Archive for the ‘Decision Virginia 2012’ Category
As the crowd of roughly 900 people gathered at the Walkerton Tavern in Henrico, the air was thick and it was sunny and hot. That didn’t last too long. Shortly after the crowd took their spots to see Barack Obama, the rain began to fall and it stayed like that on and off until long after he was finished.
It wasn’t the first time a candidate has ever given a passionate speech in the rain, it’s not even the first time Obama has, but the picture of a soaking wet president selling his message of fighting for the middle class provided his campaign excellent optics. While they couldn’t plan something like this, they took advantage of the situation and it served as a dramatic backdrop for the president to make the case that his tax plan is the best plan for America.
Here is my report for NBC12:
GLEN ALLEN, VA (WWBT- For the seventh time since being elected president of the United States, President Barack Obama made a stop here in Central Virginia. The president spoke to an outdoor crowd, in the middle of a rain storm at the Walkerton Tavern in Glen Allen.
Through the pouring rain, which drenched everyone, including the leader of the free world, Barack Obama made a direct pitch to the middle class, and he used an issue that is normally strong with republicans, taxes.
It came early, and stayed from almost the entire event, a soaking rain that was impossible to escape, even for the most powerful man on the planet.
“Everybody is wet already,” the president said at one point. “So it doesn’t matter.”
Obama, dressed in a shirt so wet that his undershirt was visible, didn’t seem to mind. He launched into a passionate defense of his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, and cut them for the middle class.
“We need someone who believes in a “middle out” economics, a “bottom up” economics,” he said. “Someone who will fight for you and working class people across Virginia.”
It was a message sent to Henrico voters, in one of the most important swing counties in America. Tracey Snyderman is one of the voters, and agrees.
“I feel that the people in the top two percent won’t feel the difference,” Snyderman said. “For people lower down on the scale, it makes a big difference.”
But the president didn’t convince everyone. Matt Walton is a teacher and a Romney supporter. He came to hear the president speak, but is not convinced that higher taxes of any kind will help.
“You have the top two percent of the country paying roughly 78 percent of the American taxes,” he said. “That is just a huge burden right there.”
read and see the rest of the story on NBC12.com
The Romney campaign responded to the Obama visit with the following statement:
President Obama admitted today that our country isn’t on the right track, yet he is offering more of the same as he seeks a second term. Americans are tired of the same old broken promises and dishonest attacks – they want a leader who keeps his word and is more focused on fixing the economy than telling stories. As president, Mitt Romney will turn around the upside-down Obama economy and finally get America back on the right track.” – Curt Cashour, Virginia Communications Director, Romney for President
It will be an outdoor setting this afternoon for President Barack Obama‘s visit to Glen Allen. Obama is in the midst of a two day five stop swing through the Commonwealth in support of his re-election campaign.
The president spent time in Virginia Beach, Roanoke and Hampton yesterday. The theme of this swing is to speak directly to middle class voters in Virginia. Obama is expected to tout his tax plan which calls for a sunset of the Bush Tax Cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year, and extending th cuts for everyone else under that mark.
In front of a banner that reads “Forward” (which you and kind of make out in that picture) the president will remind the supportive crowd of the work he has done already on tax relief. Work he estimates at saving middle class Americans billions of dollars.
Republicans in Richmond yesterday, argued that the Obama tax plan amounts to class warfare. Mayor Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that Obama is working to pit the rich against the poor and at the same time punishing job creators.
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is on board the Mitt Romney campaign bus this morning to offer a counter argument to the Obama visit. The bus has been making laps around the area in front of Walkerton Tavern all morning.
We will provide live coverage of the preisdent’s visit today on air and on line. We will cut in on TV when the president lands at Richmond International Airport and when he arrives here in Glen Allen. The entire event can be seen without interruption on our web site, NBC12.com.
If you have no interest in the presidential visit, it would be a smart idea to avoid this section of Henrico. Road closures start at 10am. The full list can be found below:
On Saturday, July 14, 2012 President Obama will arrive at Richmond International Airport for an extended Presidential Campaign visit in Henrico County. As a result of his visit, in addition to temporary road closures associated with the Presidential Motorcade, the following road closures will occur:
*Mountain Road between Purcell Road and Woodman Road
HOURS: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
*Old Washington Highway between Mountain Road and Peace Lane
HOURS: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Detour signs will be utilized to assist motorists with identifying alternate routes. Residents who live inside the road closure areas will be allowed access to and from their homes by the Police Officers who will be posted at the road closure points.
Motorists attending the NATIONAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT at R. F. & P. Park should utilize Staples Mill Road to access Mountain Road in order to travel to R. F. & P. Park.
Motorists attending the AMATEUR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT at the Glen Allen Sports Complex should use Brook Road to Mountain Road to access the sports complex.
More than 100 Henrico County Police Officers will be on duty for the specific purpose of assisting with traffic and security for this event. They will be posted at road closure points to provide direction and assistance to motorists.
The Henrico Police Division will staff a Traffic & Event Help Telephone Line from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday to provide residents with traffic information associated with the event. The number to call for assistance, if needed, is 804-501-4838.
Additional information, including detour routes, will be posted on the Henrico County Police Web Page (www.henricopolice.org).
Friday in Henrico, he fired up GOP loyalists with a blistering attack on President Obama. Giuliani went after his background, his record on the economy, his support for the military as well as defending Mitt Romney’s record in the private sector. The very pro-GOP crowd at up every bit of his firey speech and many hung around after the fact clamoring for interviews and pictures with the man made famous after his stewardship of New York City after the attacks of 9/11
Interestingly, Giulani who is often accused of using 9/11 as a cruch to prop up his political career, never onced mentioned the attacks, or his role in the aftermath. This despite touting his accomplishments fighting crime and reforming welfare.
I spoke to the man dubbed “America’s Mayor” after the speech. Our complete interview can be found below.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli released a document that he claims shows a connection between former Governor Tim Kaine and convicted murderer Jens Soering, prior to Kaine being elected to public office.
Kaine, then a practicing civil rights attorney in Richmond, wrote a three page supportive affidavit that was then used on Soering’s behalf. The affidavit package appears to show Kaine offering assistance to Soering’s defense team in seeking relief from a potential capital punishment sentence.
Kaine’s campaign says he had nothing to do with the matter and that document was part of the public record. They say it was not intended for inclusion in this affadavit.
The document filed in 1988, is part of a series of affidavits Soering filed fighting his extradition from Germany to avoid the death penalty in Virginia. Soering was eventually convicted of two first degree murder charges and given two consecutive life sentences in 1990.
In the document Kaine does not address Soering’s guilt or innocence, but instead talks about the legal ramifications of a capital murder conviction. In fact, Soering himself is not even mentioned in the document.
Kaine has consistently said that his connections to Soering were only as governor and it was his responsibility to review requests from the man, and act accordingly. He finally signed a letter allowing the DOJ to review the case so that Germany would be financially responsible for his imprisonment, and only after the country convicted him in a German court and agreed he’d be sent directly to a German prison.
Kaine’s campaign vehemently denies his connection to Soering in this matter and says the affidavit was pulled from the public record of a 1988 case. Kaine served as an expert on Virginia capital procedure in a constitutional hearing initiated in federal court by Virginia capital inmate Joseph Giarrantano. They note that Soering’s name is not included anywhere in the filing and that Kaine did pnot consent to his work being used in the case.
In a conference call on the matter, Cuccinelli conceded that it is in the “realm of possibility” that Kaine could’ve written something in support of a completely different case that could’ve have been used in this matter. However, Cuccinelli defended his assertion that Kaine has not been completely forthcoming for his reasoning for offering Soering a transfer. He said that during their review of the case, they should’ve been aware that a document exisited with his name attached to it, that was used in support of Soering.
The Kaine campaign released the following response to Cuccinelli’s release of the documents:
“Governor Kaine wrote this affidavit as an expert witness in a completely separate case that had nothing to do with Jen Soering. Not once does it mention Jen Soering nor does it deal with the specific circumstances of the Soering case. We’ll leave it to the Allen campaign and the Attorney General to use state government resources to play politics in the Virginia Senate election. Governor Kaine is focused on working together with Virginians to strengthen our economy and create jobs.” — Brandi Hoffine, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director
We will continue to look into the details behind the issue.
Meanwhile, here is my uncut interview with the Attorney General from First at 4:
In what will be part of an explosive issue in the 2012 U.S. Senate race from Virginia, a Richmond Circuit Court Judge ruled Thursday that Jens Soering, a German man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s parents in a gruesome 1985 murder, can stay in a Virginia prison.
In late 2009, then Governor Tim Kaine issued a transfer of Soering into German custody. Kaine was in the last months of his gubernatorial term and Bob McDonnell had already been elected as Virginia’s next governor.
Shortly after McDonnell’s inauguration, he and the newly elected Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, went to work to revoke the Kaine transfer of Soering, concerned that he would serve only a small part of his double life sentence in his native country.
Thursday, a Richmond Circuit Court ruled that McDonnell had the legal right to revoke that transfer. Back in 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder informed Virginia authorities that they would not challenge the transfer revocation.
Soering’s legal options are not exhausted quite yet. He still has the option of appealing this decision to the Virginia Supreme Court. However, with the Circuit Court’s clear statement on the issue and the Federal Government’s desire to not intervene his options are running out.
That leaves the impact it will have on Tim Kaine. Kaine has repeatedly tried to explain his decision to allow Soering to return to Germany. His main argument has centered around a desire to relieve Virginia taxpayers of the expense of detaining Soering for the rest of his life. It is an argument Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doesn’t buy.
“I don’t think Tim Kaine has ever adequately explained what on earth he was thinking,” Cuccinelli said in a phone interview Friday evening.
According to Cuccinelli, Soering would’ve had the opportunity to be released from prison in Germany in 2 and half years. If things had gone in that direction, Soering could have been in a position to petition for his release right now.
Cuccinelli said that he believes that this issue should be front and center in the race for Senate from Virginia.
“This is a terribly unexplained exercise of the authority that he (Kaine) had at the time,” Cuccinelli said.
The Attorney General told me that he believes that the General Assembly should consider legislation that would limit the ability of the Executive Branch to use their broad powers after the final election before their term ends.
Governor McDonnell, who is responsible for revoking the Soering transfer, was gratified by the court’s decision.
“Jens Soering committed a heinous and gruesome crime when he killed two innocent Virginians,” said McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin. “The Governor believes he must serve his full sentence in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The question now is how big this issue plays in November for Kaine. There are reports that behind the scenes republican media experts are preparing a significant ad campaign centered around the attempted Soering transfer. Already the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is working to draw focus to the issue.
“Now that a judge has ruled on this matter, it’s even more important for Tim Kaine to finally step forward and be honest with the citizens of Virginia about his decision to help a convicted double-murderer in the final hours of his Administration,” said Brian Walsh a NRSC spokesman.
Cuccinelli told me he isn’t sure what documents could even be produced that could explain Kaine’s thought process. He also called on Kaine to provide a more thorough explanation.
“There is no reasonable motive,” said Cuccinelli. “What could you possibly be trying to accomplish?’
I have a request into the Kaine campaign on the court’s decision and a response to Cuccinelli’s critisim. I will update you when I have more.
Speaking of Kaine.. Cuccinelli did not mince words when attacking the former governor’s role in this process and his explanation as to why he offered the transfer in the first place. Below is audio from our conversation, leading off with his strongest attack line.
“That was as close to B.S. as you could get out of a government official”
- Ken Cuccinelli on Tim Kaine’s explanation regarding the Soering transfer.
The Obama campaign is set to drop an ad in Virginia that contrasts the newly proposed tax plan by the White House against Mitt Romney‘s proposed plan. The new ad is said to be a preview of the theme of the upcoming visit by the campaign to Virginia this weekend.
The ad will air in nine battleground states including Virginia.
It will be filling up your TV screen soon.. but here is a sneak peak right now:
OFA has also launched a companion web site to provide a degree of context.
“Mitt Romney wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy,” reads the web site. ”And add his own tax breaks for millionaires on top of it—without saying how he’d pay for it.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the ad a typical Obama campaign tactic driven by their class warfare argument. “Obama is in love with this rich vs. poor game that he loves to play,” Priebus told me. “Barack Obama is a smart guy. Even he knows that his retoric is a sham.”
Priebus said that Obama doesn’t even have the support of senate candidate Tim Kaine on extending the Bush tax cuts to people making $250 thousand and less and then allowing them to sunset on high earners. He said a plan like that would hammer “800 thousand” small business owners.
An extended clip from Priebus can be found below:
Former Governor Tim Kaine (D) is touting an impressive fundraising haul for the second quarter of 2012 in his race for the U.S. Senate. The democrat pulled in his best quarter so far raising $3 million dollars since April 1st. His campaign has $2.7 million cash hand.
“Thousands of new donors have gotten involved this quarter because they are tired of the partisan gridlock in Washington,” said Communications Director Brandi Hoffine.
It was also the best quarter of the campaign for former Senator George Allen (R), but Allen fell far short of Kaine’s mark bringing in $2 million. Allen heads into the fall with $3.34 million cash on hand.
“Our positive message for freedom and opportunity is resonating throughout Virginia,” Allen said of his fundraising report.
But these numbers only tell a small part of the fundraising story.
Allen appears to have significantly more money available heading into the final stretch of the campaign, but Kaine has already reserved and spent $3.5 million in television advertising time for the fall.
That is in addition to the $2.7 million they have in the bank and whatever else they raise from here on out.
Allen has also reserved a similar TV buy, $3.4 million, but that money they haven’t paid for it yet. That means it must come out of his existing cash on hand budget or whatever they raise in the future. Allen has already purchased a significant TV ad buy, that is currently running across the Commonwealth.
So there are two ways to look at this report based on the all important TV spending in the fall. Either Kaine has $6.2 million left to spend compared to Allen’s $3.34 million excluding TV ad buys, or if you include them, Kaine has $2.7 million left to spend and Allen is actually running a deficit.
But don’t cry for Team Allen quite yet. The campaign spending on TV ad buys is only one component of a broad based TV ad blitz that has and will continue to fill up your commercial space. Third party groups from outside of Virginia will be spending of millions of dollars that will not be directly connected to either campaign.
Allen has already benefited from ads paid for by groups like American Crossroads and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Several of these groups have pledged to be even more involved this fall. While Kaine has SuperPAC help as well, Allen has more allies who got involved much earlier and are heavily financed for the titanic struggle ahead.
How does this impact you? Well it means you can expect virtually every commercial to be filled with shadowy ominous ads from now until election day. So if you are sick of it already, you may want to consider heavily utilizing your DVR.
Just in from the Obama campaign: Plans are being made for President Barack Obama to hold a small campaign event in Glen Allen on Saturday.
The president will headline what a campaign official calls a “small grass root event” at the Walkerton Tavern Gardens on Mountain Road. This is the third announced visit by the Obama campaign on a two day swing through the Commonwealth. The president will also visit Roanoke and Virginia Beach.
The campaign will reveal ticket information and the specific time of the event later today.
Ticket information for the Henrico event is below:
The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entrance. One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tickets will be available at the following locations beginning Wednesday, July 11th at 5pm:
Henrico OFA Office
2720 Enterprise Parkway
Henrico, VA 23294
Richmond OFA Office
408 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
President Obama’s campaign has confirmed that the president will visit Roanoke and Virginia Beach on Friday.
Here are the details we know at this point:
Friday: President Obama will hold a small, grassroots event at Historic Firehouse #1 at 12 Church Ave. SE in Roanoke.
*Tickets will be required to attend the event. Details on when and where to pick up tickets will be available later today.
Virginia Beach stop:
Friday: President Obama will hold a small, grassroots event at Green Run High School at 1700 Dahlia Drive in Virginia Beach.
*Tickets will be required to attend the event. Details on when and where to pick up tickets will be available later today.
We are still expecting that the campaign will announce a stop in Richmond as well. That visit could happen on Saturday.
We will update you when we learn more
We don’t know anything official yet.. but there are rumblings among democrats and those connected to the Obama campaign that among the stops being considered in the president’s Virginia swing is another stop in the Richmond metro area.
The AP reported over the weekend that Richmond was being considered and we were able to confirm that it is in the running with a source familiar with the campaign. Campaign officials remain consistent in their contention that the official itinerary has not been set and we should learn more as soon as tomorrow.
Several sources have reported that the Obama campaign is also considering stops in the Virginia Beach and Roanoke areas.
The president has yet to make it to the Roanoke area since being elected. He has made several stops to Virginia Beach. Outside of short jaunts into Northern Virginia, Richmond has been one of his primary destinations. He launched his re-election campaign here back in May and has made five official White House visits in the Richmond media market as president.
As with any campaign event, everything is subject to change, up until the President is standing on the stage.
We’ll keep you posted.