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Wagner and Bolling trade more attacks

The way Democrats reckon, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's attendance at the Virginia Military Advisory Council during his four-year term has been perfect--as in, a perfect zero.

In what has become the cornerstone of Jody Wagner's campaign for lieutenant goveror, the Democrat dinged her Republican opponent again this week for being a no-show. In a press release, the campaign accused Bolling of not showing up for Tuesday's meeting of the Virginia Military Advisory Council, one of a handful of boards and commissions to which the lieutenant governor is a member by law.

The Wagner camp also reiterated its assertion that Bolling has missed 64 of 68 meetings in the last four years, an attendance record of less than 6 percent. "Either Bill still doesn't understand the role of the Lieutenant Governor, or he's too busy devoting his time to being a health insurance executive to care," the campaign said. What was not clear at first was whether the campaign had someone at the VMAC to watch the door. (They did, a campaign spokesman said.)

But Bolling took the attack in stride as another shot from a candidate whose team is sliding in the polls. His campaign also took a shot in return, once more reprising its charge that as a top finance official in Virginia, Wagner blew key revenue projections that have aggravated the state's ability to cope with massive budget gaps.

"Ms. Wagner's campaign is like a record stuck on the same old song," Bolling's campaign manager, Matt Wells, said in a written statement. "Fairly or not, they just can't pass up an opportunity to attack Lieutenant Governor Bolling. That's why they are losing this election. The people of Virginia want candidates who offer a positive vision for the future of our state, not candidates who think they can get elected by telling lies about their opponent. Ms. Wagner knows very well that the Lieutenant Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff attended the VMAC meeting on his behalf and the Lieutenant Governor will be fully briefed on the meeting. I just wish Ms. Wagner cared as much about doing her job when she was Secretary of Finance. It is because of her botched revenue estimates that Virginia is facing billions of dollars in budget shortfalls, and her only answer is to raise taxes on families and businesses."

A Washington Post poll on Tuesday reported that Republican Robert F. McDonnell's lead over Democratic state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds has widened to 11 points. The poll did not cover downticket matchups between Bolling and Wagner or Attorney General candidates state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, and Del. Steve Shannon, a Democrat. Earlier this month, a Post poll showed McDonnell with a nine-point lead, while both Bolling and Cuccinelli held identical 49 to 40 percent leads over their opponents.

--Fredrick Kunkle

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 28, 2009; 8:08 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Fredrick Kunkle , Jody Wagner  
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