Monday, November 07, 2005

Horse Race 2005: Monday Morning Round-up

Lots of dirty tricks going around this past weekend. Reports are coming in that the Republican Party has staffers calling around posing as Democrats. This report comes from Dsewell at Democratic Underground:

"Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC" is sponsoring a dirty-tricks recorded call that is targeting VA Dems today.

It seems to be from Tim Kaine (I wasn't paying enough attention at the start of the message, but it sure sounded like it was claiming to be from "I, Tim Kaine"). It goes on to describe Kaine's position on issues so as to put him in the most convervative light possible: "I oppose abortion, I oppose gay marriage," etc. No outright untruths, but the purpose is obviously the same as the Potts mailer, to confuse voters who don't know much about the race and try to undercut support for Kaine among Dems/progressives.

If you get a call like this, please try to record and/or transcribe it to determine whether it is in fact impersonating Kaine, which would probably be a clear campaign violation.

Raising Kaine reported similar incidents:

In yet the latest Republican dirty trick, people in Northern Virginia — myself included — are getting calls purporting to be from the Kaine campaign. However, at the end of the message it says “Paid for by Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.” Wait a minute, what on earth is THAT? Well, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP):

Honest Leadership for Virginia supports the election of conservative Republican candidates in the state of Virginia, including 2005 gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore.

All told, this (ironically named) group has given $2,852,603 (100%) of its money to Jerry Kilgore this year, and $0.00 (0%) of its money to Democrats. It’s also Jerry Kilgore’s #1 donor - by FAR! Hmmm…doesn’t sound like a bunch of Tim Kaine supporters to me. So how can this group be making robocalls that begin, “I’m Tim Kaine and I want you to know where I stand on the issues.” Isn’t that a bit strange, at the minimum? Illegal? That’s up to the State Board of Elections to determine, along with possible civil and/or criminal penalties.

In the meantime, I would strongly urge everyone to be EXTREMELY skeptical about robocalls and mailers during the next 24-36 hours. Probably, the best bet is simply to ignore them, given all the smarmy, slimy tactics being employed by Scott Howell and Company. (Also, make sure you let everyone you know about the Kilgore campaign’s gutter politics!)

Now The Nation is reporting just where the Virginia GOP’s money is coming from – and, of course, it exposes Virginia Republicans as the hypocrites they are and always have been:

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, promising an aggressive crackdown on day laborers and undocumented immigrants attending state universities. "Will we reward illegal behavior with hard-earned dollars from law-abiding citizens?" he asked a campaign rally crowd this August. "I say the answer to this question should be an easy one: no!" While Kilgore accepts the financial support of an anti-immigrant group with racist ties, he also has taken massive contributions from companies notorious for exploiting undocumented immigrant labor.

Virginia Republican Attorney General candidate Bob McDonnell has declared himself "a drug dealer's worst nightmare," while appearing in ads slamming imaginary crooks behind prison doors and pledging to protect Virginians from sexual predators. McDonnell has not only financed his campaign through a possibly illegal slush fund but has hired three former associates of indicted Republican über-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. One of them, who once served as McDonnell's campaign manager, is now in prison for soliciting sex with a young boy.

By introducing the anti-immigrant movement's extremist agenda into a high-profile statewide race in barely warmed-over form, Kilgore has not only added an expedient wedge issue to his arsenal; he has sought to neutralize the criticism other pro-business Republicans have earned from the right for embracing the immigration-friendly policies that insure their corporate donors a steady pool of cheap labor. Kilgore has attempted this political high-wire act by homing his attacks on state-funded forms of assistance to undocumented immigrants, such as a public day laborer center in northern Virginia. He has studiously shied away from criticizing the corporations that lure the bulk of illegal labor to Virginia, however, reflecting a central contradiction of his candidacy. snip

Kilgore's donation from US Immigration Reform PAC is dwarfed by those he has received from companies that habitually prey on the state's ever-increasing population of undocumented laborers. One of them, Smithfield Foods, has stuffed Kilgore's campaign coffers with $36,000. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers's Justice@Smithfield, "Smithfield Packing {a subsidiary} has created an environment of intimidation, racial tension, fear and sometimes, violence, for workers who desperately want a voice on the job." In 2000 Judge John H. West ruled that Smithfield committed thirty-six labor violations during a union-busting campaign in the 1990s, which included threatening to report Latino workers to the Immigration and Naturalization Services if they joined union ranks.

Finally, Tim and Mark are going to be holding a rally today in Alexandria, for you Northern Virginia folks:

11:30 AM - Alexandria
Market Square
301 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

More as the day progresses…

Posted by crimnos @ 8:07 AM