Timothy M. Kaine was born on 26 February 1958 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He grew up in Kansas City and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1979. While attending Harvard Law School, Kaine took a leave of absence to work with Jesuit missionaries as principal of the Institution Tecnico Loyola, a Catholic vocational school in El Progreso, Honduras. Kaine graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983 and was admitted to the Virginia Bar. Practicing law in Richmond, Virginia, as director of the McCandlish Kaine law firm, Kaine specialized in housing discrimination cases. He received recognition from the Richmond Bar Association, the National Fair Housing Association, and Lawyers for Public Justice for his work with civil rights. In addition, Kaine taught legal ethics for six years at the University of Richmond Law School.
Kaine began his political career with an election to the Richmond City Council in 1994, serving as mayor from 1998 to 2001. During his four terms in the Richmond City Council, Kaine helped build new schools, encourage economic development, and implement the Project Exile Program to reduce violent crime. In 2001, Kaine ran for the Democratic Party nomination for Lieutenant Governor and won with 64,008 votes (39.66%). His opponents were Delegate Alan Diamonstein, with 50,753 votes (31.45%) and Del. Jerrauld C. Jones with 46,640 votes (28.90%). On 6 November 2001 Kaine was elected Lieutenant Governor with 925,974 votes (50.35%), defeating Republican Delegate Jay Katzen (883,886 votes, 48.86%) and Libertarian Gary Reams (28,783 votes, 1.57%). As Lieutenant Governor under Governor Mark R. Warner, Kaine supported state budget reform, education improvements, and the public broadcasting of the General Assembly. He served on the Governor's K-12 Accountability Workgroup, the Governor's Higher Education Summit, the Workforce Training Sub-Committee, the Secure Virginia Panel, the Citizens and Committees Sub-Committee, and chairman of the Disability Commission. In addition, Kaine worked on the Affordable Housing Preservation Action Committee, the Virginia Military Advisory Council, and the Olmstead Task Force.
Kaine sought the governorship in 2005. On 8 November 2005, Kaine was elected Governor with 1,025,942 votes (51.72%) defeating Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (912,327 votes, 45.99%) and Independent State Senator Russ Potts (43,953 votes, 2.22%). Tim Kaine became the 70th Governor of Virginia on 14 January 2006.
The Kaine administration was dominated by three issues: budget deficits, transportation funding and the 16 April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Governor Kaine took office shortly before the beginning of the "Great Recession", the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. From 2007 to the end of his administration in January 2010, Kaine cut nearly $5 billion in state spending in order to balance the budget without raising taxes. Despite these cuts, Virginia retained its AAA bond rating and in 2008 was ranked as the best managed state in America by Governing Magazine. Virginia was also named as the most business-friendly state in America for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 by Forbes.com.
Despite several attempts, the Kaine administration was unable to find a reliable source of transportation funding. Kaine's 2006 proposal of increased taxes and fees was rejected by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. In 2007 Kaine reached agreement with the Republican General Assembly on a compromise transportation package. It was the biggest transportation funding increase since 1986. The plan did not include a statewide tax increase but authorized borrowing up to $3 billion over ten years. It also granted taxing powers to regional authorities in Northern Virginia and Tidewater to support $500 million in bond-financed transportation projects. Success was short lived. One section of the legislation on abuser driver fees drew extensive criticism when it was discovered that the fees only applied to Virginians and not out-of-state residents. The General Assembly later repealed this provision. In early 2008 the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that unelected regional authorities could not raise taxes. In May 2008 Kaine proposed a new transportation plan that called for an increase in vehicle registration fees and the sales tax. A 2008 special session on transportation funding ended without an agreement.
On 16 April 2007, Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured at least 17 others before turning the gun on himself. The massacre at Virginia Tech is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history. At the time of the shooting, Governor Kaine had just arrived in Tokyo, Japan, for a trade mission. Kaine immediately returned to Virginia to deliver the convocation at Virginia Tech the next day. On 19 April 2007, Kaine commissioned the Virginia Tech Review Panel "to conduct an independent, thorough, and objective incident review of the tragedy at Virginia Tech and to make recommendations regarding improvements that can be made in the Commonwealth's laws, policies, procedures, systems and institutions, as well as those of other governmental entities and private providers." Kaine formalized the Tech Panel's charge in Executive Order 53 (2007) issued on 18 June 2007. Colonel Gerald Massengill, a retired Virginia State Police Superintendent, chaired the Panel. The Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel was released on 30 August 2007. It revealed deficiencies in the mental health care system, campus security and gun laws. The Panel made more than 70 recommendations directed to colleges, universities, mental health providers, law enforcement officials, emergency service providers and law makers. The General Assembly passed legislation to reform the mental health commitment laws and campus security policies. One major recommendation by the Panel was defeated: requiring background checks for all firearms purchased at gun shows.
In April 2008, the state reached an $11 million financial settlement with 24 families of students and faculty who were killed or injured during the Virginia Tech shooting. The state agreed to provide monetary payouts, medical care and information on the shooting in exchange for the families to waive their rights to sue. Two families who filed claims against the state did not accept the settlement and filed a civil suit in 2009. The discovery of Cho's Cook Counseling Center records in July 2009 and other concerns by family members about the Panel's timeline for 16 April 2007, lead to calls for the Panel to reconvene. Kaine did not reconvene the Panel but agreed to have the report revised to reflect the new details that surfaced since 2007. The amended report was released in the last month of the Kaine administration. On 12 March 2012, a jury in the civil suit found Virginia Tech negligent in failing to warn students of a possible gunman on campus.
Other significant accomplishments of the Kaine administration include: a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the preservation of over 400,000 acres of open spaces, passage of a $1.6 billion bond package for higher education construction projects, expanding pre-K education, required teacher evaluations, and Renew Virginia Initiatives (energy).
During his term, Governor Kaine served as chairman of the Southern Governors' Association (2008-2009) and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2009-2011). On 6 November 2012, Kaine was elected United States Senator with 2,010,067 votes (52.86%) defeating Republican George Allen (1,785,542 votes, 46.96%).
Kaine is married to Anne Bright Holton, youngest daughter of former Governor Linwood Holton. Anne and Tim have three children, Nat, Woody, and Annella.
The Executive Office is a division of the Office of the Governor in the Executive Branch of Virginia state government. Members of the Executive Office include the Governor, Chief of Staff, Counselor to the Governor and their deputies and assistants. The Governor is the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth and chief advocate for annual legislative and budget priorities. Sherrie Harrington served as Confidential Assistant to Governor Tim Kaine.
The Chief of Staff is the chief operating officer of state government, responsible for all aspects of service to citizens. The Chief oversees the Cabinet members and agency heads in the administration of state government and is also responsible for the operations of the Governor's Office. The Chief is assisted in these responsibilities by a Deputy Chief of Staff and an Executive Assistant. The following individuals held these positions during Governor Timothy M. Kaine's administration (2006-2010): William H. Leighty, Chief of Staff (January 2006-May 2007); Wayne Turnage, Deputy Chief of Staff, (January 2006-May 2007) and Chief of Staff (May 2007-2010); Margaret Hughson, Executive Assistant (2006-2007); Steve Harms, Deputy Chief of Staff (June 2007-2010); and Kate Paris, Confidential Assistant to the Chief of Staff and Counselor (2007-2010).
The Counselor in the Kaine administration provided legal advice to the Governor and acted as a liaison with the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General. The Counselor also provided broader advice to the Governor on political and personal matters as assigned. The Counselor was the chief liaison with the Democratic Party, the Moving Virginia Forward PAC, and outside political constituency groups. The Counselor was assisted in these responsibilities by a Senior Advisor, a hybrid position, who provided legal assistance to the Counselor and legislative assistance to the Policy Director. The Senior Advisor was available to mediate important policy disputes for the Governor, or with the Governor's consent, for legislators and other external constituents. The following individuals held these positions during Governor Timothy M. Kaine's administration (2006-2010): Lawrence Roberts, Counselor to the Governor (January 2006-May 2009) and Mark E. Rubin, Senior Advisor to the Governor and Deputy Counselor (January 2006-May 2009) and Counselor to the Governor (May 2009-January 2010).
The Leadership Team in the Office of the Governor consisted of the Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Counselor, Senior Advisor, Policy Director, Legislative Director, Communications Director, Scheduling Director and Press Secretary. This group conducted daily morning meetings in preparation for that day's events in the Governor's Office. The Governor held regular meetings with this group and in certain instances convened small subsets of the Leadership Team to address specific or more targeted issues.
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