Virginia News Stand: October 12, 2009Oct. 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.
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)
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)
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)
Republican sweep looking likely in Virginia (Josh Kraushaar/The Scorecard Blog Politico.com)
Virginia CD-11Oct. 23, 2008
One of the most interesting congressional campaigns in Virginia in several years is in Northern Virginia's 11th congressional district. Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian are waging a competitive race which, according to the pundits, was not supposed to happen. The seat currently is held by retiring U.S. Representative Tom Davis, a so-called "moderate" Republican. Because of Northern Virginia's changing political climate, this was supposed to be a slam dunk for the ultra-liberal Connolly, a career Washington bureaucrat turned Fairfax career politician. The conservative Fimian, on the other hand, has only spent his career as a successful CPA for the respected international firm KPMG before starting his own business out of his garage — U.S. Inspect — which has grown into the largest provider of residential and commercial property inspection services in America.
There's one problem with the campaign, however. While Mr. Fimian is out door-to-door, at festivals, addressing groups and campaigning hard, Mr. Connolly is nowhere to be seen — except on television "approving" his character-assassin advertisements that even The Washington Post says are false (see here). There's no wonder why he's hiding behind such unscrupulous ads. You see, Mr. Connolly has for some time now been the chairman of Fairfax County's board of supervisors. He is presiding over a whopping $430 million budget deficit. That's a $430 million deficit for a single county — big money even by Tim Kaine standards. What truly is incredible about the deficit, however — in the literal sense of the word — is that the deficit came after Mr. Connolly raised property tax rates on top of increased house assessments! (By the way, let this budget debacle be a microcosmic warning to those who also think raising taxes will balance the federal budget.) Now, the county is in trouble because of declining home values, despite the fact that it is ranked as one of the five most prosperous counties in the nation. (Why does a wealthy county need to spend so much on government?)
Is there no end to the liberal lust for more and more of the hard-earned money from hard-working, play-by-the-rules, Virginia families, especially in economic times like these? This is why, despite the slanderous attack ads by Connolly, the race is in a statistical dead heat — also despite the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee making it one of its highest profile target races. While millions of dollars are spent trying to ruin a good man's reputation, for doing nothing more than working in the real world and creating hundreds of jobs, the voters know the real story. See this news report by local station WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate:
A tax-increaser who still has left his county in financial ruin (not to mention his extremist positions on life issues), Connolly not surprisingly has failed to address the deficit or take a stand on solutions to our pressing energy problems and repeatedly has blown off joint speaking appearances. Connolly has twisted the old expression, "You can run but you can't hide." He isrunning (for Congress) by hiding from his out-of-touch liberal record.