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McDonnell brings another GOP star/ 2012 contender to Virginia

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Huckabee, Jindal, Romney, Guliani and now Barbour. Is there any doubt republicans have a close eye on Virginia? Just about every prominent national Republican seems to be finding every opportunity they can to come to the Commonwealth to stump for Bob McDonnell and make themselves known in the Old Dominion.

Haley Barbour, a favorite of social conservatives and the vice-chair of the Republican Governor’s Association comes to Virginia on Monday to stump for McDonnell and help the GOP nominee raise some cash for his race for Governor.

Aside from his responsibility as RGA vice-chair, Barbour is widely considered to be a mulling a run for President. The Mississippi Governor has made trips to both Iowa and New Hampshire and he is term limited in his current position. That means he will be out of a job in 2011, just in time to mount a campaign in 2012.

Interestingly, this is not the first time, Barbour’s name has come up in the Virginia governor’s race. The lobbying firm that he founded and is now run by his close associate Ed Rodgers hosted a fundraiser for Terry McAuliffe this winter that gave the Macker’s democratic primary opponents plenty of fodder. Although Barbour is no longer associated with firm, it still gave democrats the opportunity to take his name in vain as a way to criticize McAuliffe.

While Barbour is beloved by republican die-hards, he is also a prime democratic target. Expect Bob McDonnell’s political enemies to use the joint appearance as a way to build their case that McDonnell is an arch right winger, not the moderate he has attempted to portray himself.

McDonnell will appear with Barbour in both Virginia Beach and here in Richmond. We will have coverage of his press event in RVA Monday on Decision Virginia and NBC12.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm

RPV attacks Kaine’s travel schedule as DNC chair

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Republican Party of Virginia Chair Pat Mullins teamed up with Del. Chris Saxman on Friday to announce their plan to submit a Freedom of Information Act request of Governor Tim Kaine‘s travel since he began as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The announcement was accompanied by a web video produced by the RPV that ridicules Kaine’s non-government related travel and encourages Virginians to call his office and complain.

The attack follows a persistent strategy by the Republicans to muddy up the relatively popular sitting Governor to neutralize his impact in the fall elections. Mullins has already rapped Kaine’s DNC work, calling him a “part-time” governor and Republican candidate for Governor,  Bob McDonnell told me that Kaine is not a “Virginia Democrat” anymore and he is “tied to the extremely liberal and big government policies of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.”

There is no doubt that Kaine’s role as DNC chairman, a hyper-partisan role, leaves him vulnerable to these type of attacks. And it is not just the Governor’s political enemies who are questioning his work. The Washington-Post wrote about the Governor’s recent trip to Kansas City and how the local paper described Kaine as the “former Governor of Virginia”.

I just spoke to a representative from Governor Kaine’s office on this matter. Lynda Tran said that the Governor’s travel schedule and his security protection is “no different than any other previous governor of Virginia.” She also said that his security detail, which Mullins specifically mentions in the FOIA request, is “with the Governor 24 hours a day, whether he is sleeping in the mansion or hiking in the mountains with his children.”  Tran went on to say that the  protection is something the “people of Virginia have deemed necessary for their governor.”

The Governor’s office has not received the FIOA request, but they when they do, they plan to hande it appropriately. Meanwhile, they are trying to downplay the position the RPV attempts to put the governor in, with their satirical web video.

“They [RPV] are taking small clips of Friday and Saturday night events,” said Tran. “Even governors are allowed to have a little fun.”

You can see the request and the video after the jump..

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Written by Ryan Nobles

June 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

The new Deeds team

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

The Democratic nominee for Governor, Creigh Deeds is not wasting any time staffing up for his head to head rematch with Bob McDonnell. Yesterday Deeds campaign manager, Joe Abbey sent supporters an e-mail listing the the new political team.

Abbey, the 30 year old who engineered Deeds unlikely victory, has become a new political hot property after a flattering profile in the Washington Post. He will lead a team of veteran DPV hands, staffers from his boss’ former opponents and campaign gurus from both the Warner and Kaine camps.

Unlike the last time Deeds ran against McDonnell in a statewide race, it is very apparent from Abbey’s e-mail that this time the campaign focus heavily on new media connected to grassroots supporters. It is not a surprise that the new Democratic nominee would come in prepared to take advantage of the success built by Barack Obama‘s campaign for President in Virginia last year.

I can bet that Creigh Deeds has never run a campaign, where a member of his inner circle has the title of “Mobile-Media Consultant.”

The full list of the new Deeds team can be found after the jump

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Written by Ryan Nobles

June 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

McDonnell draws support from former Warner/Kaine backers

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The fight for the middle continued as today Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell announced a lengthy list of supporters who in the past have publicly gotten behind Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. While the list contains mostly Republicans, it is filled with politicians who seem to sway back and forth along the middle of the political spectrum and for whatever reason have decided to get behind Bob McDonnell in 2009.

Democrats aren’t buying it. Party spokesman Jared Leopold released a statement today calling the endorsements just another example of McDonnell’s “political makeover” and then reminded reporters that Mark Warner himself said that McDonnell played the role of obstructionist during Warner’s time in the executive branch.

Regardless of the argument that Democrats are making, one simple fact is difficult to argue with. These are individuals with a certain degree of political independence (including cabinet Secretaries that swore an oath of an allegiance to a Democratic administration) who have decided that in this particular election McDonnell is their guy. Many of these same officials are people the Democrats embraced when they pledged their support for Democratic candidates. They could be described as soldiers in the Warner/Kaine movement who have decided that McDonnell is the man best prepared to move that agenda forward.

However, for the most part, many of these endoresees are anything but household names. They are politicial insiders that the average voter wouldn’t know if they ran in to. How big of an impact they can have in turning the tide of an election could turn out to be marginal at best.  Furthermore, voters could wonder why a Republican (McDonnell) who has not “endorsed” the Warner/Kaine legacy is in search of individuals who have. After all Creigh Deeds has already been endorsed by Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, the authors of said legacy.

It also has the potential to cause McDonnell problems with the more conservative wing of the party that probably rejected many of these turncoat Republicans already. Many of these Republicans are supporters of former Chairman Jeff Frederick.

Overall, this shows the continued effort to fight for the middle of electorate. It is still early, but as the nation looks for a “mandate” on the Obama administration a case is being made that moderate politics and policy is the early winner.

Releases from both sides can be found after the jump…

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Written by Ryan Nobles

June 15, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Unity event offers insight into Democratic strategy

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Expect it to be a common theme over the next several months. Democrats- building on a legacy of the past, Republicans- obstructionists of the future. Today the new unified Democratic ticket, with their prime-time players took this new strategy out for a spin at a high profile event in Williamsburg.

For the first time, the party’s new nominee Creigh Deeds was flanked by what the party is hoping to hold up as examples of a successful past that continues to move forward. Senator (and former Governor) Mark Warner,  Governor Tim Kaine and Senator Jim Webb.  Their goal is to convince Virginians that Deeds and his ticket mates, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon will continue that legacy.

On a side note, despite the fact that the rally was dubbed a “unity” event, Deeds’ primary rivals Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe were not in attendance.  (DPV officials report that the two former candidates had family obligations and today’s focus was the first join appearance of the ’09 ticket)

I wasn’t at the event, but its not hard to see the message the Democrats are trying get out. The DPV team provided media, that couldn’t make the Saturday afternoon event, with two video clips that show the strategy being to put to work.  (For more in depth coverage of the event, the College of William and Mary student paper has a nice wrap up and Vivian Paige offers her partisan perspective that includes pictures)

((Read more and see video from the event, after the jump))

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Written by Ryan Nobles

June 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm

McDonnell downplays the help national Democrats and Kaine will provide Deeds

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deeds and kaineIn his first entry in the race to replace him. Governor Tim Kaine worked today to make the case that Senator Creigh Deeds is in an excellent position to beat Bob McDonnell in November.

Aside from whatever warm feelings the Governor has about passing his work to someone capable of picking up where he left off, Kaine has a very important personal interest in seeing Deeds win the Governor’s race. As the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Kaine is responsible for carrying forward the Barack Obama agenda and many people believe Virginia’s election will be an early test of the new President’s success.

Kaine wouldn’t talk money, perhaps the most important way we he can help the Deeds campaign, but he did talk influence. Kaine said that unlike his race four years ago, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate won’t be marginalized by popular Republican heavy-hitters who will move across the state on behalf of his opponent. In 2009, Republicans don’t hold many of the important political seats they held in 2005, leaving Bob McDonnell all alone.

((video of what Kaine and McDonnell had to say after the jump))

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Written by Ryan Nobles

June 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Creigh Deeds nominated as the Democratic candidate for Governor

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It is a victory that seemed an extremely unlikely proposition just a few weeks ago. Tonight, State Senator Creigh Deeds was overwhelmingly nominated the Democratic candidate for governor. While returns are still being officially tabulated, it appears that Deeds will win with over 50-percent of the vote, a difficult proposition in a three-way race.

Deeds himself seemed surprised that he was able to overcome the well-financed operation of Terry McAuliffe and the connected establishment support of Brian Moran. Deeds rode a wave of momentum that started after the endorsement by the Washington Post and steadily grew to a full-blown force by the time the voters went to the polls.

Tonight on NBC12 we will hear from the candidates and look forward to what promises to be a competitve general election.

On a side note–

Thank you so much for your readership! Decision Virginia’s traffic on Monday was our busiest day in our short history. Our traffic today actually doubled that number.  Thank you for making us your source for political coverage and please check back often as we cover the race for Virginia’s next governor!

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm

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