Politics

This Halloween Season Politics is No Treat.

October 29th, 2010 at 6:47 pm by under Politics

During this Halloween season we don’t have to look far to find horror – it is alive and well right here in Virginia Beach. This year’s political campaigns have most of us who try to do our civic duty running screaming into our houses, shutting off our TV’s and radios and hiding under the covers in an attempt to stop the negative bombardment politicos like to call “communication with the public”.  Just look at what the campaign wars have uncovered again- disinformation: false information deliberately and often covertly spread misinformation: wrong information which is given to someone deliberately, and downright lies. If you don’t believe me, just ask any TV station or newspaper who has a “truth-o-meter” to characterize the political ads by the above designations. You will find plenty of evidence.

However, in my opinion, there is nothing more evil or destructive for our city and our society than the use of race or religion as weapons of mass destruction for they incite hatred and fear, they harm the person who is the target, our city’s reputation, and, most of all they harm our children who learn how to treat people from us- the adults who love them. Indeed the outcome of these insidious attacks more often than not is an ongoing societal war waged between the good old boys and those who are different or new, or even worse, a kind of weary acceptance, that indicates nothing can be done to prevent our divided society.

For instance, in the city council campaign for the Princess Anne district friends of the incumbent, Barbara Henley, have decided to attack the challenger, Ms Tanya Bullock, a young attorney who happens to be African American, using disinformation, misinformation and race baiting. Henley’s supporters (we don’t know if Henley is involved) Misinformed the voters in their negative political piece regarding Tanya Bullocks’ background; they used Disinformation when informing voters of Tanya’s views on Agricultural Reserve, the Greenline and other environmentally directed programs (Truth-Ms Bullock has praised Ms Henley for her advocacy) and, they downright lied about Oceana not having good relations with the city because “a young Black Attorney” would be on city council. I think most people in this city give the military leaders at Oceana more credit.

 Finally, the use of race baiting negative stereotypes by inferring that the district shouldn’t be turned over to this “black attorney” who was clever enough to “hook up” with a white “car dealer”. First, Ms. Henley and her supporters surely know when people write an angry letter, they don’t mention race unless its derogatory; second, being clever enough to “hook up” makes you wonder if we have some  insidious racial profiling going on.  President Bush was neither the first nor the last to decide that the path to victory lay in picking at the scab of race, in order to make white voters feel afraid, or angry, or resentful as was done with the Willie Horton scandal. And here we are again, with a group of entrepreneurs of racial division — doing all they can to convince whites that their way of life is threatened by dangerous blacks. This is indeed a horror I had hoped Virginia Beach would not invite in to our homes again. I remember well the racial slurs and the death threats I and my campaign workers had to endure when I ran for reelection to city council in 1998. Many people, who were confused by hate mongers, believed the disinformation they fed to voters. I am hoping there are enough voters in Virginia Beach who believe in giving qualified candidates a chance regardless of race, religion or the color of their skin and will have the moral strength to take up the banner in this fight for a Virginia Beach where all citizens are respected. Truthfully, it would be a horror and frightening if in 2010 I am still the only African American woman to have served on Virginia Beach city council.


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.

WHAT THE POST WROTE ABOUT CUCCINELLI:

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.”

JODY WAGNER’S HUSBAND SENDS THIS MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS:

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!
LET’S DO THIS!!!
Thank you so very much,
- Alan
Alan L. Wagner, M.D., F.A.C.S

INTERESTING CONTRAST ON THE QUESTION, CAN YOU GIVE A GOOD REASON FOR VOTERS TO VOTE FOR YOUR OPPONENT?

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.

DEEDS CAMPAIGN TO CONTINUE ‘ALL IN FOR VIRGINIA’ TOUR
~ 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.

TRUTH TRACKER: NEW ROUND OF ADS IN THE 21ST DISTRICT

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.

TRUTH TRACKER: STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL-ISSUE: DEL. PHIL HAMILTON

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.

THAT’S TODAY’S BLOG
THREE DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY:
I’M ANDY FOX WAVY.COM


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

“I’M A CLOSER”

“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.

MAYBE NOT WILDER, BUT DEEDS HAS PRESIDENT OBAMA.

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.

POLLS: MCDONNELL STILL UP-Pulling ahead

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

NEW MCDONNELL AD:

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.”

GOTV: DURING THESE LAST DAYS IT’S ALL ABOUT GETTING OUT THE VOTE.

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

(McDonnell-)

This week’s TRUTH TRACKER TRACKS THE TRUTH IN THE ADS FOR

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.


17 days and counting to election day: Andy Fox on the Trail

October 17th, 2009 at 9:46 am by under Personalities, Politics

I’m Political Reporter Andy Fox and this week on the campaign trail brings us to a Will Rogers quote: Rogers said, “Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.”
FOLLOW THE MONEY

Below is the amount of money raised by the statewide candidates. Millions raised and spent just to lose:

Deeds For Governor : $3.5 Million raised in September
McDonnell for Governor: $3.8 million in September
Bolling for Lt. Governor $476,336 in September
Wagner for Lt. Governor $465,302 in September
Cuccinelli for Attorney General $672,814 in September
Shannon for Attorney General $532,575 in September

It is clearly evident the excuse “I didn’t have enough money to get out my message” will not apply in these races.

Locally, the most heavily contributed to campaign is 93rd race in Newport News
Del. Phil Hamilton (R) against Robin Abbott (D) .
Money contributed as of September 30:
Hamilton: $306,690 with cash on hand of $174,624
Abbott: $231,608 with cash on hand of $56,893.

Most of the money spent in this race has been spent on a barrage of direct mail.
Is it possible Hamilton after all he’s been through can win? Remember, he’s part of an ethics investigation for his $40,000 pay check from ODU after he won $500,000 for the school’s teaching center.
After he got the job, emails surfaced showing he lobbied for his job before getting the school the money suggesting a possible quid-pro-quo.
After all that-if Hamilton wins he will show an amazing strength among voters unmatched by any other politician in Hampton Roads.
Hamilton told me, “Andy, don’t count me out…the door to door campaign has been very positive…I think I’m going to win this race.”

FOLLOW WHO’S SHOWING UP TO HELP:

Saturday Sen. John McCain campaigned for Bob McDonnell.
Writing about McCain, A federal judge has ruled that Virginia violated the voting rights of military service members and other Americans living overseas when state elections officials failed to send them ballots for last year’s presidential election on time. The votes are the focus of a lawsuit filed by Republican candidate John McCain’s campaign, which alleged that they weren’t mailed in time for overseas voters to return them before the polls closed on November 4th, 2008.

Deeds will get help in the last 17 days of the campaign from President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Both will campaign with the Democratic ticket over the next two weeks.

FOLLOW THE POLLS:

Polls this week clearly show strength with the republican ticket.
RASMUSSEN REPORTS: McDonnell 50
Deeds 43
Mason Dixon: McDonnell 48, Deeds 40
Washington Post: McDonnell 53 Deeds 44.
Average: McDonnell 50.33 Deeds 42.33

Deeds running out of time. McDonnell’s average takes him above 50%

Those numbers taking Republicans Bolling and Cuccinelli up
Democrats Wagner and Shannon down.
In fact this was mass emailed from the jody Wagner campaign,

“Many of you have seen the recent public polling and may be asking yourselves how we plan win this race. This memo from Pete Brodnitz, our pollster, and David Eichenbaum, our media consultant, is a great explanation, so I want to share it with you.Their conclusion is simple: If we have the resources to communicate our message, we’ll come out on top. With your help, we’re going to do what it takes to win, including using our TV advertising to tell voters about Bill Bolling’s no-show record.”

Reading between the lines, Wagner needs money and is trying to relay to supporters the time is now, and time is running out…..

Deeds’ Voter turnout: A Washington Post Poll has some alarming
news for Deeds. Deeds the democrat needs African American voter turnout , and the Post poll found just 12% African American turnout in a 20% African American state.

FOLLOW THE ADS: THE ANATOMY OF A CAMPAIGN AD-THE TRUTH TRACKER

This week I reported on the Joe Bouchard for Delegate commercial against his republican challenger Dr. Chris Stolle.
The two are running against each other in the 83rd District Race.

CLAIM ONE: “Dr. Chris Stolle is the director of patient care at a local hospital.”
TRUTH: Stolle is Vice President for Medical Affairs…two different jobs with different responsibilities

CLAIM TWO: “But recent investigations found that on Chris Stolle’s watch, a 90 year old patient was a victim of severe neglect.”
TRUTH: The patient “claimed” severe neglect. However, we obtained a letter from The Department of Health and Human Services that investigated the claim and sent a letter to the hospital, “I am please to inform you as a result of the complaint…(the hospital) was found in compliance with the Medicare conditions of participation.” Stolle added, “No where in that report do they use the word neglect nor severe neglect, and they write we are please to tell you you are in compliance.”

CLAIM THREE: “Infant mortality rates at Stolle’s hospital are twice the national average.”
TRUTH: “The most recent statistics available show in the years 2006-2008 the National Average for Newborn Mortality .15%. Stolle’s Hospital .23%. That number would have to be .30% to be twice the national average as stated in the commercial.
Bouchard used information from earlier years 2004-2006.
The National Average .15%. Stolle’s Hospital .31%.

CLAIM FOUR: “and Stolle’s hospital has been accused of shoddy patient care including a botched surgery and a wrongful death.”
TRUTH: Accused, yes that’s true, but the fact is one case was dropped and the other is pending. “We see tens of thousands of patients every year, and this is what he talks about,” Stolle says.

The claims are refuted by the Truth Tracker. We wanted to question Bouchard about his ad, but he refused an on camera interview.

Bouchard gave us this statement: ” “My campaign ad speaks for itself. The facts are researched and documented. Chris Stolle…can’t hide the truth about his record overseeing the quality of patient care or the dangerous conditions that have existed on his watch.”

It was interesting that Bouchard refused an on camera interview to discuss an he’s spending thousands to run on TV.

Del. Bobby Mathieson chose the same strategy against Virginia beach City Councilman Ron Villanueva. Mathieson refused to discuss his ad that claims “He’s missed all or part of 105 City Council meetings.” That’s true, but what the ad doesn’t tell you
Villanueva attended 92% of the meetings. He also cast votes 93% of the time. That is true.
Mathieson also hit Villanueva for voting himself a $10,000 pay raise for council members. Villanueva says he will vote to roll that back due to tough economic conditions.
Amazingly, Mathieson refused an on camera interview. The campaign called me the next day saying they will do an interview-but ‘the next day’ was too late….

These are two races that are too close to call, and would be huge rebublican pickups….

That’s this week on the Campaign trail, I’m Andy Fox reporting.