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Spruill Defends His Salary from Moran

Tim Craig

In an interview today, Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake) defended his $7,500 a month salary from Del. Brian J. Moran's (D-Alexandria) campaign for governor.

Moran is paying Spruill, a prominent African-American who is vice-chairman of the House Democratic caucus, to be an "outreach consultant." Moran, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, is running against Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) in next year's Democratic primary for governor.

"I am working for Brian. I have contacts all over the state," said Spruill, who has developed a reputation for being able to help drive up black turnout in Hampton Roads. "I am working different meetings, several groups, churches and organizations all over the state. I have contacts all over the state."

When asked if he thought he is worth $7,500 a month, Spruill responded, "I gave my answer."

Asked to clarify that remark, Spruill said he is retired and working full-time on Moran's campaign. "He wanted me to use my contacts all across the state. I am pretty much known across the whole state so we are hoping my contacts....will be enough to defeat his opponent in the primary."

He later added, "You would be hard pressed to find a person in the state, black or white, who has as many contacts across the state. You may find a more powerful person, but I have more contacts, both black and white."

In a follow-up phone call, Spruill said Deeds had also offered him a job before he accepted the offer to go work for Moran. "I made my decision on who can win next November," Spruill said. "I sat down with Creigh and I sat down with Brian, the money wasn't the issue."

Peter Jackson, a Deeds spokesman, said Deeds never offered Spruill a formal job.

"Creigh asked him for his support or help but did not offer him a paid position," Jackson said.

When Spruill was asked if it sets a bad precedent for one delegate to be paying another delegate for campaign advice, he said doesn't think it's a problem because Moran is running for governor.

"If you were working for another House (candidate), I wouldn't do that," Spruill said.

By Tim Craig  |  July 17, 2008; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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Spruill's contacts all across the state helped Hillary Clinton defeat Obama in Virginia. Wait a second, Clinton got demolished.

So Moran's investment in "outreach" is sure to pay off big time.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

$90,000 a year, are you kidding me? I am reminded of a quote that went something like this "the oldest proffesion in the world bears a striking resemblence to the second oldest proffesion which is politics.
In any event it is shameful that in Virginia we can still openly buy politicians. Reform is badly needed.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised by anything Delegate Spruill would do? He was known to approach every issue with an open mouth and closed mind...and now, it seems, with an open palm.

Posted by: Flatearthakitt | July 18, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I am happy that the Post includes an email link to "report offensive comments" in this blog. I consider each and every one of Mr. Spruill's comments offensive to persons with 21st century sensibilities.

Posted by: Dr. Spasmodius | July 18, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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