The Washington Times reports that he’ll be stepping down from his post to concentrate on the gubernatorial race full-time:
“For the last three years, I’ve had a terrific opportunity to serve as Virginia’s 44th attorney general,” said Mr. McDonnell, the lone Republican running to replace Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat. “But now it’s time for me to fully begin a new challenge in my life.”
The date allows Mr. McDonnell to continue pushing his legislative agenda in the coming days, but means he will be free from the position’s requirements as the campaign heats up.
The Republican called the attorney general’s position “the best job I’ve ever had” and said he arrived at his decision with a heavy heart. But his resignation follows historical precedent: Every attorney general of either major party who is running for governor has resigned from the position since 1985, McDonnell officials said.
“A campaign for governor demands a full-time candidate,” Mr. McDonnell said. “The office of the attorney general is the commonwealth’s law firm and demands a full-time attorney general.”
This move will give Bob McDonnell a head start on the gubernatorial race while the Democrats fight it out in their primary, an opportunity that Sen. John McCain (who is campaigning for McDonnell next month) largely neglected in his presidential campaign. It will also allow him one more week of fundraising, as the Attorney General of Virginia cannot receive campaign donations during Virginia’s legislative session. This will help him keep his fundraising edge against Terry McAuliffe.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has issued his “Ten Republicans to Watch” list, and Bob McDonnell comes in at number five:
5. Bob McDonnell: McDonnell, Virginia’s attorney general, will be the Republican standard-bearer in the Commonwealth’s gubernatorial race in 2009. Off-year statewide elections are always looked to by the two parties as litmus tests for how each side is doing, and the fact that this campaign will take place in the purple state of Virginia makes McDonnell all the more important. If he wins, it will be seen as a sign that the Republican party is alive and well and living in Virginia. If he loses, he’ll join the Jerry Kilgore Hall of Fame.
I doubt that will happen. In 2005, there wasn’t much party unity behind Kilgore as a gubernatorial nominee. People thought he was too moderate, and there was a feeling that the nominee for lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, would have been stronger in the #1 slot. This cycle, Attorney General McDonnell is the only Republican running for the office, so there won’t be any divisions to heal within the party.
Oh, and did I mention his opponent might be a DNC hack left over from the Clinton Administration?
You can donate to Bob McDonnell’s campaign here.
Take a peek at how Rep. John Murtha is defending himself after calling his constituents racists:
“What I said, that indicted everybody, that’s not what I meant at all. What I mean is there’s still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black,” Murtha said.
Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is rife with racism.
“This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” Murtha told Channel 4 Action News.
Get it, constituents? You’re not racist, you’re just rednecks. Rednecks who are racist.
How this man has managed to spend 34 years in the House of Representatives is beyond me.
You can donate to Bill Russell’s campaign here.
Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator thinks that Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy is tightening his race with Sen. Landrieu.
Help get the race tighter by donating to John Kennedy’s campaign.
The Washington Times has a good profile of the Congressional race in Pennsylvania’s 11th House District between Rep. Paul Kanjorski and Down the Ticket-sponsored candidate Mayor Lou Barletta.
You can donate to Lou Barletta’s campaign here.
Jeff Beatty, who is running for the Senate in Massachusetts, penned an op-ed in Human Events today. He makes a strong case that the Commonwealth’s people just can’t afford six more years of John Kerry (especially with Deval Patrick as the Governor):
Kerry’s shilling for Barack cannot mask what we here already know: The combination of Gov. Deval Patrick and Sen. John Kerry has been devastating for the citizens of Massachusetts. Under Kerry and Patrick, Massachusetts now has one of the nation’s highest property tax burdens, is among the highest in per capita debt, and is one of the few states in the country to be losing population. Now, Governor Patrick is flirting with raising income taxes to wipe away the sins of his Democratic buddies. In short, the Patrick/Kerry movie boils down to a series of broken promises and failed leadership.
Kerry promised people here that the Feds would pick up most of the tab for the Commonwealth’s mammoth infrastructure project called the Big Dig. Instead this project is almost $20 billion and rising over-budget, and mass tax payers are now footing almost the whole bill. Kerry is a staunch opponent of efforts to the repeal the death tax, fails the taxpayer by taking more PAC money than any almost other senator, and has failed to pass a single piece of his sponsored legislation in the past 9 years.
Even people who may be more socially liberal than Jeff Beatty can understand that Massachusetts’ tax burden is just too high. They need someone in office who can call attention to the serial abuses of the public trust that exist in Massachusetts, while standing up for the rights of all Americans.
If Sen. John Kerry has done anything during his time in the Senate, it’s prove that his only constituent is himself.
You can donate to Jeff Beatty’s campaign here.
Allen West will be on at the top of the third hour, or just after 2pm Eastern Time if you’re listening live. If you’re like me and can’t listen to the show live, here is a site where you should be able to find streaming audio throughout the day.
You can donate to Allen West here.
It’s an even handed article, laying out both Pete Olson’s hopes and the challenges he faces wresting Texas’ 22nd District out of the hands of an incumbent Democrat.
You can donate to Pete Olson’s campaign here.
If there were an ethical bone in Gov. Christine Gregoire’s body, I’d certainly be shocked. As is the case with most Democrats, she has the labor unions in her back pocket. However, her involvement with the Service Employees International Union has led to a conflict of interest that she has chosen to ignore. Luckily, Dino Rossi was ready to call her out:
Gregoire is getting a big boost in her campaign from the SEIU, which includes more than 30,000 state workers and is funding ads attacking Rossi. At the same time, Gregoire is involved with contract negotiations to decide the union members’ pay and benefits.
“When you have one party, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, that’s in power for so long, you end up with the appearance of institutional corruption, and that’s what this looks like,” Rossi said.
The complaints don’t stop there. State Republicans suggest there is a pattern that started with a deal Gregoire made with Indian gaming tribes, which helped bankroll the second recount that put Gregoire into office.
Washington is quickly taking Louisiana’s spot as the epicenter of statewide Democratic political corruption. Hopefully Dino Rossi can play Bobby Jindal to Gregoire’s Kathleen Blanco.
You can donate to Dino Rossi’s campaign here.
I saw this during the week, but I thought I’d save it for the weekend. It’s a larger article on various GOP races, but it gives some background on Jason Chaffetz and his campaign:
The 41-year-old Chaffetz is an all-but-certain winner in November, having knocked off Rep. Chris Cannon in the June 24 Republican primary in one of the most conservative and Republican districts in the country. Ideologically, Cannon seemed to fit the district perfectly, except for one thing: his position on immigration. Cannon was among the relatively few conservatives who supported President Bush’s plan for a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants, a position Cannon called compassionate but one that opponents saw as amnesty. In 2004 and 2006, GOP challengers gave Cannon a tough renomination fight.
Chaffetz is the former chief of staff to Gov. Jon Huntsman (and he still holds school records from his days as the placekicker for Brigham Young University’s football team in the late 1980s). Chaffetz jumped into this year’s race calling for the deportation of all illegal immigrants. He also wants to abolish the Department of Education. The first-time candidate surprised both David Leavitt, thought to be the favorite for the nomination, as well as Cannon himself at the state convention in May. Chaffetz received 59 percent of the delegates for the party endorsement; had he gotten just nine more delegates, the race would have been over. The battle thus continued into the primary, where the well-funded Cannon had the endorsement of Bush, both of Utah’s GOP senators, and all of the local newspapers. But Chaffetz had the voters; he defeated Cannon with 60 percent of the vote, and he is a clear favorite to defeat the Democratic nominee, former TV reporter Bennion Spencer, in the general.
This was a high point for me personally this summer, and Jason Chaffetz’ campaign was what inspired me to start this blog. The GOP and America need more Members of Congress who are, like Jason Chaffetz, committed to primcipled conservatism and limited government.
You can donate to Jason Chaffetz’ campaign here.
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell’s primary fight against Rep. Don Young gets a (positive) mention in John Fund’s article on corruption in Alaska politics.
You can donate to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell here.
The New York Times has a great article up (I know, I’m shocked, too) on the new generation of ethical Republicans in Alaska. It includes a mention of Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who is seeking to unseat Rep. Don Young in the August 26 GOP House primary.
You can donate to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign here.
Leading conservative magazine Human Events commented on the state of the House race in California’s 22nd District and finds State Sen. Tom McClintock in a good position to win in November:
The district is very Republican, giving Bush about 60% in both elections. Brown started the third quarter with a cash advantage, because McClintock had spent nearly all his $1.4 million to win the GOP primary. Ose endorsed McClintock afterwards, however, and the GOP vote is likely to unify behind their nominee to save this seat. McClintock is capable of making enemies, and that’s Brown’s best hope.
As the excerpt notes, Tom McClintock needs your help reclaiming the cash advantage over his Democratic opponent. Please donate to Tom McClintock here.
Columnist Bob Novak highlighted the race to represent Pennsylvania’s 11th District yesterday:
Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 71-year-old, 12-term congressman from a solidly Democratic Wilkes-Barre, Pa., district, may be the only incumbent House Democrat to lose in what shapes up as a disastrous 2008 for the Republicans.
Kanjorski is running behind Lou Barletta, the Republican Mayor of Hazleton, Pa., who has made a national reputation as a foe of illegal immigration. Kanjorski has a big money advantage and is waging a substantial television campaign, while Barletta has not yet been on television. But Barletta has 89 percent identification in the district, four to one positive. Kanjorski, who voted against the Iraqi troop surge, has been under fire for saying he “forced” President Bush to make the move.
This comes on the heels of Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post listing this district’s race as one of the 20 most competitive in the nation, and the only one on the list that features a Republican challenger and a Democrat who has served more than one term.
You can donate to Mayor Lou Barletta’s campaign here!