- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2004

Republicans narrowly defeated Democrats last week during the annual basketball match played in Richmond.

Republican lawmakers and staffers — and ringers — beat the Democrats, with Lt. Gov. Timothy Kaine and Gov. Mark Warner, by a score of 48-46. The teams had more than a dozen fouls each.

Mr. Warner made the most of the shots he tried for, as did Mount Vernon Delegate Kristen J. Amundson’s aide, Heath Bumgardner.

Mr. Warner’s jersey — No. 65 — was the punch line for many in the bleachers. The attendees, who included lobbyists, government staffers and journalists, noticed the similarity between Mr. Warner’s jersey number and his much-touted tax plan, about which he repeatedly says “65 percent” of Virginians will be paying less.

Warner spokeswoman Ellen Qualls said she’s not sure how the governor got the jersey with that specific number, but that she believes it was given to him by some people at Virginia Commonwealth University, where the game was played.

Delegate S. Chris Jones, Suffolk Republican, was one of the fastest runners on the GOP team, but often ended up falling down on the court.

The next day Mr. Jones announced to the House, “Some of us left skin on the floor,” and characterized the game as “a lot of out-of-shape guys running around and embarrassing themselves.” Mr. Jones’ speech wasn’t the only residual of the game the next day. Delegate Glenn Oder, a Republican from Newport News, came in on crutches, thanks to a basketball injury.

Others playing in the game were Delegates Terry G. Kilgore, Gate City Republican; William H. Fralin Jr., Roanoke Republican; Robert F. McDonnell, Virginia Beach Republican; J. Chapman Petersen, Fairfax Democrat; Chris B. Saxman, Staunton Republican; and state Sens. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Centreville Republican; Emmett W. Hanger Jr., Mount Solon Republican; and D. Nick Rerras, Norfolk Republican.

• Fear of reprisal

Two Frederick County, Md., commissioners whose votes helped thwart construction of a mosque near Frederick have pulled their photographs off the county’s Web site for fear of violent reprisals.

Board President John L. Thompson said he and Commissioner Jan H. Gardner had their photos removed from the Web site amid heavy local media coverage of a federal lawsuit filed by three local Islamic groups challenging the mosque decision.

“It poses a threat. It pretty much draws a bull’s-eye,” Mr. Thompson, a Republican, told the Frederick News-Post.

Their action has been criticized by Islamic residents, fellow Commissioner Mike Cady, a local Unitarian Universalist minister, and Tim Brooks, a Frederick County Republican Central Committee member.

“It struck me as saying all Muslims are terrorists. It was almost an ethnic slur,” Mr. Brooks said.

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