Dan Catalano



Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Photo ©Carrie Devorah/WENN

For the moment, the GOP’s standard-bearers are barely standing

Well, that sure didn’t take long! If you had asked us even a month ago which party was the odds-on favorite to sweep this year’s statewide elections, we would have (reluctantly) given the nod to the Republicans. Even though Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a hugely polarizing figure with politics far to the right of […]

Democrat Aneesh Chopra. File photo.

So many primaries, so little time

Okay, we’ll admit it: we’re jealous of you. Why, you ask? Because you are in the future, reading this, while we are stuck in the past, writing it. You are in the process of enduring, or have already endured, Virginia’s primary day, while we can only gaze longingly upon that red-circled Tuesday on our calendar. […]

Intrigue and absolutism at Virginia’s Republican convention

Intrigue and absolutism at Virginia’s Republican convention

When Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli first decided to run for governor, he realized that there was only one thing that could derail his ambition: a primary. Although he could have won a head-to-head contest with his main rival, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, putting his fate in the hands of Virginia’s voters was a risky […]

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Photo ©Carrie Devorah/WENN

Governor Cuccinelli: Seriously, Virginia—you’re actually considering this?

Unlike some pundits we could name, we here at Odd Dominion HQ have never discounted the chances that Virginia’s rabidly right-wing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli could somehow weasel his way into the governor’s mansion. After all, despite the man’s long history of extremist positions and borderline abusive political behavior (like issuing a “Civil Investigative Demand” […]

Sussex County’s annual Shad Planking, once a must-attend event for Virginia pols on either side of the aisle, has drifted far to the right. Photo: Roll Call

Shad Planking marks the end of a bipartisan era

When it comes to political partisanship, Virginia is a case study in voter schizophrenia. While trending increasingly Democratic during presidential years (and having failed to elect a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 2002), it nevertheless has a solidly conservative governor, a stridently right-wing attorney general, and a Republican-dominated House of Delegates that is among […]

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Photo ©Carrie Devorah/WENN

Cuccinelli, McDonnell, and the Star Scientific scandal

Finally! Ever since they caught pompadoured con man “Bobby Thompson” (real name John Donald Cody), who greased many political palms while raking in over $100 million in donations to his fake Navy vets charity, we’ve been living with a terrible emptiness in our scandal-loving soul. Now, we realize that a brazen, wild-eyed sociopath like Cody […]

Bob McDonnell. File photo.

Exit stage right: The inscrutable end of the McDonnell era

Boy, how time flies, eh? It seems like only yesterday that we were appraising the electoral chances of a well-coiffed up-and-comer named Bob McDonnell, who had recently resigned as Virginia’s attorney general to take a shot at the top slot. Our take then was that McDonnell was doing a great job of flying under the […]

Democrat Aneesh Chopra. File photo.

Virginia’s statewide elections heat up

As a rule, Virginia’s statewide elections follow a fairly predictable pattern. The first thing you need to realize is this: Almost everybody wants to be governor. Maybe not this year, but eventually. Which means that whoever is running for lieutenant governor or attorney general invariably has one eye on the big chair (while the governor, […]

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Photo by James Scheuren.

Some Assembly required: Looking back on a tumultuous session

While it’s an imperfect metaphor, we tend to think of the typical General Assembly legislative session as a poorly plotted television series. It may be filled with interesting characters and over-the-top drama, but there are way too many subplots, and it never ends up exactly where you think it should. It’s like, one moment you’re […]

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. File photo.

Off the reservation: Bill Bolling goes his own way

Although we’re sure he doesn’t see it this way, being rejected by his own party might be the best thing that ever happened to Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Think about it: A year ago, Bolling was just a boring party apparatchik whose main function was breaking ties in the evenly divided senate (always in the […]

Virginia's Capitol Building in Richmond. File photo.

Virginia’s senate Republicans play hardball

It says a great deal about the current state of Virginia’s body politic that some idiot with a loaded AR-15 walks into a local Kroger and it barely rates a mention. Indeed, as much as we would like to pen an entire column dedicated to the minuscule size of this particular individual’s brain and manhood, […]

Virginia's Capitol Building in Richmond. File photo.

Profiles in cowardice: Our dissembling General Assembly

In order to at least partly fulfill our New Year’s resolution to accentuate the positive, we’d like to start this column with one for the “credit where credit is due” file. While we’re not usually big fans of Governor Bob McDonnell (to put it mildly), there is one area in which he has been a […]

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. Photo by The Washington Times/ZUMA Press.

House intrigue: Eric Cantor goes his own way, again

It’s been quite a while since we’ve checked in with Virginia’s highest-ranking congressional official, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. But with all of the crazy machinations and momentous decisions roiling the House chamber recently, it’s high time we explored the ongoing adventures of Richmond’s chisel-cheeked representative. Ever since Republicans retook the House in 2010, […]

Notes from the news desk. File photo.

Time to talk about gun laws

Fair warning: If you count yourself among Virginia’s (quite sizable) contingent of second amendment absolutists, you should stop reading now. As we sit here, furiously writing yet another post-gun massacre column, we’re in no mood to tiptoe around the delicate sensibilities of this country’s increasingly unhinged firearm fanatics. In the wake of the horrible slaughter […]

Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon from Springfield who had a surprisingly good run in his bid for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat. Photo by DentedLens Photography.

Thanksgiving leftovers: Political odds and ends

Believe us, we’ve been following Virginia’s electoral ebb and flow long enough to know that late November is a political dead zone. The polls are shuttered, the voting machines have been put away for another year, and everyone wants to just take off and enjoy the holidays. Sure, a few nuggets of real news might […]

Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode. File photo.

Keys to the kingdom: Things to watch for on election day

So here we are. After what seems like the longest presidential campaign in human history, the election is just days away. And, while we are firmly on record predicting an Obama win (both nationally and in Virginia), nothing—and we mean nothing—is ever certain in politics (just ask alternative-universe President Thomas E. Dewey). With that in mind, we […]

Ken Cuccinelli. Photo by Nancy Pastor, Washington Times.

Ken Cuccinelli has a gubernatorial strategy that’s puzzling at best

You know, it’s been quite a while since we’ve checked in on our old pal Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s top cop, would-be governor, and all-around raging conservative id. To be honest, we got more than a little tired of his relentlessly right-wing, incessantly self-promoting prosecutorial stunts. And after the ignominious (and well-deserved) death of his anti-Obama-care […]

Mark Warner on the campaign trail. File photo

Peering into Mark Warner’s political future

O.K., we’re going to go ahead and call it right now: Come November, Barack Obama is going to win Virginia, and with it the presidency, and Tim Kaine is going to ride his coattails into the U.S. Senate. How can we be so sure, you ask? Well, we could easily quote a raft of new […]

Loony legislation looms. File photo.

Virginia General Assembly gears up for the new year

We don’t know about you, but here at Odd Dominion headquarters we are currently mourning the all-too-sudden end of summer, and remain deeply in denial about the rapidly shifting season. Unfortunately, unlike normal people, we live life on a political clock, which means that while most intelligent beings are out galavanting in the sunshine, we […]

Senate hopeful Tim Kaine gave a rousing introduction of Barack Obama during the President's campaign stop in Charlottesville last week. Photo: Sarah Cramer

Convention check-in: Enduring the parties’ parties

Well, here we go again. With the Democratic party spending this week in North Carolina celebrating the re-nomination of President Barack Obama, and the Republicans still cleaning up from their hurricane-shortened coronation of Mitt Romney in Florida, we are once again forced to endure two weeks of tightly scripted, substance-free political theater that combines the intellectual […]

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Photo by James Scheuren.

McDonnell operating below the radar on abortion

Trying to pin down Bob McDonnell’s true agenda is, as the old saying goes, like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. Since the day he was elected, our helmet-haired governor has consistently portrayed himself as a conservative straight shooter focused on righting Virginia’s economy, with little time for social-issue warfare or backstabbing political gamesmanship. […]

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Photo ©Carrie Devorah/WENN

Odd Dominion: Will Cuccinelli and climate skeptics ever learn?

There is, at this very moment, a highly amusing video burning up the YouTubes featuring Aaron Justus, weatherman for Richmond’s CBS affiliate WTVR, delivering an apocalyptic weather report in perfect deadpan. After calmly detailing “a volcanic eruption right near Charlottesville” which will bring local temperatures up to 400 degrees, he explains that the tidewater area […]

The unlikely return of George Allen

The unlikely return of George Allen

Will George Allen’s ability to capitalize on anti-Obama sentiment put him back on the political map? (Washington Time-Zuma Press) Depending on when you’re reading this, Virginia’s ex-governor, ex-senator, and ongoing political punch line George Allen is either a) the presumptive Republican senatorial nominee, or b) the actual Republican senatorial nominee. The chance that he is […]

It's election time again—let the wooing begin!

It's election time again—let the wooing begin!

President Obama made an appearance at Virginia Commonwelath University in Richmond May 5, one of two stops on his first official campaign weekend. Virginia is poised to get plenty of attention from the candidates in the lead-up to the November presidential election. (Zhang Jun/Xinhua/Zumapress.com) Unless you’ve spent the last month spelunking in Luray Caverns, we’re […]