Pat Mullins

Is Just Announced Fundraiser A Clue About Perry-McDonnell?

Governor Bob McDonnell has become a front runner in the Republican Party's Veepstakes. He, along with Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (see Alex Pappas at The Daily Caller), seem to sop up much of media mentions for the second spot, such as the time the media gives to the second spot at this stage. Normally, being the frontrunner for the presidency this early consigns him to the status of a coach who's received the owner's "vote of confidence" (i.e., he's not long for the job) much less one mentioned for the second spot. But at least those coaches get a vote. The potential Veeps seemingly are vetted only by the Great Mentioner — the amalgamation of omnipresent radio and cable pundits — who cannot even begin to conjure the myriad of factors that ultimately mix to produce a national ticket . . . such as . . . say . . . the presidential nominee himself . . . and his electoral strengths and weaknesses as well as all sorts of balancing acts including geography, age and even ethnicity, to name a few. But also personal chemistry. Which brings us to an announcement earlier today by the Republican Party of Virginia: It is having a fundraiser hosted by Governor Bob McDonnell and headlined by Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry (FoxNews.com). Let's face it: The state party with its governor in power does not randomly ask individuals to raise money for it.

Talk long has focused on how well the two get along and around Capitol Square there have been whispers that Perry has McDonnell in mind — already. Perry was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association while McDonnell was its vice chair, becoming chairman upon Perry's resignation to run for president. Add this friendship to Governor McDonnell's potential interest in the job (see Richmond Times-Dispatch) and the grassroots luncheon fundraiser takes on a new flavor. Because of his position with the RGA, word was Governor McDonnell would not endorse a candidate during the primaries (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog) — a silence normally employed by Veeps in waiting to make them plausible to whoever the eventual nominee is). That also make it easier on Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, very much tied to the governor, who enthusiastically chairs Mitt Romney's Virginia campaign, as he did four years ago (The Shad Plank).

Another hint of the governors' simpatico comes from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins, who said in a statement:

We're absolutely thrilled that Governor Perry will be with us for this event. Governor Perry's record in Texas of lower taxes, limited government, and job growth looks familiar to anyone who pays attention to Virginia politics. Like our own Governor Bob McDonnell, Gov. Perry has balanced his state's budget by making prudent decisions, rather than treating taxpayers like an ATM.

This is where we cue another expression: A picture is worth a thousand words. He may or may not endorse Rick Perry, but Bob McDonnell seems to be giving an indication as to who he prefers. The question is whether, if he wins the GOP nomination, Perry prefers Bob McDonnell.

McBollinelli Rides Again: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli Headline Victory Rally Tours Sunday And Monday

Reminiscent of the closing days of last year's historic campaign that led to a landslide "McBollinelli" statewide sweep, Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli again will campaign together on a two-day victory rally tour today and tomorrow, crisscrossing the commonwealth in support of Republican Congressional candidates. (After Sunday, Lt. Governor Bolling will re-join the tour Monday at the last rally.) They will be joined by Republican Party of Virginia chairman Pat Mullins.

Here's the schedule:

Sunday 1:30 p.m.

Fairfax County Republican Committee headquarters, 4246 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax.

Sunday 5:00 p.m.

Albemarle/Charlottesville Victory Office, 455 Albemarle Square, Charlottesville 

Sunday 7:30 p.m.

Virginia Tech/Montgomery Airport, 1601 Tech Center Drive, Blacksburg 

Monday 8:00 a.m.

Virginia Highlands Airport, 18521 Lee Highway, Abingdon

Monday 11:00 a.m. 

Lynchburg Victory Office, 3700 Candler's Mountain Road Unit No. 2, Lynchburg

Monday 2:00 p.m.

Danville Victory Office, 625 Piney Forest Road Suite 207, Danville

Monday 5:15 p.m.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4453 Bonney Road, Virginia Beach

Polls Show Virginia GOP Within Distance Of Sweeping Four Targeted House Seats

In 1994, a year after George Allen led a historic landslide Republican victory in the Old Dominion, Virginia was, for the most part, left out of the national limelight in the even more historic national Republican wave that won the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for the first time in more than 40years. Oliver North lost a hotly contested Senate race to Chuck Robb and the GOP picked up only one House seat (the 11th, Tom Davis) while Republicans were winning in all corners of America. Was reason given by pundits at the time was that Virginians had gotten the protest out of their system in 1993. This year, following last year's more-impressive-than-1993 Bob McDonnell-led-landslide, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins has been fond of saying that to take back the House, the GOP needs to gain 40 seats; 10 percent of that is here in Virginia. Now, as Jim Geraghty of National Review's Campaign Spot blog writes today, polling information shows those victories may be within reach: Three Republican challengers in those four targeted districts are leading their Democrat incumbent rivals, with a fourth closing fast. Here's the breakdown:

» In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican Scott Rigell leads Democrat Glenn Nye, 48.6 to 34.5 percent.

» In the 5th District, Republican Robert Hurt leads Democrat Tom Perriello, 51.1 to 34.7 percent.

» In the 11th District, Republican Keith Fimian leads Democrat Gerry Connolly, 42.2 percent to 36.7 percent.

» In the 9th District, Republican challenger Morgan Griffith is down to Democrat Rick Boucher only 42.6 to 39.7 percent. However, one poll had Boucher up by 20 points about a month back, then by only 8 points a couple of weeks ago. The recent fallout over Mr. Boucher buying a brand new Ford with campaign funds while Virginians in the Southwest part of the state are suffering particularly hard during this recession could easily factor into a quickly narrowing gap.

The rest of the respondents in each poll were undecided. Tellingly, though, the poll, conducted by ccAdvdertising, does not include independents or third parties. Although not a top tier polling outfit, the snapshot does provide a glimpse of what directions the campaigns are going and who has momentum.

Not all landslides are the same and electorates can swing back from whence they came in a very short time. But this year, Virginia Democrats have much going against them, much more so than in 1994. Many of the circumstances that drove people to the polls and to the GOP in Virginia and in blue New Jersey (and deep blue Massachusetts in January) last year are still around: Primarily, as in the case of Congressman Boucher, this:

This love is going to last, but that might not be a good thing.

And this:

He's doing fine, representing liberal special interests rather then his constituents.

RPV Plays Let It Snow For Boucher And Perriello

The Republican Party of Virginia released a new Web ad today. It has a decidedly winter theme and two specific targets. According to a written statement by RPV Chairman Pat Mullins:

Virginians all over the Commonwealth are bracing for yet another blast of winter weather, which will no doubt keep roads hazardous and schools closed for days. Forecasters from Bristol to Winchester are calling for more than a foot of snow.

With so many people stuck indoors around the heater, lots of folks will have the opportunity to watch the news. We thought that it might be a good time to remind them that Democrats Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello not only voted to make their heating bills far more expensive, but also to kill thousands of more jobs around the Commonwealth.

Dreaming of a white Valentine's? The Old Dominion is experiencing its third big snow this winter and one more may be on the way. Good thing Perriello and Boucher are working on that global warming stuff!

Pat Mullins' Take On Today's Big Senate Vote

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins didn't take long to break out the figurative champagne bottle and celebrate the Senate passage of the health care freedom bills. Then he promptly took a figurative swing with that bottle at two Virginia Congressional Democrats who voted for the monstrosity that precipitated the need for today's Senate action. Below is a statement released by RPV that includes two quotes from the chairman:

Statement on today's bipartisan vote that stops the Federal takeover

"Monday's bipartisan vote illustrates just how far out of touch Democrats like Rep. Tom Perriello, D-5th, and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th, are on the issue of health care," Mullins said. "When Republicans asked Senate Democrats to join them in standing up against federal overreach, five decided to put the rights of their constituents ahead of the wishes of Washington, D.C."

Perriello and Connolly voted in favor of a bill backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year that would have required every Virginian to purchase federal government approved insurance from a federal government approved insurance company in a federal government created marketplace, or face stiff fines or jail time.

"Even Democrats in the Virginia Senate realize that the health care nightmare being negotiated behind closed doors across the Potomac is bad news for their constituents," Mullins said. "Monday's vote shows again that Reps. Perriello, Connolly and the rest of the Democrats in Washington, D.C., aren't listening to their employers — the voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Poll: Who's You Candidate For Republican Party Of Virginia Chairman?

There has been a lot of upheaval in the Republican Party of Virginia this year, with the Republican State Central Committee removing Delegate Jeff Frederick from the post he won at last year's convention. The State Central Committee then voted in to the state chair Pat Mullins, the former Fairfax County and current Louisa County GOP chairman. He is running to fill out the remainder of the term, as is Franklin County Chairman Bill Stanley, at the Republican State Convention this weekend in Richmond. You may vote between now and Saturday at 10:00 a.m., then click on the headline and let us know why you support either of the candidates.

BREAKING: Did We Start A Firestorm?

In what surely will make large headlines tomorrow (ahem), Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today called on Governor Tim Kaine to resign one of his two jobs if they are too "challenging" for him. In Saturday's Richmond Times-Dispatch, Governor Kaine seemed to complain about the stresses of chairing the Democrat National Committee in addition to his day job when he said, "I am trying to juggle two pretty challenging jobs. It's not an easy time to be a governor."   We believe we were the first to comment on it (click here), followed by Bearing Drift. We teased him about showing some of that well-known liberal compassion and giving up the DNC job to a down-and-out Dem. But we also wrote that the governor surely knew the demands of the jobs, and that it was apparent his day job was suffering as a result of his moonlighting. Now, apparently, three days later, Chairman Mullins is catching up with his required reading.

Here is the RPV statement in full, issued only a few minutes ago:

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today issued the following statement in response to Tim Kaine's complaint about the burdens of being Governor of Virginia at the same time he is chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted from Kaine's remarks to members of the DNC executive committee. Kaine said, "I am trying to juggle two pretty challenging jobs. It's not an easy time to be governor." (RTD, May 15, 2009)

Chairman Mullins' statement is as follows:

"I was sorry to hear that Tim Kaine is finding it difficult to manage his time between his political duties as head of the national Democratic Party and his constitutional duties as the Governor of Virginia. The people of Virginia elected him to do the job he campaigned for, which is of particular importance as many Virginians are facing difficult economic troubles.

"He simply cannot be a part-time governor when people are looking for full-time solutions. If Tim Kaine thinks his burdens are too great, he should pick one job to do and resign from the other."