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For Virginia Democrats, a wake-up call: nominate McAuliffe at your own risk

by: Mike Stark

Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:13:00 PM EDT

(Mon May 11, 2009 at 07:50:00 PM EDT - promoted by Kenton Ngo)

Non-DC denizens may not have even heard of the DC Examiner, but, probably because it is free, it is omnipresent in and around the capital.  It's also important to note that it draws upon many of the same models employed by Fox News to maintain its relevance:  exploit racial fears?  Check.  Owned by far-right religious conservative billionaire?  Check.  Mouthpiece for Republicans?  Check.  Corrupt business model?  Got that one too...  twice actually...

Anyway, I'm not blogging today because I want to bring attention to an also-ran rag that barely  even merits mention as a bit part in the Republican noise machine...  To me, if a tool like Anschutz wants to throw good money after bad into a money-pit in support of the all-but-irrelevant Republican Party...  well, somebody needs to feed Byron York.  If he's shameless enough to collect his wingnut welfare check, I won't begrudge the arrangement...


Mike Stark :: For Virginia Democrats, a wake-up call: nominate McAuliffe at your own risk
It isn't smart to completely ignore these marginal shills either.  Often enough, these small-time players serve as a seed-bed...  they test the waters, so-to-speak, and lay the groundwork for the big guns that are sure to come blazing in later.

And that's why I sat up and noticed this article:
Official who gave 'troubling' testimony on McAuliffe now fundraising for him

A former Democratic Party official who a decade ago described in a federal criminal trial an illicit fundraising swap he said Terry McAuliffe tried to arrange with the Teamsters Union is now raising money for McAuliffe's campaign.

Richard Sullivan, the Democratic National Committee's former finance director, was a witness in the 1999 trial of a top union official under Teamsters President Ron Carey, the result of a broader investigation into the funneling of union money into Carey's re-election campaign.

During the trial, Sullivan testified that McAuliffe - then President Bill Clinton's head of fundraising - repeatedly pushed a plan in which a Democratic donor would bankroll the union chief's struggling campaign in exchange for the promise of a much larger gift from the Teamsters to Democratic campaign committees.

I could be wrong, but it looks to me as if the slumbering beast that is the Republican slime machine is about to grind into gear.  We've reached a critical point in the campaign:  the opposition has settled on their target.  They think McAuliffe will walk away with the Democratic Party's nomination for governor in Virginia.

I think they are wrong; I have confidence in Virginia's electorate.  They'll refuse to be bought off by the money McAuliffe will dump into the race.  Instead, they are going to take a long look at stories like this one and fit them into the larger context of McAuliffe's seedy career.  They'll look at the Pinocchio Report...  at The Real Terry McAuliffe...  And some of the other reporting that's been done.

And then they are going to realize that McAuliffe is the very embodiment a Republican wet dream.  Within minutes of McAuliffe  (god-forbid) clinching the nomination, sleaze like Roger Stone and Karl Rove and Mary Matalin will be crawling through McAuliffe's long, long record of mixing business and politics in oftentimes seedy fashion.  

The article in the Examiner?  Child's play.  Anything I've written?  All part of the record for a long, long time...  My critics are right about one thing:  I've reported nothing "new".

But McAuliffe's history involves a lot of "across the aisle" business; he's worked with an awful lot of Republicans.  We should assume that these people know things.  And do you trust them to prioritize their personal loyalties to Terry McAuliffe above their loyalty to party?  You don't think any of them will leak "off the record" to stenographer reporters?

Bob McDonnell and the Republicans are absolutely desperate.  They need a win and badly.  Giving them McAuliffe to toy with would be an abominable error by Virginia Democrats.  

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and this is..
desperate, the skeletons keep falling out of Moran's closet as well, either way the doomsday predictions are a sign of a campaign that has lost its own sense of direction.

Oh, I don't think so.
Tell me, Dan, which candidate has the most baggage?
And which has the highest negatives?

[ Parent ]
Skeletons? So you're admitting there are skeletons in Terry's closet?
Just asking, because I've been hearing for months that any time someone suggests he's got problems they're shouted down as haters.  

The problem is that the McDonnell campaign is not going to feel the same constraints Dems have imposed upon themselves in discussing these matters.  We HAVE to be worried about how he's going to be presented to voters.  Brian has never gotten rich off his political activities, but Terry has.  His financial dealings are inextricably linked with his political activities and that link is going to be emphasized, highlighted, and commented upon ad nauseum by the Repubs if Terry should win the nomination.


[ Parent ]
The Republicans are Desperate?
They have chosen a formidable candidate.  Bob McDonnell is their uncontested nominee for Governor.  The only real nomination contest they have going is their AG race.  They are raising a good deal of cash that need not be pissed away on a primary contest.  So, absolutely desperate is not the appropriate descriptor.  Positively comfortable or pleased would be more accurate (not to downplay Jeff's backers who were/are pissed about his ousting though).

And I expect the RNC and other out-of-state committees will pour a great deal of money into this race.  Not because they are desperate, but because they think they have a good shot with McDonnell of winning.  And the Republican machine is going to go at anyone we run.

Democrats on the other hand are blooding themselves up in this primary.  It's not clear to me that Moran has any better shot at beating McDonnell than McAuliffe.  And I wonder whether Deeds will be able to raise enough money and generate enough interest in NoVA and HR to win.  So, I don't think any choice here is not fraught with electoral peril.  

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