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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Posts Tagged ‘Tucker Martin

Gingrich to come to Richmond to raise cash

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a candidate for the republican nomination for president, will be in the Richmond area on Thursday to raise money for his campaign the Republican Party of Virginia.

Gingrich will appear at a fundraiser at a hotel in Short Pump.

Governor Bob McDonnell will stop by the event and meet Gingrich.

The former Speaker had jumped out to a sizeable lead in the GOP polls, but a round of heavy attacks from Ron Paul and Mitt Romney has damaged his standings in the polls.  Gingrich is generally liked by republican voters, but faces a tougher challenge in a general election campaign against President Barack Obama.

A recent Public Policy Polling survey found Gingrich to be a solid front-runner in the republican primary by Virginia voters.  Virginia’s presidential primary does not take place until March 6th, which is also Super Tuesday.

Gingrich will be the third GOP presidential candidate to visit Central Virginia in the last several weeks.  The former Massachusetts Governor, Romney hosted a private fundraiser on December 8th in downtown Richmond. Governor McDonnell was scheduled to attend but canceled because it was the same day as the shooting that killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse.  Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman held a fundraiser last Thursday at the Country Club of Virginia, that McDonnell dropped in on. 

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the governor is looking forward to seeing Gingrich.

“The Governor knows the Speaker well, and he looks forward to stopping by this event,” said Martin. “Governor McDonnell believes the Speaker is running an energetic campaign, and he’s pleased to see him bringing that campaign to his home state of Virginia on Thursday.”

McDonnell of course has repeatedly talked about his desire to see a governor win the nomination. There is also some scuttle that a Gingrich nomination would rule McDonnell out of the running for Vice-President, because both he and the Speaker are Virginians.

Both Romney and Huntsman did not offer any opportunity for press coverage. There is no word on the plans for press access for the Gingrich event on Thursday.

Loudoun GOP depicts Obama with bullet hole in his head

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Virginia statewide Republican leaders are universally condemning a mass e-mail sent to members of the Loudoun County Republican Committee that depicts President Barack Obama as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head.

The e-mail was meant to encourage supporters to gather for a Halloween parade. The graphic was in the Halloween theme and also pictures House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a zombie. (the full email can be found after the jump.)

The email was first shared on the right leaning “Too Conservative” blog, which accused the LCRC of going “too far”. Since the picture was first posted, Virginia Republican leaders have been forcefully condemning its use.

“Governor (Bob McDonnell) believes this email is shameful and offensive,” said spokesman Tucker Martin.  “He calls on those involved to apologize for their actions, and to immediately ensure that such imagery is never used again.”

McDonnell wasn’t alone in his criticism.  Noah Wall, the political spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the picture was something the A.G. does not support.

“We clearly regret the choice of images used by the Loudoun GOP,” Wall said.

But perhaps the most forceful rejection can from State GOP Chairman Pat Mullins.  Mullins called for an immediate apology and claimed that he was in the process of informing Loudoun GOP leaders of his disappointment.

“The disgusting image used today on a mass email has no place in our politics. Ever,” said Mullins. “The Republican Party of Virginia condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms.”

Of course, Democrats were the first to pounce on the email’s revelation.  They demanded apologies from GOP leaders and called for the Loudoun County officials responsible for the picture to be removed from their posts.

“This is a disgusting and violent portrayal of the President of the United States,” said party spokesman Brian Coy.

So far the only person not responding for comment on the issue is the Loudon County GOP Chairman Mark Sell has not returned inquires for comment.

UPDATE:

The LCRC Chairman Mark Sell released the following statement:

“The Loudoun County Republican Committee yesterday sent an email to its members that represented a light-hearted attempt to inject satire humor into the Halloween holiday.  Apparently, some individuals have interpreted an image of Barack Obama that appeared within the email as intending to portray the President as a victim of a violent crime.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and we deeply and sincerely apologize to the President and anyone who viewed the image if that was the impression that was left. The LCRC deplores any effort to display, suggest or promote violence against the President or any other political figure.”

The full email from the LCRC and statements from leaders from both sides can be found after the jump.

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Obama will not visit Louisa County

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Governor Bob McDonnell‘s office reports that President Barack Obama has declined and invitation to visit Louisa County when his bus tour travels throught North Carolina and Virginia next week. 

The White House has slowly released details about the president’s trip which will start in North Carolina on Monday  before traveling to Emporia and Hampton on Tuesday. The destinations for the third day of the trip are expected to be released today and could include portions of Central Virginia.

Earlier this week, Governor McDonnell formally invited the president to include Louisa County as part of his itinerary.  McDonnell’s request for individual assistance for victims of August’s earthquake was turned down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). McDonnell is appealing and thought if the president was able to see the impact of the quake first hand, that it might implore him to encourage FEMA to reverse their decision.

In the last three months, Louisa residents have endured a once in a generation 5/8 magnitude earthquake, more than 40 measurable aftershocks, parts of Hurricane Irene and just yesterday the touchdown of a confirmed tornado.

McDonnell was informed of the president’s response to his invitation by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in a phone call Friday afternoon.  The governor was said to be very disappointed in the president’s response.

Here is the itinerary for the president’s trip next week as we know it:

Monday, October 17th– stops in Asheville, NC area, the Millers Creek, NC area, and overnight in the Greensboro, NC area.

Tuesday, October 18th– stops in Jamestown, NC,  Emporia, VA, and overnight in Hampton, VA.

Wednesday, October 19th- TBA

We will update you with more information when we get it. The full statement from the governor’s office can be found after the jump:

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2012 Buzz: Bolton visits McDonnell

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The still unsettled field of republican presidential candidates could be on the verge of adding yet another contender. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton is making the rounds, seriously considering a run for the GOP nomination.

Today, Bolton was in Richmond and met for 30 minutes, one on one, with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

According to McDonnell’s  Director of  Communications  Tucker Martin, Bolton and McDonnell discussed the Governor’s record in Virginia, national public policy and other issues.

Martin said the two have spoken before and he  described their visit as  “friendly”.

McDonnell has ruled out any possibility of running for president himself, but is widely considered to be a front runner as a candidate for Vice President. A position he told me in February that he is open to.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

McDonnell ABC privatization plan in trouble for 2011 session

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It looks like, barring a miracle, Governor Bob McDonnell‘s plan to privatize the state’s liquor stores will not survive the 2011 Virginia General Assembly session.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that the chairman of the House General Laws committee, Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) will use his Chairman’s privilege to prevent the bill from being heard. The move effectively kills the bill in the 2011 session. Senate leaders have said that they won’t take the bill up until it passes the House. Governor McDonnell could send down new legislation at any point in the session to reignite the debate, but given the signals sent today by House leadership that seems unlikely.

But just because liquor stores won’t get privatized in 2011, don’t think that means the debate has ended. Tucker Martin, Communications Director for McDonnell told me tonight that the Governor is “disappointed” that the bill did not get a full hearing in this year’s session, but said that McDonnell is committed to seeing ABC stores privatized during “this administration.”

Del. Bob Brink, the Democrat who carried the bill for McDonnell in the House still had not officially learned that the bill would not move forward when we reached him on the phone tonight. Brink believes Republicans should have allowed the bill to be heard in this session. Brink, has yet to give his full support to any of the proposed ABC privatization plans, but said he supports the idea “philosophically”. He also said this won’t be end of the debate.

“Well the governor has made it very clear that philosophically he thinks that selling hard liquor isn’t something that the state should be in the business of,” Brink said.  “But it’s a question of, since we have been doing this for 75 years what’s going to be the effects of selling off those stores. I think he will be back again.”

You can hear extended clips from Del. Brink’s remarks below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

February 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Democrats demand McDonnell share plans for national office

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It is a typical argument waged by the opposite party directed at whomever inhabits the Governor’s mansion. As soon as Governor Tim Kaine became the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Republicans regularly hammered his travel plans. They accused him of being more concerned about national politics than local governance.

Now it’s Bob McDonnell‘s turn. The Republican has slowly crept into the national picture as a potential candidate for national office. He recently was elected Vice-Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) and made a number of campaign/fund-raising stops for GOP candidates across the country.  The speculation about McDonnell’s ambition only heated up with a story from The Hill that detailed his efforts to build a national political network.

With McDonnell’s star rising, Virginia Democrats have found an opportunity to criticize his motives. In a statement, outgoing party chairman Dickie Cranwell demanded that the Governor reveal if he does indeed plan to run for national office and as a result, not finish his term as Virginia’s chief executive.

“If Bob McDonnell intends on serving his full-term, he should categorically declare today that he will not accept any nomination or consideration for any office that would require him to resign as Governor before his term expires in 2014,” said Cranwell.

For his part, McDonnell has pledged many, many times that he intends to serve his entire term. Going back to the campaign for Governor, the then candidate told me in a live interview that he was only interested in the office he was seeking.

“I love this state we have great opportunities ahead for the state to create more opportunity and prosperity for our citizens,” said McDonnell in October of 2009.  “In so many ways, I am fully committed to four years as Virginia’s governor.”

Of course pledges like these are often looked at by political watchers with a degree of skepticism. As McDonnell’s national profile grows, so does the speculation that a spot on the 2012 ticket will be too tough to turn down.  Running as Vice-President would be much easier than running for President for the Governor.  VP candidates only really run for office for about 2 months and he could easily bat down calls for him to resign for that short of a national campaign. If he wins, he is the Vice-President. The idea that he pledged to serve for a full four years would be long forgotten. If he loses, he is still Governor for another year.

The idea accepting an offer to run for Vice-President is something McDonnell himself won’t completely rule out. In an interview on WTOP radio  he said, “I don’t have any plans for higher office at this point,” he said. ” So, my plan is to serve four years in Virginia and be governor.”

Today his spokesman Tucker Martin did the job for him, basically guaranteeing that McDonnell will be Governor until 2014.

“Yawn,” he wrote me in an e-mail response to the DPVA press release.  “There are two things that you can count on from now until January 2014: Bob McDonnell serving as Governor and the Democratic Party of Virginia wasting everyone’s time with press releases like this one.”

We shall see if that does enough bat down the speculation.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

House Democratic leadership won’t support ABC privatization

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He is a relatively new member of the Virginia House Minority Leadership, but Del. Joe Morrissey (D-Henrico) took the opportunity to speak out on behalf of his colleagues tonight on a key issue.  Morrissey revealed that he and two other key House Democrats will not support Governor Bob McDonnell‘s plan to privatize the Commonwealth’s ABC stores.

Morrissey declared their stance at a fundraiser tonight at the Boat House at Rockkets’ Landing. Just how many House Democrats he was speaking on behalf of is a little murky, but one thing is clear: Morrissey (the current Democratic House Whip), House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong and Democratic House Caucus Leader Ken Plum are all opposed to the McDonnell plan.

Armstrong’s Chief of Staff Claire Wilker confirmed to me tonight that Armstrong and Plum are against the ABC plan in its current form, but beyond that stance she said, Morrissey was speaking for himself.

“It’s a solution that the Governor is looking for to find a problem,” said Morrissey.  The Henrico Democrat said that the McDonnell plan forgoes a guaranteed revenue stream in the billions of dollars for one that promises hundreds of millions of dollars, but with no guarantees.  According to Morrissey, that is not enough to convince his House colleagues to buy into the plan.

“I don’t think there has been a tremendous amount of thought put into why this benefits the Commonwealth,” he said. “I have heard from several Republicans whispering, ‘why are we doing this?”

But opposition from Democrats in the House is not a great threat to the McDonnell administration because with only 39 members, the minority party would need several Republicans to break rank with their Governor to get the job done.

Morrissey hopes that the Governor will take their unhappiness with the plan and think twice about the way it is presented to the public.

“I hope they see, there is some discord to this, let’s put it to a referendum,” said Morrissey. “Let’s let the voters decide, that would be a perfect world.”

The McDonnell administration doesn’t seem all that concerned about opposition from the minority members of the House.

“Certain House Democrats are doing a great job of demonstrating why they are in the minority,”  said Tucker Martin, Communications Director to Governor McDonnell. “They are saying no to $500 million for roads, without a tax increase, while not advancing any transportation proposals of their own. That’s embarrassing.”

My entire, uncut  interview Del. Joe Morrissey on the ABC privatization issue, including his personal plan to fix the transportation problem, can be seen below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

September 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm