McAuliffe Adds Past Rival to Cabinet

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) selected Brian J. Moran to serve as McAuliffe’s secretary of public safety.

McAuliffe announced the appointment last Friday in Arlington County, where Moran served as a prosecutor in the commonwealth’s attorney’s office for seven years.

One-time gubernatorial rivals, Moran graciously thanked McAuliffe for the appointment, saying, he was “honored” to accept the post.

“Keeping Virginians safe is the highest priority of state government, and Brian Moran has the talent, experience and dedication to undertake that important mission as a member of my Cabinet,” McAuliffe said to The Washington Post.

Moran said he was “ager to get to work alongside the thousands of firefighters, state and local police officers, sheriffs and deputies, first responders and so many others who devote their lives” to keeping Virginians safe.

Terry McAuliffe Adds to His Team

Aubrey Lane, a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, will be the newest member of governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s team as his Secretary of Transportation. Layne’s addition to his team is another sign of the bipartisanship that he is aiming towards with his cabinet. 

Layne has worked under Tim Kaine (governor in 2009) and Governor Bob McDonnell in 2010. Layne also became chair of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission in 2012. McAuliffe’s cabinet is starting to fill up with officials who have proven themselves to effective in their past experiences.

Mark Bowles, executive vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting, Catherine Reynolds, chairwoman of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation; and Rusty Conner, managing partner at the DLA Piper law firm have also been added to McAuliffe’s cabinet this past week as finance co-chairmen.

McAuliffe’s team is quickly being built, as he gets ready to take office in January and succeed Governor Bob McDonnell.

McAuliffe Lunches with McDonnell

Shortly after Terry McAuliffe accepted his win as the new governor of Virginia, he met with current governor Bob McDonnell to gain insight into the new position.

Just like during all of McAuliffe’s previous meetings with powerful political leaders, McAuliffe took pages and pages of notes.

In an article in the Washington Post, McAuliffe is quoted as saying, “I did fill up many, many pages today in my notebook. I got a new one out for today, and it’s already half filled up.”

During the hour-long meeting, the current governor pledged to make McAuliffe’s transition as easy as possible. McAuliffe, who has never held elected office before winning the race on November 5, wants to gather as many nuggets of advice as possible.

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.

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. 

McAuliffe Stays Ahead of Cuccinelli in Va. Governor Race

As of Monday, September 23, 2013, Terry McAuliffe (D) is still in the lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the VA governor race. According to The Washington Post, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 47% to 39%. Unlikely winner, Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, has climbed to 10%, which is more than he had starting out in the race.

For a race that has been so tight this whole time, an 8% margin is a larger lead. This jump in votes seems to be because of female voters who lean more towards McAuliffe. In a poll done by The Washington Post in May, both candidates were tied for the female vote.

Throughout the campaign, McAuliffe has painted Cuccinelli as a man against women’s rights, especially when it comes to the highly debated issue of abortion. His response has been to accuse McAuliffe of starting a “war on coal” with the rest of the Democratic Party. Cuccinelli is still trailing when it comes to energy and environment, though.

Both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses and as the race comes to a close in the next couple of months, it will be imperative for them to tackle the issues as best they can in order to get that final push to the top.

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.

McAuliffe Slams Cuccinelli on Abortion in New Ad

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Image from Terry McAuliffe’s new TV spot

With the Virginia governor’s election just weeks away, candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) are peppering the airwaves with ads attacking the other.

The latest in a series of anti-Cuccinelli ads from McAuliffe’s camp attacks the Republican’s views on abortion. The ad is aiming to make Cuccinelli appear out-of-touch with mainstream ideas on the issue and with independent, female voters, according to both the Washington Post and The Hill.

McAuliffe’s ad features Norfolk doctor Holly Puritz. “For 30 years I’ve worked as an OB-GYN, my job is to protect the health of women,” Puritz says. “So I’m particularly offended by Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli wants to make all abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest, even to protect a woman’s health. I want a governor who’s focused on schools and creating jobs, not someone who wants to do my job. Who’s Ken Cuccinelli to interfere in the lives of women across Virginia?”

Cuccinelli’s camp fired back, noting McAuliffe’s recent loss to Cuccinelli in the bid for a tech company’s endorsement. “Ken Cuccinelli has said very clearly the core focus of his race is job creation and fighting for every Virginian to have an opportunity to succeed. The only person in this race who is focused on divisive issues is Terry McAuliffe,” says Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix. “With no economic plan and no grasp on critical issues, McAuliffe has nothing left except divisive attacks.”