McAuliffe Backs Scrapping Deal that Protects Dominion Power from Rate Review

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Thursday said he supports scrapping a two-year-old deal that shields Dominion Power from rate reviews, saying the rationale for protecting the utility will be lost if the Trump Administration does away with the federal Clean Power Plan.

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Farifax) looks at the vote tally board during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Steve Helber/AP)

McAuliffe (D) made the remark after Fredericks, who has been broadcasting his show from different locations on Capitol Square during the legislative session, asked him about an already defeated bill on the subject.

“The reason we did this, let’s be fair, I mean, was because of the Clean Power Plan and the increased costs that would come with the Clean Power Plan,” McAuliffe said in an interview on the John Fredericks Show, a conservative talk-radio program. “From what I read and from what I hear from Washington from President Trump and his new proposed EPA administrator, the Clean Power Plan is going to go away. … If we don’t have those increased costs because of the Clean Power Plan, then (protection for Dominion) should be off the table.”

Proposed by state Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax), the measure had been aimed at undoing a 2015 law that froze base electricity rates in Virginia for five years. The law also shields utilities from rate review through 2019 while preserving their ability to seek rate hikes.

Dominion and Appalachian Power Co., the two utilities that supply virtually all electricity in the state, said at the time that they needed rate protection from the anticipated costs of complying then-President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The 2015 protection measure, the subject of a pending lawsuit filed on behalf of rate-payers, was sponsored by state Sen. Frank Wagner (Virginia Beach), who is running in a crowded Republican primary for governor.

Dominion is the largest corporate contributor in Virginia, having plowed $4 million into state-level races over the past decade.

McAuliffe had signed the 2015 bill into law, but on Thursday he told Fredericks he agreed with Petersen that those protections will not be needed if the power plan goes away. His comments came as two other candidates running to succeed the term-limited governor – Republican Denver Riggleman and Democrat Tom Perriello — have incorporated populist-style attacks on Dominion into their campaigns.

“I support Chap Petersen on this,” McAuliffe said.

His answer seemed to surprise Petersen, who was part of the conversation because his office served as Fredericks’s makeshift radio studio for the day.

“Oh my God,” Petersen said. “Thank you, governor.”

Dominion spokesman David Botkins said the 2015 legislation also prompted the company to make expansions into solar energy and should stay in place.

“Virginia’s energy plan has provided direct benefits to all customers in the form of an immediate rate cut in 2015 and ongoing assistance to low-income customers, seniors, the disabled, and military veterans,” he said in an email. “The legislation has saved customers millions of dollars in costs while keeping Dominion’s rates well below the national average — lower now than before the energy plan was passed.”

As a practical matter, McAuliffe’s statement of support does nothing to revive Petersen’s bill, which died in committee. Even if Petersen thought the governor’s support would help his cause, it is too late for him to submit a new bill. His only option would be to turn his bill into an amendment that could be attached to another piece of pending legislation, a move that would be open to challenge if his amendment is not germane to the underlying legislation.

As governor, McAuliffe is free to propose legislation at any time. On the radio program, Petersen encouraged him to do just that.

“Governor, you need to send down the legislation,” Petersen said.

McAuliffe asked if Petersen could round up enough votes to pass it.

“I tell you what, you send it down and tell the Democrats what to do, they’ll follow [your] lead,” Petersen said. “They usually do.”

McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said later that the governor does not intend to send propose a bill.

Article Courtesy of Laura Vozzella, covering Virginia politics for The Washington Post. Follow @LVozzella

Carly Fiorina ‘Certainly Looking at’ Virginia Senate Run

Carly Fiorina Courtesy of Getty Images

Former Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said she is considering running for Senate in Virginia next year.

In an interview with local Virginia radio’s “John Fredericks Show,” Fiorina was asked if she would run against incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D). Fredericks grilled Fiorina about recently attending several local events in Virginia.

“Well, I don’t know yet, John. Sorry, I’m not gonna make a big announcement on your show,” she said in the interview this week that was first reported by CNN.

“Look, I’m certainly looking at that opportunity,” she continued. “It’s a little early to be making that decision. We’re two weeks into a new administration.”

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO previously ran for Senate in her home state of California in 2010, attempting to unseat then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California).

After ending her own 2016 White House bid, Fiorina joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as his running mate in the final months of the Republican presidential primary dominated by Donald Trump.

Before the November election, Fiorina was floated as one of the top contenders to replace Kaine, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to a report by Politico.

Fiorina said the interview it would be a “very, very tough race” against Kaine.

“We should be realistic as Republicans,” she said. “Virginia is a purple state. Virginia has two Democratic senators. The Democratic Party is going to throw everything they have at defending Tim Kaine’s seat.”

Fiorina also said the Republicans have “a lot of seats of their own that they need to defend.”

“Who knows what the future will bring,” she said, “but I look forward to continuing to talk to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia about things that we agree on, things that we may not yet know we agree on — most people are pragmatic, most people have a lot of common sense.”

Fiorina isn’t the only national Republican eying the seat. Talk show host Laura Ingraham has also said she’s considering a bid against Kaine.

Article courtesy of The Hill.

Riggleman Shakes Up Virginia GOP

Riggleman Shakes Up Virginia GOP

2017 General Assembly Opening Day!

He killed terrorists and now he makes whiskey. Just the right combination to run for governor of Virginia.

Former Air Force Intel officer and Virginia entrepreneur Denver Riggleman launched his long-shot outsider bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination yesterday.

His “take no prisoners” approach is likely to shake up the race.

Riggleman’s military mission planned the first B-1 bomber run into Afghanistan just after 9-11, on October 2, 2001.

This is one serious dude.

“That’s how I got my Intel street cred,” Riggleman said.

Riggleman shook things up on my radio show this morning.

He shared the Richmond regulatory horror story he experienced in his attempt to launch a spirits distillery business in central Virginia and hire workers.

“Richmond is rigged for the elites and wired for the cronies,” the upstart candidate said. “They either try to tax you out or regulate you out of business. Existing businesses donate big money to have legislators write rules to crowd out competition.”

Riggleman blasted the inherent system in Richmond as “the biggest self licking ice cream cone in history” while promising to “drag them all into the sunlight.”

He concluded with this one-liner: “It’s the stratification of business taxes, benefiting those in power and the privileged few.”

Game On! Perriello Shocks, Northam, VA Dems With Gov. Run

Upends Democratic Race for Virginia Governor

Tom Perriello, Courtesy of AP, Steve Helber

We can only imagine how the now infamous phone call from former Va. Democratic Congressman Tom Periello to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday night went down. It likely went something like this:

Perriello: Hi Ralph, Tom Perriello here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Northam: Same to you! I’d love to have you come to my big fundraiser headlined by Governor McAuliffe on Saturday night! Can you make it?

Perriello: No Ralph, I’m busy. I have my own fundraiser scheduled. I’m running for governor.

Northam: In 2021? Wow, that’s great planning! Very impressive!

Perriello: Uh, no Ralph. I’m running against you in June.

Northam: [Silence]. Well Merry freaking Christmas.

Regardless of whom you may support, Perriello and his team — starting with Democratic consultant Don Mark — brilliantly executed this political bomb.

It has to go down as one of the most effective non-announcements in Virginia political history.

First, it’s been the best-kept secret in Virginia politics. Knowing this landscape as I do, if a politico so much as goes to the bathroom one too many times, the state’s bevvy of bloggers manages to pick it up. Leaks are commonplace. Nothing is sacred.

So this announcement took the entire state’s insiders by surprise.

No one I talked to saw it coming.

Second, Perriello announces it by first calling Northam personally. Another stellar political move.

Third, the former one-term U.S. House Rep. from Virginia’s 5th congressional district does it a mere five days prior to the start of the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.

Northam, as Lt. governor, can’t fund-raise and he’s essentially campaign handcuffed for 60 days while he has to preside over the state senate, stuck in Richmond with gavel in hand.

Meanwhile, Perriello has two months of free reign where he can play short-term catch up.

This campaign launch should be taught at UVA’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

In fact, it should merit its own chapter in their textbook. We even have the title: “How to undermine the entire Democratic establishment, the DPV, their big donors and the incumbent governor in all one fell swoop” – by Tom Perriello.



Perriello presents a host of challenges for the one time inevitability of the Northam for governor juggernaut.

He is a darling of the Democrats’ progressive wing of the Party, as he stood heroically by President Barack Obama’s agenda during his one House term in Washington.

Throwing caution to the wind after ousting incumbent conservative icon Virgil Goode in the 2008 Obama election wave, Perriello backed Obama’s every policy initiative with fearless vigor while representing a historically Republican district in central and south side Virginia.

He never wavered, and became an Obama favorite.

As a result, Perriello was subsequently defeated by GOP challenger Robert Hurt in the Tea Party election of 2010, helping Republicans to take back control of the House.

Perriello is likely to energize the more progressive non-establishment wing of the Virginia Democratic Party.

They’ve been itching for a fight.

Now they have one.

While Bernie Sanders got pummeled by Hillary Clinton in the Super Tuesday Democrat primary last March, its hard to gauge how much of the center-left Democratic primary coalition vote will be locked in for Northam come June 13.



Northam came from behind in the 2013 Democratic primary to knock off one-time team Obama Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, who served as an Assistant to the President and Associate Director for Technology in the West Wing.

But that was then and this is now.

Chopra turned out to be a weaker candidate than many of his progressive supporters had hoped. Sometimes standoffish, and not personally engaging, Chopra ran without name recognition and laid claim to no inherent base.

Perriello has none of these flaws. He has strengths in key areas where Chopra showed weakness.

The former state senator from the Eastern Shore and Norfolk also benefited in 2013 from some Republicans, Independents and moderates crossing over to vote in a Democratic primary for Northam – or against Chopra. The Republicans nominated their candidates by way of a statewide convention in May, so they had nothing going on in the June primary.

When the GOP nominated Bishop E.W. Jackson for LG, some Republicans who could not support Jackson saw Northam and as acceptable alternative, in lieu of Chopra.

I know this for a fact. I led “Republicans for Northam” in the 2013 June Democratic primary.

Northam will not have the luxury of those disaffected open primary voters this go around.

Republicans have a hotly contested primary election on the same day and they will be otherwise pre-occupied.

So Northam has to win with only Democrat primary voters.



The Lt. governor has very few enemies.

He has raised a lot of money, and I’m told by sources close to Northam that their candidate has locked in the support of the entire Democratic General Assembly, as well as Governor Terry McAuliffe and his political big money friends.

Several Democrat state senate caucus members I talked to expressed their displeasure with Perriello’s candidacy.

One member of the Democratic senate caucus leadership who requested anonymity to speak freely, blasted the upstart candidate. “I guess Clinton lost so Tom needs a job. Ralph has locked up our caucus and our big donors. I don’t see the votes for the guy.”

Virginia Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said the Perriello candidacy was going nowhere. “Perriello couldn’t even hold his own Congressional district and both his state senator and his delegate who know him are supporting Ralph Northam.”


Bottom Line

Northam is the early chalk for sure, but Perriello is not to be taken lightly.

This has the trappings of a dogfight.

Newsnight BBC Mary Kaldor and John Fredericks on Brexit, Donald Trump and US Election

A LONDON university professor was blasted by an outspoken radio host after the academic claimed Brexit and Donald Trump’s election was about primal nationalism.

Academic Mary Caldor and US radio host John Fredericks clashed on Newsnight

Talk Radio host John Fredericks insisted neither vote had anything to do with nationalism, and instead claimed they were about “sovereignty and jobs”.

On Newsnight, he said: “This is a worker’s revolution, it has nothing to do with ethnicity or race. It is not a revolution or nationalism, it’s a worklash. This is about jobs.

He added: “People in various countries, they want their countries back.

“They’ve seen their jobs shipped all over the world because the elite, globalist, international gangster, bankster network has scoured the earth for cheap labour and shipped their jobs everywhere.

Trump supporter John Fredericks defended the vote of the American people

“Or they’ve let illegals come in to take their jobs. This has nothing to do with anything except people wanting jobs.”

Speaking from Virginia, Mr Fredericks said: “Economic prosperity and jobs is the great equaliser, it is the great unifier. A pay check has no ideology, putting food on the table has no political philosophy.”

But Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance at London School of Economics, insisted we must turn to internationalism in order to address the dissatisfaction she claimed that Brexit and Trump voters harboured.

The 70-year-old whined: “I completely agree that this was an anguished vote by those left behind by globalisation, but the answer to that cannot be nationalism, the answer has to be internationalism.
“It has to be dealing with those multinational organisations and tackling their safe havens, which is what the European Union does.”

But slamming Dr Kaldor’s “elitist gobbledygook”, Mr Fredericks said: “What this whole movement is about across the globe… In the United Kingdom, now it’s happening in France, it just happened in the United States, is people want their countries back but it’s not a movement of nationalism, it’s a movement of protecting jobs.”

Donald Trump’s vote was about jobs, John Frederick suggested

But undeterred, Dr Kaldor hit back.

She said: “It’s rubbish to say it’s not nationalism, that stuff about making America great again, that stuff about not allowing Muslims into the United States, that is not just about jobs, that’s pure racism.”

Read the full report:

Corey Stewart Stretches Ed Gillespie’s Statements on Donald Trump

Gage Skidmore/
Gage Skidmore/

Although Corey Stewart was ousted as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in Virginia this fall, he’s still anchoring his gubernatorial campaign to the GOP president-elect.

In the wake of Trump’s victory, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors took aim at Ed Gillespie who, like Stewart, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

“Ed Gillespie treated Donald Trump like he had typhoid,” Stewart said in a post-election interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “He would not appear with him on stage. He would not mention his name unless he was condemning him.”

The record on the first part of Stewart’s statement – that Gillespie would not appear with Trump – doesn’t lend itself to a fact-check because it requires us to get into Gillespie’s head. Gillespie never did appear on stage with Trump in Virginia, but there’s no evidence he refused to do so. Gillespie’s campaign says he was never invited by Trump’s camp and we’ve found no information to contradict that.

So we’ll fact check the second part of Stewart’s statement – that Gillespie only mentioned Trump’s name when he was “condemning him.”

When we reached out to Stewart, he repeated that Gillespie kept Trump at an arm’s length and “never mentioned Trump” in a positive light. Stewart said that early in the campaign, Gillespie simply made a generic vow to support the GOP nominee.

The only time Gillespie mentioned Trump by name, Stewart said, was to take the him to task following a release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump made vulgar comments about groping women.

Gillespie did criticize Trump for that, calling the candidate’s comments “incredibly offensive and demeaning.”

But contrary to Stewart’s statement, there were a few times when Gillespie did mention Trump’s name – tepidly – while voicing support for the GOP ticket. Matt Moran, Gillespie’s campaign spokesman, pointed out those occasions.

•A May 4 article in The Washington Post that noted Gillespie issued a one-sentence, prepared statement of support for Trump. The statement said, “Republican voters have nominated Donald Trump for president, and I will vote for him against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in an election that will not only affect control of the White House but the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation or more.”

•A May podcast interview with Bearing Drift, a conservative blog. Gillespie said, “It’s very important that we help Donald Trump carry the commonwealth against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders because we play a critically important role in the Electoral College.”

•An Aug. 23 interview with the Loudoun Times that was recorded by Gillespie’s campaign. “I’m voting for Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton,” Gillespie said. “That is our choice in this election. It’s not just about the control of the executive branch for the next four years, but control of the judiciary for the next 30 years.”

No doubt, Gillespie’s actions on Trump will be an issue in next year’s GOP primary for governor. Stewart isn’t the only Trump supporter accusing Gillespie of shunning the president-elect this fall. John Fredericks, who served as chairman of Trump’s campaign during the final month after Stewart was ousted, also said that Gillespie kept Trump at arm’s length.

“This was a cold, calculating political decision that he made that he’ll have to live with now,” John Fredericks said of Gillespie. Fredericks became chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign in October, after Stewart was fired for making unauthorized comments.

But Fredericks also acknowledged that he never asked Gillespie to appear with Trump and, therefore, can’t say definitively if Gillespie “would not” do so.

Fredericks told us that that Gillespie did attend two rallies held by Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. They were held in Harrisonburg on Oct. 5 and at George Mason University on Nov. 5. At the latter event, Fredericks said he introduced Gillespie, who never mentioned Trump in his speech.

While Gillespie is taking hits from Republicans for distancing himself from Trump, the state Democratic Party is trying to tie him to the president-elect. The Democrats started a “Trump for Virginia governor” website that claims Gillespie, Stewart and other GOP gubernatorial candidates are “YUUGE Trump supporters.”

Finally, we should finally note that Stewart was fired as the Trump campaign’s Virginia chairman on Oct.10 after joining a rally in front of the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington where he accused GOP “establishment pukes” of failing to sufficiently support for Trump’s campaign.

Our ruling

Stewart said Gillespie “would not mention” Trump’s name “unless he was condemning him.”

Gillespie certainly did not praise Trump, and he did criticize the presidential nominee for making a vulgar statement about women.

But there are several instances where Gillespie mentioned Trump while voicing support of the GOP ticket, saying it was important to keep conservative control of the U.S. Supreme Court.

So we rate Stewart’s statement False.

Read the full article from Politifact Virginia.

A List of the Pundits, Psychics, and Animals Who Predicted Trump’s Victory

Even the Republican National Committee’s internal polling showed Donald Trump losing Tuesday’s election. But not everyone got it wrong. Here are the people who said that Donald Trump would win the general election or took him seriously enough to accurately predict, early in his candidacy, the manner in which he would be able to beat Hillary Clinton if he did win:


1. Conservative Virginia radio host John Fredericks.
According to CNN archival research wizard Andrew Kaczynski, Fredericks said in April 2015—before Trump had even announced his candidacy—that he would win if he ran.*


2. The legendary Bill Mitchell.
The human-resources professional and part-time podcaster essentially made himself a new career by tweeting with evangelical zeal about the inevitability of Trump’s victory. A Twitter search of his account for “Trump” and “win” indicates that he was predicting as early as July 2015 that Trump would win the general election “easily.”


3. Scott Adams.
The Dilbert creator wrote in August 2015 that Trump would win if Hillary had scandal trouble. Slate interviewed him about it later; Adams said that his “background as a trained hypnotist” helped him understand Trump’s skills as a salesman and alpha-male “Master Persuader.” (You can’t win ’em all, though: Adams also said in 2015 that there was no chance that Trump would pick “some desiccated governor” as his running mate.)


4. Alaskan radio host Tom Anderson.
Anderson also wrote in August 2015that Trump would win, a judgment he based on the unprecedented enthusiasm with which his show’s listeners and callers had reacted to the Republican’s candidacy.


5. Felix Salmon of Fusion.
Salmon wrote in February 2015 that Trump could win the general election by appealing to Americans for whom “little has improved under Barack Obama” and drawing in “people who just didn’t care about politics at all before Trump came along.” Pretty much!



John Fredericks Predicted Trump’s Rise

John Fredericks, who predicted Trump’s rise, overcame a stutter to host his radio show in Chesapeake

John Fredericks insists on looking professional for visitors, even at 6 a.m. when his radio show starts.

“No gibberish. No nonsense. Just common sense,” he told listeners of “The John Fredericks Show” on a recent morning, using one of his signature lines.

He talked about domestic terrorist attacks, Donald Trump and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s destruction of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a three-hour grilling before the Senate Banking Committee.

“A complete creep – this guy is the ultimate dirtbag CEO of society, right?” Fredericks said of Stumpf. “Another Wall Street looter, part of the bankster globalist crowd.”

Of Warren’s scolding, he said, “This is why I love this woman. … This guy should be in prison.”

Fredericks doesn’t have an easy political label. He’s the co-chairman of the Trump campaign in Virginia, and he’s been predicting Trump will win the presidency since long before almost anyone else. He endorsed Virginia Democrat Mark Warner for re-election in 2014 against Republican Ed Gillespie. And he said he likes Gov. Terry McAuliffe and thinks he’s doing a good job.

Read the full article here.