Archive for May 28th, 2009
It is something that Terry McAuliffe often says on the campaign trail: “I will not say a negative word about a fellow Democrat.” His repeated claim to stay above the fray puts him at risk for greater scrutiny when he says anything that could be interpreted as being negative of a fellow Democrat. A new mail piece sent to potential Democratic voters has made the candidate’s critics wonder if he has broken that pledge.
The mail piece shows four columns with facts about the candidates for governor and then a scratch-off box at the bottom that reveals which candidate is connected to which claims. Among other things, the piece accuses Creigh Deeds of voting to “legitimize pay-day lending” and accepting gifts from lobbyists. It accuses Brian Moran of taking a trip to the Bahamas on a lobbyist’s dime and taking tens of thousands of dollars from Dominion Power’s PAC.
McAuliffe campaign press secretary Lis Smith said that the piece is not negative. She said that the candidate has always said that “there are differences between the candidates on issues and experience, and that’s legitimate to discuss. But Terry’s not attacking other Democrats, and believes any of the three would be better than McDonnell.” She went on to say that all the mail piece does is “compare everyone’s records.”
Creigh Deeds’ campaign, as you might imagine, doesn’t agree. Deeds spokesperson, Brooke Borkenhagen, said that the mail piece is evidence that “Terry is running scared. That’s why Terry is trying to hustle Virginia voters with this deceptive mail piece.” Borkenhagen also reminded me that while McAuliffe did not take money from Dominion’s PAC specifically, he has taken more than $12,000 from former Dominion executives.
Meanwhile, Brian Moran’s campaign manager, Andrew Roos, called the mail piece a “false, negative attack.” He also said “Brian Moran will take no lectures on ethics from the booking agent of the Lincoln bedroom and the architect of the Business Leadership Forum. The last place we would go for a public service lesson is a Wall Street insider.”
How will voters and supporters of McAuliffe – many of whom often site his efforts to stay positive – react to this attempt to “compare the records of the candidates”?
After the jump, I re-posted our video from the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond where McAuliffe first made the pledge to not attack his fellow Democrats.