On Tuesday, January 12, somewhere in Richmond, Tim Kaine breathed a very shallow sigh of relief. As Virginia’s lame duck governor (and the Democratic National Committee’s full-time chairman), Kaine had put his reputation on the line by explicitly promising that the Old Dominion’s donkeys would capture the state senate seat recently vacated by incoming Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Now, Kaine might be winning the image war with his Republican counterpart, RNC head Michael Steele (who recently told his conservative critics to “fire me” or “shut up”), but he’s been losing a hell of a lot of battles along the way.
The fight to secure the GOP slot in the Fifth to run against incumbent Tom Perriello, pictured, has been a nonstop sprint away from the center, with each candidate trying desperately to out-Fox the other.
But Kaine finally has something to crow about: a 327-vote victory by Democrat Dave Marsden over Republican Steve Hunt for Cuccinelli’s hotly contested seat.
Although, to be honest, the term “victory” might be a bit strong. After all, Marsden is basically a moderate Republican in all but name (he once worked for Jim Gilmore, and is proud of the fact that he “voted to eliminate the death tax”), and Hunt is a homophobic nutjob best known for urging high school principals to allow “cured” gays and lesbians to lecture in local classrooms. The fact that this guy came within two percentage points of winning should send a shiver down Tim Kaine’s spine.
Which is why the true test of Virginia’s reinvigorated right wing is still to come. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the seven-candidate carnival currently underway in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional district, home of Rep. Tom Perriello.
The fight to secure the GOP slot in the Fifth has been a nonstop sprint away from the center, with each candidate trying desperately to out-Fox the other. With many conservative activists unimpressed by the establishment candidate, Virginia Senator Robert Hurt, the rest of the field has been in full pander mode, hoping to become the Tea Party’s favorite mad hatter.
Although Hurt has tried to appease his angry base by publicly repudiating his vote for then-Governor Mark Warner’s 2004 tax increase (and even signed a Grover Norquist-endorsed pledge to oppose any tax increases if elected), he’s still being out-hustled on his right flank by Albemarle businessman Laurence Verga. Verga, a commercial property developer who needs a kidney transplant (no, really), recently snagged crucial endorsements from two high-profile conservative tastemakers: talk radio host Laura Ingraham and 2008 electoral curiosity Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher.
That’s right! John McCain’s chrome-domed gaffe machine, whose first name is actually Sam, and who doesn’t technically have a plumber’s license, is back on the trail, stretching his 15 minutes of fame into its third incoherent year. And in case you were worried that ol’ Joe has lost his touch, rest assured: His recent Danville rally with Verga was filled with Wurzelbacherian words of wisdom, such as “we’re allowing these little terrorists, punk terrorists, to dictate what I do in my own country,” and “the constitution is right now as it was when it was written; no changes have ever been made to it.”
O.K., so the man might not be a constitutional scholar, but he sure knows what he likes! Guess we’ll just have to wait until June to see if the rest of Virginia’s Republican electorate agrees with him.
The Lawn was illuminated in soft white candlelight last night as thousands of community members retraced the steps of the August 11 white nationalist tiki torch march from the University of Virginia’s Nameless Field to the Rotunda. Their message was of love and peace, and taking back what
It was the day that kept getting worse. The weekend from hell. Like many of you, C-VILLE Weekly is still processing Saturday’s violation from ill-intentioned visitors with antiquated notions who now believe it’s okay to say in broad daylight what they’ve only uttered in the nether regions of
Droves of community members clothed in shades of purple poured into the Paramount Theater August 16 to remember Heather Heyer, a local activist and paralegal who lost her life to what some have called an act of domestic terror the weekend before. “They tried to kill my child to shut her up.
Two days after he plowed into a group of peaceful counterprotesters with his car, white nationalist James Alex Fields Jr. appeared via webcam in Charlottesville General District Court Monday morning. The Maumee, Ohio, man, 20, is charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious
A month ago during the July 8 KKK rally, police were accused of overreacting and escalating things when they deployed tear gas on protesters at an event that was already breaking up. At the August 12 Unite the Right rally, they faced the opposite complaint: That they stood and watched assaults
Photos taken during the Unite the Right rally and counterprotest at Emancipation Park, as well as the alt-right gathering at McIntire Park, and demonstrations at Justice Park and the Downtown Mall area today. Photos by Eze Amos, Lisa Provence, Jessica Luck, Hawkins Dale and Aaron Cohen.
A 32-year-old woman died following today’s long-anticipated white nationalist assembly in Emancipation Park, and two Virginia State Police pilots perished in a crash late in the afternoon near the Bellair neighborhood. The Unite the Right rally erupted in violence and was shut down before it
At a press conference today, Charlottesville police Captain Victor Mitchell estimated there would be between 2,000 and 6,000 people here on Saturday and said many downtown streets and sidewalks will be closed for the upcoming Unite the Right rally Mitchell is incident commander for both
First the Loyal White Knights of the KKK July 8 and now the Unite the Right rally August 12. Charlottesville has become quite the magnet for white nationalists since City Council voted in April to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee and rename two Confederate general-monikered parks. Oh,
The Rutherford Institute and the ACLU of Virginia have given the city of Charlottesville until 12pm today to respond to their letter demanding city leaders allow Jason Kessler to hold his August 12 Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park. When city manager Maurice Jones announced August 7
Despite the history of a failed wind farm in Highland County, a local renewable energy firm is on track to build the first one in Virginia. Apex Clean Energy, which has 167 employees in Charlottesville, received a permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in March to build
Miss out on a week of Albemarle County happenings? On August 2 the Board of Supervisors voted to only require a business license for those making at least $25,000 a year, instead of the previous $5,000 threshold. They’ve requested a new entrance for the proposed Hedgerow Park, and will soon ask
Was the four-legged visitor weeks early for its move-in date? Community members took to social media to share photos of a black bear flouncing around UVA Grounds August 1. A state wildlife biologist tranquilized it outside the Children’s Hospital, loaded it into a truck, and, after the drug
Ludwig Kuttner, owner of the IX complex, threatened last week to stop the community events held at the Art Park because its city land assessment went up 400 percent. And on August 7, the Board of Equalization said it was affirming the city’s valuation. At an August 1 board hearing, Kuttner
Days before the August 12 Unite the Right rally, City Manager Maurice Jones said the city would issue organizer Jason Kessler a permit—for McIntire Park, not for Emancipation Park, the site formerly known as Lee Park where he requested to protest the removal of the statue of General Robert E.
The man who was convicted of abduction with intent to defile and who spent two-and-a-half years in jail before the alleged victim’s story fell apart filed suit July 14 against the former commonwealth’s attorney who prosecuted him. Mark Weiner, now living in Maryland, filed a civil lawsuit in
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline July 21, and it said the proposed 600-mile, $5.5 billion natural gas pipeline will have a “less than significant” impact on the environment. “The [final environmental
Curtain call Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard, author of Buried Child, died July 27 from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a family member. Shepard lived with actress Jessica Lange on a farm near Scottsville for 10 years until the mid-’90s. He
As Charlottesville braces for an influx of alt-white nationalists, 43 business owners have demanded the city enforce its regulations for special events, pastors are calling for 1,000 faithful around the nation to stand with them and the Central Library has announced it will close August 12 for
When Charles Dickens—the Victorian era’s greatest novelist—traveled through America via stagecoach in 1842, he found the experience absolutely abysmal. The coaches, he wrote, had “never been cleaned since they were first built,” and because they lacked springs, the slightest jolt was enough to