Virginia Politics: Anita Kumar

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011

McDonnell's trip to the Sunshine State

Following Sunday's adjournment of the legislative session, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has headed to South Florida for a little R&R. McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will also spend a little time mingling with supporters of both his 2009 campaign and the RGA. On Friday, he will attend a lunch hosted by McLean attorney and McDonnell donor Kevin Fay at the famed Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and then a dinner in Palm Beach hosted by prominent developer Eddie Garcia, according to Phil Cox, McDonnell top political adviser. Garcia, who has homes in Virginia Beach and Palm Beach, gave $25,000 to McDonnell's political action committee, Opportunity Virginia, according to the Virginia Public Access Porject, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics. On Saturday night, McDonnell will host a thank-you reception for RGA donors in the area, Cox said....

By Anita Kumar  |  10:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:47 PM ET, 03/02/2011

Kaine will likely announce Senate decision as soon as next week

Tim Kaine, former governor and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will most likely announce whether he is running for U.S. Senate as soon as next week, according to sources close to Kaine. Kaine is on vacation with his family until Monday, in part to consider the decision, they say. The sources say he will announce soon after returning. He has consulted with President Obama and been encouraged to run by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both of Virginia's senators and countless state officials. On Feb. 19 at Virginia Democrats' Jefferson Jackson Dinner, he was greeted by enthusiastic crowds of activists in his hometown and by those wanting him to run. Several other Democrats have been mentioned as possible contenders. Defeated representative Tom Perriello is the most prominent name. Other possible candidates include Rep. Gerry Connolly, former representative Rick Boucher, state Sen. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (Fairfax), state Sen....

By Anita Kumar  |  04:47 PM ET, 03/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 03/01/2011

Averill to lead Americans for Prosperity's Virginia office

Americans for Prosperity, a group that supports a free market, low taxes and transparency in government, has hired longtime Republican activist Trixie Averill as its new state director.

By Anita Kumar  |  04:30 PM ET, 03/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 03/01/2011

McDonnell vows to gain a seat on Metro Board despite legislature's inaction

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he will continue to work to get a seat on the Metro Board of Directors after the General Assembly's failure to include language to that effect in the state budget that was passed unanimously Sunday night. House negotiators had tried to put a provision in the budget that would give Virginia's governor the power to appoint a board member, but their Senate counterparts balked. "I have been extremely clear with the leaders in Northern Virginia that it is absolutely wrong for Virginia to pay $50 million a year and have no seat at the table,'' McDonnell told reporters. "The federal government has two seats. Maryland has got a seat. D.C.'s got a seat. Virginia has got none ... I'm going to continue to pursue that. One way or another, we are going to have a Virginia seat on that board and I'm fully committed to...

By Anita Kumar  |  03:40 PM ET, 03/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 02/28/2011

McDonnell talks to Obama at the White House

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell missed a National Governors Association dinner at the White House with President Obama Sunday night because the General Assembly adjourned its annual legislative session a day late. Instead, McDonnell (R) left for Washington immediately after adjournment Sunday night in time to join other governors for a meeting with Obama at the White House Monday morning and then lunch with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). McDonnell said he expected to spend the day talking about immigration, offshore drilling, health care and budgets. "I think there are honestly some difference of opinion between Republican and Democratic governors on maybe the health care approach and so forth, but there is universal concern about unfunded federal mandates on state government,'' McDonnell told reporters before he left for Washington. "Unfunded federal mandates that undermine flexibility for governors to make individual choices for their states."...

By Anita Kumar  |  04:00 PM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Legislators act on thousands of bills during session

Virginia lawmakers considered 2,692 bills during their 47-day session, which ended one day late Sunday. They passed 1,599 of them and killed hundreds of others. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has 30 days from adjournment to consider most bills, though some had to be considered in just a week of being sent to him if more than seven days remained of the session. He has already signed 15 bills. Legislators will return to Richmond April 6 to act on the governor's amendments and vetoes. Check out our round-up of how major legislation fared here....

By Anita Kumar  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:43 PM ET, 02/26/2011

State legislators will return Sunday to complete budget

State legislators expect to return to the Capitol late Sunday to vote on revisions to Virginia's two-year budget. House and Senate negotiators continued meeting late Saturday, but differences on public safety, higher education and social services spending still remained. They were hopeful they could complete work on a compromise by midnight. Legislative staffers would then work throughout the night and morning to review and print the budget before they land on lawmakers' desks early Sunday afternoon. Legislators would likely vote on the budget about 5 p.m. The 46-day session was scheduled to end Saturday. It will be the sixth session extension in a decade. An extra day of session usually costs $20,000 for each additional day the legislature meets, but the House voted to reject its per diem. House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said budget negotiators had made "pretty good progress" and were 80 percent done with amendments...

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  |  08:43 PM ET, 02/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Some sit out anti-abortion rally to avoid confronting McDonnell

A split has emerged in the anti-abortion community over whether to pressure Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to direct the state Board of Health to further regulate abortion clinics in Virginia. Both Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and the conservative Family Foundation declined to participate in an anti-abortion rally scheduled for Thursday outside the Capitol to avoid "confronting" McDonnell after they found out that organizers designed the event to pressure the governor. Both Cuccinelli (R) and Family Foundation Chaplain Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. had been scheduled to attend the rally, which will take place on the second day of the General Assembly's annual session. "While Attorney General Cuccinelli is a long-time pro-life leader and is very supportive of the people redressing their grievances with their elected officials at a rally like this, he does not support calling on his client -- the governor -- to circumvent the normal public regulatory process,...

By Anita Kumar  |  12:59 PM ET, 01/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)