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Deeds Fights Back

Anita Kumar

Here's how we can tell we're in the midst of the final days of a hard-fought race: The attacks are coming fast and furious. It's hard to even keep up.

Each of the three Democrats running for governor -- Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran -- are accusing each other of unfair attacks daily. Forget daily. Try every few hours.

Most of the attacks have been aimed at Deeds, who recent polls show surging ahead of his rivals, and his lengthy record of support for gun rights.

McAuliffe sent out a mailer that poses the question: "Which of the Democratic candidates supports concealed weapons in bars?" And Moran has been hammering Deeds in his own campaign mailer as well as in radio interviews.

Now, Deeds is fighting back.

In a recorded call paid for by Deeds' campaign, a femaler caller says McAuliffe and Moran are "lying about Creigh Deeds' voting record."

"The truth is Deeds has the same position on gun control as Mark Warner and Jim Webb,'' she says. "So please join Creigh Deeds' positive campaign of change. Let's send Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe a message.''

In talking about guns, Deeds often says he shares the same views as U.S. Sens. Webb and Warner -- both moderate Democrats who succeeded in Virginia's most recent statewide elections.

So where does Deeds stand on guns?

Over his long legislative record, Deeds has consistently received A ratings from the National Rifle Association. He secured the group's endorsement in 2005 for state attorney general -- a rarity for a Democrat -- after he proposed a constitutional amendment to guarantee Virginians the right to hunt.

Deeds opposed bans on buying more than one handgun a month and carrying firearms in bars. But as governor, Warner said he supported both proposals.

In addition, Deeds also voted to stop localities from enforcing more restrictive gun requirements than the state, including banning guns at community centers and parks, to limit government lawsuits against gun manufacturers and to deny judges the ability to reject gun permits from certain criminals.

But Deeds has changed some views in recent years.

Deeds had voted repeatedly against closing the so-called gunshow loophole that allows some private vendors at gun shows to make sales without background checks. But after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007 Deeds said he changed hid mind.

For two years in a row, he proposed amendments that weakened the bill to close the loophole in an attempt to secure more votes and get the bill get out of committee. His strategy worked this year but the full Senate later killed the bill.

By Anita Kumar  |  June 6, 2009; 11:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Four years ago in the Attorney General’s race Deeds lost to Bob McDonnell by about 300 votes. Deeds likes to make the excuse that McDonnell outspent him 2:1. Dig a little deeper. McDonnell, then a known far right wing religious extremist, beat Deeds from the left. McDonnell attacked Deeds, who was endorsed by the NRA instead of McDonnell, on Deeds’ votes regarding guns.

Deeds voted for and tried to overturn Kaine’s veto to allow gun owners to be able to carry concealed handguns in bars. Deeds voted against a law that would have made it illegal for a wife-beater to own a handgun. Deeds wanted to repeal Virginia's "one handgun a week" rule. Deeds is a gun rights extremist.

Deeds has not been in the military. He doesn’t have any concept of the difference between hunting deer and the extreme nature of being in a crowded environment when it is hard to discern who is friend or foe, and when it is necessary to make live or die split second decisions.

Deeds' support for guns in bars is Deeds advocating the mixing of guns and alcohol. If two folk go at it especially after a drink or two, the most likely losers are the innocent bystanders.

A military maxim is to never leave a comrade behind. Allowing a known wife beater to carry a weapon is like turning your back on and walking away from a comrade in a defenseless position.

I believe Deeds will have great difficulty against Bob McDonnell. McDonnell has carefully concealed his extremist really primitive views on women, race, gays, and science to name only a few. Deeds remains unapologetic about his extremist views on guns and alcohol and leaving a woman defenseless against a known predator.

As Deeds’ gun positions are again advertised by McDonnell all thinking and caring Virginia Democrats may sit out this race. McDonnell will win and Virginia will lose.

Posted by: Willis3 | June 7, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Where to start?

Over 35 states allow handgun carry permit holders to carry their legal handguns into restaurants that serve alcohol. (We are taking about restaurants here, not "bars" where bouncers screen people at the door already). These states include gun-unfriendly Maryland and California. Every single one of these states allows the restaurant to set its own policy and ban guns on the premises. Is that really a basis for hysteria?

And it is actually pretty easy to ID a "foe" in a crowded place: hint - they are the one trying to kill you.

The desperation of Deeds' opponents would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Posted by: k_romulus | June 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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