Did McAuliffe Break His Pledge?
Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran are accusing rival Terry McAuliffe of breaking the pledge (he loves to repeat) to not go negative in a primary against fellow Democrats.
But his latest campaign mailer, just arriving in mailboxes in Northern Virginia, offers a comparison of the three candidates that seems, well, kind of negative.
The mailer compares the three Democrats and one Republican in the race for governor on four issues -- payday lending, campaign finance, lobby reform and renewable energy standard.
Deeds' campaign said McAuliffe's "deceptive" mailer shows he is running scared because recent polls show Deeds is gaining ground while Moran's camp says it shows McAuliffe can't be trusted.
Click the image below to see the ad.
McAuliffe's campaign denies that he broke his pledge.
"We've always said that there are differences between the candidates on issues and experience, and that's legitimate to discuss,'' said Elisabeth Smith, McAuliffe's spokeswoman. "But Terry's not attacking other Democrats, and believes any of the three would be better than McDonnell."
In at least two cases, McAuliffe's accusations may be correct, but are a bit misleading:
McAuliffe said he hasn't takeny any money from Dominion Virginia Power, one of the most influential companies in the state, while the others have. That's true, but he has attended a campaign event at the home of Thomas E. Capps, the company's retired president and chief executive officer, and Capps and other former or current executives donated about $12,000. He also accepted $60,000 in contributions from Dominion for the Democratic National Committee's building fund when he was chairman.
McAuliffe said all three of his opponents voted for a bill in 2002 that opened Virginia to payday lending. That's true, but members of both parties, including then governor Mark Warner, thought the bill would reduce the number of stores, not increase. Clearly, that didn't work and Moran and Deeds voted later to enact some of the nation's most stringent reforms of the payday loan industry.
"The last place we would go for a public service lesson is a Wall Street insider,'' said Andrew Roos, Moran's campaign manager. "For decades, Mr. McAuliffe traded access for money, ensuring that big companies - not people - were in control, all the while pocketing millions through his proximity to power. This mailer is all the more ironic given Mr. McAuliffe's repeated pledge to run a positive campaign. People need a governor who they can trust what he says."
"McAuliffe and Moran are flat and Creigh is up," said Brooke Borkenhagen, Deeds' spokeswoman. "Creigh has all of the momentum in this race and Terry is clearly running scared. That's why Terry's trying to hustle Virginia voters with this deceptive mail piece.
May 28, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe
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