Home 2012 races Kaine Campaign Responds to False “Americans for Prosperity” Attack Ad

Kaine Campaign Responds to False “Americans for Prosperity” Attack Ad

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The Kaine campaign responds to yet another false, malicious, mendacious ad from some of the usual suspects. These people SHOULD be ashamed of themselves, but of course that would require that they had a sense of shame. Which they don't.  So there you have it.

 

RESPONSE TO FALSE AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY ATTACK AD

Yet Another Group Launches False, Negative Ads To Bail Out George Allen's Re-Election Campaign

Richmond, VA – In response to yet another false, negative attack from a Washington D.C.-based special interest group, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement: 

“Tim Kaine inherited the worst national recession in 70 years — a recession that George Allen helped create in Washington.  As Governor, Kaine brought Virginians together to balance the budget, eliminate taxes that made Virginia less competitive, protect Virginia's triple-A bond rating, invest in education and transportation,  and earn Governing Magazine's rating as Best Managed State and Forbes' Best State for Business all four years. 

“It's not surprising that special interest groups run by Washington lobbyists are rushing to bail out George Allen's re-election effort with false attacks.  In Washington, George Allen reliably did the bidding of a few wealthy special interests, while Virginia families and businesses paid the price.  As he runs for re-election, Allen pledges to solve our fiscal challenges by asking seniors, students, businesses, and families to pay more out of their own pockets so that he can keep his promise to Washington lobbyists like Grover Norquist and his allies in the oil industry, like the Koch brothers, who are funding this ad.  And, he promises the same failed, divisive approach that Virginians have come to expect from the 'most partisan' Governor in the state's history.  Virginians couldn't afford the first six years of George Allen's failed, partisan agenda. They certainly can't afford six more.”

Tim Kaine twice offered George Allen opportunities to reach an agreement limiting the influence of these outside groups on this Senate race and George Allen twice declined, opting instead to bolster his re-election campaign with false, negative advertising. 

FACT CHECK: AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY'S FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST TIM KAINE

AFP CLAIM: Kaine was not a budget cutter. 

REALITY: Kaine made more than $5 billion in spending cuts, including his own pay, and led Virginia to earn accolades from CNBC for “Wise Budget Decisions During The Recession.”

  • Kaine's Outgoing Budget Proposed Two Percent Less General Fund Spending Than TheBudget He Inherited. Kaine inherited a General Fund budget of $15,111,251,632 for FY2006. As he left office, Kaine proposed a General Fund budget of $14,806,626,205 for FY2011. [Department Of Planning and Budget, General Fund FY2006; Kaine 2010-2012 Budget Document, 12/19/09]
  • 2009 Pew Study Praised Virginia Budgeting During The Recession, Saying Virginia Was “Better Positioned To Weather Bad Times.” The Pew Center on the States issued a report in February 2009 titled, “Trade-off Time: How Four States Continue to Deliver,” which praised Virginia as one of four states leading the nation in making wise budget decisions during the recession. The report specifically praised Virginia Performs — a program created by Governor Mark Warner and expanded by Governor Kaine — for allowing Virginia “to systematically tackle the state’s budget crisis and increase agency productivity.” As a result of Virginia’s budgeting and management practices, the report stated that the Commonwealth “will be better positioned to weather bad times.” [Trade-off Time: How Four States Continue To Deliver, The Pew Center On The States, 2/11/09]
  • Kaine Announced Over $1.4 Million In Cuts To The Executive Office Budget, Including 5% Cut To His Own Salary. According to a press release from the Office of Governor Kaine, “Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced staff reductions and other spending cuts to the Executive office budget, including the Cabinet. The cuts total more than $900,000 for the remainder of fiscal year 2009 and increase to $1.4 million on an annual basis- or 10%- in fiscal year 2010. Combined with reductions made in October of 2007 and February of 2008, including a 5% reduction in the Governor's salary, budget cuts to the Governor's office budget now amount to more than $1.9 million annually. The resulting reductions in the personal residence budget total 10%. Last month, the Governor ordered his staff to scrub the budget for his office and the Governor's Mansion for items to eliminate. The directive was clear: No item was too small to cut.” [Office Of Governor Kaine Press Release, 10/8/08]
  • Jeff Schapiro: “By Giving Up Frills And Then Some, Kaine Is Cutting Spending Over The Next 21 Months In His Office And Those Of His Cabinet Secretaries, And At The Executive Mansion, By $1.4 Million.” Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, “There'll be no hanging out around the water cooler at Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's office – because there won't be a water cooler. By giving up frills and then some, Kaine is cutting spending over the next 21 months in his office and those of his Cabinet secretaries, and at the Executive Mansion, by $1.4 million. Because of the sagging economy, Kaine previously trimmed his budget $667,000. That included a voluntary 5 percent cut in his $175,000-a-year salary. His office budget is $4.9 million. Eight jobs have been eliminated, but only two workers have been laid off. The other jobs were vacant. Kaine and the Cabinet have a combined staff of 110. Other cutbacks include dropping water-cooler and coffee service, weekday subscriptions to two daily newspapers, reduced cell phone service for staff and less travel by Kaine and first lady Anne Holton. Also, there will be less official entertainment, contributing to lower laundry bills and a reduction in the Executive Mansion grocery bill of almost 25 percent.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/9/08]

AFP CLAIM: Kaine left Virginia with a “Shortfall.”

REALITY: Kaine Never Finished A Fiscal Year With Insufficient Funds,” according to the Associated Press.  

  • AP: Kaine And General Assembly “Never Finished A Fiscal Year With Insufficient Funds.”The Associated Press reported, “While the recession depleted revenues, Kaine and the General Assembly cut nearly $6 billion and never finished a fiscal year with insufficient funds…” [Associated Press, 11/10/11]
     
  • AP: Crossroads Ad “Erroneously Claims Virginia Ran ‘A Big Deficit.’” The Associated Press reported, “Crossroads GPS is spending $616,000 over two weeks to televise the 30-second ad in Virginia's four largest media markets. . . . It erroneously claims Virginia ran ‘a big deficit.’ While the recession depleted revenues, Kaine and the General Assembly cut nearly $6 billion and never finished a fiscal year with insufficient funds…” [Associated Press, 11/10/11]
     
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch: Kaine Did Not Leave A Deficit. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, “The television ad, launched by Crossroads GPS, a GOP candidate advocacy group co-founded by strategist Karl Rove, is titled ‘Applause.’ . . . ‘As Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine’s reckless spending turned a budget surplus into a big deficit,’ the ad says. ‘Reckless spending, massive debt, no wonder Tim Kaine applauds Obama.’ In fact, the Virginia constitution requires that the budget be balanced, eliminating the possibility of a deficit.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/10/11]
  • During Governor Kaine’s Term, Virginia Was One Of Only Seven States To Receive AAA Bond Rating From S&P, Moody’s And Standard And Fitch. [JLARC Virginia Compared To Other States January 2007; JLARC Virginia Compared To Other States January 2008; JLARC Virginia Compared To The Other States 2011 Edition]
  • S&P Analyst: Virginia’s Conservatism Helped It Weather The Economic Storm Exceptionally Well. The Bond Buyer reported, “John Sugden, an analyst who rates Virginia for Standard & Poor's, said the national shock to the economy was a major challenge for all the states, but that Virginia handled it exceptionally well. . . . Both Sugden and Ganeriwala credit Virginia's conservatism with helping it to weather the economic storm.” [Bond Buyer, 4/3/12]

AFP CLAIM: Under Kaine, Virginia's Debt Increased.

REALITY: Republicans criticized Kaine for being too conservative with the debt.  

  • Gov. McDonnell “Criticized The Kaine Administration For Not Issuing $3 Billion In Bonds.”The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, “McDonnell also criticized the Kaine administration for not issuing $3 billion in bonds that were a key part of a Republican transportation bill in 2007. But Pierce R. Homer, the secretary of transportation, said the bonds have not been issued because the insurance premium taxes needed to back them did not materialize during the bad economy.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/1/09]
  • McDonnell Criticized Kaine For Not Issuing Bonds, Vowed To Issue Bigger Bonds. In an interview with the Richmond Times Dispatch, McDonnell said, “Well, part of the bond package that the Governor has failed to get issued. The $3 billion that we outlined in 2007 in that bill you asked me about earlier…We have got to get those bonds issued not only at $300 million a year that originally intended to but as the economy improves I want to speed up the issuance of those bonds to more than $300 million a year.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, video interview, 10/1/09]

REALITY: Governor McDonnell retained Kaine's finance team

  • McDonnell Retained Rick Brown As Finance Secretary, Opting “For Stability And Continuity In The Area Of State Government That Needs It Most.” According to the Washington Post, “A key to Mr. McDonnell's success in setting a constructive tone so far has been his cabinet appointments. In electing to retain Rick Brown, who has been Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's finance secretary, the incoming governor has opted for stability and continuity in the area of state government that needs it most.” [Washington Post, 1/16/10]
  • McDonnell “Reappointed Manju Ganeriwala As State Treasurer. She Has Been Treasurer Since January 2009.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 7/24/10]
  • McDonnell: Virginia Has Had Self-Imposed Cap On Debt For Decades, Set At Five Percent Of Revenues.  In an appearance at the Manhattan Institute, McDonnell said, “You know, governors have a balanced budget amendment. We can't do what happens in Washington. We've got to make sure revenues and expenses are equal every year. We don't have big debt limits. We've — in Virginia it's 5 percent. It's self-imposed, but we've honored that for decades and decades.” [McDonnell Remarks At Manhattan Institute, 4/26/11]

AFP CLAIM: Kaine proposed billions in tax hikes

REALITY: Virginia's overall tax burden was lower under Kaine than under George Allen

  •  Kaine Left The Overall Tax Burden On Virginians Lower Than Allen. According to the Tax Foundation’s data, the state & local tax burden for Virginians was lower during Kaine’s gubernatorial tenure than during Allen’s Governorship. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
  • During The Great Recession, Governor Kaine Presided Over The Biggest Decrease In The State Tax Burden On Virginians Since At Least 1977.According to the Tax Foundation, the decrease of the state-local tax burden on Virginians between 2008 and 2009 (from 9.6% to 9.1%) was the biggest since at least 1977. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]

REALITY: Kaine eliminated taxes for hundreds of thousands of Virginians

  • Kaine Ended Virginia’s Estate Tax In Order To Make Virginia More Competitive In Attracting “Small Businesses And Retirees.” A Wall Street Journal editorial said, “Democratic Governor Tim Kaine and the Republican-controlled legislature struck a deal to abolish the state's estate tax. […] The tax only brings in about $140 million a year to Richmond from several hundred estates, but the levy has made it harder for Virginia to compete for small businesses and retirees with Florida and the 24 other states that no longer have a death tax.” [Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 9/6/06]
  • Kaine Signed Laws That “Would Remove About 140,000 Low-Income Virginians From The Tax-Rolls.” The Roanoke Times reported, “Gov. Tim Kaine has signed legislation that would remove about 140,000 low-income Virginians from the tax rolls… Kaine signed bills…that will gradually increase the state income tax filing threshold from $7,000 to $11,950 for individuals and from $12,000 to $23,900 for married couples. The bills also increase the personal exemption from $900 to $930 for all taxpayers.” [Roanoke Times, 3/22/07]
  • Kaine Signed Bills Creating Tax Holidays “On School Supplies And Clothing.” According to the Washington Post, “Virginians will enjoy a three-day sales tax holiday on school supplies and clothing. The bills Kaine signed during a ceremony at the state Capitol lift the state's 5 percent tax on such items for a long weekend each August. . . . Consumers will not have to pay taxes on school supplies that cost $20 or less per item and on clothing and shoes that cost $100 or less per item. That weekend, businesses also can choose to pay the tax on other items for their customers and advertise those items as tax-free, a practice that had been illegal. Kaine, who was joined by several lawmakers and business lobbyists, said the new holiday would save shoppers at least $3.6 million a year.” [Washington Post, 6/3/06]
  • Kaine Signed “Sales Tax Holiday For Hurricane-Preparedness Supplies.” According to the Roanoke Times, “A separate sales tax holiday for hurricane-preparedness supplies will not take effect until 2008. Kaine signed a bill (SB 1167) that will exempt the sales tax on supplies such as portable generators, carbon monoxide detectors, batteries and cellphone chargers for a one-week period in May beginning next year.” [Roanoke Times, 3/22/07]
  • Kaine Signed Bills That Created Tax Holiday For The “Purchase Of Energy-Efficient Appliances.” According to the Roanoke Times, “Kaine also signed bills…creating a four-day sales tax ‘holiday’ each October for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. During the holiday period…the state sales tax will be waived on appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerators that meet federal Energy Star standards and sell for $2,500 or less.” [Roanoke Times, 3/22/07]

REALITY: Kaine's tax reform proposal for transportation revenue had broad bipartisan support in Republican-controlled Senate

  • “Delegates, Senators And Kaine Agree Transportation Requires An Extra $1 Billion A Year;” Kaine Proposal That Had “Broad Bipartisan Backing” In The Senate. Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, “Despite broad bipartisan backing for the Senate proposal, passed 34-6, it is doomed in the House of Delegates, signaling a showdown between the Republican factions that control the General Assembly. . . . Delegates, senators and Kaine agree transportation requires an extra $1 billion a year; that Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads face the most acute problems; and there should be greater emphasis on mass transit. They are sharply divided on a financial remedy, which would represent the first retooling of the transportation-funding mechanism in 20 years. Kaine, like the Senate, prefers additional taxes” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/18/06]

REALITY: Kaine earned recognition for his sound management of the state's economy

  • Kaine Left The Overall Tax Burden On Virginians Lower Than Allen. According to the Tax Foundation’s data, the state & local tax burden for Virginians was lower during Kaine’s gubernatorial tenure than during Allen’s Governorship. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
  • During The Great Recession, Governor Kaine Presided Over The Biggest Decrease In The State Tax Burden On Virginians Since At Least 1977.According to the Tax Foundation, the decrease of the state-local tax burden on Virginians between 2008 and 2009 (from 9.6% to 9.1%) was the biggest since at least 1977. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
  • During Governor Kaine’s Term, Virginia Was One Of Seven States To Receive AAA Bond Rating From S&P, Moody’s And Standard And Fitch. [JLARC Virginia Compared To Other States January 2007; JLARC Virginia Compared To Other States January 2008; JLARC Virginia Compared To The Other States 2011 Edition]
  • Forbes Ranked Virginia “Best State For Business” For All Four Years Of Kaine’s Term. The Virginian-Pilot reported, “Forbes.com has ranked Virginia the ‘best state for business’ for the fourth consecutive year, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's office said Wednesday.” [The Virginian-Pilot, 9/24/09]
  • Virginia Was Named Top State For Business By CNBC In 2007 And 2009. [CNBC.com, 2007, 2009]
     
  • CNBC: Virginia “Has What It Takes” To Emerge From “An Economy Turned Upside Down.”CNBC reported, “It has been a year of seismic shifts in American business and in the competitive landscape. An economy turned upside-down. What state has what it takes to emerge from all that? America's top state for business 2009, Virginia.” [CNBC, Street Signs, 7/23/09]
  • Pollina Corporate Real Estate Report Named Virginia Most Pro-Business State In 2007 And 2009. [Kaine Administration Press Release, 3/19/07; Virginian Pilot, 6/24/09]
  • 2009 Pew Study Praised Virginia Budgeting During The Recession, Saying Virginia Was “Better Positioned To Weather Bad Times.” The Pew Center on the States issued a report in February 2009 titled, “Trade-off Time: How Four States Continue to Deliver,” which praised Virginia as one of four states leading the nation in making wise budget decisions during the recession. The report specifically praised Virginia Performs — a program created by Governor Mark Warner and expanded by Governor Kaine — for allowing Virginia “to systematically tackle the state’s budget crisis and increase agency productivity.” As a result of Virginia’s budgeting and management practices, the report stated that the Commonwealth “will be better positioned to weather bad times.” [Trade-off Time: How Four States Continue To Deliver, The Pew Center On The States, 2/11/09]
  • Unemployment In Virginia Was Lower Than The National Average Under Kaine. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment in during the recession was consistently two to three points lower in Virginia under Governor Kaine than the national average. [BLS Unemployment Statistics]
  • Washington Post: “During Most Severe Economic Downturn Since The 1930s,” Kaine’s “Performance Did The State Proud.”In an editorial, the Washington Post reported, During his four-year term as Governor, “Mr. Kaine's formidable talents, intellectual, political and otherwise, were put to the test” by “the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s.” According to the Post, “Mr. Kaine rose to the occasion. . . . And even in cutting hundreds of jobs and $7 billion from the state's budget, he did so with an eye to preserving the safety net for its most vulnerable citizens. Virginia's financial and budgetary travails have been no worse than those of other states, but its future is almost certainly brighter than most. His performance did the state proud.” [Editorial, The Washington Post, 1/10/10]

REALITY: George Allen has close financial ties to major Americans for Prosperity donors, the Koch brothers

  • Koch Brothers, Their PACs And Employees Have Collectively Contributed Over $120,000 To George Allen Throughout His Career, Giving $25,000 This Cycle. Through individual campaign contributions from Charles and David Koch, contributions from the political action committees of Koch Industries Inc. and its subsidiary Georgia Pacific,  individual contributions from Koch Industry and Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation employees, and individual contributions from members of the Koch family, the Koch brothers and their companies have collectively contributed $120,007 to George Allen through his various committees, which include: George Allen For US Senate, Friends Of George Allen, Campaign For Honest Government, and Good Government For America (state and federal PACs). [CQ Moneyline; Vpap.org]
  • Koch Industries PAC Has Maxed Out To George Allen This Cycle, Contributing $10,000.[CQ Moneyline]
  • In 2005, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation Paid Travel Expenses For Senator Allen And One Staffer To One Of Their Events In Palm Springs, California.  The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation paid $2,119 in travel expenses for Senator Allen and one staffer for a Jan. 9-11, 2005 trip to Palm Springs. Allen addressed the Koch Charitable Foundation during this trip. [Senate Travel Disclosure Forms, 12/20/05; Daily Press, 2/2/06]
  • May 2011: Citizens United Political Victory Fund And Koch Industries PAC Sponsored A George Allen Fundraiser At Cava Restaurant In DC. The Washington Post’s The Fix blog  reported, “Allen is holding a fundraising reception on June 8th at Cava, a Mediterranean restaurant near Capitol Hill, featuring Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell along with Sens. John Thune (S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Among the sponsors — Citizens United Political Victory Fund and Koch Industries PAC. Also, Outback Steakhouse PAC.” [The Washington Post, The Fix, 5/23/11]
  • 1997: Allen Appointed Koch Industries Executive Richard Fink To The Board Of George Mason University. The Washington Post reported, “Virginia Gov. George Allen (R) announced 18 appointments to the boards of four public universities and the state community college system recently that include several prominent Republicans. . . . Allen named four members to William and Mary's board, two to Virginia Tech, four to Old Dominion University, four to the State Board of Community Colleges and four to George Mason, including Richard H. Fink, Koch Industries Inc. executive and George Mason University official.” [The Washington Post, 6/19/97]
  • Allen’s Nonprofit, The American Energy Freedom Center, Was “A Project Of The Oil-Industry-Funded Institute For Energy Research.” In August 2009, the Washington Post reported that Allen’s think tank, the American Energy Freedom center, was “a project of the oil-industry-funded Institute for Energy Research.” The Post continued: “The aim of the nonprofit, nonpartisan group is to promote a conservative vision for the country’s energy future, Allen says. It is devoted to the development of ‘clean coal’ and safer nuclear technology and ‘playing tenacious defense against horrendous ideas,’ including cap-and-trade, which would require businesses to limit their greenhouse gas emissions or otherwise mitigate the impact on the environment. He argues that it would put the United States at a competitive disadvantage against India, China and other developing countries that have rejected such restrictions. Critics of the group have characterized its views as extreme and out of the mainstream.” [Washington Post, 8/14/09]
  • Institute For Energy Research Is “Funded Partly By The Koch Brothers And Their Donor Network.”  Politico reported, “The group launching a $3.6 million ad campaign hitting President Barack Obama on gasoline prices has deep ties to the billionaire libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch. The American Energy Alliance is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, and sources tell POLITICO that both groups are funded partly by the Koch brothers and their donor network. The groups are run by Tom Pyle, a former lobbyist for Koch Industries. Pyle regularly attends the mega-donor summits organized by the Koch brothers, including the 2012 winter summit in Indian Wells, Calif., where the Kochs raised more than $150 million to be directed to groups ahead of the general election.”  [Politico, 3/29/12]