Hampton Roads

Downside for Virginia Republicans in the Budget Debate

Doubtlessly, Virginia Republicans would enjoy making hay of the current budget shortfall, but at least some of them realize that there is substantial downside to that tactic. In less than two weeks the General Assembly convenes with hard economic times driving the top of the agenda and the record shortfall threatening many sacred cows, truth in sentencing among them.

”“Well obviously (6% growth) wasn’t going to happen. I don’t think anybody believed that was going to happen, either on the finance team or anybody in appropriations or finance in the House or the Senate. But with the economy we saw coming down the pike, it seemed unlikely we were going to grow by 6.3%.”
Delegate Sal Iaquinto (R-Virginia Beach)

Although tempting to use the projected budget shortfall to set the stage for the fall campaign, the reality is that any claim that the Governor should have known that the revenue projections were optimistic can be cast against most of the Republicans. The current budget passed the House of Delegates almost unanimously while the Senate vote reflected a political maneuver falling along party lines rather than reflecting any principled opposition. No Republican raised the revenue projection as an issue during the budget process. Further, at that time, the Republican party line was that the US economy was the strongest in history, making claims that revenue projections were known to be too optimistic fallacious; though that hasn’t kept Virginia Republicans from taking positions in the past.

John LaCombe picks up endorsement from Brian Moran

Brian Moran and John LaCombeBrian Moran, candidate for Governor of Virginia and recently resigned Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the Virginia House of Delegates, has endorsed John LaCombe, who is running in the special election in the 81st House district against Republican Barry Knight. This is the second Democratic candidate for governor to come out in support of LaCombe, as Terry McAuliffe contributed $5000 to LaCombe's campaign earlier this month.

NOW Endorses John LaCombe in the 81st

Virginia Beach, VA, December 22, 2008: Marj Signer, President of Virginia NOW PAC, released the following statement today concerning John LaCombe and his candidacy for the 81st District House of Delegates race.

VAYDs Announce Exciting Events

The Virginia Young Democrats recently chartered a new chapter in Norfolk. According to VAYD's Executive Vice President Sean Holihan of Norfolk, the chapter will hold it's first meeting January 29th at 7 p.m at the New Belmont on Colonial Avenue.

"Norfolk is completely represented by Democrats so I thought that for a city as Democratic as we are it's almost inexcusable there's no YD chapter," Holihan said.

Here's a link to the facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=40094393438&ref=ts

More about VAYD's activities below the fold.

Terry McAuliffe Listens on the Eastern Shore

Terry McAuliffe listens on the Eastern ShoreTravelling the Commonwealth, he has checked off 110 of 136 cities and counties he set out to visit on what McAuliffe terms a listening tour. He says he will make his decision on whether to run for Governor January 7th. Citizens of the Eastern Shore, who sometimes find themselves the Slighted Shore, appreciate when someone listens. Yesterday they turned out in a number of locations, including the terminal of the Accomac County Airport where he spoke to a number of the local Democrats and fielded their questions in an informal setting.

Establishing his bona fides, he told the group he has lived in the state some 20 years and, as he tells it, his wife has raised their five children here. Starting his first of some 25 companies when he was 14 he retired when he was 35. His involvement in Democratic politics is longstanding. He’s been the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and was Jimmy Carter’s finance director when he was 22 years old. Of course he has an involved friendship with the Clintons; recently Senator Clinton’s Presidential campaign chairman.

Malcolm White: “Let’s say you do run for governor and you win, are you going to forget us here on the Eastern Shore?”

McAuliffe: “Listen, you all are going to get a copy of my book. Once you read my book, you’ll understand what my life has been like. And the one thing you will come away with is this man is a very loyal guy. I’ve never not honored a commitment I’ve made…I’ll come back.”

Virginia Beach Democratic Committee Celebrates

The Virginia Beach Democratic Committee held a spirited annual Holiday Party and legislative send off this evening. The event had a significant addition in Representative-elect Glenn Nye (VA-2nd) who was introduced to members as a candidate for the first time by Susan Mariner at the same party a year ago. Glenn outlined the initiatives he anticipates playing a role supporting as the Congress sets the conditions necessary for President-elect Obama to act quickly after his inauguration. High among the important matters he discussed was an economic stimulus package. Senator Ralph Northam of Norfolk and Delegate Bobby Mathieson of Virginia Beach made brief remarks and John Lacombe, candidate for delegate in the 81st district explained why he chose to contest that seat in an election set for 6 January, 2009.

Senator Ralph Northam, Terry McAuliffe, and Jody Wagner In addition to the food, drinks, and elected officials, Virginia Beach’s own Jody Wagner, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Terry McAuliffe, at the end of a daylong swing through the Eastern Shore and into Hampton Roads on his listening tour, were there to mix it up with the crowd. As the Committee Chair, Ollie Bates, told the group, it wasn’t so long ago that the event could have been held in a phone booth. The Blue Tide rising in Virginia Beach is now at a level that this event is outgrowing its venue of recent years, the home of a local committee member.

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

John LaCombe on 89.5 WHRV

John LaCombeDemocratic candidate in the special election in the 81st House district, John LaCombe, was on 89.5 WHRV with Kathy Lewis on Thursday, December 18th, 2008. The interview was short, but gave an opportunity for LaCombe to get his name, his previous experience, and his positions out to the public.

Big Day for Brian Moran in Hampton Roads

Mayors Frank and Oberndorf, Delegate Moran, and Mayor FraimYesterday, Brian Moran kicked off his day in Hampton Roads on the radio with Tony Macrini who generates a tension that always offers an opportunity for lively discussion. Some time ago, Macrini established a program standard for interviews that includes the requirement to field questions from callers and, on one occasion, refused to have Governor Kaine on because his scheduler would not agree to that condition. Moran capped off the day with the formal endorsement from five of Hampton Roads' mayors.

Tony Macrini describing the gubernatorial field: "Here in Virginia we have some very interesting, even outstanding gentlemen, even some who have actually done something in Virginia."

Warming up to a discussion of the issues, they talked about how much time and how often Delegate Moran has visited Hampton Roads and the similarities between Northern Virginia and this area. Moran took the opportunity to announce the support of five Hampton Roads mayors and that there would be a formal announcement later in the day. Responding to a question from Macrini, Moran explained that he had decided to step down from the House of Delegates after 12 years. "If it's worth doing, its worth doing right." He said he had determined that he could not do both jobs well. "It's not about the next 45 days, it's about the next four years."

Brian Moran picks up key endorsements in Hampton Roads

Brian Moran has been working hard to shake the impression that he's a NoVA only candidate.

Since starting his "Virginia Values" tour, he has been endorsed by leaders from Martinsville and Loudon, in addition to L.F. Payne and a majority of the DPVA executive committee. Today five mayors from the Hampton Roads region jointly endorsed Brian for Governor.

Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Moran to Make Announcement

Delegate Brian Moran will appear on the Tony Macrini morning show this morning in the 9AM hour. He has informed Macrini's assistant that he has a special announcement to make on the air. WNIS has a live stream available at its website. Macrini welcomes phone calls from listeners during the program at 757-627-7979.

Jody Wagner’s Three B’s

PhotobucketJody Wagner spoke to the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee membership this morning emphasizing her main concerns: the state transportation system and workforce development. “We have got to do the three B’s,” she said, ”Beat Bill Bolling” She argues he won’t work in the right direction on either of these issues.

Unlike too many Chief Financial Officers in the private sector of late, Jody Wagner has left her service in the Warner and Kaine administrations with the state in better fiscal condition than she found it. Mark Warner brought her into statewide politics by guiding her into the position as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, then into his administration he when he became governor in 2002, appointing her as state treasurer. In that position she was responsible for investing the state’s cash, issuing the debt, and managing a variety of different programs

Virginia’s AAA bond rating has been recently reaffirmed

Then Governor-elect Warner’s guidance was to not lose the AAA credit rating Virginia has had since 1938. During the transition, Governor Gilmore’s treasurer handed her a trade journal for the municipal bond industry containing an article that assessed a negative outlook for Virginia. She was at the forefront of the administration’s effort to explain to the General Assembly the fiscal situation that required an increase in revenues. Maintaining the bond rating is important for local governments because the cities’ cannot be any higher than the state’s rating.

Will and Bill: Not Laughing Now

Will and BillVirginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and consider criminal charges against Virginia Beach Mayor-elect Will Sessoms' Earle Mobleycampaign operatives who distributed fraudulent and illegal campaign fliers to African-American voters on election day.

Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Earle Mobley will lead the investigation.

Witnesses have confirmed that boxes of the illegal fliers originated in a conference room at the Williams Mullen law firm in Virginia Beach.

Who works at Williams Mullen? Sessoms' guy pal, former City Councilman Bill Harrison, and former UBS mortgage officer, former Republican delegate, and current mortgage industry lobbyist Terrie Suit.
Cross-posted at http://www.vagreatblueheron.wordpress.com

Barry Knight: Hovering above the law since 2000

Barry Knight, Republican candidate in the special election for the 81st district of the Virginia House of Delegates, has been landing his helicopters in Virginia Beach without the required permit.

The response of Knight, who has served on the Planning Commission since 2003, including serving as chairman in 2006 and 2007: "I just had no idea."

Hampton Roads, how to turn it blue

So, I'm Dave's (code) dad and am wondering how we can turn Hampton Roads Blue. This area did change congressmen but our representation in the state house and senate is still almost 100% Republican. We even elected a Republican Mayor despite not having party identification in city politics. We just don't seem to get effective candidates here for the Democratic Party. I was pleasantly surprised Glen Nye won but then Thelma Drake was a complete Bush bozo so it should never have been that hard to beat her. So, how does the Democratic Party of VB find good candidates?

Democrats to nominate John LaCombe for 81st

From the Virginian-Pilot:

Democrats will put a fresh face on the ballot for the 81st District special election for the House of Delegates.

Emphasis on fresh: The candidate, John LaCombe, is 24.

Beach Democratic party chairman Ollie Bates said the party will nominate LaCombe today for the Jan. 6 election against Republican Barry Knight and Jeff Dente, an independent.