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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 10/26/2010

Fact check: The newest Connolly attack

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

The newest attack ad against Republican Keith Fimian over the home inspection company he co-founded could use some inspection itself.

The company, U.S. Inspect, is once again being turned into a campaign weapon by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as the 11th Congressional District race enters its final week. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) already cited a $16,000 federal tax lien against the company during his 2008 race against Fimian; now, it's part of a new ad launched by the DCCC on Connolly's behalf.

The problem is, U.S. Inspect is a successful business. It has an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau. It holds dozens of patent claims. And the lien, while undoubtedly embarrassing to Fimian, has since been released.

It's easy to debunk some of the other claims in the new ad -- such as an accusation that U.S. Inspect's corporate status was revoked by the Arkansas secretary of state. I'm not sure where the DCCC got that information, because a quick call to the Arkansas office revealed that the company withdrew its status back in 2003 -- voluntarily.

And while the ad is correct that Fimian signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge authored by Americans for Tax Reform, the pledge doesn't mention anything about corporations outsourcing jobs, as the ad suggests. In fact, it just says the signer agrees to oppose raising marginal income tax rates and reducing or eliminating deductions or credits.

Given how much it's stretching things there, the DCCC might just as well have claimed that Fimian signed a pledge supporting corporations that exploit workers in developing countries.

Whether or not other of the ad's claims regarding lawsuits and liens carry water, there is some truth slipped in: Fimian's former business partner did call his honesty into question and wrote that his campaign is "built upon a fraud."

Still, I wonder just how far bad feeling over an apparent business falling-out is going to get Connolly and the DCCC.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | October 26, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Va. Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

Thanks you--finally. Why would anyone vote for someone who needs to lie to get votes. If Mr.Connolly cannot stand on his won two feet and by own his own record, then he must be considered a loser--and a loser vote for the people of VA's 11th.

Posted by: lleatwo | October 26, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what their ads say, the question of who will better serve the 11th District is very simple. A vote for Cong. Connolly is a vote for the Obama-Pelosi agenda. Connolly voted with Pelosi 97% of the time. So if you are happy with the way things are going--with unemployment reaching above 10%--I'd say you should vote for Connolly.

But if you want a real independent thinker and job creator, vote for Keith Fimian!

Posted by: Bellringer1 | October 26, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

For weeks now I have received many of Connolly's negative fliers about Fimian. He jumps from accusing him of wanting to revoke roe vs wade to being a fraud as a ceo. Patently false, these accusations only serve to point out a salient fact, Connolly is NOT running on his record. He CAN'T! As a matter of fact he is AVOIDING his record and trying to "trick" (halloween gerry?) everyone into believing he is a fiscal conservative. (Are u kidding us Gerry?) Connolly voted with committed leftist Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time, voting in opposition ONLY when it would not matter. He voted to add $3 trillion to the national debt in a mere 18 months-voting for laws that if kept in place will generate $1 trillion deficits for the next decade. He brags about voting for the $850 billion stimulus bill that stimulated nothing but democrat interest groups and resulted in another 3 million jobs lost since it was signed into law, even though the President admits that the selling point of “shovel ready jobs’ does not exist.
He also boasts about thelow un-employment rate in VA as part of "HIS" accomplishments. The voracious government expansion that Obama has spurred at the expense of taxpayer dollars wouldn't have anything to do w/that, would it Gerry?

Never ceases to amaze me how stupid this incumbent thinks we are!

Posted by: lindaisan | October 26, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Gerald Connolly's visually sophomoric ad (as a design pro myself I'm shocked, actually, by its amateurish quality) contains misstatements of facts, colorations, and insinuations that are two years old and first surfaced in the last election. I was concerned about the allegations at that time and phoned Mr. Fimian's office – got my questions answered quickly (they were easily fact-checked)and was therefore able to vote for him, which I will do again on November 2.

Gerald Connolly has been a grievous disappointment for VA-11 and does not deserve reelection.

Posted by: mirabeaulamarr | October 27, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

paige,what does U.S.Inspect do?check that out before becoming a shill.Also,check how many jobs Mr.Fimian has created(defendant lawyers don't count).

Posted by: unclebully4 | October 27, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

also,check up on KPMG since he's a CPA.

Posted by: unclebully4 | October 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Gerry Connolly's campaign has been basically dishonest. He is playing by the Pelosi, Reed, Kaine,Axelrod philosophy. If you don't have a record worth standing on, then do anything to slander your candidate. This was recently displayed in the Conway/Rand debate in Kentucky and against the Miller campaign in Alaska. If a man will not tell the truth in a campaign, is he worth supporting when your future and your children's may rely on his votes? Fimian is the clear choice in this election. Connolly epitomizes the worst in a politician.

Posted by: stout1 | October 27, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Can there be any surprise that this slimey excuse for a man - Gerry Connolly - is once again trying to win an electon by lying and slandering the name of an innocent citizen candidate. Please tell us, Gerry, about that traffic stop and failed DUI test from several years ago - the record for which has not yet been completely expunged from the files. You have convinced me to vote for Fimian and send you to the unemployment office - as you have done to so many of US.

Posted by: Where_is_Rudy | October 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe reading what Mr. Fimian's partner said about him and the business in detail may shed more light than watching naturally superficial TV ads :
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/politics/blog-network/2010/06/the_real_keith_fimian_story.html

Posted by: FCPSParent | October 28, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Desperate are we Gerry and the DNCC? You might want to throw some of that cash to Boucher and Moran while you're at it. They're both suddenly looking vulnerable in the polls. Spend enough to protect your most likely winnable seats and you'll lose the rest. And Gerry want to enter an ethical sword fight with Fimian? Good thing Fimian doesn't want to fight dirty.

Posted by: genericrepub | October 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Great reporting. This article has the balance that all should have with the possible exception of giving Connolly a call to confront him with the facts and ask for an explanation of why he would so clearly misrepresent the facts and slander his opponent.

Wanting to win is not an excuse, integrity is more important. Fimian has kept his and Connolly hasn't. Although the Post's editorial board has endorsed Connolly saying he has been done a good job, it has also written another editorial chastising Connolly for misrepresenting a Fimian quip about wanting a $250,000.00 bonus by failing to mention that Fimian said it jokingly suggesting it as a reward if his suggestion that congressional salaries be cut to $50,000.00 a year until the budget is balanced works.

Clearly Connolly not only wants to keep his job but also really doesn't like the idea of having his salary cut. Being willing to lie to voters for either reason simply means he can't be trusted and does not deserve re-election.

Posted by: woodbriar | October 28, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Great reporting. This article has the balance that all should have with the possible exception of giving Connolly a call to confront him with the facts and ask for an explanation of why he would so clearly misrepresent the facts and slander his opponent.

Wanting to win is not an excuse, integrity is more important. Fimian has kept his and Connolly hasn't. Although the Post's editorial board has endorsed Connolly saying he has been done a good job, it has also written another editorial chastising Connolly for misrepresenting a Fimian quip about wanting a $250,000.00 bonus by failing to mention that Fimian said it jokingly suggesting it as a reward if his suggestion that congressional salaries be cut to $50,000.00 a year until the budget is balanced works.

Clearly Connolly not only wants to keep his job but also really doesn't like the idea of having his salary cut. Being willing to lie to voters for either reason simply means he can't be trusted and does not deserve re-election.

Posted by: woodbriar | October 28, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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