Home 2013 races Memo: State of the Campaigns

Memo: State of the Campaigns

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From the McAuliffe campaign: 

To: Interested Parties
From: Brennan Bilberry, McAuliffe Communications Director
Memo: State of the Campaigns 

It is clear that the Cuccinelli campaign is seeing the same things in their internal polls that Virginians see in public polls: Terry’s position continues to strengthen while Cuccinelli’s position continues to slip as a result of his ethics scandals and extreme social agenda. Just today, the Virginian-Pilot reported that Cuccinelli is shifting his campaign staff and focus in an effort to reverse the decline.

Those facts have caused major changes in Cuccinelli’s tactics and we wanted to provide an update on what we expect to see going forward:

1.     Desperation leads to strange tactics. This week, Politico reported that the Cuccinelli campaign is considering spending their resources on 30-minute infomercials across Virginia. This expenditure is designed to earn media coverage for advertising that will have no impact on the race.

News of 30-minute infomercials came shortly after a hastily put-together web video and interview that saw Cuccinelli simultaneously apologizing and saying he did nothing wrong while admitting for the first time that he has been questioned by the FBI about his ties to Star Scientific.

2.     Second guessing becomes more common. After weeks of resisting calls for him to return gifts from Star Scientific – at first suggesting he shouldn’t have to – Cuccinelli made the political decision to give the value of the gifts away. While he guaranteed another week of news dominated by his unethical relationship with Star, Cuccinelli’s tactic was also transparently political, coming just 8 weeks out from Election Day. Voters notice when politicians only do the right thing under pressure from polls. And editorial boards already have.  

3.     Attacks become more shrill. Cuccinelli’s strategist issued an 800-word agitated memo Wednesday attacking the Virginia media for covering his candidate’s ethical lapses. Strangely, it was released the day after the Cuccinelli campaign was asking media to cover his relationship with Star by issuing a press release and video about his gifts.  

4.     The Tea Party is BackAfter months of publicly seeking to paper over his Tea Party ideology, Cuccinelli has shifted gears. Cuccinelli’s new campaign leadership just announced a Tea Party rally being organized on Tuesday with a national right-wing radio host.

I wanted to highlight these changes because we know that the attacks from the Cuccinelli campaign are going to become more desperate and more outlandish. It already started when Cuccinelli’s campaign lied to workers to trick them into appearing in an attack ad they wanted nothing to do with.

As the Cuccinelli campaign is struggling in the final weeks, they’ll likely to engage in even more inaccurate and over-the-top attacks.

Our message is and will continue to be the same: Terry is focused on bipartisan solutions to mainstream issues like jobs, education, and transportation while Cuccinelli has spent his political career focused on an extreme, divisive social agenda. 

  • Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe received two more endorsements from Virginia Republicans today. Maria Jankowski, the Vice Chairman of the Indigent Defense Commission and a current McDonnell appointee, and Bobby Beck, the founder of the Beck Company, both supported Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009, but joined “Virginians for McAuliffe” today because of McAuliffe’s commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to the challenges Virginia faces.

    Jankowski noted that she supported Republicans Jerry Kilgore in 2005 and Bob McDonnell in 2009, but said she is supporting McAuliffe this year “because he is the best choice in this race and has the leadership qualities, policy positions, and positive vision to lead Virginia for the next four years.” She also contrasted McAuliffe’s mainstream vision with Ken Cuccinelli’s “ideologically driven” and “rigid” approach to governing.

    Beck noted that McAuliffe “has shown that he supports commonsense policies that will ensure that Virginia’s communities remain strong for ours and future generations” and referenced McAuliffe’s support for the bipartisan transportation compromise as an example.

    Statement from Maria Jankowski:

    “I supported and voted for Jerry Kilgore in 2005 and Bob McDonnell in 09, but this year is different. I am supporting Terry McAuliffe because he is the best choice in this race and has the leadership qualities, policy positions, and positive vision to lead Virginia for the next four years. Virginia is on the right track and we don’t want to take the wrong turn now. Ken Cuccinelli is clearly ideologically driven, rigid, and seems to be unable to appreciate the views of those who might disagree with him on important issues. Virginia can do better. I look forward to Terry McAuliffe leading Virginia in the next four years.”

    Background on Maria Jankowski:

    Maria Jankowski is an experienced attorney in Richmond with significant appointed experience serving in state government. In 2008, Speaker Howell appointed her to serve on the Indigent Defense Commission where she now serves as Vice-Chairman and chairs the Budget Committee. In 2013, Governor McDonnell appointed her to the Board of Medical assistance services.  DMAS is the agency that administers Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Virginia.  Her career includes state and federal government service, including a year spent as a visiting attorney with the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington D.C.

    Jankowski was born and raised in Hanover County and resides in Richmond with her family including her three children. She serves on Board of the Central Virginia Chapter of JDRF.

    Statement from Bobby Beck

    “As a Republican and a Virginia businessman, I am supporting Terry McAuliffe for governor because he will find mainstream solutions to the challenges our Commonwealth faces. Virginia’s economy faces headwinds with ongoing effects of sequestration, and we need a governor who will sit down with Democrats and Republicans alike to find ways to continue to grow our economy and create jobs in the Commonwealth. Certainly, Terry can work well with our two Democratic Senators in Washington. Mark Warner and Tim Kane were excellent governors of Virginia. While we have a Republican controlled House of Delegates in Virginia, we will likely have the same control in the Senate. Terry McAuliffe would be a good balance to decision making. Terry has shown that he supports commonsense policies that will ensure that Virginia’s communities remain strong for ours and future generations, such as the bipartisan transportation compromise, and his commitment to investing in workforce development programs through our community colleges.”

    Background on Bobby Beck:

    After a successful business career working throughout Virginia, Robert G. Beck founded Beck Company in 1970. Beck Company started with a 48-room property in Chesapeake, Virginia, and has since grown to 12 properties to include the Hilton, InterContinental, and Choice Hotel brands. Hotels that are owned or managed by Beck Company are located in the following cities throughout Virginia: Emporia, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Newport News and South Hill.

    Many of the Beck Company hotels and restaurants have been recognized and awarded achievements by their brands, and the company continues to grow with opening and management of new hotels. In 2007, the Fairfield Inn and Suites in South Hill, Virginia opened, and in 2008 Beck Company opened a second Hampton Inn in Harrisonburg, Virginia – the Hampton Inn – South.

    Beck was a supporter of Republicans George Allen, Jerry Kilgore, and Bob McDonnell, and this is the first time he has endorsed a Democrat for Virginia governor.