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Tim Kaine wants government to stay out of Redskins’ name controversy

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RICHMOND, Va. — Sen. Tim Kaine (D – Virginia) said that both he and Sen. Mark Warner (D – Virginia) do not want the U.S. Senate to get involved in the controversy over the Washington Redskins’ name.

“We both think the team should change the name,” Senator Kaine said in an interview with VCU’s “iPadJournos” project at a VCU forum on Tuesday. “But we don’t think it’s really a matter for the Senate to get into.”

Senator Warner, who is running for re-election, was criticized by his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie earlier this week for not saying whether he would support an initiative by several Democratic senators, which threatens to strip the NFL team of its tax-exempt status if the name is not changed. Gillespie ran a campaign commercial against Warner during ESPN’s Monday Night Football coverage of the Redskins’ game.

“Mark Warner refused to answer whether he supports the bill or not,” the commercial said. “Why won’t Warner fight the anti-Redskins bill? Why won’t he answer the question?”

At the end of the commercial, Gillespie said he will oppose the bill and added that he wants to “let the Redskins handle what to call their team.”

Kaine said both he and Warner decided that it was up to the Redskins’ owner to make the right decision, just as the owner of the Washington Bullets basketball team changed the name to the Wizards.

“With a Senate that is dealing with the unemployment rate, and a Senate that is dealing with a lot of things, we don’t really think the right venue for having this discussion is to take the Senate’s time to deal with this,” Kaine said. “But we do think an enlightened owner will find a better name.”

In the interview, Kaine also renewed his call for ethics reform in Virginia government after a recent series of scandals.

“We really need ethics reform at the state level,” Kaine said. “I hope that the state, the governor and the legislature, pick up the federal system and use that as a model here.”

Kaine added that “at the state level, I think when the legislature comes into session in January, state ethics reform should be one of the top priorities.”

By Maya Earls and Grant Wilging (Special to

This story was reported by the “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project, a cooperation between and VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.


  • charlie

    ur dur,”we both think they should change the name” but ur dur we should stay out of it.typical politician.

  • Manalishi

    “Tim Kaine wants government to stay out of Redskins’ name controversy” Yet still voices his opinion based on the same politics that started the whole mess. This is a democrat’s pet peave that just creates,,,,nothing,,,gain.
    Thank you for stating Mark Warners position in this as well,,,sice he won’t confess to anything but vote with Obozo across the board.

    Democrats are all the same.

  • General Ho

    Tim has a good take. He stated his position and that he did not see the government getting involved.
    Sounds OK for the Washington team.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    For some of us, it’s the same as using the N word. Ore really any other racial slang that offends someone. It needs to be all or nothing. MAKE YOUR CALL, Mr Obama!!

  • Becky

    Tim Kaine “Dissing” the hand that fosters, feeds, and benefits Him and His Wife?
    What’s the Democratic Trick, Con,Scam, .Maneuver this time?
    Bipartisan Ploy again? Used and abused just like Our Taxes.
    He and his Big Daddy still Refuse OUR Say, The Real Issues, and run, hide, escape, evade and REFUSE
    any and all responsibility for Obama Dictates and Our Taxes used and abused Against US.
    They have their One-Way Say AT YOU; REFUSING YOU.

  • Becky

    Notice when PC becomes too Hot a Topic, too Transparent to be Politically “Correct” or Advantageous.
    it Shuts Down, is Hidden immediately, or resorts to One Way-We Feed Only;. Refusing the Public’s SAY?

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