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Virginia Politics Blog Archive: General Assembly 2009

McDonnell asked to lift a ban on State Police troopers referring to Jesus in public prayers

Activists across the state are asking Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to reverse a policy that bans Virginia State Police troopers from referring to Jesus Christ in public prayers. Donald Blake, president of Virginia Christian Alliance, said he spoke to McDonnell about the change at a recent fundraiser at the governor's mansion and at a private meeting with McDonnell's chief of staff Martin Kent. "It is important to a lot of people of faith in Virginia,'' Blake said. "When you change tradition it bothers a lot of people." Other groups, including the Family Foundation of Virginia, also support a change and have been lobbying for one. The governor's office has received a handful of letters, faxes and emails in support of a reversal. In September 2008, Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the State Police superintendent, told chaplains to offer nondenominational prayers at department-sanctioned public events in response to a recent federal appeals...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 26, 2010; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate , Timothy M. Kaine  | Tags: Bob McDonnell, Jesus, Virginia State Police  
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Updated: Virginia governor's mansion to be a new venue for fundraisers

Last year, then-Gov. Tim Kaine abruptly canceled a Democratic fundraiser at the Executive Mansion in part because of concerns that it was to take place at a once-sacred venue. Traditionally, Virginia governors have not used the mansion to raise money, though no state law prohibits it. But just last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell held his first fundraiser at the mansion, hosting a reception for the 40 or so people who pledged $1,000 or more to Richmond's soon-to-be-opened charter school. (The school picked up the tab.) Clearly, the goal was different -- Kaine canceled a reception after he discovered that the event's organizers were advertising it as a fundraiser for the Farm Team, a political action committee formed to help Democratic women seek elected office, while McDonnell was helping Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, a nonprofit organization he strongly supports. But the question remains: Will the mansion be a...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 7, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Va. legislators accepted more than $250,000 in gifts last year

Lobbyists, companies and trade associations last year gave Virginia legislators trips, meals and tickets to University of Virginia and Redskins football games, NASCAR races and Wolf Trap concerts, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics. In all, the 140 members of the General Assembly accepted hundreds of gifts worth about $250,000 in 2009, according to data released this morning. Many of the gifts were offered during last year's 45-day legislative session, when donors often lobby lawmakers after treating them to dinners, receptions and goody bags. Overall, the value of the gifts was down 25 percent compared to 2008. That's because many of the legislators were new and because of the sharp downturn in the economy....

By Anita Kumar  |  February 10, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008 , General Assembly 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , State Senate  
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McDonnell drops Hall from ABC Board

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has removed former Democratic Del. Frank Hall from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, several sources tell us. Hall was informed of the decision before McDonnell was inaugurated Saturday, and left office Friday despite asking repeatedly to be reappointed. Former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine appointed Hall to the commission in April after serving more than three decades in the House. The three ABC commission jobs are widely considered some of the most plum posts in all of state government. The two remaining commissioners -- Susan Swecker, former campaign manager to state Sen. Creigh Deeds, and Bill Pantele, a former Richmond City Council member -- are still at ABC for now. Both Democrats appointed by Kaine and could be removed at any time as McDonnell gets the board ready to make good on a campaign promise to privatize liquor stores. The governor's press office did not answer...

By Anita Kumar  |  January 21, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , House of Delegates  | Tags: ABC Board, bob mcdonnell, creigh deeds, frank hall, tim kaine  
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Recession may have dampened but did not halt lobbying expenses

Spending by Virginia lobbyists dropped by 25 percent this year from last, according to an analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics. According VPAP, lobbying expenses reported on financial financial disclosure forms covering the period from May 2008 through April 2009, show lobbying expenses dropped to $14.95 million from $19.84 million in 2007-2008. But the reason for the drop is not entirely clear. Surely, the recession played a role, limiting the amount lobbyists could spending wining and dining and wooing Virginia lawmakers on behalf of their clients. Entertainment expenses by lobbyists dropped from $1.13 million to $793,000....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 16, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2009 , House of Delegates , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Sensing big gains, Republicans make late donations

From the Virginia Public Access Project comes some fascinating new numbers that show Republicans are making a late play for some seats in the House of Delegates where they were once thought to have little chance for pick-ups. The late donations, from Republican Party of Virginia, Dominion Leadership Trust and candidate committees for Speaker William Howell and Del. Morgan Griffith, is a sign that Republicans are hoping a tidal wave of a win Tuesday could pull even more delegate candidates into the winner's column than they had once thought. It's a stunning turnaround in a year when Democrats had once talked about regaining control of the House for the first time since 1999. Per VPAP, here are late donations from Republican to House candidates just since Friday:...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  November 2, 2009; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Rosalind Helderman  
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Older Entries in This Category »

Pr. William Delegate Lashes Out Over Opponent's Mailer, Sandhya Somashekhar , October 13, 2009
House Call: And in Virginia Beach ..., Amy Gardner , October 7, 2009
GOPAC Helps McDonnell, Va GOP, Anita Kumar , October 7, 2009
First Click -- Virginia, Anita Kumar , September 29, 2009
House Call: Slicin' and Dicin' the Sept. 15 Reports, Amy Gardner , September 23, 2009
Rep. Joe Wilson Helps Va. GOP. No Lie!, Rosalind Helderman , September 22, 2009
GOP Group Donates $250,000 to Va Candidates, Anita Kumar , September 15, 2009
First Click - Virginia, Sandhya Somashekhar , September 15, 2009
Rove, Romney helping out Comstock in Mclean, Amy Gardner , September 14, 2009
House Call: Landes 'Nazi' Comment Causes Stir, Sandhya Somashekhar , September 11, 2009
Dems Ask Opponents to Repudiate McDonnell Thesis; One Does, Sandhya Somashekhar , September 9, 2009
Grand Jury Investigating Hamilton's ODU Job, Anita Kumar , September 5, 2009
The Kitchen Table: Augusta GOP Afraid for Country, Sandhya Somashekhar , September 4, 2009
House Speaker Pushes for Drilling , Anita Kumar , August 27, 2009
More Fallout Over Phil Hamilton, Amy Gardner , August 25, 2009
House Call: The Republican Rainbow Ticket, Amy Gardner , August 25, 2009
First Click - Virginia, Amy Gardner , August 25, 2009
House Democrats Join the Hamilton Fray, Amy Gardner , August 24, 2009
House GOP Sends Hamilton to the Ethics Police, Amy Gardner , August 24, 2009
First Click - Virginia, Sandhya Somashekhar , August 21, 2009
First Click - Virginia, Sandhya Somashekhar , August 20, 2009
Special Session Wrap-Up, Rosalind Helderman , August 19, 2009
First Click - Virginia, Sandhya Somashekhar , August 18, 2009
House Call: As Albo Goes, So Goes Virginia, Amy Gardner , August 13, 2009
House Call!, Amy Gardner , August 5, 2009
Griffith Jumps In, Anita Kumar , July 31, 2009
Stolle Appears Victorious, Rosalind Helderman , July 29, 2009
Stolle Threatens Special Session Filibuster, Rosalind Helderman , July 28, 2009
More Money Tidbits, Amy Gardner , July 16, 2009
Hot and Heavy House Races This Year, Amy Gardner , June 29, 2009
Amundsen to Retire, Surovell to Run, Sandhya Somashekhar , June 24, 2009
Kaine's Latest Fundraising Trips, Anita Kumar , June 22, 2009
Howell Refutes Kaine on Transportation, Anita Kumar , June 21, 2009
Fairfax Republicans Express Optimism, Sandhya Somashekhar , June 11, 2009
'There's A Reason I'm Not In Politics', Michael Laris , June 8, 2009
Top 10 House Fundraisers, Anita Kumar , June 8, 2009
Dampening Turnout, Michael Laris , June 7, 2009
Pricey Showdown Over Fairfax House Seat, Michael Laris , June 6, 2009
Wilder Endorses..., Anita Kumar , June 4, 2009
Warner Steps into 47th House District Race, Amy Gardner , June 2, 2009
Connolly Blasts McDonnell, Anita Kumar , May 22, 2009
Hamilton to Kaine: "I'm Appalled", Anita Kumar , May 8, 2009
A Recessional Debate , Rosalind Helderman , April 30, 2009
A House with No Fredericks?, Anita Kumar , April 28, 2009
Republicans Fight Back on Unemployment Dollars, Rosalind Helderman , April 23, 2009
Delegates Defend Internet Use on the Floor, Christopher Dean Hopkins , April 16, 2009
Democratic Candidates Sign Petition, Anita Kumar , April 14, 2009
Kaine Berates Legislators, Anita Kumar , April 9, 2009
GOP Fights Kaine on Jobless Benefits, Matt Mosk , April 7, 2009
Comstock Raises $120,000, Anita Kumar , April 7, 2009
Hogan Will Not Run for Re-Election, Anita Kumar , March 9, 2009
Frederick Asked to Resign , Anita Kumar , March 5, 2009
Another House Retirement , Anita Kumar , February 28, 2009
Kaine Says House Democrats Face Uphill Fight, Tim Craig , February 26, 2009
Mims Selected AG, Anita Kumar , February 26, 2009
Judge Edwards?, Anita Kumar , February 26, 2009
Longtime Delegate To Retire, Anita Kumar , February 24, 2009
Frederick Urges Wife to Run for Seat, Anita Kumar , February 13, 2009
Smoking Ban: What Do You Think?, Christopher Dean Hopkins , February 5, 2009
Governor, Legislative Leaders Agree to Restaurant Smoking Ban, Christopher Dean Hopkins , February 5, 2009
Republicans Target Democratic Fundraising, Anita Kumar , January 14, 2009
Plum Elected House Democratic Caucus Leader, Anita Kumar , January 14, 2009
House Will Broadcast Floor Sessions, Anita Kumar , January 9, 2009
House GOP Challenges Senate Democrats, Anita Kumar , January 8, 2009
Republicans Attack Kaine on DNC Post, Anita Kumar , January 5, 2009
Republicans Target Democratic District, Anita Kumar , December 30, 2008
GOP May Lodge Complaint Against Kaine, Anita Kumar , December 29, 2008
 
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