Kaine ‘likely’ to run for Senate

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine told students at the University of Richmond he is “increasingly likely” to run for Senate, but has yet to make a final decision.

Kaine made the comments to graduate students in the government class he teaches on Monday mornings.

“In response to a student’s question, Governor Kaine told his law school class today what is already widely known which is that he is increasingly likely to run,” said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

” However, no final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about; he is assured that the Democratic Party will be in good hands should he choose to make the race and leave the DNC; he has the support that would be necessary to mount a successful campaign and he completes commitments for travel and fundraising he has made to the Party and the President through at least the end of the month.”

The former Virginia governor’s comments to the government class he teaches touched off a brief cascade of rumors on social networking sites.

A caller to WINA-AM in Charlottesville, identified only as ‘Greg,’ said friends told him that Kaine formally announced his run for office during class Monday morning.

But top Democrats across the commonwealth seemed unaware that Kaine planned an announcement.

Eventually, the DNC issued Woodhouse’s statement, clarifying the former governor’s remarks.

Kaine is weighing a bid for the seat currently held by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who is retiring at the end of his term.

Posted in 2012 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

DNC Statement on Kaine Senate Rumor

I just got the following statement from Brad Woodhouse, the DNC’s communications director, addressing a rumor that Tim Kaine told his University of Richmond class this morning that he is running for Senate.

I’ll have much more context on all this later, but for now, here’s the full statement from Woodhouse:

“In response to a student’s question, Governor Kaine told his law school class today what is already widely known which is that he is increasingly likely to run. However, no final decision will be made or announced until the governor has had a final round of consultations with folks about how he can best serve the President, the people and the causes he cares about; he is assured that the Democratic Party will be in good hands should he choose to make the race and leave the DNC; he has the support that would be necessary to mount a successful campaign and he completes commitments for travel and fundraising he has made to the Party and the President through at least the end of the month.”

Posted in 2012 | Tagged | Leave a comment

McDonnell: No truce on social issues

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) does not think elected officials ought to shy away from debates over polarizing social issues just because the conversations might be uncomfortable.

In a wide-ranging interview, Gov. McDonnell said he disagrees with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ (R) call for a “truce” on social issues.

“These issues go to the heart and soul of what we believe as a people,” McDonnell said.

Continue reading

Posted in 2012, General Assembly | Tagged | 3 Comments

STATE BUDGET WRITERS STRIKE A DEAL

Virginia lawmakers have reached an agreement on amendments to the state’s two-year, $80 billion budget, setting up a floor vote Sunday, a day after the legislature was to adjourn.

The deal came at 1:10 a.m., and after negotiations took a turn for the worse Saturday.

Lawmakers ran into sharp differences over funding for higher education, health and human resources and public building programs.

By late Saturday afternoon, House Republicans were threatening to adjourn without approving budget amendments. Eventually, lawmakers agreed to work out a compromise.

At one point in the waning hours of negotiations, tired negotiators sharply disagreed over minuscule line items, often a few thousand dollars.

There also were last-minute quarrels over funding for charities, foundations and other non-state agencies that often are embedded in the budget.

Negotiators agreed to require state employees to contribute five percent of their annual salaries into the Virginia Retirement System; that would be offset by a five percent pay raise.

They also agreed on funding changes for public schools, transportation and other core services. Lawmakers set aside $30 million to fund community-based care for the intellectually disabled.

Public broadcasting would take a 10 percent hit under the proposal.

For the second year in a row, weary staffers planned to work through the night to enter the data into spreadsheets. Lawmakers planned to take the floor by 5 p.m. Sunday to begin debating the measure.

It is the sixth time in 12 years that the Assembly has failed to pass a budget on time.

 

Posted in General Assembly | Leave a comment

Capitol Police Urge Caution Ahead of Session

The chief of the Virginia Capitol Police is sending a letter to all 140 state legislators, urging them to be cautious as the 2011 session begins this week.

A law enforcement source tells me the Capitol Police do not believe there is any specific threat against members of the General Assembly, but the agency is issuing the warning out of an abundance of caution.

Officers have been ordered to be especially vigilant after the weekend shooting in Arizona, and after last week’s suspicious packages at government buildings in Maryland.

Posted in General Assembly | Leave a comment

McDonnell the Author

If you’re a politician, there’s a tried-and-true way to get relevant or stay relevant, roll out new ideas or defend old ones.

Write a book.

See, of late: Eric Cantor, George Allen, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney…oh, and this guy named Barack Obama.

So is Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) sharpening his pencil?

Maybe.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eleven for 2011

As the year draws to a close, we’re looking ahead to 2011, and the big stories that will drive Virginia politics.

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

Continue reading

Posted in 2011, 2012, General Assembly | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment