Bob McDonnell

Republicans Joking Us on Business and the Economy

Mantras and social conservative core values won't produce a single private sector job. Yet somehow the Republicans maintain the mantle of business acumen and get away with highway robbery by playing on their audience's naiveté. And those among us with no business background defer to them. Wrong answer!

So-called conservatives also like to throw out all kinds of economics pablum picked up in some cutely illustrated paperback to justify their ruinous policies. I have said this before and it's always worth repeating: I do not want to pay taxes. But then there is reality. Take the Laffer curve or, as my old antitrust economics professor Dr. John M. Kuhlman has termed it: the "laugher" curve. Sum up the idea: lower taxes will produce more tax revenue. Actually, greater economic activity will produce more tax revenue even with lower taxes. More investment will produce greater economic activity and/or more skilled labor will increase productivity. Any combination of either of those will increase the tempo of economic activity. But lower taxes will not ensure greater investment any more than it will ensure better wages and better wages do not ensure a more skilled work force. Lower taxes might result in higher dividends or bonuses for executives, making it all an economic wash. Nothing is certain. But in microeconomics, the source of the simplistic models and which has nothing much to do with the macroeconomic behavior attributed, just about everything is held certain other than two variables. Then they march some career public servant, some unaccomplished heir, or talk radio host out as the spokesperson for capitalist theory. I'm not laffing.

UPDATED: "Moderate" Bob McDonnell & all statewide candidates should condemn this filth

Every once in a while, the vile underbelly of hate and bigotry rears its head in unexpected places in politics, as in life. The recent threats and disgusting hate speech used in an anonymous blog against Lieutenant Governor candidate Pat Edmonson is heinous on an order of magnitude we haven't seen expressed so openly in a long time. The following excerpt from the inaugural post on the lovely and inspiring (please note the sarcasm) web site, aptly named STOP PAT EDMONSON.

Bob McDonnell's duplicity

Coarse Cracked Corn nails Bobby McD for his lame attempt at claiming he is a Moderate (no joke - he actually got some Wash Po coverage of this little fib). But CCC notes with some sad humor, that Bobby had to quickly reverse spin his storyline, behind closed doors with the rightwingnut crowd, who have been showing up at his "open meetings" to tar & feather him. Not a pretty sight, but funny as hell.

McDonnell Will Lie to Weaken Working Families

It's no surprise that Bob McDonnell is siding with corporate interests over workers and the American public in the fight over the coming Employee Free Choice act. So, it should also come as no surprise that McDonnell is content to lie to further the interests of his corporate supporters.

The use of the term "card check" is in itself a lie used to strengthen opposition to Employee Free Choice. Here's Rachel Maddow destroying the "card check" lie echoed by Chamber of Commerce stooges like McDonnell.

RPV Death Spiral in Overdrive

The Republican Party of Virginia has been in a death spiral for years. The latest effort by Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell to oust Party Chair Jeff Frederick could be the final nail in the coffin with McDonnell's Republican Elites set to wage war against Frederick's Grassroots.

Bob Lewis at the RTD has a good rundown of the charges against Frederick. In order to remove Frederick, McDonnell must corral 58 of the 77 members of the party central committee, precisely the number that signed on to the complaint letter sent with McDonnell's signature calling for Frederick's removal.

Frederick is fighting back:

“I will continue to work against the efforts of a few to overturn the verdict of the thousands of grass roots volunteers and activists who participated in the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention,” he wrote.

So, it becomes a battle of grassroots vs. elites and there really could be hell to pay.

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.

McDonnell Joins the Dump Frederick Feeding Frenzy

Much to the chagrin of Jeff Frederick aficionados in the Democratic grassroots, it appears that the Republican Party of Virginia is experiencing buyer's remorse over the selection of the Delegate from Prince William County as party chairman less than a year ago. The Virginian Pilot reports that with three quarters of the state party's central committee signing letters calling for Frederick's departure, the ouster could occur as early as the next meeting on 4 April. Quite possibly the final nail in the coffin was delivered when Bob McDonnell announced his position that the party needs more effective leadership in this coming year.

McDonnell, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee, appears to be using this opportunity to "run to the middle" in an effort to build his base statewide for the general election. The litany of Frederick missteps includes a number of statements that remain offensive to Democrats. By creating the illusion that he takes exception to such faux pas as comparing then candidate Obama to Osama bin Laden, McDonnell likely hopes to distance himself from Frederick's antics which at the time drew no criticism from him. Frederick also alienated a number of Republicans during the General Assembly session as evinced by his abject legislative failures. At the same time, those in the Democratic gubernatorial primary race tend to "run to the left" while appealing to the narrower spectrum of voters that will decide the June election.

Even if the effort to remove Frederick from the position fails, McDonnell will have achieved a significant coup. He will have established the basis for a claim that the characterization of him as a member of the right wing extreme is inaccurate.

Bob McDonnell vs. Thomas Jefferson

That whirring sound you hear is Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave like a frickin’ propeller.

225 years ago, that great Virginian celebrated the culmination of a ten-year fight to pass the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. In fact, that law was one of only three accomplishments Jefferson had carved on his gravestone (the Declaration of Independence and U-VA being the other two).

Jefferson understood that religious freedom means respecting and protecting the private exercise of religion, while ensuring that government does nothing to favor any one religion over another. Rather, he proposed – and mandated, through the Virginia Statute, and then nationwide through the Bill of Rights – a “wall of separation” between church and state.

Today, a not-so-great Virginian, Bob McDonnell, is attempting to tear down this wall. But, hypocritically, he and his allies are using the language of religious freedom to allow the state of Virginia to favor the practices of evangelical Christians over those of every other group.

As the WaPo reported the other day, McDonnell supports a group of State Police chaplains who demand the right to give prayers at official state events that specifically invoke the name of Jesus Christ rather than offering non-sectarian prayers. B-Mac disingenuously claims to be supporting the right “of religious officials to freely practice their faith” when in fact he is supporting the power of the state to use its coercive powers to force a particular religion’s beliefs and practices down the throats of everyone else.

Embarrassment for the Virginia AG's Office

Steven Lederman, a Virginia assistant attorney general with indirect ties to former Norfolk Senator Nick Rerras (R) has been charged with felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon after a drug sniffing dog alerted on a bag in Lederman's van. Inside that bag was marijuana wrapped like a Christmas present.

Lederman's father, Ira, made contributions of $5,500 to Senator Rerras and other Republicans leading up to the time when Steven was a candidate for Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In 2007, this drew attention to the fact that members of the legislature have an opportunity for patronage from their influence in appointing judges in Virginia. Reeves Mahoney, the husband of circuit judge candidate Joan E. Mahoney, had given $500 to Rerras and a total of $10,800 to Republicans in the same time period.

B-Mac’s New Campaign Chairman -- “Fast Eddie” Gillespie!

So who will be leading Bob McDonnell’s crusade to bring conservative “Virginia values” to the governor’s mansion? Why none other than the consummate Washington insider – Ed “Fast Eddie” Gillespie!

If the name rings a bell, it should. Fast Eddie came to Virginia in December 2006 to add the title “Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia” to his resume. He left to slink back inside the Beltway seven months later. Yes, that’s fast! But it was typical of a career that epitomizes the worst of Washington’s revolving door. Also telling was that he continued to work for his big-time lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie, while serving as RPV chair.

In fact, Public Citizen devoted an entire report to Gillespie’s career in 2003 entitled The Embedded Lobbyist . This report was written to warn Bush not to appoint Gillespie head of the RNC, due to his extensive lobbying ties. A few choice examples of his career taken from this report include:

•Enron paid Quinn Gillespie $700,000 in 2001 alone to lobby on the “California energy crisis” and thwart efforts to re-regulate the Western electricity market through price controls. Before its collapse, the company also funneled money to a Gillespie-run group to buy national television ads promoting the president’s industry-friendly energy plan.

What we learned about the VDP at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

The scene of Saturday night's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner--an annual fundraising event for the Democratic Party--was an allegory of sorts, each of the Party's primary contenders a symbol of what is good and bad in party politics.

McDonnell: "Resigning [cough, cough] was a very difficult [ahem] decision [hahahahahahahaha]"

So, the Virginia-Pilot reports that Bob McDonnell told his staff, “Resigning [to run for Governor] was a very difficult decision to make because of my love for this Office and all of you.”

Of course, it could not have been that hard a decision, since McDonnell has known for three years, since he was elected AG, that he would be doing this. It is, after all, as he correctly notes, a “Virginia political tradition.”

Politics is full of empty platitudes, but even in a profession that runs on them (and while I realize that McDonnell was trying to say something nice to his staff), this one made me chuckle. Not just because it is transparently false. After all, such falsity is a necessary, if not a defining, defining feature of the political platitude. Rather, it was because in the very same statement in which he utters the platitude, he defines his action as a “tradition,” in effect contradicting the idea that this was a “decision” in any commonly understood way. It was, rather, a tradition which required not decision whatsoever.

So, I got to wondering what other “decisions” in his life Bob McDonnell may have found “very difficult.” Fortunately, I was able to find a biography of Mr. McDonnell in the far right hand corner of my local library, right next to another biography entitled “Bob McDonnell and me: The struggle to define social policy,” by some guy named Mullah Omar (hey, you knew there would be a “Taliban Bob” reference).

(more on the flip)

Bob McDonnell resigns as VA Attorney General

Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell is stepping down from his post in Richmond to focus on running for Governor of the Commonwealth. This is a move which he says is "keeping with Virginia tradition". (Virginian-Pilot)

As of the end of December, McDonnell boasted an impressive $2 million in cash on hand for his campaign. Now that he's focusing on campaigning in earnest for governor, we should start seeing those funds put to use quickly.

Taliban Bob Benefits Early From Out of State Donors

Three newly registered committees formed during the first seven days of 2009 funneled $77,000 into the McDonnell coffers. All three hail from outside the Commonwealth. One of them also donated $7,500 to Dave Foster’s campaign for Attorney General. This is information available to the public at All three PACs made their donations in the closing days of 2008.

Two of the organizations are readily recognizable, but one, Eagle Forum PAC, is more obscure and hails from Alton, Illinois. The treasurer of this PAC is none other than John Schlafly, Phyllis Schlafly’s eldest son. This PAC endorsed the candidacies of Virgil Goode, Representative Cantor, and Keith Fimian. Of the three committees, the larger contributors were the Republican Governor’s Association and the National Republican Trust.

Could it be that we will see a more tolerant side of Attorney General McDonnell? Will the openly gay Schlafly campaign with him in Virginia? Politics does make strange bedfellows, after all.

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

No McVotes for Governor

It occurred to me today that if you vote for anyone for governor whose last name begins with "Mc," then the end result will be McDonnell as Governor.

Nothing against that particular prefix; but it's just pretty clear to me that A vote for McAuliffe is a vote for McDonnell. Our experience in 2006 and 2008 reaffirmed several things that we know about the Old Dominion:

Virginia is a fiercely independent state -as evidenced by the number of conservatives that voted for Obama on Feb. 12th.

Will money laundering allegations return to haunt McDonnell in Governor's race?

There's no two ways about it: Virginia's Attorney General election of 2005 was extremely close. In the final stretch of the election current Attorney General Bob McDonnell faced a number of questions on a number of issues that were never really addressed. Time ran out and the cash strapped campaign of Creigh Deeds was unable to respond to McDonnell's tidal wave of negative advertising in the final two weeks of the campaign. McDonnell paid for these ads with a cash infusion of questionable legality coordinated by his most powerful ally: televangelist Pat Robertson.

Once in office, McDonnell declined to investigate himself. Go figure. The Bush administration wasn't terribly interested either.

McDonnell Shoots

Yesterday, Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell was in New York attending fundraisers given for him by Rudolph Giuliani. Please send money, says Bob, for we may soon be drowning in Terry McAuliffe’s advertising dough down in Virginia, and that could cost national Republicans their best hope to win a key race in an off year.

But as McDonnell cozies up for cash to one of the GOPs most anti-gun leaders, we ought to be thinking about why McDonnell feels so free to do so.

Will '09 Race Be About the Men or Their Money?

Recently, former delgate and current Gubernatorial Candidate, Brian Moran, proposed that all three of the candidates running for the Democratic Nomination recieve only donations made by Virginia residents, in order to ensure that the people influencing this race, were the ones that would be most affected by it. While many recieved his proposal as an honorable and worthwhile idea, the McAuliffe campaign did not seem to be quite as fond of it.

Great 2008, 2009 begins to take shape!

In 2008, Virginia Democrats accomplished great things. For the first time in 44 years, our state went Democratic. How wonderful that we went blue for the first time in 44 years to make Barack Obama our 44th President. In January, Virginia will have two Democratic United States Senators and a 6-5 majority in our House delegation. Mission accomplished!

Scope for 2009: Your mission as VA Democrats, should you choose to accept it, is to maintain the Governor's mansion, Defeat Bill Bolling, win the Attorney General's seat and take back our House of Delegates for the people of this Commonwealth. Momentum is on our side, but history is not. It has been that the party that wins the White House, loses the Governor's race in the following year. But, we are Virginia Democrats, and in Virginia, anything is possible. Our work is cut out for us and there is no time to waste. McDonnell and the Republican slime machine is gearing up for a nasty year. Sleazeball politics will be at its best. Let us stay above the fray. We are Virginia Democrats, we dont play thier games. We play the peoples game and campaign on issues.

I'm ready to win, and continue the legacy that Mark Warner helped start seven years ago. Lets get to it!

I would finally like to wish everyone a safe a happy holiday season!

Rasmussen: Virginia Governor's Race Is Wide Open

Well, a Rasmussen poll released today provided exactly zero clarity in the Governor's race.

According to Rasmussen, Moran beats McDonnell 41-37 head-to-head, (5% favor another candidate, 16% are undecided), while Deeds and McDonnell run even, 39-39 -- there's a shocker -- with 4% preferring another candidate and 18% undecided.

McAuliffe, meanwhile, trails McDonnell 41-36.

But when we get to the favorable/unfavorable, it gets a little strange, and there is some surprising data on a couple of issues, including strong approval for Tim Kaine

(More on the flip)