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McAuliffe to take questions from voters at Richmond forum

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Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe will be in Richmond tonight (Wednesday) for a forum where he will take questions from voters.

The event takes place tonight at 5:15 at the Lewis Ginter Recreation Center. It is free and open to the public.

Details for tonight’s event and his appearance with President Clinton in Norfolk on Wednesday are below:


Wednesday May 6

5:15 pm Terry McAuliffe holds Richmond Forum
Lewis Ginter Recreation Association
3421 Hawthorne Ave
Richmond, VA 23222

Thursday, May 14

9:30 am Terry McAuliffe and President Clinton Campaign in Norfolk
Nauticus Elizabeth River Pavilion
1 Waterside Drive
Norfolk, VA 23510

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Farm Team asks Moran campaign to pull video of debate from web commercial

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Representatives from the political organization “The Farm Team” have asked officials from the Brian Moran campaign to pull a portion of a web ad hammering Terry McAuliffe that is taken from the debate they hosted a few weeks ago in Williamsburg.  In an e-mail obtained by NBC12, the organization’s Susan Platt asks the campaign to remove video from the debate that is used in the commercial because it is in violation of the terms of use agreement that all three campaigns agreed to prior to the event taking place. 

The video is currently under a private setting on YouTube but can be found on the popular lefty NotLarrySabato blog

Ms. Platt confirmed for me this afternoon that they have requested the Moran campaign pull the video, but she said that if they don’t comply, the organization will not pursue any legal action.

I have a request into the Moran campaign as to how they plan to respond to the request. I will update you as soon as I hear something.

**UPDATE** The Moran campaign had attempted to get in touch with me around the time I posted this item, but I did not realize that I didn’t have my phone on me. They have already pulled the ad and are pulling out what they describe as a “very short” clip out of the video. They plan to re-post the edited video with just a quote from the debate as opposed to the actual footage. 

The transcript from the Platt e-mail is after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Moran looks to capitalize on McAuliffe Washington Post story

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I just finished a phone interview with democratic candidate for Governor Brian Moran about the story that broke this morning on page A1 of the Washington Post by Amy Gardner. I doubt I am the first to share the link with you, but if you haven’t read it please check it out here.

The story takes a critical look at Terry McAuliffe‘s rise a businessman and political power broker. It takes the time to fact check some of claims he has made on the campaign trail. It centers around McAuliffe’s central campaign pledge that he will take his savvy business acumen and apply it to the job of governor to help grow the economy in Virginia.

It is a well written story that gives a fair shake to McAuliffe’s career, but aside from the headline (McAuliffe’s Background Could Prove A Liability) it would really be up to the individual reader to decide if the story overall is “negative”.

The McAuliffe campaign has defended some of the claims in the piece and has pointed reporters to their “facts page” on the campaign web site.  While beating back some of the claims they are also quick to note aspects of the report that show McAuliffe in a positive light.  Campaign press secretary Lis Smith sent me a statement today that said in part “Terry is the only candidate in this race who has decades of experience creating jobs and turning around struggling businesses — which the Washington Post story points out.” (Her full statement is after the jump)

Brian Moran’s campaign however, sees this story as a validation of the picture they have attempted to paint of McAuliffe. For weeks they have described him as a slick salesman, more concerned with his own personal accomplishments then that of average people in the commonwealth of Virginia. They have spent today pushing the story with statements of their own, highlighting what they view as the most damming aspects of the story.

Excerpts from my interview with Brian Moran are after the jump along with the full rebuttal statement from the McAuliffe campaign.

It is worth noting that I did ask candidate Moran about his own Washington Post story, which he has been force to defend for several weeks on the campaign trail. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 3, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Mullins tapped as RPV Chair- Frederick reappears on Twitter

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

The State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia has selected current Louisa County Republican Chairman Pat Mullins as chairman of the state party. Mullins will keep watch over the party until the entire state committee gets the chance to pick a new chair at the end of the month. Mullins is a longtime party insider and at one time served as the Chairman of the Fairfax County GOP before moving Louisa County.

While Mullins could be a candidate to take over the job full time, his election today does not spell the end of Jeff Frederick‘s tenure at the RPV. Frederick who has, for the most part, been quiet since being removed from the post, began posting again on his twitter page. Yes- that same twitter page that was among the many problems that contributed to his demise at the top of the party.

No one seems to sure as to what Frederick’s next move will be. Despite his problems he still enjoys the support of a rabid group of generally conservative Republican members who are no doubt encouraging him to not give up. That support could lead to Frederick submitting his name for election once again as RPV Chair. He could also run again for his seat in the House of Delegates. (His wife Amy announced earlier this week that she will not run for the position).

While few expect Frederick to go away quietly perhaps this post on his twitter feed from today, may lend some insight as to what his next move may be.

@JeffFrederick-VAGOP SCC selected new chair; bad move since appt only valid 4 27 days. An attempt to instruct the Convention delegates, once again showing disdain 4 grassroots.

Frederick’s tweet then led to a lively discussion on Facebook, that was compiled by Bearing Drift.

And who says Republicans don’t “do” social media? This fight is far from over.

Meanwhile, Bob McDonnell, the party’s candidate for Governor (who may be suffering the most from this controversy) released a statement on the Mullins appointment. You can read it, in its entirety after the jump..

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Kaine raps McDonnell on unemployment benefits

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Governor Tim Kaine just responded to a letter former Attorney General and Republican Candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell sent to members of Congress. In his letter McDonnell asks the federal representatives to “remove the strings” connected to the release of millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds for unemployment benefits. McDonnell has taken quite a bit of heat over his support of the Republican controlled House of Delegates efforts to prevent the expansion of unemployment benefits  in order allow the commonwealth to be eligible for the federal funding.

In his original letter McDonnell instructs the members of congress that forcing permanent changes to the unemployment benefits structure would cost too much over the long term, to make it worth it to take advantage of two years of federal stimulus dollars. He suggests that if congress really wants to help the states, they should remove the language that requires any changes to be permanent.

While the letter was not directed to Governor Kaine, McDonnell mentions the Governor in the letter and wrote that he hopes to “work together to ensure Virginians get the help they need now.”

Governor Kaine took McDonnell up on his offer by following a similar pattern. he wrote a letter and then released it to the media.

Kaine outright rejects the basic claim in McDonnell’s proposal. He states emphatically that states are welcome to revert back to prior standards once stimulus funds are depleted. He goes on to say that now that McDonnell is aware that his concerns have already been addressed by the administration, that he should agree that it will benefit all Virginians for the General Assembly to reconvene to make the necessary changes and therefore have access to the federal funds.

Governor Kaine has been very careful to not wade into the race for his current job, despite his role as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  In fact, overall he and McDonnell have had a very cordial relationship and have gone out of their way to not be critical of one another.

This however appears to be an opportunity too good for Kaine to turn down. The unemployment benefits squabble has been very near and dear to his heart and it gives him the chance to rap the guy who he wants to see lose, while at the same time acting as Governor.  It also helps that it was McDonnell drew his sword first by mentioning Kaine in his intial letter.

Everyone is watching Kaine closely to see how he handles this race for Governor. As the DNC chair, he cannot sit on the sidelines. However, he risks losing his stature as a respected statesman if he gets too involved and his action gets in the way of his efforts to govern.

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Blogger debate tonight in Blacksburg

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It has the potential to be the most interesting debate of democratic primary. Tonight on the campus of Virginia Tech, some of my favorite Virginia bloggers will be firing questions at the candidates for the party’s nomination.

While some of these bloggers have leanings in favor of one candidate or another, by in large their allegiances are to their readers. Unlike some of us in the MSM, they probably aren’t as interested in decorum and won’t be afraid to lob tough questions and force these candidates on the record.

Many of these bloggers have already used their online forums, which are all heavily read, to ask questions about sensitive issues, like energy, gay marriage, job creation and the backgrounds and associations of the candidates. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the moderators force the candidates to answer the questions and not dance around some of the topics.

The Huffington Post, one of the debate sponsors, will stream the debate live. Its not too late to contribute to the event. Check out their twitter page and the YouTube channel. Tonight here on Decision Virgina we will take a look back at the best moments from what promises to be an interesting evening.

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Carville or Holland and Dean?

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Ryan Nobles - bio | email

Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe both rolled out endorsements this morning that perhaps more than anything demonstrate the types of campaigns they are running. Moran, for the past several months, has been serving up a steady diet of local Democratic officials, who for the most part, are only known in their communities. McAuliffe has been using high profile national party rock stars (Bill Clinton) to demonstrate that he is the candidate most prepared to keep the Governor’s mansion in Democratic hands. 

Today was perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. 

Brian Moran released a statement announcing the support of two relatively prominent Richmond area officials. Richmond City Clerk of the Court Bevill Dean and Chesterfield Supervisor Jim Holland. The release points out that Dean is a city-wide elected official and Holland is the only Democrat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors. Not big names by any stretch of the imagination, but endorsements that demonstrate Moran’s connections with local leaders and perhaps relationships that will lead to solid cooperation when he is Governor. Nice- but not really exciting.

On the other side, Terry McAuliffe today sent out a fund raising e-mail from none other than the Ragin’ Cajun himself James Carville. Carville is a political superstar, with mass market appeal from his time as a television analyst on CNN. In addition to his close connections to the Clinton family (which no doubt played an important role in his support of the Macker), he is certainly well known, even by people outside of the polticial arena. 

But Carville has little to no connection to Virginia politics. While he has spent quite a bit of time in D.C. and by extension Norther Virginia, he has never been a serious player here. In fact one might make the case that Carville’s connections to Virginia politics are similar to Terry McAuliffe’s connections to Virginia politics. They may have been “around” it by the nature of their living situation, but few would argue that they were really “involved” with the process. 

Depending on the voter, these two announcements could have very different results. If you are a local Virginian, tied into your local officials and a long time supporter of local Democrats (which many primary voters are) then the Moran announcement meant a lot more to you. If you are big on high profile movers and shakers, who have had success on the national stage and you want to see that success brought here, McAuliffe is your guy. 

Either way, you have two distinct choices. And that doesn’t even include Creigh Deeds

After the jump, find the Moran endorsement release and the McAuliffe fundraising e-mail featuring these aforementioned supporters.. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Reminder: Bill Clinton comes to Richmond Monday

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Former President Bill Clinton comes to Richmond in support of Terry McAuliffe‘s campaign for Governor. Below are the details if you are interested in checking it out:



This Monday, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe will appear with President Bill Clinton at events in Richmond and Roanoke.

Monday, April 27

9:30 am-  Terry McAuliffe and President Clinton speak in Richmond
Richmond Farmer’s Market
17th and Franklin Streets
Richmond, VA 23219

12:15 pm-    Terry McAuliffe and President Clinton speak in Roanoke Fire Station #1
13 East Church Avenue, SE
Roanoke, VA 24011


We will have complete coverage of the former President’s visit on NBC12 starting at Noon and then again at 5 and 6pm.

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 27, 2009 at 2:30 am

McDonnell and education (public and private)

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mcdonnell-st-josephsRepublican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell spent Saturday night in Petersburg being feted by the people connected to St. Joseph’s Catholic School. McDonnell played an important role in keeping the school afloat. Less then a year ago it was on the verge of shutting down facing massive debt and mounting costs.

In a move, that at the time probably seemed simple but could play electoral dividends, McDonnell used his campaign database to send out a fundraising e-mail on behalf of the poor Catholic school. In order to stay in business, school leaders needed to raise $1 million in only three weeks. Fueled by a prominent story in the Washington Post and the e-mail solicitation by McDonnell, the school raised the necessary funds and is now still open.

It may seem like a small event at a tiny school in only one section of Virginia, but the story resonated across the commonwealth. McDonnell’s decision to help out probably created die-hard supporters that will fight for him until election day.

But the situation also raises questions about McDonnell’s stance on education in general. This of course is a private school struggling to stay afloat, but the Republican has received criticism over his stance on public education. Last week in Hampton he delivered brief remarks before the Virginia Education Association’s democratic debate. When McDonnell talks education he usually doesn’t say the things that people who focus on public education want to hear. He often references his commitment to school choice and the extension of charter schools.

Democrats hammered McDonnell’s education stance following the forum last week accusing him of voting against increases to K-12 education funding during his time in the House of Delegates.

It will be interesting to see where McDonnell goes on education in the next few months. His campaign promises that he will release a comprehensive education plan in the weeks ahead. In a time where funding is scarce and options are few, will he propose expanding education or scaling it back? Democrats have never been afraid to pump more cash into education regardless of what the costs may be.

Education can be a dicey issue. It is extremely important to people with children or careers connected to schools. For people without those connections arguing for expansion, especially in tough economic times is a hard sell. The democrats, for the most part, already have their position clearly set.  That leaves McDonnell with an opportunity to offer up a plan that may bridge a wide gap.

Read McDonnell’s remarks from the VEA forum and the Democratic response after the jump.. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Polite primary comes to an end

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It has been brewing under the surface for weeks. From blog posts by surrogates to twitter posts by high level staff members, the Democratic primary has officially gone negative and at this point it may be too late to turn back.

After several weeks of public sniping by supporters from both sides, today both Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran were forced to release official statements addressing the negative attacks being hurled from both sides.

The negativity is not a surprise, in fact many observers wondered just how long it would take. Terry McAuliffe had pledged from the start of the race that he would “never say a negative word” about any of the Democrats in the race. To his credit, the candidate himself has not. Instead, his supporters (both “official” and “not official”) have used the internet to criticize Brian Moran for being negative. In some cases, baiting Moran officials in written quarrels on twitter and through the blogs of independent supporters.

Moran’s camp is by no means innocent in this fight. They lobbed the first bomb when they publicly attacked McAuliffe’s connection to GOP lobbyist Ed Rogers. From there they have used blogs, surrogates and high profile supporters to attack McAuliffe’s position on energy policy, offshore drilling and social justice issues like gay marriage.

Creigh Deeds has not necessarily been involved this particular back and forth, but he has not been afraid to criticize his opponents and bring up issues on the campaign trial and in debates that put them in difficult positions.

The public’s reaction to negative campaigning is often not nearly as great as the reaction from political insiders, but in this case that could be important. There is an incredible about of left-leaning talent that is dispersed amongst the three candidates for Governor. The Republican staff support is currently all working for one man.

How difficult will it be for staff members of Brian Moran or Creigh Deeds to loyally follow Terry McAuliffe for the “greater good” after the all the bad blood that has been spilled? Will McAuliffe staff members, many of which have connections to his national work with the DNC, lose interest in what happens at the state level if their guy is out of the race? Will Moran and McAuliffe staffers be able to work hard for Creigh Deeds after they didn’t take him seriously enough during the primary and he came from behind to upset them?

One thing is for sure, regardless of who wins, the nominee will need the help of everyone to defeat a Bob McDonnell machine that will be performing at mid-season form come the middle of June, when the Democratic nominee emerges.

After the jump is the full text from both camps is after the jump. Decide for yourself which side is being more negative.. and if you care.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 25, 2009 at 12:40 am


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