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.
Every few years, the idea to put a roundabout at difficult intersections pops up—and usually disappears. Charlottesville’s former mayor and longtime delegate, the late Mitch Van Yahres, was a big roundabout fan, and he supported the one installed at the airport, one of the few bandied about
On a recent Sunday morning, a crowd of Blue Moon Diner patrons could be seen hovering outside the side door of the self-proclaimed “best little breakfast, sandwich, burger, dinner, live music, arm wrestling, vinyl record-playing, family-friendly neighborhood bar and activist spot” with
When David Mitchell bought 120 acres 10 years ago off U.S. 250 in Crozet, he wanted to maintain much of its rural character and planned a subdivision with 13 clustered homes, with his own on a 60-acre preservation tract on the banks of Lickinghole Creek Basin. But he wasn’t the only one who
Science, not silence At least 500 STEM-lovers came out to IX Art Park on Earth Day for the city’s satellite March on Science. C’ville Comm-UNI-ty hosted the event. Stonefield death nets $100 fine Franklin Pollock Reider, 75, was convicted of reckless driving April 24 for hitting pedestrian
In a two-day trial that ran into the early-morning hours on April 22, a 12-person jury convicted a Fishersville duo of animal cruelty and maliciously killing a pig by stabbing it in the neck at least 31 times. Aymarie Sutter, 27, was employed as a veterinary assistant at the
It’s the issue former President Barack Obama will focus on, joining people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and HBO’s John Oliver, who consider it the biggest threat to the United States’ representative government. The menace is not one that comes from outside the country, but a homegrown tradition
Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Diantha McKeel said in February that an accelerated opening of Hedgerow Park could be an alternative to allowing biking at Ragged Mountain Natural Area, a controversial city-owned and county-located property on which both governing bodies are at odds about
The University of Virginia received $143 million in biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2016. With President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he plans to cut $5.8 billion from the NIH’s budget, local neuroscientist Kelly Barford says it’s time to march.
Nearly two years after filing a more than $7.5 million defamation suit against Rolling Stone, its parent company and “A Rape on Campus” reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely—and five months after a jury awarded her $3 million—former UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo settled her case, likely for much
The same week the Daily Progress won a whopping 42 awards at the April 8 Virginia Press Association banquet, including 13 first-place plaques, the paper, which is owned by a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, laid off three employees. The Progress, like many other former Media
A 35-year-old former cop made an April 13 appearance in the courthouse attached to the Charlottesville Police Department, where he was employed as a patrol officer when he allegedly pressured a woman to her knees, unzipped his pants and forced her to perform oral sex while on the job. In
So far, seven people seem eager to devote their Monday nights to City Council meetings. The race for two open seats now held by Bob Fenwick and Kristin Szakos, who is not seeking another term, has drawn three Democrats—Fenwick, Heather Hill and Amy Laufer—for the June 13 primary. Traditionally
Most people recoil at the thought of going to the DMV, so when a Department of Motor Vehicles van pulled up to Reid Super-Save Market last Thursday morning, a line of people were already waiting to cash in on the convenience of a mobile office. The DMV’s first office on wheels used a telephone
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has set aside $2 million in its capital improvement budget for the Center at Belvedere, a new senior center that is set for construction in the Belvedere neighborhood next year. And one county resident isn’t happy about the partnership. “I think it is
McAuliffe’s pen In his last year in office, Governor Terry McAuliffe was unable to deliver on a campaign promise to expand Medicaid to 400,000 uninsured citizens, which is supported by 69 percent of Virginians, according to a recent University of Maryland poll. The General Assembly’s Republican
“This is going to be catastrophic.” That was Jeff Koenig’s thought on the second day the fire burned, last April 17, in Shenandoah National Park. Koenig had first laid eyes on the flames the day before, when he pulled his truck up to Two Mile Run Overlook. It was a Saturday afternoon. A fire
Jason Kessler, the right-wing blogger who unsuccessfully petitioned to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office, pleaded guilty today to punching a man while gathering petition signatures, but challenged the victim’s statements outside the Charlottesville General District Court. In the
While Tom Perriello tours the state seeking support for his gubernatorial run, his mom is running her own grassroots campaign, chocolate chip cookie by chocolate chip cookie. During her son’s 5th District congressional campaigns in 2008 and 2010, Linda Perriello took cookies with her everywhere
Trump Winery has applied for temporary visas for another 23 laborers, which it says it cannot find domestically. Earlier this year, it imported six workers to prune grapevines. Critics suggest that if the vineyard, owned by President Donald Trump progeny Eric Trump, paid a living wage, it might
Common sense Things looked dire for Common House last year, when the roof of the previous social club that occupied 206 W. Market St., the 1913 Mentor Lodge, collapsed. But like the “movers and doers” Common House hopes will call the club their home away from home, founders Ben Pfinsgraff,