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Group Launches Anti-McDonnell TV Ads

Anita Kumar

The most expensive ad campaign of the Virginia governor's race so far is not from the three Democrats running in the June primary. It's from Common Sense Virginia, a new group that formed with money from the Democratic Governors Association to oppose Republican Robert F. McDonnell.

The group is spending more than half a million dollars on broadcast and cable TV in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke starting today. They are the first ads in the governor's race to be aired in Northern Virginia.

The ad, "Empty," highlights McDonnell's opposition to Virginia's acceptance of $125 million in federal stimulus money for additional unemployment benefits to thousands of Virginians.

"Bob McDonnell is out of touch with out of work Virginians," said Mike Turner, Loudoun County resident and Common Sense Virginia advisory board member. "McDonnell helped lead the fight to deny Virginians the help we need in challenging times. Now Virginia's tax dollars will go to other states and we won't get our fair share."

UPDATE: The McDonnell campaign has now responded. In a statement, spokesman J. Tucker Martin said, "This is another misleading, negative attack by an outside group funded by national Democrats and big national unions. Bob McDonnell understands that Virginians are hurting and is fully committed to helping unemployed Virginians in this tough time. Unfortunately the federal legislation in question is another big government unfunded mandate which would hurt the ability of our small business owners to create the jobs our citizens need."

Martin said Republicans have worked to help the unemployed in other ways and is looking for ways to help that will not hurt job creation.

"Virginians prefer paychecks over unemployment checks. Bob McDonnell knows that, and he is focused on growing Virginia's economy, creating new jobs, and bringing more opportunities to every region of Virginia," he said.

By Anita Kumar  |  May 5, 2009; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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“Unfortunately the federal legislation in question is another big government unfunded mandat”

Sorry Tucker, but that unfunded mandate comes with $125,500,000.00 in additional unemployment funds!

“which would hurt the ability of our small business owners to create the jobs our citizens need."

Uhh Tucker! In these very difficult times, our large and small businesses are eliminating jobs, not creating them, which is why there are so many more unemployed Virginians, who will directly benefit when you boss stops playing political games and encourages his party of NO to say Yes to accepting the $125,500,000.00 in additional federal unemployment funds.

A suggestion to my friends on the right is: Please stop listening to the dishonest political spin of your leaders and start looking for the facts on your own. In these very difficult times, one should be making decisions on the true facts, not political spin.

Posted by: SamBear | May 5, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

You must be kidding. Here you have an outside group, funded ENTIRELY by union and corporate soft money, with no Virginians even working for it, basically trying to swift boat this good and decent public servant. This slimy group is EVERYTHING that is wrong with American politics, and no one but the most partisan leftist political hack would bother giving this tripe the time of day.

And the FACTS are, that after 2 years the required change in law would indeed be unfunded, forcing the GA to raise taxes on the very businesses they are depending on to create jobs. Thus proving the old adage, "Democrats love employment but hate employers."

Posted by: SpotsySteve | May 5, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

In reality, $20 million of the $125,500,000.00 of additional federal unemployment dollars will be used through 2010 to provide unemployment benefits to those unemployed part-time workers and workers in training that currently do not receive unemployment benefits. The remaining 105,500,000.00 can be used to replenish the regular unemployment fund, which will need a large cash infusion in the very near future. Virginia’s business leaders should remember that the unemployment fund is currently paying out $25 million a week and that the state will be looking to the businesses to help in replenishing the fund, per the VEC, beginning in early 2010. From that viewpoint, the $105.5 million looks pretty good! In the latter part of 2010, the legislature can decide to continue or discontinue the funding of the unemployed part-time workers and workers in training in 2011. The decision should be based on a true cost benefit analysis. Does it really make good business sense to walk away from $125,500,000.00, when there are so many unemployed Virginians and businesses that could benefit from those additional federal funds?

Posted by: SamBear | May 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely. I know many of the delegates who want no part of authorizing a ghastly change and then having to un-authorize it in 2 years. Political suicide. They are smarter than that. I'm surprised the Dems in Richmond are not.

Bottom line, if the money came with no restrictions the legislature would have taken it, but instead Pelosi and Obama wanted to dismantle the great welfare reforms of the 90s, that were so successful in putting people off the government dole and back to work. Instead, we get strings attached. Those strings are what is forcing legislatures across the country to refuse this fiscal trojan horse. Legislatures are not dumb- they know it would be suicidal to raise taxes on the same businesses they are counting on to create jobs. You simply cannot have both- might as well try to create perpetual motion.

Posted by: SpotsySteve | May 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And, in these very difficult times with almost 300,000 Virginians out of work, walking away from an additional $125,500,000.00 in unemployment funds is not political suicide?

The people of Virginia are dealing with some really serious problems in some really terrible times and we need leaders with honesty, integrity, knowledge, maturity, and wisdom. Sadly, none of the Republican elected members of the General Assembly, except for two, or their wannabe governor have demonstrated those abilities. In November, Virginians should just say No to the party of NO and reward their failures by replacing them with Virginians that are not so preoccupied with future elections and that are willing to make the tough decisions that will protect and serve their constituents’ best interests today during this current Global Financial Armageddon!

Have a Nice Day!

Posted by: SamBear | May 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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