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From the Campaign Trail

Friday, July 17
– McDonnell takes $100K from Swift Boaters
– Shannon asks Cuccinelli to clarify incendiary remarks by ticketmate

Wednesday, July 15
– Wagner to visit Valley on Thursday

Tuesday, July 14
– AG Race: Shannon asks Cuccinelli question on votes on drunk-driving bills

Monday, July 13
– Governor’s Race: Deeds to report $3.4M raised in June
– AG Race: Another debate challenge
– Governor’s Race: Webb to head up Veterans for Deeds

Friday, July 17
McDonnell takes $100K from Swift Boaters

In his campaign to lead a national Republican resurgence, Bob McDonnell has raised more than $100,000 from major donors to a pro-Bush smear group.

McDonnell raised $100,000 from top donors to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a pro-Bush front group that attacked Sen. John Kerry’s service in the Vietnam War.

Bob Perry, a Bush confidante and the largest donor to Swift Boat Veterans, was McDonnell’s third largest donor in the latest filing period. Perry, a Texas homebuilder, gave $25,000 to McDonnell on June 25, and Perry’s wife chipped in another $25,000 on the same date.

The next day, another Swift Boater came to McDonnell’s aid. On June 26, Paul Singer, a New York hedge fund billionaire and Swift Boat donor, chipped in $25,000 to McDonnell’s campaign. Singer has now given $50,000 to McDonnell this year.

“These big, out of state donors went to extremes to elect George W. Bush, and now they’re top donors to Bob McDonnell,” said Leigh Anne Collier, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Virginia doesn’t need their ugly politics and we sure don’t need a governor who wants to be like George W. Bush.”

In June, McDonnell praised President Bush’s economic policies and said he’d follow them as governor.

“President Bush put in a ten-year tax-cut on everything from the death tax to capital gains tax and it was followed by an unprecedented period of economic recovery and economic growth,” McDonnell said at Boys State on June 26. “In fact, it almost overheated the economy through about 2006. So, I think that’s the way you stimulate business. And that’s the kind of governor that I’m going to be.”

McDonnell has raised $3.45 million from the national Republican party, accounting for 45% of his 2009 fundraising. By contrast, just 21% of Creigh Deeds’ fundraising has come from the national Democratic party.

McDonnell – and national Republican leaders — have bragged about McDonnell’s role as the poster child for the comeback of the national Republican Party.


Shannon asks Cuccinelli to clarify incendiary remarks by ticketmate

Democratic Party nominee for attorney general Steve Shannon held a conference call with reporters Friday asking his opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, to respond to the reckless remarks made by his running mate and fellow “Tea Party” supporter Catherine Crabill.

“This type of incendiary rhetoric is not only divisive, it’s downright reckless,” Shannon told reporters. “As a candidate for attorney general, I strongly reject and denounce these remarks and I hope my opponent Sen. Ken Cuccinelli will do the same, especially given his close ties to the ‘Tea Party Movement’ and the fact that he is running on the ballot with Ms. Crabill.”

At a “Tea Party” rally on Wednesday, Crabill, who is running for the House of Delegates in the 99th District, said Tea Party supporters “have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box, before we have to resort to the bullet box.” The video of her comment can be found here:

In a follow-up interview with The Washington Post on Thursday, Crabill said “Those are my convictions… what we’re seeing in Washington is domestic terrorism at its worst.”


Wednesday, July 15
Wagner to visit Valley on Thursday

On Thursday, Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Jody Wagner will campaign and meet with voters in Shenandoah, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, and Staunton. All events listed below are open to press. Details are subject to change.

8 a.m. Jody Wagner meets with voters in Shenandoah, joined by House of Delegates candidate John Lesinski
Shenandoah Grill
418 North 5th Street
Shenandoah, VA

10 a.m. Jody Wagner meets with voters in Harrisonburg, joined by House of Delegates candidate Gene Hart
Old Dominion Coffee
2 North Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA

11:30 a.m. Jody Wagner meets with voters in Waynesboro, joined by House of Delegates candidate Dr. Greg Marrow
Chickpeas Restaurant
415 West Main Street
Natural Beauty Studio
414 West Main Street
Waynesboro, VA

6:30 p.m. Jody Wagner attends Staunton meet and greet
Tea Bazaar
219 West Beverly Street
Staunton, VA


Tuesday, July 14
AG Race: Shannon asks Cuccinelli question on votes on drunk-driving bills

Del. Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for Virginia Attorney General, sent a letter to his opponent, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli today, asking him not to wait for the upcoming debates to explain why he has voted against tougher drunk driving standards over the past five years:



Thank you for your letter. I’m looking forward to our staffs working together to hammer out a debate schedule and different debate formats that will give the citizens of Virginia an opportunity to compare my record as a criminal prosecutor and crime fighter to your legislative record since 2002.

I’ve instructed my staff to review the current invitations that we have received and we are looking into the debate schedules that campaigns for Attorney General have agreed to in the past. Those debate schedules appeared to give the electorate ample opportunities to learn about the candidates’ records.

However, I don’t want to wait until our next debate to ask you to explain why you used such questionable judgment over the last five years in voting against cracking down on drunk drivers. It would also be good for you to tell people in this state why in the 2007 session you chose not to support my bill, HB 3086, which would have fixed Virginia’s law so we wouldn’t face the situation with drunk driving cases arising out of the Melendez-Diaz decision.

When I introduced the bill with one Republican and one Democratic member of our Fairfax County delegation, it would have been helpful for a Republican Senator on the Courts of Justice of Committee like you, to stand up and help us secure passage.

As a former criminal prosecutor, I have seen first hand the damage drunk drivers can inflict on innocent people and their families. I can only think that if you’d had that experience, you might not have taken the positions you did on this issue over the span of five years. Regardless of our eventual debate schedule, it’s important that we not ignore your previous positions against tougher drunk driving penalties.

I look forward to your answers on these important public safety questions.

Steve Shannon 


Monday, July 13
Governor’s Race: Deeds to report $3.4M raised in June

Following his come-from-behind primary victory, gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds will report raising nearly $3.4 million during the fundraising period ending June 30.

“I’m happy that so many people from all across Virginia have supported my campaign in the past month,” Deeds said. “We’ve had support from all areas of the state and from Republicans and Democrats. I’m grateful for the support from business leaders like Ted Leonsis, the help of my primary opponents and a unified party, and grassroots support from thousands of donors across Virginia. The key to winning this campaign will be to show who has the best plan to keep Virginia moving forward, and this month has shown that we are well on our way to having the financial resources to do that.”

A wave of grassroots support marked the latest fundraising period for Deeds, which ran from May 28 through June 30. Deeds received the support of 2,500 different donors during the period, 68 percent of whom were small donors contributing less than $100.

In 2009, 63 percent of Deeds’ nearly $5 million raised came from Virginia. By contrast, just 30 percent of McDonnell’s 2009 funds to date have come from Virginia, with more than $4 million coming from out of state. []

Deeds’ total eclipses the amount raised by Governors Warner and Kaine, Mark Earley and Jerry Kilgore in a similar time period in their gubernatorial elections. In a similar period in June 2005, Jerry Kilgore raised $2.0 million while Tim Kaine raised $1.0 milion. In 2001, Mark Earley raised $1.7 million and Warner raised $1.1 million over the same period of time.

Deeds has also received the financial support of business leaders across Virginia, such as Austin Ligon, Josh Darden, David Goode, Elliot Schewel, and Til Hazel.

The Deeds campaign’s latest report more than doubles the amount Deeds raised for the entire campaign to date. Deeds reported raising $2.8 million to date on his June 1 report.


AG Race: Another debate challenge

State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli challenged Steve Shannon to 12 regional debates across the Commonwealth today. The campaigns had one debate in early June, hosted by the Virginia Bar Association in Virginia Beach. At that debate, both Cuccinelli and Shannon stated that they hoped there would be more debates.

A copy of the letter sent to the Shannon campaign may be viewed here:


Governor’s Race: Webb to head up Veterans for Deeds

State Sen. Creigh Deeds announced Saturday that U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a combat Marine and former Secretary of the Navy, will serve as the chair of Veterans for Deeds, a policy steering committee composed of Virginians from every part of the Commonwealth and representative of every branch of the armed services.

At the American Legion Department of Virginia’s 2009 Convention in Richmond on Saturday, Deeds will discuss a new veterans policy plan, entitled “Honoring Virginians Who Serve Our Country.” The plan calls for expanded job opportunities for Virginia’s veterans, a world-class support network for veterans treatment, and continued support of Virginia’s Wounded Warrior program.

Deeds’s veterans plan is available at:

“Veterans for Deeds,” headed by Webb, will work with Sen. Deeds to discuss these and other policy proposals. Webb, the sponsor of the 21st Century GI Bill, has a lifetime of accomplishment as an advocate and voice for veterans in Virginia and across the nation.

Other notable members of Veterans for Deeds include:

– U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (Army; National Guard): Congressman Scott served in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve

– Sgt. Robert Slaughter (U.S. Army): Founder and Chair of the National D-Day Memorial

– Lt. Gen. Alonzo E. Short (U.S. Army): Former Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency

– Cmdr. Carlos Del Toro (U.S. Navy): Served 26 years in the U.S. Navy; small business owner in Stafford County

– Lt. Col. Kate Wilder (U.S. Army): The first female Green Beret in the U.S. Army

– Capt. Terron Sims (U.S. Army): Co-Director, Virginia Veterans for Obama

– Capt. Joseph Bouchard (U.S. Navy): Delegate Bouchard served 27 years in the Navy and commanded Naval Station Norfolk.

A full list can be found at

“When our nation has called, generations of young Virginia men and women answered,” Deeds said. “I’m proud to have leaders like these behind me as we bring Virginians together to make sure that we honor our commitments to brave men and women who defend our freedom. I’m especially happy that Jim Webb has agreed to lead this effort. His experience, character, and lifetime of service to Veterans – and all Virginians – is a tremendous advantage to me as work to keep moving Virginia forward.”

In the coming months, Deeds will be consulting these community leaders as he brings together leaders of the military, business, and education communities to design a plan to take Virginia’s veterans services into the next generation.

On Saturday, at the Convention of the American Legion in Richmond, Sen. Deeds will speak to members about his plan for keeping our promises to Virginia veterans, welcoming our returning heroes and making service attractive to the next generation of Virginians.

Deeds’s commitments to veterans include:

– Expanding Job Opportunities for Virginia Veterans: Creating jobs and restoring Virginia’s economy will be the top priority for the next Governor. Creigh Deeds will fight to make it easier for veterans to participate in education and job training programs.

– Supporting Virginia’s Wounded Warrior Program: Creigh is proud to have supported the creation of the Wounded Warrior program, an initiative to ensure that supplemental behavioral health, rehabilitation services are readily available to veterans and their families in all areas of the state. As Governor, Creigh will make sure that adequate funding is available for this important program.

– Building a World-Class Support Network for Veterans Treatment: Virginia can and should do more to help our men and women returning from the battlefield. As governor, Creigh will create a “No Wrong Door” approach to the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, and polytrauma—conditions that too often go unnoticed and untreated.

Details of Deeds’ plan can be found at

Deeds has a strong record of standing up for Virginia’s veterans. In 2002, he stood behind Governor Mark Warner’s efforts to consolidate and improve Virginia’s veterans services system. Two years later, he fought to pass a budget providing an unprecedented $1.3 million increase in support for the newly formed Department of Veterans Services.

Most recently, Deeds worked to establish a Wounded Warrior program that provides supplementary medical services to veterans of the Global War on Terror. He was also proud to support the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children, a multi-state agreement designed to ensure that children in military families are able to graduate on time after moving from another state. Deeds has also been a supporter of the priorities of the American Legion, including the Flag Desecration Amendment.

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