Dan Catalano



Lives of the parties

Lives of the parties

After a seemingly interminable period of playing coy, former Governor Tim Kaine took to the Interwebs on April 5 to announce (in both English and impressively enunciated Spanish) that he is indeed running for Jim Webb’s soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

Musical chairs

Musical chairs

If the ghost of Thomas Jefferson were to appear at our bedside and grant us one election-altering wish, it would be this: That all redistricting decisions be taken out of human hands and assigned to a robot.

Cheek to cheek

In 2008, Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate, and Cantor suddenly discovered that he wasn’t the only pair of chiseled cheekbones and Chiclets-perfect choppers on the Hill.

Games pols play

What about all of the completely idiotic and outrageous legislation proposed (and occasionally adopted) by our august elected representatives? They didn’t let us down by only introducing practical, common-sense regulations this time around, did they?

Tangled Webb

Unwilling (or unable) to temper his prickly nature, Webb became notorious for brusquely brushing off reporters and refusing to hold his tongue, even when it was in his political interest.

Gun crazy

Gun crazy

In the wake of the recent, horrific attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 20 others in Tucson, Arizona—and with the fourth anniversary of the mass shootings at Virginia Tech fast approaching—the last thing you might expect to see is some dude with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder strolling through the halls of […]

Right makes might

With an electorate that willingly combined the words “Ken Cuccinelli” and “Attorney General,” is there any conservative candidate they wouldn’t vote for?

Dressing up

Since Halloween is right around the corner, we thought it might be a good time to revisit one of the cardinal rules of politics

Opposites attack

Remember when you used to play “opposite day” as a kid? You don’t? O.K., what about Kris Kross, those early ’90s pre-teen rappers who wore their clothes backwards—surely you remember them? No? All right, fine, whatever. The point we’re trying to make is that there are times, especially in the topsy-turvy world of politics, when […]

Does Virginia's new chief justice signal a step forward?

We’d like to kick off this edition of the Odd Dominion by offering our most sincere congratulations to Justice Cynthia Dinah Fannon Kinser, who was recently elected to serve as chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court. This marks the first time a woman has held the post, and follows the equally historic tenure of […]

The best of Ken Cuccinelli

The best of Ken Cuccinelli

 Well, look who’s in the news again. Never one to let a week go by without controversy, last week our indomitable Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli went for a bit of a two-fer. First, his office issued an opinion stating that Virginia’s police and conservation officers “may, like Arizona police officers, inquire into the immigration status […]

McDonnell administration goes to school

McDonnell administration goes to school

A few weeks ago, Governor Bob McDonnell got to indulge in one of the most satisfying acts of log-rolling available to Virginia’s chief executive: the appointing of friends, campaign contributors and the occasional unqualified alum to the state university system’s various governing boards. Now, this quadrennial packing of the Boards is never a pretty sight—it’s […]

What do you do when you can't win 'em all?

What do you do when you can't win 'em all?

 Of all the tiny bits of electoral arcana hidden in the Code of Virginia’s candidates and elections section (24.2-520, for those playing along at home), the most amusingly named has to be the so-called “Sore Loser” law. This little-known provision, probably inserted at the behest of a disgruntled candidate on the losing end of a […]

Virginia pols stay quizzical

As we ease into this year’s post-primary, pre-election lull, we can’t help but gaze back at the first half of this eventful year. And as we do, we’re struck by all of the curious and outrageous news items that we somehow failed to cover the first time around.  So, as a public service to Virginia’s […]

In search of the McDonnell doctrine

In search of the McDonnell doctrine

O.K., so Virginia may not have been founded as an overflow saucer for English debt prisons (unlike certain peach-lovin’ southern neighbors we could name), but we’ve certainly had our share of miscreants and malefactors over the long history of the Commonwealth. And while things aren’t nearly as bad as they could be (this year’s blockbuster […]

The naked truth about Virginia’s flag

The naked truth about Virginia’s flag

 Way back in our very first column we promised that, at some future date, we would explore the obscure origins of our commonwealth’s dominatrix-themed flag (which features, as we so amusingly put it, “a half-naked virgin stomping on a chain-wielding dead guy”). Three years and three months later, it looks like that time has finally […]