Chris Graham: George Allen, Tim Kaine spar over defense spending

From the Why Send Out a Press Release to Bring Attention to a Web Ad Department, we have the George Allen Senate campaign working hard Friday morning to refute an attack in a web ad from the Tim Kaine Senate campaign that claims that Allen voted against funding for military and defense resources.

“By using past lies and distortions that were proven to be false, it seems like Tim Kaine has reverted to the Washington style of doing things that he learned during his time as Democrat National Committee Chairman,” said Allen campaign spokeswoman Emily Davis.

(Note the slur popular with Republicans in the statement – the Democrat National Committee. I still don’t get why anybody in GOP messaging circles thinks that styling sounds anything other than utterly sophomoric.)

To the ad, which relates how Allen’s voting record in the Senate included yes votes for more than 52,000 earmarks and ballooning deficits in the George W. Bush spending-orgy years.

The ad was created in response to charges from Allen and campaign surrogates that Kaine favors harmful cuts in the defense-spending arena.

(Which means we should put this web ad itself in the Putting Out a Web Ad to Reinforce Messaging from the Other Side Department.)

“Only one candidate has voted to create a massive deficit while voting against our troops, George Allen,” states the video, noting that Allen’s six years in the Senate contained votes against funding for the National Guard and Reserves, safety equipment, and even tax relief for combat troops.

“It speaks volumes about George Allen’s priorities that in a term where he voted for more than 52,000 earmarks and four times to raise his own pay, he also voted against resources and tax credits for the men and women fighting in wars he authorized,” said Kaine for Virginia Press Secretary Lily Adams.

“Virginians can’t afford six more years of George Allen’s misplaced priorities that put tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and subsidies for oil companies ahead of necessary funding for our men and women in uniform,” Adams said.

Just to be clear on this, as a matter of editorial policy, I generally make it a point not to report on campaign web ads, because the intent of the campaigns in producing and putting out press releases on them is to score cheap and easy attention in the media.

It used to be rare that we’d see the other side make an effort to refute a web ad for that very reason.

This one moved itself out of the realm of dog-bites-man when we got the PR from the Allen campaign within minutes of the email from the Kaine side announcing the ad.

In the grand scheme of things, of course, the whole tete-a-tete is about a whole lot of nothing.

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