Tag Archives: Phil Puckett

VPAP’s top news stories for 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia Public Access Project, more commonly known as VPAP, polled their subscribers and 475 participated (including me) with their responses about the top news stories for 2014 (see Top News Stories for 2014):

More than 475 VaNews subscribers participated in our annual top stories survey. Here is the result:

Story that will have most asting impact on Virginia:
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Preview: Ed Gillespie’s new TV ad … ‘Changed’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The newest ad from the Gillespie campaign is out and will begin airing Saturday: “Senator Mark Warner’s actions in relation to a matter under FBI investigation, and he refuses to answer questions about his role in the scandal. In what has been described as ‘raw, ugly politics,’ Senator Warner ‘dangled a lifetime appointment to the federal bench’ in an effort to help Governor Terry McAuliffe expand Obamacare in Virginia.” From the Gillespie campaign: Continue reading

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Sabato: ‘This is not a good development for Mark Warner’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“This is not a good development for Mark Warner.” — Dr. Larry Sabato, political pundit, 10/15/2014

Since Monday night’s debate between Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie that the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin called Warner’s debate from hell and noting that Gillespie had drawn blood, Warner has ducked from reporters and is keeping a low profile while Puckettgate continues to grow.

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Warner-Puckett fallout: ‘Brainstorming? Is that what they’re calling it these days?’

Mark Warner w ObamaBy Lynn R. Mitchell

During Monday night’s Virginia U.S. Senate debate between Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie that took place in Richmond, Warner flitted around the issue of Puckettgate, the black cloud that is now hanging over Richmond concerning Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett’s resignation earlier this year. Puckett’s leaving handed control of the senate to Republicans and blocked Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s hopes to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (see Warner, Gillespie spar over Puckett scandal, energy, Ebola).

The reasons for what played out are varied (see Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial Warner should come clean):

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October surprise for Mark Warner? Game changer for Virginia?

Mark WarnerBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Fallout from the former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett case in the Virginia General Assembly seems to have now hit U.S. Senator Mark Warner (see Warner discussed job for Puckett’s daughter by Laura Vozzella in the Washington Post).

October surprise? Game changer for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat that was thought to be safely in Democratic control?

In a race that has seen the polls tighten in Republican challenger Ed Gillespie’s favor — once polling down almost 30 points and now has closed the gap to 10 — these final three weeks are very important. This one seems even more so because, while Gillespie already had momentum moving in his favor before the latest news broke, revelations on Friday that Warner may have been a part of the Democratic push-back at Puckett have been both surprising and revealing.

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U.S. Senate debate tonight … Warner-Puckett questions will be elephant in room

Ed GillespieBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The past two days have not been good for U.S. Senator Mark Warner since it was reported in the Washington Post his alleged connection concerning former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett (see Warner discussed job for Puckett’s daughter by Laura Vozzella):

The son of a former Virginia state senator has told federal investigators that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner discussed the possibility of several jobs, including a federal judgeship, for the senator’s daughter in an effort to dissuade him from quitting the evenly divided state Senate.

Warner was part of a string of high-powered Virginia Democrats who in early June pressed then-state senator Phillip P. Puckett not to go through with plans to give up his seat in the middle of a bitterly partisan battle over health care.

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Remind me … what is quid pro quo?

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Washington Post published the transcript of a potentially explosive voicemail allegedly from Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Chief of Staff Paul Reagan that was left on then-State Senator Phil Puckett’s phone before his resignation from the state senate (see Transcript: Voicemail from McAuliffe’s chief of staff).

The voicemail, published Thursday night, includes this:

If there’s something that we can do for her [Puckett’s daughter], I mean, you know, we have a couple of big agencies here that we still need agency heads. We could potentially, potentially, subject to approval of the governor and so forth, you know, the department of mines, minerals and energy could be available. … We just need you really, we need you for the rest of your term and beyond, but in the immediate future, we need you to help us get this Medicaid deal through and I think we’ve got a way to do it. So anyway, please let’s keep all this confidential.

Quid pro quo: something for something.

Of course, if this proves to be true, the first question would be, “Who provided the voice mail? And why?”

Read the entire transcript here.

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From Nancy Russell: This is how 7th Congressional District money was distributed

By Lynn R. Mitchell

From Madam Chairman Nancy Russell of the Hanover County Republican Committee in regards to the distribution of donations from the 7th Congressional District funds:

I know there are a whole host of comments circulating the web regarding Wednesday night’s 7th District meeting regarding the disposition of funds in 7th District Accounts. I have been a member of the committee since 2011 and have voted on disbursements each year. The 7th District has always had a large amount of money available due to the success of fund raising efforts to the Cantor Victory Fund. The large majority of the donations made to this fund were in the $10,000 range from donors outside of the 7th District.
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Breaking news: Phil Puckett resigns from state senate — UPDATED with Gov. McAuliffe statement

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Reporter Jim Nolan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett, 66, has resigned throwing Democrats into the minority and noted:

Puckett’s stunning resignation throws Democratic budget strategy into chaos by opening the way for Republicans to seize control of the chamber and reorganize its committees with GOP majorities.

Family reasons have been cited as the reason for the sudden resignation but there’s more in Nolan’s article. Stay tuned as this story develops….

UPDATED Sunday at 10 pm: Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) issued a statement Sunday evening about Senator Puckett’s resignation:

“I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially in Southwest Virginia. This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap.”

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