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Two Fronts Against McAuliffe

Anita Kumar

Campaigns for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds are pursuing a two-front effort to push back today against Terry McAuliffe, as he airs new radio ads and opens new campaign offices. It's hard to say if public polls out showing McAuliffe ahead are accurate, but both Moran and Deeds are spending considerable time mounting an offense against him.

For Deeds, the subject is new McAuliffe ads airing in urban radio markets that say McAuliffe is the only candidate to call for an end to payday lending in Virginia and blasts the General Assembly for a 2002 law that made the high-interest lending easier in the state.

Both Moran and Deeds were in the legislature at the time, but Deeds' campaign is crying foul, noting that all three candidates have now called to end the unpopular lending.

"It's inaccurate to say he's the only one wants to get payday out of the state," said Deeds spokesman Brooke Borkenhagen.

The 2002 law, originially designed to regulate the industry and limit predatory lending, was supported by then Gov. Mark Warner (D), so the ad implicitly criticizes Warner and all other Virginia Democrats, she said.

She notes that just this year, when Deeds was the only candidate to be serving the General Assembly, he worked to get passed a crackdown on the lenders. "You've got to look at what they've done, not just what they say."

Meanwhile, Moran campaign manager Andrew Roos today wrote federal regulators, asking that they release documents from their examination of the Federal City National Bank, which McAuliffe became chairman of at age 30 in 1988.

In 1991, federal regulators found the bank had engaged in "unsafe, unsound banking practices." Federal City was merged with another bank, a move McAuliffe has said stabilized the institution and cites as an example of his ability to turn around struggling businesses.

McAuliffe spokesman Lis Smith called both charges "misleading and negative attacks" and said McAuliffe is happy to put his record up against the other candidates.

By Anita Kumar  |  May 8, 2009; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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As much as I am trying to find Terry McAuliffe palatable, I just don't.

Everything about the man just screams that he's in it for the wrong reasons.

I don't blame Moran or Deeds one bit for wanting to damage Terry. He deserves it. But it's hard to come out and just say that without pointing to something concrete. Hence the search for dirt, I suppose. We all hate that.

But seriously, I am really frightened by the idea of McAuliffe as the nominee. He is going to lose big time to McDonnell in the fall, and he's going to cost the Democratic brand in Virginia (pragmatic, moderate, common-sense solutions-oriented) kind of like Bush cost the GOP brand in the country.

I don't understand why people are throwing so much energy into him just because he's got all the money. We didn't do this with the Webb-Miller race. That turned out pretty good.

Both Brian Moran (who I support) and Creigh Deeds are good men who have the interests of this Commonwealth at heart. Terry McAuliffe has Terry McAuliffe's interests at heart, and it's completely transparent to me.

Please, primary voters, pick someone who acutally knows and cares about Virginia, and who our Democratic brand actually aligns with...

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | May 11, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are a big tent family. In Virginia we don't hold exclusive by invitation only conventions to select our candidates. We have a primary on June 9 where every Virginia voter can choose his/her choice to be the Democratic nominee. And we will unite behind the winner on June 10 to beat the Republican who is wrong for the times and has been wrong on the issues for years. I'll cast my vote for Terry McAuliffe.

Terry McAuliffe is the candidate with the executive, management and leadership abilities to be the next in a series of great Democratic governors most recently Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. He will work tirelessly to improve education all over Virginia and bring good jobs to Virginia.

Posted by: Willis3 | May 11, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

There are so many more important issues that need to be addressed. People are losing their homes, our schools need help, we need better health care, our government needs to manage ITS debt… yet we get stable of candidates that claim to protect us from debt, through payday loan rate caps? This will do nothing to improve out social outlook. We need to elect officials that have guts enough to take on the real problems we face.

Posted by: varapetra | May 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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