ترول ایرانی

گالری عکس

Category “Virginia Politics”

Ben’s Chili Bowl Expands to DC Suburbia

The irony of this move is, that where it’s going (I once lived in a house about three miles from the location) is more about its appeal to white, upper-class patrons than about fulfilling its black, urban roots on U Street.

A District of Columbia landmark is expanding across the Potomac.

Ben’s Chili Bowl, the iconic purveyor of the half-smoke, is opening its first location in Virginia Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Arlington. The restaurant is located at 1725 Wilson Blvd.

Bill Cosby, the restaurant’s most famous cheerleader, is expected to attend the ceremonies at the new location on Wilson Boulevard.

Ben and Virginia Ali opened their restaurant in 1958 in U Street in the District. It stayed open through race riots in the late `60s that devastated the neighborhood and has been a keystone in the revitalization of the U Street corridor.

This is not Ben’s first move outside of U Street.  They have concession stands at both Nationals Park and FedEx Field respectively.

The move also helps solidify a trend in recent years of many DC-based “standards” moving to the Wilson Boulevard corridor in the Rosslyn section of Arlington.  Besides being the long-time home of “Red, Hot, and Blue,” a southern-style BBQ joint, “Ray’s Hell Burger,” and other places known for local flavor an area long-known for college students and young Capitol Hill staffers, Rosslyn’s slowly becoming a tourist trap in its own small way.

Leave a Comment

Ed Gillespie Announces Senate Bid

If there’s one “sleeper” Senate race in 2014, it may be in the Old Dominion of Virginia.  There, sitting Sen. Mark Warner (D) is seen as very personally popular, but could face a potential tough race because of one issue: ObamaCare.

The Virginia GOP and the National Republican Senatorial Committee appear to have found their guy with former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie who announced his candidacy via a two-minute video.  So far, as an opening argument for his candidacy, Gillespie is off to a strong start in a swing state that has been moving to the left in recent elections.

On the plus side for Gillespie — who is also seen as a plausible gubernatorial candidate in 2017 — this race gives him plenty of time to spread his Name ID to voters.

Another plus with Gillespie’s entry into the race is he will force Democrats to blow money in the expensive DC TV market they would rather be spending in Arkansas to save Mark Pryor or Louisiana to save Mary Landrieu.  That alone, makes his entrance well-worth it.

Handicappers such as Charlie Cook currently have Virginia as “Likely D.”  That was as of mid-December.

Comments (2)

Bolling Decides Against Independent Run for Virginia Governor

Not at all surprising, the thinking from friends of mine in the know out in Virginia has long been that no one was would have been willing to help him fund raise, especially if it meant a likely Democratic victory in the form of ex-DNC Chairman Terry McAullife.

On one level, I understand sitting Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s outrage at the process in Virginia.  Instead of letting him and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli fight it out in a primary, the Virginia Republican Party took that decision out of the hands of voters by having the party pick its candidate at a convention last year.

Bolling has been Lt. Governor of Virginia since 2006.

“When I suspended my campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for Governor, I indicated that I wanted to be a more independent voice for Virginia, speaking out more objectively on the important issues facing our state.  Over the past several months, I have done just that.  I have sought to call Virginia to a higher purpose, focusing more on policy than politics and more on the next generation than the next election.

“This more independent approach to governing led to widespread speculation that I was thinking about reviving my campaign for Governor as an Independent candidate.   While that was not my initial intention, the reaction to a possible Independent campaign has been overwhelming, and for the past three months I have been going through a “due diligence” process, trying to objectively assess the feasibility of an Independent campaign.

“Throughout this process my focus has been on one thing – what’s best for Virginia?  I love Virginia and I want to make certain that we have a Governor who is committed to governing our state in a mainstream way; a Governor who will keep his focus on the big issues facing our state and work with Republicans and Democrats to solve problems, get things done and make Virginia a better place.

“I’m confident I could be that kind of Governor.  Throughout my career in public service, I have done my best to stand strong for the conservative values I believe in, while at the same time respecting the views of others and promoting consensus building and results, as opposed to confrontation and gridlock.  That’s the kind of pragmatic, results oriented leadership we need to make certain that Virginia remains on the right track.

“Given the current political dynamics in Virginia, the prospects of an Independent campaign were very appealing to me, and based on the positive feedback I had received from business leaders, community leaders and citizens all across our state, I am confident that I could have run a credible and competitive campaign and made a positive contribution to the public debate.  In many ways I would have enjoyed participating in such a campaign a great deal and I think it could have been good for Virginia.

“However, after a great deal of consideration I have decided that I will not be an Independent candidate for Governor this year.  There were many factors that influenced my decision to forgo such a campaign.

“First, I know how difficult Independent campaigns can be.  The biggest challenge an Independent candidate faces is fundraising.  You can have a winning message, but if you don’t have the resources to effectively communicate that message to voters you cannot win.  To run a winning campaign I would have needed to raise at least $10-$15M.  That’s a very difficult thing to do without the resources of a major political party and national donors at your disposal.  Based on my discussions with key donors over the past three weeks, I was confident I could raise enough money to run a competitive campaign, but I was not confident I could raise enough money to run a winning campaign. While it is possible that these resources could have been secured over time if the campaign progressed as we envisioned, that was an uncertain outcome and it was too big a risk for me to ask my donors to take.

“Second, running as an Independent candidate would have required me to sever my longstanding relationship with the Republican Party.  While I am very concerned about the current direction of the Republican Party, I still have many dear friends in the Republican Party, people who have been incredibly supportive of me over the years.  I have tremendous respect for them and I am very grateful for everything they have done for me.  I value these friendships a great deal and I feel a deep sense of personal obligation to those who have done so much to make my success possible.  I have heard from many of these friends over the past several months.  They have encouraged me to not give up on the Republican Party and continue working to get our party back on a more mainstream course.  Maintaining their friendship and respect means more to me than the prospects of being Governor and I was unwilling to jeopardize these longstanding relationships by embarking on an Independent campaign.

“Finally, my decision was heavily influenced by a growing dissatisfaction with the current political environment in Virginia.  Politics is much different today than it was when I was first elected.  In many ways I fear that the “Virginia way” of doing things is rapidly being replaced by the “Washington way” of doing things and that’s not good for Virginia.  As a result, the political process has become much more ideologically driven, hyper-partisan and mean spirited.  Rigid ideologies and personal political agendas are too often placed ahead of sound public policy and legitimate policy disagreements too quickly degenerate into unwarranted personal attacks.  This makes it more difficult to govern effectively and get things done.  While I still value public service a great deal, the truth is that I just don’t find the political process to be as enjoyable as I once did.  Because of this, I decided that the time has come for me to step away from elected office and look for other ways to serve Virginia.

“For all of these reasons, I decided that I will not be an Independent candidate for Governor in 2013.  However, I truly appreciate the confidence and support of those who had encouraged me to do so and I hope they will understand and respect my decision.

Another unknown in the equation would be how much of a factor would recent decisions by Gov. Bob McDonnell to impose a number of taxes to help pay for the state’s highway and transportation infrastructure.

Recent polling in a possible three-way match-up with Cuccinelli, Bolling, and McAuffile gave the former Clinton fund raiser the edge.  In a two-way fight, the race is currently tied.

Leave a Comment

Virginia Republicans Invent Creative Scavenger Hunt

Friend out in Virginia sent this to me.  Thought it was both hilarious, and a potential portent of things to come for 2012.

You may not be be aware, but legislative elections are regularly scheduled for this November in Virginia (as akin to here in Wisconsin where they’re scheduled every time DPW doesn’t want to admit the 2010 elections happened).  Naturally, it’s “Direct Mail” time and the state GOP in Virginia has asked its members and people of the public to help them out.

They’re looking to see if any Democrat was brave enough to tie their campaign to the President.  Here’s how:

Announcing the RPV “Proud to Stand with Obama”

Direct Mail Scavenger Hunt

— Can you find a Virginia Democrat proudly campaigning with President Obama?  —  

Holding the White House should be a huge advantage for any party during off-year elections, as candidates at the state level can bask in the reflected glory of the leader of the free world. But for some reason, we can’t find many Democrats running for the state Senate eager to associate with President Obama.

That’s why we’re announcing the RPV
“Proud to Stand With Obama” Direct Mail Scavenger Hunt!

The rules are simple.

Find any general election direct mail piece from a Virginia Democrat running for the state Senate – or one from a Democrat committee – that uses a picture of President Obama in a positive light, i.e. “Supported/Endorsed by Barack Obama” or “Supports Obama’s policies.”  (Note: Democratic primary mail pieces do not count!)

Then scan it and email it to contest@RPV.org  or fax it to us at: (804) 343-1060. The first qualifying mail piece in the door wins the prize, an autographed copy of Karl Rove’s “Courage and Consequences,” and a “Not Again!” bumper sticker.

If no one can produce a winning mail piece by October 28th (which seems highly likely), we move on to phase two of the contest:


The first person to email or fax any mail piece from Democrats Edd Houck, John Miller, Roscoe Reynolds, Phil Puckett, Bert Dodson, Shawn Mitchell, Ralph Northam, John Edwards, George Barker, or Dave Marsden that proudly identifies them as the Democratic candidate (Note: “Paid for by” disclaimers required by law don’t count) will win a prize pack.

The initial idea for this contest was to see how many different pieces of direct mail we could find in which Democrats running for the state Senate used the phase “worked with Governor McDonnell,” or included a picture of themselves with Governor McDonnell… but we’ve seen several of those piece already, so that wouldn’t have made for a very challenging scavenger hunt.

 On your mark, get set, GO!  The ‘Proud to Stand With Obama’

Direct Mail Scavenger Hunt has begun!

According to my friend Jim Geragthy, recently polling numbers put Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell at 62 percent approval.  Obama is at 45 percent.

Leave a Comment

Don’t You Need to Primary First?

 This might be a first.  Two Senate candidates have agreed to debate each other months before they officially are their respective parties candidates for office.

Most expect former Virginia Governors Tim Kaine and George Allen to be the last men standing when the dust settles on their primaries.  Just no one expected them to debate before anyone voted first.

The first clash of the Virginia titans is set to get underway on December 7 as former Sen. George Allen and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine are set to debate for the first time in the Senate race.

Richmond is set to play host to the two frontrunners during this year’s Associated Press Day at the State Capitol. According to the AP’s Bob Lewis, Allen and Kaine are invited, and have committed to participate while other candidates must reach an average of 15 percent in “published, non-candidate primary polls” and must have “raised at least 20 percent as much money as their party’s frontrunner by the end of October.”

Given the criteria, it is unlikely that any other candidates will qualify for the 90-minute debate. Journalist Bob Gibson, who serves as the executive director for the nonpartisan Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, is slated to moderate the debate, according to the AP. The Wednesday debate is hosted by the Virginia AP Managing Editors and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association.

Allen is being challenged in his primary by a number of candidates, the biggest threat — until Red State went south on her — was Jamie Radtke.  Kaine’s Democratic primary opponents will be lucky if anyone beyond their direct friends and family even knows who they are at this point.

Comments (1)

Cuccinelli Ponders 2014 Senate Run

Admittedly, I’m a “Cart before the Horse” guy when it comes to political cycles.  I once remember telling my dad in early 2006 when asked “Who’s running for President in 2008?” that my answer was something along the line of “Hey, can we get through 2006 first?!?”

So yes, talking about any race beyond November 2012 is utterly pointless.  Yet, the news of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli saying he’s looking into running for the U.S. Senate against Mark Warner in 2014 is notable for a number of reasons.

Much of the speculation about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s political future has focused on whether the Republican who has made a name for himself suing the federal government would run for re-election, or for governor in 2013.

But in an interview with The Washington Post, Cuccinelli said he may run for U.S. Senate in 2014 — possibly setting him up to take on one of Virginia’s most popular politicians, Democrat Mark R. Warner.

And Cuccinelli didn’t hold back on his criticism of the former governor, who many assume has grown a bit restless with the great deliberative body that is the U.S. Senate.

“I understand from people he and I both talk to that he’s pretty frustrated with it,’’ Cuccinelli said. “[But] I don’t see him doing anything to change that system. He hasn’t even tried.”

Cuccinelli said Warner should challenge his caucus, including Sens. Harry Reid (Nev.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) , instead of voting alongside them.

“He has a really liberal caucus,’’ he said. “It wouldn’t be hard to articulate an alternative to Harry Reid in the Democrat caucus.”

Warner, who was elected to the Senate in 2008 with more votes than any politician in state history, has not said whether he plans on running for re-election. Some speculate he could be interested in another run at the governor’s mansion, or maybe even the White House one day.

What Cuccinelli no considering a run for the Senate instead of Governor in 2013 as has long been speculated, it clears up the feared logjam Virginia Republicans were expecting between the Attorney General and Bill Bolling, the popular Lt. Governor in the state’s governor’s race in 2013.

Current Gov. Bob McDonnell is limited from serving two four-year, back-to-back consecutive terms as Governor of the Virginia Commonwealth by the state’s constitution.

Comments (1)

The Top Concern in Town – Shut down McDonald’s

Disclosure: Authored by Kurt

I think the city of Culpeper, VA has other things to worry about than closing down a McDonald’s that has been operating for 23 hours a day since October 2007.

On June 8, Zoning Administrator Maxie Brown hand-delivered a notice to the McDonald’s informing the restaurant it was in violation of section 14-13 of the town code, stating retailers located within 150 feet of a residence must close no later than 1 a.m. and cannot open earlier than 5:30 a.m.

Amanda Campbell, director of operations with R.B. Drumheller Inc. — the Luray company that owns Culpeper’s McDonald’s — responded to the violation notice a week later in a letter to Town Manager Jeff Muzzy.

“I spoke to Maxie Brown … about the notice,” Campbell said in the letter. “I explained to her that we have been operating at 4 a.m. and staying open until 3 a.m. since the restaurant was rebuilt and reopened in October of 2007.”

In addition, Campbell said, the original Culpeper McDonald’s “had those hours for many years prior to the rebuild.” She also pointed out that there is only one residence within 150 feet of the restaurant, a home owned by Dr. Harry Burchard, who owns and operates the adjoining Amberwood Veterinary Hospital on Sycamore Street.

In a June 16 letter to the town, Burchard said he had “no problem with McDonald’s operating 24 hours a day.”

“They have made adjustments for my renters which should prevent any problems in the future,” he said. “All in all, McDonald’s has been a good neighbor for 30 years.”

While I understand there is a Town Code, I feel that many of these code’s should be case by case.

Comments (2)

Cartoon of the Day


Leave a Comment

This is Why You Hang On to Every Press Release

You never know when they might come in handy.

MSNBC’s First Read looked into their archives some four years ago and noticed the spin you’re hearing from both the RNC and the DNC appears to have switched locations when comparing the 2005 sweep of New Jersey and Virginia for the Democrats versus the 2009 sweep of New Jersey and Virginia for the Republicans.

Rahm Emanuel must have had a fun time today contradicting himself from circa 2005.

[L]ooking back at First Read’s coverage the day after the 2005 New Jersey and Virginia contests, we had forgotten that Rahm Emanuel — then chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and now White House chief of staff — had called us to argue the very point Republicans are now making: that the two gubernatorial contests say something about the upcoming midterms.

Here’s what we wrote then:

Democratic House campaign committee chair Rahm Emanuel, calling First Read immediately after Kaine’s and Corzine’s victories were announced, argued that it’s clear Democratic voters were already energized earlier in the year when Democrat Paul Hackett nearly won a traditionally GOP-leaning Ohio House district. “I think that’s even more true today.” He also pointed out that the mayors of Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Paul, MN were all losing. “A lot of incumbents are losing to change,” he said (although he neglected to mention that these three mayors are Democrats, though the one from St. Paul endorsed Bush last year).

Leave a Comment

Obama to Madison Next Week

<sarcasm>Boy, this won’t play into the Governor’s race speculation at all.</sarcasm>

Bring out the tape recorder and set the DVR.  Things are gonna be fun for the next week or so.

President Obama will visit the Madison area on Nov. 4 to speak about education, the White House announced Tuesday.

It will be Obama’s first visit to the immediate area since a February 2008 campaign stop at the Kohl Center prior to the Democratic primary.

Presidential candidate Obama was scheduled to return in October 2008, but canceled a planned Madison rally to visit his ailing grandmother, who died a short time later, in Hawaii.

Details about the location or content of the president’s address in Madison next week are not available, a White House spokeswoman said.

Somewhere, Dan Bice is smiling.

(Wonder if any ambitious reporter in Madison Obama will bring up the @$$-kicking Democrats took in Virginia the previous night.)

Leave a Comment