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Ad Watch: "No Good Deeds"

Anita Kumar

The ads are coming fast and furious.

And we told you that when they started, we'd be analyzing the commercials, picking apart claims made by the campaigns and assessing the messages they are intending to send.

Here's our latest installment: a Republican Governors Association ad -- the first one of the general election -- attacking Democrat Creigh Deeds, which began airing Wednesday.

Female Narrator: "Candidate Creigh Deeds. What's his record? Let's ask Creigh Deeds."

Deeds: "Last year, the Fredericksburg paper ran an editorial about the big spenders in Richmond. In Richmond, we don't have earmarks. We have budget amendments and I had the most budget amendments."

Female narrator: "He's right. The paper said Deeds introduced $1 billion in budget amendments -- the highest amount. That's billion with a 'b.' Big Spender Creigh Deeds. Know him by his words. Know him by his Deeds."

The ads shows Deeds, wearing a suit and tie, speaking at a campaign stop in Lexington on April 4. The images are dark and shadowy -- an attempt to create a secretive, almost sinister, sensation. The words "Richmond's biggest spender?" appears in large type for much of commercial. Other images that flash across the screen: Deeds' quote, "I had the most budget amendments" and an image of a torn-out page from the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star that says "Deeds...introduced $1 billion in budget amendments, the highest amount.'' The words "$1 billion" and "highest amount" are highlighted in yellow.

The 30-second TV ad, the first attack of the general election on either side, never mentions Deeds' opponent, Republican Bob McDonnell, or even that either man is running for governor.

The ad criticizes Deeds, a state senator from Bath County, for proposing $1 billion worth of amendments to the state's budget. But the ad fails to mention any details behind his proposals.

Deeds did introduce $1 billion in amendments the two-year state budget that was passed by General Assembly in 2008. A total of $8.7 billion in budget amendments were proposed by Democrats and Republicans of both chambers.

Most of Deeds' proposals -- more than $870 million over two years -- would have been used to pay for the state's portion of increasing teachers' salaries to the national average. He introduced about two dozen other amendments that include $20,000 per year for Allegheny Mountain Radio, $200,000 for a community-based health care program to help uninsured residents in Nelson County and $4 million per year to increase funding to the Governor's Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, according to legislative records.

The RGA also released a similar 60-second radio ad that seeks to further tie Deeds to spending in Washington and to take advantage of widespread criticism of the direction of the nation run by a Democratic president and Congress. It starts out with the sounds of an auction and a female narrator saying "Washington is out of control. Liberal politicians spending billions every week. It's almost like an auction. And Richmond's got a problem too."

Deeds, who described raising teacher salaries to the national average as one of his top priorities, says he is proud of his support for teachers and does not mind the so-called attack. Clearly, he would not be touting the budget amendments at a campaign stop if he was trying to hide his proposal.

McDonnell has also said he supports raising teachers' salaries to the national average, but has not said how he would do it. As a legislator, he voted against teacher pay raises a number of times. McDonnell's campaign acknowledges the votes, saying "leadership is about setting priorities and respecting the taxpayers' dollars."

By Anita Kumar  |  August 28, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Why, When a goodly portion of The Washington Posts readers are Virginians, does the post ignore the ongoing governors contest?

When McDonnell/Gilmore speaks of transportation funding, Why does the Post not ask, "Where is the money coming from?

When McDonnell/Gilmore States he will Audit VDOT, why does the Post not ask Why?
When the last 4 Governor's audited VDOT, why was the results, which have invariably stated "VDOT IS UNDERFUNDED" were these results not published, prominently?

When over the last 25 years, 17 of which McDonnell/Gilmore has been in a position to forward, or sponser legislation to fund VDOT, why has he instead push instead for audits, ignoring the results of previous audits?

Why has McDonnell/Gilmore obstructed every year any and every attempt to fund Transportation?

Why has the Post ignored what has to be one of the most pressing issues in the ENTIRE state, not just in Northern Virginia and Hampton roads,ie: TRANSPORTATION - every election cycle?

People die because roads are substandard, People die because bridges are so delapidated that emergency vehicles must make long detours to pick up emergency patients.

Time, fuel and money are wasted, tempers flare because people spend hours creeping along in traffic that has no end, with no relief because a cadre of republican powerbrokers refuse to do their jobs.

We can sue doctors when they screw up, and people die, We can sue the makers of dangerous products when they kill people, we can sue a builder who's work fails and people die, we can sue a homeowner, or a business owner who refuse to fix dangerous conditions that hurt or kill, we can even have them charged with crimes if they KNOW about the hazards and ignore them.

What can we do with politicians, who have known for deacades about the dangerous conditions of deteriorating roads and bridges, and yet have ACTIVELY refused to address the problems?

Where is the Washington Post, and everyother newspaper who's job is to be the collective voice of those who have no power?

Are they too busy cozying up to the powerbrokers for paid dinners?

Are they so far into the pockets of the politically powerful to even look with a critical eye at the situation they, (the POST) by their indifferent and lackidasical coverage have help perpetuate over the last 3 decades?

Of what use is a newspaper that fails to look into, let alone publish the ugly truths?

Posted by: maxtor0 | August 29, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

excellent post, maxtor)!

Posted by: annie7 | August 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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