Bill Howell

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For Virginia, Creigh Deeds

He may have been elected Commonwealth's Attorney, Delegate, and State Senator in the Shenandoah Valley, but Creigh Deeds knows Virginia as well as any candidate for Governor in recent memory. Sen. Deeds passed through the Fredericksburg area many times over the years; first as House Democratic Caucus Chairman, then as the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. So when he spoke to the Stafford Co. Democrats earlier this month at their First Annual Jefferson/Jackson Dinner, he probably didn't need to stop for directions.

But not everything is about the next election.

Schwartz withdraws from House 28th Race

Stafford Supervisor George Schwartz has decided not to challenge Bill Howell. From the Free Lance-Star:

Less than 20 days into his campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates, Stafford Supervisor George Schwartz has dropped out of the race.

In a press release, Schwartz admitted that he could not run a “targeted, full-time race” while simultaneously tending to county business.

The campaign was “overtaking his work as supervisor,” he said.

Three other potential candidates have been interviewed locally. We thank Mr. Schwartz for his time and consideration.

George Schwartz Running Against Speaker Howell

(The nominating process is still very much open for the 28th. The views expressed are only those of the author. This post is not an endorsement by BC. Thanks, FXBAmy)

george-schwartz?w=200Stafford Co. Board of Supervisors Chairman George Schwartz is running against Speaker Bill Howell in the 28th HD. The full press release is available after the jump.

Barack Obama captured 50.2% of the vote in the 28th last November, a district that includes the city of Fredericksburg (which went 63.6% for Obama) and part of Stafford County. Although Schwartz is the Stafford BOS Chairman, he hasn't been elected county-wide. He represents the Falmouth district and was voted in as Chairman, following the 2007 elections, with 4 votes (3 Democrats and 1 Independent) to 3. Schwartz will not seek re-election this year. This won't be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but George is one of the biggest "names" out there the Democrats could ask for to run against Wild Bill.

Cross-posted at Fred2Blue

Guess Who Was Raising Some Serious Cash in Fredericksburg Tonight? (w/UPDATE)

Several Republican members of the VA General Assembly.

On the left is the invitation that you can currently find on the RPV website. The one on the right is the original invitation with the names Howell, Stuart, Cole, and Orrock. Since they later changed it they must know that they did something wrong, didn't they?

More below the fold....(click on pictures for larger version)

l-r-flyers

House Sessions Will Be Streamed Live on the Internet

It's becoming easier and easier to tell that Barack Obama carried Speaker Howell's 28th House district in the general election. First Howell announces that they'll finally record subcommittee votes in the House of Delegates, now this. As Del. Dave Englin explains to The Post's Anita Kumar, "He sees the writing on the wall.''

When the General Assembly convenes Wednesday, January 14, citizens will be able to view House floor proceedings live. These video streams will be delivered using the Adobe Flash player. If your computer does not have this software, you can download it from the Adobe website.

This server will allow up to 750 simultaneous video streams. However, House staff will continuously monitor traffic on this server to insure that video is available to all who wish to connect. For slower internet connections, an audio feed will also be available from the main page.

Links to both the audio and video feeds will be available from the General Assembly home page.

The House Republican Caucus v. Democracy – Part II

Continuing my report from December

Late last year politicians from both sides of the aisle were shocked when a young ruffian (aged 69) named Henry Waxman succeeded in challenging 53-year incumbent John Dingell for the coveted post of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair. Everyone knows that seniority is king amongst Democrats in the US House of Representatives, just as loyalty and ideology reign when Republicans are in power.

Were such the case in Richmond…

Political gain above all else determines committee assignments in the Virginia House of Delegates. Okay – no big surprise there – what shocks newcomers to the General Assembly is that the Speaker has the sole power to assign members of both parties to committees. The whim of one member is the ultimate decider in what effectively becomes the policy of the entire chamber thanks to the dictatorial power of subcommittees.

And it doesn’t even end there…

The House Republican Caucus v. Democracy – Part I

Over the next few weeks leading up to the start of the 2009 General Assembly session on January 14, I will be writing a series of stories concerning the difficulties Democrats face in getting stuff done as the minority in the House of Delegates. Here’s Part I.

In the first week of the 2008 session of the Virginia House of Delegates, Democrat Ken Plum of Reston introduced a rule change requiring votes in subcommittee to be recorded. All Democrats voted in favor of the measure; all Republicans (except arch-conservative and bane of the RPVA Bob Marshall) voted against it.

I bring this issue to the fore today with news that conservative anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity handed the House Republican Caucus a petition signed by 300 Virginia Republicans urging them to record votes in subcommittee.