I’d say the chances of George Allen accepting this are extremely low, as the guy has no ethics whatsoever (and is counting on reams of outside money from the Koch brothers or whoever to smear Tim Kaine over the next few months), but it certainly was worth trying. (Note: If Allen cared in the least bit about running a clean campaign, he’d do what candidates have done in Massachusetts and other states, and agree to strongly discourage “Super PACs” from operating in Virginia this campaign cycle – yeah right!)
March 13, 2012
2819 North Parham Road, Suite 210
Henrico, VA 23294
There’s no disputing that outside groups will be a major factor in this U.S. Senate race. To date, outside groups have spent more than $1.5 million in the Commonwealth on misleading advertising with no signs of stopping. And with the announcement of your own Super PAC this week, it is clear that this will continue, unchecked.
During our debate in December, it became clear that we don’t see eye to eye on the role of outside groups. When asked by debate panelist Ryan Nobles, I offered to reach an agreement to eliminate any involvement by outside groups in this campaign if you would. You rejected that opportunity and embraced the involvement of Super PACs and other outside influences.
But, there was a notable point of agreement between us. We both acknowledged an important aspect of Virginia’s approach–full transparency of donations. You even stated–“I like Virginia’s approach, Virginia laws that are based on full disclosure and freedom.”
Since you are unwilling to agree to exclude Super PACs entirely (as candidates in other states have done), how about basing this campaign on the Virginia principle you praised a few months ago? Let’s adopt a simple rule: No Secret Money. Let’s commit that any group running ads or conducting electoral activity for either of us should have to disclose their donors. Virginia voters are entitled to know who is funding this campaign. Contributions directly to either of us are already disclosed. But, the third parties filling the airways get to hide behind a cloak of secrecy.
If you accept the No Secret Money challenge, in accord with your earlier statements, we can work out basic rules for accomplishing it. Virginians will then be assured of a transparent campaign instead of one dominated by secret special interests who are afraid to face public scrutiny. What do you think?