Archive: Timothy M. Kaine

Posted at 8:35 AM ET, 11/ 5/2009

Kaine to teach at the University of Richmond

Gov. Tim Kaine will announce today that he is joining the faculty at the University of Richmond after he leaves office in January, sources close to the governor say.

Kaine will teach two classes -- one at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and one at the university's law school. He previously taught an ethics class at the law school. He will teach one class a semester.

Kaine will also begin serving full time as chairman of the Democratic National Committee after Republican Bob McDonnell is sworn in as governor.

White House officials and the governor said yesterday that Kaine will continue to serve as DNC chairman despite gubernatorial losses for his party Tuesday in Virginia and New Jersey.

Kaine held a news conference yesterday in which he talked about returning home to his family's previous house in the Ginter Park section of Richmond.

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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 11/ 4/2009

Updated: Kaine's October travel


View Kaine's Travel Adventures in a larger map. KEY: Blue markers are DNC trips, red markers are official state trips, and purple markers included a mix of both or are unclear at this time.

Gov. Tim Kaine, who serves as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spent nearly half the days in October out of state, including 11 weekdays.

Kaine spent all or part of 14 days outside Virginia, taking trips to five other states and eight trips to Washington.

Kaine's office released his travels for October in keeping with his pledge to do so at the end of each month, which was made following pressure by the media and others to disclose his whereabouts. This month, however, his office waited a few extra days and released the information on Election Day when his schedule would likely be overhadowed by other news. Kaine's spokesman Gordon Hickey said the schedule was "released in error" Tuesday because he forgot to release it Monday.

His out-of-state travel included trips to Chicago and Boston (Thurs. Oct. 15 -Fri. Oct. 16),
New York (Tues. Oct. 20-Wed. Oct. 21), Tallahassee and Miami (Fri. Oct. 23-Sat. Oct. 24), New Jersey (Thurs. Oct. 29-Fri. Oct. 30). He also reported spending part of five weekdays and two weekends in Washington.

Much of the out-of-state travel was likely for DNC business, but may have been in his role as governor or for both jobs. The travel log does not indicate the purpose of the trips, but the New Jersey trip was primarily to campaign for Gov. Jon Corzine, who was in a tough three-way race for re-election.

In June, Kaine traveled for the DNC half of the days. In July, he traveled to eight other states, while spending part of four days in Washington that month. Kaine significantly limited his out-of-state travel in August, traveling to five states and spending only part of one day in Washington. But his travel increased in September. He reported spending all or part of 12 days out-of-state that month, including five trips to Washington.

See October's full schedule below:

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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 11/ 4/2009

Kaine on election, transition, personal future

A morning-after press conference by Gov. Tim Kaine that was billed to be a discussion on transition plans was dominated by postmortem election analysis, as Kaine sought to explain the shellacking Democrats took Tuesday while attempting to shield the president from blame.

Asked whether Obama was a factor, Kaine said Obama was not on the minds of voters, but wondered why the president's popularity hadn't been more of a help. ... Huh?

Here it is in his own words:

"Voters said the races were decided on local issues, that the president was not really a factor in the overwhelming majority of voters' choices," said Kaine, citing exit poll data.

But...

"With 55 percent of independents nationally saying they approve of the job President Obama is doing, the fact that independent voters in Virginia in the race yesterday supported governor-elect McDonnell by a strong margin is something that we have to assess, and I don't really have an answer for that right now."

Kaine offered some explanations for R. Creigh Deeds's loss, saying Deeds was an underdog from the start. He said McDonnell's tenure in the attorney general's office for four years helped him with name recognition and with raising money.

"When Creigh won the surprise primary in June, it was a great win, but I don't think that there was much doubt that Creigh was considered the underdog because he was having to refill his coffers beginning in late June and he was running against a guy that beat him four years ago," Kaine said.

He went on to note the apparent consistent reaction Virginians have against the party in the White House.

"Also, historically, Virginia and Virginia voters have this quirk...the party that has the White House loses the Virginia governorship."

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Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 11/ 4/2009

Obama calls McDonnell

We just heard that President Obama called Republican Bob McDonnell, who won a landslide victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds last night in Virginia's governor race.

The two men spoke for about 10 minutes in what McDonnell's campaign called a "very friendly conversation."

Obama told McDonnell: "The first thing you need to do is thank your wife!"

The two also talked about their shared support for charter schools and McDonnell's support of Obama's "Race to the Top" program -- a federal grant for schools committed to closing achievement gaps and getting more students into college. McDonnell frequently parised those programs on the campaign trail.

McDonnell is spending the morning at the Richmond Marriott with his wife, Maureen, five children and assorted other family members. He declined multiple requests to appear on news shows today. He will hold a 2 p.m. press conference at the state Capitol.

Gov. Tim Kaine also called McDonnell this morning. McDonnell's staff has already begun moving into the state-funded transition office off of Capitol Square in Richmond.

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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 11/ 4/2009

Gibbs calls Deeds underdog, praises Kaine

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at a gaggle this morning that Democrat Creigh Deeds was always the underdog in the race against Republican Bob McDonnell for Virginia governor.

He mentioned a fact that we are well aware of here in Virginia: Since 1977, no party that has won the White House has gone on to capture Virginia's governorship the next year.

"Given that sort of history, Creigh Deeds was always the underdog,'' Gibbs said.

If you were wondering what the Virginia and New Jersey losses mean for outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Gibbs's comments should help clarify.

"The President is enormously grateful for the leadership that Governor Kaine has and will continue to provide at the DNC,'' he said. "I think if you look at the record, again, of the president in these special elections involving members of Congress, the results are very positive for the DNC."

Kaine earlier called the Democratic win in a special election for Congress in New York the "most consequential race of the night'' after the Republican dropped out and left a conservative to run as a third-party candidate.

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Posted at 12:24 AM ET, 11/ 4/2009

Kaine reacts to two Democratic defeats

Tim Kaine, Virginia's governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, released a statement tonight reacting to Republican gubernatorial wins in both Virginia and New Jersey.

Kaine said that both Democratic hopefuls, Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine, were strong candidates, but faced uphill battles. Both states tend to vote for the party that is not in power in the White House in their off-year gubernatorial elections. "It would have been historic if not unprecedented to win one or both of these races given historical trends,'' he said.

Kaine downplayed the notion that these races were a referendum on President Obama.
"These races turned on local and state issues and circumstances and on the candidates in each race - and despite what some will certainly claim - the results are not predictive of the future or reflective of the national mood or political environment,'' he said.

Kaine called the Democratic win in a special election for Congress in New York the "most consequential race of the night'' after the Republican dropped out and left a conservative to run as a third-party candidate.

"The Republican candidate, a moderate, was purged from the Republican Party by the most extreme elements of the conservative right wing including Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck,'' Kaine said. "This race turned out to be the worst of all possible worlds for Republicans as not only did the Democrat, Bill Owens, win a seat that Democrats have not held in more than 100 years, but what occurred in New York has exposed a war within the Republican Party that will not soon end...The all out war between Republicans and the far right wing is a disaster for the Republican Party and will dog it well after today."

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Posted at 7:37 PM ET, 11/ 3/2009

Kaine gets ready for transition

Gov. Tim Kaine will hold a press conference tomorrow in Richmond to talk about how his office will transition to a new governor.

Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will appear on Larry King Live at 9 tonight to talk about the three major races taking place in Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

Kaine will also appear on the following show tomorrow:

7:05am - NBC Today Show
7:15am - MSNBC Morning Joe
7:30am - CNN American Morning
1:00pm - MSNBC Andrea Mitchell
4:30pm - CNN Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer


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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 11/ 3/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

This is it! Election Day has finally arrived. Check back frequently for all of our election coverage throughout the day and night.

In the meantime, here's some morning reading to start your day:

Republican Bob McDonnell will vote outside Richmond this morning, before greeting voters at his childhood precinct in Fairfax County and at a Virginia Beach precint he represented in the House of Delegates.

Democrat Creigh Deeds will vote in Bath County this morning before greeting voters in Charlottesville, which he represents in the state Senate.

Both men will spend election night in the capital city. McDonnell will be at the Marriott downtown with Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli, candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general. Deeds will be at the Westin Hotel in Richmond's West End with Gov. Tim Kaine and Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

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Posted at 4:49 PM ET, 11/ 2/2009

Kaine appears on MSNBC on election eve

Tim Kaine, Virginia governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said this afternoon on MSNBC that Democrats still have a chance to win both gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey tomorrow, even though polls show both men behind.

"For 24 years, the party that wins the White House loses both of these governships in Virginia and New Jersey,'' Kaine said. "So the way we look at it at the DNC is that these are uphill races. We had underdog candidates. They were writing us off in mid-summer, but we fought back strong and we're working awfully strong to break that 24-year string and we feel like we have a good shot tomorrow."

Kaine downplayed the significance of the races going into the 2010 midterm elections.

"Traditionally these races right after the presidential year are very focused on local issues and haven't been much of a bellwether for the midterms,'' he said.

Kaine said Obama and the statewide Democratic leaders -- he and Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb -- remain popular in Virginia, which should help gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds.

"There's a strong approval from Democratic voters,'' he said. "What we have to do is we just got to close that gap. We have to energize President Obama supporters. He's been to Virginia twice for Creigh Deeds. And that's what we are working to do."

But Kaine said that the real story tomorrow may be the outcome of New York's special congressional election where the Republican party's candidate dropped out this weekend and now backs the Democratic candidate against a conservative. "It portends a great divide in the Republican party,'' he said. "I think that's going to be the continuing story after tomorrow night."

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 11/ 2/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

The polls open in less than 24 hours!

In what has to be one of the last polls before Election Day, Republican Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds, 53 to 41, in a Mason Dixon poll released this weekend.

In the same poll, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is up 13 percentage point over Jody Wagner and Republican Ken Cuccinelli is up 14 percentage points over Steve Shannon in the race for attorney general.

Whoever wins the governor's mansion Tuesday will face continuing budget shortfalls and will have to figure out how to pay for ambitious campaign promises.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has recorded a phone message encouraging Virginians to get out and vote on Tuesday, while Gov. Tim Kaine makes calls for Shannon.

The last newspaper endorsements came out Sunday, and now it's just up to sophisticated get-out-the-vote efforts to get Virginians to the polls.

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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.

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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 10/25/2009

Kaine rallies the troops

Gov. Tim Kaine spent the day in the Richmond area rallying volunteers at several stops, encouraging them to knock on doors and make calls on behalf of the Democratic ticket -- Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon.

"Again and again these three who are on the Republican ticket have been standing in the way,'' Kaine told a group of about 40 vounteers. "Fighting against us on unemployment insurance, on transportation, on pre-K, on banning smoking, on non-partisan redistricting...They know what they're against and that's virtually everything."

Kaine was joined by Wagner, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Tom Shields, who is running against Republican Del. John O'Bannon and two of Deeds's four children, Gus and Amanda.

The group visited campaign offices in Henrico and Chesterfield and Lucille's Southern Fused Cuisine. (A union-sponsored bus (Building Trades United for Deeds) was parked outside.) Tonight, Kaine will headline a fundraiser for Wagner, who faces Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling next Tuesday.

With a couple months left in his own term, Kaine, the new Democratic National Committee chairman, sounded a bit nostalgic for his nearly 16 years in elected office.

"I was doing this last Saturday and I was thinking I'm really going to miss this,'' he said. "And I thought 'No I'm not. I'm going to be doing it every year.' " What a great ride I've had. It's a little bit bittersweet coming to the end. (But) I'm so excited about the next role that I have."

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 10/24/2009

Anne Holton gets out the vote in Alexandria

Perhaps it was the intermittent rain today, but only about a dozen Democratic activists showed up this afternoon at Ben Brenman park in Fairfax County for a plea by First Lady of Virginia Anne Holton for volunteers to get out the vote for gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds and the entire Democratic ticket.

Delegates Charniele Herring and Dave Englin and Alexandria Vice Mayor Kerry Donley joined Holton by the big gazebo at the park, which sits on a former Army base south of Alexandria, for what was billed as a rally but ended up a more subdued affair. The group enjoyed a brief respite from the windy, wet weather on a day when volunteers for virtually every candidate on the ballot in Virginia would be out knocking on doors.

Holton told the gathered volunteers that it was imperative that they motivate the masses who turned out last fall to elect President Obama. More than 500,000 new voters registered last year, with most of those newcomers likely drawn into politics by the history-making race.

Republicans, she said, "are counting on those new voters not turning up," she said. "If the Democratic core voters turn out, and they will, if all the new voters turn out, then we will win."

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Posted at 6:52 AM ET, 10/20/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

Good morning, politicos! Just 14 days to go until Election Day, and things are looking good for the GOP/bad for the Dems.

A new poll gives Republicans Robert F. McDonnell a substantial lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. We have a few issues with this poll, but there's another one out this morning from Clarus that shows McDonnell up by 8 points, 49 to 41.

Democrat Creigh Deeds says he's still got plenty of time, and that his campaign will now focus on drawing out supporters of President Obama and core Democrats generally.

The candidates for lieutenant governor, incumbent Republican Bill Bolling and Democrat Jody Wagner, took the proverbial gloves off last night in a televised debate.

And Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, unveiled a tough new ad accusing Republican Ken Cuccinelli of not being tough enough on public corruption because he hasn't called for the resignation of Del. Phil Hamilton.

The gubernatorial candidates meet for their final debate tonight in Roanoke. McDonnell is holed up to prepare, while Deeds will fit in a quick campaign appearance in Tysons Corner at lunchtime today with former president Bill Clinton and his pal Terry McAuliffe.

There's more grim news out regarding Virginia's revenue outlook, raising the obvious question of why all these folks even want the jobs they're seeking.

Lastly, we'll leave you with this thought: Bob McDonnell for President!

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Posted at 6:34 PM ET, 10/16/2009

Democrats Make a Weekend Push In Va.

Organizing for America, an arm of the Democratic National Committee, is asking supporters from other states to travel to Virginia this weekend for gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.

The group sent emails to thousands of members in D.C. and Maryland, asking for volunteers to door-knock for Deeds, with a goal of working 5,000 hours by next weekend.

"Because this race isn't just about Virginia -- it's about standing up for the progress we've all fought so hard for and making sure our entire country keeps heading in the right direction,'' Mitch Stewart, the group's director, writes in the email.

Deeds will appear at six events with DNC Chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and Jody Wagner, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, in Northern Virginia.

McDonnell will appear a veterans rally with Sen. John McCain tomorrow morning in Virginia Beach. He will appear with U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor in Richmond in the afternoon

McDonnell and Deeds do not have any public events Sunday. They will visit churches in the morning and spend the day preparing for the fourth and final debate, which will take place in Ronoake Tuesday night. Deeds will also have a mid-day fundraiser in Richmond.

Check back tomorrow for updates from Deeds's and McDonnell's travels.

In the meantime, read the Organizing for America letter below:

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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 10/15/2009

Five Va. Governors Sit Down for a Chat

Ever wonder what Tim Kaine, Doug Wilder, George Allen, Jim Gilmore and Linwood Holton would say to each other if they were in the same room?

Well, you can find out.

The five men sat down with Charlottesville's NBC station for a 30-minute special that aired earlier this week, and is now available online. Check it out here.

The men, seated in the governor's mansion on Capitol Square in Richmond, talked about blogs, "groveling and begging" for money, being a lame duck and the possibility of serving two terms. Yes, Gilmore mentioned the car tax a few times.

Noticeably absent? The state's most recent former governor, Mark Warner, who defeated Gilmore for a U.S. Senate seat last year. Maybe the two men didn't want to be in the same room?

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Posted at 5:54 PM ET, 10/14/2009

Obama Commits to Corzine, but No Word on Deeds

President Obama has not yet agreed to campaign again for Virginia Democrat Creigh Deeds--but he's made time for the nation's other Democratic gubernatorial candidate. New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign announced today that Obama will be holding a rally for his reelection effort at Fairleigh Dickinson University next Wednesday.

The news comes as Corzine's effort has pulled even with Republican Chris Christie, even as Deeds trails Republican Bob McDonnell by nine points in a recent Washington Post poll.

Obama did visit Virginia today, to tout the impact of the federal stimulus package at the Fairfax County Parkway extension construction project, the largest project of its kind in Virginia and a federal highway project partially funded by stimulus dollars.

But the event was not a campaign stop and Deeds was not present. Also not on site: Democratic Governor and Obama ally Timothy M. Kaine, who stood at the very same project with Obama in February to push for the stimulus' passage in Congress, citing the Fairfax County Parkway as a possible benefactor.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 10/ 9/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Good morning and happy Friday everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Big news. The Washington Post released a new poll showing that Republican Bob McDonnell has widened his lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds. The entire GOP ticket is up by a hefty nine points.

The poll shows a lack of enthusiasm among many voters who elected President Obama last year and raises questions for the Democrats as they head into the 2010 mid-term elections. Democrats continue to wonder what Deeds's message will be and what the White House's role will be in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Deeds will be a guest on Mark Plotkin's radio show on WTOP at 10 a.m. Listen here. Tonight, he'll join fans at the Riverbend High football game in Fredericksburg.

McDonnell will attend the Patrick County Rally with former U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode in Stuart and the Greater Richmond Urban League of Young Professionals candidate's forum tonight.

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Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 10/ 8/2009

Kaine Can't Confirm Obama Visit to Help Deeds Campaign

Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said today that President Obama's support is crucial for Democrat Creigh Deeds to win the Virginia governor's race, but said he could not confirm that Obama would return to the state to campaign.

"The way to win is to energize the huge upsurge of Obama '08 voters,'' Kaine said. "We registered an awful lot of people and we got a lot of them to turn out...We've got to have folks that care passionately about the president and care passionately about Creigh."

So is the president coming?

"I can't say one way or another,'' he said.

But Kaine denies recent news reports that Obama and the White House are distancing themselves from Deeds.

"Obviously the White House is very focused on this,'' Kaine said. "What we are doing at the DNC, ramping up our involvement is definitely in consultation with the White House. They're very focused and every week they're making decision about where to spend time. With the vice president here today and with the addiational resorces from the DNC, the White House is very engaged in this race. They're highly involved, highly engaged and it's not just dollars. We're helping in a lot of ways too."

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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 10/ 8/2009

Kaine Goes Hollywood

Gov. and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine will lead a diverse of group of Hollywood stars in helping to pick a 30-second commercial that will air nationally promoting healthcare reform.

Judges include musician Will.I.Am, actors John Cho, Dulé Hill and Brandon Routh, actresses Rosario Dawson, Kate Walsh and Olivia Wilde and 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane.

Organizing for America sent an email to members soliciting videos ads that would explain the need for healthcare reform. Submissions will be accepted until Oct. 18. A winner will be announced in next month.

The state GOP, which has been critical of Kaine's role as party leader, immediately seized on the issue as an example of the governor paying more attention to national politics, than Virginia.

"You really can't make this stuff up," said Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "You've heard people say, 'Oh, that story is so crazy, it's not even believable enough for Hollywood. Well, Tim Kaine ought to run his recent activities past his committee and see if they would sign off on the script. I'll bet he wouldn't get any takers."

The DNC referred calls for comment to state party officials, but they naturally only wanted to talk about Republican Bob McDonnell: "What you can't make up is a party that would put forward a candidate for governor who thinks women shouldn't work outside the home, and thinks that's main stream,'' said Allison Jaslow, party spokeswoman.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 10/ 8/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Vice President Joe Biden returns to Virginia for a second time to help Democrat Creigh Deeds raise some cash at a mid-day event in Alexandria. It's a busy fundraising day for Deeds. Tonight, he appears with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at the Potomac home of lobbyist Barbara Goldberg Goldman.

Republican Bob McDonnell will discuss plans to aid senior citizens at the Herndon Senior Center. Yes, McDonnell is still rolling out policy proposals less than four weeks before the big day.

Questions continue to arise about Deeds's negative message and whether he can make his case to voters in the last month of the race -- with or without help from President Obama.

The Wall Street Journal weighs into the Virginia governor's race for the second day in a row. This time, the paper reports on the Deeds campaign's formation of 60 book clubs to talk about McDonnell's graduate thesis.

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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 10/ 5/2009

Updated: GOP Blasts Kaine on Transportation Spending

Republicans continued to blame Gov. Tim Kaine -- and his would-be successor Creigh Deeds -- for being slow in spending the state's share of federal stimulus money for transportation.

U.S. Frank Wolf and Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity, among others, criticized Kaine this morning on a conference call for not using the money for much-needed existing projects in congested Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

"We could use that money desperately,'' Wolf told reporters. "We're in a critical situation. The economic growth and the opportunities here depend on improving transportation. There are a lot of things up here that that money could be used for."

Republicans have been talking nonstop about transportation stimulus money since Friday, when the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent Kaine a stern letter that said the state is the last in the nation to spend its money.

"These projects have all been on the book for years. I just don't understand why they are not moving," Herrity said. "It seems we ought to be leading the pack, not behind the pack."

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Posted at 6:08 PM ET, 10/ 3/2009

Kaine Responds to Transportation Criticism

Gov. Tim Kaine said today that he was "completely surprised' that the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent him a blunt letter accusing him of being slow in spending the state's share of federal stimulus money for transportation.

"Look, do you want to spend it fast or do you want to spend it best?" Kaine said in an interview. "We're going to spend it best."

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar wrote in a letter yesterday that Virginia had started construction on only about 17 percent of millions of dollars worth of transportation projects -- making the state last in the nation to spend its money.

Kaine blamed the ranking on the White House and Congress using two different ways to report spending. Virginia, he said, is following the administration's guideline.

"This House committee is doing their own analysis and they do it differently,'' Kaine said. "It might frankly be a disagreement of opinion -- this is not completely unusual -- between the administration and Congress. We feel like by following the adminstration's deadline and reporting requirements, we're fine."

What does Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, say to Republicans who are using this issue to accuse him of not paying attention to the state?

"They do that,'' he said. "I don't worry about it."

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Posted at 5:01 PM ET, 10/ 3/2009

Deeds Country Comes to Richmond

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds received a warm welcome at the annual Second Street Festival this afternoon in the historically black neighborhood of Jackson Ward in Richmond.

The event -- known by locals as the Two Street Festival or the Deuce -- was truly Deeds Country.

The predominately African American crowd gathered around Deeds, dressed casually in khakis and a polo shirt, to shake his hand, snap his picture, wish him luck. Most were wearing blue Deeds stickers. There were no McDonnell stickers in sight.

"I think you're going to win,'' one man yelled over the crowd.

"Governor! I'm going to call you governor already!" another man said as he reached out to grab his hand.

Deeds was accompanied by Gov. Tim Kaine, a festival regular since 1995, and most of the city's African American leaders, including Mayor Dwight Jones, Del. Jennifer McClellan and Sens. Don McEachin and Henry Marsh. Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, also worked the crowd.

Jones, a former House member who used to lead the legislative black caucus, said Deeds has momentum. "He's right where he wants to be,'' he said. "We just want to make sure there is no slippage in the black community."

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Posted at 9:00 PM ET, 10/ 2/2009

Democratic Congressman Criticizes Kaine

In a stern letter today, U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, criticized Gov. Tim Kaine for being slow in spending the state's share of federal stimulus money for transportation.

In Virginia, construction has started on about 17 percent of the millions of dollars worth of transportation projects -- making the state last in the nation to spend its money.

Oberstar sent a letter to states that were slow to spend their money in August, urging them to do so immediately "to create and sustain family-wage jobs" to help the nation recover from the worst recession since the 1930s. Some states moved quickly in starting projects.

"Regrettably, Virginia is not among these states,'' Oberstar wrote. "Based on the state progress reports submitted to the committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen behind other states in putting to work its Recovery Act highway formula funds."

This summer, we reported that Virginia submitted lists of shovel-ready projects to the federal government after the other 49 states had.

The letter from the Minnesota Democratic to Kaine, his party's national leader, drew swift response from Virginia Republicans.

"This is the result of having a governor who is more concerned with traipsing around the country tipping wine glasses with the Democrat elite to raise money for his national party," said Pat Mullins, chairman of the state Republican party. "If Creigh Deeds wants to run on the Kaine legacy, he can have it."

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Posted at 7:06 AM ET, 10/ 2/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Fri., Oct. 2, 2009
Happy Friday! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.

With a new push in Northern Virginia, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and his friends at the Republican Governors Association are now airing twice as many ads than Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds, even counting ads run by the Virginia Education Association.

The Democratic Governors Association spent millions in the spring trying to tarnish McDonnell while the Dems were fighting it out before the June primary. Was that a mistake? Will Gov. Tim Kaine let his DNC be outspent by the RNC? Will President Obama let that happen? Talk to us Nov. 4.

At a forum attended by a who's who of Virginia politics, both Deeds and McDonnell endorsed awarding tens of thousands of new college degrees in future years. Neither said much about how they would pay for that.

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Posted at 5:18 PM ET, 09/30/2009

Kaine's September Travel


View Kaine's Travel Adventures in a larger map. KEY: Blue markers are DNC trips, red markers are official state trips, and purple markers included a mix of both or are unclear at this time.

Gov. Tim Kaine, who serves as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, reported spending all or part of 12 days out-of-state this month, including five trips to Washington.

Kaine's office released his travels for September in keeping with his pledge to do so at the end of each month, which was made following pressure by the media and others to disclose his whereabouts.

His out-of-state travel included trips to Burlington and Norwich, Vt. (Wed., Sept. 2), Dallas, Brownsville and Austin, Tx. (Wed., Sept. 9-Sat., Sept. 12), New York and Greenwich, Conn. (Mon., Sept. 21-Tues., Sept. 22). He also reported spending part of four weekdays and one Saturday in Washington.

Much of the out-of-state travel was likely for DNC business, but may have been in his role as governor or for both jobs. The travel log does not indicate the purpose of the trips, but the Texas trip was primarily to preside over his first full meeting as national party leader at the DNC summer meeting in Austin.

Kaine significantly limited his out-of-state travel in August as he faced yet another budget shortfall and continued criticism for his out-of-state travel. But his travel increased in September.

In June, Kaine traveled for the DNC half of the days. In July, he traveled to eight other states, while spending part of four days in Washington that month. In August, he traveled to five states and spent only part of one day in Washington.

See September's full schedule below:

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Posted at 7:03 AM ET, 09/30/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Wed., Sept. 30, 2009
Good morning! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.

Remember soccer moms? And security moms? The Virginia election this year is shaping up to be a battle for working moms--and other women--as Democrat Creigh Deeds senses opportunity and makes an explicit appeal to the group that make up 54 percent of registered voters and Republican Bob McDonnell works to defend ground with the group.

In the category of the not very surprising, Gov. Linwood Holton, Virginia's first Republican chief executive since reconstruction and, oh yes, Gov. Tim Kaine's father-in-law, endorses Deeds. McDonnell joins Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli to talk mental health.

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Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 09/29/2009

Kaine Says He Was Unaware of Paterson Discussions

On what was otherwise a fairly sedate episode of WTOP's monthly "Ask the Governor" segment featuring Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), Mark Plotkin broke in at the last minute to ask Kaine the hardball question of the hour: What did you know about the White House's attempt to persuade New York Gov. David Paterson (D) not to run for his seat next year?

Not much, Kaine responded -- though he declined to say whether he supports President Obama's position that Paterson should bow out.

By way of background, The New York Times recently reported that President Obama had asked the beleaguered Paterson not to seek a full first term next year, an unusual intervention into state affairs by a president. Plotkin's question was aimed at Kaine because of Kaine's second job as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

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Posted at 7:30 AM ET, 09/29/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Election Day is exactly five weeks away. And it feels like it. The campaigns are in full swing -- working around the clock, rolling out policy plans, airing new TV ads.

Democrat Creigh Deeds heads back to a metro station this morning -- this time, to unveil an endorsement from former Republican Gov. Linwood Holton. (Didn't we already know Holton supported Deeds? After all, he's Gov. Tim Kaine's father-in-law and he's endorsed Democrats in most recent statewide elections, including Barack Obama).

Deeds debuted a TV ad yesterday featuring U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, arguably the most popular politician in the state.

Republican Bob McDonnell rolls out another policy -- on mental health -- this morning on a conference call with reporters.

McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling released the second part of their good government plan yesterday. McDonnell also raised $350,000 at a pair of fundraisers with
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Virginia Business magazine takes a look at how Deeds and McDonnell plan to create jobs and boost the economy. And as part of his voter series, Joel Rubin of Cox1Hampton Roads has posted new interviews with Deeds here and here, and McDonnell here and here.

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Posted at 7:08 AM ET, 09/24/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.

For the fourth year in a row, Forbes.com has ranked Virginia the best place in the country to do business. It's good news for the state, coming on the heels of word that the unemployment rate has dipped and the Commonwealth now has the lowest rate of people out of work of any large state.

It's also good news for Democratic candidates for office, who have used the Forbes accolade as proof that Democratic leadership has been good for the state's economy and the candidates took little time to crow.

Not persuaded: The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, which Wednesday endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell for governor. The chamber says they believe McDonnell would be more likely to spark private sector growth. The Chamber slammed Deeds for not putting forward a specific funding proposal for transportation.

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Posted at 6:15 PM ET, 09/23/2009

Kaine Responds to Joe "You Lie" Wilson

Gov. Tim Kaine sent out an email to supporters this afternoon encouraging them to donate money to Virginia Democrats looking to win three statewide races and pick up seats in the House of Delegates.

No surprise that he mentions Bob McDonnell's thesis. But he also pays particular attention to the House, where Speaker Bill Howell and the Republicans are looking to hold onto their six-seat majority.

After all, just yesterday, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson sent out a fundraising letter for Howell. Yes, that Joe Wilson -- the same one who yelled "You lie!" while President Obama addressed Congress on healthcare. Wilson happens to be the Republican flavor of the month and Howell is pulling out all the stops to hold onto their majority, and possibly gain a few seats.

Here's what Kaine has to say about it:

"Today, I woke to find that the Speaker of the House in Virginia has solicited the help of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) - the Congressman who recently embarrassed himself and his constituents by trying to shout down President Obama - to raise money for Republican Delegates,'' Kaine wrote. "We have already seen from the Virginia House a philosophy of government that is basically about voting no - no to transportation solutions, no to non-partisan redistricting, no to meaningful help to Virginia's unemployed. Now, with their tacit approval of disrespectful behavior, Virginia Republicans are making very plain what values and ideas they hold and how they will govern if given the chance."

Pretty harsh words from Kaine, who sent the letter from his Virginia PAC, Moving Virginia Foward, but also serves as his party's national chairman.

You can read the entire letter below:

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Posted at 8:13 AM ET, 09/17/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Good morning Virginia, here's what's happening in state politics today.

R. Creigh Deeds (D) and Robert F. McDonnell (R) face off today in a much-anticipated debate before Northern Virginia's business community, to be moderated by David Gregory of "Meet the Press." A lot is at stake today for both gubernatorial candidates, as McDonnell seeks to move beyond the thesis that has dominated headlines in recent weeks and Deeds aims to overcome the unfriendly atmosphere for Democrats nationally.

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Posted at 7:17 AM ET, 09/16/2009

First Click - Virginia

Good morning, Virginia, here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

The campaign finance numbers are in, and they're big. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democrat running for governor, raked in a record $3.48 million in July and August, about a half million dollars more than Republican Robert F. McDonnell. But McDonnell, who didn't have a primary challenge, has more money in the bank, $5.8 million, compared with Deeds's nearly $4.4 million.

It's a good news, bad news day for Deeds. According to a recent poll of registered voters, McDonnell's lead has slimmed to five percentage points (the poll was conducted by live interviewers, which is critical to meeting the Post's standards). But the Democrat is facing questions about seemingly contradictory responses he gave two groups about collective bargaining.

Both men are in Richmond today at a forum sponsored by Virginia FREE. Sorry, you weren't invited.

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Posted at 6:59 AM ET, 09/15/2009

First Click - Virginia

Good morning, Virginia, here's what's happening in state politics today.

Today is the deadline for candidates in November's election to file their summer campaign finance reports, including gubernatorial hopefuls R. Creigh Deeds (D) and Robert F. McDonnell (R). The reports will provide a valuable glimpse into the kind of support each man is attracting, as did yesterday's announcement that Deeds has been endorsed by the state firefighters and McDonnell got the nod from the NRA, which supported Deeds in their last match-up four years ago. Observers will also be on the lookout for evidence of the national groups that are expected to pour resources into one of the first big races since last year's history-making presidential election.

Both men attend a candidates forum at a Bar Association event in Norfolk today, offering a preview of Thursday's debate in Fairfax.

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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 09/14/2009

First Click -- Virginia

OMG, did you hear what Kanye West said at the MTV video music awards? Kidding, here's what's happening in Virginia politics today.

The candidates for Virginia governor stump in separate parts of the state today, with Republican Robert F. McDonnell addressing attendees at a rural summit in Lynchburg and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, where he is planning to announce what his campaign has billed as a "major endorsement." The ad wars took a sharp turn late last week, and the two men will clash in person at their second debate of the season Thursday in Fairfax.

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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.

Deeds and McDonnell spoke about business issues -- many of them federal -- in a candidate's forum yesterday in McLean.

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?)

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Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 09/10/2009

Obama Taps Bryant to Serve on Commission

President Obama has appointed Preston Bryant, Gov. Tim Kaine's secretary of natural resources, to serve as chairman of the planning agency for federal lands and buildings in the Washington metro area.

Bryant, a former Republican legislator from Lynchburg, will continue to serve in Kaine's Cabinet.

"Secretary Bryant's work in my administration and his private-sector experience make him an ideal choice to chair the commission," Kaine said in a statement. "I'm sure he will bring the same dedication, creativity, and hard work to this job that he has demonstrated while serving the people of Virginia."

The National Capital Planning Commission conducts environmental studies, conserves open space and parks and plans new memorials, monuments, and museums on federal lands.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 09/ 9/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Republican Bob McDonnell is bringing a little GOP star power to Richmond this afternoon. He will campaign with yet another possible presidential hopeful, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, at a luncheon. Perhaps not surprisingly, a pair of progressive groups in his home state have called on Pawlenty to cancel his trip and to distance himself from McDonnell and his views on women as outlined in his 20-year-old graduate thesis. Later, McDonnell will attend a veterans rally in Chesterfield.

Democrat Creigh Deeds will join students from Virginia Union University and other area colleges to discuss education issues in Richmond. He answered questions for an online business magazine yesterday.

Both McDonnell and Deeds aired their first new television ads in Northern Virginia since the general election kicked off in June.

The Post takes a look back today at a controversial piece of McDonnell's legislative career: the hearing on the reappointment -- eventually denied -- of Verbena M. Askew, the state's first female, black Circuit Court judge.

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Posted at 6:20 PM ET, 09/ 8/2009

Kaine Takes a Swipe at McDonnell

That's not really a surprise these days, is it?

But the venue Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine used to criticize Republican Bob McDonnell was a bit surprising.

At a news conference to outline how the state would close a $1.5 billion budget shortfall, Kaine stopped to express his disapproval of those who want to spend education dollars on transportation.

"There's been some discussion in this time of year -- I know it's campaign season -- about using general fund education dollars to fund things like transportation. Three and a half years of being governor under tough circumstances tells me that is a horrible idea,'' Kaine said to a room packed with reporters and lobbyists. "We shouldn't be going to the eduction budget to try to fund other priorities."

No, he didn't mention any names, but there was no need. Democrats have been attacking McDonnell for weeks over a plan to divert a fraction of sales tax receipts collected in Northern Virginia now used for schools, public safety and other core services to fund roads.

In fact, Deeds said the same exact thing today, first in a press release to reporters responding to the budget and then again in an e-mail to supporters.

"Given the budget shortfalls and traffic gridlock that have characterized Governor Kaine's administration, we think Virginia voters may be looking elsewhere for advice on these issues," said Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 09/ 8/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today

The big news from Richmond is the bleak budget picture. Gov. Tim Kaine will unveil another $1.5 billion in cuts to state agencies that likely will include trims to core services like education, and layoffs and furloughs for state employees.

Gubernatorial candidates Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell, will take a rare day off from public events today to allow Kaine to make his announcement (though we fully expect them to issue statements reacting to the bad news).

Later, Deeds will attend a Kaine-hosted fundraiser at the historic Main Street Station in downtown Richmond.

While most of the world took the day off yesterday, Deeds and McDonnell officially kicked off the fall campaign at the Buena Vista Labor Day Parade. For 39 years, it has been a must-do for statewide candidates. Check out some photos from the festivities. Later, Deeds and Kaine gathered with hundreds of Democratic activists at U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott's annual picnic in Newport News.

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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 09/ 8/2009

Sights and Sounds from Buena Vista

Gov. Tim Kaine enjoyed his eighth stroll down the Buena Vista Labor Day parade route -- the unofficial starting line of the fall campaign trail -- despite some periodic heckling.

Enthusiastic Republicans taunted Kaine, who serves as his party's national chairman, for being a part-time governor and following in lockstep with his friend, President Obama. "Nothing but a Kool-Aid-drinking governor,'' one woman yelled to Kaine as she clutched a "McDonnell for Governor" sign.

Kaine didn't respond to the criticism. Instead, he ditched his state-issued SUV and walked along Magnolia Avenue, shaking hands and greeting local residents who needed no introduction. Occasionally, he climbed into the back of a pickup truck to play harmonica with local bluegrass band (and Creigh Deed supporters) Walker's Run.

(See a gallery of The Post's photos from the parade.)

But after the parade, even Bob McDonnell got into the act of ridiculing the governor for holding two jobs in his speech to a few hundred spectators at a park pavilion. McDonnell, still smarting from Kaine's harsh comments about him last week, said snidely "Governor, thanks for stopping back by in Virginia for just a little bit." (To be fair, Kaine has been around a little more lately.)

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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 09/ 2/2009

Virginia Receives $2.8M in Inaugural Expenses

More than seven months after President Obama's inauguration, the federal government finally has cut Virginia a check for some of its expenses.

Virginia and some localities spent $5.7 million on the inauguration, but the state only received $2.8 million -- the maximum allowed, according to Gordon Hickey, Gov. Tim Kaine's spokesman.

Expect Republicans to ask Kaine, also chairman of the Democratic National Committee, why the state won't be receiving a full reimbursement.

Back in January, they accused him of using tax dollars for his friend's inauguration when the administration directed almost $1 million to offer free bus service on Inauguration Day.

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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 09/ 1/2009

Kaine Curbs DNC Travel


View Kaine's Travel Adventures in a larger map. KEY: Blue markers are DNC trips, red markers are official state trips, and purple markers included a mix of both or are unclear at this time.

Facing yet another budget shortfall and continued criticism for his trips on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, Gov. Tim Kaine significantly limited his out-of-state travel last month.

Kaine's office released his travels for August in keeping with his pledge to do so at the end of each month, which was made following pressure by the media and others to disclose his whereabouts.

His out-of-state travel included trips to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (Aug. 1-2), to New Jersey (Aug. 20) and Louisville, Nashville and Birmingham (Aug. 27-29).

By comparison, Kaine traveled for the DNC half of the days in June. He reported traveling to eight other states in July while spending part of four days in Washington that month.

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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 08/31/2009

Kaine Has 'Grave Concerns' About McDonnell's Thesis

Gov. Tim Kaine said today that he was not surprised by what Bob McDonnell wrote in his thesis.

"The views expressed in that paper are views that I have long felt were Bob McDonnell's very sincere and long-held views,'' Kaine said in an interview. "In interactions with Bob on a number of those issues, he has demonstrated to me that I think that many of those views he still holds."

Kaine reminded reporters that when McDonnell was attorney general, he told him that he did not have the authority to issue an executive order barring state agencies from discriminating based on sexual orientation. McDonnell said at the time that he did not consider sexual orientation when hiring employees for his office, but that Kaine's order violated the "founders' mandate to separate and limit the power of the executive branch."

"I would never challenge someone's personal beliefs. [But] I think they are not the right governing philosophies for the commonwealth, however, so I was not surprised to read about the thesis,'' Kaine said. "To me, it seems like kind of a blueprint of here's what I hope to do as an elected official and I think he's been working diligently to do that."

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Posted at 1:09 PM ET, 08/25/2009

Kaine: I'm an Asset to Deeds

"Are you an asset or a liability for Creigh Deeds?"

That's the question Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine was asked today on his monthly call-in show on WTOP.

As we reported Sunday, much has been made in recent days about U.S. Sen. Mark Warner -- not Kaine -- appearing in Deeds' first TV ad. And privately, some Deeds staffers have said they realize it's not always politically beneficial for Deeds to be associated with Kaine because of his sagging approval ratings and tie to national politics.

But Kaine said today that he is "working my tail off for Creigh as an individual, as a governor and also as DNC chair."

"I'm around the country raisiing funds for him. I'm doing events for him,'' Kaine said. "I think it's great to have an ad with Mark in it...I've done radio ads for Creigh that are up and running...I'm sure he's going to have Jim Webb in ads...He's got a lot of assets on the field. He doesn't have to use me in every ad."

Kaine cited a recent Washington Post poll that showed he had a 55 percent approval rating -- considerably lower than where he was a year ago and considerably lower than Warner -- but higher than other governors during the worst recession since the 1930s. "There are governors who have had no scandals, no challenges that are at approval ratings of 19 percent right now," he said.

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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 08/24/2009

Kaine Hosts Southern Govs

Gov. Tim Kaine is hosting the nation's southern governors in Williamsburg. The topic? Climate change, energy and the environment.

Kaine, the ougoing chairman of the Southern Governors Association, will wrap up the group's conference today after a weekend of panel discussions, a dinner at the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg and a formal Virginia State Dinner. Former Sen. John Warner participated in a discussion about global warming threat to world peace.

Eleven governors are attending the event at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa, though some of the best-known governors skipped the event altogether including Charlie Crist of Florida (he's running for U.S. Senate), Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (he's running for president?) and Mark Sanford of South Carolina (we don't really need to say why, do we?).

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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 08/20/2009

Mark Warner: The Teflon Senator?

How does Mark Warner do it?

Despite an increasing national fatigue with Democrats and a more Republican-friendly electorate in Virginia, the Democratic governor-turned-senator continues to receive incredibly high approval ratings.

In a Washington Post poll released this week, 68 percent of registered voters approved of Warner's job performace (31 percent of them strongly).

By comparison, Virginia's two other statewide Democrats, Tim Kaine and Jim Webb, have approval rating of 55 and 51 among registered voters, respectively.

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Posted at 2:50 PM ET, 08/20/2009

Kaine In N.J., Participates in DNC Forum

It's been a while since we told you what Gov. Tim Kaine has been doing as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Here's one thing we heard. This afternoon, he is participating in a virtual town hall meeting with President Obama to talk about health care. He is calling in from New Jersey, where he is helping Gov. Jon Corzine raise money for his re-election campaign.

Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP, quickly sent out a statement criticizing Kaine for participating in the forum the day after he announced the state had a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.

"Tim Kaine was elected to be the governor of Virginia, and there are obviously some very serious fiscal problems here at home he should be addressing," Mullins said.

On Tuesday, Kaine and the DNC sent out an e-mail urging people to participate in the health care town hall meeting. "Organizing for America and President Obama are holding a National Health Care Forum on Thursday at 2:30 Eastern Time. I'll be participating, and I hope you can join us, either on the internet or by calling in," Kaine wrote.

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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 08/19/2009

Governor Kaine's Remarks on Revenue Forecast

"Chairman Putney, Chairman Colgan, Chairman Purkey, and Members of the Committees: Good morning.

I stood before you in August 2007 and told you that Virginia's housing market was in decline and that we needed to take steps to reduce spending and likely access the state's reserve fund in order to manage through a slowing national economy. Many people didn't agree with my warning about our economic situation then. Two years later, we all know that we have been through a uniquely challenging time. And I'm sure that the depth of the national recession was something that none of us--even the most pessimistic--would have predicted.

My main message to you today is that, while the national economy continues to create difficulties, Virginia has managed through this extraordinary time with skill and creativity. We have made the tough decisions that the times require and been recognized for doing so. We have more tough decisions to make. But, we are well positioned to maintain our leadership stature among states as the economy improves. And, while it is early, there are positive signs for the longer term that should make us feel a sense of optimism.

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Posted at 6:07 AM ET, 08/19/2009

First Click - Virginia

Good morning Virginia, here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

While state lawmakers meet in Richmond today to address a recent Supreme Court ruling that could throw a wrench into many prosecutions, one big piece of news out of the special session will be the additional cuts Gov. Kaine is expected to propose to the budget.

Among the attendees will be state senator and gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds (D) . He and GOP opponent Bob McDonnell each picked up a key endorsement yesterday, and today McDonnell spends the day in private meetings and visiting with businesses and law enforcement officials in Hampton Roads, a spokeswoman said this morning.

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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 08/17/2009

Pomata To Resign as Va. Information Officer Following AG Opinion

Gov. Tim Kaine's technology secretary, Len Pomata, is expected to resign as chief information officer of the state's technology agency, according to sources close to the governor.

His resignation, which could come as early as today, will come days after Attorney General William C. Mims (R) issued a written opinion that Pomata should not be doing both jobs.

Earlier today, House Speaker Bill Howell (R) and other House leaders called on Pomata to step down.

"There is no question that Governor Kaine and Secretary Pomata need to act immediately to determine in which one government role Mr. Pomata should serve and which one he should resign," Howell said. "Like so many, I await the decision by the secretary or governor so Virginians can be assured that their leaders are acting in accordance with the law."

The decision doesn't exactly make Kaine look good. The governor has said repeatedly that he did not have a problem with Pomata serving as the chief information officer until a new permanent replacement was hired. A search for a new chief information officer was already underway, and a replacement is expected to be named in the coming weeks.

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Posted at 9:30 PM ET, 08/14/2009

Virginia Attorney General Opinion Finds IT Conflict

Attorney General William C. Mims said late tonight that Gov. Tim Kaine's technology secretary Len Pomata should not be moonlighting as chief information officer of the state's technology agency.

Legislators had asked for Mims' opinion after the former chief information officer was abrupty removed and replaced by Pomata.

The General Assembly is investigating the state's unprecedented 10-year, $2 billion contract to upgrade the state's computer system.

Kaine has questioned some aspects of the contract, but has said repeatedly that he did not have a problem with Pomata serving as the chief information officer until a new permanent replacement was hired.

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Posted at 8:19 AM ET, 08/14/2009

First Click -- Virginia

Aug. 14, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Republican Bob McDonnell heads home to Northern Virginia, where he will speak at the Republican National Hispanic Assembly's convention in Tysons Corner. Tomorrow the McDonnell RV takes a tour of Luray Caverns where he will roll out a policy proposal on -- what else? -- tourism.

He spent yesterday on the Eastern Shore talking about outer space. He toured the spaceport on Wallops Island and announced plans to make it the "top commercial spaceport in the country." Meanwhile back in Richmond, his campaign announced a newly-redesigned Web site.

Democrat Creigh Deeds will travel to Newport News today for a community day hosted by a mental health agency. Then he's off to Courtland for the Franklin-Southampton County Fair. Funnel cake, anyone?

He announced the creation of Nurses for Deeds yesterday in Portsmouth along with fellow state Sen. Louise Lucas, the best-dressed legislator in the General Assembly.

In other Deeds news, University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato stands by his statements about the upheaval in the Deeds campaign. It turns out there have been some changes, but the message from the Deeds camp is that Joe Abbey remains on top.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 08/ 7/2009

First Click - Virginia

Aug. 7, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Lots of news coming out of Virginia. President Obama was here yesterday after all.

Obama tried to provide a boost to Creigh Deeds campaign, appearing before 1,500 cheering, sign-waving supporters at the McLean Hilton Tysons Corner. Obama talked up the Democratic nominee for governor, but used the opportunity to defend his own record too.

While Deeds was with Obama, Republican rival Bob McDonnell attended former Congresswoman Thelma Drake's annual party on the pier in Norfolk.

Deeds was endorsed by the Teamsters yesterday --- though he didn't tell anyone. Expect McDonnell and the Republicans to be more than willing to do it for him as they continued to attack him for being tied to big labor (and therefore anti-business).

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 08/ 6/2009

Kaine's Timing

Gov. Tim Kaine had three years and seven months to announce his decision to pardon the former sailors convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1997 in the infamous Norfolk 4 case.

But Kaine, the outgoing governor and DNC chairman, waited until today--when President Obama is in Virginia to campaign with Creigh Deeds.

Strange timing?

Campaign staffers, political insiders and reporters were certainly scratching their heads about Kaine's motives.

No one really thought he was trying to take the spotlight away from Deeds and Obama, but it kind of worked out that way.

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Posted at 2:18 PM ET, 08/ 6/2009

Kaine's Full Statement on 'Norfolk 4' Case

* Kaine Grants Conditional Pardons in 'Norfolk 4' Case *

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday afternoon granted conditional pardons to three members of the "Norfolk 4," clearing the way for the former sailors to be released from prison, where they were serving life sentences for the 1997 rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk.

Read the governor's full statement after the jump

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Posted at 7:13 AM ET, 08/ 6/2009

First Click-Virginia

Aug. 6, 2009
Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today.

It's Obama day. Or rather the day of Obama evening. The president will appear at a rally with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds at the McLean Hilton this evening at 7 p.m. Just before, he'll address a smaller crowd at a closed fundraiser. For all the fretting lately about Obama's dropping approval numbers, the man did get 1.7 million votes in Virginia just eight months ago. This won't be his last trip to Virginia before November. (Did we say 1.7 million? Apologies. That should be *1.96* million votes.)

Republican Bob McDonnell will get a national stage on which to respond Saturday, as he delivers the response to Obama's weekly radio/youtube video address.

As the candidates make forays onto the national stage, some inconsistencies on both sides about how federal issues should play in the race. Deeds says the race is not about them, and then talks about George Bush. McDonnell says candidates should take stands on what's going on in Washington, but has now ducked a question about whether Judge Sotomayor should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Deeds thinks she should.

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Posted at 7:11 AM ET, 08/ 5/2009

Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug 5, 2009
Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today.

The Creigh Deeds team prepares for their big rally with President Obama tomorrow. This as polls show Obama's popularity slipping and some independents in Virginia start to get impatient at the pace of Obama change. All ears will be on the speeches Thursday to see whether Obama plays ball on the Deeds "all Virginia" strategy. Deeds gets to write his own speech. Not so much the president's.

Remember those tv ads slamming the Virginia GOP for rejecting unemployment insurance dollars from the stimulus package? Deeds does too. It seemed to be an economic winner for Dems. Deeds says the General Assembly should take up the issue next year.

Republican Bob McDonnell is pushing again for more debates, this time seven. Deeds communications director Mike Gehrke says, nah, we're good. (Actually: "As far we're concerned, we've got what we're going to do." And, "Frankly, there are a couple of debates and forums we proposed that we're still waiting for them to accept." And, "The whole thing is just a distraction."

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Posted at 3:44 PM ET, 08/ 4/2009

Kaine Defends Decision on Va Tech

This morning, Gov. Tim Kaine defended his decision not to reconvene a special panel on the Virginia Tech massacre, as had been requested by more than 60 family members and survivors last week.

"There are some who want it re-opened and there are some who definitely don't want it re-opened,'' Kaine told reporters at a news conference. "This is a very, very painful and sensitive subject. The family members are not alike. It would be wrong to expect everyone to grieve the same way."

Kaine declined to say how many families have asked him to not recovene the special panel. He said he will accept any factual corrections families wish to make to the report until Aug. 19. At that point, TriData, the independent public safety consulting firm that helped the panel write the original report in 2007, will review proposed corrections and submit a report to the governor.

Kaine said the state is still waiting to hear whether attorneys for shooter Seung Hui Cho's family will agree to release his mental health records, which surfaced in recent weeks in the home of the former director of the university's counseling center. If the family does not agree, attorneys involved in suing the state on behalf of victims' families can subpoena them.

"We know who committed the crime. We know the circumstances of the crime,'' Kaine said. We don't yet have any suggestion that materials in this file will suggest anything different than what we already know."

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Posted at 7:15 AM ET, 08/ 4/2009

Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug. 4, 2009
Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia are quietly but vigorously lobbying for the chance to try big name terror suspects in Alexandria. Bob McDonnell says no thanks. No word yet from Gov. Tim Kaine, who has previously said he has faith in President Obama's handling of the issue or from Creigh Deeds, who has in the past called Gitmo prisoners in Virginia a "bad idea." That's one to watch.

Deeds, conveniently still on his tour of rural "Deeds Country," says McDonnell "doesn't get" rural Virginia because of a comment by McDonnell's party chairman Pat Mullins that some college students in Wise preferred welfare to work. Also because he supports Bush economic policies. The GOP says Deeds doesn't get rural Virginia because he supports Obama economic policy.

Give this to the folks at Public Policy Poll. They do a good job at building excitement before they release their polls. From PPP teases, we know today's--out at 11 a.m.--will show McDonnell with a big lead over Deeds. (PPP conducts its polling using recorded voice interviewing, meaning respondents puch their answers into their phones and do not speak with a live interviewer. This methodology is the subject of much controversy in the survey research field so take their results with a large grain of salt).

The "Deeds Country" tour continues as does the blog scrum on the left about whether this rural swing is a good idea in a suburbanizing state.

McDonnell today speaks at an education conference in Richmond and does an online video chat with the RTD.

Kaine has turned down a request from families of Va Tech victims to reconvene the investigatory panel that reviewed the incident. His response is gentle and he has assured families corrections they seek are being made to the report produced by the panel. But it's a tough spot to be on the opposite side of Tech families.

Today Kaine holds a news conference about infant mortality. His office has hinted he'll be announcing good news so, given the topic, it's good to assume the rate is likely down.

Republican former Sen. John Warner had kind words for sitting Democratic Sen. Jim Webb at a ceremony at GMU yesterday as Webb's updated GI Bill took effect. President Obama was on hand as well.

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Posted at 3:11 PM ET, 08/ 3/2009

Text of E-Mail to Va. Tech Families

* Kaine Rejects Request to Reconvene Va. Tech Panel *

Dear Families,
I am writing in response to your public statement requesting a reconvene of the Virginia Tech Review Panel chaired by Gerald Massengill. The Governor greatly appreciates the concerns you have raised and agrees it is of critical importance that there be as complete and accurate an accounting of the events on April 16, 2007 as is possible.

As you know, we committed to you last fall that we would take a look at any suggestions you--and others--have regarding corrections or revisions to the report issued by the Review Panel. We have a process in place to review these suggestions and have asked that submissions be made by August 19. We are engaging TriData, the independent professional staff that worked with the Panel on the original report, to review the suggested changes to the factual narrative and provide a report to the Governor. The recently recovered medical records for Seung Hui Cho will certainly be a part of that review.

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Posted at 7:05 AM ET, 08/ 3/2009

Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug. 3, 2009
Good morning, Virginia. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today.

It's a big week for the Creigh Deeds campaign. Thursday will find Deeds trying to jazz supporters at the side of the popular President of the United States in McLean. He's hoping that will put to an end discussions like this one suggesting he wants Obama's donors and excitement, but not his policies.But what will they talk about? We're betting not health care, if Deeds had his druthers. Maybe George Bush instead?

Before and after the NoVa Obama rally, Deeds travels through newly dubbed Deeds Country, southwest and western Virginia, kicked off yesterday in Charlottesville. Mark Warner won the state in part by making a credible play in such communities, long lost to Democrats, edging up in his numbers there and weakening the Republican base.

Of course, the last two Democrats to win state office have done so by concentrating on swing suburbs, areas that have only become more Democratic and populous since 2001. Does Deeds risk alienating the NoVa voters he desperately needs by a kick-off that suggests it is rural Shenandoah Valley that is Deeds country? Dem bloggers are concerned maybe yes. Campaign Manager Joe Abbey answers, via twitter, nope.

Bob McDonnell did some classic retail politics over the weekend. He'll have a hard time getting ink or links this week with Obama coming to town but is planning to start traveling the state soon in a Winnebago. People love a Winnebago.

Both camps keep getting bad press from state opinion writers about their transportation plans, but Deeds somewhat more so.

A new Public Policy Poll is out this week. The group's teasing tweets suggest it'll have the GOP up in Virginia.

Gov. Kaine was in Martha's Vineyard over the weekend for DNC business, but this morning sees Virginia National Guard troops off to Iraq in Virginia Beach, then meets with state budget officers in Norfolk and talks campus security in Richmond.

Sen. Webb and Warner join President Obama at George Mason this morning to sign Webb's new G.I. Bill for vets in a post Sept. 11 world.

Unemployment insurance is running out across the country. Can Dems use these numbers to restart the debate over benefits in Virginia?

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Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 08/ 1/2009

McDonnell v. Deeds

Tomorrow's Washington Post features columns by prominent supporters of Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds who crossed party lines two weeks ago when making their endorsements.

Sheila Johnson, a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and one of the most politically active Virginia businesswomen, explains her support for McDonnell.

Former state senator Marty Williams, who had never endorsed a Democrat in a statewide race before, explains his support for Deeds.

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Posted at 4:32 PM ET, 07/30/2009

The Blame Game

Today, Gov. Tim Kaine blamed U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor for doing his part in closing 18 of the state's highway rest stops last week due to a budget shortfall.

On his monthly radio program on WRVA in Richmond and the Virginia News Network, Kaine accused Cantor (a frequent foe of Kaine's friend, President Barack Obama) of encouraging Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee to vote against a Kaine request that would allow private businesses to operate rest stops.

Federal law specifies that the rest areas must be run by the state, but Kaine was seeking a waiver as part of a last-minute effort to prevent the rest stops from closing. U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R) supported the waiver and offered the amendment.

"The solution is easy and won't cost a penny,'' Kaine said.

The decision to close the rest stops -- made by the Commonwealth Transportation Board -- has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent weeks. All of it bad. No wonder politicians are blaming each other for the closures.

Updated: Cantor does not sit on that committee and members of the Virginia delegation deny that he worked against the amendment. "Chairman Kaine's rash decision to close the rest stops has raised serious safety concerns, especially in rural communities,'' said Brad Dayspring, a Cantor spokesman. "Congressman Cantor believes that instead of politicizing this issue, we should work toward a smart solution that addresses the safety concerns of Virginians in rural communities and is efficient for all residents of the Commonwealth."

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Posted at 4:03 PM ET, 07/30/2009

Deeds Picks Up Another Kaine Staffer

A familiar face has joined the Deeds campaign.

Jeff Tiller, the always enegetic and helpful deputy press secretary to Gov. Tim Kaine, started his new gig today in Creigh Deeds' press shop.

Tiller left Virginia last summer to work on Barack Obama's advance team but he obviously couldn't keep away.

Other Kaine staffers working for Deeds include Matt Felan, who served as the executive director of Kaine's political action committee Moving Virginia Forward, and Kevin Hall, his former press secretary, who is working on and off as an communications advisor.

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Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 07/29/2009

Stolle Appears Victorious

Word from Gov. Tim Kaine's Office this morning is that the governor would "not object" to a bill dealing with compensation for Arthur Whitfield, who spent 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) had been pushing the issue and wanted it addressed at the Aug. 19 special session.

And it looks like the retiring senator will likely get his way. With possible objections from Kaine cleared, not to mention gubernatorial candidates Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell both backing the idea, seems likely the bill will get taken up. Next question: What other worthy causes will lawmakers believe deserve similar consideration?

Here's what Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran had to say on the issue via email this morning: "Governor Kaine's top priority is to ensure the Special Session addresses the public safety issues raised by the recent decision in the Melendez-Diaz case. However Governor Kaine, who pardoned Mr. Whitfield earlier this year, is clearly sympathetic to his circumstances and would not object to a claims bill being considered as part of a session that is otherwise focused on public safety."

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Posted at 5:53 PM ET, 07/28/2009

Stolle Threatens Special Session Filibuster

There are some interesting politics developing around what had been assumed likely to be a routine and quickie special legislative session scheduled for next month. The session was called by Gov. Tim Kaine to make legislative fixes in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that requires live testimony, rather than written reports, in court cases that use certain scientific evidence. Without the fixes, Kaine has said some DUI and other offenders would walk on technicalities.

When Kaine announced he was calling, he said he did so with the agreement of both parties that the session would last one day and legislators would consider only bills on this one topic, likely with legislative language agreed upon in advance.

Enter retiring and respected Republican Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach).

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Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 07/28/2009

Kaine Zings Palin

Democrats can do two jobs at once, Republicans can't even handle one.

That seemed to be the message from Gov. Tim Kaine, speaking on the monthly Ask the Governor program on WTOP today. Queried by reporter Mark Plotkin about whether he would resign as governor or resign as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as demanded by the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Kaine shot back.

"Heck no!" he said. "People elected me to be governor and I'm doing it every day."

Then, he added a little dig at former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

"Now, I know Republicans seem to like this governor resigning thing. I think a prominent Republican governor resigned the other day. I'm keeping my four-year commitment to the Virginia voters who put me in office."

Snark!

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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 07/22/2009

Statement From Gov. Kaine on the Recovery of Cho's Records

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine released the following statement today on the recovery of the Cook Counseling Center records of Seung Hui Cho:

"During the course of the investigation in the aftermath of the shootings at Virginia Tech, it was learned that Seung Hui Cho's counseling file from the Cook Counseling Center on the Virginia Tech campus could not be found. The file has now been recovered from the home of a former employee who left the counseling center a number of months before the shooting. There is an investigation under way to determine how the file was removed from the Cook Counseling Center.

"The file was recovered in connection with a pending civil suit, and while I cannot comment on the circumstances of its recovery, we feel it is imperative that the file be made public as quickly as possible. The panel that conducted the review under my direction did not have the file, the families of those killed and injured have not had access to it, and Seung Hui Cho's parents have not been able to see that information.

"We are currently pursuing the release of the materials, which we hope will happen very promptly. The records can legally be released by the administrator of Cho's estate, and his family earlier gave similar permission for release of other materials. The file could also be made public during legal proceedings through subpoena. We will make sure that the file is released publicly as soon as possible.

"While I do not know the contents of the files, I recognize that they are an important component in understanding what happened that day and what productive steps can be taken in the future to prevent such a terrible event. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of the victims as they continue to cope with such an incredible tragedy."

The story: Records of Virginia Tech Gunman Discovered

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Posted at 4:52 PM ET, 07/21/2009

Kaine Concedes on Travel Data


View Kaine's Travel Adventures in a larger map. KEY: Blue markers are DNC trips, red markers are official state trips, and purple markers included a mix of both or are unclear at this time.

Late breaking news today from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's office. In a statement, his spokeswoman said he will from now on issue a monthly report indicating where he has spent each day of the previous month. The information will indicate how much traveling the governor is doing in his part-time job as head of the Democratic National Committee.

The concession comes after weeks of pressure from media organizations and state Republicans. It also comes on the day the Virginia State Police were legally required to respond to public information requests about the travel of Kaine's security detail. The governor's office released information about his whereabouts since January 1. Stay tuned for more information about what it shows.

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Posted at 9:04 PM ET, 07/18/2009

Kaine and Trump Golf Pairing? Not So, Says Governor

Despite rumors circulated by Loudoun Democrats that a potential golf outing with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and developer/TV personality Donald Trump was in the works, don't expect a tee time between the two anytime soon.

David Brooks, executive director of Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, said Kaine did not speak to the Donald, has no plans to speak to him and has no golf outing planned. Period.

"Reports of any interaction between the governor and Mr. Trump are inaccurate and untrue," Brooks said. "The governor never spoke with Mr. Trump and currently has no plans for interaction in the future."

That puts it to rest with a certainty not unlike Trump's signature catch phrase, ("You're fired!").

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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 07/17/2009

Tee Time for Kaine and Trump?

UPDATE at 3:15 p.m. to include details about the fundraiser at Trump National Golf Course and clarify that Kaine and Trump never met in person

By Derek Kravitz

During an otherwise sleepy summer of campaigning in Loudoun County, the talk among Democratic party faithful is of a rather odd potential golf outing.

The participants? Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and developer Donald Trump.

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Posted at 12:47 PM ET, 07/15/2009

GOP: Kaine Inattention Kept $1B Apple Deal Out of State

Three Virginia Republicans say Gov. Tim Kaine's inattention to a tax issue cost Virginia a shot at an Apple computer data center that North Carolina landed.

The delegates scolded Kaine on Wednesday for not taking steps to fix a flawed amendment that could have exempted Apple from sales taxes on equipment needed for its $1 billion expansion.

Apple considered sites in Southside Virginia, a region hit hard by unemployment.

The Republicans said Kaine was too distracted by partisan duties.

It's the latest in a series of Republican attacks on Kaine's dual roles as governor and Democratic National Committee chairman.

Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran noted that Virginia recently secured the Hilton headquarters and ranks among the best states for business.

-- The Associated Press

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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 07/10/2009

Virginia Receives Another Accolade

The accolades keep coming.

Tim Kaine (and Mark Warner before him) loves to tell people about all the various awards, rankings and compliments the state has received on his watch. He just got one more reason to gloat.

Virginia was ranked among the "Five Best States to Start a Business" by U.S. News & World Report this week.

"The latest accolades accorded the commonwealth demonstrate that Virginia remains a power player among business-friendly states," Kaine said. "As we work to get our economy back on track, it's great to be recognized for continuing to attract innovative businesses to Virginia."

The magazine said Virginia "mixes the highly educated workforce and technological sophistication'" and is known for its low taxes. "This state boasts the highest number of information technology jobs in non-IT industries as a total share of jobs, which indicates that Virginia's businesses are more technologically advanced than businesses in other states."

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Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 07/ 9/2009

Updated: McDonnell Takes Swipe at Kaine

Republican Bob McDonnell used the announcement of his jobs plan Thursday to attack the man he wants to replace.

McDonnell complained that Gov. Tim Kaine (D) has not used all the money available to him through the governor's opportunity fund to help attract new businesses to the state. He said the account has a balance of $11 million. "If I was governor, I would be dispersing that money immediately,'' he said.

The plan, unveiled by McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, calls for doubling the fund and broadening rules to allow companies that generate additional state and local tax revenue to qualify.

"The governor's opportunity fund can be a powerful weapon in the fight to attract new employers to the commonwealth. And fight is the right word,'' McDonnell said. "We are competing against every other state, and increasingly many other nations, for the private companies that bring with them high paying jobs and much needed tax revenue."

McDonnell's opponent Creigh Deeds is running as the heir apparent to the past two Democratic governors, Kaine and U.S. Mark R. Warner. Deeds was the sponsor of the original bill in 1996 to create the fund, while McDonnell voted at times to trim money from the fund.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 07/ 9/2009

Kaine Devoting 30 Percent of Work Week to DNC

RICHMOND -- Timothy M. Kaine said he has been spending a day and a half of each workweek handling fundraising and policy matters for the Democratic National Committee, a departure from his pledge to conduct most of his national party work by phone and fax and restrict it largely to evenings and weekends while he is governor of Virginia.

In an interview in his office on Capitol Square, Kaine said he typically spends one day a week traveling as his party's national chairman and half a day working at the party's headquarters in Washington.

But Kaine said he remains in constant contact with staff from the governor's office by cellphone and e-mail when he is gone. To help, he said, he began carrying a BlackBerry.

"I'm an around-the-clock governor," he said as he prepared to fly to Minnesota on Friday on party business. "There is no state where the governor is just on cruise control. Doing the hard work and unglamorous work of governor in the toughest economy since the 1930s is enormously time-consuming and extremely difficult."

Read more about Kaine's travels, and see a map detailing out-of-state trips below. Send a note if you know of stops on the governor's itinerary we've missed.


View Kaine's travels in a larger map

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Posted at 9:00 PM ET, 07/ 7/2009

Kaine Declines -- Again -- to Release Records

It should come as no surprise that Gov. Tim Kaine today refused to release information about his travel on behalf of the Democratic National Committee to the Associated Press.

Kaine's office has declined similar requests by the Washington Post and the Republican Party of Virginia citing state law that exempts the "governor's working papers" from open records.

Kaine's office typically releases a public schedule of gubernatorial events that includes speeches, bill signings and news conferences -- but does not include appointments in his office, activities for the national party or fundraisers for his in-state political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward.

Kaine has said that anyone who wants to know where he is can just ask him when they see him, but he won't let his spokesmen say where he is when he is not around. That answer has not stopped a growing firestorm by open-government advocates, newspapers and critics over his refusal to disclose his schedule.

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Posted at 4:11 PM ET, 07/ 6/2009

Kaine Heads to Minneapolis

Gov. Tim Kaine will spend Friday in Minneapolis in his role as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Also, this week: Kaine will spend the afternoon working out of the DNC headquarters in Washington Wednesday after attending an economic development event in Falls Church.

That night he will attend a fundraising event for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds at the McLean home of Mark Lowham, senior vice president of WEST*GROUP. (who endorsed Deeds last week).

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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 07/ 1/2009

Deeds, McDonnell Pledge to Release Schedule

With all this talk about Gov. Tim Kaine's refusal to release his political schedule, we wondered what the men wanting to replace him think about the ongoing debate.

Both Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell told us that they would disclose complete schedules, including political activities, if elected.

Deeds was careful not to criticize the man whose coattails he is trying to ride into the governor's mansion, but made it clear he would handle the situation differently.

We tried to get Deeds directly on this topic, but he would not make himself available. His spokesman Jared Leopold said: "Creigh Deeds is committed to transparency in government."

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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/30/2009

Kaine Appears With Obama, Raises Money

This time it wasn't so difficult to find Gov. Tim Kaine. We just looked at President Obama's schedule.

Kaine will appear with Obama tomorrow at a healthcare townhall at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.

Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spent Monday in New York and Washington on party business. Tonight, he will appear at a fundraising reception for Del. David Poisson at the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls.

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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 06/29/2009

Kaine: Governor of NJ?

Vice President Joe Biden, well known for his verbal gaffes, accidently introduced Tim Kaine as the "great governor of New Jersey" this weekend at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington.

You'd think Biden would remember Kaine a little bit better. Not only is Virginia's governor chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he was one of the three finalists for the job Biden eventually won.

The event wasn't a total loss for Kaine. The chairman helped the DNC raise $1 million at the 10th annual LGBT Leadership Council fundraiser.

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Posted at 9:52 AM ET, 06/29/2009

State GOP Disappointed in Kaine

Pat Mullins, leader of the state GOP, said this morning that he is "disappointed" that Gov. Tim Kaine refused to release his full calendar, which would include his work as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

But, Mullins said, the Republican Party has decided not to pursue the Freedom of Information Act request further in court.

"As a Virginia resident, I continue to believe that the people have the right to know where their elected governor is, especially when he leaves the boundaries of the commonwealth for political business unrelated to the concerns of the taxpayers of Virginia,'' Mullins said.

Repeated attempts to review Kaine's schedule by the Washington Post have been unsuccessful. The requests made through the governor's office, the DNC and Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, have been denied or gone unanswered.

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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 06/27/2009

Experts Weigh in on Keys to November Victory

The Post's editorial staff surveyed some of the top names in Virginia politics and punditry, asking what it will take for Creigh Deeds or Bob McDonnell to win the governor's mansion in the fall.

The results range the spectrum. Gov. Tim Kaine thinks the election is about continuing the governing approach advanced by he and former Gov. Mark Warner. So does top Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee. But analyst and blogger Bob Holsworth warns Deeds not to tie himself too closely to Warner and Kaine in an uncertain times; voters will want to see Deeds be his own man.

Author Garrett Epps and Republican strategist J. Kenneth Klinge agree the race will likely be won in the suburbs. Republican Del. H. Morgan Griffith says both candidates should master the policy details because voters are itching for substance.

The selections all make for some very interesting reading. They'll be published in tomorrow's paper, but you can get a sneak peak here.

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Posted at 6:20 PM ET, 06/26/2009

Kaine to Mullins: No Travel Records For You

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today declined to release his daily schedule since January, when he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee, despite a Freedom of Information Act request to do so from the Republican Party of Virginia.

Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran said, although the governor releases his public schedule every week, private meetings are exempt from disclosure as are records of his schedule that relate to is work for the DNC, which is not a public entity.

Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP, had also asked for all records relating to the cost to state taxpayers of the governor's out-of-state travel, but Tran said those records are not with the Governor's Office but with the Virginia State Police.

Kaine has come under increasing scrutiny in the press and from Republicans for his travels as DNC chairman, some of which has occurred on weekdays and taken him away from his daily duties as governor.

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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 06/25/2009

Kaine's Travel Adventures


View An Often-Absent Governor in a larger map

Despite saying he would largely conduct Democratic National Committee work on weekends, Gov. Tim Kaine spent yesterday in Philadelphia on DNC business. He will do the same next Monday when he travels to New York.

The Washington Post has learned that Kaine, the new DNC chairman, has been to North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio in recent months in addition to attending frequent fundraisers across the state and in Washington. Read our story today here.

Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a nonprofit group in Washington that monitors government ethics issues, said in an interview this week that he did not think Kaine should have taken the DNC job while he was still governor, but since he did he should be upfront about what he is doing.

"If he is going to do two jobs he has to do more than the letter of the law,'' he said. "If he is going to be governor and head of the Democratic party at the same time he has a moral responsibility to make, as transparent as possible, his whereabouts.''

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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 06/23/2009

Kaine on Travel

Gov. Tim Kaine said today that the Democratic National Committee has agreed to reimburse Virginia for the travel costs for his security detail when he travels for the DNC. The DNC also reimburses the costs of Kaine's own travel.

"The idea is no state costs for out-of-state trips," he said, noting that similar reimbursement has not occurred with previous governors--hint, hint, former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Gilmore.

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Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 06/22/2009

Kaine's Latest Fundraising Trips

We may not know when Gov. Tim Kaine is flying around the country for the DNC, but we are starting to get a better idea of when he is doing his in-state fundraising.

Tonight, Kaine attended at a fundraiser for Del. Chuck Caputo at the Centreville home of Steve and Lu Ann McNabb, friends of a family of a Tech student who died in the 2007 shootings.

Tomorrow night, he is expected at a fundraiser for Del. Joe Morrissey at Old City Bar in Richmond. Saturday afternoon, he will head to Virginia Beach for a barbeque with Sen. John Miller and a fundraiser for Del. Joe Bouchard.

No word on whether Kaine is heading out of state this week for DNC fundraising trips. As usual, we will let you know when we know.

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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 06/19/2009

UPDATED: GOP Wonders: Where Is Kaine?

After reading that Gov. Tim Kaine has been in Chicago and Kansas City in the last couple weeks, Virginia Republicans are asking just where Kaine's job as chairman of the Democratic National Committee is taking him.

The Republican Party of Virginia has sent a public records request for Kaine's schedule to the governor's office and produced a video mocking him for his repeated absences from the state.

We've asked repeatedly for Kaine's various gubernatorial and political schedules, so far with no success -- if you attend or hear about an out-of state appearance, let us know. But make no mistake that the Republicans are not asking just for the sake of public information. They are trying to tarnish the reputation of a popular governor in a election year in which a Democrat is trying to ride his coattails into the governor's mansion.

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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 06/18/2009

Kaine Jets Off To Kansas City

We told you the other day that we weren't sure where Gov. Tim Kaine's travels as DNC chairman were taking him. He sure isn't telling us. But today, we learned he will be in Kansas City tomorrow.

Thanks to the folks at the Kansas City Star, we know Kaine will be at the home of Mira and Kris Flint of Kansas City for a fundraiser for Organizing for America, a group that pushes President Obama's policies. (The original newspaper post called Kaine the former governor of Virginia, but they quickly corrected their mistake).

Kaine's official schedule as governor lists public events Monday and Tuesday and nothing for the rest of the week. No word from the DNC on his event tomorrow. But we did hear he appeared at a fundraiser for Del. David Toscano Tuesday in downtown Charlottesville.

We'll keep our eyes open for Kaine's other trips and let you know what we find out.

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Posted at 3:58 PM ET, 06/16/2009

Kaine Visits the Windy City

Didn't know Gov. Tim Kaine out of Virginia recently and in Chicago instead? We wouldn't either, if it weren't for our colleague Peter Slevin, who happened to spot him last week in the Windy City, where Kaine was doing some fundraising and outreach to Democratic volunteers who had been active in the Obama campaign.

That's because Kaine does not release a full schedule of his travels and activities, citing security and privacy concerns. Instead, his governor's office puts out only a bare bones public gubernatorial schedule. It includes official trips he takes as governor but no private travel nor expeditions he makes in his role as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

See Gov. Kaine out and about or hear about another of his unscheduled stops? E-mail me.

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Posted at 2:37 PM ET, 06/15/2009

McDonnell: The Next Mark Warner?

So, which gubernatorial candidate is most like Mark Warner? Mark Warner would tell you it's fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds. But, increasingly, Bob McDonnell, with his business degree and his roots in Northern Virginia, would have you believe it's him.

Today, he rolls out another piece of his strategy to overtake Deeds' claim to the Warner legacy: Endorsements from a group of former elected officials, business leaders and other activists who have been Warner supporters.

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Posted at 3:10 PM ET, 06/14/2009

Kaine: House Obstructing Transpo Solution

Gov. Tim Kaine picks up the pen today as Virginia's columnist-in-chief, addressing transportation in this morning's Washington Post. Check it out.

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Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 06/12/2009

Deeds, Dems On Tour

The royal family of Virginia Democratic politics are busy this week crowning the man they hope is their heir apparent.

On Wednesday, newly anointed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds appeared with his former rivals and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at a big unity event in Richmond. Today's he's with former governor and now Sen. Mark Warner in Arlington. And tomorrow brings a family conclave--Deeds, Kaine, Warner and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb in Williamsburg, along with Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Jody Wagner and attorney general nominee Steve Shannon.

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Posted at 5:20 PM ET, 05/31/2009

Kaine Rallies Fla Dems

While Virginia Republicans spent the weekend getting energized for the state's off-year elections this fall, Gov. Tim Kaine flew to Miami Beach to try to set the groundwork for Democratic wins across the nation next year.

Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was the keynote speaker at the Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson dinner last night in Florida, where five statewide offices are on the ballot next year.

Kaine told the crowd of 1,100 that he was looking forward to helping the Democrats win back the Florida governor's mansion -- which will be vacated by Republican Charlie Crist who plans to run for U.S. Senate -- in one of the nation's battleground states.

"I understand your current governor has decided that he's had enough after a couple of years. The economy is tough, and there's tough decisions to be made and he wants to leave those to somebody else. Hey, we're glad to take it," said Kaine, according to the Associated Press. "We do very well at coming in to tough situations that others have left."

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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 05/26/2009

Kaine Praises Sotomayor

Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, predicted an easy Senate confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the appeals court judge who President Obama nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.

"There's going to be a vigorous discussion. That's the way it ought to be,'' Kaine said on his monthly call-in show on WTOP. But "I think the demonstrated track record of success is going to carry the day for this nominee."

Kaine pointed out that Sotomayor was previously nominated by both Republican and Democratic presidents and was twice confirmed by the Senate.

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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.

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Posted at 1:36 PM ET, 05/18/2009

Kaine Plans a Jam Session

Looking for a chance to see Gov. Tim Kaine play the harmonica?

Kaine will hold a jam session with Boyd Tinsley, a violinist with the Dave Matthews Band, as part of his political action committee's big annual fundraiser Thursday night.

The event at Maymont -- a popular Richmond venue that includes a historical house and a 100-acre park -- will be the last fundraiser for Moving Virginia Forward before the Democratic primary June 9. Tickets are $100.

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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 05/17/2009

Kaine Takes on Steele

Should Gov. Tim Kaine become a Republican?

So says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, with whom Kaine clashed for the first time on a Sunday morning talk show this morning. Wearing his hat as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Kaine appeared on NBC's Meet the Press alongside Steele to discuss national issues like health care, torture and abortion.

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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 05/ 8/2009

Oops!

Looks like someone is playing a trick on Tim Kaine, Virginia's governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Click on www.timkaine.com and you'll see what we mean. Instead of being sent to a site devoted to Kaine or Democrats, you get sent to the homepage of Steve Lonegan, a Republican candidate for governor in New Jersey.

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states with governor's races this year. As DNC chairman, Kaine is tasked with trying to keep both governor's mansions Democratic.

How long until Kaine gets this fixed?

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Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 05/ 8/2009

Hamilton to Kaine: "I'm Appalled"

Del. Phillip Hamilton, a Newport News Republican who is chairman of the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, told Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today that he was "appalled" hackers were able to access millions of personal pharmaceutical records they say they stole from the state's prescription drug database.

The FBI and State Police are searching for hackers who demanded that the state pay them a $10 million ransom by yesterday for the return of 8 million patient records and 35 million prescriptions collected by the Prescription Monitoring Program.

"I am appalled that, given concerns over identity theft and computer hackers, a breach of security for the prescription drug monitoring program was even a remote possibility,'' Hamilton wrote in a letter to Kaine today. "I would have thought that sufficient security firewalls would have been in place to protect the identity of those legally receiving prescription drugs."

Hamilton wrote that he hopes the hackers are arrested and "that the job performance of the individual or individuals responsible for protecting the sanctity of these records would be dealt with appropriately."

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Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 05/ 1/2009

Kaine on Supreme News

Gov. Tim Kaine promised this morning that the DNC will work to help get President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court confirmed, whoever that person may be. Confirmation of a nominee to the high court is always one of the highest tests of the political skills of a White House and as head of the Democratic party, Kaine will certainly play a role.

"He's a former constitutional law professor," Kaine said of Obama, reacting to this morning's news that Justice David H. Souter is planning retirement. "He is somebody who has a unqiue capacity to try pick the right person for this job. And it is certainly the case that when he does, we'll be out there, trying being supportive."

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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 04/28/2009

Kaine Congratulates Specter

Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is crowing about the newest member of his team.

In a statement, Kaine said he welcomes longtime Republican Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democratic party "with open arms." Specter announced today that after three decades as a Republican, he had come to believe the party has moved too far to the right and will run for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat.

You can read Kaine's full statement, in which he takes Specter's defection as a sign that the Republican party has "lost touch with the American people" here.

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Posted at 6:18 PM ET, 04/17/2009

Chopra to White House

Aneesh P. Chopra, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's secretary of technology, will be named President Obama's information technology chief. Obama will make the announcement in his weekly radio address tomorrow, according to sources close to Kaine.

Chopra had been under consideration for months for a job in the Obama administration, including technology chief at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Chopra had put in long hours in Washington helping Obama's transition team get him ready for his first day as president job Jan. 20. He was one of about 50 volunteers from across the nation serving on the transition's technology, innovation and government reform policy working group.

Chopra did not return messages for comment today.

Chopra, former managing director with the Advisory Board Company, a publicly-traded health care think tank serving nearly 2,500 hospitals and health systems, has considered running for office himself.

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Posted at 1:39 PM ET, 04/16/2009

Kaine Will Speak to Florida Dems

Timothy M. Kaine, Virginia's governor and new chairman of the Democratic National Commmittee, will be the keynote speaker at the Florida Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson dinner May 30 in Miami Beach.

In recent interviews, Kaine has said he spends about one day a week out of town on DNC business. He will work full time as chairman after his term ends in January 2010.

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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."

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Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 04/ 9/2009

Kaine Berates Legislators

A handful of legislators traditionally walk to the governor's third-floor Capitol office when the House and Senate are ready to adjourn a session. In the last year or two, Kaine and legislators have ignored the largely symbolic practice.

But last night when legislators were ready to adjourn their one-day session they decided to stick with tradition, partly out of respect for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and what is likely to be his last session during his four-year term.

Afterwards, some Republicans wished they skipped the event.

A visibly angry and red faced Kaine berated legislators for narrowly rejecting $125 million in federal stimulus money that would have provided additional unemployment benefits to thousands of jobless Virginians.

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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 04/ 7/2009

Basketball Bipartisanship

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."

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Posted at 4:15 PM ET, 03/27/2009

Hall to Retire From House

Del. Franklin P. Hall (D-Richmond) will retire next month after more than three decades in the House.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will appoint Hall to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

"Frank Hall has been a friend and colleague for many years, and has faithfully served the people of Virginia for several decades," Kaine said. "He brings a wealth of experience and talent to his new job, having represented clients before the ABC Commission during more than 40 years as an attorney."

Hall has represented the Richmond area since 1975 and was Democratic leader from 2002 to 2008. His last day in the House will be April 14.

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Posted at 5:03 PM ET, 03/24/2009

Biden, Kaine Talk Stimulus

Vice President Joe Biden (D) spoke to several governors, including Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), earlier today about implementating the federal economic stimulus package.

Governors on the conference call included those from Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia. Eight mayors, but none from Virginia, were on a second call.

Virginia is expected to receive about $5 billion from the federal package. Legislators used about $1.5 billion to help cover a $3.7 billion shortfall in the two-year, $77 billion budget.

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Posted at 9:01 PM ET, 03/ 4/2009

Roberts to Join Kaine at DNC

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's chief counselor Larry Roberts will be leaving the administration to join his boss at the Democratic National Committee in Washington, according to sources close to the governor.

Roberts, who was chairman of Kaine's 2005 gubernatorial campaign, will become senior advisor to the chairman. President Obama picked Kaine to serve as DNC chairman for a four-year term starting in January.

Mark Rubin, senior advisor to the governor, will replace Roberts, sources say

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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."

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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 02/26/2009

Kaine Says House Democrats Face Uphill Fight

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said last night he thinks there is a 40 percent chance his party will pick up the six seats needed this fall to retake control of the House of Delegates.

In a wide ranging interview with Washington Post editors and reporters, Kaine conceded Democrats face an uphill task this year to retake the House but said the odds are not daunting enough to dissuade him from taking on the challenge. Kaine noted, at this stage of the 2007 cycle, few would have predicted Democrats would have been able to retake the state Senate. Democrats retook the Senate that year after they picked up four seats.

"What are the chances on the House side that we are going to win? I would say maybe 40 percent," Kaine said. "But that is a good enough percentage to say 'lets go after it and who knows, we might get a break or two with retirements. We might get a break or two in a primary'."

In order to the take the House, Virginia Democrats would likely have to win at least two of the three GOP-held House seats in Fairfax County, make gains in Hampton Roads and pull off one or two upsets in conservative southern Virginia. But House Republicans are vowing they will be on offensive this year and plan to work hard to try unseat several Democratic incumbents, including two newly Democratic delegates in Hampton Roads.

Kaine is more optimistic that Democrats can win this year's governor's race, but he expects a heated primary that may result in him playing the role of peacemaker.

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Posted at 9:17 PM ET, 02/17/2009

Play Ball!

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, state legislators, lobbyists and staffers squared off at a charity basketball game tonight at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Kaine and his staff, many wearing blue "Kainiac" T-shirts, faced Richmond's lobbyists. Spotted on the court: Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer, Technology Secretary Aneesh Chopra, Kaine's chief counsel Larry Roberts, Keith Hare of the Medical Society of Virginia, and Keenan Caldwell of the American Cancer Society, among others.

After the Kainiacs lost to the lobbyists, the House of Delegates played the Senate. But only three senators showed up and staffers and others including one reporter had to help fill out their team.

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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 01/14/2009

Republicans Target Democratic Fundraising

The Republican-controlled House didn't waste any time in targeting Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the incoming Democratic National Committee chairman, and his colleagues in the General Assembly.

The House Privileges and Elections Committee voted 12 to 8, along partisian lines, to send a bill that would ban lawmakers or statewide officials from attending fundraising events sponsored by a political party, lobbyist or campaign contributors during the legislative session.

"People should know money does not influence our business,'' said Del. Christopher B. Saxman (R-Staunton), who introduced the bill.

In recent weeks, Republicans criticized Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who they say is violating current state law by raising money Monday during in the second week of the legislative session.

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Posted at 1:58 PM ET, 01/10/2009

Chairman Kaine

President-elect Barak Obama sent an email to supporters across the nation officially announcing his selection of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine as chairman of Democratic National Committee.

"As Governor of Virginia, Tim was known for his intelligence, integrity, and strong economic leadership," Obama wrote in his fundraising letter. "He has a record of putting public service above partisanship, and he knows that reaching across party lines is the way to achieve progress for all Americans."

The full text is below:

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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 01/ 7/2009

Kaine Appoints New Communications Director

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has hired Lynda Tran to serve as his communications director for his final year in office.

Tran, 30, has worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for eight years, most recently as assistant director of communications. She has also served as national communications director for SEIU's property services division and led numerous advocacy campaigns.

"I am happy to have someone with Lynda's skills and experience to guide my communications team," Kaine said. "The ability of my administration to effectively express solutions to challenges is of paramount importance, and I am confident that Lynda will maintain the high standards expected by the public and the media."

Tran replaces Delacey Skinner, who left recently to join Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor. Tran will begin work immediately.

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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 01/ 5/2009

History Repeats Itself

Virginia Democrats say they are not worried that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will neglect his job as governor while serving as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

But in December 2000, when then President-elect George W. Bush named Gov. James S. Gilmore chairman of the Republican National Committee Democrats, sang a different tune.

Lawrence H. Framme III, the then co-chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, told the Washington Post at the time that the RNC job is sure to distract Gilmore.

"It's just going to be another year of the governor not being here to solve the fiscal crisis facing the commonwealth," he said.

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Posted at 7:26 AM ET, 01/ 5/2009

Republicans Attack Kaine on DNC Post

Virginia Republicans wasted little time in criticizing Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for taking on the job of chairman of the Democratic National Committee during his final year in office.

The news broke the week before the General Assembly returns to Richmond for a 45-day legislative session that will be largely focused on trimming the $77-billion budget by $3 billion.

"Now is not a time for more partisanship from our Governor, but a time for leadership, to cross party lines and provide solid, common sense solutions for Virginians who are hurting and worried about their future,'' Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "This is the wrong move and sends the wrong signal to the people of Virginia at such a critical time."

Kaine had previously told reporters that he was not interested in the DNC job, and would not leave the Governor's Mansion early for a post in the Obama administration.

"It is very disappointing that at a time when Virginia needs its elected leaders from both parties to come together and work to solve the serious issues currently facing our Commonwealth, Tim Kaine breaks yet another pledge, this time taking a job he said he wouldn't accept", Frederick said.

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 01/ 4/2009

Kaine To Be DNC Chairman

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will become chairman of the Democratic National Committee later this month, serving as the top political messenger for Barack Obama's administration even while he finishes his final year in the governor's mansion, sources told Post reporter Michael Shear.

Kaine, who emerged as one of Obama's vice presidential finalists this summer, will operate from Richmond in a part-time capacity until January 2010, when he will become the full-time DNC chairman. Kaine is constitutionally barred from running for reelection.

Obama transition aides declined to comment today, and Kaine aides did not return calls seeking comment. Two sources said Obama will announce his choice of Kaine for the post later this week. Read the full story here.

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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 12/30/2008

Republicans Target Democratic District

Northern Virginia Republicans, already facing an uphill battle to win a House seat in a largely Democratic district in Alexandria, are upset it took until today to get a list of voters seeking absentee ballots.

Chris Marston, chairman of the Alexandria Republican party, said he had been asking for the lists -- which are public record -- from the Fairfax and Alexandria registrars since Dec. 19. A State Board of Elections glitch prevented them from receiving lists until today.

Republicans are looking to target the more than 300 voters who requested absentee ballots in the special election Jan. 13 in the hopes that they can sway enough of them to make a difference in what is expected to be a low-turnout election.

Democrat Charniele Herring, who was homeless as a teenager but rose to become an attorney and civic activist, will face Joe Murray, a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).

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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/30/2008

Chopra Volunteering for Obama

Aneesh P. Chopra, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's secretary of technology, has been putting in long hours in Washington helping President-elect Barack Obama's transition team get ready for his first day on the job Jan. 20.

Chopra is one of about 50 volunteers from across the nation serving on the transition's technology, innovation and government reform policy working group. Their primary responsibility is to support Obama's policy agenda by preparing briefing documents.

"We need the new administration to be ready on day one,'' Chopra said. "I'm honored to be amongst a number of talented volunteers to lend a helping hand."

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 12/29/2008

GOP May Lodge Complaint Against Kaine

Republicans are considering lodging a complaint against Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who they say is violating state law by raising money during next month's legislative session.

Kaine, along with Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) and Sen.-elect Mark R. Warner (D), are hosting a Virginia inaugural ball Jan. 19 at the Westin Arlington Gateway. The 45-day session begins Jan. 14.

The black-tie event, which sold-out in hours, is a fundraiser for the Virginia Democratic Party and the Arlington Democratic Party. Tickets are $200 but donors can be listed as sponsors for a $10,000 contribution.

House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) said Kaine is violating both "the spirit and the letter of the law."

"The event is taking place during session,'' he said. "They knew or should have known that this was a violation of state law."

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Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 11/26/2008

Capitol Square's Thanksgiving Tradition

In Virginia, we have many traditions. This one dates back more than three centuries.

Members of Virginia's Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian tribes came to Capitol Square this morning to offer Gov. Timothy M. Kaine their annual tribute of wild game in lieu of paying taxes on their reservations in King William County.

Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, greeted members of the tribes in front of the Executive Masion while hundreds of members of the public braved the cool morning to watch the ceremony.

Each tribe presented the Kaines with a dead deer, placed on the brick walkway in front of the mansion, as well as other handmade gifts, including pottery and a peace pipe. Female tribe members danced around the animals.

"What do you think?" Kaine asked his wife when they were presented with the first deer.

"I don't think we'll be hungry,'' she quipped.

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Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 11/26/2008

Kaine Meets With Obama, Other Governors

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will travel to Philadelphia Tuesday to meet with President-Elect Barack Obama and most of the nation's other governors.

The last-minute meeting of the National Governors Association will address how the growing economic crisis is affecting states and their budgets.

At least 40 states are facing budget shortfalls. Kaine announced last month that Virginia is facing a $2.5 billion shortfall for the two-year 2009-10 budget. He will revise the estimate next month.

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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 11/25/2008

Kaine Vows to Stay out of Primary Fight

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has never been one to shy away from getting entangled in a contested Democratic nomination fight.

When he was lieutenant governor in 2004, Kaine waded into the battle for the Democratic nomination for president by endorsing Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), a move widely viewed as an effort by Kaine to boost his credentials with moderates as he prepared to run for governor. Three years later, Kaine endorsed President-Elect Barack Obama in February of 2007 when few analysts would have predicted that Obama would end up defeating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) for the nomination. This year, Kaine surprised many when he endorsed Gerald E. Connolly (D) in his race against Leslie Byrne for the Democratic nomination for Congress.

But speaking on WTOP-Radio this morning, Kaine said he has no plans to endorse one of the three contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor.

"I am going to be neutral in this race," Kaine said. But Kaine added he is pleased that so many candidates are interesting in seeking the nomination, saying it's a sign of a healthy Democratic party.

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Posted at 6:08 PM ET, 11/19/2008

Virginia Is Still for Lovers

It was a family affair at the state Capitol this afternoon.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and his father-in-law, former governor Linwood Holton, kicked off the 40th anniversary of the state's well-known slogan Virginia is for Lovers to a standing-room only crowd in the ornate Jefferson Room. Supporters wore flashing red heart buttons.

Holton was governor as the state began using the catchy, but then-controversial, slogan to attract more young tourists to Virginia. He quickly became its chief promoter, handing out Virginia is for Lovers buttons.

"I wasn't quite sure what the reaction was going to be when I first saw that slogan,'' Holton said.

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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 11/19/2008

Kaine and Obama Trade Emails

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and President-Elect Barack Obama have not spoken by phone since the Nov. 4 election but the two friends have traded a number of emails.

Kaine said today that Obama and his transition staff have not asked him about serving in the new Cabinet.

"I'm here,'' he said. "I'm not going anywhere."

Kaine, who was a national co-chairman of Obama's campaign and on his short list for vice president, said he continues to shoot down rumors that he will leave the Governor's Mansion for a job in the administration. He said he doesn't know why people don't believe him.

"Why is that? Because I'm in politics?'' he said. "I said I wasn't going to do it. Find an example of me saying equivocally one thing and then doing the opposite."

In recent days, Kaine has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Kaine said a DNC official contacted him but he told the person that he was not interested in the job while serving as governor.

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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."

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Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 10/31/2008

Groups Urge State Employees To Work at Polls

Leaders of three national groups sent a letter to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), urging him to assign all "non-essential public employees" to work at the polls on Election Day.

"Adequate staffing can mean the difference between a demonstrably fair election, or questions and challenges about the validity of the results,'' they said in a letter signed by leaders of Change to Win, a coalition of unions, People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy group, and the Sierra Club.

Kaine spokesman Gordon Hickey said the governor was not assigning state workers to the polls, but has "encouraged those who can take the day off to volunteer at the polls."

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Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 10/29/2008

Wilder Asks Kaine to Extend Polling Hours

Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder asked Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Wednesday to extend polling hours on Election Day.

Wilder, a former governor, requested that polls remain open for three extra hours to 10 p.m. in certain areas of the state where historic levels of voter turnout are expected.

"By all accounts, the presidential election of 2008 is expected to generate historic turnout, not only because of the significance of the race - the country's opportunity to elect the first African-American president or the first woman to hold the office of vice-president - but also due to the record increase in voter registration," said Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor and a strong supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Kaine said yesterday on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio that he has no authority to extend the polling hours.

The Virginia NAACP sued Kaine and Virginia's top election officials Monday, asking a judge to force the state to move voting machines to precincts most likely to have long waiting lines; keep polls open for an extra two hours; and use paper ballots in some cases.

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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 10/27/2008

Kaine Hits the Road for Obama

Following a weekend of campaigning, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will hit the road to continue to talk up Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Kaine, a national co-chairman of Obama's campaign, will give a 10-minute convocation speech this morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

He is likely to speak about Obama's Christian faith, but votes for the Ilinois senator at the socially conservative school are going to be difficult to come by.

University chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. launched an ambitious drive this fall to get the school's 10,500 students registered to vote and on Election Day, he plans to cancel classes and provide buses to shuttle them to the poll.

Tonight, Kaine and fellow Democrat, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, will speak at the "One Week to Victory" Maryland Democratic Party Annual Gala in Baltimore.

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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 10/25/2008

Counting Down to the Election

Virginia Democrats will spend this weekend kicking off a massive canvassing effort in the final days before the Nov. 4 election.

Surrogates will visit several of Sen. Barack Obama's campaign offices across the state to rally volunteers before they begin the last 12 days of knocking on doors and calling potential voters.

Today, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a national chairman for Obama's campaign, will appear in Fairfax and Prince William counties and Donna Brazile, a political strategist who was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000, will be in Richmond.

Tomorrow, former Navy Secretary John Dalton and Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, will visit offices in Winchester, Harrisonburg and Staunton. C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the state Democratic party, will be in Roanoke. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will appear in Arlington. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian J. Moran of Alexandria will visit the South Hill office.

Kaine's wife, First Lady Anne Holton, started the events Friday afternoon in Warrenton.

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Posted at 7:33 PM ET, 10/17/2008

Hampton Roads Leaders Endorse Wagner

Several mayors and other local elected officials from Hampton Roads today endorsed former Finance Secretary Jody W. Wagner for lieutenant governor.

"Local governments across Virginia are facing tough times in this economic climate," Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said. "We need strong leaders in Richmond who can maintain the fiscal discipline and strong management we've grown accustomed to under Governors Warner and Kaine. Jody Wagner will be that kind of leader."

Wagner, a long time resident of Virginia Beach, served as Virginia treasurer under former governor Mark R. Warner (D) and as finance secretary under Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). She resigned earlier this year to run for lieutenant governor.

Wagner's main opponent for the Democratic nomination is Jon Bowerbank, a wealthy businessman from Russell County. A third possible candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, state Democratic Party Chairman C. Richard Cranwell, is not expected to make up his mind on whether to enter the race until after the Nov. 4 election.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) is running for re-election.

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 10/15/2008

Va First Ladies Campaign for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's wife, Anne Holton, and former governor Mark R. Warner's wife, Lisa Collis, will headline a series of town hall meetings across the state tomorrow to try to attract women to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign.

Holton and Collis will tout Obama's proposals that impact families and working parents, including plans to promote pay equity, provide tax cuts and lower health care costs, according to the campaign.

The tour marks Holton's fourth event for Obama and Collis' first event.

Details of the events are below:

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Posted at 8:37 AM ET, 10/14/2008

Kaine, Allen Square Off in Debate

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and former governor and senator George Allen (R) will represent the two presidential candidates in a debate about energy and the environment tomorrow morning in Northern Virginia.

Kaine, who was on the short list for vice president, and Allen have been filling in as surrogates for Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain regularly in recent months.

The debate, sponsored by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott. The debate begins at 8 a.m. and will be moderated by Norah O'Donnell, MSNBC chief Washington correspondent.

"Energy and the environment are going to be huge issues facing the next president," said Peter Ryus, chairman of the chamber's environmental committee. "Virginia is an important setting for this debate because of its swing electoral votes, its demographics and its strategic proximity to Washington."

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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 09/30/2008

Kaine Pledges to Finish His Term

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) pledged Tuesday to remain governor through January 2010 even if Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama wins the presidency and offers him a Cabinet job.

"Absolutely,'' he said on his monthly call-in show on WTOP Radio. "I'm gonna stay as governor all the way through January 2010."

Kaine, co-chairman of Obama's national campaign, had been seriously considered as a running mate for the Illinois senator. The two became friends after they campaigned together during Kaine's 2005 gubernatorial race and Kaine has returned the favor, stumping nationwide for him over the last year.

"If I was asked to be vice president... I would have said yes,'' Kaine said. But, he said, he plans to remain a volunteer if Obama wins. "I hope I can be helpful,'' he said.

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Posted at 3:36 PM ET, 09/25/2008

McDonnell Returns Car, Slashes Budget

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced today that he will return his state car, reduce his salary by two percent and trim his office budget by nine percent following this week's news of a possible $3 billion state budget shortfall.

"These are difficult times,'' he said. "This economic downturn, and sustained uncertainty, is forcing Virginia families and businesses to make hard decisions, and Virginia's government must do likewise."

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will begin implementing the statewide cuts early next month after releasing the state's new forecast for the rest of the two-year, $77 billion budget period that began July 1.

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Posted at 10:25 PM ET, 09/ 3/2008

Kaine Will Join Biden at Town Hall

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will appear with Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) Thursday in Manassas.

Earlier today, it wasn't clear if Kaine, who was a finalist for Biden's new job as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, would join Biden at a town hall meeting at George Mason University's Prince William campus.

But Kaine advisers say he now plans to attend the event, which is billed as a discussion of economic issues. It will be the first time since Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) selected Biden as his running mate that both he and Kaine will be in public on the same stage. Kaine and Biden did meet briefly, however, last week at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the governor's advisers say.

Before the Democratic event in Manassas, former senator George Allen and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, both of whom are at the Republican National Convention, will hold a conference call with reporters to discuss Biden's campaign swing through Virginia.

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Posted at 12:30 AM ET, 08/29/2008

Kaine's Convention Remarks

Here are the remarks delivered by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at the Democratic National Convention tonight:

I am here tonight not just as the Governor of Virginia who knows the people of my state need a better partner in the White House, but as an American who wants to see American values guiding our country again. For eight years we've seen what happens when a president lets Washington values become more important than American values.

Gas prices skyrocket when the white house lets oil companies call the shots. Our children are left behind when an administration cares more about sound bites than sound schools. And middle class families are left to fend for themselves to save their grasp on the American dream.

Maybe for John McCain the American dream means seven houses - and if that's your America, John McCain is your candidate. But for the rest of us, the American dream means one home, in a safe neighborhood with good schools and good health care. Does that seem like too much to ask?

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Posted at 6:05 PM ET, 08/28/2008

Kaine Speaks at Convention Tonight

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is expected to speak at about 8:15 tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

He will speak in front of his largest audience when he takes the stage at Invesco Field at Mile High. About 80,000 people will pack the home of the Denver Broncos while millions more will watch on TVs across the nation.

Kaine is expected to speak briefly about his background and Virginia but mostly will talk about why Americans should elect Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a friend he endorsed for president in February 2007.

Obama's campaign expects Virginians to gather at more than 1,000 house parties across the state tonight to watch Obama formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 08/26/2008

Kaine Will Appear on The Daily Show

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will appear at 11 p.m. tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The award-winning satirical television program airs on Comedy Central.

Kaine, who is in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, will spend the day hiking with his family, taping the show in the afternoon and then attending convention activities tonight.

Former governor Mark R. Warner is expected to give the convention keynote address at about 9:30 p.m.

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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 08/24/2008

Kaine's Big Audience

DENVER -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will likely speak at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, when Illinois Sen. Barack Obama officially accepts the nomination at Invesco Field before a crowd of 75,000, Democrats close to the governor said.

Kaine said he doesn't know what time he will speak at the stadium, but he finished his speech last night. Former Vice-President Al Gore is also scheduled to speak Thursday.

Kaine said today it will be the largest audience he has ever spoken to.

Though he will not be Obama's running mate, Kaine is still getting plenty of national attention. He appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning, and has another round of national media interviews scheduled for Monday night.

Because so many media outlets have been clamoring to book Kaine, his political advisers have dispatched additional press liaisons to Denver to help him. Jeff Tiller, who served as Kaine's deputy press secretary until he left the governor's office last month to go work for Obama, is now in Denver to temporarily help Kaine manage his schedule.

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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 08/23/2008

Va Republicans Blast Biden

Virginia Republicans came out swinging this morning at Sen. Barack Obama's pick to be his running mate. The quick response is another indication that the GOP is not taking Virginia for granted, even though Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will not be on the ticket.

Until recently, it was Virginia Democrats who were known for their quick response in the race between Obama and Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Here are statements released this morning from McCain's leadership team in Virginia:

Del. Chris Saxman, campaign co-chairman:
"By selecting Joe Biden for vice president, Barack Obama has shown voters that not even Governor Tim Kaine can hide the fact that he is out of touch with the core values held by the hard-working families of Virginia. Virginians deserve a president and a vice president who understand that we need a comprehensive solution to the energy crisis, lower taxes for Virginia's families and who have a record on strong national security. What Virginia doesn't want is an inexperienced presidential ticket that will raise taxes on families and industries that are most important to Virginia's economy. John McCain believes in lower taxes, energy solutions and a stronger national security. Voters in Virginia will support John McCain for president because they always know where he stands."

Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, campaign co-chairman:
"Barack Obama has sent Virginia voters the message by choosing Senator Joe Biden as his running mate that he just wasn't seeing the momentum in Virginia that he had hoped. Barack Obama spent two full days campaigning in Virginia, and his message is not resonating. There is no question in the minds of voters that he will raise taxes on Virginia families, ignore the energy crisis and continue to support retreat and surrender in Iraq. Voters in Virginia will support John McCain because he is a proven leader and ready to be commander in chief on day one. He believes in lower taxes for Virginia families and has an 'all of the above' plan to solve our energy crisis. I am proud to help John McCain to victory in Virginia in November."

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Posted at 9:31 AM ET, 08/23/2008

Kaine Responds to Obama's VP Pick

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who was on the short list to become Sen. Barack Obama's running mate, released the following statement this morning after Sen. Joe Biden was selected to be the vice presidential candidate.

"I am very excited that Senator Obama has selected Senator Biden to be his running mate. Senator Biden is a tremendous leader and a great complement to Senator Obama and his candidacy. He has worked as a committed public servant, has a proven track record, and understands the complex challenges facing our nation.

"The Obama-Biden ticket provides the United States with a new and meaningful dialogue with world leaders and will improve America's standing with our allies and the global community.

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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 08/ 7/2008

More Than 1,000 Attend Obama Fundraiser

About 1,200 people attended a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama last night in downtown Norfolk at the elegant Harrison Opera House adorned with glittering chandeliers and sweeping staircases.

The headliner, Michelle Obama, described the November presidential election between her husband and Republican Sen. John McCain as a decision between "the world as it is and the world as it should be."

"Our job as Americans is to narrow the gap between those two ideas," she said. "Do we settle for the world as it is or fight for the world as it should be?"

The fundraiser was hosted by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, who are on a family vacation with their children this week in nearby Virginia Beach. Kaine's apperance fueled further speculation about his vice presidential chances.

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Posted at 8:14 PM ET, 08/ 6/2008

Kaine Appears on CNN for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) took a break from his family vacation at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach to appear on CNN today for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Kaine talked about the Iraq War, offshore oil drilling and the possibility of being Obama's running mate.

Kaine, an Obama friend and one of his campaign's national co-chairmen, said he is not running for anything but that he would do everything he could to help Obama win the White House in November.

"My highest and best use is trying to be a good governor and trying to help Sen. Obama in Virginia, which as you know traditionally hasn't gotten a lot of attention in presidential years," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on the "Situation Room."

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Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 08/ 1/2008

Wagner Resigns as State Finance Secretary

Jody M. Wagner resigned today as Virginia secretary of finance. She is expected to announce in the coming days that she will run for lieutenant governor next year. Her last day is Aug. 8.

"Jody Wagner's fiscal stewardship is one of the reasons why Virginia has been named best managed state and best state to do business," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said in a statement. "Her dedication and talents have secured Virginia's triple A bond rating and helped keep Virginia on the right track in a challenging economic environment. She has devoted herself to service, putting Virginia first, and she will be missed as an invaluable member of my team."

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) plans to run for re-election. Wagner will face fellow Democrat Jon Bowerbank, a businessman and member of the Russell County Board of Supervisors, who is already running.

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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 07/21/2008

Where Was Doug Wilder? (Updated)

Thousands of people withstood the 90-plus-degree heat today for the unveiling of a monument outside the state Capitol that commemorates those who helped bring about the end of school segregation across the state and nation.

They included NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, actor Blair Underwood, poet Nikki Giovanni, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, former governor Mark R. Warner, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, House Speaker William J. Howell and several other members of the General Assembly.

But L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, who now serves as Richmond's mayor, was noticeably absent.

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Posted at 3:31 PM ET, 07/17/2008

Wagner Expected to Run for LG

Jody W. Wagner, secretary of finance for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), is expected to resign in the coming weeks and launch a bid for lieutenant governor in 2009.

Wagner said today that she plans to consider her options while on vacation next week. But Democrats who are close to Kaine's administration said Wagner plans to resign by the end of the month after returning from vacation.

"I'm trying to figure out what to do,'' she said.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) plans to run for re-election. Wagner will face fellow Democrat Jon Bowerbank, a businessman and member of the Russell County Board of Supervisors, who is already running.

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Posted at 1:08 PM ET, 07/11/2008

Moran and Deeds Debate Gas Tax Increase

The General Assembly's debate over transportation this week set up a rare, clear division between the two Democratic candidates for governor next year.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) voted in favor of a plan by Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) to raise the state's gas tax by six cents over six years, which would cost the average family about $45 a year. Deed's likely opponent in next year's Democratic primary, Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), voted to strip the gas tax from Saslaw's bill when it got to the House floor.

The two campaigns are now throwing verbal jabs at the other over the issue.

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Posted at 12:02 AM ET, 07/ 9/2008

Few Words, But The Blame Continues

If you are eagerly awaiting a breakthrough in the standoff over transportation between Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and House Republican leaders, you should probably go onto the next posting.

They haven't even been talking.

When state legislators left Richmond June 26 after failing to reach a consensus on transportation funding, Gov. Kaine called Howell (R-Stafford) and Majority Whip M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) into his office to talk. But the meeting lasted only a few minutes, according to Cox and Howell, both of whom described it as a waste of time.

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Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 07/ 3/2008

Group Starts Ads to Encourage Legislators to Act

LIUNA, the Laborers' International Union of North America, began radio ads today in several area across the state "urging progress on the state's transportation crisis that negatively affects working people every day."

The ads will run in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond and Fredericksburg through Wednesday when the General Assembly returns to the state Capitol to try once again to find money for road and transit projects.

"Investing in Virginia's transportation system will dramatically improve safety and quality of life, while creating 50,000 good jobs in local economies," said Terence M. O'Sullivan, LIUNA General President. "Delegates in the Virginia House must take care of Virginia's basic priorities - the roads, highways, bridges and transit systems that the working men and women of the state rely on every day. It's time to build Virginia so Virginia works."

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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 07/ 2/2008

Virginia Notebook: Democrats Stuck in Neutral

Shortly after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) called a special session to try to tackle transportation funding issues, the governor gave a blunt assessment of what he hoped to accomplish by advocating a tax increase even though he didn't have the support of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

"It will be very productive to either try to find a solution or make it plain to people who are standing in the way," Kaine said in an interview with The Washington Post in May. "We are going to make something happen or let the public see who is obstructing, and frankly, that is one of the reasons why Democrats have won elections in Virginia."

But 10 days into the special session on transportation -- legislators have been on vacation for six of those days -- it remains uncertain whether any solution will be found or whether the governor will score any of those political points.

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Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 07/ 2/2008

Kaine Lands Another $100,000 Plus Donor

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) now has another $100,000 donor to his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward.

John O. Wynne, retired president and chief executive officer of Landmark Communications, which owns The Weather Channel and several newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and Roanoke Times, gave Moving Virginia Forward $25,000 on June 20. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Wynne has contributed $125,000 to Moving Virginia Forward.

There are now six individuals or organizations that have contributed at least $100,000 to Kaine's political committee, which he uses to try to bolster the Virginia Democratic Party, including the governor's successful efforts last year in winning control of the state Senate, according to the Virginia Board of Elections and the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Posted at 2:46 PM ET, 06/27/2008

Kaine Credits Gilmore's Political Skills

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is urging Democrats not to take Republican Senate James S. Gilmore III for granted. In an email, Kaine urges people to donate to Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner because Gilmore will be formidable.

"Mark Warner is facing one of the fiercest, most aggressive campaigners in our state's history," said Kaine, who is asking people to donate $5 to Warner. "Before you know it, the polls will tighten, negative attacks will hit the airwaves, and Mark will need the resources to fire back and get his message out."

Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokesman, said she doesn't have a problem with Kaine calling her boss "fierce".

"They realize this race is not over as some folks have said," Gamonal said. "We absolutely believe as we move forward into the debates and we start talking substance and policy issues, and Mark Warner is forced to take positions, that Jim Gilmore will win the November election."

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Posted at 4:36 PM ET, 06/23/2008

Janis Continues to Criticize Kaine

Just last week, Del. William R. Janis (R-Goochland) criticized Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) for spending too much time on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign, which included traveling to Texas to speak on his behalf at a Democratic party convention.

Today, Janis was one of the legislators picked by House Speaker William J. Howell to escort Kaine into the House chamber for his speech to the General Assembly on transportation.

"Are you sure he's not in Texas?'' Janis said as he left the House floor to meet Kaine.

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Posted at 2:04 PM ET, 06/20/2008

Special Session Begins Monday

Days before the General Assembly returns to Richmond for a special session on transportation Monday, many legislators still say they have little or no hope of reaching an agreement on how to fund road and transit projects.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will address the Democratic caucuses of the House and Senate Sunday night and Monday morning and then the entire 140-member General Assembly at 1 p.m. to encourage them to pass a bill.

Republicans, and even many Democrats, are skeptical.

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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 06/18/2008

Virginia Notebook: Transportation Predictions

So what's going to happen next week during the special session on transportation? Probably not much, but who knows? So we are not even going to try to make a prediction. We'll leave that to others. Here is a sampling of predictions -- as a well as a few partisan shots -- from current and former state legislators and lobbyists.

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Posted at 9:33 PM ET, 06/16/2008

Dissatisfaction Over Obama Slate Lingers On

Virginia Democrats love to snicker about the internal divisions that have plagued the state Republican Party in recent years. Now, they've got their own turmoil.

Some Democrats are fuming over how the state party conducted elections at its convention in Hampton on Saturday.

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Posted at 12:38 AM ET, 06/15/2008

Convention Recap

As the 2008 Virginia Democratic Party convention draws to a close, here are eight observations about the weekend's events at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.

1) If the Democrats' goal was to leave the convention united behind Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), they still have a lot of work to do. Surprisingly, numerous supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) said they weren't sure if they would vote for Obama in the fall.

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Posted at 2:13 AM ET, 06/14/2008

Democrats Unite In Hampton Roads

Democratic activists gathered in Hampton Friday night to kick off the party's state convention, which will take place this weekend at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.

Sen. James Webb and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott were special guests at a pool party at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center while four prominent Democrats hosted a packed party at the Embassy Suites.

"This is energizing the base,'' said C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party.

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Posted at 2:42 PM ET, 06/11/2008

New Leader for Kaine's PAC

Charlie Kelly will become executive director of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, replacing Matt Felan, who announced today that he is launching his own independent fundraising company.

Kelly has served Kaine in various roles since 2005 and most recently has been the PAC's political director, facilitating campaign operations for legislative and local candidates across Virginia.

"I am pleased that Charlie will be serving as the new executive director of Moving Virginia Forward," Kaine said in a statement. "During my campaign and in our coordinated efforts that won back the state Senate, Charlie has served with great distinction and proven himself time and again. He has shown leadership and a real knack for getting the job done."

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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 06/11/2008

GOP Delegate Slams Kaine's Motives

Republicans in the General Assembly are stepping up their criticism of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) for his role in Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign.

In a statement released today, Del. William R. Janis (R-Goochland) asks, "Is governor Kaine sacrificing Virginia on the alter of vice-presidential ambition?"

After looking into Kaine's schedule, Janis concludes that Kaine has spent "over 19 days (this year) jetting around the country with Barack Obama, but only fifteen hours over 10 days promoting his transportation plan," an apparent reference to Kaine's ongoing series of town hall meetings.

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Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 05/27/2008

Big Donors Boost Kaine's Fundraising

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has raised more than $370,000 from 15 contributors since mid March, a clear sign he plans to remain active in the political process even though he cannot seek reelection.

Kaine's fundraising for his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, includes a $100,000 donation on April 10 from Radford billionaire R.J. Kirk. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Kirk has donated $550,000 to Kaine's political committee, according to the State Board of Elections.

Kaine has received another $35,000 in donations since mid April from Shelia Johnston, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnston has contributed a total of $185,000 to Kaine since 2006.

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Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 05/21/2008

Virginia Notebook: Gambling on Webb for VP

Virginia Sen. James Webb, ending a nationwide publicity tour, is fueling speculation that he will be on Sen. Barack Obama's shortlist for vice presidential candidates.

But don't start making Obama-Webb signs just yet.

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Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 05/19/2008

Jody Wagner Ponders Bid for Lt. Gov.

Secretary of Finance Jody W. Wagner was making the rounds at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner last night as she considers a bid for statewide office.

Wagner, who is from Virginia Beach, said in an interview she is thinking about running for lieutenant governor next year, although she was quick to point out her main focus continues to be her job in Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's administration.

"I'm thinking about it but right now I am still working very hard for Governor Kaine on transportation and other stuff," said Wagner, adding she will have to step down as finance secretary if she decides to run for lieutenant governor.

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Posted at 3:59 PM ET, 05/ 7/2008

McClellan Switches to Obama

Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, a superdelegate who had endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, announced today that she is switching her support to Sen. Barack Obama after his strong showing in this week's primaries.

"The time has come to support Sen. Obama as our likely nominee,'' said McClellan, an African American woman from Richmond. "The time has come for us to come together as a party."

McClellan, who endorsed Clinton in December, agonized in recent weeks about her decision, calling it "the most stressful thing I've been through in my whole life." She said that she gradually changed her mind after watching Obama win recent primaries and realizing he will probably be the Democratic nominee.

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Posted at 3:26 PM ET, 05/ 6/2008

Kaine Goes YouTube

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced today that he had created his own YouTube channel on the popular online video sharing site that allows people to watch and share videos.

The channel, www.youtube.com/vagovernor, features video clips of public service announcements, speeches and public forums with Kaine.

"I am pleased to join the Virginia government community of YouTube channels," Kaine said in statement. "The use of new media to deliver information online is vital to engage citizens in the process of government."

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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 05/ 5/2008

Warner Continues Tour Around the State

Hundreds of supporters, including many local elected officials, greeted Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Mark. R. Warner at an outdoor rally outside the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk on the second day of his four-state tour. A four-piece ensemble played music.

Jim Pierce, a financial adviser from Williamsburg who considers himself a Republican, said he will support Warner because he is impressed with his "common sense" approach and the way he reaches across party lines.

Warner, who calls himself a moderate Democrat, frequently talks of forming a coalition of 10-12 "radical centrist" senators from both parties to hash out compromises.

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Posted at 9:29 PM ET, 05/ 4/2008

Warner Kicks Off Senate Campaign

Eights months after he announced he would run for U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark R. Warner officially launched his campaign tonight in the small town of Abingdon in southwest Virginia.

"I believe that the American public doesn't trust either party enough to give them a blank check and what it's going to take is that both parties need to work together,'' Warner said.

More than 250 supporters welcomed Warner, his wife, Lisa, and their two youngest daughters at E.B. Stanley Middle School for an early dinner of barbecue, cole slaw and pickles. A band played bluegrass music, including a song about Warner from his days as governor.

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Posted at 2:27 PM ET, 04/18/2008

Kaine Campaigns for Obama in Pa.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will travel to Pennsylvania this weekend to campaign for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill).

The Democratic governor will appear at two "get-out-the-vote" events in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.

Kaine has traveled to other states during the presidential campaign including South Carolina, Georgia and Kansas.This is his first trip to Pennsylvania for Obama.

The all-important Pennsylvania primary is Tuesday.

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Posted at 3:03 PM ET, 04/16/2008

Getting Down With Tim Kaine

Gov. Kaine pitched in on the harmonica Monday night at the 16th annual benefit for Arena Stage to support arts education programs in schools.

Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy Arena Stage.

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Posted at 6:24 PM ET, 04/15/2008

Politicians Get Ready for Shad Planking Wednesday

Politicians from around the state will flock to tiny Wakefield on Wednesday for the 60th annual Shad Planking, a longtime Virginia tradition where politicians come to see and be seen.

Speakers include U.S. Senate candidates, Republicans James S. Gilmore III and Robert G. Marshall, and Democrat Mark R. Warner. It may the only time the three men share a stage before a Republican nominee is picked next month.

Democrat Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, who is running for governor next year, and his potential rival, Del. Brian J. Moran, both sent their staffs to Wakefield today to help Warner's team set up.

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Posted at 5:28 PM ET, 04/11/2008

Cranwell Will Step Aside Next Year

C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, plans to step aside next year as party leader.

Cranwell, a 30-year fixture in the House of Delegates, said he pledged to former governor Mark R. Warner and current governor Timothy M. Kaine, that he would serve until his term expires in 2009. But he will not run again.

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Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 04/ 9/2008

Kaine OK With Efforts to Persuade Superdelegates

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said today he's not opposed to efforts by Democratic officials to persuade superdelegates from Virginia to support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the national convention in August.

At a news conference this morning, Kaine (D) said he is also "having conversations with superdelegates all the time."

"Superdelegates are getting communications from a lot of people, so folks communicating with the undecided by saying 'hey come for Senator Obama', it's all part of persuasion," said Kaine, one of Obama's national co-chairmen. "We are in a persuasion game here by trying to get those uncommitted to commit."

On Monday, the leaders of about 40 Democratic county and city committees in Virginia sent a letter to the state's superdelegates pressuring them to endorse Obama. The leaders, who have also launched an online petition, included the chairmen of the Arlington, Prince William and Fairfax county Democratic committees. They noted that Obama won Virginia's Feb. 12 primary with 64 percent of the vote.


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Posted at 5:44 PM ET, 03/19/2008

Another Big Kaine Donor

Suzann W. Matthews, a onetime finance mogul and community activist from McLean, continues to pony up for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) political activities.

Earlier this month, Matthews gave $25,000 to Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, according to the State Board of Elections. Since Kaine formed his committee in 2006, Matthews has contributed a total of a $108,000.

Matthews is a major donor to Democratic candidates and causes in Virginia, giving nearly $1 million since 1996, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Kaine has received a big chunk of that money.

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Posted at 1:13 PM ET, 03/13/2008

Virginia Notebook: Transportation Blues

As the political establishment reels over a bad case of deja vu, lawmakers are struggling to figure out what to do in the recurring battle over how to raise more money for transportation.

The state Supreme Court's Feb. 29 decision to toss out the regional taxing authorities in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, a cornerstone of last year's transportation deal, could soon lead to political chaos.

But as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and House and Senate leaders consider whether they can come up with a solution, a big question remains unresolved:

Has the window for addressing transportation closed?

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Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 03/12/2008

Kaine Gets Tough With Clinton

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), along with other elected leaders from medium size states, sent out a letter to the national media this morning in an attempt to refute Sen. Hillary Clinton's claims that she would be the strongest Democratic presidential nominee this fall because she has won more big states.

The letter, titled "debunking the Clinton campaign's dubious big state spin," argues that Sen. Barack Obama has won a majority of the largest states that are likely to decide the 2008 presidential contest, including Virginia, where Obama got 64 percent of the vote last month.

"Senator Obama has scored important victories in each of our states - states that will play a decisive role in deciding whether or not John McCain will be given the chance to enter the White House and extend George Bush's failed policies for another 4 years," the letter said, which was signed by Kaine, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

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Posted at 4:43 PM ET, 02/29/2008

Kaine Has to Make Quick Decision on Bills

The General Assembly is bombarding Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) with bills.

Generally the governor will have received about 50 to 100 bills by this time in the legislative session. But as of Friday morning, he had already received 451.

What does that mean?

Any bills Kaine receives before tomorrow (one week before the legislative session is expected to end) need to be signed, amended or vetoed within seven days. Any bills Kaine receives after Saturday do not need to be reviewed for 30 days.

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Posted at 3:47 PM ET, 02/29/2008

Kaine Discusses Obama Trip

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) today explained his decision to travel to Kansas and Texas tonight and tomorrow to campaign for Sen. Barack Obama.

Kaine found himself needed at home today when the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that parts of the state's transportation plan are unconstitutional. But Kaine decided to stick with his plan to speak at a Kansas Democratic Party event tonight and then campaign for Obama tomorrow in Texas.

"I worked all last weekend and the [Obama] campaign wanted me on the trail all this weekend," Kaine said before flying off to Kansas. "I changed the plan yesterday [Thursday] to just do one day [of campaigning]. I am going to be here all day Sunday working on bills and working on this" court decision.

Republicans around the capitol are mocking Kaine's decision to go campaigning this weekend. "We certainly hope he doesn't call a special session when we are busy helping John McCain," said one Republican legislative aide.

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Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 02/28/2008

Kaine Off to Kansas, Texas to Stump for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will continue building his national profile this weekend despite it being the final days of Virginia's legislative session.

Kaine will be the keynote speaker tomorrow night at a Kansas Democratic Party fundraiser in Topeka. Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) are supporters of Sen. Barack Obama. Kaine grew up in Kansas and his parents live there.

On Saturday, Kaine will spend the day campaigning for Obama in Texas, where voters go to the polls Tuesday.
Kaine has also made trips to Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia for Obama. Kaine has been a surrogate for Obama on several Sunday television talk show programs.

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Posted at 1:06 PM ET, 02/11/2008

Winners & Losers from JJ Dinner

Here are some winners and losers from the Virginia Democratic Party's annual Jefferson Jackson Day dinner Saturday night in Richmond. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spoke to about 6,000 party activists and donors. Before the event, which also featured speeches from a elected leaders and party officials, hundreds of Clinton and Obama supporters faced off outside the Stuart C. Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Winners:

Barack Obama Virginia organizers: Obama supporters appeared to outnumber Clinton supporters by about 3 to 1. Before the dinner, about 300 Obama supporters paraded down one of Richmond's busiest streets to show their support for their candidate. The Obama campaign, aided by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) trusted political aide Charlie Kelly, even brought in a marching band to lead the group. There was little doubt inside or outside the Siegel Center that Obama supporters appeared more energetic.

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Posted at 9:28 AM ET, 02/ 6/2008

First Lady To Lead "Women for Obama"

Virginia first lady Anne Holton is stepping up her role in Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign as the Democratic primary race heads to the commonwealth.

Holton, wife of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), held a conference call with reporters today to tout "Women for Obama" in Tuesday's primary. Kaine endorsed Obama last year. Holton is the daughter of former Virginia governor A. Linwood Holton Jr., who in 1969 was elected the state's first Republican governor.

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Posted at 4:16 PM ET, 02/ 4/2008

U.S. House Members Stop by Virginia House

Even the introductions are partisan in the House of Delegates.

Del. Lacey E. Putney, an Independent from Bedford who caucuses with Republicans, introduced two visiting members of Virginia's congressional delegation, Republican Reps. Thelma Drake and Robert J. Wittman.

A third member, Democrat Rep. James P. Moran Jr. was sitting close by but was not recognized until House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) stood up to introduce him.

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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 01/31/2008

Kaine Talks About 2010 Job Prospects

Some people in Richmond are already speculating about what Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who just passed the midpoint of his term, plans to do when he leaves office in 2010. One option is future president of a college or university, including either the University of Virginia or Virginia Commonwealth University.

In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Wednesday night, Kaine wouldn't discuss what his future options are, but said he really enjoyed the "community building aspect" of being Richmond mayor and governor.

"I'm likely to do something that has a community building component," said Kaine, who said he could be interested in a job with non profit organization.

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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 01/25/2008

This Week's Winners and Losers

This Week's Winners:

Tom Perriello - A Democratic candidate for Congress in the 5th District, Tom Perriello is being touted as a possible serious challenger to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va) this year. Some Democrats in Richmond say Perriello, who raised $263,000 last year, will be well funded, considering the relatively cheap television advertisements costs in southern Virginia. Goode remains heavily favored to win, but Perriello can't be disappointed with the free press he got this week in the Martinsville Bulletin and the Roanoke Times. You can find the articles here and here.

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Posted at 1:58 PM ET, 01/25/2008

Kaine Names Lottery Director

Arlington native Paula I. Otto has been named executive director of the Virginia Lottery, state officials announced today.

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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 01/16/2008

An Early Look at the Feb.12 Primary--And Beyond

Get ready to be inundated with a series of potentially competitive elections.

Because of the Democratic resurgence in Virginia, voters are going to be facing more choices at the polls over the next two years than they have in decades.

It all starts Feb. 12, with the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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Posted at 2:29 PM ET, 01/16/2008

Kaine Chat on Dulles Rail, Smoking Ban, Abusive Driver Fees

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine was online today at washingtonpost.com.

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Posted at 7:43 PM ET, 01/ 9/2008

Kaine Seeks Nonpartisan Redistricting

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said tonight he wants Virginia to expand access to absentee ballots and create a new system for drawing legislative boundaries.

In his third State of the Commonwealth address, Kaine said a non-partisan redistricting process would allow districts to be drawn "with people, not the politicians, first in mind."

Kaine's proposal comes as Democrats took control of the Senate today, which will assure their party has a seat at the table during the next round of congressional and legislative redistricting in 2011.

"With different parties in the majority in each house, now is the perfect time to make this necessary change," Kaine said.

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Posted at 7:06 PM ET, 01/ 9/2008

Text of Kaine Speech

RICHMOND - Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) tonight delivered the State of the Commonwealth address to the Joint Assembly in Richmond. The text of his speech follows:
"Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the General Assembly, my fellow Virginians:

It is with great pride in our shared history that we return tonight to our historic Capitol. This Capitol is entering its 220th year of service, as home to the oldest continuous legislature in the New World.

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Posted at 4:31 PM ET, 01/ 8/2008

Political Establishment React to Allen's Decision

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Tuesday that he was surprised that former U.S. senator George F. Allen announced he would not run for governor in 2009.

"I'm a little surprised. Signs were suggesting to me that he might,'' Kaine told reporters at a press conference. "There's a lot of moving pieces in Virginia politics."

Allen's decision leaves the door open for Attorney General Robert McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and perhaps others to compete for the GOP nomination.

"Throughout his career, Sen. Allen has been a strong leader and a true friend,'' said John Hager, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "While I have full confidence that George Allen would have done great things for Virginia in a second term as Governor of the Commonwealth, I respect his decision to turn down this opportunity."

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Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 01/ 8/2008

Saslaw, Democrats Raise Money

Senate Democrats in Richmond are celebrating their new majority by raising as much money as they can before the legislative session starts tomorrow.

Earlier today, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) headlined a fundraiser for the Senate Democratic Caucus at the Colony Club in downtown Richmond. At the event, about 100 lobbyists and business leaders schmoozed with Kaine and the new Democratic committee chairmen.

"When you got a majority, you get a lot more people at these things," Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) quipped at one point, according to someone who attended.

Saslaw also held a seperate fundraiser Monday night that featured Sen. James Webb (D).

State law prohibits Kaine or legislators from raising money during the legislative session.

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Posted at 9:51 AM ET, 01/ 4/2008

Kaine Congratulates Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, one of the national co-chairmen for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, congratulated the Illinois senator on his victory last night in the Iowa caucus.
 
"Barack's success indicates his broad support and his ability to appeal to folks from across the political spectrum,'' he said. "We have seen that Iowans, like people here in Virginia and across America, are looking for real change in Washington."

The Virginia primary is Feb. 12.
 

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Posted at 4:44 PM ET, 01/ 2/2008

Kaine Spends a Cold Day in Iowa With Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, one of Barack Obama's national co-chairmen, said today that the Illinois senator and presidential hopeful feels like there is "real good momentum" leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

Kaine (D) spent New Year's Day with Obama in Sioux City and Council Bluffs, where more than 1,000 supporters turned out for each event on a day that had temperatures in the single digits.

"It's so close and it's all about turnout and getting folks excited,'' Kaine said. "From what I could tell yesterday, people are pretty excited."

Kaine traveled to South Carolina the weekend before Christmas to campaign for Obama but was not able to go to Iowa as he had planned because of a snow storm. Kaine spent a weekend in Iowa in November.

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Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 12/31/2007

Kaine To Spend New Year's Day in Iowa

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will spend New Year's Day in Iowa with presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, just days before the state's caucuses.

The two will participate in three campaign events in Des Moines, Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

Kaine traveled to South Carolina the weekend before Christmas to campaign for Obama but was not able to go to Iowa as he had planned because of a snow storm. Kaine, one of Obama's national co-chairmen, spent a weekend in Iowa in November.

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Posted at 4:44 PM ET, 12/27/2007

Kaine Bets a Ham

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius have placed a friendly wager on the game between the University of Kansas and Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl.

If Kansas loses to Virginia Tech, Sebelius will send Kaine a "delicious assortment of Kansas beef." If Virginia Tech loses to Kansas, Kaine will send Sebelius a Virginia ham.

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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 12/21/2007

Kaine Sets Special Election

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) today called for a special election Feb. 19 to fill the House of Delegates seat vacated after Robert J. Wittman, a Republican from Westmoreland County, was elected to Congress.

"Holding the special election on February 19th will provide a new delegate with the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the legislative session and to commence important constituent services promptly," Kaine said.

The election in the 99th District gives the Democratic minority in the House a chance for a pickup. The party now controls 44 of the 100 seats in the House.

Former delegate Albert C. Pollard Jr., a Democrat, has indicated he is likely to try to reclaim the seat he held from 2000 to 2005. Pollard narrowly lost a bid for state Senate this year.

The 99th includes all of King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties and part of Caroline County, comprised of the Bowling Green and Port Royal precincts and parts of the Mattaponi and Woodford precincts.

Wittman represented the district until he was elected to succeed the late U.S. representative Jo Ann Davis, a Republican, who died in October.

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Posted at 7:22 PM ET, 12/20/2007

Kaine Hits the Trail, Again, for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will be campaigning almost around the clock this weekend for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Kaine will travel to South Carolina and Iowa, two states crucial to Obama's hopes of clinching the nomination. This will be the second time in a month that Kaine has left Virginia to stump for Obama.

Kaine serves as one of Obama's national cochairmen. You can review Kaine's complete weekend schedule below.

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Posted at 6:46 PM ET, 12/17/2007

Norment No Longer Supports $1 Car Fee

Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) said today he no longer supports keeping the $1 per vehicle surcharge on annual vehicle registrations.

The fee was established in 2003 to raise money to pay for the Jamestown 400th commemoration. Earlier this month, Norment said he wanted Virginia to keep the fee to help pay for tourism promotions, even though the Jamestown celebrations are over.

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Posted at 6:18 PM ET, 12/12/2007

Kaine Rebuffed by DCCC

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said today he's not sure why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn't invest large amounts of money in Democrat Philip Forgit's unsuccessful campaign in the 1st Congressional District.

In a special election yesterday, Forgit lost to Del. Robert Wittman (R-Westmoreland) by more than 20 points in a Republican-leaning district that stretches from Tidewater to Prince William County. Forgit was badly outspent because he failed to attract support from national Democratic groups.

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Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 12/11/2007

Kaine, Warner Won't be Celebrating (or Crying) with Forgit

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and former governor Mark R. Warner, both Democrats, have never been known to miss a good victory celebration.

Last year, Kaine and Warner took center stage at Sen. James Webb's (D) election night party. And last month, Kaine and Warner were partying it up in Tysons Corner after Democrats won control of the state senate.

But neither Kaine nor Warner plan to be with Democrat Philip Forgit tonight as he watches the returns in his race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va).

Forgit is running against Republican Del. Robert J. Wittman in a district that leans Republican. Despite some last minute help from Kaine and Warner, the race never attracted much attention from national Democrats.


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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 12/11/2007

Kaine Takes His Cabinet on the Road

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) took his Cabinet on the road to the Charlottesville area Monday with stops at a Christmas tree farm, a bridge dedication and a reception at James Madison's Montpelier.

After a sit-down lunch with former Gov. Gov. Gerald L. Baliles at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, a reporter from a local weekly asked Kaine if he would serve in the Cabinet if U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was elected president next year.

Kaine smiled and said: "That's not going to happen.''

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Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 12/ 6/2007

Putney Named House Appropriations Leader

House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced that he has picked Del. Lacey E. Putney of Bedford to lead the Appropriations Committee.

The move was a bit controversial because Putney switched from Democrat to independent almost four decades ago. But Putney is a member of the House Republican caucus and the current vice chairman of the committee.

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Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 11/29/2007

Kaine Still Collecting Big Checks From Donors

The state legislative elections are over, and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is barred by law from seeking a second consecutive term in 2009, but that isn't stopping him from raising money.

Even though Kaine raised and spent millions of dollars this fall to help Democrats retake control of the state Senate, the governor's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, has collected $30,000 from three donors since the Nov. 6 election.

On Nov. 8, Kaine received a $10,000 donation from Fred Eychaner, a Chicago businessman and gay rights activist who has given millions to Democratic causes over the years. Last week, the Communications Workers of America also donated $10,000 to Moving Virginia Forward. And Christopher Little, a retired business executive from McDowell, Va., gave Moving Virginia Forward $10,000 Monday, according to the State Board of Elections.

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Posted at 1:56 PM ET, 11/28/2007

Obama Supporters Get Their Man on the Ballot

Supporters of Sen. Barack Obama said today he became the first presidential candidate to qualify to appear on the ballot in Virginia's Feb. 12 presidential primary.

At an event in Richmond, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) led a rally of about two-dozen Obama supporters to announce they had collected 20,000 signatures, nearly double the number required to appear on the ballot.

"He is a person of excellence and America in 2008 is ready for excellence," said Kaine, who endorsed Obama in February.

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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 11/27/2007

Kaine Will Hit the Trail Again for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will campaign for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in December, the weekend before Christmas, just days before some states begin to pick presidential nominees.

"I think he has great momentum,'' Kaine said this morning on his "Ask the Governor" call-in show on WTOP. "He is peaking in Iowa at the right time."

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Posted at 8:43 PM ET, 11/16/2007

Radio Discussion on Virginia Politics

Earlier today, I conducted a 20-minute interview with New York Public Radio about Virginia politics.

Amy Eddings, a guest host for the "The Leonard Lopate Show" on WYNC, wanted to know if Virginia really is turning blue? We discussed last week's state legislative elections and next year's presidential and U.S. Senate contests. I also took questions about the state's shifting demographics, illegal immigration and the role of military voters in state politics.

You can find an audio clip of the interview here.

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Posted at 5:15 PM ET, 11/15/2007

Kaine Heads to Iowa to Stump for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will spend the weekend stumping in Iowa for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Kaine will attend a series of coffees and small meetings for Obama in Cedar Rapids, Vinton, Waverly, Charles City, Osage, Mason City, Algona, Fort Dodge and Webster City. Iowa holds its first-in-the-nation nominating caucus Jan. 3.

Kaine will be traveling by himself, meaning he will be the top draw and the main messenger for Obama at each location.

"In Virginia and the rest of our great nation, people from across the political spectrum are excited by Senator Obama's commitment to uniting our country to make progress on the issues that matter to everyday Americans," said Kaine. "Barack Obama is the best candidate to lead America because he has the experience we need to challenge the conventional thinking in Washington and bring us together to work towards common goals."

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Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 11/14/2007

Virginia Notebook: Election Answers

RICHMOND- Here are the answers to the election questions asked in the Oct. 25 Virginia Notebook after Democrats won the four seats needed to reclaim control of the state Senate and also make inroads in the House of Delegates.

Q Can a Republican still win inside the Beltway?

A Maybe. With Democrat Margaret G. Vanderhye's victory over Republican David M. Hunt for the seat of retiring Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax), there will be no elected Republican state official next year representing an inside-the-Beltway district. Hunt lost by just 540 votes, however. In Alexandria, Del. David L. Englin (D) beat Republican challenger Mark S. Allen by nearly 2 to 1. Even so, I wouldn't write off a Republican candidate's chance to someday prevail in Arlington, Alexandria or Fairfax.

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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 11/12/2007

George Allen Reminisces About the '90s

Former Republican governor George Allen says Virginia has been heading in the wrong direction since he left the governor's mansion in the late 1990s.
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In an op-ed published Sunday in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Allen speaks out about how the Virginia Republican Party can reconnect with voters after Democrats' recent successes at the polls.

Allen, who was governor between 1994 and 1998, takes credit for reforming welfare, making college more affordable and bringing jobs to the commonwealth during the 1990s.

Allen, who also takes a few swipes at Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), said he fears the state is now "coasting along."
"I am concerned that our commonwealth's progress is in danger of stalling," wrote Allen, who many GOP activists say is preparing for another run for governor in 2009.

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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 11/ 8/2007

Mark Warner Launches New Blog

Former governor Mark R. Warner, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008, has launched a new campaign blog on his website.

Warner also sent out a statement this morning soliciting campaign donations. Warner said Virginia Democrats "are on a roll" because of their success in Tuesday's state legislative elections. In the statement, Warner says he and his successor, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), have a record that "speaks for itself."

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Posted at 1:26 PM ET, 10/30/2007

Kaine to Hit Campaign Trail for Obama

When Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) finishes his drive Tuesday to elect more Democrats to the Virginia General Assembly, he will turn his attention to next year's presidential race.

Earlier this year, Kaine became one of the first Democratic governors in the country to endorse Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill) presidential bid. In an interview on WTOP radio this morning, Kaine said he will be traveling to Iowa in mid-November to campaign for Obama.

Kaine will also hit the campaign trail for Obama around Christmas. Kaine said he is still optimistic about Obama's chances, even though several recent polls indicate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) holds a big lead among Democratic voters nationwide. But Obama, Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards appear to be locked in a tight race in the crucial Iowa Democratic caucus Jan. 3.

Virginia's primary is Feb. 12.

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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 10/29/2007

Democrats Send Colgan Some Help

Virginia Democrats are hoping to pick up at least four seats in the state Senate but word is they are worried about losing one of their own: Sen. Charles J. Colgan of Prince William.

To underscore how vulnerable they think Colgan may be when voters go to the polls next Tuesday both of the state Democratic party's superstars will be appearing with him this week.

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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 10/24/2007

Virginia Notebook: Election Day Questions

With the Nov..6 election less than two weeks away, here are some questions raised by the races throughout the state. Answers will appear in the next Virginia Notebook, which will be published Nov..15.

Q. Can a Republican still win inside the Beltway? Retiring Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax) is the last Republican elected official representing a district that is mainly inside the Capital Beltway. Republican Dave Hunt and Democrat Margaret G. Vanderhye are vying to replace Callahan. If Vanderhye wins, it will complete the Democrats' 30-year effort to purge Alexandria, Arlington County and inner Fairfax County of Republican officeholders

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Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 10/23/2007

Richmond Editor Named New Kaine Spokesman

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) appointed Gordon Hickey, political editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, as his new press secretary.

Hickey, 57, of Richmond, has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years, working at the Waukesha (Wisc.) Freeman, the Progress-Index in Petersburg, the Richmond News Leader and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 10/23/2007

Kaine Calls Special Election

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today set a special election Dec. 11 to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), who died Oct. 6 of breast cancer.

The successor will serve the remaining year of Davis' term and would have to seek re-election next fall.

At least a half-dozen Republicans, including Davis' widower, Chuck Davis, and former Loudoun County Del. Dick Black, have announced plans to run or indicated an interest in the vacancy.


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Posted at 1:18 PM ET, 10/19/2007

This Week's Winners and Losers

Winners:
Mark Tate- All campaign finance fraud charges were dismissed against the former GOP Senate candidate from Loudoun County after the prosecutor said the case had been tainted by allegations of improprieties in the investigation.

Tim Kaine Two different polls came out during the past week showing Kaine's approval ratings remain strong, despite the summer-long controversy over abuser fees and illegal immigration. Kaine has also proved he's a prolific fundraiser. Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, has $1 million in the bank to spend in the campaign's final days. With three weeks to go until the election, Kaine is popular and rich. What more could a politician ask for?

Jim Gilmore: The former governor scores a big victory by convincing the Republican State Central Committee to hold a convention over a primary to select its nominee in next year's U.S. Senate race. Gilmore also appears hungry to get back into the game. He showed up at the central committee meeting and was personally lobbying members right up to the vote. His chief rival, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), was campaigning for his wife, Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis.

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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 10/18/2007

Democrats throw a party

Sen. Henry L. Marsh III (D-Richmond) will be honored for his 41 years of service in public office tonight at what looks to be a very swanky reception at the Richmond Marriott.

Special guests include Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, former Gov. Mark R. Warner and U.S. Rep. Robert Scott. There will be a jazz ensemble, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.

Marsh faces an independent in next month's election and with it being just a few weeks before the big day, they have turned this event into a fundraiser. $500 to $1,000 buys you a ticket.

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Posted at 3:13 PM ET, 10/16/2007

Who is Tim Kaine's Half-Million Dollar Man?

Randal J. Kirk, a Radford businessman, has become Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) half-million dollar man.

On Oct. 4, Kirk donated $250,000 to Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, that is trying to elect more Democrats to the General Assembly. Over the past two years, Kirk has contributed a total of $450,000 to the PAC, according to the State Board of Elections.

In 2005, Kirk also donated $100,000 to Kaine's campaign for governor. He gave another $100,000 to Kaine that year through one of his holding companies, according to the Roanoke Times.

Kirk is Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Third Security, LLC, an investment management firm he founded in 1999. In July, Kaine reappointed Kirk to Radford University's governing board.

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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 10/15/2007

Hugo Asks For an Apology But Doesn't Get One

Late last week, Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) wrote a letter to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) asking him to denounce a campaign mailer sent out by Hugo's Democratic opponent, Rex Simmons, and apologize for the Democratic party's involvement.

"As a good father, I ask you to consider how you would respond when a child or family member asks you why someone would falsely accuse you of complicity in human torture,'' Hugo wrote Thursday. "As a man of honor, I call on you to direct the Democratic Party of Virginia to issue a retraction and an apology to me and my family."

Three days later, Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, sent out an email to supporters highlighting two candidates for the General Assembly including Simmons.

"Rex Simmons believes in Virginia's future. He was an underdog. But he's fought hard and clawed his way into a race that has great potential for Virginia Democrats,'' Kaine wrote. "He's proven himself 100%, and I'm proud to support his campaign."

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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 10/15/2007

Republicans Accuse Kaine of Playing Politics

For the second week in a row, House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith accused the Kaine administration of trying to scare voters into believing the state's finances are worse than they are.

Griffith (R-Salem) called the administration's lack of information "inappropriate" and "improper" and said it's not the way things should be done in Virginia.

Earlier on Monday, Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee berated the state's secretary of finance and budget director for failing to provide other alternatives to the state's $640-million shortfall besides crucial cuts to services or dipping into the state's rainy day fund.

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Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 10/12/2007

Post Poll Preview: Kaine Earns High Marks

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval rating has dropped 14 points in the last year, but a large majority of residents still think he is doing a good job, according to a Washington Post poll scheduled to be published Sunday.

The poll will cover Virginians' views on next month's election for control of the General Assembly. It willl also gauge voters' attitudes about the two parties as well as issues such as transportation and the environment. A poll published today looked at next year's Senate and presidential race.

Kaine has been campaigning for Democratic candidates running for the House and Senate. In a Washington Post poll last year, Kaine scored an unusually high 77 percent approval rating. But this weekend's poll shows Kaine with a 63 percent approval rating.

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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 10/ 5/2007

Dems Want GOP to Pledge Education Support

At a sparsely-attended press conference in Richmond today, House Democratic leaders called on Republicans to agree to preserve money for public education.

"We have seen an erosion of support by Republican leaders for public schools,'' said Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), who leads the Democratic caucus in the House.

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Posted at 1:01 AM ET, 10/ 4/2007

Virginia Notebook: The Omeish Blunder

It hasn't been an easy week for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D).

With the Nov..6 election a month away, Democrats had been feeling increasingly confident they could make big gains in the General Assembly. But their momentum might be stopped by the Kaine administration's blunder involving the appointment of Esam S. Omeish to the Virginia Commission on Immigration.

Republicans are seizing on the Omeish fiasco, using it to energize the party's conservative base. But in trying to score political points, have Republicans once again proven they're out of touch with increasingly diverse Northern Virginia?

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Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 10/ 3/2007

Kaine Still Has High Hopes for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said he's still confident Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) can overcome Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to win the Democratic nomination for president, despite new poll numbers that show Clinton is widening her lead nationwide.

In an interview this morning, Kaine said Obama is still well positioned to win the Iowa caucus, where many polls show a three race between Clinton, Obama and John Edwards.

"Someone who comes in and wins Iowa in a surprise way gets a tremendous amount of momentum," said Kaine, who earlier this year became the first sitting Democratic governor to endorse Obama. "I feel very good where Obama is in Iowa."

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Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 10/ 1/2007

Gilbert Presses Kaine

Virginia Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) asked a "national reformed Muslim organization" to put together some guidelines for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to consider before he replaces Dr. Esam Omeish on the Virginia Commission on Immigration.

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Posted at 1:57 PM ET, 09/27/2007

Kaine Announces Esam Omeish's Resignation

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine released this statement today in regards to the resignation of Esam Omeish, recent appointee to the Virginia Commission on Immigration.

I have accepted Dr. Esam Omeish's resignation as one of the 10 gubernatorial appointees to the 20-member Virginia Commission on Immigration. Dr. Omeish is a respected physician and community leader, yet I have been made aware of certain statements he has made which concern me. Dr. Omeish indicated that he did not want this controversy to distract from the important work of the Commission. I intend to name another representative of the Muslim community to the Commission in the near future.

Kaine faced questions about the appointee after a caller to Kaine's regular program on WRVA Richmond asked the governor about the Omeish appointment and online videos that identify Omeish as the speaker.

The Virginia Commission on Immigration was created this year as an advisory commission to analyze the current impact of immigration on the state. On Tuesday, the commission selected Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Chesterfield) as the chairman of the panel.

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