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  • Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption

    The defense of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has always hinged on several key arguments. For example, the more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. might have been unseemly — even worthy of an apology to the state — but it wasn't illegal.

  • Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe waves a letter from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services during a news conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va.,  Monday, March 24, 2014.  McAuliffe is proposing a two-year pilot of an expanded Medicaid program, a suggestion he hopes will persuade Republicans to end an impasse over the state's budget. McAuliffe announced that the federal government said it would not penalize Virginia if it ran a two-year pilot program.  House Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion. The federal government has promised to fund the bulk of the expansion. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown).

    Conflict trumps compromise in Virginia's Medicaid expansion debate

    Advocates of Medicaid expansion in Virginia say the budget impasse gripping Richmond this year isn't terribly novel, even in a city that prides itself on genteel compromise in contrast to the rancor of Washington.

  • Romney adviser Ed Gillespie (NBC News via Associated Press)

    Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie launches Senate bid against Warner

    Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie announced that he will challenge Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat, in the November election, banking that a national mood soured on President Obama and his agenda will be enough to overcome the popular, well-funded incumbent in an important swing state.

  • ** FILE ** Ed Gillespie (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

    Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie to challenge Sen. Mark Warner in Virginia

    Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie announced that he will challenge Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat, in the November election, banking that a national mood soured on President Obama and his agenda will be enough to overcome the popular, well-funded incumbent in an important swing state.

  • ** FILE ** Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe (left), a Democrat, and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a Republican, meet before a luncheon sponsored by the Virginia Public Access Project in Richmond on Thursday, May 30, 2013. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch via Associated Press)

    Prime-time debate gives McAuliffe, Cuccinelli chance to sway Va. voters

    Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II could be getting their last, best chance to sway undecided Virginia voters Wednesday when they take the stage in a prime-time, televised debate hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

  • Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe speaks at the Battleground Forum, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at the Prince William campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Va. McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli met Friday in another non-debate forum, a format that's become common among Virginia's two scandal-scarred candidates for governor.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    What's missing in Va. race? Honesty

    The word Virginia voters most commonly associate with their gubernatorial candidates is "dishonest," according to poll results released Thursday that offer a glimpse into the collateral damage inflicted by the candidates' negative campaigns.

  • Terry McAuliffe, a prolific Clinton fundraiser who is outpacing Republican rival Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, has shifted millions of his campaign dollars to the Virginia Democratic Party, where it can be spent on attack ads and get-out-the-vote efforts. (Associated Press)

    Terry McAuliffe poised to let Virginia Democratic Party sling mud for him

    Democrat Terry McAuliffe, struggling to create a positive image for himself in Virginia's governor race, is setting the stage to shift the dirty work of negative advertising this fall to others.

  • Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II  (Associated Press)

    Ethics playing field balanced in Virginia; McAuliffe can swipe Cuccinelli

    Virginia Republicans started the 2013 gubernatorial campaign with ambitious plans to paint Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe as an ethically challenged Washington money man tied to many of the Clinton-era scandals.

  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell this week stopped short of any wholesale changes to a transportation plan that will likely be his signature legislative achievement, but the under-fire Republican did propose a series of modifications. (Associated Press)

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell controls GOP fire

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell likely didn't quell a Republican backlash against him with a series of late-night amendments he added to legislation passed during the General Assembly session. But, analysts say, he also probably didn't make things much worse.

  • In Virginia, decisions on signing bills won’t be easy for Gov. Bob McDonnell

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell faces some difficult decisions when it comes time to sign bills passed during this year's General Assembly, including whether to sign or amend a transportation bill that riled conservatives and could further alienate some members of his own party.

  • Senate Republican leader, Sen. Thomas Norment, James City Republican, right, talks with Democratic leader Sen, Richard Saslaw, Fairfax Democrat, during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Virginia Democrats try to regain footing

    Virginia Democrats had finally picked up momentum in the 2012 General Assembly session after helping beat back two high-profile abortion-related bills — momentum that last week's standoff over budget issues threatens to halt.

  • Va. budget vote could stem Democrats' momentum

    Democrats on Thursday night voted in lock step against the Senate's budget proposal, and the topic du jour quickly shifted from "personhood" and ultrasounds to obstructionism and petty partisan politics, threatening to obliterate the party's potentially short-lived swagger after a string of disappointing electoral defeats.

  • "There is one attitude that says that the right strategy to take is to fight Washington ... I think we need to fix Washington," said Tim Kaine, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Polls find Kaine Senate bid unhurt by Obama slip in Virginia

    President Obama's sinking job-approval rating in Virginia is so far having no impact on poll numbers for Senate candidate and close Obama ally Tim Kaine, despite Republican attempts to link the two together as their 2012 campaigns grind into gear.

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