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.
In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. “This is a bit of a unique circumstance because these people were not strangers to each other,” defense
During the 30 years he’s spent in prison, Jens Soering has maintained he had nothing to do with the brutal 1985 murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom, and that he only confessed to protect his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, from the death penalty. Now Tim Kaine, the governor who agreed to send
First year tragedy While UVA administrators were worried about Block Party, they couldn’t have foreseen that a family of three in town to drop off a student would be struck by a car turning left from Bond Street onto District Avenue shortly before 1pm August 21 at The Shops at Stonefield.
In a progressive town like Charlottesville, the owner of a 31-year-old business on the Downtown Mall says it’s time that equivalent rules and regulations are imposed on downtown storefronts and street vendors alike. His request comes in the form of a petition. “We’re a fast city, man,” says
Aromas Cafe FC, best known for its success in the 2016 Lamar Hunt Open Cup, wants fans to see its deeper purpose this year. “For us, it’s all about being part of the community, being a reflection of the community and this is the community. This is why we play,” player manager David Deaton says.
Chaps owner Tony LaBua spoke for those not in the thick of last week’s Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville coup: “I’m confused. Is George not president?” George Benford wasn’t chair at that point early in an August 17 DBAC board meeting, but within 45 minutes, he was elected
Congressional candidate Tom Garrett is back in Charlottesville today a week after he debated Dem Jane Dittmar at the Senior Center. The two are vying for the 5th District seat currently held by Robert Hurt, who decided not seek a third term. C-VILLE caught up with Garrett, a state senator, at
Bryan Silva appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court August 17 for sentencing on charges related to a January 3 SWAT standoff, in which the 25-year-old Facebook celebrity barricaded himself inside his Jefferson Park Avenue home for several hours while posting videos of the incident on
City and county residents heavily criticized Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to rebuild area transmission lines at a recent public hearing, and a Rockbridge County man, who has filed suit against the power company after a similar rebuild in his area, says locals’ concerns are justified. “They
CPD car chase in Waynesboro An off-duty Charlottesville cop in a squad car spotted an unidentified traffic violation on I-64 the evening of August 13, and pursued the alleged offender to Waynesboro, according to the Newsplex. No arrest was made and no injuries reported. Sweltering in Crescent
Congressional candidates Jane Dittmar and Tom Garrett met August 10 for the first of four forums, and the two agreed on several issues—and disagreed on many more. Around 200 people crammed into the Senior Center for the event sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia (no relation to the
Attorneys for the man charged with the capital murders of a beloved teacher and her daughter in 2014 asked a judge for the grand jury records for the past four years in Charlottesville Circuit Court today. The slayings of Robin Aldridge, 58, a special education teacher with Albemarle County,
A phalanx of lawyers assembled to argue motions in former UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo’s lawsuit against Rolling Stone, along with plaintiff Eramo herself, August 12 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville. Eramo’s $7.85 million defamation lawsuit against the magazine, writer Sabrina Rubin
Simmering undercurrents from the parking war between the city and Charlottesville Parking Center over the Water Street Garage have splintered the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville, whose chairman abruptly resigned August 8 after being told he was illegally elected. The move
For DeShon Langston, having his right to vote restored—and then unrestored—was like having a really nice dream and waking up to reality. That’s his reaction to a 4-3 Supreme Court of Virginia decision July 22 that the state constitution did not give Governor Terry McAuliffe the authority to
Choosing to live in cohousing may be a difficult decision for some, but for Charlottesville residents James and Rebecca Gammon, signing on to be future residents of Emerson Commons in Crozet was a no-brainer. “It makes life easier for everybody,” Rebecca says. She and her husband are currently
The parking wars have quieted since a judge rejected the Charlottesville Parking Center’s petition for an emergency receiver June 27 and CPC owner Mark Brown decamped to Greece. But here in the dog days of August, CPC general manager Dave Norris, whose June 24 proposal was rebuffed by the city,
Happy birthday, Best of C-VILLE! We’re 20 years in, and there’s a lot to celebrate: the best people, places and things in town—and us. Join the party from 7-11pm August 19 at the IX Art Park! Your $45 ticket gets you access to music from Lord Nelson and DJ Derek Tobler, food trucks
The man who lay down in front of the dais and was dragged out of a City Council meeting June 20 after calling Muslims “monstrous maniacs” has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming his constitutional rights were violated. Albemarle resident Joe Draego, 64, has been a regular at
A record 14 competitors with ties to UVA will take part in the 2016 Olympic games August 3-21, alongside two coaches and two alternates. The 16 participating athletes span from the class of 2007 to 2017, and represent seven different nations. Two current students at UVA will compete at the