Senator Ken Cuccinelli

Virginia News Stand: October 20, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Polls, Debates And Third Party Ads

It's all about the race to Richmond now (except for a new twist on the Senator Norment situation). Even CBS News is jumping into the coverage. With two weeks left there's a bombardment of polls by every pollster this side of Minsk who wants to play Kreskin. Today, two more were released: One from Christopher Newport University and one from Clarus Research Group. In the campaign for governor, CNU has Republican Bob McDonnell up by 14 (not likely) but his running mate, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, up by just a few (even less likely), while Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), up by something more than a handful (we'll buy that; it's consistent with other polls). Clarus is more in line with the Mason-Dixon and the Washington Post polls: McDonnell up eight, Bolling up seven (still seems light) and Cuccinelli up eight, but with many more undecideds in the latter two races.

If there aren't enough polls for you, the third party ads are in high gear now: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA have jumped in on McDonnell's behalf, though not likely offsetting the big labor putsch for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Debates are also in high gear as tonight's last gubernatorial version should be fun, especially since it is not on statewide television (embarrassing). Democrat Jody Wagner and Lt. Governor Bolling got into it last night. A math test for Ms. Wagner would've been more fun, though.

But will any of this matter? The Dems don't think so. Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Dickie Cranwell says his side's get-out-the-vote machinery will do the trick. That's why President Obama is coming in for Senator Deeds. Of course, the last three elections the Republicans bragged about their turnout operation as well. Ask Governor Kilgore. But if the Dems can confound the pollsters, it'll be because of their newfound and robust voter rolls and sheer force of numbers. Right now, it's their only chance. 

News:

McDonnell Pulls Away in Va. Gov. Race; Tie in N.J. (CBSNews.com)

CNU poll: McDonnell holds double-digit lead in Va. gov race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor’s Race: GOP tops all three statewide elections in new Clarus Poll (ClarusRG.com)  

NRA's New Ad: McDonnell Protects You From "Them" (TheAtlantic.com)

Deeds campaign to focus on getting Obama supporters to polls (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds races to hook true-blue Democrats (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell to debate for last time tonight (Washington Post)

Lieutenant governor hopefuls' debate becomes heated (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lt. Gov. candidates spar over attendance (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

In Sept., Dems outspent GOP in Va. House contests (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Garrett and Valentine spar on taxes, transportation, tuition (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Economy, jobs key issues in 7th District (Roanoke Times)

Sen. Norment and Attorney General's office release opinion on W&M job (The Shad Plank Blog)

Virginia News Stand: October 12, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Debate/Mason-Dixon Edition

The news is almost all campaign, with several national articles (including the New York Times, which has two pieces — one specifically on Virginia, in the News section, and one on Virginia and New Jersey and their national implications, in National News) continuing to shine the national flood lights on the commonwealth. Tonight is also debate night, the first live televised one. Will Democrat Creigh Deeds apologize for his negative campaign? Will he finally explain his transportation and tax increase plans (his last attempt at explaining the latter was called "embarrassing" today by his patron, the Washington Post, and now has been turned into a new ad, which will begin running tonight).

Now the Dems, including DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, are targeting Senator Ken Cuccinelli. He began an ad they say is unfair and misrepresents Democrat attorney general candidate Steve Shannon's position on the special session that remedied a Supreme Court decision that would ceased prosecutions on drunk drivers and drug offenders. Hmmm. How do you misrepresent Shannon's view? Calling it a "political stunt" is pretty hard to misinterpret.

But the big news was the release of Mason-Dixon's first poll this campaign season. Mason-Dixon is the gold standard in Virginia political polls. The last poll it conducts, the Sunday before each election day, has never predicted the wrong winner, so it is awaited with baited breath. Its 2009 debut has all three Republicans leading: Bob McDonnell up by eight for governor, Lt. Governor Bill Bollingup by 13, and Cuccinelli up by seven. Not to be outdone, however, is SurveyUSA, which conducted another poll last week for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke and WJLA-TV in Washington (its fourth consecutive weekly poll). It was mostly drowned out by the Washington Post poll results, which showed all three Republicans up by nine. SurveyUSA has the three Republicans up by 11, 17 and 10, respectively. Details on everything mentioned above, and more, are below.

News:

Mason-Dixon Poll: McDonnell up by 8 points over Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Lynchburg News & Advance

Mason-Dixon Shows McDonnell by 8 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Poll: GOP's Bolling, Cuccinelli lead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia: 4 Weeks Until Votes Are Counted, Republicans Remain Poised to Win 3 Top Statewide Contests (SurveyUSA.com)

Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll (SurveyUSA.com)

Va. Candidates Meet Tonight in First Live TV Debate (Washington Post)

Debate a major moment in Va. governor's race (AP/The Daily Press)

Two State Races May Put Lens on Obama (New York Times)

GOP Launches New Ad on Deeds and Taxes (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli Airs New Ad; Shannon, Kaine Protest (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog

Kaine says Obama supporters key for Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Biden calls Virginia race winnable for Deeds.... (The Shad Plank Blog)

Debate in House race heats up over transportation question (Lynchburg News & Advance)

8th District candidates debate in Roanoke Co. (Roanoke Times)

Sexually explicit novel pulled from Roanoke school libraries (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Democrats May Lose Two Governors Races (Reuters/New York Times)

McDonnell Holds GOP Comeback Hopes in Virginia; Dems Hope Deeds Bet Pays Off  (PoliticsDaily.com)

House Votes to Add Sexual Orientation to Law on Hate Crimes (Washington Post)

Analysis:

Republican sweep looking likely in Virginia (Josh Kraushaar/The Scorecard Blog Politico.com)

Virginia News Stand: October 8, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Late And Washington Post Poll Edition

The big news was from the Washington Post this afternoon, when it releases its latest poll showing all three Republicans — Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Senator Ken Cuccinelli — leading their respective races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general by nine points. The other big news today concerning the statewide races is that Cuccinelli's opponent for attorney general, Democrat Delegate Steve Shannon, tried to emulate his gubernatorial ticket mate Creigh Deeds in question dodging (see Tertium Quids below). Who does it better? You watch. You decide.

Other than that, the debt is at third world levels, the CBO says BaucusCare is nearly as expensive, the Supreme Court hears a religious liberty case, and a more ineffective "jobs programs" is on its way. The good news is that we have some superior insights from Larry Kudlow, Michelle Malkin, Bobby Eberle, Michael Barone and Lisa Fabrizio on ObamaCare, his Olympic flame-out and political weakness, and how to create real and plenty jobs.  

News:

McDonnell Widens Lead in Virginia Governor's Race (Washington Post)

WaPo Poll: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli all +9 (Tertium Quids Blog)

Explicit 'Banned Book' Infuriates Virginia Father, Leads to School Review (FoxNews.com)

Democrats beg Deeds for positive message (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democrats vowing to hold strong in fight for governor (Northern Virginia Daily)

Deeds avoids Obama, embraces Warner (Washington Times)

Videos Highlight Dueling Images (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, at the AG Debate . . . (Tertium Quids Blog)

Delegates candidates speak at Henrico forum (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Contrasting Candidates Enter Final Month In Race For House Of Delegates (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Hurt will seek GOP nomination to challenge Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land (AP/GOPUSA.com)

CBO: Budget deficit triples to record $1.4T in 2009 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health bill would cost $829B, cover 94 percent (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bill increases spending on food stamps, nutrition (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Lawmaker: Cost of presidential copter tripled (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama huddles with Democratic leaders over jobs (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

The Mundell-Laffer Solution (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Weak Himself, Obama Draws Strength From Bush (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

O-lympics (Lisa Fabrizio/GOPUSA.com)

Couldn't the 'Men in White Coats' Just Take Obama Away? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Spin Doctors For Obamacare (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's 'No I in Team Syndrome (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Now, It's Shannon's Turn

We know why the three Democrat candidates for statewide office are reluctant to debate, even though they are behind in the polls — they either don't know their own positions (see Creigh Deeds tax and Marriage Amendment videos) or don't know much about the job they are seeking (see Jody Wagner video). Now it's Delegate Steve Shannon's turn to show his incompetence as he seeks election to attorney general, Virginia's second most important office. Tuesday, we commented on a debate he and his Republican attorney general opponent, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, had on WTOP-AM in Washington, D.C. It didn't go well for Shannon, then. Last night, in Prince William County, it got worse. Also, again, it wasn't broadcast. But we do have the magic of YouTube and, with his performance, Shannon might become a bigger video celebrity than Deeds, whose tax video has been seen by 50,000-plus people.  

In the video, Senator Cuccinelli asks Delegate Shannon to name the divisions within the attorney general's office and their functions. Shannon doesn't know! He says it's a gotcha question, as if not knowing the structure of the commonwealth's law firm is a trivial matter, and refuses to answer! (Hear the derisive laughs from the audience.) Does he think the governor doesn't have to know how many cabinet departments there are, or their functions? 

At the end, you can hear Delegate Shannon tell a reporter, "It's been a bad week . . . for Ken." If polls showing his opponent up by double digits is his idea of bad, no wonder he thinks he answered the question!

You May Want To Listen To This: AG Debate Link And Analysis

Last week, the candidates for attorney general, Republican Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Delegate Steve Shannon, both of Fairfax, had only their second debate and the first that was broadcast — but only on Washington radio station WTOP-AM. (Democrat debate ducking has been taken to a whole new level this year.) What's particularly perplexing is the lack of coverage the media has affored the few debates that have taken place in any of the three statewide races, especially given the media's endless pontificating about elections and issues versus slick and negative advertising. (With only a handful of debates, it sure doesn't take a lot to cover them, either.) Yet, three candidates repeatedly refuse to debate (despite being well behind in the polls) and, when there is one, it is not on statewide television.

But we did have that one AG debate on WTOP's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin (listen here). The highlight seems to be Delegate Shannon's "I am a pro-business, law and order centrist," comment when, in fact, he has a 100-percent AFL-CIO voting record (see AFL-CIO here) and has received nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions from big labor during his six years in the General Assembly — $120,000 of which has come during his attorney general run (see VPAP.org). 

What makes the statement even more astonishing is that Delegate Shannon attended a seminar in mid-September in Annapolis, Md., put on by the Democrat Attorneys General Association, that taught attorneys general how to sue companies into achieving liberal, extremist environmental policies not won through the legislative process. A suit-filing, job-killing AG. Now that's business friendly.

As if that wasn't enough, when it was Delegate Shannon's turn to ask the one question each candidate was allowed to ask of the other, he asked Senator Cuccinelli about global warming and "cap and trade." If this is so important, why do Delegate Shannon's television ads stress Internet predators?

Instead, he wants to sue employers into closing down, such as the MeadWestvaco plant in Creigh Deeds' own senate district. Read here what company Vice President Mark George wrote in an op-ed about the affect "cap and trade" would have on its Alleghany factory. It's liberal strategy to redefine terms (marriage comes to mind), but instead of coming down the middle, Delegate Shannon comes right down Leftist Lane. 

Virginia News Stand: October 5, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Dems Abandoning Deeds? Surprisingly Close House Race?

Articles of note in today's large News Stand: At the top of the News section, as well as at the top of the National News section, are articles in which leading national Democrats  sound as if Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds is in the bottom of the ninth, with at least one out. New Jersey is the name of the game, now, they say (see this QOD if you haven't yet).

Meanwhile, Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), was the only one of the six statewide candidates to speak at the traditional Jefferson Assembly at Poplar Forest. (Virginia pols turning down a chance to appear Jeffersonian?) The Richmond Times-Dispatch looks at 10 House of Delegates races that may decide its control. Most interesting, it includes the 69th district race. The 69th is a majority-minority district and is overwhelmingly Democrat. But Republican Ernesto Sampson is giving Democrat Betsy Carr more than she wants.

Aside from campaigns, the Life issue continues to confound liberals, who don't seem to understand that people have a natural instinct to preserve it. First, a new Pew Research poll confirms a Gallup survey earlier this year — support for Life continues to rise. Those supporting abortion are stagnant or falling. See the Analysis section. Then, for all the stereotype of college students being pro-abortion, there are Students for Life groups springing up all over Virginia campuses and around the country. The James Madison University Dukes for Life are profiled in the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record

News:

Schweitzer: Dems Have Better Shot in New Jersey (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Deeds: From Patching Fence to Straddling It (Washington Post)

McDonnell Tops Deeds On TV Ad Spending (Washington Post)

In cash race, businesses back Va. governor candidate McDonnell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

RPV Blasts Deeds for GOP-Backed Bill (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Deeds, McDonnell each claim endorsements (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

DNC giving Deeds additional $1 million (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Politicians stump at Poplar Forest event (Lynchburg News & Advance)

TV ad wars heat up in governor's race (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

House of Delegates control up for grabs (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gilbert Boosts War Chest With $19K Fundraiser (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Newcomers compete for Del. Kenneth Melvin's seat in 80th House district (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

JMU Group Joins Abortion Protest (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

High court rejects 'Choose Life' plates case (Washington Times)

National News:

Democrats see rise in New Jersey, fade in Va. governors' races (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot/Politico.com)

Same-sex marriage close to D.C. approval (Washington Times)

Analysis:

Support for abortion slips (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Poll Check: A Shift on Abortion? (Jon Cohen/Washington Post Behind The Numbers Blog)

New Rasmussen Poll This Afternoon: McDonnell Up 51-42

We're awash in polls right now and the attending controversy they inevitably entail. But a new poll released a few hours ago may shed light on which polls are more accurate — or not (see Politico.com). Rasmussen Reports today released a poll that shows Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell leading his Democrat opponent, Senator Creigh Deeds, 51-42 (see RasmussenReports.com). Rasmussen's previous poll had the difference at only two percentage points, contributing to the perception of a tightening race. Subsequent polls from the liberal Washington Post (a four-point difference), which has endorsed Deeds, and Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning firm, (a five-point difference) confirmed that perception.

Yesterday, however, a SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll had the GOP ticket up by double digits. But it was largely ignored by the Mainstream Media because its results are out of line with the others. Now, the very reputable Rasmussen poll seems as close to the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll as it does the PPP poll (which one Richmond radio station reported on for a full 24 hours). Furthermore, even the PPP poll has Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and attorney general candidate Senator Ken Cuccinelli up by eight and nine points, respectively, further validating the point of view that the GOP ticket has a significant lead.

Who's right — those who say it's close or those who think the GOP is on its way? We won't know until election day. But Rasmussen does have a track record. According to a testimonial on its Web site, it "produces some of the most accurate and reliable polls in the country today." None other than Virginia politico guru Dr. Larry Sabato said it.

Recent Polls

Two polls on Virginia's statewide campaigns were released within the last 48 hours: one, by the Democrat leaning polling firm, Public Policy Polling, and one by SurveyUSA for Roanoke television station WDBJ-TV. It is interesting to note that the PPP poll has received exponential media coverage, lasting well into the second day after it was released. The SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll was released last night but is hardly causing a blip on the Mainstream Media's radar screen. The most likely explanation is that the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll seems out of whack when compared to other polls. While many have the governor's race in a four to seven point range, in favor of Republican Bob McDonnell, the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll shows him up by double digits, as it does his running mates Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, running for re-election, and Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), running for attorney general. Still, that's never stopped the notoriously out of proportion Washington Post polls from getting top billing across the state. 

In what has gone practically unmentioned in the frenzy of the tightening of PPP's poll, however, is that it also shows Lt. Governor Bolling and Senator Cuccinelli leading by eight and nine points, respectively. So, we have a Mainstream Media cherry picking news even from the one poll on which it has focused. Not only that, but by its own admission, the PPP poll's "internals" do not show bad news for McDonnell. Among the fndings (see PPP Blog here):

52% of voters say they're very familiar with the thesis and McDonnell actually has a 55-41 {lead} with that group, reflecting the fact that Republicans are more engaged this year and following the campaign more closely. Deeds is up 56-41 with the 29% of voters who claim moderate knowledge of the thesis.

(Does this mean conservative voters are more informed, or just that they don't watch MSNBC?)

In another blog post,PPP's Tom Jensen writes that Democrat candidate Creigh Deeds leads among voters who were undecided a month ago by 35-32 percent, and lists this as an advantage for him. But it's within the margin of error and not enough to close the gap.

Back to SurveyUSA. Here's a link to its methodology and complete statistical breakdown. It survey 1,000 Virginians, 886 of them registered to vote, and filtered its responses to the 631 of them determined to be likely voters this November.

BREAKING: WDBJ/SurveyUSA Poll Shows GOP Ticket Up By Double Digits

A new statewide poll by SurveyUSA for Roanoke television station WDBJ (see here) released tonight shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell leading his Democrat opponent Creigh Deeds by a 55-41 percent margin. This is in keeping with all other recent polls that show McDonnell ahead, but differs significantly in its margin. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, seeking re-election, leads his Democrat opponent Jody Wagner by a 54-41 margin, and Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) leads Delegate Steve Shannon (D-35, Fairfax) by 53-42 percent in the attorney general campaign. Four percent remain undecided in the governor's race while five percent are undecided in the other two.

Here's the WDBJ video report:

Dems, Deeds Dis Hispanic Voters In Richmond?

Here are two photos that tell a story to which I was a witness. It's a story about the Richmond City Republican Committee, a small, but aggressive organization, and its Democrat counterpart, a large organization, that runs much of the city's political machinery. From the get-go of last Saturday's Que Pasa Festival, Richmond's largest Hispanic cultural event and party, the Richmond GOP was active putting up and distributing signs (in Spanish and English), handing out stickers and literature, and manning a booth, among other activities. The city Dems, up until 1:00 p.m. (an hour into the event), were pretty much M.I.A. A couple of college student-looking lads showed up around 12:45 and walked around with clipboards and not doing much else. At 1:00 they had a table stocked and somewhat staffed (the photo below was at 12:30). Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli attended the event as well, and worked the crowd which received them warmly as city committee members followed them handing out stickers and information, and pointing out local media. To his credit, Democrat A.G. candidate Delegate Steve Shannon showed up for a while later in the day. But the city Dems (who left an hour early after showing up late), and their standard bearer, who claim to stand for so many minorities, seem to have taken the Richmond Hispanic vote for granted.

The moral of the story: Those who stereotypically report that one party or another writes off certain voters may be correct, but it may not be the one they claim — at the very least, the Richmond city GOP showed they don't take anyone for granted (and not for the first time). Might the Richmond Dems be doing what they accuse Republicans of doing?

(Admin's note: The pictures and "scoop" here was going to be an exclusive, but I waived my claim, and other blogs may have picked this up over the weekend.)

GOP table1

Apoyamos McDonnell, Bolling y Cuccinelli. Ready, willing and able. An underdog Richmond GOP took on its bigger opponent on their own turf.

Dem Table

Excuse me, anyone home? I'm looking for some Deeds material? Perhaps Wagner?

Virginia News Stand: September 24, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  As The Day Turned: Chamber, FOP, Wilder

This morning started out with major news for Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, with the very non-partisan Fairfax Chamber of Commerce endorsing him. (Where's the Washington Post article?) This same chamber endorsed Mark Warner in 2001. So, no GOP echo chamber here. As its number one issue is transportation, it clearly is sending a message as to whose plan is better for Northern Virginia.

As the day went on, it only got better for him. First, the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McDonnell and his running mates, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for re-election and Senator Ken Cuccinelli for attorney general. McDonnell's opponent, Democrat Senator Creigh Deeds, who shrugged of the NRA's endorsement of McDonnell a few weeks ago, even though the NRA endorsed Deeds in his AG run in 2005, said what really mattered this year was the FOP's endorsement. Okay, we now have it, senator. What say you, now?

But perhaps the dirt on Deeds day was that former Governor Doug Wilder later in the afternoon issued a statement in which he refused to endorse him. He also did not endorse him in 2005. Although it was never likely he would endorse McDonnell, even this non-endorsement must be seen as a major surprise. As I wrote yesterday, Mr. Wilder said that this election is a referendum on Barack Obama, for whom he enthusiastically campaigned last year. Why would he contribute something, by his own admission, would make his party's president look bad? Especially after the administration talked to him extensively about it? As we say in Richmond about our former mayor, "That's Doug." That's how he turns, and as the morning turned to the afternoon today, the momentum may have turned firmly back to McDonnell.

News:

Fairfax chamber endorses McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fairfax chamber backs McDonnell for governor (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell aims to tap support of veterans (Washington Times)

Warner urges action on health care (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

William Smith hopes past won't haunt in House of Delegates race (Roanoke Times)

Some Va. rest areas getting electric-car chargers (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News:

Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job (FoxNews.com)

Analysis:

Fairfax Chamber Chooses McDonnell over Deeds, on Transportation (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Young Women, Meet Young Bob McDonnell (Rosalind S. Helderman and Jennifer Agiesta/Washington Post)

Commentary:

Virginia, Meet Your Mondale (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Virginia News Stand: August 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Sunday Times

I had all sorts of wit and wisdom to make your Sunday evening or Monday morning a true pleasure, but I was derailed. Hey, you got two gems prior to this! So, let me point out some of the links of interest below. First, scroll down to the National News section, where two Virginians get a national spotlight, including Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax). The Republican nominee for attorney general is highlighted in Human Events.

Meanwhile, the statewide press chronicles Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds' leftist pandering on abortion "rights" and tax increases, all while his campaign is undergoing a major shakeup (according to the Washington Post). But don't miss our friend Jim Hoeft's analysis at Bearing Drift of Deeds' and the Virginia Democrat Party's attack on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. Apparently the Democrats have no problem with the barbaric infanticide that is partial birth abortion.

News:

Gubernatorial candidate McDonnell pitches his views to police (The Daily Press)

Deeds presses pro-choice argument (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds dodges call for taxes for roads (Washington Times)

Deeds would sign tax-increase bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Shake-up or Not, Deeds Campaign is Changing (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog

Assembly candidates focus on economy (Charlottesville Daily Progress

Fewer Va. schools meet federal math, reading standard (Richmond Times-Dispatch

N.Va. Students Improve, But Schools Fall Short (Washington Post

E-mails from public overload Congress Web site (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Cuccinelli's AG Bid Solidifies Virginia Conservatives (Human Events)

Allen Tries to Shake Off the 'Macaca' Shadow (Washington Post)

School prayer charges stir protests (Washington Times)

Analysis:

DPVA supports partial birth abortion? (BearingDrift.com)

Virginia News Stand: July 8, 2009

Today's news leads off with what will increasingly lead the news — the gubernatorial campaign. In this case, a Public Policy Poll, which tracked the Democrat primary, has all three GOP candidates ahead: Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling both are up by six points, while Attorney General candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli is up by seven. The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Washington Times both report. Elsewhere, somehow Sarah Palin has become an issue for McDonnell. Is Rod Blagojevich an issue for Creigh Deeds? Today is another day where national issues and commentary are more plentiful than the state news. One report we'd like to draw your attention to has to do with the new NIH standards for embryonic stem cell research. OneNewsNow.com reports that the NIH ignored the 30,000 anti-stem cell public comments it received — out of 49,000 total — as it opened up the flood gates of embryo harvesting and sacrifice.

In Britain, meanwhile, in an attempt to reduce Europe's highest teenage pregnancy rate, the government went about teaching students how to use condoms, spending millions of pounds. Guess what? The rate doubled.

In other news worth your read, new documents link Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor to a radical leftist agenda; a well-know black pastor says President Barack Obama has no "black experience to speak of;" and, thanks to a new ministry, military chaplains are able to get audio Gospels to our troops in the field. 

We've also included three Elijah Friedeman blog posts. None are long, but if you read only one, see the new television advertisemnt by Americans For Prosperity explaining the dangers of socialized medicine.

News:

Poll: McDonnell at 49% and Deeds at 43% (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Poll: McDonnell takes lead in Va. Race (Washington Times

Va.'s McDonnell ducks questions on Palin aid (Washington Times

Obama's grass-roots network builds Va. staff to promote agenda (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Grogan will run against Loupassi (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Public ignored; full steam ahead for embryonic sacrifice (OneNewsNow.com)

New documents connect Sotomayor to leftist agenda (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Soldiers getting an earful of Jesus (OneNewsNow.com)

Pastor: Obama has no 'black experience' to speak of (OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

Britain Doubles Pregnancy Rates By Teaching Girls to Have Sex (American Family Association Blog)

Anti-nationalized health care ads released (Elijah Friedeman/American Family Association Blog)

The case against government run health care (Elijah Friedeman/American Family Association Blog)

Is the media starting to turn on Obama? (Elijah Friedeman/American Family Association Blog)

Virginia News Stand: June 30, 2009

Leading the news today is a piece on NRO.com about Senator Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for attorney general. It gives a good look into his beliefs of limited constitutional government. Let's say he doesn't take lightly the intent of the Founders, many of whom he proudly cites as Virginians. Elsewhere, the Post acknowledges that taxes are still a good issue for Republicans this fall at the same time Fairfax County may (surprise!) raise taxes — again! Meanwhile, Mark Warner's baby, VITA, continues to be a headache for the commonwealth.

Nationally, President Obama continues his back and forth on the  homosexual agenda. Now, according to the AP, he wants all Americans to joyfully accept it. Also, yesterday's Supreme Court decision on striking down a reverse discrimination policy in Connecticut, that had been upheld by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the president's Supreme Court nominee, may play a role in her confirmation. We have an AP article and a commentary by Bobby Eberle. Finally, Marcia Segelstein takes a look at whether school children are getting frightened by environmentalists.

News:

Virginia Gentleman (National Review Online)

Va. Republicans drop fight over access to Kaine's DNC travel records (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

For GOP, Taxes Retain Potency (Washington Post)

Va. Lawmakers Question System Upgrade Contract (Washington Post)

Ailing Budget May Lead Fairfax Back to Car Tax (Washington Post

Virginia considering regulating car title loans (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Activist says it's time that Christianity got a makeover (Roanoke Times)

National News:

Obama hopes to persuade all Americans to accept homosexuality (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Discrimination ruling shapes Sotomayor debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

Message to Obama Nominee: Discrimination is Wrong (Bobby Eberle/ GOPUSA.com)

Are Environmentalists Scaring Your Kids? (Marcia Segelstein video blog/American Family Association blog)

What Do You Expect? It's The Washington Post

A Saturday morning headline in the Washington Post, regarding the Virginia State Republican Party Convention:

3-Way GOP Rivalry Presents Tough Choice for Convention

The article elaborated on how difficult the decision would be for delegates and how close the Republican attorney general nomination contest was. But of the three candidates, the eventual winner, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, received the loudest — thunderous, in fact — applause of the day; louder even than what conservative radio and television talk show star Sean Hannity received. He obviously had the most delegates and only if delegate voting proportions were way out of whack would he lose (or if those applauding were strictly the 3,000 guests and not the 7,100 delegates that made up an attendance greater than 10-large).

After the balloting, and even before runners-up John Brownlee and Dave Foster jointly, and classfully, conceded and moved to nominate Senator Cuccinelli by acclimation, there were rumors Cuccinelli had won by a slight majority or received in the high 40-percentile, making a second ballot fruitless. However, although official numbers weren't released, a high-ranking official told me Senator Cuccinelli blew the doors off with a very large majority, even carrying Alexandria, thought to be a more moderate locale of Republicanism.

As for the lieutenant governor nomination, a very high-ranking member of the Patrick Muldoon campaign told me two months ago the former Congressional candidate would pull between 20-30 percent of the delegate vote. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, in fact, received 84 percent, the highest percentage ever for a contested Republican nomination.

A More Motley Crew Of Propagandists You'll Never Meet

I've been meaning to post this photo of the Right Wing Virginia Bloggers Cabal for a while now. Actually, this is a group photo of most of the bloggers in attendance at Lt. Governor Bill Bolling's Annual Bloggers Day At The Capitol, which was held the day of the Veto Session in April.

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Virginia's best and brightest bloggers with the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square as a backdrop. Majestically patriotic, huh? Can you pick out your friendly Admin?

It was a fantastic day complete with briefings from very informed sources, a superb Senate gallery introduction of us by Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), great networking, and a wonderful lunch by the Project Virginia guys and dinner with the LG's staff at night. A lot of what we learned was very useful background information on the campaigns and policy which will be, or has already been used, here. All part of the extraordinary lengths we go to keep you ahead of the curve. A big sweep of the hat to Rick Sincere for the photo.

Update: Governor's Substitute Transparency Bill Accepted

Earlier today, during the General Assembly's veto session, the House and Senate concurred unanimously to accept Governor Tim Kaine's substitute version of HB 2285, a state spending transparency bill, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-25, Amherst). This substitute, at first look, and based on conversations with some legislators and staffers, appears to be even stronger than SB 936, patroned by Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), and signed last month by Governor Kaine. The language of the bills was identical when they reached his desk.  Although neither bill received one dissenting vote in several sub-committee, committee and floor votes in both chambers, and now today's veto session — after each got unceremoniously dumped last year in committee (Senate) and sub-committee (House) — it wasn't as easy as it sounds getting them passed and signed into law. Each had to deal with the dreaded fiscal impact statement, which many times attributes bogus costs to bills as an unassailable hurdle in the money committees, often to thwart reforms. In this case, each bill had duty in front on the money committees and HB 2285 even had to go to the Senate Rules Committee.

In essence, we started with two great bills last year and again this year, that changed form, but not function, though perhaps not as comprehensive as we might have liked after several amendments, and ultimately got something more than what we thought after the regular session ended. Not bad. What a difference an election year makes.

Now a huge window has opened up on state spending, with a massive spotlight to boot. Soon, citizens — be they media, grassroots activists, policy wonks or even (for Heaven's sake) bloggers — will be able to closely examine exactly how Virginia government spends the hard-earned tax money we send it, and with which vendors it contracts for services, as well as other open government features. It simply is not enough to say a department spends this much money; we need to know down to the line how much, on what and with whom. That, in turn, will let us know if the purpose was worthy or wasteful, duplicative or duplicitous. You get the picture.

Despite what would seem broad interest in government spending transparency, many self-proclaimed "open government" groups were noticeably absent form the debate. The  Mainstream Media, for example, which touts its annual "Sunshine Week" each March, was nowhere to be found. No doubt, however, in years to come, it will, as we all should, tout this new found access to the otherwise indecipherable bureaucratic nuances of state government.

Bracket Busted

Looks like former Attorney General and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has more than party infighting to soothe on his plate: A Democrat busted his NCAA brackets.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports tonight that his NCAA Basketball Tournament pool, which attracted 787 participants, was won by Greg Scanlon, a researcher for the Democrat state party. An omen or a funny irony? Of course, the T-D is billing it as an embarrassment, as if it's possible to keep out political opponents from an Internet contest or that time wasted studying the athletic strengths and weaknesses of 18-22 year-olds prepping for NBA careers is somehow meaningful. 

Earlier this week, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) claimed to have clinched the highest bracket score among his rivals for the Republican nomination for attorney general, Dave Foster and John Brownlee

Scanlon's win might not be the bracket buster along the lines of George Mason's Final Four run a few years ago. But who knows? Maybe in the future, whichever candidates, staffers, etc., get the most brackets correct in basketball pools will replace for pundits who wins the Shad Planking sign battle as the early signal of electoral strength.

Update: Okay, So We Have Spending Transparency After All

Lost in my curiousness over Governor Tim Kaine's proposed substitute for HB 2285, Delegate Ben Cline's (R-25, Amherst) spending transparency bill, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously, is that the same day he signed SB 936, patroned by Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax). Both bills are written exactly the same. (I blame the Legislative Information System, which sent notice only on HB 2285. A manual check of matters legislative today shows that the governor signed SB 936.) So, there you go. Kind of anti-climatic. Spending transparency will be law as of July 1. 

But why did the governor sign one but amend the other? If he had done this today, we'd think it was a prank. Does he really want more thorough transparency and reform? Was SB 936 only a hedge, securing a baseline while trying to get more? If so, we gladly welcome him to the club. We're not sure yet that his HB 2285 substitute does that, although it sure looks good. We're in the process of trying to learn more. 

There are other theories out there. One we're not counting on is that he was trying to make Senator Cuccinelli look good for his run for attorney general. On the other hand, the governor did sign his Choose Life license plate bill. Hmmm.

Virginia News Stand: March 31, 2009

The last day of March brings us great news, literally: The governor signed the Choose Life license plate bill and its all over the news, with the Planned Parenthood types all in a snit. Interestingly, they're steamed at Governor Tim Kaine, so much so that he was compelled to say if they want their own plate, they can have it. Exactly! As the author of the Choose Life amendment, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), has said, "If pro-abortion groups want a 'Choose Death' plate, fine." So the first five articles today are about "Choose Life" and The Family Foundation is featured in four of them (see articles with *). In other news, the RPV chairman saga drags on, while Delegate Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico) has found a unique way to raise campaign cash.

News:

*Kaine Signs Bill Creating 'Choose Life' License Plate (Washington Post)

*DNC chair infuriates abortion backers (Politico.com)

*Kaine elaborates on allowing 'Choose Life' license plates (Richmond Times-Dispatch

*Governor signs bill to create 'Choose Life' license plate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Kaine signs off on 'Choose Life' license plates (Washington Times)

Republican Party chairman hires attorneys to fight ouster (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Huckabee campaigns with McDonnell in Roanoke (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Kaine proposes using stimulus money for jobless benefits (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Del. Morrissey sues Style Weekly for $10.35 million (Richmond Times-Dispatch)