May 14, 2012 Executive BulletinVirginia Insiders poll launch, Presidential/U.S. Senate/Statewide campaign updates, and member news
BE AN INSIDER: Virginia FREE and the Southeastern Institute of Research are proud to announce the Virginia INSIDERS Poll. Business leaders across the state are being invited to participate – all are engaged, informed and influential in Virginia business, politics, public policy, education and government. They come from all ends of the political spectrum and from varying professional backgrounds.
Southeastern Institute of Research (SIR) will conduct the Virginia INSIDERS Poll on our behalf. SIR is an independent marketing research company located in Richmond and has conducted over 14,000 market research studies in their 47 years of existence. Participating is simple. About once a month, INSIDERS will be emailed a short poll made up of just 3 to 4 questions, and they will respond electronically in a matter of one or two minutes. SIR will be out very soon with the first poll.
VIRGINIA FREE ON THE WEB: We have updated the homepage with several video testimonials as part of a long-term project to hear from and showcase business and political leaders across the state. Also, don’t forget to “Like Us” on Facebook and connect to our LinkedIn network. Go to www.vafree.com to see the latest.
U.S. SENATE RACE A DEAD HEAT: The Washington Post poll released last week puts former Governors George Allen and Tim Kaine neck-in-neck for Jim Webb’s Senate seat, keeping the spotlight on Virginia as a key state for both parties this fall.
Here’s the breakdown:
• For the general election, Allen and Kaine are tied at 46 percent each
• Kaine’s favorable match his unfavorable at 41 percent. A year ago, Kaine had a 57-28 approval rating.
• Allen’s favorability has dropped from 52 to 47 percent, while his unfavorability has risen slightly from 28 to 31 percent.
• Allen has the June 12 GOP primary locked up with 62 percent of likely voters. Del. Bob Marshall is at 12 percent, former Virginia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke is at 5 percent, and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson is at 3 percent.
• Among independent voters, Kaine leads Allen barely 46-45 percent.
• Moderates side with Kaine over Allen 53-38 percent.
• Kaine has overwhelming support from African Americans with 84 percent to Allen’s 8 percent. This poll also has President Obama leading Mitt Romney 97-1 among African Americans.
• Allen leads Kaine among male registered voters by 8 points, while Kaine leads among women by 7 points.
Virginia FREE provides frequent updates on Virginia’s congressional races online in the members-only area at www.vafree.com.
CLCIK HERE for the latest congressional campaign money.
CLICK HERE for the current list of Virginia congressional candidates.
CLICK HERE for in-depth information on Virginia’s congressional delegation and districts.
THREE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN VIRGINIA: Before President Obama kicked-off his campaign at Virginia Commonwealth University a week ago last Saturday, Mitt Romney made two stops in the Commonwealth earlier that week. The presumptive Republican nominee was at Crofton Industries in Portsmouth with Rep. Michelle Bachman before headlining a fundraiser with Governor McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Romney delivered the Liberty University commencement speech on Saturday. Obama and Romney are not the only two candidates vying for Virginia’s attention. Homegrown former state senator and Congressman Virgil Goode accepted the Constitutional Party’s nomination and is trying to get on the ballot in at least 40 states.
GOVERNOR’S RACE SHAPING UP: A Public Policy Polling survey released last week shows interesting news about the top of the ticket. Alleged White House party crasher Tareq Salahi recently declared his gubernatorial intentions for the GOP field. Salahi polled at 4 percent in the PPP survey against Cuccinelli and Bolling for the Republican nomination while having a 2-34 favorable-unfavorable rating. Cuccinelli won the hypothetical race overwhelmingly with 51 percent to Bolling’s 23 percent.
As for the general election, the PPP survey has Bolling beating former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe 36-34. A McAuliffe-Cuccinelli race produces a different result, giving the Democrat a 5 point lead at 41 percent to Cuccinelli’s 36 percent.
There is still speculation that U.S. Senator Mark Warner would throw his hat into the ring and run for Governor again. To that rumor McAuliffe has said, “If Mark runs, I'd be the first guy to endorse him. Let's have no ifs, ands or buts about it.” Warner enjoys a 2:1 approval margin that has in fact improved over the last year. While McAuliffe’s candidacy would yield mixed results depending on who the GOP selects, Warner on the other hand, defeats Bolling 53-32 and Cuccinelli 53-33.
In related news, there is a chance that the GOP State Central Committee could reverse its decision to hold a primary and opt instead for a convention. Both Bolling and Cuccinelli have made their choices clear for the preferred method of nomination. Bolling supports a primary; Cuccinelli forces are working to elect enough members to the Party’s governing body who support a convention. Read further HERE and HERE.
Check out Virginia FREE’s current list of announced and potential statewide candidates HERE.
STATEWIDE CANDIDATES JOCKEY FOR 2013: Former State Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis is the latest Republican to send signals that she will be running for statewide office, seeking the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor. She served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, from 1997-2002, before being elected to the State Senate in 2003, where she served for four years. In her first term in the House of Delegates, she was elected as her Republican Freshman Class President, and her peers elected her Majority Whip in her third term–the only Republican woman ever elected to a leadership position in the General Assembly. Jeannemarie was a partner with ICG Government, a technology consulting group, from 2003 until January 2010, when she accepted a position to serve as the Director of the Virginia Liaison Office, in the Office of Governor Bob McDonnell. She graduated from Yorktown High School, in Arlington, VA, and earned a BA in Mathematics from the University of Virginia, in 1978. She is the mother of four daughters and resides in Vienna, VA, with her husband, former Congressman Tom Davis. Check out VAFREE's current list of announced and potential statewide candidates HERE.
VIRGINIA TOPS SITE SELECTION COMPETITIVENESS RANKING: Site Selection magazine has named Virginia the winner of its 2011 Competitiveness Award, which recognizes excellence on the part of a state-level economic development group. For detailed information from Site Selection on Virginia’s award, click HERE.
VAFREE LEADERSHIP FORUM JUNE 11 WITH WARNER & WARNER: An event you don’t want to miss! Be sure to register for the VAFREE Leadership Forum on June 11 featuring U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner and former U.S. Senator John W. Warner at the Ritz-Carlton at Tysons.
Join hundreds of top business, political, education and community leaders for this important forum to focus on bipartisanship and cooperative solutions to address the nation’s spiraling debt.
CLICK HERE for sponsorship information and online registration. Be sure to mark your calendar for JUNE 11. The event is 11 AM – 2 PM so you can avoid rush-hour traffic!
VAFREE member Mike Thompson, President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, has released a new study that is stirring talk of tax reform. The product of more than 18 months of work, the TJ Institute’s report examines prospects for broadening the tax base while lowering rates and eliminating deductions. Nine economic scenarios are modeled in the report to seek a restructuring plan that would help business expand, reduce either the sales tax or the state income tax, eliminate BPOL, Machinery and Tool, and Merchants Capital taxes on business, and broaden the current sales tax on services provided to consumers to pay for the suggested tax reductions. Visit the Institute’s website for the full report.
After 12 years VAFREE member Mark Herzog is leaving the Virginia Biotechnology Association to take a job with Richmond-based Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. Herzog was the first full-time executive director for the association, a nonprofit that represents Virginia’s nearly $13 billion life sciences industry. In the last three years, Virginia Bio successfully lobbied for the passage of Virginia’s Refundable Research and Development Tax Credit, state matching funds for SBIR awards, a state-funded technology commercialization fund (CRCF), a 100% capital gains tax exclusion on investments in bioscience companies, as well as an enhancement of the state’s “Angel Investor Tax Credit” that provides a 50% credit on a bioscience investment up to $50,000.
VAFREE Member Citizens & Farmers Bank has a wonderful online portal to communicate with Head of Retail Banking Matthew Steilberg. You can read a great interview with Steilberg at “Work It, Richmond,” a small-business solution center published by Richmond Newspapers. Says Steilberg about the new online communication portal: “I put it there so anyone – customer or not – could talk directly with me and quickly. I hear compliments, complaints, and suggestions pretty much every day from the emails that come through. I’m usually able to respond within the hour. It’s great.” Go to www.cffc.com and look for the “Talk to the Top” link.