Blogging the VA Gov race

I don't usually blog about the races and candidates that I'm working on (Brian Moran's), but since I also live in Virginia, I'm going to make an exception, and post about the contest in the coming weeks. This isn't endorsed or coordinated with the campaign.

I think it's fair to say that a majority of the bloggers and their readers in Virginia are backing Brian Moran, but Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe also have their supporters. I have my own take on Terry McAuliffe, which began with 2002, and it pretty closely tracks the view that a lot of national bloggers have toward the guy who was the biggest obstacle of the Democratic Party changing, from 2000-2005, when we replaced him with Howard Dean.

McAuliffe, of course, went on to be the Chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign in the next period of his life, where he helped run a pretty negative campaign against Barack Obama.

As an aside--losing is par for the course of Terry McAuliffe in Presidential politics. He's actually got a worse record than Bob Shrum! Except in '96, when Clinton ran for re-election, every primary candidate supported by McAuliffe has failed to win. In '80 its was Carter; '84 Mondale; '88 Gephardt; '92 Harkin; '00 Gore; '04 Kerry; '08 Clinton.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, McAuliffe started running these radio ads where "he takes credit for helping to elect President Obama last year". So, this past week Moran's campaign takes out ads on the same stations:

"Terry McAuliffe may have a lot of big money for his campaign, but don't let that hide the truth. The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the `3 a.m.' attack ad against Barack Obama. McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama's ability to be President. The fact is, if Terry McAuliffe had his way, Barack Obama wouldn't be our President today. McAuliffe even went on national TV and joked Barack Obama could, quote, `kiss my ass.' The New York Times put it best, saying `[Barack] Obama ran against exactly the kind of big-money 1990s politics that McAuliffe has come to represent.' We need to stand against McAuliffe's big-money politics today. Brian Moran has been fighting for our community for decades.  Brian Moran will take on big- money Wall Street politics and fight for our streets as Governor."

In the Hampton Roads version: "Locally, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus Kelly Alexander urges you to vote for Brian Moran for Governor. We can count on Brian Moran."

In the Richmond version: "Locally, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones urges you to vote for Brian Moran for Governor.  We can count on Brian Moran.

Now, I'm not a candidate, but that hasn't stopped the press shop of Terry McAuliffe from pushing out oppo of some of the words I had about Barack Obama in the '08 primary.

Now mind you, I was not on anyone's staff nor did any consultant work, and just posted as a pull-it-out-of-my-you-know-where blogger. I could never discern a single policy difference between Clinton and Obama and that's panned out. Clinton seemed more likely to win the GE, but Obama did it, so a terrific ending. I think there's a higher bar for someone on the staff, as compared with a bloggers words. But nevertheless, if I turned around and bragged here on a blog post that I was a key reason why Obama won, I'd expect to get whacked back pretty hard. But not Terry McAuliffe? I don't think so.

Teacher Ken seems confused on a couple of those points.
If the standard for condemnation is negative remarks about Obama and/or his supporters, then it is hard to see how the Moran campaign can continue to use the services of Jerome Armstrong, whose vitriol towards Obama and his supporters has been noted by many across the blogosphere. I have already noted several well known bloggers who have tweeted on Twitter their displeasure with these ads, and their unwillingness to consider voting for Moran in the primary. I am hearing through a variety of media of people saying how this kind of ad against a fellow Democrat is raising questions in their minds about their ability to support Brian in the general should he gain the nomination.
First, how there is some sort of relevance between what I posted as a blogger and what Terry McAuliffe says as a candidate is a bizzare stretch in any world. Second, I didn't go on national TV and joke Barack Obama could Kiss My Ass, and I didn't run ads taking credit for Barack Obama winning either. Ben Tribbett smells racism as work:
Releasing this on African American radio stations, but not stations targeted towards younger audiences smells a little like race baiting to me- why else only target this to African Americans?
Ben, was it "race baiting" when Terry McAuliffe ran his targeted ads on those same urban stations where he took credit for Obama getting elected? What nonsense.

I love primaries. I'll take a look at the conservatism of Creigh Deeds next post.

Update [2009-5-18 10:7:20 by Jerome Armstrong]: CNN's Peter Hamby, for those that want more details, McAuliffe blasted by rival:

The new attack is especially pointed because McAuliffe has gone to great lengths to model elements of his gubernatorial campaign after Obama's, which won Virginia in both the Democratic primary and the general election. In March, McAuliffe's campaign ran an ad on black radio stations proclaiming: "In 2008, our voices were heard when we elected our president, Barack Obama." But Moran's new ad claims that, "if Terry McAuliffe had his way, Barack Obama wouldn't be our president today." Referring to a light-hearted appearance by McAuliffe on The Daily Show last June, the ad says that "McAuliffe even went on national TV and joked Barack Obama could, quote, 'kiss my ass.'" The McAuliffe campaign called the ad "false and misleading" and accused Moran of "trying to divide Democrats again, especially at a time when we all need to come together to help President Obama get the economy back on track." The campaign said McAuliffe "fought tirelessly" for Obama after the primaries ended.
That's rich.

If you want to help nominate the progressive candidate in the contest, Brian Moran, we could use your phone-banking help over on Organize Virginia.

There's more...

Terry McAuliffe Boasts "Do Your Research"

The Washington Post does the research:

The full exposes of the shenanigans of Terry McAuliffe in today's A1 article on the Washington Post: McAuliffe's Past May Cost Him.  

Actually though, its not the "full expose" at all; unfortunately, there's so much more political toxicity in Terry McAuiffe's past to be unearthed, that we can only hope that Democratic voters in Virginia know the entire record of Terry McAuliffe before voting.

I'm working to elect the progressive choice for VA Gov: Brian Moran.

Update [2009-5-3 18:2:6 by Jerome Armstrong]:Moran interview:

“I’m disturbed by it, it undermines his motivation for running. He claims to have created thousands of jobs here in Virginia and that is contradicted by the Post story this morning.” “It disturbs me when executives take millions of dollars and then employees are left out in the cold and that is a record that we cannot have here in the Commonwealth of VA. We must genuinely want to get people back to work and strengthen the economy.” “It appears that I am the only candidate for Governor who has actually created jobs in Virginia. I had a successful small business in Virginia. I had 10 employees. I knew their names, they were paid every two weeks and I am very proud of that. Apparently, I am the only one who has successfully done that in Virginia.”

There's more...

VA-Gov: McAuliffe surges in primary, trails McDonnell by 7

A SUSA poll has come out on the Virginia governor's race: 10265296&nav=S6aK

Of 409 likely Democratic primary voters, it's 38% for McAuliffe, and 22% each for Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds.  But McDonnell leads all three Dems in a sample of 1396 RVs, with McDonnell leading McAuliffe 46%-39%.  Deeds runs only behind by 5, 44-39.  Moran does the worst against McDonnell, trailing 46-34.

Something has shifted in the primary race, and it's going to be uphill in November no matter who wins the primary.  Is McAuliffe that bad a candidate?  I do think Bill Clinton's campaigning for McAuliffe has given him a boost.

So, can Brian Moran turn it around?

There's more...

VA-Gov: Moran Behind In Money, Ahead In Polls

Yesterday, the Democrats running for governor of Virginia released their fundraising numbers for the first quarter and it turns out all those fundraisers out of state and with Republican operatives are really paying off for Terry McAuliffe.

Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, raised $4.2 million in this year's first quarter as he seeks the Virginia governorship, his campaign said today.

McAuliffe's campaign released general figures one week ahead of an April 15 deadline, applicable to all candidates for governor, to release detailed information about their campaign donations and spending. McAuliffe's campaign said that he has raised about $5.2 million for the duration of his campaign from 3,440 donors, which comes out to an average contribution of about $1,500. McAuliffe had about $2.5 million left to spend as April began.

Compare that to:

[Brian] Moran's campaign said Wednesday afternoon that it raised more than $800,000 in this year's first quarter, bringing the campaign's total receipts to nearly $3 million. It said that more than 90 percent of its donations came from Virginia residents.


[Creigh] Deeds' campaign on Thursday said that it raised $600,000 in the first quarter and that more than 97 percent of that total came from Virginians. The Deeds campaign, which has $1.2 million cash-on-hand...

Moran's cash on hand is just $850k. But you gotta sort of wonder, what's Terry gotten for all this money raised and millions spent already? The R2000/DKos poll of the Virginia governor's race out today confirms what PPP found in their poll last week: it's Moran in first then McAuliffe then Deeds.

Brian Moran 24
Terry McAuliffe 19
Creigh Deeds 16
Undecided 41

Moran's small lead doesn't look like much, especially with such a huge bloc of undecideds, but considering McAuliffe's national profile and his huge warchest, this really does seem pretty sad for Terry.

Looking at the head-to-head match-ups between the Democrats and the likely Republican nominee, Bob Mcdonnell, things look even worse: Moran is barely behind Mcdonnell 36-37 while McAuliffe and Deeds both trail him by 7. In fact, Mcdonnell has his best showing -- 40% -- against McAuliffe.

Hard not to conclude that Virginia just isn't that into him and that, as Joe Trippi observed about last week's PPP poll:

As Joe Trippi wrote about the PPP poll:

What this poll shows is that despite how much McAuliffe thinks this race is all about the money, in Virginia money isn't everything.

There's more...

Brian Moran takes the lead over Terry McAuliffe in Virginia

Big news: A new Public Policy Polling poll today shows Brian Moran leading the Democratic primary race for Governor in Virginia. That's despite McAuliffe spending a half million dollars, hiring 100 staffers and calling me an `ass.'

What this poll shows is that despite how much McAuliffe thinks this race is all about the money, in Virginia money isn't everything.

This race is really simple - do Virginia voters want to continue to follow the leadership of Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Barack Obama - a leadership based on grassroots support from the bottom-up - or will Virginia be dominated by big-money politics and the people who raise it.

There's more...


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