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Updated: Is Bolling Criticizing McDonnell, Too?

Anita Kumar

In recent days, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has been attacking Democrat Jody Wagner for quitting her job as state finance secretary to run for office.

"Ms. Wagner quit to run for higher office, putting her own personal political interests ahead of Virginia's interests and the fulfillment of her responsibilities as Secretary of Finance,'' Bolling wrote in a news release yesterday.

Bolling, of course, remained in his part-time job to run for reelection. But wait a minute.

His friend and running mate, Bob McDonnell, quit his job as attorney general to run for governor. Is Bolling criticizing McDonnell, too?

The folks at the state Democratic Party want to point out this obvious disconnect.

''Do you think Bolling has ever confronted McDonnell about his decision to step down as Virginia's Attorney General to run for governor?'' the party wrote in a news release. "Judging by his willingness to campaign with McDonnell across Virginia, it seems as if Bolling has opted to put HIS personal political interests first and stayed quiet."

Updated: Matt Wells, Bolling's campaign manager responds. "There is a fundamental difference between the two. Bob McDonnell left office as one of the most successful attorneys general in modern Virginia history. He accomplished the goals he laid out when he entered office and left the attorney general's office in excellent standing. On the other hand, Jody Wagner totally mismanaged the state's finances. She missed her revenue projections by 20 percent points and created $7 billion in budget shortfalls. And then, when the extent of her financial mismanagement became known, she quit and asked the people of Virginia to give her a promotion. She put her personal political interests ahead of the people's interests and didn't even stick around to help clean up the mess she created."

By Anita Kumar  |  September 30, 2009; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: Virginia Notebook: Wilder Again Plays His Hand Alone



Good luck as you wait for a response from Bolling and McDonnell. I venture to guess that all you'll hear is:


Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | September 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing out this latest bit of rightwingnut hypocrisy.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 30, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Are we hearing the sound of Republican desperation?
Seriously, if these guys can't run a coordinated campaign, why should anybody believe they can run a state?

Posted by: jlhare1 | September 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Huge difference here. McDonnell got the job done and is running on a record of accomplishment. Jody ran the state's finances into the tank and is now cutting and running... for another office. I'd like to see Jody try to run on her own record for once, rather than just attack the our LG.

Posted by: Calvin24 | September 30, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The key difference between the early resignations of Jody Wagner and Bob McDonnell from their key posts is simply timing. Ms. Wagner stepped down in the middle of the budget process. Since Ms. Wagner touts herself as a fiscal maven, it wouldn't be wrong to say the timing of her resignation would be just the same as if General Eisenhower had resigned during D-Day. Attorney General McDonnell resigned at a time of stability in the office. It makes one wonder if Ms. Wagner would have that same uncanny sense of timing if she were so fortunate as to be elected our lieutenant governor.

Posted by: natatkins2007 | September 30, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

That is pathetic! There is no difference, and the budget revenue forecast numbers are not ONLY Jody Wagner's fault! That's assinine. The entire executive and legislative branch all share responsibility for relying on ANY set of numbers, and if you GOP loons would please recall, the forecasting done over the last 8 years has been FAR, FAR better than previous administrations. Furthermore, and I know you'll scream bringing this up is a desperate ploy despite the truth in it, but George W Bush's administration and it's unbelievable botching of this nation's economic policy (or lack thereof) have FAR more to do with Virginia's dropping tax revenues than Jody Wagner!


And let's see, who was it that recently complimented the Bush administration for its performance? Would that be McDonnell, methinks?

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 30, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and could someone please expound on McDonnell's stage-managed "record of accomplishment" as AG? Please, I'd really like to know how he improved life for Virginians as AG. In truly meaningful ways. And as far as running an office well, from what I've heard between the attorneys there emboiled in scandals and the lack of enforcement of laws against polluters and corporate abuses against Virginians, I am not convinced of that either. Oh, and let's not forget the endorsement of writing discrimination into the historic Virginia Bill of Rights! That one pretty much takes the cake....

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 30, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

What's "assinine" is Doug thinking that Tim Kaine's budgetary incompetence personified has any chance at being our lieutenant governor.

Bob McDonnell left the office in the more than capable hands of AG Mims, and if you want proof of McDonnell's success as AG, just look to see all of the mainstream business groups lining up behind his candidacy. Virginia didn't want Creigh Deeds as their AG in a good year for Dems. They certainly don't want him after what Obama has done to our country in just 9 months.

Posted by: AnotherConcernedCitizen | September 30, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Bolling??? Who is he??? If Virginia had an AWOL law, with the assignments Lt Gov Bolling is given by law and ignored, he'd be in the brig. That's jail to civilians. He's running for Lt. Gov again because he can do nothing and collect $ from Virginia. That's the Republican version of welfare. Bolling the welfare "queen"!!!

So 34 days before the election he suddenly finds out that there is a recession on in this county, tax receipts are down in almost all States including Virginia. So where was Bolling in all the budget discussion he is REQUIRED to attend and skipped for the past 4 years. Bolling the welfare “queen” running to continue to do nothing and get paid for it.

Posted by: Willis3 | September 30, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: harrietvanewimsey | September 30, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't even understand how there is a comparison between Mrs. Wagner stepping down and Mrs. McDonnell stepping down.

Bob McDonnell in my opinion was one of the most successful Attorney General's Virginia has seen in a long time. I truly believe that Virginia's children are safer since Bob served. And cracking down on pedophiles is only one of the many accomplishments. When he left he left a long list of accomplishments with him.

On the other hand, Mrs. Wagner got in, made a huge fiscal mess and when things got really bad she bailed, leaving the mess to someone else to clean up. I have faith that Virginia will see right through these attacks, and will re-elect Bill Bolling.

Posted by: notjodywagner | October 1, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Anita - your article should have pointed out that, as an appointed official, Wagner was required to step down in order to run for LG, whereas, as elected officials, Bolling and McDonnell did not have to leave their positions to run in 2009. I'm sure Bolling would have preferred to have Wagner stay in her job as Secretary of Finance since obviously Mike Signer would have been much easier to beat in the general election, but attacking her for following Virginia's election laws is a bit much!

Posted by: ashleep | October 7, 2009 6:28 AM | Report abuse

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