Spotted: Spielberg in Richmond

Filmmaker Stephen Spielberg was in Richmond Thursday, meeting with the head of Virginia’s growing film office, fueling speculation that the state is wooing the noted director for a project here.

Spielberg met with Rita McClenny, director of the Virginia Film office, said sources familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A hostess at Millie’s — a popular Richmond brunch spot — said Spielberg was indeed there.

Another diner asked Spielberg if he was planning to make a movie in the city.

“Maybe,” he replied, smiling.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia film office would not confirm if the meeting occurred, nor would she say if the state is actively pursuing a Spielberg film to be shot in the Commonwealth.

Earlier this year, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) successfully pushed a package of incentives for filmmakers through the General Assembly.

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McDonnell on Palin, Barbour and Others

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) played a little game with Time’s Mark Halperin at the Republican Governors Association conference this week.

Halperin would name a prominent politician (and likely presidential candidate), and the governor was supposed to give two adjectives to describe that person.

The answers are interesting, if you’re a word person. I’ve taken his responses and linked them to dictionary definitions because, as one of my professors was fond of saying, words have meanings.

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McDonnell Wants Changes at RNC

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) says he’d like to see changes at the Republican National Committee, but he stopped short of explicitly calling for a new chairman.

McDonnell, appearing on MSNBC from the Republican Governors Association conference in California, said he’s  troubled by many of the problems raised by other prominent Republicans.

“Many of us have great concern about the fiscal state at the RNC,” McDonnell said. Continue reading

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Harrington: Familial DNA Could Catch Morgan’s Killer

Dan Harrington believes landmark DNA technology could help investigators connect the dots in the search for his daughter’s murderer.

“With luck and science we hope that the person who killed our daughter will be brought to justice,” Harrington told members of the Virginia Crime Commission yesterday.

Morgan Harrington disappeared in October, 2009, after a concert in Charlottesville. A farmer discovered her body in a rural portion of Albemarle County Jan. 26.

Police have linked DNA from her body to an unsolved sexual assault that happened in Fairfax five years ago. But so far, investigators have been unable to match the sample to a name.

That’s where familial DNA could help.

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State Revenue Up for October

State tax collections surged ahead 3.7% in the month of October, compared to the same period in 2009, but revenues are still lagging behind predictions.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) office released the numbers Friday.

After adjustment for the state’s accelerated sales tax program, total revenues were up 3.6% for the year. That’s less than the 4.2% growth budget experts had projected.

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Webb to SecDef?

Could Sen. Jim Webb (D) be interested in a job as defense secretary?

It’s an interesting discussion, spawned by this Tweet:

TheJadedJD Who else notices the coincidence between Robert Gates’ decision to retire as Sec’y Defense and Jim Webb’s non-commitment to running in 2012?

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A New Majority (Leader)

With House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith’s election to Congress last week in the Republican tsunami, the search for someone to take his place in Richmond is underway.

Smart money says Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is a shoo-in for the job. Cox is the majority whip, a budget conferee and the vice-chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Other names being tossed around — at least in casual conversation — include delegates Tim Hugo (Fairfax) and Terry Kilgore (Gate City).

House Republicans will pick a new majority leader in a closed door meeting, likely in December.

What are you hearing? Is there a dark horse in the mix here?

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