House Chairman Pledges Action on Immigration

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday pledged action on immigration overhaul legislation even as most of the attention on Capitol Hill is focused on fights over the budget and debt. Rep. Bob Goodlatte said the immigration issue needs to be solved and work is happening behind the scenes toward that goal.

His committee already has approved a bill on agricultural workers, one on high-skilled visas, a third to strengthen immigration laws and empower state and local governments to enforce them, and a fourth to require employers to verify their workers’ legal status.

The approach stands in contrast to the Democratic-led Senate, which passed a single, far-reaching bill in June including billions for border security, new legal work visa programs and a path to citizenship for the immigrants already in the country illegally.

“We are taking what we call a step-by-step approach. We have objections to the Senate bill, but we don’t say we want to kill the Senate bill,” Goodlatte said at a gathering organized by House Republicans with Hispanic Republican leaders to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. “We say we want to do immigration reform right.”

Conventional wisdom has settled on this reality: Republicans’ inability to attract Hispanic voters not only cost them the 2012 presidential election but has the potential to doom them as a national party in future national elections too.

nd, the numbers are stark. MItt Romney won just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote last November, a dismal showing that made the 31 percent Arizona Sen. John McCain won in 2008 look good by comparison.

But, the numbers don’t tell the whole story — or even close to it.  Carlos Lozada, the editor of the Post’s Outlook section and the brains behind “Worst Week in Washington“, explained why in a piece that ran over the weekend entitled “Who is Latino?

Republican Va. Beach mayor endorses McAuliffe; sheriff remains neutral

Ken Stolle, sheriff of Virginia Beach and a former state senator, has declined to endorse fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli in part because the candidate for governor declined to support a friend of Stolle’s, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment.

Stolle, who served 18 years in the state Senate before he ran for sheriff of the key Hampton Roads community, said he has no plans to endorse Democrat Terry McAuliffe but will instead remain neutral in the race.

Stolle’s non-endorsement may seem an issue mostly of interest to Virginia political insiders, but his reasoning is symbolic of ongoing deep divisions within Virginia’s Republican party.

Stolle, Norment and Cuccinelli all served together in the state Senate prior to Cuccinelli’s 2009 election as attorney general, a time when Cuccinelli was one of the most conservative members of the Senate and at times clashed with Norment and other more moderate Republicans.

Stolle’s concerns emerged on the same day that Will Sessoms, the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach, announced he will endorseMcAuliffe Tuesday.

Endorsing a Democrat for the first time in two decades, Sessoms said he believed McAuliffe was better positioned to boost the Hampton Roads economy and support the region’s transportation and education needs

Why Ken Cuccinelli Is the Anti-Chris Christie

Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is a moderate conservative cruising to reelection; Cuccinelli, currently the attorney general of Virginia, is the darling of the GOP base and not much more. Christie has a double-digit lead over his Democratic challenger, State Senator Barbara Buono; Cuccinelli is down by about five points to former Democratic National Committee Chair, Clinton crony, and alleged grifter Terry McAuliffe, according to the latest pair of polls.

Christie’s strength in the reliably blue Garden State and Cuccinelli’s weakness in the Old Dominion are about persona, policy, and political reality. Christie knows that he’s the governor of a state that has consistently gone for Democratic presidential candidates over the last two decades. On the other hand, Cuccinelli fantasizes that Virginia voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney, and that ethnic-slurring George Allen made it to the Senate.

But Cuccinelli’s problems go deeper than that. Right now, he is underperforming even Romney’s showing in Virginia. Romney lost the state, but still managed to win its upscale voters and white women—Cuccinelli is losing both blocs to McAuliffe.

Cuccinelli has undoubtedly been harmed by an ethics and gift scandal that has ensnared the sitting and term-limited Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, the reported subject of a federal grand jury probe. Still, it’s not just about McDonnell’s allegedly sticky fingers. Cuccinelli, too, suffers from ethical myopia (or dulled political judgment), even if he has been formally cleared of possible ethics violations.

Specifically, Cuccinelli owned stock in Star Scientific, the very same company whose chief, Jonnie Williams, showered both McDonnell and Cuccinelli with gifts—gifts that Cuccinelli has refused to return in kind or in cash. In all, only $18,000 or so is involved, and yet Cuccinelli cannot find it in himself to cut a check. Not surprisingly, McAuliffe hammers away on this sore point, leaving Cuccinelli trailing and the story festering.

More worrisome for Republicans is Cuccinelli’s incapability of eliding over hot-button social issues. As Virginia’s outgoing Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling sees it, Cuccinelli is a “rigid ideologue who thrives on conflict and confrontation and tends to be drawn to the more controversial and divisive issues of the day.”

Cuccinelli, Levin Hold Joint Constitution Day Rally

On Tuesday, GOP Governor candidate Ken Cuccinelli and talk radio host Mark Levin will headline a Constitution Day rally in the vote-critical Northern Virginia. The rally marks the 226th Anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. As Attorney General Cuccinelli took ObamaCare all the way to the Supreme Court and Levin has authored a number of best-selling books exploring the Constitution. They are perfect choices to headline the event.

The event also provides a great opportunity for the Cuccinelli campaign to reconnect with grass roots activists as his race for Governor hits the final stretch. Cuccinelli has long been popular with the conservative activists in Virginia. Their support, and enthusiasm, will be critical against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

The event also provides a great opportunity for the Cuccinelli campaign to reconnect with grass roots activists as his race for Governor hits the final stretch. Cuccinelli has long been popular with the conservative activists in Virginia. Their support, and enthusiasm, will be critical against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.