McAuliffe Is Elected Governor of Virginia

By a very narrow margin, Terry McAuliffe wins the Virginia governor race, with 47.32% of the vote and 97% of precincts reporting.

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Too Early To Call, But…

The polls just closed in Virginia, but news agencies across the nation are racing to call this very close, very influential governor election.

The New York Times has Terry McAuliffe (D.) winning a majority of demographics, and puts McAuliffe at a very large 16 point lead among female voters. While Ken Cuccinelli (R.) didn’t campaign on women’s issues exclusively, Cuccinelli’s attacks on women’s health clinics during his stint as attoreny general may have greatly affected his pull with female voters.

The Future of Virginia Law Rests in Voters’ Hands

The race for attorney general may not be highlighted as much as the Virginia governor’s race; however, this race is just as important as the governor’s race and can make changes for the state of Virginia based on the choice made on Election Day.
Election Day outcomes will show voters’ decisions on who will serve as the commonwealth’s top lawyer, overseeing a public law firm with 400-employees. All of these employees review, interpret and defend laws in Virginia.  
While in the Senate, Mark Obenshain (R) and Mark Herring (D) have had separate views on many topics, including the Affordable Care Act and other hotly contested issues in Virginia.
According to the Washington Post, Obenshain has opposed the new federal health-care law and environmental regulations on coal and storm water, as well as sponsored legislation to strengthen property rights and promote school choice. In his effort to become top lawyer, he has stressed his legislative record related to criminal law, including sponsorship of bills that increased penalties for repeat drug offenders and sexual predators.
“We’ve got to stand up and push back when the federal government steps over the line,” Obenshain said at an October debate. “And I will do that.”
On the other side, Obenshain’s opponent Herring is in support of the Affordable Care Act.
In 2012, when the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, Herring made the following statement: “While this isn’t a perfect plan, I applaud Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court for affirming the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement: healthcare reform. As a member of Virginia’s Health Reform Initiative, and a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Health Exchanges, I look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General and my colleagues in the General Assembly to implement this law in the best possible way so that our citizens will receive the maximum benefit of healthcare reform.”
Herring has also been critical of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a candidate who is almost Obenshain’s political twin and whose footsteps Obenshain is expected to follow.
“Time and again, [Cuccinelli] has bent and twisted the law and misused and abused the power of the office in order to advance personal ambition and an extreme ideological agenda,” Herring said of Cuccinelli in the October debate. “Senator Obenshain would be a continuation of what we’ve got.”
Gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act aside, here’s a infographic outlining where these two candidates stand on a few other hot issues.
For a full breakdown of Senator Obenshain’s voting and record and stances on issues, check out this page at votesmart.org, a non-partisan educational organization designed to help voters choose candidates smartly. For more information on Senator Herring’s voting and record and stances, check out his page at Vote Smart.
Whatever the issue may be, the race is far from over and the future of Virginia law is in voters’ hands.

Republicans Taking Away the Rights of Voters?

This past Tuesday, a federal lawsuit was filed by Virginia Democrats against Republican Ken Cuccinelli, Gov. Bob McDonnell and the state elections board. The suit claims that thousands of voters are put at risk of potentially being unlawfully dismissed from  administrative voter rolls.
The law suit claims that Cuccinelli is pressing a plan that will likely eliminate 57,000 registered voters because they are listed in a database that shows voters being registered in more than one state. However, Virginia Democrats indicate that the list shows multiple errors that will leave these voters helpless.  
The lawsuit claims that the interstate database has been created by Republicans who purport to be preventing fraud, but in reality are seeking to suppress vote totals in communities that traditionally vote Democratic.
The lawsuit indicated that Loudoun and Chesterfield counties have already decided against purging voters, while Fairfax and Prince William counties are in the process of eliminating voters.
According to The Washington Post, Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for McAuliffe’s campaign, said the lawsuit highlights the potential conflicts that arise given that Cuccinelli has chosen to stay on as attorney general while running for governor. Most other attorney generals who ran for governor, including McDonnell, resigned to campaign full time.
“Cuccinelli needs to answer questions about why it is appropriate for him to be a legal adviser in an election where he is the candidate,” Schwerin said.
Whether it’s appropriate or not, eliminating 57,000 registered voters will drastically affect the outcome of the upcoming election.

McAuliffe Fires Back, Notes $8B Price Tag for Cucinelli Proposals

Recently, Ken Cuccinelli (R) attached a hefty price tag to Terry McAuliffe’s (D) gubernatorial promises.

McAuliffe has now fired back with his own price tag on the Republican nominee’s  promises and accused the Republican of “making up numbers,” according to Ben Pershing’s piece in The Washington Post.

McAuliffe’s assessment of Cuccinelli’s economic blueprint totals $8 billion, significantly less than what Cuccinelli says it will cost taxpayers if McAuliffe finds himself in the governor’s mansion.

Among the $8 billion in cost, the McAuliffe camp estimates that Cuccinelli’s proposed reduction in personal and corporate income taxes will cost $1.4 billion per year. Cuccinelli has said he will make up this cost by closing loopholes in the tax code, but the McAuliffe report assumes these offsets will not be found. Virginia would have to cut spending by another $5.6 billion over four years, or localities would have to raise their own taxes to fill the gap.

The McAuliffe report also notes a comment from Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson. Jackson, with later suggested support from Cuccinelli, hoped to eliminate the corporate tax entirely, an elimination that McAuliffe estimates would cost $2.4 billion over four years. However, Cuccinelli’s campaign has never announced support or rejection of Jackson’s proposal.

Nine Points Separate McAuliffe and Cuccinelli in the Race for Governor

Let the count down begin: 28 days separates us from the Virginia gubernatorial election

According to a poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, McAuliffe leads the Republican-backed Ken Cuccinelli by 9 points among likely voters. 

In the same article, McAuliffe holds 47 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 38 percent. Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate, has 8 percent.

As we get down to the wire of Election day approaching the true indicator will be getting people to vote. 

The poll also indicated the continued support for McAuliffe among women 12 percent over Cuccinelli (50 percent to 38 percent). 

Citizens of Virginia will be waiting anxiously to see if McAuliffe’s current 9-point lead over Cuccinelli will hold true on election day. 

Mitt Romney joins Ken Cuccinelli’s fight for Governor

Mitt_Romney_by_Gage_Skidmore_7

Former Massachusetts governor and former Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, will officially be joining and headlining Ken Cuccinelli’s private fundraising event in McLean today, September 25.

Cuccinelli is taking the opportunity to have such a well-known political figure help him win the race against Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Terry McAuliffe. “Ken is grateful to have Governor Romney’s support. He’s looking forward to sharing ideas with the governor on how to grow Virginia’s economy and implement his plan to create 58,000 jobs,” said Cuccinelli spokesman Richard Cullen in an article published by The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Romney seemed to have been endorsing Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) last year when he was running against Cuccinelli for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, because Bolling was his campaign chairman. Now that Romney is on Cuccinelli’s side, the race is going to get even more interesting.

Competing Environmental Plans Take Over Dinner

7374890942_8b5035ab58_zSaturday night, at a dinner for non-profit Virginia Forever, gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) clashed over their environmental plans. This has been a major debate between the two candidates during this race and their views will play a huge role in the votes.

McAuliffe is a major advocate of conservation. He said that if elected governor, he would “preserve over 400,000 acres of open space across Virginia.”

On another issue, Cuccinelli voiced his opinions about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and taking stronger action towards polluters. Where McAuliffe made promises, Cuccinelli offered specific strategies and plans.

“I believe the scientific consensus that climate change is real, it’s happening, and is caused by our continued actions. I know that the attorney general and I disagree on that,” McAuliffe said Saturday, citing the perils that rising sea levels hold for the Hampton Roads region.

Friday, the Obama Administration issued strict new carbon emissions limits, which Cuccinelli is extremely opposed to. “The administration renewed its war on coal today,” Cuccinelli said, adding — as he often does — that “a war on coal is a war on the poor” and that Virginia “needs a governor who’ll fight for those folks” who depend on the coal industry.”

One topic dear to Virginia Forever’s heart is the land preservation tax credit. McAuliffe said he opposed a reduction in the credit and gained a majority of the support there, while Cuccinelli voiced that he had his concerns but didn’t highlight anything of importance. These two polar opposite views on the environment will play be a huge influence on the votes, as we get closer to Election Day.