November 2008

Raising Kaine Shutting Down

By VA Blogger

I don’t agree about much with them, but no one can deny the impact that Raising Kaine has had on Virginia politics and the Democratic Party, and RK’s place as arguably the most influential Virginia politics blog. While there are deep partian differences between us, we have had Raising Kaine on our blogroll and they have had us on theirs. And when we re-launched after our dispute with our server, RK was gracious enough to announce our return. Lowell has even shown up to comment from time to time in various threads.

Thus, it’s sad to see the site shut down, even if it is likely to be carried on by other RK contributors on a new blog. RK has set the standard for blogging in Virginia, and I think it’s safe to say that no other has reached it yet. Congrats to Lowell and Eric for a job well done, and hopefully we can undo all the damage they’ve done now that they’re leaving. : )

Pat Herrity for Chairman Kick-off Recap

By VA Blogger

Close to 300 people crammed themselves inside the American Legion Hall in Springfield to join Pat Herrity as he kicked off his campaign for Chairman of the Board. Pat was introduced by the other half of the Republican delegation on the Board, Supervisor Mike Frey of Sully, as well as Congressmen Frank Wolf and Tom Davis. The moment was especially bittersweet for the crowd and Davis, leaving office in a few weeks and introducing a man running for the office he once held.

Pat spoke before the large crowd and spoke passionately about the issues the upcoming election will be about: the budget, transportation, education, and the right way to do affordable housing in Fairfax County. Pat also struck a chord we’ve been hearing for the past two years from Democrats: Change. The difference is that Pat had no hesitation diving in and giving specifics about what he saw wrong with the county and what needs to be changed.

(more…)

Brilliant Voters

By VA Blogger

As a blogger, I’ve observed that those of us who make an effort to constantly stay informed and know the ins-and-outs of the issues and the political scene often make the mistake of assuming other voters, if not equally informed, are at least moderately informed. We imply this determination constantly, when trying to figure out basic things like what message appeal to what voters, with nothing but our own perspective of the level of intelligence and amount of caring individual voters possess.

Minnesota Public Radio is offering a look at some of the contested ballots in the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. These, ladies and gentlemen, are voters in the United States:

 

Just something to keep in mind, always. (H/T SSP)

Dave Foster for AG Kick-off Tonight

By VA Blogger

6:00 to 7:30 tonight, at the Lyon Village Community House, 1920 N. Highland St. in Arlington.

I’m not a Foster supporter, but as the Virginia GOP Blogosphere (including myself) bickers between Cuccinelli and Brownlee, it’s always interesting to see what other candidates bring to the table. So if you’re in the area, stop by and check it out.

Pat Herrity Press Conference Thursday

By VA Blogger

Pat Herrity has scheduled a press conference Thursday, November 13th outside the West Springfield Government Office to make an announcement regarding the Chairman’s race.

UPDATE: The press conference has been moved to Pat Herrity’s childhood home in Springfield, 6703 Portree Court, at 10:00 a.m.

More McAuliffe

By VA Blogger

Marc Ambinder has the goods on his upcoming campaign.

  • Manager: Mike Henry
  • Political committee chair: Mame Reilly
  • Strategist: Steve Jarding

I love Brian Moran’s statement. Someone is clearly unsettled by this development.

Given Mr. McAuliffe’s previous ambitions to run for governor of Florida, he needs to explain to the people of Virginia if he’s doing this for the right reasons.

Me-ow!

“Vulnerable” NoVa Republicans

By VA Blogger

Isn’t the term “vulnerable Northern Virginia Republican” a tad redundant? Nonetheless, guys like Tom Rust and Tim Hugo are all-star legislators who have made their mark, in Richmond and in NoVa, by being responsive to their constituents and by winning in races no one expects them to.

Lowell is giddy because Obama (surprise!) carried Northern Virginia, and for some reason has deluded himself into believing that matters for 2009 races. He lists three examples: Tom Rust, Dave Albo, and Tim Hugo, all who represent districts Obama carried. Where have we heard this before?

HD-86 (Rust): Webb 57%, Kaine 57%
HD-40 (Albo): Webb 55%, Kaine 55%
HD-42 (Hugo): Webb 50%, Kaine 52%

Yes, these three delegates are vulnerable; however, they knew this before Obama carried their districts last Tuesday, and the reason they remain in office is because they gear up for tough campaigns as soon as the last one ends. Sometimes, it helps to look just a little beyond the surface.

Shocker: WaPo admits they were biased for Obama

By VA Blogger

So says the Ombudsman.

…Readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board’s endorsement.

Admitting they have a problem is a good first step. However, I don’t anticipate seeing changes in future elections.

Gerry Connolly elected to Congress, Fairfax County still in the red

By VA Blogger

When it was discovered that Fairfax County would be facing an unprecedented $460 million shortfall in the next budget, Chairman Gerry Connolly came up with a solution: get the hell out of Dodge. While that solved the problem for him, the remaining 1,041,506 residents of Fairfax County still have a large mess on our hands.

Every year, the Thomas Jefferson Institute goes over this year’s budget and the budgets of previous years to find ways to make the budget 1) more efficient and 2) more accountable to the taxpayers. This laudable effort receives the response you’d expect from a governmental organization: a combination of deaf ears and disdain. Nonetheless, TJI produces an analysis every year. Some of the highlights from this year’s piece (though the entire document is worth a read, follow the link to a PDF here):

It is clear from this analysis the School Board continues to spend well beyond the CPI-student population formula even when spending less than its approved budget. In the past four years, school “overspending” as determined by this study totals $463,707,853—almost exactly the amount of the projected “shortfall” the county faces in next year’s budget.

The Board of Supervisors needs to develop a better financial oversight mechanism for its own spending and for spending by the School Board.

Combined with the “overspending” by the County seperate from the schools, the past four years have produced over half a billion dollars in spending over the CPI-population growth formula.

Fortunately, TJI has some simple, common sense solutions to tackling the issue, including: Public-private partnerships for new government buildings if they result in a better price; competitive bidding for maintenance for County vehicles; prioritizing government spending and finding and rooting out overlaps and duplicates; contracting out IT services; consolidating County and School Board services, like payroll processing, maintenance, warehousing, etc.; and, putting all spending by the County and School Board online

I have two more solutions for tackling the budget crisis I think may help:

  • Lock Sharon Bulova in a closet
  • Hide the key

Holy, er… Moley

By VA Blogger

No, those weren’t my exact words when I saw this:

Survey USA, conducted 10/30-11/2, MoE=4%

Virgil Goode (R-inc.): 50%
Tom Perriello (D): 47%

Goode is at 50%, so chances are he’ll win tomorrow. But egads, man! Note to Virginia Republicans: this is a prime primary opportunity in 2010.