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New Anti-GOP PAC, Blog Debuts

A new Virginia-based political action committee created to attack Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell debuted today, unveiling its new Web site and accusing the state's former attorney general of "not accurately portraying himself."

The PAC's Web site,, features a Hawaiian shirt-clad McDonnell flanked by Republican Party leaders, such as religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, radio host Rush Limbaugh, recently ousted Virginia GOP chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick and former President George W. Bush.

"Bob McDonnell represents right-wing special interests and big corporations, not you," the Web site says.

Common Sense Virginia has received $100,000 from the Democratic Governors Association, its sole funding to date. The governors association will continue funding the group, officials say, to pay for an "aggressive TV and online campaign," said Yoni Cohen, the group's spokesman.

"We do expect to continue raising money, and raise and spend a significant sum," Cohen said.

Common Sense Virginia will not endorse any of the three Democratic candidates running in the primary, Cohen said. Instead, it will focus its attention on McDonnell, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

A McDonnell spokesman blasted the Democrats for creating the site. "Bob McDonnell is talking about creating new jobs and bringing Virginians together," said J. Tucker Martin, the spokesman for McDonnell. "National Democrats are importing the politics of fear and division. The contrast is stunning."

The Republican Governors Association also has criticized the new PAC, calling it a "front group" for the Democratic Governors Association that is funded by labor and designed to increase union influence.

"It's a desperate attempt to distract from the unions' plans to takeover the state," said Mike Schrimpf, communications director for the Republican Governors Association.

Common Sense Virginia also today released the names of three of its advisory board members - Debbie DuPree, a special education teacher in Loudoun County who serves as the organization's treasurer; Larry Keefe, a towing administrator for the city of Norfolk; and Molly McClintock, a teacher in Christiansburg. Cohen said his group has more board members and is "recruiting heavily," but declined to release other names or how many people are on the board.

By Derek Kravitz

By Washington Post editors  |  April 9, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race  
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