported when the next round of campaign finance reports are due next month. But those donations will probably have been made after he began his exploratory effort for governor.
McAuliffe's lack of donations to Virginia candidates, especially considering his generous giving to federal candidates, could become fodder for his two rivals for the nomination, Brian J. Moran and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath).
Neither Deeds nor Moran have parted with much of their personal wealth in support of Virginia candidates, either. But both men have just a fraction of the fortune that McAuliffe can claim.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:10 PM ET, 12/12/2008
Deeds, McAuliffe React to Moran Decision
Two Democratic candidates for governor, Terry McAuliffe and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), have both responded to the news that the third candidate in the race, Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), has resigned his House seat so he can campaign full time.
Both McAuliffe and Deeds released carefully worded statements that foreshadowed one potential line of attack against Moran: He's walking away from the fight over the budget in the General Assembly.
"Brian has been a great legislator for a long time," said Mo Elleithee, a McAuliffe spokesman. "The people of Virginia are losing a top notched legislative leader at a very challenging time. We hope his seat is filled as soon as possible so we don't have a void during the upcoming legislative session."
Peter Jackson, a Deeds spokesman, said in a statement his boss has no plans of giving up his seat.
"What Virginia needs most is steady leadership during these trying economic times," Jackson said. "Senator Deeds will continue fighting for Virginia's working families--creating 21st century jobs and restoring the state's financial health--both as a candidate for Governor and during this winter's legislative session."
In an interview, Moran responded, "This is about the next 4 years, this is not about the next 45 days."
Posted at 8:50 AM ET, 12/10/2008
McAuliffe Learns From Obama
As chairman of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) failed presidential campaign, Terry McAuliffe was walloped by President-Elect Barack Obama skill at political organizing and the creation of catchy, web savvy, techniques to engage potential supporters.
Now, as he gears for his own potential bid for governor, McAuliffe appears to be borrowing some of the same tactics that Obama used so effectively during his primary and general election campaigns.
McAuliffe has said he will announce on Jan. 7 whether he plans to formally enter the governor's race. On his exploratory campaign's website, McAuliffe is soliciting names and email addresses from people who want to be "among the first to know" his decision on Jan. 7.
Within seconds of signing up, respondents receive an email from McAuliffe promising, "you'll be the first to know."
Sound familiar?Continue reading this post »
Posted at 8:38 PM ET, 12/ 9/2008
McAuliffe Keeps Building A Staff
Former Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe continues to staff up in preparation for his potential campaign for governor next year.
McAuliffe recently hired Peter Kavanaugh, who most recently served as the field director for the Virginia Democratic Party's coordinated campaign, according to sources familiar with the hire. With Kavanaugh's help, the state party conducted a $13 million campaign this year in support of President-Elect Barack Obama, Senator-Elect Mark R. Warner (D) and Democratic congressional candidates.
It's unclear what Kavanaugh's title will be, but sources expect him to remain concentrated on field work. In ramping up his campaign, Democrats say McAuliffe also appears to be getting advice from Peter O'Keefe, who served as his senior advisor at the Democratic National Committee. O'Keefe is also a veteran of former President Clinton's campaigns during the 1990s.
Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 12/ 4/2008
Moran Receives Martinsville Support
Democratic officials in Martinsville today endorsed Del. Brian J. Moran of Alexandria for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Moran received the support of House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong, Martinsville Sheriff Steven Draper, president of the Virginia Sheriffs' Association, and Martinsville Democratic Committee Chair Lorene Martin.
They stressed Moran's commitment to rural economic development, plans to re-energize Virginia's economy and his ability to win across Virgina, including rural regions.
"I am honored to have the support of these community leaders," Moran said. "I plan on being a champion of rural Virginia in the governor's office just as (former governor) Mark Warner has always been. I know that Virginia needs a leader with a record of fighting for the hard-working men and women of rural Virginia."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:17 PM ET, 12/ 3/2008
Gov Candidates Boast about Debate Performace
Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe didn't waste anytime bragging about their performances in the first gubernatorial debate yesterday.
The four likely candidates -- three Democrats and one Republican -- shared the stage for the first time at a debate yesterday afternoon, unofficially launching a yearlong campaign for the state's top job.
McDonnell (R) sent supporters an email, saying he "took the stage yesterday in Richmond outnumbered, but not outgunned."
"Over the course of the debate, McDonnell demonstrated that he is the only candidate running with the record, the ideas, the vision, and the leadership ability that Virginians look for in a Governor," the email said.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:12 PM ET, 12/ 2/2008
Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off
The four men vying to be Virginia's next governor shared the stage for the first time today, unofficially kicking off a yearlong campaign for the state's top job.
Democrats Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, Del. Brian J. Moran and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Robert M. McDonnell answered questions posed by journalists at a forum in downtown Richmond sponsored by the Associated Press.
The candidates staked out mostly predictable stances on issues and agreed that the economy will likely dominate the race and at least the start of the governor's four-year term. All four agreed that Virginia would have to continue cutting the budget but they ruled out raising taxes in a poor economy.
"The worst thing you can do is to tax your way to prosperity,'' McDonnell. "That's failed in the United States and abroad."
Voters will chose a Democratic presidential nominee June 9 in the party's first contested battle for the nomination for governor in more than two decades. McDonnell became the Republican nominee last month after no one else filed to run by the deadline.
Posted at 5:56 PM ET, 11/18/2008
Kaine's Biggest Donor Endorses McAuliffe
In a major coup, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's largest financial backer said today he will support Terry McAuliffe's bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia.
Billionaire Randal J. Kirk has contributed more than $600,000 to Kaine since he took office in 2006. Kirk, an investment and pharmaceutical mogul in Radford, also recently gave the Virginia Democratic Party $100,000.
In an interview today, Kirk said he will support McAuliffe if he officially enters the race. Kirk said McAuliffe, a former businessman and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is best suited to manage Virginia's economy and carry on the policies of Kaine and former governor Mark R. Warner (D).
"I think the main issue for Virginia is the main issue nationally, which is the economy," said Kirk, who also supported President-Elect Barack Obama. "I think Terry McAuliffe can move the dial in a significant way."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 3:57 PM ET, 11/17/2008
Moran and McAuliffe Camps Trade Charges
The first skirmish has developed between the campaign teams of Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Terry McAuliffe, both potential Democratic candidates for governor next year.
Mo Elleithee, a senior McAuliffe advisor, sent out a statement today condemning what he calls Moran's "surprisingly negative" tone when it comes to McAuliffe's potential candidacy. Earlier today, Jesse Ferguson, a Moran spokesman, sent out a statement titled "Virginians Respond to McAuliffe Candidacy." Ferguson's memo included snippets of recent editorials and columns that have been written about McAuliffe, including a Richmond Times Dispatch column comparing McAuliffe to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).
Last week, when McAuliffe announced he will spend the next two months deciding on whether he plans to formally enter the race, Moran's campaign took a swipe at the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee by noting Florida Democrats had encouraged him to run for governor in that state in 2005.
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), also a candidate for the nomination, took a softer approach, welcoming McAuliffe into the race.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 11/14/2008
McAuliffe To Hit Campaign Trail Saturday
Terry McAuliffe, a potential Democratic candidate for governor next year, will kick off his two-month listening tour this weekend.
McAuliffe, who plans to announce Jan. 7 whether he will enter the race, will have breakfast with Prince William County Democrats tomorrow morning in Occoquan.
McAuliffe will then attend the Norfolk State University vs. Delaware State football game in Norfolk.
"Terry will be rooting on the Norfolk State Spartans," his campaign said in a statement.
McAuliffe will end his day by attending a black-tie gala in Portsmouth to raise money for scholarships.
McAuliffe's visit to Hampton Roads appears to be an effort to target African Americans. A Washington Post survey last month showed McAuliffe running particulary strong among black females although black males favored Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), who is also a candidate for the nomination.
The poll also showed Moran with a slim overall lead statewide, but he and McAuliffe were tied in Hampton Roads.
Posted at 6:30 PM ET, 11/12/2008
As '09 Race Begins, Obama Supporters Up for Grabs
As the race for the Democratic nomination for governor gets underway, one question is still awaiting an answer: Will any of the candidates be able to latch into the extensive political network that President-Elect Barack Obama built in Virginia this year?
In what may turn out being the biggest missed opportunity of the 2009 race, none of the Democratic candidates got behind Obama early in the presidential campaign. Fearful of getting entangled in the primary battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.), both Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) remained neutral. The third contender for the nomination, Terry McAuliffe, served as national chairman of Clinton's campaign.
Had Deeds or Moran been associated with the Obama campaign during the presidential primaries, they would have likely been rewarded with intense loyalty from his supporters in 2009. Obama also may have decided to throw his support behind that candidate next year.
After the primaries, all three Democrats did hit the trail extensively for Obama around Virginia, appearing at times as if they were trying to outdo the others when it came to expressing their support for the Democratic ticket. But in fashioning their campaign teams, Moran, Deeds and McAuliffe are all so far relying on top Virginia strategists who supported, or worked for, Clinton during the primaries.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 11/12/2008
Democratic Candidates Seek Voter Input
Someone is trying to recruit women in Northern Virginia to participate in a focus group about next year's race for governor.
People are being called and offered $75 to participate in the focus group. In screening potential participants, the caller is asking a series of questions about former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who set up a political committee this week as he explores whether to seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Meanwhile, another Democratic candidate for governor, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), will be hosting a conference call with "supporters and friends" tomorrow evening to begin plotting strategy for next year.
The people on the conference call will become "an informal group of advisers" for Deeds' campaign, according to an email advertising the call.
Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 11/11/2008
McAuliffe Begins Staffing Up
Terry McAuliffe has begun retaining staff as he explores whether he will officially enter the race for the Democratic nomination for governor next year.
Jenny Nadicksbernd, who was Senator-elect Mark R. Warner's (D) Virginia finance director this year, will help McAuliffe establish his fundraising operations in the state. Nadicksbernd also served as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) Northern Virginia finance director during his 2005 campaign.
McAuliffe has also brought on Mike Henry to serve as an unpaid adviser. Henry has been a heavy weight figure in Virginia Democratic politics for years, most recently serving as Warner's campaign manager. Henry also oversaw Kaine's 2005 campaign, and is widely credited with helping Democrats' implement their recent successful strategy of reaching out to voters in Virginia's suburban community.
Henry, as of now, will not take on an official title for the McAuliffe campaign. He will join Mo Elleithee, a former adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Kaine, in helping to shape McAuliffe's exploratory effort.
Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 11/10/2008
McAuliffe Files Papers To Run for Governor
Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, filed paperwork today to run for governor of Virginia next year.
McAuliffe said he's still not certain he will formally enter the race, but plans to spend the next two months traveling around the state talking to voters. He will also begin assembling a campaign team.
In an interview today, McAuliffe says he will campaign as an outsider who will make improving the state's economy his central issue.
"Tim and Mark have done a great job, but they have continually been held back and I think Richmond has been a road block," said McAuliffe, referring to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and former governor Mark R. Warner (D). "Richmond is not doing what needs to be done in terms of forward thinking, big bold ideas and if I decide to run I will be all about big, bold ideas."
In what will be the first Democratic primary for governor in more than two decades, McAulliffe would face Del. Brian J. Moran (Alexandria) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) for the nomination.
A Washington Post Poll last month showed a three-way race is up for grabs, but McAuliffe said today he thinks he will be the strongest leader for the Democratic Party. McAuliffe, a proven fundraiser who lives in McLean, vowed he would "raise the resources to run a first class campaign" for governor as well as Democrats' efforts to reclaim the House of Delegates.
Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 10/30/2008
McAuliffe Gears up for "Tour" of Virginia
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe appears to be inching closer to making up his mind about whether he plans to run for governor next year.
McAuliffe was a guest on the Larry King Live show on CNN last night in support of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama.
King asked McAuliffe if he will run for governor next year.
"Well, we are going to get through Tuesday with Senator Obama and then I'm going to take a tour around the state of Virginia and talk to the voters, let the voters tell me where they think we stand and I'll make a decision quickly thereafter," McAuliffe said.
King responded, "That sounds like he is running."Continue reading this post »
Posted at 10:36 AM ET, 09/24/2008
Budget Blues May Boost McAuliffe
With Virginia facing a budget shortfall of up $3 billion over two years, Democrat Terry McAuliffe could emerge as the big political winner this spring if he decides to seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
McAuliffe, who will be in Chesterfield County today campaigning for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has begun laying the groundwork for a campaign. He's hired Mo Elleithee, a veteran of former governor Mark R. Warner and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's successful campaigns, to begin organizing the preliminary structure of his effort in case he enters the race.
McAulifee, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, would face Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) for the nomination. The budget shortfall means Moran and Deeds will be consumed when the General Assembly convenes in January with tough votes - including possible major spending cuts to schools and other government services as well as potential efforts to raise some taxes or fees - that McAuliffe will be able to avoid.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 5:27 PM ET, 09/17/2008
Virginia Notebook: McAuliffe Muddles 09 Race
RICHMOND- One month before Sen. Barack Obama selected Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his running mate, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe was speaking before the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.
During his speech, McAuliffe was "adamant" that Obama select Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine as his running mate, according to the Falls Church News-Press.
His comments generated national attention because McAuliffe had been a chairman of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. What was one of Clinton's biggest supporters doing pushing Virginia's governor -- not his old boss -- for vice president?
Looking back, McAuliffe's comments might have been laying the groundwork for a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor next year.Continue reading this post »
Posted at 4:21 PM ET, 09/11/2008
Draft McAuliffe Campaign Debuts
Someone has created a website, which appears professionally designed, encouraging Terry McAuliffe to run for governor of Virginia next year.
The site draftterry.com includes a big head shot of McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, next to Virginia's state seal.
"Over the past seven years, Virginia's two Democratic Governors, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, have provided strong leadership -- leadership the commonwealth cannot afford to lose," the website states.
It continues, "Virginia's next Governor needs to put people first. For nearly three decades, Terry McAuliffe has been promoting progressive values and helping Democrats win. For years, he has provided one of the premier voices articulating the values and priorities of the Democratic Party."
The website is also collecting names and email addresses of potential supporters. The website's domain name appears as if it was registered on August 28, the same day the Washington Post published an article stating McAuliffe was considering entering the race for the Democratic nomination.
Posted at 5:31 PM ET, 09/ 8/2008
Chris Matthews Predicts McAuliffe Gubernatorial Bid
Hardball Host Chris Matthews has stoked the speculation that Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, plans to run for governor of Virginia in 2009.
In between segments of his show on Monday night, Matthews referenced a Washington Post article from two weeks ago in which McAuliffe refused to bat down rumors he was interested in getting into the race.
Matthews, without citing sources, then said, "the fact is Terry McAuliffe is running for governor of Virginia next year." Matthews added, "he's running hard" and will have a huge warchest.
A few minutes later, Matthews asked Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) about the speculation that McAuliffe wants to run for governor. Kaine said he was "intrigued" by the idea.
"It used to be, to get someone to run statewide as a Democrat, it was almost like getting Mikey to eat the cereal, no one wanted to do it," said Kaine, who added people are now interested in running for the job because Virginia is a competitive state.
Posted at 1:19 PM ET, 08/27/2008
McAuliffe Considering 09 Bid for Governor
DENVER-Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a key adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) is considering running for governor of Virginia next year.
McAuliffe spoke to the Virginia delegation at the Democratic National Convention this morning. After his speech in support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), McAuliffe distributed free copies of his latest book. He then spent nearly an hour signing autographs and chatting with the delegates.
Rumors that McAuliffe is interested in being governor of Virginia have been percolating around the convention all week. In an interview with reporters after his speech, McAuliffe did little to dampen speculation that he was considering entering next year's race for the Democratic nomination.
"I'm focused on this election, I am going full time for Senator Obama," said McAuliffe, who lives in McLean. "But I never rule anything out. ...Everyday is a new opportunity. I would like to be Pope if I could."Continue reading this post »