Tim Kaine

Virginia's Coasts Deserve More Than Wild Speculation

(promoted by code)

Last week, gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell wrote the other candidates for Governor asking them to join him in signing a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar. It was a letter that asked the new Interior Secretary to reject Governor Kaine's recent request that Virginia Lease Sale 220 be removed from the 2007-2012 program and included instead with the 2010-2015 program for offshore oil and gas lease sales. In essence, McDonnell’s letter asserts that it is somehow a bad idea to proceed with gathering adequate information and ensure that we have the scientific data needed to make a reasoned decision about the aggressive Bush offshore drilling plans now still aimed at our coastline here in Virginia.

The coast of Virginia is now at a point in the offshore drilling program where a recent “Call for Information” (deadline was Jan. 13, 2009) has asked for “particular environmental, biological, archaeological, socioeconomic, and geological conditions or potential conflicts, or other information that might bear upon the potential leasing, exploration, and development of the program area and vicinity.” The requested information was solicited for the Virginia waters located strictly within the initial 2.9 million acres comprising the federal Lease Sale 220 area, but Interior did not ask what Virginians think about a second followup offshore drilling plan only three miles from shore, now scheduled for 2014.

Let's have a democratic PARTY in Virginia

Virginia Dems Hear from President Clinton

By Mike Smith

Former President Bill Clinton came to Richmond to call on democrats, in a state that had gone blue for the first time in four decades, to focus on "how" we will get out of our nation's financial debacles. "How" will the economic stimulus package be implemented. How can we engage the Republican Party.

It's not under, but it's all over

Above ground rail to Dulles becomes a reality:

Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement today on the signing of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Full Funding Grant Agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority:

“One of my top transportation priorities has been to see Dulles Rail become a reality. The signing of the $900 million Full Funding Grant Agreement for Phase 1 of the project is an accomplishment that has taken more than 10 years to achieve and I am proud to have this honor.

“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all those involved in making this project a reality – Virginia’s Congressional Delegation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Dulles Transit Partners, and the transportation staff of the Commonwealth – all of whom have demonstrated commitment and support to this long overdue transportation choice in the Dulles Corridor.

“This project has been under development for more than 10 years and the leadership of Representative Tom Davis and Senator John Warner who have now retired from Congress was a key element of our success. The signing of this agreement shows how leadership and willingness to work together can serve as a model for future complex projects and how federal, state, local, and private partners can work together to address the needs of our citizens.

“I look forward to construction beginning in the coming weeks and making a 40-year dream a reality.”

There are rumors that some are still fighting to drive rtd underground. Here's hoping...

Governor Kaine Signs the Smoking Ban Bill

[Major Milestone for the Old Dominion - promoted to FP by Riley Murray]
Governor Kaine was joined today at Croc's Eco Bistro on 19th Street by health advocates, legislative patrons, and other stake holders as he signed legislation from the 2009 General Assembly session that bans smoking in restaurants throughout the Commonwealth effective 1 December. This was a big day for our entire Commonwealth and a proud moment for supporters including the Virginia Beach Hospitality Industry – the VBRA, VBHMA, VBCVB – and the Virginia Beach Mayor and City Council Members who all whole heartedly supported this initiative.

To celebrate this moment for the industry, attendees were encouraged to wear their favorite restaurant attire, logos, chef coats and hats to show their support. The day marks a milestone for industry workers’ health and CLEAN INDOOR AIR! Governor Kaine made specific mention of Croc’s Laura Wood Habr for her vigorous support of this legislation and of the effort by business owners and civic leaders, particularly in NOVA and Hampton Roads, to bring it to pass.

Cross posted at VBDems.org - Blogging our way to Democratic wins in Virginia Beach!

Kaine Calls Out Backpedaling Steele

yellow-elephant?w=200In the past few months there's been a pattern emerging. Rush Limbaugh has clearly been the GOP's most prominent voice of opposition since President Obama took office. That, combined with the fact that no Republican can say anything critical about Limbaugh without being forced to immediately apologize, has been driving the new CW that Rush has essentially become the leader of the Republican Party. The reception he received this past weekend at CPAC, where he was the keynote speaker, left even less doubt. He practically blew the roof off the place when he declared that he did in fact want Obama to fail.

Then it appeared that the "Limbaugh as GOP leader" narrative might actually be in danger after RNC Chairman Michael Steele took to the airwaves and delivered a blistering attack on the Big, Fat Idiot yesterday. Was Steele actually living up to his name and growing some semblance of a backbone?

Bewildering "Bi-Partisanship" Comes to Virginia

Tim Kaine hosted Virginia's congressional delegation at the Governor's Mansion in Richmond last week. Strangely, none of the Republicans could make it.

The fact and evidence are here for all to see, but the interpretation of the event is a revealing study in political relativity and may be a harbinger of the hopelessness of DC "bi-partisanship".

The Democrats saw the event as a major snub:

"Virginia has had a long history of bipartisan work when it comes to issues that transcend politics and affect the people of Virginia," Webb said. "This is the way that a delegation should work, and for the Republican members of this delegation to decide to boycott a meeting that would benefit their constituents through their participation is something that I think is very regrettable."

Kaine said he suspected that the Republicans skipped the meeting because they oppose Obama's stimulus package.

Meanwhile, the Republicans felt themselves jilted:


Statewide ban will prohibit smoking in most bars and restaurants

Governor's Office - Press Release 2/5/08

RICHMOND—Governor Timothy M. Kaine and key leaders in the General Assembly today announced a landmark agreement to pass a statewide smoking ban in Virginia's bars and restaurants. The legislation will ban smoking in nearly all restaurants across the Commonwealth, allowing narrow exceptions for private clubs and restaurants with a designated smoking room that is physically separated and independently ventilated from non-smoking dining areas.

Video of Tim Kaine Speaking About Sharon Bulova

I wrote a piece earlier today about Gov. Tim Kaine and Rep. Gerry Connolly speaking at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College. As Gov. Kaine has now taken upon the role as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, I thought posting this video would allow people a unique opportunity to see the DNC Chairman speak about local politics in front of a crowd of people who know him well.

Gov. Kaine and Rep. Connolly Speak At Event for Sharon Bulova

Gov. Tim Kaine, Rep. Gerry Connolly, and a large number of local and state level elected officials made an appearance at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College in support of Sharon Bulova's candidacy for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The simple fact that there were elected officials from all levels of government up on stage reinforced that we need strong leaders at all levels who can help make the difficult decisions. Perhaps most importantly, the crowd was filled with people who had spent hours upon hours making phone calls and knocking on doors to remind people to vote on Tuesday (February 3). This is extremely important because it shows how people believe so strongly in Sharon's candidacy that they are willing to brave the cold (and on some days snow) and work hard to ensure that we elect the best candidate to lead Fairfax County while important decisions must be made.

Follow me below the fold for a write up of what was said during the speeches. Also note that this is crossposted on Left of the Hill.

Tim Kaine Elected DNC Chairman

Today, the Democratic National Committee elected Tim Kaine as their Chairman. Congratulations Tim!

Open Thread Question- What effect will this have on the credibility of Terry McAuliffe's candidacy for Governor?

Virginia General Assembly Begins Session

The focus is on the budget, yet there are certainly other issues being considered by the legislature during the Virginia Assembly's Regular Session beginning today. Governor Kaine's best opportunity to explain his plans for dealing with that challenge comes tonight when he delivers his 2009 State of the Commonwealth speech at 7PM. It will be broadcast on many local stations and online. But there are other initiatives, many of them perennial, that will be considered during the session.

All of this will be done in the context of the statewide elections this fall and all parties will be weighing the impact of their positions with their own constituencies very closely. For that reason, there are low expectations for progress on many important fronts. All 100 House of Delegates seats and the three top state offices are up for grabs. The current Attorney General, the presumptive Republican nominee for Governor, has announced he will propose bills that have little to do with his current position but everything to do with looking gubernatorial.

Pollard Takes Renewable Energy Tax Credit to Richmond

From Carmen Bingham-Kilduff at Del. Pollards office:

Delegate Albert Pollard announced today that he has been asked by Governor Tim Kaine to carry legislation establishing a tax credit for individuals and corporations generating renewable energy.

“I am honored to carry this legislation” said Pollard, “Only by moving toward energy independence and away from fossil fuels can we help national security and the environment.”

The legislation establishes a $2,000 tax credit for each kilowatt of photovoltaic capacity created, $1,500 for each kilowatt of wind power capacity generated and $1,000 for kilowatt equivalents for solar hot water heating generated. Pollard noted that the credit is for the capacity generated and not for the sale of electricity which is handled elsewhere in the code. There will caps on the total credit any individual or corporation can apply for.

Governor Tim Kaine: Pay to Play

There is a disturbing report today in Bloomberg News about the financial ethics of our Governor -- and, importantly, future head of the Democratic National Committee -- Tim Kaine.

I encourage everyone to read the whole piece, but here are a few choice grafs:

Kaine, 50, is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association, a group that raises money from tobacco, oil, energy and pharmaceutical companies in exchange for access to governors and other state officials.

The donors include more than 60 associations, trade groups and companies, including tobacco giants Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Company, Pfizer Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. Participants in the group’s Corporate Affiliates Program also include mortgage lender Freddie Mac, which was taken over by the federal government last year, and General Motors Corp., which is among automakers being rescued by the government.


The Web site also lays out the benefits of sponsorship for companies or their lobbyists.

Richmond, Virginia-based Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is a Gold Level member, entitling the company to four invitations to a “private reception” with the governors at the group’s annual meeting, preferred seating with at least one governor at the meeting’s dinner, invitations to quarterly breakfasts attended by the governors’ staff advisory committee emissaries, and invitations to periodic Washington “‘coffee breaks’ with governors.”

A spokesman for Altria, Bill Phelps, said the company sends lobbyists to SGA functions as “part of our efforts to engage in public-policy efforts that affect our business.”

Please follow me across the jump for more discussion

Deeds Praise for Kaine DNC Pick

From the Star City Harbinger

State Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate, Creigh Deeds issued a press statement today, supporting the new DNC Chair Tim Kaine, and highlighting his alignment with the leadership styles of Kaine, and by association Mark Warner. This gives further evidence of his intention to continue a centrist approach to governing in the Commonwealth. E.J. Dionne Jr. at Wash Po has some related thoughts on the new Democratic command of the great middle ground of the political spectrum, in The Party of Tomorrow

Tim Kaine to head DNC

The Washington Post has up a story announcing that Tim Kaine will head the DNC, part-time until his term as Governor is over, then in 2010 fulltime.

If you think about it, it is not totally illogical. Consider what has happened during his time as Governor

- Dems have cut the Republican margin among Delegates
- Dems took control of State Senate
- we have elected two Democratic Senators to replace two Republicans
- we just took over 3 Republican US House Seats
- we carried Virginia for President for the first time in 44 years.

Of course, there are people other than Kaine responsible, but on the surface the argument can be made.

So, what do YOU think?


UPDATE by RK Rob: Some thoughts worth reading by Nate Silver.

Ending Poverty: "Whatever It Takes" Obama and Kaine

Whenever I am asked why am I a Democrat I have a simple response: Government should help people help themselves. When it comes to ending poverty, however, there is no clear path to do this.

LaCombe against Kaine's proposed cuts to education

I've been investigating the proposed cuts to education that Governor Tim Kaine released earlier this week. It shouldn't be surprised that education would be taking a large, $400 million, hit in light of the state's $2+ billion shortfal. Everyone understands that education is a major expense for the state, and that it's one of the first programs targeting when budget cuts need to be made.

Even before the proposed cuts, John LaCombe, candidate in the special election in the 81st, has stood on the side of preserving and expanding funding for education. It didn't come as any surprise to me that LaCombe is standing firmly against the $400 million in proposed cuts in state spending on education. Here's a statement his campaign released earlier:

John stands with students, parents, and teachers against cuts in education funding.

I'd like to hear from you

I wanted to take a moment to welcome the Blue Commonwealth community and give you an update on what we’ve been up to since Election Day.

First, thank you to everyone who helped out during our campaign for the U.S. Senate. Your support led to an historic victory, and we couldn't have done it without you. I look forward to hearing from this community in the years to come as we work together to get our country back on the right track.

In the weeks since the election, I've had an opportunity to talk to folks around the state to get a sense of what they would like to see from our leaders in Washington.

If this election has proven anything, it's that Virginians and Americans want leaders who focus less on partisan ideology and more on finding solutions that produce results that will get this economy back on the right track.

In my conversations across the state, I've heard from community, academic and business leaders who are all focused on the economic downturn and who have all shared new ideas and insight that I am eager to bring to the U.S. Senate.

State and local officials have discussed the proposed economic stimulus package, which could improve our infrastructure and create jobs here in Virginia. Our university leaders are working on exciting research into alternative energy, which could create thousands of new "green" economy jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And several of Virginia's largest employers are thinking of innovative ways we can work together so they remain competitive in the global economy.

Tim Kaine - The BlueCommonwealth.com Interview - Part 3

In this third installment of BlueCommonwealth.com's interview with Tim Kaine we discuss areas of friction between the Kaine administration and political progressives.

Kaine: "If you do what's right, you're going to make some people angry and some of those people are going to be your friends."

Gov. Kaine Announces Renew Virginia

A press release from Governor Kaine's office finally gives us some details on Renew Virginia. Looks like there's even a nifty new website. From the Governor's office:

~ Creates interagency task force and marketing plan to attract green jobs ~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today kicked off his Renew Virginia initiative, which will include legislative and executive actions to make Virginia a leader in energy conservation and efficiency and protecting the environment. The Governor met with his economic development team and energy-related business owners at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to discuss strategies for attracting renewable energy companies to the Commonwealth, and unveiled plans to form an interagency task force and create an energy marketing plan to attract green jobs to the Commonwealth.