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Can Any Virginia Republicans Stand Cuccinelli?

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The people in politics and government who know Cuccinelli best are his fellow Republicans.  How intensely do they dislike him?  Let me count the ways:  

Exhibit A: Bob vs. Ken: Last week, Bob McDonnell announced that he's going to spend the next week touring the state, touting his accomplishments -- essentially campaigning for himself rather than Cuccinelli, his party's choice to succeed him.  Anyone else find that a little odd?

Not that McDonnell's endorsement would be worth that much these days anyway.  But by the same token, having him on the road across the state is just one more distraction from Cuccinelli's own campaign.

The two of them are basically taking turns trying to throw each other under the bus --
Cuccinelli trying to erase the smell of the Jonnie Williams Star-gate scandal by calling for a special session of the General Assembly to enact a gift ban -- which McDonnell rejected; and McDonnell blaming Cuccinelli for the cost of his attorneys, appointed after Cuccinelli, having enjoyed his own gifts from Jonnie, recused himself.  

The Swift-Boating of Terry McAuliffe

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The Republican Swift boat campaign against Terry McAuliffe has now begun in earnest. As is typical of GOP message campaigns, it is being spread in a coordinated, multi-media fashion with similar talking points being repeated by a variety of sources to create the illusion of a "bandwagon effect". This was only to be expected as Ken Cuccinelli's chief campaign strategist, Chris LaCivita, was media advisor to the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization that so brutally smeared John Kerry in his 2004 presidential campaign.

Unfortunately, the media rarely applies the investigative resources needed to figure out what's really going on here -- it's a lot easier to say things like "both sides are accused of scandals" or similar meaningless nonsense. So sometimes us regular folks need to do the digging.  

The Repubs are blowing out so much smoke right now that it can be hard to sort the truth from the poppycock.  So this is my humble attempt to begin to set the record straight.

The Players: A "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"
Over the weekend, the McAuliffe campaign put out a statement in response to all the allegations being thrown against it, and the Cuccinelli campaign followed with an attack (both here at Ryan Nobles' blog.)  McAuliffe's statement made one reference to Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA-R), the source of much of the current attention to Terry's former company, GreenTech Auto: "I find it unfortunate that a Republican Senator from Iowa...selectively released information for the purpose of partisan attacks instead of getting facts."

EXCLUSIVE Blue Virginia Interview with Terry McAuliffe: Part II

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Intro: Recently, the McAuliffe for Governor campaign graciously provided Blue Virginia editors lowkell and kindler the opportunity to interview Terry for 45 minutes at his campaign HQ in Arlington. The following interview is edited for length and to focus on highlights of our conversation. We posted the first part of the interview yesterday; this is the second and final installment. Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

"Education...is an investment, not an expense"

lowkell: Ken Cuccinelli likes to say he's "Frugal Ken" and you're supposedly "Union Terry."  Two part question: First, I'm wondering what you think of Cuccinelli's claim to be "frugal," especially given his waste of money pursuing climate scientists and all this frivolous litigation he's mostly lost -- and his plan is to have these huge tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, which would blow a massive hole in Virginia's budget.

Terry: Well, "Frugal Ken" is a cute little slogan.  But this election is not about cute slogans -- we've got big issues facing us, many of which we've already discussed. It's not frugal if you're going to go before people and say I'm going to give you a $1.4 billion tax cut per year. I would love to run for governor and promise you billions of dollars in tax cuts. But I won't do that, because I'm realistic and honest. That is fiscally irresponsible.

I thought the debate was pretty clear -- he was asked how he was going to pay for it and he could not answer. Which tax incentives are you going to eliminate? He could not give one. So it's slogans. I'm not going to do that. As you know, Vince Callahan, who was the longest-serving Republican House of Delegates member, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, came out and said this would blow a gigantic hole in the budget. It would wreak havoc at the local level.

And at the end of the day, it would most likely just take money out of education and public health. At a time we need to be investing in education -- which is an investment, not an expense -- you're going to be taking this money out of education, not saying how you're going to pay for it? What people want in their governor is an honest approach, bipartisan, fiscally responsible, like you had with Warner and Kaine, protecting our AAA bond rating while investing in education.

This Weekend, Your Chance to Fight Back

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Let's be honest: Ken Cuccinelli at this point has a very good chance to become the next governor of Virginia.  We are not that far away from a state where women's health clinics are banned, our gay brothers and sisters are labelled "soulless" and treated as such, scientists are bullied to write whatever the oil, gas and coal companies tell them to write, and voting restrictions prevent us from turning back the clock.  

The only things standing in his way are Terry McAuliffe, and you.  But the polls right now show a race that is neck-and-neck and the vast majority of Virginians have not even tuned in yet.  

This weekend, marking 100 days until the election, the McAuliffe for Governor and Combined Campaigns are hosting the 100 Days Weekend of Action at points across the Commonwealth.  Saturday and Sunday, you have the chance to talk to fellow Virginians and let them know that there is a very important election coming up November 5th and we need them engaged to fight for the values that we all hold dear.  

Please sign up today and get involved, because you are badly needed.  You don't want to be the one who ends up the day after election day staring in horror at the TV screen and moaning "How could I have let this happen?"  

Don't be a bystander, get out there and make your voice heard today.