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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Scott

Shaka Smart to host Obama VCU rally

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Virginia Commonwealth University’s head basketball coach, Shaka Smart will host President Barack Obama kickoff rally at the Siegel Center on Saturday. Smart is one of the most well-known figures in Central Virginia and arguably may be the most popular man Richmond.

Smart has become a beloved Richmond figure, first for guiding the improbable run of the VCU Rams to the Final Four in 2011 and then by twice spurning offers from much bigger programs to remain the head coach at VCU.

The president’s love for college basketball is well-known. He often will attend college basketball games, has a brother-in-law who is a head coach and each year reveals his picks for the NCAA tournament on ESPN.

Smart, appears to be apolitical. He has no record of donating to any candidate on the Federal Election Commission web site and has not been outspoken in support of any candidate in the past. Turning down an invitation from the president is difficult to do, but make no mistake, Smart will be front and center at a bona fide political event. His presence would imply support for the president’s re-election bid.

Update: In April of 2011 Smart told the Richmond Times-Dispatch about his support of Obama in 2008. His wife Maya volunteered for the Obama campaign when they lived in Florida. Smart was asked because had VCU won the national championship, he’d get the chance to meet the president:

Smart was an assistant coach at Florida during the 2008 elections, and it’s probably no surprise whom he voted for given his background — a biracial kid who grew up in the Chicago area.

His wife, Maya, spent the year campaigning for Obama in Florida.

“I remember she had all the staffers and volunteers over to our house, and they’d be calling and preparing, and Maya kept saying that, ‘We’re going to win Florida,'” Smart said. “If you ask her today, she’s still the reason why.”

Shaka has never met the president, and was talking with his assistants the other day, reflecting that one of the best parts of winning would be the chance to meet him.

“That would be, obviously, a phenomenal thing,” Smart said.

See the full story on TimesDispatch.com

Smart also attended the White House Correspondents’ dinner, but did not get the chance to meet the president at that time. He will get that chance on Saturday.

In addition to Smart, the crowd will also hear from U.S. Senate Candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Newport News Rep. Bobby Scott.


Smart’s former player and Obama supporter Bradford Burgess talks about the rally and his coaches’ important role in the event.

Full release from VCU:


RICHMOND, Va. – Head Coach Shaka Smart has entered the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center many times to sold out crowds.

Saturday, he will be entering to another capacity crowd, however, this time it won’t be to coach a basketball game. Smart, who will be entering his fourth season, will serve as the host for a rally at the Siegel Center for President Barack Obama.

Obama will be on his first re-election campaign trip with the Siegel Center being his second stop after an appearance at Ohio State earlier on Saturday. Smart will welcome not only President Obama, but also the first lady, Michelle Obama, to the Siegel Center.

This will be the second time in the past two years that Smart and President Obama’s paths have crossed as the Rams head coach was guest at last year’s White House Correspondent’s dinner in Arlington.

Saturday’s rally at the Siegel Center is set to begin at 2 p.m.


Here is the release from the Obama campaign:

PRESS RELEASE: Shaka Smart, Bobby Scott among Speakers at President Obama’s Campaign Rally

Richmond, Va.—Today, the Obama campaign announced part of the pre-program at President Obama’s rally this Saturday at the Siegel Center in Richmond, including VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart, who will be hosting the event.

The pre-program participants, which will be released in full tomorrow, represent a mix of grassroots supporters and political leaders, and come from all corners of the commonwealth.

“President Obama has been fighting tirelessly to rebuild our economy and create an America where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a fair shot at success,” said Mayor Dwight Jones. “Virginians know the president has been getting the job done, from creating new jobs to keeping our nation safe, and I am looking forward to seeing thousands of his supporters gather here in Richmond this weekend showing their support.”

Pre-Program Participants Include:
• VCU Coach Shaka Smart
• Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones
• U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott
• Former Governor Tim Kaine

At Saturday’s rally, one of the first two public rallies of the campaign, the president will outline the choice Virginians will face in November: Are we going to move forward or go backward? Are we going to continue to turn the corner or turn back the clock and turn our backs on the middle class like the Republicans want to do.

The rally is open to the public and tickets are not required for admission. Supporters are strongly encouraged to RSVP at www.ofa.bo/rallyva and should plan to arrive early, as space is limited. Doors are currently scheduled to open at 1:45pm, although that time is subject to change.


Written by Ryan Nobles

May 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Scott votes down “In God We Trust”

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Never one to follow the crowd, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) was one of only 9 Members of Congress to vote against a resolution to reaffirm “In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States of America.

Rep. Scott’s aide David Dailey explains the purpose of the measure:

H.Con.Res. 13 is only a non-binding resolution resolving that Congress “reaffirms” the motto and encourages the public display of the motto. The resolution does not have the force of law and would not be presented to the President for his signature if passed by the Senate. Even without this resolution, the 1956 statute (Pub. L. No. 84-851) establishing the motto would still remain the law of the land.

It was sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Chester).

Scott said the resolution is inconsistent with the pledge he took when he entered congress to “uphold the Constitution.”

Scott’s full statement is blow:

Scott Statement on Congress’ Vote Reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement today on Congress’ vote on H. Con. Res. 13, a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions:”Today we face the highest deficit in U.S. history; an unemployment rate of 9.1% and a growing number of people losing access to unemployment insurance each day; schools that lack the resources to give our students a proper education; 17.2 million households that are food insecure; and children who by the very circumstances of their birth are injected onto a Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Instead of facing these challenges and creating jobs to help American people make sure they have a roof over their head and food on their table, we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and is under no threat of attack. In addition to diverting attention away from substantive issues, the resolution is unconstitutional.”When we were sworn in as Members of Congress, we took an oath to uphold the Constitution. This resolution is inconsistent with that oath and therefore I voted ‘no’ on the resolution.”

In addition, Congressman Scott’s statement from the Judiciary Committee markup on the resolution earlier this year contains a legal analysis and is below.

# # #

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Scott will not run for the U.S. Senate

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Rep. Bobby Scott (D- Newport News) used the occasion of his popular Labor Day picnic to announce his decision to pass on a run for the U.S. Senate.  Scott will instead seek re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.

Scott was part of a large group of democrats mulling a run for Senate since current Senator Jim Webb announced his plans to not run for re-election.  However that group significantly shrunk after former Gov. Tim Kaine announced his plans to run for the seat. While most establishment democrats got behind Kaine’s campaign, Scott remained open to the idea of a primary challenge. His interest was encouraged by liberals in the party who felt Kaine was not far enough to the left.

But as time went on, the realistic prospects of Scott mounting a serious challenge to Kaine dwindled and despite the fact that he refused to reveal his plans definitively, few believed he would actually jump into the race.

Today, Scott made it official that he would not run for the Senate, but in a statement still contends that he could beat Kaine.

“Though I believe I can win the democratic nomination and the general election,” He wrote.  “A winning campaign would require me devoting all of my time for the next 14 months to that campaign.”  The Congressman believes too many vital issues are at stake in Washington for him to devote all of his time on the campaign trail.

It is clear though that Scott still has his sites set on eventually moving up in the political world. He made it clear that he is still interested in running for a higher office.  “Although I am announcing that I will not seek my party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, I have not ruled out running for higher office in the future,” he wrote.

Scott has also thrown his support behind a Kaine candidacy.  According to several tweets at the Labor Day picnic, Scott introduced Kaine as the “next Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia”. A moment captured by the Young Democrats at VCU:

Perhaps a subtle notice for potential candidates for a 2016 Senate race, if Sen. Mark Warner decides to do something else?

The full statement from Rep. Scott can be seen below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

September 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Debt ceiling negotiations go through Virginia

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

The debate over the future over the U.S. debt limit is running straight through the Commonwealth of Virginia.

My story from 6pm Wednesday night on NBC12:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) – In Washington, the debate is heating up over the approaching debt ceiling deadline.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner is hopeful that a plan by a bi-partisan group of senators can turn things around. That plan has been hatched by a group dubbed the “Gang of Six”. While their plan has promise, Congressman Eric Cantor told me today that he doesn’t think the numbers add up.

…read the rest of the story on NBC12.com.

Meanwhile, much has been made about how Rep. Eric Cantor’s prominent role in the debt ceiling negotiations could be a make or break point for his career. This is what he told me during our interview today:

Also on the end there.. you may have caught Cantor’s opinion of Mark Warner’s debt ceiling “gang of 6” compromise. If you didn’t here is the full quote:

“You can’t make sense of the numbers, I like the fact that you are bringing down tax rates, because I think that is a growth oriented measure. But when you look at the kind of revenues they are talking about in their package, at least loosely. It doesn’t make sense.”  -Rep. Eric Cantor on “Gang of 6” proposal

Warner on the other hand, ever the optimist, isn’t ready to throw stones, quite yet:

And Rep. Bobby Scott seems pretty sure everyone has their priorities out of whack:

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Scott delays decision on Senate run. Still considering a challenge to Kaine

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Rep. Bobby Scott, the lone prominent Virginia democrat still considering a run for the U.S. Senate said today that he will hold off on making a final decision on a possible run.   Scott had set early July for a target date on jumping in or out, but in a statement released Friday afternoon, the Newport News congressman said he hasn’t had the opportunity to examine the pros and cons of a statewide run.

“This Senate election will be held next year, and there is no historical urgency to announce a candidacy in the year before an election,” Scott said.

He pointed to a busy calendar on Capitol Hill that has distracted him from focusing on politics. He said that jumping into a competitive statewide campaign for office would take him away from issues he feels are unresolved.

“(There are) many critical issues that require immediate time and attention that cannot be ignored,” Scott said.  “Furthermore, on many of these issues, the Congressional discussion is focused more on the political implications of alternatives, rather than the best interests of our nation; a statewide campaign would only compound that problem.”

If Scott did decide to get in, he would face a difficult road. The popular former governor, Tim Kaine has been in the race since the early spring and has been campaigning full-time since. Kaine has the support of much of the Virginia democratic party establishment. In his statement, Scott conceded the longer he waits, the more difficult it will be to jump in.

“I recognize that delaying the decision may result in those already in the race being able to build insurmountable leads, making a later entry unfeasible,” he said.

Most political insiders think Scott will ultimately decide to run for re-election, but there are some vociferous liberal democrats who are rooting for Scott to jump in the race for Senate.  Kaine’s somewhat moderate record could make him vulnerable in a primary and Scott is a credible liberal alternative. However,  despite his lengthy experience, Scott has never been forced to raise the money and create the infrastructure necessary for a statewide campaign. Those are things Kaine has done successfully two different times.

So we will continue to wait. This time without a specific timeline.

Scott’s full statement on a potential run for the Senate can be found after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Scott sticking to timeline, will announce 2012 plans July 1st

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

A interesting change to a website popped up on today,  causing a faint ripple in the clam that is the summer before the 2012 election. Rep. Bobby Scott, who is still mulling a run for the U.S. Senate, made a few changes to his  campaign web site. Those changes doesn’t exactly say what office he plans to run for next year.

The site: http://www.bobbyscottforcongress.com/ would indicate that he is running for re-election. But the content on the page doesn’t say a thing about his plans to run for re-election to his seat in the Third District or for that matter any intention to seek the democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Now, before we get to far ahead of ourselves, the Third District as it currently exists, could change depending on the outcome of redistricting legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly. Senate Democrats are pushing for a second majority-minority district like the one Scott currently represents. That alone could be enough to prevent Scott’s campaign staff from going full board on getting his web site ready for a re-election campaign.

That didn’t stop an anonymous group encouraging Scott to get in the race for Senate to alert members of the media to the new development.  Which amounts to a new banner that simply says “Bobby Scott 2012, Together Let’s build a Better Future for America”

Scott told me back in April that he would make a final decision on his plans for 2012 in early July. Today his staff told me his plans have not changed.

“Early July is when the Congressman will announce his  plans regarding the Senate,” said David Dailey the interim Press Secretary for Rep. Scott.

Dailey said Scott could reveal his intentions as soon as July 1st.

Few insiders believe Scott will actually take the leap of challenging the former governor and D.N.C Chairman Tim Kaine in a democratic primary. However, Scott seems willing to keep the potential of him running out there.

Kaine already has one announced candidate, Courtney Jones, a leadership consultant from Fairfax County has announced her intention to run.

If there is a contested race, the primary will take place June 12, 2012.  The Republican primary will also be held that day. Currently there are four announced candidates on the GOP side.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Wilder concerned about Kaine and Obama in 2012

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L. Douglas Wilder, the former Governor of Virginia and a man never afraid to give his opinion, expressed his concerns about the state of the democratic party and the level of enthusiasm for President Barack Obama leading into the 2012 elections.

Wilder, said that former Senator George Allen and “whoever the republican nominee for president may be” both have realistic shots of winning in 2012.  He said democrats must be prepared for a fight this time next year.

“What is taking place at the national level will play such tremendous role in it (the election) that the Obama administration is going to deal  a lot with money, money, money”.

According to Wilder, virtually every issue can be tracked back to money and the general public’s feelings about the economy.  With lagging unemployment numbers and an economy still struggling to recover, Wilder believes no candidate should feel comfortable with their prospects for next year.

“How money is handled and how money is to be handled is going to be key and uppermost in this election,” he said.

Wilder believes that while Allen’s infamous “macaca” incident (which he apologized again for this week) will still be talked about,  but the republican will be able to put that behind him.  For Allen and former Governor Tim Kaine, the focus will be their records pertaining to the dominant issue of the economy.  Records  that are both lengthy and will be judged comparatively for the first time.

“People will be running on their records…and that is where things get sticky,” he said.

But distinguishing those records will be the responsibility of the local party organizations. A strength of the democratic party in 2008, in part because of unprecedented enthusiasm for the Obama campaign. It is a factor Wilder believes democrats cannot guarantee will be there next year.

“The question is will the excitement still be there? With the seniors, with the young people?.. That excitement is not there now,”  he said. “Is the Democratic Party organized in Virginia?  Is it structured to bring in additional organizational strength that the Obama campaign brought before? That is why I am saying Virginia is going to be pivotal… and it is going to be exciting.”

Extended clips from our interview with Gov. Wilder can be seen below. It includes his belief that Bobby Scott won’t end up challenging Tim Kaine in a primary and the chances that the eventual GOP nominee for the president may not “even be in the race yet”.


Written by Ryan Nobles

June 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm