McDonnell Recounts Accomplishments in New Book


Governor McDonnell would like to be remembered for his accomplishments while in office, not the major scandals that plagued him in his final year in office.

McDonnell released a 52-page softcover book in December that lists all of the governor’s achievements, ranching from his landmark transportation bill to recession-defying job growth, according to the Washington Post. While produced on the taxpayers’ dime, the cost was minimal: $1,500 for 250 copies distributed to Cabinet secretaries, reporters and staff.

“As we reached the final weeks of the McDonnell Administration, we wanted to try to put the accomplishments of the last four years into one simple and concise document,” spokesman Tucker Martin said in a cover letter mailed with the book. “But as many of you know so well from covering our policy rollouts, brevity has never been our hallmark. So we hope you’ll enjoy this 52, yes 52, page book that breaks down the achievements of Governor McDonnell’s term as Virginia’s 71st governor.”

McDonnell leaves office Jan. 11, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe is sworn in.

McDonnell Continues Pledge to Strengthen Foster Care Adoption


bobmcdonnell1Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has demonstrated his commitment to foster care adoptions across the state, and his new budget continues to reflect this commitment.

In mid-December, McDonnell announced his budget includes $27.7 million in new funding for four initiatives targeted at improving foster care adoption. He also announced that Virginia has successfully matched almost 1,000 children in foster care with adoptive families, coming very close to meeting goals set to reach by the end of his administration.

More about McDonnell’s foster care adoption initiatives can be found at The Augusta Free Press.

McDonnell Commits $55M to Public Safety

BobAs Governor Bob McDonnell makes his final hurrahs as governor of Virginia, he announced that his 2014-2016 budget proposal will provide more than $55 million in targeted funding to support Virginia’s public safety.

The budget includes $22.2 million for sheriffs, Commonwealth’s Attorneys and Circuit Court Clerk Deputies to fund new hires, reduce jail overcrowding and fund long overdue pay increases.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Friday that his biennial budget will provide $55.3 million in targeted funding to support public safety around Virginia. McDonnell also proposed another $21 million in additional funding to assist local law enforcement through the “599” program.

“Local law enforcement plays a critical role in ensuring that Virginia’s streets and communities are safe,” McDonnell said to the Augusta Free Press. ”I began my career in public service as a prosecutor in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. I know firsthand how hard the men and women who serve as Sheriffs, Commonwealth Attorney’s and in clerk’s offices work day in and day out to protect their communities and preserve justice for their fellow Virginians.  These funds will provide the critical resources necessary to better serve the public and will play a vital role in ensuring a safe and prosperous Commonwealth in the years ahead.

A full breakdown of the governor’s public safety proposal can be found at the Augusta Free Press

McAuliffe Mulls McDonnell Budget

Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) released the following statement on current Gov. Bob McDonnell’s 2014-2016 budget proposal made on December 16:

“I congratulate Gov. McDonnell for continuing his record of sound financial leadership with this biennial budget. I would also like to thank the governor for the unprecedented information and cooperation he and his team have offered me with respect to this budget and the entire transition process.

“There are many items in this proposed budget that will make Virginia a better place to work, live and do business. Reforming Virginia’s mental health system must be a critical priority of this budget, as well as strengthening the Virginia Retirement System and continuing to invest in higher education.

“My policy team and I are already closely examining this budget and looking forward to finding common ground with leaders from both parties to pass a final product that grows our economy and uses every taxpayer dollar to make Virginians’ lives better.”

Senate Hopefuls Launch Radio and TV Ads

Some Virginia residents didn’t get a break from excessive campaign ads for long, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

South Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore Virginians are seeing and hearing from candidates vying for Sen. Ralph Northam’s (D) seat. Northam was elected Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, leaving the Norfolk-based seat vacant.

With a Jan. 7 special election, candidates Wayne Coleman and Lynwood Lewis are all over local airwaves with messages appealing to voters.

The ads primarily focus on the backgrounds of the candidates rather than mud-slinging, which is a huge relief from this year’s high profile campaigns.

E.W. Jackson Assembles PAC

After losing his bid to be Virginia’s lieutenant general, E.W. Jackson isn’t stepping out of the political arena. He has launched a new political action committee, UniteVirginia PAC, to advocate for school choice, fewer taxes and regulations and a host of social issues.

“We do not intend to sit idly by while we are subjected to four years of crony capitalism, union abuses of the rights of workers, encroachment on our unalienable rights and the fundamental transformation of Virginia,” Jackson wrote on the PAC’s website.

Jackson says the PAC will announce its legislative agenda for the 2014 General Assembly soon.

Wolf Announces Retirement

Last week, Frank Wolf (R) announced he will not run to keep his seat in Congress. Wolf served 17 terms and represented Northern Virginia in the House.

Wolf’s retirement comes as a shock. Many political leaders believed Wolf would run for an eighteenth term in the House. However, the 74-year-old representative has decided to continue his work on human rights and religious freedom issues.

In a statement, Wolf said, “As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves…I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom – both domestic and international – as well as matters of the culture and the American family.”

While in the House, Wolf served on the Appropriates Committee, funnelling federal monies to the booming Northern Virginia suburbs. He also was a key force behind the formation of the Iraq Study Group and has pushed for a similar inquiry into the actions in Benghazi, Libya.

Wolf’s announcement comes just one week after Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D) announce he will challenge Wolf for the Northern Virginia seat. Many Republicans are also expected to enter the race for the Republican nomination.

Medicaid Expansion Committee Met in Richmond

The panel considering Medicaid expansion in Virginia had its final meeting of 2013 last Tuesday, according to NBC 29 in Charlottesville.

The Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission met at the General Assembly Building in Richmond to discuss potentially expanding Medicaid to 400,000 low-income Virginians under the Affordable Care Act. The commission was established in 2012 as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The panel is tasked with ensuring that cost-saving reforms are achieved before Virginia considers an expansion.

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) supports expanding the entitlement program, which has grown to account for 20 percent of the state’s budget in recent years.

Who Paid for the Attorney General Recount, Anyway?

If you’re subscribed to recieve emails from either attorney general candidate or candidate’s biggest supporters, you’ve likely seen requests to contribute to the recount fund.

The Daily Press in Hampton Roads calculated the donations and found that Mark Obenshain (R) lead Mark Herring (D) by a huge margin in fundraising for the recount.

The Daily Press’s chart can be found here.