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Christie Now Supports Medicaid Expansion, Why Not McDonnell?

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RICHMOND -- In case you missed it, Josh Vorhees from Slate reported that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey became the latest Republican in a growing list to come out in support of Medicaid expansion, which Governor McDonnell actively opposes.
"In the Commonwealth, Medicaid expansion would provide health coverage to nearly 400,000 Virginians, 33,000 of whom are Virginia's veterans," said DVPA Spokeswoman Ashley Bauman, "Maybe at Thursday's fundraiser McDonnell is hosting for Christie in Northern Virginia he'll have a change of heart and realize that, not only is he leaving millions of federal dollars on the table each day, but expanding Medicaid will also provide coverage to the Virginians who need it most. Governor McDonnell should follow the ever growing chorus of Republican Governors and support the Expansion of Medicaid."

Herring: Public Safety Professionals, Not Teachers, Should Protect Schools

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Richmond, VA - Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement today responding to increasing rhetoric from Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Virginia Republicans suggesting arming Virginia teachers to keep schools safe:

"As we continue to reflect on the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and mourn the losses of the children and teachers who died in that senseless event, it is critical that we consider whether we are doing enough to keep our schools, students and teachers safe.

"This week Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney Ken Cuccinelli and several Virginia legislators including Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator Dick Black have suggested training and arming Virginia teachers in response to this latest tragedy. That is the wrong approach.

"The role of Virginia teachers is to teach. The role of keeping our communities, including our schools, safe belongs to dedicated and hard working police officers and public safety officials across the Commonwealth who have been trained to respond to emergency situations.

"It is critical for elected leaders to do everything in our power to keep those we serve safe - that means acting in the best interest of our communities, not out of a particular political agenda. Virginians deserve a measured and mainstream plan to keep schools safe, not a rash response that blindly puts more guns in our schools, especially without working with our public safety professionals to ensure effective programs are implemented and funded."  

NEW DPVA VIDEO: Virginia Can’t Afford the Allen-Ryan Plan

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George Allen and Paul Ryan agree on their agenda to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans by turning Medicare into a voucher scheme and slashing investments in the middle class.

Virginia Democrats Confront Allen with the Cost of his Campaign Agenda

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Richmond, VA - Today the Democratic Party of Virginia delivered a mock invoice to the campaign headquarters of former Senator George Allen listing the steep cost just two of pieces of his campaign agenda have and would incur to American taxpayers.

Recently two studies put a number on the cost to taxpayers of two of Allen's signature agenda items. Allen strongly advocated that Republicans use last summer's debt ceiling vote as "leverage" to accomplish their partisan goals - the Government Accountability Office announced this week that taking Allen's advice and delaying the vote cost American taxpayers $1.3 billion.

Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office announced this week that Allen's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act would cost taxpayers $109 billion over the next decade.

In recognition of the more than $110 billion Allen's campaign agenda would cost the public before a single vote in his reelection campaign has been cast, Virginia Democrats will deliver an invoice to his office today asking him to account for his costly and reckless agenda.

"This week the GAO and the CBO confirmed what many Virginians already know - giving George Allen another six years in the Senate is a sure way to waste taxpayer resources on a backward, obstructionist agenda that doesn't have a thing to do with creating jobs or opportunity for the middle class," said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.

"After spending six years in the Senate turning a massive surplus into a massive deficit, adding $3 trillion to the debt and voting four times to raise his own pay, former Senator Allen is giving Virginians every indication that he will pick up right where he left off wasting their money on his partisan agenda.

"Of course we don't expect Allen to cough up money to cover the debt his agenda has and would rack up for taxpayers, but he should take accountability for the fiscal recklessness that has weakened our economy, strapped public institutions and created the very debt crisis that he began exploiting for personal political gain last summer and hasn't stopped since."

Below is a graphic version of the invoice that the Democratic Party of Virginia delivered to Allen's office this morning:

Invoice

 

Virginia Democrats Blast George Allen on Reckless, Job-Killing Defense Approach

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RICHMOND - Today, in a response to a Republican Party of Virginia press call slamming Eric Cantor and Bob McDonnell's support of last summer's debt deal the Democratic Party of Virginia responded by further outlining former Senator George Allen's reckless approach to deficit reduction that could put 200,000 Virginia jobs in the defense sector at risk.

"Republicans attacking a debt deal that they negotiated and that their reckless spending and intransigence on new revenues helped necessitate is a monstrous, craven act of political cynicism, said Congressman Connolly. " We need leaders who will work together to find solutions to the challenges we face -- these hypocritical Republican attacks do not move us forward, and neither does George Allen's reckless refusal to accept a deal that goes so far as $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenues.

"Let's be clear about how we got here," added Virginia Senator Barbara Favola. "During his six years in the Senate, George Allen's votes took us from a record surplus to massive deficits and added more than $3 trillion to the national debt.  And, he voted four times to raise his own pay while voting against funding for veterans' benefits and our troops.  George Allen is personally responsible for helping to create the debt crisis we faced last summer."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mark Sickles remarked "It is plain reckless for George Allen to help run up the debt that created this crisis in the first place and then refuse to support last year's bipartisan debt deal as well as any future deal that has as much as a 10:1 ratio of cuts to revenues. If he had had his way and the bipartisan debt deal had gone down, our nation would have been at risk of a default that could have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs across the nation. That's the risk he was willing to run to avoid compromising and it's the risk Virginians would run in sending him back to the Senate."

"As a Delegate who represents the Pentagon as well as thousands of people who work in the defense industry as contractors, let me lead by saying how regrettable it is that George Allen and his Republican supporters would use these cuts as a political football, particularly considering how this deal got done and how we got here in the first place," said Delegate Brink. "Virginians need real leadership and a balanced approach to cut the deficit while protecting our core priorities - Allen had a chance to provide that for Virginians during his first term in the Senate but all we got was more reckless spending and empty partisan rhetoric. And based on his reelection campaign that appears to be all we would get again."  

Virginia Leaders Confront Allen’s Reckless Partisanship

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Richmond, VA - This week Virginia leaders who served in General Assembly while former Senator George Allen was Governor joined together to tell Virginians how their experiences working with Allen differ from his current efforts to cloak himself in bipartisan rhetoric.

Allen, whose reelection campaign has run ads featuring former appointees and advisers praising him for working across the aisle, is known to many Virginians, particularly those who have worked with him, as one of the most abrasively partisan and confrontational public figures in recent Virginia history.

His new campaign to rewrite that history motivated many leaders who worked with him to step forward and set the record straight about how Allen has conducted himself throughout his career in public life.

"George Allen is a lot of things - but a bipartisan coalition-builder is not among them," said Delegate Ken Plum on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

"We all remember Allen for encouraging fellow Republicans to 'enjoy knocking [Democrats'] soft teeth down their whining throats,' and his inauguration address in which he devoted the bulk of his speech to trashing the Democrats with whom he would have to work in order to get anything done. This new bipartisan rhetoric is tough to take from a Governor who was criticized for 'politicizing every nook and cranny of state government,' and 'forever changing Virginia politics from a genteel pursuit to a contact sport.'"

On the same call Senator Louise Lucas recalled the experience of Allen's 1995 budget in which he attempted to ram a $2.1 billion tax cut through the legislature and pay for it by cutting schools, law enforcement and support for Virginia seniors. Allen relented on his plan only after Virginia businesses and three former Governors publicly condemned the plan and the damage it would do to Virginia schools.

"No one's interests are served if politicians value confrontation and partisanship ahead of what's best for this Commonwealth," said Lucas.

Later Wednesday on the Charlottesville Right Now radio program with host Coy Barefoot, former Delegate and House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong discussed Allen's approach to public service and how it differs from his current bipartisan rhetoric.

"Virginia campaigns have always been fierce, but after they were over with everybody put them aside and tried to work together," said Armstrong. "George Allen was the first time that partisan, smash-mouth politics descended upon Richmond.

"Hearing him now made me wonder when this new kinder, gentler George Allen showed up."

As Allen continues his attempts to paper over a record as "the most partisan chief executive in modern Virginia history" as described by the Virginian-Pilot, officials who served with Allen throughout his career will conduct events, briefings and interviews around the Commonwealth reminding Virginians of how he has gone about their business.

They will also continue to demonstrate to Virginians how Allen's willingness to put his own political agenda ahead of their best interests guides his agenda even in his current campaign. On Wednesday's conference call Sen. Lucas said:

"Allen took that same partisan approach to Washington, where he voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time and helped authorize two wars, a huge Medicare expansion and tax cuts for the wealthy without paying for any of them.

"Virginians don't need a Senator who will go back and support Paul Ryan's disastrous budget, push personhood at the federal level and continue to favor tax cuts for oil companies over tax breaks for tuition. That approach didn't serve Virginians well the first time he served in the Senate and it would not serve them well again."

Background:

While Governor, Allen Started "Confrontations That Forever Changed Virginia Politics From A Genteel Pursuit To A Contact Sport." The AP reported that Allen's dealings with the General Assembly involved, "confrontations that forever changed Virginia politics from a genteel pursuit to a contact sport." [Associated Press, 9/28/2000]

Virginian-Pilot: "Allen Has Been The Most Partisan Chief Executive In Modern Virginia History And The Battle Lines Have Been Clearly Drawn Between The Two Parties." [The Virginian-Pilot, 8/16/95]

Virginian-Pilot: "Never In This Century Has Virginia Seen Such Partisanship At The Highest Levels Of Government." John Goolrick of the Virginian-Pilot wrote, "Now George Allen, a Republican, is the state's chief executive and at this juncture seems likely to be remembered in the future for three things - virtually abolishing parole for repeat violent offenders, economic-development incentives and his combative, highly partisan battles with the General Assembly. Indeed, never in this century has Virginia seen such partisanship at the highest levels of government."  [John Goolrick, The Virginian-Pilot, 9/13/95]

Allen Left A "Smash-Mouth Legacy" As Governor. The AP reported, "And his smash-mouth legacy was not lost on partisan politics either. In a 1995 speech urging Republicans to work toward a GOP majority in that year's legislative elections, he exhorted the faithful to 'enjoy knocking their soft teeth down their whiny throats.'" [Associated Press, 9/28/00]

Roanoke Times Editorial: Virginia Has Suffered "From Allen's Evident Fondness For Politicizing EveryNook And Cranny Of State Government." [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 12/7/95]

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Virginia Democratic Women’s Caucus and DPVA Deplore Cuccinelli’s Decision on Abortion Regulations

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Richmond, VA - Today, the Virginia Democratic Women's Caucus and the Democratic Party of Virginia released the following statement deploring the decision of Attorney General Cuccinelli to ignore the recommendations of the Board of Health, Virginia women, and doctors to impose his own personal and political agenda against reproductive health care.

"The Attorney General's refusal to comply with the decision is both unacceptable and dangerous. Allowing women's health centers to close due to partisan action and depriving women of access to basic health care such as contraception and screenings for cancer is bad for women and bad for the Commonwealth," said Chair of the Virginia Democratic Women's Caucus Rachel Rifkind.

"Cuccinelli has shown he will stop at nothing to put his political priorities over those of Virginia's women," said DPVA First Vice-Chair Gaylene Kanoyton. "Virginia's women deserve an Attorney General who puts partisan politics aside and uses his position to serve and protect those he was elected to represent."  

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