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One of the most egregious errors of the “abuser fee” debate is the fact that the fines apply only to Virginians, and not to out of state drivers. 

So VOM’s crack bookies and oddsmakers did a bit of research in the past bills… was it the dastardly House Republicans who did this nefarious deed???

House Passed Version – Applies to Residents and Non-Residents

§ 46.2-206.1. Imposition of certain additional fees on certain drivers.

B. The civil remedial fees established by this section shall be assessed on any resident of Virginia operating a motor vehicle on the highways of Virginia, including persons to whom Virginia driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, or learner’s permits have been issued pursuant to this title; persons operating motor vehicles without licenses or whose license has been revoked or suspended; and persons operating motor vehicles with a license issued by a jurisdiction outside Virginia.

Guess not… well then, it must of been those crotchety old Senate Republicans ramming this through in conference!

General Assembly Conference Report – Applies to Residents and Non-Residents

§ 46.2-206.1. Imposition of certain additional fees on certain drivers.

B. The civil remedial fees established by this section shall be assessed on any resident of Virginia operating a motor vehicle on the highways of Virginia, including persons to whom Virginia driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, or learner’s permits have been issued pursuant to this title; persons operating motor vehicles without licenses or whose license has been revoked or suspended; and persons operating motor vehicles with a license issued by a jurisdiction outside Virginia.

Ooo… strike two!  Then who on earth deleted the line stating that out-of-state drivers would have to pay the same fines as taxpaying Virginians?

Governor’s Substitute§ 46.2-206.1. Imposition of certain additional fees on certain drivers.

B. The civil remedial fees established by this section shall be assessed on any resident of Virginia operating a motor vehicle on the highways of Virginia, including persons to whom Virginia driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, or learner’s permits have been issued pursuant to this title; and persons operating motor vehicles without licenses or whose license has been revoked or suspended.


We give this our four-toupee salute.  Or perhaps a four Jim-Moran-punching-a-kid salute

Ouch, Mr. Speaker!


Almost like the real thing!

(h/t to VJP)

Another American icon passes away.

Given the July 4th holidays, we figured it would be pretty quiet in the blogosphere.  Some movement in the Big Line over last week,  and our weekly Blog Rankings are up!

…the GOP’s a comin’!

Veteran Republicans say they have quietly raised millions of dollars for a pair of nonprofit organizations that will launch this fall with the ambitious aim of providing a conservative counterweight to the liberal, has learned.

The eight-year-old MoveOn family of organizations — which boast a deep fundraising base, including major support from liberal financier George Soros — has become synonymous with the left’s ability to influence elections outside the party structure. Political Action says it raised $31.9 million in 2004. It spent much of that to try to defeat President Bush.

Whether this arrives in time to influence the 2007 Virginia elections remains to be seen, but as we’ve seen from Act Blue Virginia’s activity, the netroots are a Democratic advantage unrivaled anywhere, and especially effective in places like Northern Virginia.

Interesting analysis by Kenton Ngo over at 750 Volts:

While the Republican coalition splinters, the Democratic coalition grows no stronger. I would credit a good portion of current gains for the Democratic side to simple disgust with the Republicans. In the zero-sum game of two-party politics, the Democrats have found themselves on the up and up. As Democrats grow insulated in one-party rule, their common enemy–George W. Bush–will have been castigated to the dustbins of history. I see no signs that the party can maintain unity after George W. Bush. I remain optimistic only because the Republicans are markedly less able to.

People are sick of both parties, just less so with the Democrats than Republicans?

What is interesting here is that both parties seem to be sick with the same flu. Liberals, progressives, and populists tear at one another on the left, while conservative, libertarians, and moderates tear at one another on the right.

Sounds about right. Question is, who is holding things together (on either side)?

The Bush-Kennedy-Reid immigration plan is dead (again).

Score one for conservative bloggers.  What the netroots do for the Democrats in fundraising, the netroots do for the Republicans on issues and policy.

Virginia Federalist (a pseudonymously run blog) has been running a great series on blog ethics.  You can read the first three installments below:

This is following in the wake of at least two websites devoted solely to the topic of blogging ethics in Virginia, notably God Save Virginia and Blogging Ethics, most of whom are following in the wake of the hibernating Shaun Kenney weblog, a long time defender of ethical blogging (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and in his swan song here)

Most of these sites have inspired themselves in the wake of Ben Tribbett’s IP implosion, Lowell Feld’s continuing hackery at Raising Kaine, and the content and tactics employed in the 24th Senate District race by the SWACers

We here at VOM want to know your thoughts.  What makes an ethical blogger?  Should there be a code of ethics?  Obviously, we’re all pseudonyms, but as the tabloid bloggers start to implode and the greater Virginia blogosphere (Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian) becomes more sensitive to the unethical blogs, what’s next?

Sic Semper Tyrannis’s Norm Leahy blasts Lowell Feld at Raising Kaine for a blatantly dishonest attack on AG McDonnell.

This is what is so disgusting about the blogosphere, and what we hope to reform.

Anyone paying attention to the 87th HOD race?  Paula Miller is in real trouble against Republican Henry Giffin

If Giffin can keep up the fundraising, Miller may be in her last term.  Of course on the flip side, the 88th District race between Mark Cole and Carlos Del Toro is a dead heat in terms of fundraising.

Of course, one might instantly point towards $11K of self-financing and $5K from Act Blue Virginia for Del Toro… but that’s not good news.  More on this Democratic advantage later…

The resident VOM liberal disagrees with this post.  VOM’s conservative and libertarian asked for some clarification (just what are the Democrats running on this year?) and she verbally berated us.

 …which must mean Brian is right!

 Of course, the DPVA does have an agenda, to which the RPV rightly responded.  Still, BD has a point.

Insight from Virginia Virtucon on the successor to Ed Gillespie over at RPV.

…they’re not really “rankings” as in the best blog.  Think of it more as Newsweek’s Conventional Wisdom column (and all of the comments are in jest — sorry BVBL).

This is no surprise, but this debacle is going to haunt Creigh Deeds for some time:

“I was concerned about the public perception, No. 1,” said Deeds, narrowly defeated for attorney general in 2005. “Frankly, the perception thing was the main thing. I couldn’t get around it.”

Public perception? Or ethics, Creigh?

Frankly, this was poorly handled by Deeds from the get go. Deeds should never have put forward that bill in the General Assembly to allow him to run for governor while still perched at Hirschler Fleischer.

As it stands now, Deeds has a cloud of poor ethical judgment hanging over his gubernatorial campaign, but it seriously impairs DPVA’s efforts to use ethics as an issue against Senate Republicans in ’07.  The good news is Creigh has plenty of time to right the ship for the inevitable clash against Brian Moran in ’09.

How Andy Hurst’s unsuccessful bid for VA-11 (Davis) performed via donation strength

Interesting analysis, though the prescription for why this was the case is a bit of a stretch.  Still, an analysis of all of the 2006 races in Virginia might be a look worthy of the mind of Kenton Ngo (or an equal, if one exists).

It has come to our attention as we were bouncing the Blog Rankings back and forth that Democratic bloggers have been perniciously quiet as of late.  VB Dems had a pretty good post (with a song we had to look up to get the joke), but nothing big other than the IP outing of DPVA 11th District member George Burke (Thomas Paine Patriot).

Strange happenings.  It just seems as if we’re overblown on GOP bloggers making waves in the kiddie pool right now.

State Democrats are touting their new “21/51″ logo, which must mean they hope to take back the General Assembly by 2151. By their agenda, that’s about the earliest it’ll happen.

Brian Kirwin over at Bearing Drift effortlessly destroys the “21/51” argumentation, which marks the second time the Democrats memos have been slapped down by Republicans in a week.

Sources say this is a new tactic of the DPVA overall — talking point memos to the base and press that force Republicans to respond in-kind. Such a strategy might work, but only if the Democrats emerge on ideas rather than snarky memos.

At best, this is showing why Republican bloggers in Virginia really aren’t in such a bad spot, and why the 2007 General Assembly GOP majority may ultimately prove to be intractable come 2007.

Waldo Jaquith takes folks to task for anonymous commentary, delving into the catfight between DPVA and the progressive netroots.

IPs can be tracked, usually back to a server.  IPs can also be spoofed using proxy servers and the like. 

Amazing how after the primaries, the blogs go to war:

  • RK and NLS vs. DPVA (re: 11th District and primary candidates)
  • Jaquith vs. Kilo (re: anonymous comments and “liars”)
  • Too Conservative vs. NOVA Town Hall (re: general hatred of all things TC)

For those of us not familiar with the term, a “flame war” is a running exchange of words in the comments section of a post.  Mostly nasty, vitriolic stuff.

We’d rank them, but that might spoil the fun.  Frankly, we’d much rather side with Mr. Ledbetter and be done with it:

I know we’ve all gotten our feathers in a ruffle after this past Tuesday’s primary elections, but we really don’t need to be so uncivil with each other, do we? If Waldo made a mistake, I trust him to have the integrity to admit it. And if he didn’t make a mistake, then I expect he’ll offer evidence to bolster his position.

Either way, I think we’d all be advised to step back a bit, take a deep breath, and do our best to conduct ourselves in a manner appropriate of the esteemed title, “Virginian.”

Amen to that.

Got a chuckle out of the DPVA memo sent to the incoming chairman for RPV.  Got an even better laugh out of RPV’s response.

This is going to be a great election season.

Welcome to VOM!

Welcome to the first post on Virginia Oddsmaker!

This site is designed for two reasons.  First, there isn’t a good, credible blog in Virginia that takes an objective look at the races.  Some sites used to do this, other sites claim to do this.  Most sites are just bitter poltical hackery, and we think the blogs should be about something more.

Second, this website came around as part of a discussion in December 2006.  Some of the ideas were stolen, others added as certain “blog controversies” came to the forefront.  There are a litany of Republican and Democratic (and Libertarian) bloggers we’d like to thank, but that would take time.

The goal of this site is to provide some means of getting the filth out of the blogosphere and try to provide some degree of honesty in the the rumormill.  With a tri-partisan team here, we feel as if this is the best way to sort out what is and what is not relevant.  Call it a weariness with the way things have been done, call it a response to blogs without editors.  We’re here to help.

No one side is going to be happy with everything what will be here.  That’s a good thing. 

No one side is going to be pleased with our race rankings or our blog rankings.  Good.

No one side is going to be satisfied with our checking of facts and information.  We’ll do our best, anyway.

In the end, we hope VOM will become a resource readers can trust, both for content and fact-checking.  In the meantime, if you have any thoughts, ideas, recommendations, or just want to shoot the breeze feel free to contact us at!

  • Virginia Big Line

    Tips? E-mail us at Virginia Oddsmaker

    1st Senate District
    (R) Tricia Stall (3-1)
    Tricia continues to plow ahead with grassroots and phones...
    (D) John Miller (5-1)
    Still a lackluster effort... we've yet to see the spark that is going to make this a win.
    6th Senate District
    (R) Nick Rerras (3-1)
    Democrats aren't going away, but neither is Rerras...
    é (D) Ralph Northam (5-1)
    Astroturf for grassroots won't make up for fundraising advantage
    11th Senate District
    é (R) Steve Martin (2-1)
    Martin knows his district and represents it well...
    ê (D) Alex McMurtrie (5-1)
    Self-financed candidate, but where are the grassroots?
    13th Senate District
    (R) Fred Quayle (2-1)
    This one is out of reach for the Democrats
    ê (D) Steve Heretick (7-1)
    Credible candidate, wrong district.
    17th Senate District
    (D) Edd Houck  (2-1)
    Edd gets hit on immigration... abuser fee stunt wasn't all that great.
    é (R) Chris Yakabouski (5-1)
    Good hit on illegal immigration makes Yak a leader... no Edd signs in Spotsy either!
    20th Senate District
    ê (D) Roscoe Reynolds (3-1)
    Joe Stanley and Ben Tribbett come to the rescue?
    é (R) Jeff Evans (3-1)
    Great blog hit on Roscoe makes the Dems bring in the heavy artillery!
    22nd Senate District
    é (R) Ralph Smith (2-1)
    That cracking sound you hear from Roanoke???
    ê (D) Michael Breiner (8-1)'s the sound of the Brenier campaign's back being broken.  This race is done.
    24th Senate District
    (R) Emmett Hanger (2-1)
    Grassroots still on fire... infighting doesn't help.
    (D) David Cox (6-1)
    Conservative vs. moderate infighting is getting worse...
    ê (L) Arin Sime (15-1)
    STD says "no thanks" to Sime, Myron Rhodes.
    26th Senate District
    (R) Mark Obenshain (2-1)
    Obenshain for AG?  Not yet... first things, first.
    (D) Maxine Roles (6-1)
    Tough, tough uphill climb in the Valley.
    27th Senate District
    (R) Jill Holtzman-Vogel (2-1)
    Still plugging along, campaign staff changes a bit odd.
    é (D)  Karen Schultz (5-1)
    Tate aftermath helping Schultz a bit...
    28th Senate District
    (R) Richard Stuart (2-1)
    Chichester's money, Howell's politics... but Stafford could prove problematic.
    ê (D) Albert Pollard (5-1)
    Stupid debate attack on Stuart for prosecuting drug lords...
    29th Senate District
    ê (D) Chuck Colgan (3-1)
    Lackluster fundraising makes this race officially a toss-up.
    é (R) Bob Fitzsimmonds (3-1)
    Strong fundraising makes this challenger race a potential GOP pick-up.
    33rd Senate District
    ê (D) Mark Herring (3-1)
    More money, favorable demographics leans this race left.
    é (R) Patricia Phillips (5-1)
    Surprisingly strong showing in fundraising...
    34th Senate District
    (R) Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (3-1)
    Strong fundraising advantage, plenty more where that came from...
    ê (D) Chap Petersen (4-1)
    Hits JMDD on abuser fees... shortly after waffling on them himself.  duh.
    37th Senate District
    é (R) Ken Cuccinelli (3-1)
    Good fundraising, great grassroots, and on the offensive against very liberal opposition.
    ê (D) Janet Oleszek (5-1)
    Downgrade here... Janet just isn't getting the traction against a strong Cuccinelli campaign
    39th Senate District
    ê (R) Jay O'Brien (3-1)
    O'Brien is in the fight of his life here...
    é (D) George Barker (5-1)
    Finally a bump that is earned.  Barker is making the push...
    1st House District
    é (R) Terry Kilgore (2-1)
    Terry's got nothing to worry about here...
    ê (D) Jerry Taylor (10-1)
    Best o' luck, me boy-o
    5th House District
    (R) Bill Carrico (3-1)
    Close NOVA matchup
    é (D) Suzie Dixon-Garner (4-1)
    Picking up steam, getting stronger
    6th House District
    (R) Anne Crockett-Stark (3-1)
    Tough district, but managable
    ê (D) Bill Thomas (4-1)
    Needs more $$$ to make this seriously competitive
    7th House District
    ê (D) Peggy Frank (3-1)
    Slack fundrasing made this a contest...
    é (R)  Dave Nutter (3-1)
    Strong fundraising, competitive campaign.
    9th House District
    é (D) Eric Ferguson (3-1)
    Fundraising advantage, previous campaign in '05, good district to work from
    é (R) Charles Poindexter (4-1)
    Heck of an effort, isn't going down or away without a fight!
    11th House District
    (D) Lee Ware (2-1)
    Roanoke Dem has six figures in the warchest
    é (I) Mac MaCadden (9-1)
    Doubt this will become interesting; $10K is a voice.
    13th House District
    é (R) Bob Marshall (2-1)
    Uber-conservative benefits from abuser fee opposition...
    ê (D) Bruce Rommelt (6-1)
    Ain't.  Gonna.  Happen.
    14th House District
    é (R) Danny Marshall (2-1)
    Silly Dems... "silly" as in even Gov. Kaine defended Marshall...
    ê (D) Adam Tomer (6-1)
    Kindly say "thanks" to the Joint Democratic Caucus for ruining your shot...
    16th House District
    ê (R) Donald Merricks (3-1)
    Heir to Robert Hurt has a tough race/district
    é (D) Andy Parker (3-1)
    Good district for the Dems...
    19th House District
    é (I) Lacey Putney (2-1)
    Sizeable warchest barely makes this a race
    (D) Lewis Medlin (6-1)
    Why is he "medlin" in this race?  Is this mic on?
    21st House District
    (R) John Welch (3-1)
    Fundraising and name ID are the kickers...
    é (D) Bob Mathieson (4-1)
    Nice warchest makes this a potential D pickup.
    26th House District
    é (R) Matt Lohr (2-1)
    Solid district, good warchest, good name ID.
    ê (D) Carolyn Frank (6-1)
    Tough race... needs the cash and the grassroots to be serious.
    28th House District
    (R) Bill Howell (2-1)
    It's the Speaker of the House... what's the big deal?
    é (D) Clyde Matthews (6-1)
    Abuser fees!
    31st House District
    é (R) Scott Linamfelter (2-1)
    No one outworks Scott...
    ê (D) Bill Day (5-1)
    Tough district, tough race, not enough cash (yet)
    32nd House District
    ê (D) David Poisson (3-1)
    Lots of cash may make this R district tough to win...
    é (R) Lynn Chapman (4-1)
    ...but Lynn is the next Paul Harris for the RPV.  Good district too.
    33rd House District
    ê (R) Joe May (3-1)
    Rumors of poor staff and conservative opposition put this seat in play.
    é (D) Marty Martinez (4-1)
    Good fundraising performance and a mobilized grassroots game... watch out!
    34th House District
    ê (R) Dave Hunt (3-1)
    Callahan's old district; big ol' target on it.
    é (D) Maggie Vanderhye (3-1)
    Excellent showing for cash, inside the beltway, and good grassroots...
    35th House District
    é (D) Steve Shannon (2-1)
    Warchest looks OK, district looks good.
    (R) Arthur Purves (6-1)
    Knew it was a tough race, jumped in anyway.  Working hard, too.
    40th House District
    é (R) Tim Hugo (2-1)
    Tough district, nice warchest, good network of volunteers.
    ê (D) Rex Simmons (5-1)
    Gotta rely on something other than ActBlue and demographics...
    45th House District
    (D) David Englin (3-1)
    There's no crying in baseball!
    é (R) Mark Allen (4-1)
    Can Republicans win in NOVA?  This race will say a lot if it's won...
    50th House District
    (R) Jackson Miller (3-1)
    Short line to cash, didn't have much time in the House...
    é (D) Jeannette Rishell (4-1)
    Is bringing the wood... will probably get a big line upgrade by Labor Day...
    51st House District
    (R) Faisal Gill (3-1)
    Will have to overcome rumors, get on issues to carry the day.
    é (D) Paul Nichols (3-1)
    Potential Dem pickup due to nasty GOP primary...
    52nd House District
    é (R) Jeffery Frederick (2-1)
    $330K in the bank.  Yes, $330K....
    ê (D) Chris Brown (6-1)
    Can't use the abuser fees on Jeffy... don't see this one happenin'.
    54th House District
    (R) Bobby Orrock (2-1)
    Gets token opposition... but this, plus abuser fees, plus a skimpy warchest means effort.
    é (I) Kimbra Kincheloe (6-1)
    Ever hear of VVAW?  You will after this...
    59th House District
    ê (I) Watt Abbitt (3-1)
    This one is going to be close...
    é (D) Connie Brennan (3-1)
    Can the Albemarle Dems reach out to rural African-American voters?
    67th House District
    ê (D) Chuck Caputo (3-1)
    Was gifted the 67th in 2005, won't be so easy this time...
    é (R) Mark Cadin (3-1)
    Caputo has the cash advantage, but everything else points to this as a pick-up.
    68th House District
    ê (I) Katherine Waddell (4-1)
    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
    é (R) Manoli Loupassi (3-1)
    Nice warchest, would be stronger if not a three-way race.
    (D) Bill Grogan (4-1)
    Three way race is the only bit of bright light, but his cash flow looks OK
    72nd House District
    é (R) Jim Massie (2-1)
    Henrico's GOP won't let this one go.
    ê (D) Tom Herbert (8-1)
    Not a chance...
    78th House District
    (R) John Cosgrove (2-1)
    May have to get the lead out on grassroots and fundraising, but should be OK
    (D) Michael Meyer (6-1)
    Tough contest in this district... and Cosgrove isn't going to lay down for long
    82nd House District
    é (R) Harry Purkey (2-1)
    Coming back from '05 challenge, Purkey needs a bit more cash
    (D) Bob MacIver (5-1)
    Running hard... if he gets more cash in the bank, this could become quite competitive.
    83rd House District
    (R) Chris Stolle (3-1)
    A conservative named Stolle?  GASP! 
    é (D) Joe Bouchard (3-1)
    Still running behind Stolle, but running well.
    86th House District
    (R) Tom Rust (2-1)
    OK district, but huge fundraising advantage
    é (D) Jay Donahue (5-1)
    Been running a very skillful race... we're impressed, anyhow.
    87th House District
    ê (D) Paula Miller (4-1)
    ... is in trouble, and not the kind of trouble easily gotten out of
    é (R) Hank Giffin (3-1)
    Admiral Giffin is doing everything right in a district he should win.  GOP pickup here.
    88th House District
    é (R) Mark Cole (2-1)
    Slow and steady fundraising, slow and steady candidate. 
    ê (D) Carlos del Toro (5-1)
    "Jabba del Toro" isn't walking his district as he should...
    96th House District
    é (R) Brenda Pogge (3-1)
    Nagging Noll is a nuisance negating notions of near-sighted nanny-staters
    ê (D) Troy Farlow (5-1)
    Translation: Tell Noll to shut up if you want to win.
  • Virginia Oddsmaker (VOM) is a non-partisan, collaborative blog on Virginia politics, focusing on real news, rumors, gossip worth paying attention to, and fact-checking the blogs and the MSM.

  • VOM Blog Stats

    • 16,175 visitors placing their bets
  • TOP VA BLOGS (08-22-07)
    é 1.  Virginia Virtucon
    Drops NLS's drawers.  Everyone laughs.
    é 2.  Raising Kaine
    The Dems owe everything to Lowell Feld, that is painfully obvious.
    é 3.  Leslie Carbone
    Steps up and levels Ben Tribbett on the ODBA/NAMBLA stuff
    é 4.  SWAC Girl
    Transitioning from SWACtion zealot to den mother of the Republican blogs.
    ê 5.  Not Larry Sabato
    If what is rumored is true, Ben Tribbett may be facing some serious legal problems...
    ê 6.  VB Dems
    Attending RPVB meetings now...
    é 7.  Now at the Podium
    Quickly becoming the resident conscience of the Virginia blogosphere.
    é 8.  The Ward View
    Yes, eight is probably way too low...
    ê 9.  Black Velvet Bruce Li
    BVBL is at 1,100 readers a day... not the 10K reported in the WaPo???
    ê 10. The Daily Whackjob!
    We love these guys... but they got sucker punched by Tribbett.
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