law enforcement

McAuliffe, Guns, Chili And Soccer

Earlier tonight at Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle's annual chili cook-off, one of session's most anticipated events — where sportsmen and law enforcement personnel provide more than a dozen types of chili ranging from "Scorpion" to moose and buffalo and even vegetarian; where legislators, staff, lobbyists, public safety, journalists and politicos of all stripes hang out for food, drink, dessert and a great time — Governor Terry McAuliffe made a very substantial visit. He just didn't pop in to make an appearance.

The governor was as you'd expect from a man whose book was entitled What A Party: jovial, acommodating and a great room worker. There wasn't a chili he didn't try nor a hand he didn't shake, and he stayed around to present the awards to the winning entries with a good ol' boy affectation that would wow an Old Dominion native.

I even got face time with His Excellency (yes, in the commonwealth, that is one of the governor's titles). He probably didn't remember our first meeting, what became a very renown event in 2009. (I had to decide whether to use my time getting a picture with him or pitching my pet project.) I'm in a very bipartisan mood these days (helped get this passed earlier today) so I told him of a great economic development idea and he eagerly asked me to proceed.

I told him I knew he was a soccer fan because I saw him at the 2010 World Cup at the U.S. games. I said we need to recruit a Major League Soccer team to Virginia. He said it was a great idea because, "We don't have anything here." I told him D.C. United should be easy pickins' because the D.C. government has jerked the team around for years on a stadium. We just need to get them to move across the river.

Then the conversation got tricky. He asked if I had a card. Great news! He really is interested! It became tricky because I didn't know if I should give him my Family Foundation card — which would've been a hoot (you really need to follow the above link about that first meeting we had) — or my personal card. I did the latter. I pulled out a pen to write "soccer" on the back but he said he was going to do just that. He took  my pen, wrote "soccer" on the back, returned my pen and gave my card to an aide. All in all, supremely personable and fun. But deal makers — good ones — usually are.

Now, I'm expecting a call to head up the Governor's Commission To Bring MLS To Virginia. (Until he reads this.)

It is a testament to his room working skills that he was able to effectively glad hand a room of law enforcement (which endorsed his opponent) and dozens of sportsmen sporting NRA stickers (who really supported his opponent). It was quite a night and there are more pics and anecdotes to come.

T-Mac Chili eating

Virginia chili and Major League Soccer (not to mention the NRA). The new governor is comfortable in just about any situation.

Post's McCartney Calls Out Deeds, Says He Stumbled In Debate

You know things aren't going well for a liberal candidate when his Mainstream Media allies call him out. How let down must Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds have felt when he saw this headline from Washington Post lib Robert McCartney?

Plain and Simple, Deeds Stumbles In N.Va. Debate

Ouch!

But true. See for yourself. We can't add much more to what Mr. McCartney wrote. So, we let him speak for himself, with emphasis added to certain points and occasional parenthetical comments of mine because . . . because . . . I still don't know the difference between tax increases and "raise new money"!

. . .  as governor Deeds would be more likely to actually fix the roads than his Republican opponent, former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell. That's because Deeds is willing to raise taxes for transportation, while McDonnell isn't, and some kind of tax increase is the only way to do the job. (Oh, really? The mind of a liberal, and they say conservatives see things only in black and white.)

But Deeds certainly didn't explain that clearly Thursday. When asked directly by moderator David Gregory of NBC News whether he would raise taxes if necessary in the current economic climate, Deeds said: "No, I'm not going to raise taxes. But I am the only person on this dais who will sign a transportation plan that raises new money." (Say, what!?!?!?)

Huh? When I and other reporters pressed him afterward to clarify, he said he meant only that he wouldn't raise taxes for the state's general fund, which pays for a broad range of services, including education and law enforcement. That clearly left open the possibility that he'd raise taxes for the transportation fund, which is separate.

Even then, though, Deeds tried to have it both ways. In one breath he told reporters, "I have no plans to raise taxes." In another he said, "I intend to sign" a bill that "raises new money for transportation." That sounds like a plan to me.

Deeds also got a bit testy with a reporter who pressed him about whether he'd be ready to increase the gasoline tax. He's supported that before — to his great credit, in my view — but he wouldn't say so Thursday.

"I think I made myself clear, young lady. I don't know," Deeds said. ("I don't know" is clear?) The McDonnell campaign immediately began showing the clip to the press corps. Their message: You don't like what our guy wrote in 1989 about working women? (But see what Deeds has said, done and voted for in his 40s and 50s.)