A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - March 1, 2013
Compiled by Sue Lindsey
Some of the top Virginia Republican Party operatives on a Thursday evening conference call with Gov. Bob McDonnell to discuss the General Assembly-approved $3.5 billion road funding bill let him know they aren't happy about the tax increases it contains. According to sources, conversation on the 50-minute call that began at 8:30 p.m. primarily focused on the transportation legislation and a provision in Virginia's amended two-year state budget pertaining to potential Medicaid expansion.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, never known to be short on words, consumed several minutes of radio air time this morning defending the compromise transportation bill passed by the General Assembly and making the case for new revenue to pay for the state’s infrastructure needs. The Republican governor even cited the example of his party’s most popular president of the modern era, Ronald Reagan, to defend a plan that has come under attack from anti-tax forces in the GOP.
Gov. Bob McDonnell restored the civil rights of more than 1,000 felons in 2012, including former Richmond Mayor Leonidas B. Young II, former City Coucilwoman Gwendolyn C. Hedgepeth and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. McDonnell, who set a goal of giving speedier answers on restoration of rights petitions, also granted one simple pardon and three conditional pardons, according to a report that covers the governor’s actions from Jan. 17, 2012, to Jan. 16, 2013.
Gov. Bob McDonnell will lead an economic development trade trip to China and Japan in April after spending a few days in California working to lure business from that state. He will spend April 10-13 in California before launching the overseas trip, which is expected to last nearly two weeks. It would mark McDonnell’s eighth international trade trip since taking office in January 2010.
We reported last weekend that a local lawmaker had backed off on his effort to enact a legislative halt to privatizing the Port of Hampton Roads. Not so fast, the Virginia Maritime Association countered on its website the next day. “Despite some confusion in the media,” the trade group said, the final state budget adopted by the General Assembly includes language barring any deal to privatize the port before a yearlong study has been completed and the legislature signs off on the deal. So who’s right? Well, we both are.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is telling supporters that he can run “a credible Independent campaign” for governor, but wants their feedback before deciding whether to take the plunge. In an email circulated today, Bolling effectively laid out the case for running as an “Independent Republican” and asked supporters for their advice and a commitment to back him if he jumps into the race.
Political fence-sitting Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is sure sounding like a candidate for governor. Bolling on Thursday sent out an email asking supporters whether he should run as an independent against GOP rival Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. I think there is an opportunity to make history in Virginia this year,” the two-term Republican said in the email.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is considering whether to return to the Virginia governor’s race as an independent, and he’s asking for a little help from his friends to make his decision. In a letter e-mailed Thursday, Bolling (R) tells supporters that he thinks “there is an opportunity to make history in Virginia this year.” “We can send a message about the need to return more civility and a more mainstream approach to politics and governing,” the message reads. “I know it won’t be easy to win the governorship as an Independent candidate, but with your help I believe it can be done.”
Should Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling run as an independent for governor in Virginia this year? That's exactly the question Bolling asked thousands of people online Thursday. Bolling, who abandoned a seven-year quest for the GOP gubernatorial nomination three months ago, faces his own March 14 deadline for deciding whether to run. He asked a broad range of supporters, business leaders, Republican activists and others for their input in a blast email that could easily double as a campaign pitch.
Should Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling run as an independent for governor? That's not rhetorical -- he's seriously asking for help in deciding. Bolling posted a survey on his political website Thursday asking Virginians to weigh in on whether to get involved in the race. Respondents can answer yes or no, and the survey asks for their name, number and address, presumably to hit them up for donations if he runs.
Now that polling has convinced Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling that he could win a three-way race for governor, the Republican wants to know whether potential voters and donors would get behind him if he entered the field as an independent. Bolling asked that in a mass email Thursday. It links to a one-question online survey inquiring whether recipients would support him in such a run, as well as data suggesting that voters are open to an independent candidate.
Don’t expect the transportation issue to go away in the 2013 statewide elections just because a funding fix passed the General Assembly last week. Support for the plan — which replaces the per gallon gas tax with a wholesale tax hikes on gas and diesel and increases in the state sales tax and titling tax while prohibiting interstate tolling on I-95 south of Fredericksburg without General Assembly approval – breaks largely along partisan lines.
Virginia Democrats have put abortion front and center in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial race on the heels of an announcement by an anti-abortion group that it's committing more than $1 million to elect Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Thursday morning, the Susan B. Anthony List announced its endorsement of Cuccinelli, saying his race is a "top priority" for that group and will invest at least $1.5 million to aid him.
The gubernatorial hopeful filled four pages of his spiral bound notebook in the mechatronic laboratory at Virginia Western, firing off questions about the 10 foot long miniature assembly line and asking professor Dan Horine what one thing he’d do if he were governor. And Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s takeaway from his stop at the community college: labs like Horine’s need more space and more equipment to help Virginians learn the skills they need to find work.
Virginia's GOP candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general are slated to speak at a series of breakfast forums sponsored by the Greene County Republicans. Seven are vying for the nomination for lieutenant governor and two are seeking the nomination for attorney general. Republican delegates will choose their three-person statewide ticket, led by gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, at a statewide convention on May 17 and 18 in Richmond.