Election Night: On Your Side

October 20th, 2010 at 8:56 pm by under Politics

Virginia is the cradle of our Republic.   The ideas of Madison and Jefferson, and the leadership of Washington have forged an American culture that grew out of the Old Dominion.   But our political culture has always been dynamic,  with change being the only certainty about how we choose our leaders.   With jobs becoming more scarce in an area accustomed to weathering the most violent of economic storms, and deficits squeezing  local city and school budgets,  election night carries an urgency all that will touch all of us;  so our political team is poised to deliver the goods.   Count on coverage and analysis of 28 local races, coupled with NBC’s breakdown of what could be a historic power shift in Washington DC.   That’s the power of 10 On Your Side.

Is Nye Losing African American Support?

October 20th, 2010 at 8:44 pm by under Personalities, Politics, Uncategorized

When Glenn Nye won his election in 2008, many gave credit to the long coattails of Barack Obama. Nye won, but in a district that is usually conservative independent to moderate Republican. Nye politically knew he couldn’t win by being a mainstream Democrat. He had to fulfill the promise of being an independent which is what he ran on in 2008.

Nye has been successful in striking the middle ground: The Democrat got the conservative NRA endorsement, the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsement, the
“9th most independent Congressman” by the Washington Post. Most notable though, he voted against President Obama on Health Care. All that is well and good, but many in the democratic community think “What has this guy done for me?”

“Not much” is the answer from Virginia Beach NAACP President Gloria Allen. “For the folks in my community…they don’t want to put up signs in their yards…they don’t want to work for him…we are very disappointed he voted against the President and health care.”

I asked Nye about this, “I said from the start I was going to be independent…I have had to explain my vote on Health Care to a lot of people…some have understood why I voted the way I did, and some have not.”

I also asked Nye why he didn’t attend the AFL-CIO convention. The usually Democratic leaning Organization refused to endorse anyone in the race because Nye’s voting record with Labor is only 67%. Nye’s answer was, “I don’t care about conventions…I meet with smaller groups.” Wrong answer for many in the labor community. One labor source I have said to me, “O.K. so Glenn you’re going to be independent, does that mean you don’t talk with us.”

Nye is threading a very small needle. If he loses by a smidge he could look back on those lost opportunities to show up to events even if the group is displeased. If he wins in this district after Scott Rigell pumped in over a million dollars of hiw own money the Nye looks like a political genius with the perfect strategy. Also in the race is independent candidate Kenny Golden.

See you on the campaign trail……Andy Fox

Dr. Laura, the “N” word, and the VCIC

August 25th, 2010 at 3:55 pm by under Personalities, Politics

You’ve no doubt heard of her, what she said, and why she fired herself from her radio program a couple of weeks ago.  No matter how you slice it, no matter who says it, THE “N” word hurts! That’s what my ancestors heard as they were herded onto slave ships, forced to farm America’s crops, strung up from southern trees  and locked out of local schools. It hurts even more today when kids emulate so-called “entertainers” who use the “N word” for shock value – but only end up displaying their ignorance like a badge of honor. They don’t know what they don’t know. And what’s worse – they don’t care. “Danger! Willie Robinson.” (If you get that, PUH LEEZE let me know.)

Now let me run some more letters by you: The VCIC. No, this organization doesn’t insure your investments. But its members and benefactors do invest countless hours to bring people together.

VCIC board members Sam Canavos, Jonathan Zur, Golden H. Bethune-Hill,Mamye Bacote, Guy Levy

Teens participating in VCIC workshops

Formerly known as the Virginia Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, it’s evolved into the VIRGINIA CENTER FOR INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES.  You may not know the name, but hopefully you’re  benefiting from their work. And I’ll bet you know some of the members of the Peninsula and Southside chapters.  I’m fortunate to be a member of the board of the Peninsula chapter. I’ve interviewed half of them for news stories as they tend to be the ones who make things move and shake in our communities - in business, education, communities of worship and neighborhoods. The VCIC is probably planning your next diversity training workshop- on the job or at your child’s school.  VCIC director Jonathan Zur says one exciting program in the works now  is a collaboration with the Virginia Stage Company. It’s in connection with VSC’s upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”  VSC and VCIC are planning major outreach to schools in South Hampton Roads, including school visits to the show with facilitated talk-backs and the creation of a teaching guide for area educators.

Check the link to see what the VCIC staff has been doing this summer- and plans for the coming year.  And if you like seeing “little white girls and white boys playing with black girls and black boys” without a care about color, or calling each other hurtful names, then we need your help. Have dinner with us dinner next February. I hope to see you there.

McDonnell Victory Party – Andy Fox reports

November 3rd, 2009 at 10:28 pm by under Personalities, Politics

Political Reporter Andy Fox here at a boisterous victory party for Virginia Beach’s Bob McDonnell.  As one speaker said, “Bob has lead the republican party out of a seven year wilderness politically.”  The last time Republicans won all three statewide offices was back in 1997.

National Republican Chair Michael Steele told WAVY.com, “Bob ran a campaign that reached out.  He won back independents…no one cared about his 1989 Thesis because they care about jobs.  They care about roads. They care about education.”

Early results show Deeds failed to generate the needed turnout in African American Communities, women and Hispanics.

Republicans are using the victories tonight in Virginia to re-energize a Republican Party that has failed to win a gubernatorial race since 1997.

Andy Fox on the Campaign Trail-3 days

October 31st, 2009 at 10:25 am by under Personalities, Politics, Uncategorized

POLLS: Republicans pulling ahead in Statewide races: The average of this week’s polls shows Bob McDonnell (R) with 58% and Creigh Deeds (D) with 38%. This wide margin trickles down to the other offices Bill Bolling (R) showing a strong 13% lead over Jody Wagner (D) whose husband sent an email to supporters. Please read excerpt below. The McDonnell lead is also bringing along the controversial Ken Cuccinelli (R) over Steve Shannon (D). Cuccinelli’s lead somewhere around 10 points.

A lot has been made about Cuccinelli’s comments to the Virginian Pilot about whether he will fight for laws that stop discrimination against gays. Cuccinelli said he would enforce “natural” laws, and homosexuality is unnatural. He refused to back down from the statements several times when given the opportunity leading this reporter to make this conclusion: CUCCINELLI IS DOING EXACTLY WHAT HIS POLITICAL BASE WANTS HIM TO DO. He’s not backing down because he knows this plays, and is part of a strategy. A republican source blew off a question about whether this perceived bigotry could back fire. “I’m not worried about that at all, and I don’t know why you all are worried about it either.” Conclusion: solidify the base to win an election. Ironically, the more democrats make a big deal about Cuccinelli the more the base galvanizes around Cuccinelli. What remains unknown is whether the comments turn off independent voters in Northern Virginia where both candidates come from.


In its editorial this morning, the Post blasted what it called Cuccinelli’s “bigotry,” adding that , “If he is elected attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli would drive away qualified lawyers from an office that functions as the state government’s law firm, and, given his bizarre ideas, he would very likely become an embarrassment for the commonwealth.”


Most everyone knows the names Michael, A Rod, Kobe, Brett and how they’re “winners”. They’re winners because they play smarter and harder than anyone else using their amazing talents to lead their entire teams to victory.

None of them do it alone – it’s the rock solid reliability and indomitable courage of their teammates that makes them all champions. When the stars get boxed out, double-teamed, or walked, the rest of the team steps up a makes the most of the opportunity.

We’ve been there for Jody – thousands of donors, volunteers, and supporters. Now the race is in its final lap, our opponents are pouring national money into television buys to attack Jody, and it’s time for us to step up once more and carry Jody to victory.

You were there early because you believed, and have been incredibly generous in every way imaginable throughout this race.
Now it’s time for all of us to be champions – to fight our hearts out, finish strong, and WIN!
Thank you so very much,
- Alan
Alan L. Wagner, M.D., F.A.C.S


DEEDS: You know, I can name you a thousand good reasons why they should vote for me. I’m the best-prepared person to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. … Bob is a guy that I’ve always gotten along with, but I get along with most people. I work hard to get along with people. I don’t agree with Bob on a great deal.

McDONNELL: He’s a good family man. He’s worked hard to represent his district well for 18 years. To me, he’s a good story of somebody living and accessing the American dream. You know, he tells the story about … first guy in his family to go to college with four $20 [bills] in his pocket and now he’s competing for the job held by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To me, that’s a great story. I think there’s a hundred reasons why I’d be a better governor than him, but for the way, and this is his own personal life story, the way he has told it – it obviously happened because of tremendous hard work, tremendous perseverance to be able to get to the level that he is at, and I think that’s very admirable.

~ Governor Kaine, U.S. Senators Warner and Webb to Get Out the Vote for the Democratic Ticket ~
ALEXANDRIA – The Deeds-Wagner-Shannon ticket will continue a 4-day, 20-stop “All in for Virginia” tour on Saturday in Christiansburg.


A war of heated words is dominating a House of Delegates race in Virginia Beach. Delegate Bobby Mathieson and Virginia Beach City Councilman Ron Villanueva have spent tens of thousands of dollars in last minute media buys before election day Tuesday.

“Ron is lying,” says Del. Bobby Mathieson. “Bobby is a liar and ineffective” says Challenger Ron Villanueva who is a Virginia Beach City Councilman.

WHAT DOES THE TRUTH TRACKER SAY ABOUT THE ADS? Villanueva’s ad says “Bobby Mathieson was the only Virginia Beach delegate to allow felons to work on school property. Putting our kids at risk. What could he be thinking?”

TRUTH TRACKER finds that is TRUE, “Delegate Mathieson, it is true you were the only one in the Virginia Beach Delegation to vote for HB 1481. ” Mathieson answered, “Look, what Ron is saying is an outrageous lie…he is trying to discredit my 27 year police career…protecting families.”

But the TRUTH TRACKER found Mathieson did vote for House Bill No. 1481 which allows some felon Contractors on School Property. The Bill reads, “Any contractor or his employee disqualified due to a felony conviction…may request from the local School Board a waiver.” Restrictions include the felony must be at least five-years old, and can not include sex offenses or crimes against persons. ”

Mathieson refused 18 times to tell WAVY.com why he voted for that Bill that ended up defeated anyway, “Delegate I’ve asked you five times to explain why you voted for this Bill. Why did you vote for this Bill? ” Mathieson responded, “I’m giving you the same answer.” But that answer did not include the reason he voted for the Bill that was defeated anyway.

Challenger Ron Villanueva said, “We as elected officials stand by our records. Bobby Mathieson cast a bad vote on that day.”

WAVY.com continued trying to get an answer from Mathieson, “I voted as the record shows.” WAVY.com, “Do you regret the vote?” Mathieson, “Yes, I regret the vote and I’m thankful the bill never passed.” No thanks to Mathieson says Villanueva, “He voted ‘yes.’ You need to understand what you’re voting for. What was Bobby thinking?…thankfully it was defeated.”

Again, Mathieson says Villanueva is trying to discredit his 27 year Police career, “He’s trying to make me look like I’m soft on crime, and it’s a bold lie.”

Villanueva’s commercial touts the Councilman as the jobs man, “Ron Villanueva’s hard work created 14,000 new jobs.”

TRUTH TRACKER FINDS THAT’S FALSE. Villanueva didn’t create 14,000 new jobs as a City Councilman since 2002.

WAVY.com: “Your TV ad, Ron, says you created 14,000 new jobs.”
Villanueva: “I helped create the jobs.”
WAVY: “No you said ‘created’, not helped create.”
VILLANUEVA: “Andy, our voters know what we are talking about.”

Mathieson responded to that, “How expedient. Ron is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. First, he created the jobs himself, then when pressed says he helped create the jobs. You just can’t trust Villanueva.”

It is true Virginia Beach has 14,247 new jobs created in Virginia Beach since Villanueva took office. However, it should also be noted the unemployment in Virginia Beach when Villanueva took office was 3.4% in September 2002 and it is now 5.7% according to the Virginia Employment Commission.


They are fighting to become Virginia’s top prosecutor, but the big issue in the State Attorney General’s race isn’t nuances of law, it’s Newport News Delegate Phil Hamilton. State Senator Ken Cuccinelli is the Republican, and Delegate Steve Shannon is the Democrat. Both of these guys are in the General Assembly, and they serve with Delegate Phil Hamilton. It’s a classic case of colleagues politically fighting against each other.

Shannon’s ad states, “This is Ken Cuccinelli. He’s running for Attorney General. This is his political ally Delegate Phil Hamilton. Hamilton was caught arranging a 40,000 a year personal contract using state money.” Even Hamilton has admitted to the truth of the facts of the case.

The ad continues, “Every statewide candidate called on Phil Hamilton to resign except Ken Cuccinelli.” THAT IS TRUE. So the truth tracker asked Cuccinelli why he did not call for resignation, “In Phil Hamilton’s situation his case goes through the ethics investigation, and then that case can come to the Attorney General. Not the Attorney General’s office, but the Attorney General,” Cuccinelli says. THAT IS TRUE:
ACCORDING TO STATE CODE: “if legislator knowingly violated any law…it shall refer the matter by a written report setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor to the Attorney General.”

Cuccinelli claims the Attorney General should remain neutral, “the Attorney General is the gate keeper in that case. If Steve Shannon wins this race he will have to recuse himself from that matter because he has already prejudged it, and I have not.”

WAVY.com asked Shannon about Cuccinelli’s comments, “He said it was irresponsible for you to speak about the Hamilton case because you have to possibly
judge this.” Shannon responded, “If the Attorney General thinks the violation has occurred he or she refers that case to a Commonwealth’s Attorney.” THAT IS FALSE:
ACCORDING TO STATE CODE: “if legislator knowingly violated any law…it shall refer the matter by a written report setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor to the Attorney General for such action he deems appropriate.” “HE” is left up to the State Attorney General and not necessarily a Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Shannon also notes Cuccinelli did call for Hamilton to be taken off the powerful Appropriations Committee where he is the second ranking member. Cuccinelli’s campaign re-defined the comment to “take him off the Committee until the matter is resolved, so there is no appearance of impropriety.”

Cuccinelli also claims there was a payoff. He says Shannon received contributions from Hamilton’s opponent after he called for Hamilton to resign, “Within days of my opponent calling for Phil’s resignation he got a $40,000 donation from the law firm his opponent works for.” THAT IS TRUE.

Robin Abbott’s law firm
Consumer Litigation Associates
contributed $40,000 to Shannon on August 31.
The law firm is Shannon’s fifth largest contributor to date.

We asked Shannon about that, “Cuccinelli says there’s a quid-pro-quo. You came out, supported Abbott, and then you got a $40,000 contribution from the firm she works for.” Shannon responded, “Ken is getting desperate right now. He is struggling with the fact Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling have rejected his position on this, and he’s trying to figure his way out of it.”

We also asked Robin Abbot about the contributions, “The commitment to Mr. Shannon’s campaign from my law firm was made long before the Phil Hamilton story came out.” THAT IS TRUE: Shannon got his first $10,000 from Abbott’s law firm in March before the Hamilton story broke.


Election 2009

October 30th, 2009 at 11:10 am by under Politics, Uncategorized

The election is mercifully winding down. The republicans seem to have the wind at their backs. It would appear that Bob McDonnell will win big which should pull a few Republican candidates for Delegate along with him. At this point, my guess would be a net gain of three seats in the House for the Republicans.

11 Days until election day: Andy Fox on the Campaign Trail

October 23rd, 2009 at 10:04 am by under Personalities, Politics, Uncategorized


“Andy, I know folks think I’m behind, but you know me-I’m a closer,” Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds told me. If Deeds can pull this out, he would become the best “Closer” in Virginia Political History. That is, except for Doug Wilder who was the best closer in 1989, becoming the first elected African American Governor. Wilder chose not to endorse Deeds because of his stance on guns, and his willingness to raise taxes if necessary to fund road improvements.


President Barack Obama is appearing in a new television advertisement for Creigh Deeds and plans to campaign with the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Norfolk. President Obama will be with Deeds at the Ted Constant Center at ODU on Tuesday. The new President Obama ad is a powerful 30-second spot and features Mr. Obama calling on Virginia voters to get “fired up” to elect Deeds on Nov. 3. It is by far Deeds most powerful commercial to date, and probably his most important.


The average of the three polls out this week on the Gubernatorial race: Bob McDonnell leading Creigh Deeds 52-37.


McDonnell ad pushes Jobs: Continues Focus on Creating New Jobs; Notes Business Endorsements and Commitment to Keeping Taxes Low and Getting Spending under Control; Contrasts with Deeds’ Plan to Raise Taxes on Virginians.

In a campaign about jobs and the economy, McDonnell has been endorsed by The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Realtors, the Virginia Credit Union League, the Virginia Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Vietnamese American National Chamber of Commerce and The Northern Virginia Technology Council.

DEEDS GETS BIG ENDORSEMENT TOO: The RICHMOND FREE PRESS: DEEDS FOR GOVERNOR. This newspaper focuses on the African American Community essential to any shot Deeds has.

The Richmond Free Press wrote, “Creigh Deeds is an authentic, decent man, with moderate sensibilities. With a self-effacing demeanor that often defies the hype found in much of today’s politics, Sen. Deeds is a real, unpretentious, regular guy who takes responsibility for what he says and does.”


Deeds will spend the weekend at the

NAACP “MEET THE CANDIDATES” FORUM. Sen. Deeds will join Bob McDonnell at the “Meet the Candidates” Forum hosted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Virginia State University.

Deeds spends Saturday getting out the vote with Senator Mark Warner in Lynchburg, then in Roanoke, then in Blacksburg



Lt. Governor now showing on WAVY-TV.

It’s the second highest statewide position in Virginia. #2 on the ballot, and the race is political-nasty where Lieutenant Governor Republican Incumbent Bill Bolling is running against Democrat Jody Wagner

The Jody Wagner commercial begins, “If you never showed up for work would you get paid?”

Jody Wagner claims Lt. Governor Bill Bolling’s not showing up for work. The ad continues, “In four years as Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has showed up for state board and commission meetings only six percent of the time, in four years missed 63 of 67 state meetings.”

THE TRUTH TRACKER FINDS THAT’S TRUE, we asked Bolling what’s going on, “Why did you miss all those meetings?” Bolling responded with this explanation, “She is picking and choosing which meetings to note in the commercial…I’ve personally attended 80% of those meetings, and the ones that are not mandatory for me to attend are attended by members of my staff…just like all the other Lt. Governors that served before me,” Bolling told us by phone.

But Hold on, what Wagner’s ad doesn’t say is the only constitutional responsibility of the Lt. Governor is to preside over the State Senate as President of the Senate. “The Lt. Governor which is a part-time position has two constitutional duties one is to take over for the Governor if something happens to him, and the second is to preside over the Senate. Since I’ve been Lt. Governor, I’ve served as President of the Senate 200 days, and I’ve been there for everyone of those days.”

What about Bolling’s ad? It goes, “Jody Wagner isn’t telling the truth about Bill Bolling. It’s the Wagner, Deeds plan: personal attacks, lies, higher taxes. ”

Higher Taxes- That’s false. Wagner’s never voted for higher taxes because she’s never held elective office. That’s a point she pounces on, “I have never voted for a tax increase and I wouldn’t vote for one now. Times are tough, and families are hurting, and it’s the wrong thing to do,” Wagner says.

We asked Bolling about that, “She doesn’t support high gas taxes. She says that’s not true.” Bolling responded, “She says different things to different groups. The Washington Post quoted her,” Bolling said.

That’s true: The Post did run a headline suggesting that. The Ad says, “The Washington Post reports Wagner supports high gas taxes, “Bring it on” Jody Wagner on higher gas taxes.”

The story ran Oct 13.

THAT’S TRUE: The Post did write that, but Wagner claims a misleading headline, “That is not what I said…that is not what I believe.” Wagner’s been hit by an old political adage, “In politics, if you’re explaining then you’re losing.”

Bolling counters Wagner as a member of former Governor Mark Warner’s administration and current Governor Tim Kaine’s administration she supported their efforts to raise taxes, “Kaine described his proposal as “a fiscally responsible plan that addresses our transportation challenges in creative ways.” As Kaine’s finance secretary, Wagner, was quoted as saying Kaine’s plan “ensures accountability, balances the transportation budget, and changes the way that we do business in Virginia with respect to transportation.”

The Bolling campaign uses Wagner as “Guilt by Association” keeping in mind Wagner has never voted for any tax increase because she’s never held elective office.

Wagner with the last word, “I have never voted to raise taxes, and during these tough economic times do not support raising taxes.”

That’s this week’s blog. On the campaign trail, I’m Political Reporter Andy Fox.

Sheriff is on the ballot in Suffolk

October 22nd, 2009 at 7:23 pm by under Politics

I’ve been trying for a couple weeks to get information on the Sheriff’s race in Suffolk from both of the men who want the job.
It’s a good job. According to the Compensation Board for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the salary is more than $90,000 a year. That’s 30 percent more than the city’s median income.

Raleigh Isaacs, Sr. has it now. He’s held the position since 1993. According to a resume, he graduated from Christopher Newport University. Before becoming Sheriff in 1994, Isaacs was with the Suffolk Police Department from 1970 to 1993. He worked for the Norfolk Police Department from 1961 to 1970.
We’ll get back to the incumbent in a moment.

Challenger Jay Clason is a political newcomer who wants the job of securing the courts in Suffolk.

In a phone interview he told me he moved to Suffolk about eight years ago. Clason said he gained skills he thinks are valuable to serve as Sheriff while completing 27 years in the Army and Army Reserve. He pointed to establishing a police precinct in Bosnia, and creating police training programs in Hungary while in the military.

Unlike in many Hampton Roads cities, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for maintaining a jail.
Clason said while he believes he’s qualified to manage the security of the courthouse and documents, he thinks the office can do more to help the citizens of Suffolk.

According to Clason, there should be, “cooperative efforts between police and fire departments, and the Sheriff’s Office.” He said deputies, “could assist the police department with some of the fundamental law enforcement responsibilities.”

Now, I’ll explain why you won’t read any detailed responses from Sheriff Isaacs about the office.

At 9:30 on a Wednesday morning in September, I left a message for Isaacs. At 10 o’clock on the same day, he returned my call. I informed him I’d like to ask him about the race so I could post something online.
He said I’d need to tell him what I wanted to ask. So I told him I wanted to know about his vision for the future, and to get his perspective on some of the controversy during his tenure. When I mentioned allegations from some of his constituents that he used his position to help a relative in legal trouble, that was it. He firmly informed me he would not speak with me. He hung up. I called him back. Again and again. I had a colleague try. No luck.
I believed at the time – and still do – that a journalist should be able to ask an elected official about anything that may involve his actions, in the realm of his elected position, that may have been perceived as improper. I am not saying the Sheriff did anything wrong.

That said, while some in Suffolk have raised the question on the internet, his opponent told me it is not an issue for him.
In fact, Jay Clason told me he just wants the people of Suffolk to hear from both candidates about how they are going to serve them.

That’s pretty much the extent of this post. If Isaacs returns my call before the election, I’ll be sure to post an update.