Archive: Jerry Kilgore

From the Bush-Kilgore Rally

Here's a report from Post reporter Michelle Boorstein, who was in the crowd at tonight's Republican rally in Richmond, with President Bush: At Richmond International Airport on Monday evening, hundreds of people, bright lights and cranked-up rock music turned a small private hangar into something more like a movie set. Cars backed up for a mile waiting to get into the Dominion Hangar, where state workers with hanging ID tags, teenagers lying on the tarmac looking up at the landing planes and Secret Service agents gathered to see Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore and President Bush. Many people wore stickers showing their support for Kilgore, or Sen. Bill Bolling, the GOP's candidate for lieutenant governor, or simply the Republican Party. Campaign officials said that the hangar holds 2,000 people. Before Bush arrived, the hangar was filling up and more than 100 people were spilling outside. Mary Bria, 58, a consultant...

By Robert Thomson | November 7, 2005; 09:01 PM ET | Comments (25)

Dirty Tricks?

Pay no attention to the candidates you see stumping, on television and at rallies. The real campaign is there, on your kitchen counter (the telephone) and in your family room (the television) and in your car (the radio). With just about 48 hours before the polls close, Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine are intensifying their efforts to reach voters by any means necessary. Republicans are running a particularly interesting "robo-call" in Northern Virginia, using Tim Kaine's own voice from a radio ad he ran months ago. The telephone call, which is apparently going to Democratic voters in the suburbs, is Kaine's voice, talking about supporting restrictions on abortion: "I'm conservative on issues of personal responsibility. As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage. I support restrictions on abortion - no public funding and parental consent and I worked to pass a state law banning...

By Michael Shear | November 7, 2005; 02:29 PM ET | Comments (35)

Never Before Seen

What do you do with ads that you never ran? With only two days before the election, you might as well put them up on your Web site. That's exactly what Jerry Kilgore has done. Three ads, all of them positive, are up on his Web site. Two of them feature his kids in the classic style of his media guru, Scott Howell. One of them features Sens. George Allen and John Warner. What do you think? Should they have run these? Polls suggest that a majority of people think Kilgore has run a negative campaign. Maybe these would have helped?...

By Michael Shear | November 6, 2005; 05:32 PM ET | Comments (4)

The Final Days

Campaign 2005 is almost over. The candidates are out stumping across the state, looking for those last, few votes that could put them over the top in what has become an extraordinarily tight race. On Saturday, the state's leading Republican politicians joined Jerry Kilgore at a rally in Springfield, where Kilgore declared himself to be the "pro gun owner, anti-tax, limited government, anti illegal immigration, pro public safety, pro death penalty ..... trust the people conservative." Tim Kaine and Mark Warner attended rallies and potluck suppers in Southwest Virginia with Leslie Byrne and Criegh Deeds. At one stop, Kaine said "it's hard to remember one positive thing [Kilgore] has put out about himself or what he wants to do." The campaigning continues Sunday and climaxes Monday night with President Bush's visit to Richmond for a rally with Kilgore. In the meantime, both campaigns are on edge, worried that every little thing...

By Michael Shear | November 5, 2005; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (29)

Bush Comes (Again)

President Bush is expected to come to Virginia on behalf of Jerry Kilgore for a last minute, election eve event in Richmond, sources in Virginia say. Here's the early story. The big question: Who does this help? The Kilgore campaign appears to think that Bush -- despite low poll numbers -- will help motivate Republicans to turn out on Tuesday. The Tim Kaine campaign appears to believe that Bush will motivate Democrats and independents to vote for Kaine....

By Michael Shear | November 4, 2005; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (7)

Abortion Response

Jerry Kilgore responded quickly to the latest attack ad from Tim Kaine. In an ad that began airing Tuesday, Kaine accused Kilgore of wanting to criminalize women who have abortions. The ad is not yet online, but you can read about it here. In his response, Kilgore accused Kaine of "twisting the facts." His ad can be seen here. A female announcer says: "As attorney general, Jerry Kilgore consistently upheld the law - even on sensitive issues like abortion," the announcer says. The ad continues one of Kilgore's favorite themes: that Kaine talks out of both sides of his mouth. "But Tim Kaine wants to have it both ways. Running ads in Southwest Virginia saying he's pro-life, while telling voters in Northern Virginia he's pro-choice. Tim Kaine. In rural Virginia he opposes abortion. In Northern Virginia, he favors it."...

By Michael Shear | November 2, 2005; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (3)

Air Wars Continue

Both Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine are airing new and gritty attack ads today, and Kilgore is up with a new positive ad as well. Kaine is still running his positive ads featuring Gov. Mark Warner and his transportation plan. The ads will be linked here as soon as they are available online. Kaine's ad attacks Kilgore on abortion, saying that the Republican wants to ban abortions unless a woman reports a rape or incest within seven days of the assault. "Seven days," an announcer says while the screen shows a distraught woman sitting in a darkened kitchen. " Jerry Kilgore would outlaw abortion and victimize victims yet again." Kilgore has consistently said he does not want to criminalize women who have abortions. But he has refused to say whether he would sign a bill outlawing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And he has reaffirmed previous...

By Michael Shear | November 1, 2005; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (13)

Kilgore, 44 - Kaine, 47

That's the bottom line result of the new Post poll, out today. You can click here to see today's story about the poll, and to download a summary of the results. Some other tidbits: * Kaine is leading in the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, a surprising result * Voters say they believe Kilgore is running a more negative campaign * That's in large part because voters saw Kilgore's death penalty ad as unfair. The reaction to the poll from the Kilgore camp has been swift. To read it, click here. Kaine's campaign has not yet published a reaction on their Web site....

By Michael Shear | October 30, 2005; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (19)

Immigration Ad

With little more than a week left, Jerry Kilgore launched another television attack on Tim Kaine, this time on illegal immigrants. You can see the ad here. The ad starts by declaring illegal immigration "a growing crisis" and saying that Kilgore opposes "taxpayer funded job centers" and "in-state tuition discounts for illegal immigrants." The ad then goes on to criticize Kaine, while showing a scary picture of Tim Kaine nodding oddly. (It's a clip of Kaine that seems appropriate for Halloween) "And Tim Kaine?" the announcer asks. "Kaine favors taxpayer-funded job centers and supports in-state tuition discounts for illegals. Taxpayer benefits for illegal immigrants? What part of illegal does Tim Kaine not understand?" Kaine aides denounced the ad, in part for its overall message, but also for what they said was an outright lie: Kaine doesn't support in-state tuition for illegal aliens, they said. "Tim Kaine supported the bill that would...

By Michael Shear | October 29, 2005; 02:21 PM ET | Comments (7)

Hello, Rudy, Well Hello, Rudy...

Jerry Kilgore welcomed Rudy Giuliani to Virginia today, and picked up close to a cool, half-million in the process. America's Mayor, as Kilgore called him, spoke for about 25 minutes to a crowd of well-heeled Republicans at the Mariott Hotel in Norfolk. (Food alert: The crowd munched on chicken stuffed with ham and crab, sliced vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cheesecake with rasberry drizzle.) Giuliani lavished some of that famous New York warmth on Kilgore, predicting that he will be "a really, really great governor." He also said the election in less than two weeks will be very important for the national Republican Party. "It's important to the state of Virginia, but it's really important to the Republican Party because he represents what we're all about." Of course, Kilgore and Giuliani don't always agree. The former mayor supports abortion rights and gun control. In a 1999 interview, Giuliani said, "I'm in favor...

By Michael Shear | October 26, 2005; 01:22 PM ET | Comments (31)

New Kilgore Ad

Not to be outdone, Jerry Kilgore has a new ad, too. It's called "Stand/Bounce," and it features a man, literally, bouncing up and down on a trampoline, while an announcer talks about Tim Kaine: "Tim Kaine says he won't raise the gas tax, but supported a plan that would have doubled it." Bouncing. "Says he'll enforce the death penalty, but called it unconstitutional" More bouncing. "Promises not to raise taxes, but supported the largest tax increase in Virginia history." Flipping. "If Tim Kaine wont tell us where he really stands, how can we trust him as governor?" Flopping. The end of the ad: Kilgore, sitting with his two kids, saying: "I'm Jerry Kilgore and my campaign sponsored this ad." The ad can be seen here....

By Michael Shear | October 24, 2005; 09:52 PM ET | Comments (14)

Commander in Chief

George Bush is coming to Virginia. On Friday, Bush is scheduled to give a major policy speech in Norfolk, according to a senior GOP source. The president will talk about the war on terrorism. He'll talk about Iraq. He'll talk about national politics. But the big question? Will he talk about Jerry Kilgore? The event is, after all, being billed as a "presidential" event, not a "political" one. It's not even clear whether the Kilgore campaign, or Jerry himself, will be there. This week, indictments are possible against Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and maybe others. The possibility exists that Bush's speech will be the first one after indictments, giving the press a natural story line: Bush tries to change the subject. In addition, a Bush event with no Kilgore will raise the specter that the Virginia Republican has no interest in being seen with the commander in chief. Asked for a...

By Michael Shear | October 24, 2005; 09:45 PM ET | Comments (3)

New Kaine Ads

Tim Kaine has two new ads, the latest in what is sure to be a barrage of last-minute political ads from both sides. The first, titled "Succeed" features -- who else? -- Gov. Mark Warner. You can see the ad here. "I'm Mark Warner. As governor, I've made some tough decisions and Tim Kaine had the guts to stand with me and put our financial house in order," Warner says to the camera. Kaine takes over then: "I'm Tim Kaine, I have a plan to create buying pools to help small business afford health insurance for their workers, to expand educational opportunities and create better jobs. And to keep Virginia the best managed state in America. As your next governor, I'll work to bring economic opportunity to all parts of Virginia. " The second ad, called "Wrong," is more sharp-edged. It uses the headlines and commentary from the state's newspapers (and...

By Michael Shear | October 24, 2005; 05:13 PM ET | Comments (3)

Kilgore Going Around in Circles

Well, his car is, anyway. [WARNING: Bad sports analogies to follow.] Remember, it was Race to Richmond that first waved the checkered flag on car No. 92, the Kilgore car. See that post here. The race was Sunday, and for those of you looking everywhere for clues to who will cross the finish line on Nov. 8: Kilgore didn't win. Okay, seriously. There's no real traction to the idea of a connection between the Subway 500 and the Virginia gubernatorial election. Jeff Gordon, the winner of the race, is not even a candidate. But the folks over at Tim Kaine central were taking a bit of comfort in the race results. Not only did Kilgore finish far back in the pack, but apparently, the Kilgore car stalled at one point. (Something a certain Kaine staffer pointed out.) Kilgore aides say their NASCAR strategy could actually help them win the election by...

By Michael Shear | October 23, 2005; 05:23 PM ET | Comments (5)

The Latest Polls

The Washington Post doesn't subscribe to the Mason Dixon poll, but that shouldn't keep Race to Richmond readers in the dark. According to the Times Dispatch (which does use Mason Dixon for its polling, along with several other newspapers), Jerry Kilgore leads Tim Kaine by a tiny margin: 44 to 42. Russ Potts is getting about 5 percent of the vote, the poll shows. What does that mean? That the race, with about two weeks to go, is too close to call. Political operatives on both sides say this could be the closest race since 1989, when L. Douglas Wilder won by a tiny sliver of votes. The poll, conducted last week, has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. That means the Kilgore lead is statistically insignificant. That didn't stop Kilgore campaign manager Ken Hutcheson from touting the lead in an e-mail to supporters. "Jerry Kilgore has the momentum...

By Michael Shear | October 23, 2005; 02:42 PM ET | Comments (3)

Kelly's Letter

Kelly Timbrook is not done with Tim Kaine, and neither is Jerry Kilgore. After being featured in one of the two ads attacking Tim Kaine on the death penalty, Timbrook has written a personal letter to Virginia's voters. The letter, which can be seen here, initially looks like a handwritten note on Timbrook's own personal stationery. But upon closer examination, it's actually a computer font that looks like handwriting, and it's got a disclaimer on the back: "Paid for and authorized by Virginians for Jerry Kilgore." The letter is as emotional as the TV ads. "I found out my husband was killed when I was seven months pregnant," Timbrook writes. "When they told me, I fell to my knees screaming, 'No!'" Most of the letter is about her, but she also criticizes Kaine: "The fact that one man has power to undo what our law states is the penalty for the...

By Michael Shear | October 21, 2005; 03:31 PM ET | Comments (16)

A Kinder, Gentler Death Penalty Ad

After a week of emotional ads on the death penalty, Jerry Kilgore has pulled back a bit. Today, he went up on the air with a much less striking ad. No more gunshots sounding in the background. Instead, the ad uses commentary in newspapers to question whether Democrat Tim Kaine would really enforce the death penalty. The ad should be on the Kilgore Web site later this afternoon. It shows Kaine asserting that he will enforce the death penalty. Then the annoucer says: "That's what Tim Kaine says now. But can we believe him?" On the screen, the ad shows a quote from a Marc Fisher column in the Washington Post: "Kaine is playing games." The announcer continues: "Twenty years as an activist against the death penalty." And then: "Thousands of hours trying to get the worst murderers off death row." And finally: "Three times he challenged the death penalty before...

By Michael Shear | October 20, 2005; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (14)

Board of Trade Takes a Pass

The Greater Washington Board of Trade has thought long and hard about which of the three candidates would be better to lead Virginia. The answer: none of the above. Four years after endorsing then-candidate Mark R. Warner, the Virginia Political Action Committee for Washington's premier business group will not endorse in the race between Republican Jerry Kilgore, Democrat Tim Kaine and independent Russ Potts. "On the issues of transportation, economic development, infrastructure investment, higher education, the Board of Trade's Virginia PAC was not satisfied that either candidate was speaking to our issues," said Nancy Reed, a spokeswoman for the group. That could be viewed as another blow to Kaine, who failed to get endorsements from the Northern Virginia Tech Council, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and now the Board of Trade. But it's not high praise for Kilgore, either. Reed said neither candidate offered proposals that "matched up with the...

By Michael Shear | October 18, 2005; 04:43 PM ET | Comments (4)

Kilgore Positive Ads

After more than a week of death penalty negativity, Jerry Kilgore has gone positive. This morning, he unveiled an ad highlighting his own efforts to fight domestic abuse. In a news conference with reporters, he said the ad was designed to coincide with Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. The ad can be seen here. Kilgore also has begun running an ad featuring U.S. Sen George Allen speaking directly to the camera on behalf of Kilgore. The ad can be seen here. In it, Allen lauds Kilgore for having the right "character" to be governor of Virginia. He notes Kilgore's service as Secretary of Public Safety during Allen's own administration. "Jerry worked to abolish parole for violent criminals and provided an additional $2 billion for Virginia's schoolchildren," Allen says in the ad. Kilgore advisers say $2 billion is the amount that spending on education increased during Allen's term, and they say it's fair...

By Michael Shear | October 18, 2005; 02:42 PM ET | Comments (9)

The Trial Lawyers Speak

Jerry Kilgore's death penalty ad is aimed at Tim Kaine, whose personal opposition to capital punishment is at odds with the majority of Virginians. But the ads seem to have rankled another group: trial lawyers. About 125 of them signed a letter to Kilgore sent today, blasting him for suggesting that lawyers shouldn't represent death row clients. It refers to an ad in which Stanley Rosenbluth, the father of a murder victim, speaks against Kaine. "Your Rosenbluth ad suggests that attorneys who handle death penalty cases are an enemy of the victim's family," the letter states. "To quote the ad, the defense attorney in the Rosenbluth case 'stood with the murderer,' and 'volunteered' to do so." The letter goes on to say that having good lawyers for death row clients is "essential to the administration of justice" and they call on Kilgore to take the ads down. "We call upon you...

By Michael Shear | October 18, 2005; 01:22 PM ET | Comments (5)

A Kaine Surge?

Well, not quite a tidal wave. But Tim Kaine appears to be the beneficiary of some momentum, according to two polls published this week. SurveyUSA, which does polling for several television stations in Virginia and across the nation, released a poll Monday that showed Kaine leading Jerry Kilgore by 2 points, 47 to 45. The same group has polled four times before, and the trend is all Kaine. In March, it was 46-36 in favor of Kilgore. Last month, it was 46-43, with Kilgore still ahead. Today, Hotline released another poll, this one conducted late last week, after Kilgore's death penalty ads had been up for several days. The Hotline poll shows Kaine ahead by 2 points, 41 to 39. Now, two points is not much of a lead -- still within the margin of error. But the buzz among politicos in Virginia is that Kilgore's death penalty attacks may have...

By Michael Shear | October 18, 2005; 11:32 AM ET | Comments (5)

Cheney's Change

Vice President Cheney arrived this evening for a glitzy fundraiser on behalf of Republican Jerry Kilgore. The event, according to campaign officials, included about 200 people and will raise about $750,000 for Kilgore's campaign. Not exactly chump change. The vice president's visit follows one by first lady Laura Bush last week. And later this week, former President Bill Clinton will host two fundraisers for Democrat Tim Kaine. No word on how much the Clinton fundraisers will bring in. Meanwhile, Virginia also welcomes former presidential candidate and Sen. John F. Kerry tonight. The Massachusetts pol was invited by Del. Brian J. Moran, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, to boost the campaigns of the Democratic House members. "The nation's eyes are on Virginia!" the invitation says. "Democrats have a real opportunity to gain seats in the House of Delegates and keep the Governor's Mansion. Help Democrats keep Virginia on the right...

By Michael Shear | October 17, 2005; 05:34 PM ET | Comments (5)

Debate Video

The Sabato debate went off without a hitch. To see some video clips, click here and here. The Post coverage is here and here....

By Michael Shear | October 10, 2005; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (22)

Final Debate Tonight

For those campaign junkies out there, make sure you tune in to tonight's final debate between Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine. The debate kicks off at 7 p.m. and goes for an hour. It's available in most markets on a local channel, though in southwest and Northern Virginia the stations won't be showing it until late tonight. For those of you with cable, C-SPAN will be broadcasting live, so tune in there. The Post will have stories about the debate in tomorrow's paper, and more here on Race to Richmond....

By Michael Shear | October 9, 2005; 05:37 PM ET | Comments (11)

Just Plain Mean

For months, Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine have attacked each other hard, sometimes in nasty ways, but always with a shred of decency still intact. That may be over. Today, the Kaine campaign unveiled a new attack Web site, complete with new video sure to grace television screens soon. The site is called www.therealjerrykilgore.com. To see the video, click on the "Jail Break." The video hammers Kilgore mercilessly on prison breaks that occurred while Kilgore was secretary of public safety in the 1990s. He blamed one escape on the fog. He called another escape a hoax. But the most damning quote is one that Kilgore speaks himself: "Just yesterday, we went through the entire day without an escape. It was a positive day for the department of corrections." Still, Kaine's video merely follows a Kilgore attack ad already running on TVs across the state. It can be seen as the featured...

By Michael Shear | October 7, 2005; 04:47 PM ET | Comments (11)

The Hokies and the Wahoos

Okay. So you're a candidate for governor in Virginia. It's Saturday, Oct. 8. Where are you? If you're Tim Kaine or Jerry Kilgore, you're in Blacksburg at the Hokie homecoming parade and football game. Both men will be shaking hands and kissing babies at Virginia Tech tomorrow. (No, no slogans painted across bare chests, we don't think.) With a month to go, both candidates are doing the best they can to reach out to all parts of the state. For Kilgore, though, going to the Tech game could have other football ramifications, since he's a graduate of Tech rival U-Va - Wise. Kaine, of course, is more than happy to point this out. (Maybe to distract from comments he once made that his favorite team is the University of Kansas Jayhawks.) Check out this picture: (Kaine Campaign) Kilgore may also be popular among Hokies, though. He claims credit for helping lead...

By Michael Shear | October 7, 2005; 11:32 AM ET | Comments (6)

Warm and Fuzzy

Not everything these days is an attack ad. (Well, OK, almost everything). As proof, take a look at the following political commercials from Jerry Kilgore and his attorney general running mate, Bob McDonnell. See the Kilgore ad here. And the McDonnell ad here. The McDonnell ad -- the first from a down-ticket candidate -- is pretty standard fare. Bob in front of a warship. Bob with his family. Bob putting criminals behind bars (with the image of a jail door slamming shut.) "As your Attorney General, I'll work for mandatory sentences for first offense sexual predators who attack our children," McDonnell says. "As your Attorney General I'll protect Virginians and punish criminals." Kilgore's new ad is more clever. Jerry Kilgore (Courtesy Kilgore for Governor) Terry Kilgore (Courtesy Terry Kilgore) It uses the fact that Jerry Kilgore has an identical twin brother, Terry, who's a member of the Virginia House of Delegates....

By Michael Shear | October 5, 2005; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (9)

Gas, Gas and More Gas Tax

If there was any question about whether Virginia's candidates for governor are playing the gas tax card, today ended it. First, there was Jerry Kilgore pumpin' gas in Roanoke. You heard right, pumpin' gas. Dressed in a short-sleeved (orange, of course) knit shirt and khaki slacks, Kilgore dispensed gas as well as political advice, telling motorists that gas prices would be even higher if Tim Kaine had his way. (Kilgore had a staffer with a calculator standing by to calculate just how much more a motorist would have paid.) (Kilgore Campaign) Then, later in the day, it was Kaine's turn. Not at the gas station -- the TV station. Kaine released a new attack ad. In the ad, called "Misleading," Kaine vows that he has not supported raising the gas tax (he claims Kilgore made that up), and then he accuses Kilgore of trying to raise taxes on natural gas."Fact: Kilgore...

By Michael Shear | October 3, 2005; 05:55 PM ET | Comments (11)

Debating Debates -- Again

O.K. Virginia. There's one more debate left between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore. Or is there? The Oct. 9 debate, to be moderated by U-Va. professor Larry Sabato, is set to be the last premier event of the 2005 governor's campaign. It's to be televised live across the state Sunday night, leading into some must-see-TV. But there's still a chance it won't happen. Apparently shaken by Kilgore's less-than-stellar performance in the Fairfax County debate last month, the Kilgore campaign is seeking to make sure that Kaine's team can't use video from the debate in campaign ads. They had just such an agreement for the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate and the Bar Association debate last July. This time, however, there is no such deal. An e-mail exchange between Kilgore Campaign Manager Ken Hutcheson and Kaine Communications Director Mo Elleithee gives a sense of the posturing: Hutcheson's e-mail: Sent: Friday,...

By Michael Shear | October 3, 2005; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Warner Wallop

It's finally here. The ad that everyone knew was coming. Mark Warner, looking directly into the camera, and urging people to vote for Tim Kaine. The ad can be viewed at Kaine's Web site, here. Called "Guts," it features Warner, talking about working to revamp the state's finances. "Tim Kaine had the guts to stand with me and put our financial house in order," Warner says. Warner, whose personal popularity hovers at around 75 percent in the polls, has been campaigning for Kaine and has appeared briefly in ads before. But this is the first time that he attempts to put his popularity to use in a TV spot. Kaine advisers say they expect it to be a big boost for Kaine. Kilgore advisers worry that they're right. Both sides have been on the attack for several weeks now. Kaine has an ad accusing Kilgore of wanting to cut education funding....

By Michael Shear | September 30, 2005; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (2)

Got Gas?

You knew it would happen. With gas once again rising toward three bucks a gallon, the debate over gas taxes really reared its head this week. The guy that pushed the pedal to the metal was Jerry Kilgore, whose Republican base just loves it when he goes on the anti-tax offensive. His new ad is running statewide. See it here. It starts with close-up images of gas pumps, showing prices rolling up from $2.75 to $2.89 to $3.09 and beyond. The announcer says: "Think gas prices are too high? Tim Kaine doesn't think so." Ouch. In a news conference Tuesday morning, Kilgore reiterated his charge against Kaine: that he supported a proposal in 2004 by Sen. John Chichester, the legislature's top Republican, to impose higher gas taxes. "His natural inclination is to raise the gas tax and that is what he will do as governor." Is that true? Kaine says it's...

By Michael Shear | September 28, 2005; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (9)

Jumpin' the Gun

The Jerry Kilgore press operation jumped the gun today, launching a swift attack on Tim Kaine for saying he wanted to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in road funds and use it for transit instead. Except, that's not what Kaine said. The confusion began, frankly, with Kaine. At the debate, he made the following statement: "A couple of things on mass transit. I believe the state funding formulas are such that they should be adjusted so that public and mass transit options receive the same subsidy percentages as road projects. As planners deal with growth in their communities and they try to choose what is the best way to let people move around, right now we give a higher subsidy for road construction than we do for public transit. I want to even it out so that we're always making the best planning decision." Huh? Kilgore folks, egged on by...

By Michael Shear | September 15, 2005; 05:32 PM ET | Comments (34)

Russert Responds

It's not clear why Jerry Kilgore thought it was a good idea to attack NBC superstar Tim Russert, the moderator of Tuesday's debate, in an email to supporters. The email said: "The debate was moderated by Tim Russert, who at every turn, disregarded the agreed upon rules and time limits. Despite Russert's obvious favoritism of Tim Kaine (even noted by leading political scientist, Larry Sabato), Jerry went on the offensive immediately and portrayed Kaine as a classic tax and spend liberal." But it's very clear why it was a bad idea. The Kaine campaign today issued a press release calling the Kilgore email "a desperate attempt to explain to supporters Jerry Kilgore's poor performance at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate on Tuesday." And worse, in today's Hotline, a newsletter for political junkies, Russert responded: "I did exactly what the Chamber asked me to do. The problem was not with...

By Michael Shear | September 15, 2005; 04:49 PM ET | Comments (24)

Governing Mag: "Knock it Off"

Jerry Kilgore loves to quote Governing Magazine, which he said gave Tim Kaine a C+ as Richmond's mayor. Tim Kaine loves even more to quote Governing Magazine, saying it called Virginia the Best Managed State in the Nation under the "Warner-Kaine administration." Now, Governing Magazine is saying: both of you, knock it off. In a post on the magazine's official blog, they call both men to task for essentially misrepresenting what the magazine reported. In Kilgore's case, they note that the C+ grade for Richmond in 2000 was for the city, not for Kaine, and though Kaine was the mayor, he operated officially under a "weak mayor" form of government. "It would be easy to argue that it's an unfair point," the magazine notes. "The grade was given to the overall city management, not Kaine." To Kaine's central argument, they are even harsher. "We did say that 'there is little that...

By Michael Shear | September 14, 2005; 11:07 PM ET | Comments (5)

The Ultimate Debate Spin

For those of you who haven't seen them yet, here are the e-mails that the Kilgore and Kaine campaigns sent out to their supporters, explaining who won the debate Tuesday. Needless to say, they disagree. Kaine's email is Download kaine.doc Kilgore's is Download kilgore.doc...

By Michael Shear | September 14, 2005; 11:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Attack of the Web Site

The Kilgore attack ads are coming. How do I know? Just head on over to kainerecord.com, a new website which the Kilgore campaign just launched (look at the bottom: it says it's an official website). It's a slickly done site filled with much of the same material that Kilgore's got on his regular campaign site. But it's designed to feel harsher. If you don't believe me, click on the "Issues" tab or the "Media" tab and look at the pictures of Kaine. The site is designed to be a destination for viewers of the attack ads that will be launched soon. Already, a direct mail piece suggests that readers head over to kainerecord.com for the facts. It's not, of course, the first attack website. That distinction belongs to the Kaine campaign, which launched jerrytheduck.com early this year. And actually, if you want to be precise, it might belong to the anonymous...

By Michael Shear | September 14, 2005; 10:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

NASCAR Race to Richmond

So here it is, the real Race to Richmond. Jerry Kilgore unveiled today the Jerry Kilgore car, a soon-to-be real, live entry in the Nextel Cup series. The car, driven by Hermie Sadler, will race at the Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 23. Kilgore didn't just stand by the car today. He tossed caution to the wind and actually climbed in the drivers seat. (Several NACSAR representatives standing nearby said they were impressed with his deftness.) Grinning a big grin, he grabbed the steering wheel and flashed his pearly whites for the television and still cameras. No, he said, this is not a shameless political stunt. "It's about supporting racing in Virginia," he said. Delacey Skinner, a spokeswoman for the Tim Kaine campaign, declined to make the expected jokes about the Kilgore campaign going around and around in circles until election day. And she didn't say anything about the prospect that the...

By Michael Shear | September 8, 2005; 05:23 PM ET | Comments (5)

The Ad War Begins (Softly)

The much-anticipated ad war has begun, though not yet with the venom that everyone expects. Jerry Kilgore, the Republican candidate for governor, has begun advertising on television. This week, he went up on the air with a biographical ad called "Experience" and a transportation ad aimed just at Northern Virginia. The transportation ad can be seen here. Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate, is continuing to run his biographical and policy ads across the state. But today, there was a hint of the critical ads that are likely to emerge soon. Kaine launched a new radio ad in Southwest Virginia taking aim at Kilgore for opposing mandatory efforts to limit the sales of the ingredients needed to make methamphetamine, a dangerous drug. The ad attacks Kilgore for opposing mandatory efforts and quotes him as saying that "You never want to require that individuals participate in certain programs." It goes on to say...

By Michael Shear | September 6, 2005; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (5)

A BIG Sign - Really Big

Jerry Kilgore is thinking big. Really Big. The next time you're driving through the Mixing Bowl, look up. There, on the side of one of the office buildings, you will see a huge, orange and blue banner for Kilgore. The banner reads: "Get Traffic Moving. Kilgore. Governor." It's similar to one that Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton used during his campaign for lieutenant governor earlier this year. (George Allen also tried a similar trick during his Senate campaign in 2000, I'm told.) Hmmm. Didn't Connaughton lose? Well, I'm sure the Kilgore folks don't see that as an omen. Their goal, almost certainly, is to try to make inroads in the Northern Virginia vote by seizing on the transportation issue. The banner might be a good idea. More than 375,000 cars pass through the Mixing Bowl every day. That's a lot of cars. But more importantly for Kilgore,...

By Michael Shear | September 3, 2005; 02:21 PM ET | Comments (4)

Bloggin' Kilgore

Jerry Kilgore, that most hip of candidates, has decided to enter the blogosphere. On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Kilgore will take questions in a live, hour-long blog session hosted by the Blue Dog Blog, a site run by Democrat Steve Sisson. In a news release, Kilgore announced the session: "Former Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore will take part in what is believed to be the first-ever live blog interview of a statewide candidate in Virginia history," the release said. Just in case readers of his press release were not as hip as he was, Kilgore added the following: "Blog, is shorthand for Web Log, which is a web site run by one or more people on which they comment about politics, public events or other interests." Thanks for clearing that up, Jerry. The session will start at 6 p.m. and run for an hour....

By Michael Shear | September 2, 2005; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (7)

Kilgore's Valley Voters

Turkeys, pumpkins, pickup trucks and Jerry Kilgore. In a nutshell, that describes Republican Jerry Kilgore's swing through Harrisonburg late last week as he sought to lock up the valley for November's election. Kilgore is popular west of the Shenandoahs. In his bid for attorney general four years ago, he got almost 80 percent of the vote there, even as Mark Warner was winning the state's top job easily. Kilgore, who is from a lot farther down I-81, somehow connects with folks. It's a bit weird, actually. var movieSrc = "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=left&playad=no&mediatype=stream&postdir=metro&postvideo=082205-2v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=none" ; //URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var movieWidth = "454" ; //FLASH MOVIE AND BACK-UP GRAPHIC WIDTH var movieHeight = "275" ; //FLASH MOVIE AND BACK-UP GRAPHIC HEIGHT var backupGraphic = "no" ; // If you have a backup graphic "yes" or "no" var graphicSrc = "" ; var graphicLink = "" ; //requiredVersion: Change this to 8 to...

By Michael Shear | August 19, 2005; 11:03 PM ET | Comments (8)

A Date to Debate

The Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore camps have decided on a date for their third debate: Oct. 9 in Richmond. It will be the first -- and probably the only contest -- televised statewide. Independent Russ Potts will be there if he reaches 15 percent in two statewide polls. But gosh fellas, did it have to be so hard? As all things seem to be these days between the major party's gubernatorial camps, there was a bit of tension over when the debate should be held. Kilgore, the Republican, wanted Oct 9. And his campaign staff made it quite clear that that was the only date acceptable. Here's what Ken Hutcheson, Kilgore's campaign director, had to say to Mo Elleithee, Kaine's director of communications in an e-mail sent around by Elleithee: "Mo--thanks for your e-mail. We have accepted the invite to debate on October 9 issued by the Center for...

By Chris Jenkins | August 10, 2005; 03:02 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Tim and Tucker Show

Tim Murtaugh and Tucker Martin of Republican Jerry Kilgore's communications staff took their show on the road Friday to offer their own two-man protest operation at Tim Kaine's latest town hall meeting. As about 150 people (mostly Democrats) streamed into a Chesterfield high school to listen to Democratic gubernatorial candidate talk about "budget reform," Tim and Tucker handed out gaudy plastic rings. "Congratulations on acquiring a genuine, top off the line Tim Kaine Decoder Ring," announced a little piece of blue paper attatched to the rings. "Tim Kaine has obviously put a lot of time and effort into coming up with code words meant to hide the obvious and confuse audiences. He has turned his work for the biggest tax increase in Virginia history into, in his words, 'budget reform' and "investment.' " "But Tim Kaine didn't plan on the Tim Kaine Decoder Ring. Now, when he tries to say 'budget...

By Michael Shear | August 7, 2005; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (15)

Allen Rides to the Rescue, Part II

Jerry Kilgore needed a good boost, and he got it this week, from his political mentor, Sen. George Allen.In a gushy fundraising letter, Allen urges supporters to send in the cash to Kilgore. "I know that there is no one who has a better record of results and who shares our common-sense Jeffersonian conservative values than my good friend Jerry Kilgore," the letter says, "And I need your help in supporting Jerry in his campaign for Governor." Allen asks for contributions of "$1,000, $500, $100, $50, or even $35" for Kilgore's campaign, and praises Kilgore's efforts to help end parole. "With Jerry Kilgore leading the way, we stopped listening to the criminal apologists and slammed the door shut on Virginia's revolving-door justice system," Allen wrote. He also takes a swipe at the Democrats: "Jerry needs our help to combat the national liberal money pouring into Tim Kaine's campaign coffers." Kilgore just...

By Michael Shear | August 3, 2005; 05:19 PM ET | Comments (2)

Eavesdropping, Part LXXVII

Jerry Kilgore had successfully beat the GOP eavesdropping case to death. He'd buried it. It was gone. Over. Kaput. Finished. Never to be ... Well, you get the idea. But now, it's reared its ugly head again, and Kilgore has only one party to blame: the Republican Party. Last week, the GOP filed a lawsuit against its former insurance company, claiming that the company should have picked up the tab for the $750,000 payment the party made to Democratic lawmakers whose conference call was secretly recorded by former GOP executive director Ed Matricardi. When news of the insurance lawsuit emerged, the entire Richmond political establishment let out a collective: Huh? Why, most of them ask, would the Republican Party want to bring that story up again, three months before Election Day. It's not, after all, like the scandal has had no bearing on the governor's race. Kilgore was deposed in the...

By Michael Shear | August 1, 2005; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (4)

POTUS Endorses Jerry

You knew it would emerge. You don't hold a fundraiser with the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (POTUS) and not let the average Joe have a peek. So Jerry Kilgore has made public a few seconds of video from his $2.1 million fundraiser with President Bush. The cash is good, but the video is gold. See it here. It's unclear whether that video will ever make it to the airwaves in full-fledged campaign ads. Bush has been very reticent to appear too political. (He lets his lieutenants, including Karl Rove, perform that function for him). And it was the Bush White House that refused to let the Kilgore campaign open the fundraiser to the press. But the Kilgore campaign will make the best use of it that they can. In an e-mail to supporters, the campaign highlights the Bush event and directs folks to the Web site link above. Kilgore's chief...

By Michael Shear | July 26, 2005; 06:44 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Coach for Kilgore?

It's no secret that Jerry Kilgore's performance at the July 16 debate exceeded all expectations. Some detractors said that all the Republican candidate for governor had to do to exceed expectations was to avoid tripping over his tie as he walked onto the stage. But Kilgore offered a disciplined, effective performance. He seemed well-prepared for all of the questions thrown his way, and was clearly ready for the brief back-and-forth with Tim Kaine. At previous meetings between the two -- and there have been few -- Kaine clearly had the edge and was able to rattle Kilgore. This time, Kaine seemed to be back on his heels more than once. So what happened? Maybe the person to ask is Brett O'Donnell. Who? Brett O'Donnell is listed in state records as the principal owner of O'Donnell and Associates Ltd., a firm that Kilgore's campaign paid $3,000 and listed as a "consultant" to...

By Michael Shear | July 26, 2005; 04:45 PM ET | Comments (6)

Mason-Dixon Poll

Kaine 38 percent. Kilgore 37 percent. It's a statistically insignificant lead. But the Mason-Dixon poll that was released Sunday showed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tim Kaine with a lead none-the-less over Republican Jerry Kilgore. Last fall the Republican had a five-point lead in a poll done by the firm. Other polls that have been taken this year have shown Kilgore up by as many as eight points. Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., which has conducted polls in Virginia and other states for more than 20 years, last week interviewed 625 registered voters by phone who said they were likely to cast ballots on Nov. 8. The poll found that Kaine was riding the Gov. Mark Warner express, which is rolling along with what may be the highest approval ratings for a governor in a generation. All that Kaine campaign talk about the "Warner-Kaine administration" appears to be working, if...

By Chris Jenkins | July 25, 2005; 04:23 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Meaning of "Pro-life"

The staff over at Jerry Kilgore for Governor has been apoplectic this week about a few words uttered by their candidate's Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, at last Saturday's Virginia Bar Association debate: "I am pro-life," Kaine said when talking about his view on abortion. Kaine says that while he has a personal, religious opposition to abortion, he is supportive of a women's right to choose. And he explained that as part of his answer. But the Kilgore camp says that when Kaine says, "I am pro-life," he is being disingenuous. As the argument goes, the phrase "pro-life" has a specific meaning in the American consciousness, and is associated with the belief that abortion should be outlawed. "It is a classic example of Tim Kaine recognizing the audience and delivering the message that the audience wants to hear," said Tim Murtaugh, Kilgore's press secretary. "One the one hand he [runs] ......

By Chris Jenkins | July 22, 2005; 01:48 PM ET | Comments (5)

Bush/Kerry: Part Deaux?

Look who's coming across the Potomac -- well, at least via cyberspace -- to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine: None other than Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. And just in time for President Bush's arrival in McLean at a fundraiser for Kaine's Republican opponent, Jerry Kilgore. It's almost like old times. In an e-mail sent to Kaine supporters today, Kerry invoked Bush's name to help fire up state Dems: "Bush is coming to Virginia to stand with Jerry Kilgore to try to sell Kilgore's failed programs and irresponsible policies to your fellow Virginians. With his fiscal recklessness and mean-spirited, negative campaign tactics Jerry Kilgore is wrong for Virginia." And after he stirred the pot a bit, Kerry asked for a little cash on behalf of Kaine: "Bush will use his fundraising network to fill Kilgore's campaign coffers with checks from powerful special interest groups and hard-right ideologues. Let's use our...

By Chris Jenkins | July 21, 2005; 06:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

It's Time to Play the Endorsement Game

In any good campaign, first comes the obsessing about how much money each candidate has. Here in Virginia, political junkies and the media following the gubernatorial campaign, crossed that bridge a long time ago. Next comes the hand-wringing on which candidate is getting which endorsement. In that spirit, GOP candidate Jerry Kilgore today received a nod from the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that represents about 9,000 small businesses in Virginia. At a mid-afternoon news conference in Richmond, the organization unveiled it's official endorsement of the Republican. And what would be an endorsement party be without a little side by side comparison of the candidates to help toss some red meat out there. Gordon Dixon, the NFIB/Virginia state director, did the honors this afternoon. "The differences between the two leading candidates - Jerry Kilgore and [Democrat] Tim Kaine - are striking," he said in a statement. "Jerry Kilgore...

By Chris Jenkins | July 20, 2005; 05:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

Sights and Sounds of Summertime Fundraising

Two slices of big-time D.C. politics are heading Northern Virginia's way this week on behalf of Virginia's gubernatorial campaign. The GOP camp is all abuzz about a Thursday evening fundraiser for Republican nominee Jerry Kilgore, featuring none other than El Presidente. That's right, President Bush will be making a 6 p.m. stop in McLean for the nominee at the private home of a big-time GOP donor, Dwight Schar. This is Kilgore's signature fundraising event (it would be pretty hard to top, wouldn't it?) and the candidate's braintrust hopes to top the $1 million that Gov. Mark Warner (D) raised for Democratic candidate Tim Kaine a few months back. Early returns suggest that the event will help the Republican completely even-up the fundraising race -- Kilgore trailed Kaine by only $200,000 as of July 1, which these days can be made up with a personal check from a rich friend. The...

By Chris Jenkins | July 19, 2005; 03:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

The Roe v. Wade Game

Democrat Tim Kaine's gubernatorial campaign is trying to push Jerry Kilgore, the GOP candidate, into saying whether he would sign a bill outlawing abortion in Virginia if a potentially reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision. It all stems from Kilgore's comments during and after Saturday's debate at The Greenbrier resort. Kilgore said he couldn't answer such a question because, well, no one really knew what the Supremes would do and there are no abortion cases "in the pipeline." It's "total speculation," he said to reporters after the debate. Not good enough, say Kaine supporters. This afternoon, they organized a conference call with three Democratic state lawmakers--Dels. Kristen J. Amundson and Vivian E. Watts, both from Fairfax County, and Sen. Louise L. Lucas (Portsmouth) who wagged their metaphorical fingers at the Republican, for not saying "yes" or "no." "The people of my district want to know ......

By Chris Jenkins | July 18, 2005; 04:46 PM ET | Email a Comment

Debate Watch - Literally

It's a day before the big event -- the first real debate of the governor's race. No. You can't watch it at home. It's not televised. But that's not keeping Democrat Tim Kaine from organizing "Debate Watch" parties across Virginia for Saturday morning. Huh? How do you watch a debate that's not televised? Kaine's operation says the debate will be "live-blogged" by their own campaign staff at www.tk4g.org. It's not clear what exactly that means, but for those of you hard-core political junkies, you can sign on to find out. Kaine is also trying to organize a canvass of the state during the debate. Apparently, he's trying to make the point that while the candidates may have to debate in West Virginia (that's where the sponsoring Virginia Bar Association holds its annual meeting), its better to focus on people who can actually vote in the Nov. 8 election. Democrats are also...

By Michael Shear | July 15, 2005; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (6)

Debate Access

If two candidates debate in a forest, but no one is there to see them, was there really a debate? Well, okay, it's a bit different when there's dozens of reporters to watch. But the question remains, from a couple of readers of our online chat earlier today, how "regular folk" can get access to Saturday's debate, which is not going to be televised. As promised during the Live Online discussion, here's what we know about that. Organizers of the debate say public radio will be at the debate, but will not be broadcasting live. Instead, radio folks said they may broadcast bits and pieces of it later. A transcript will be available on the Web site of the Virginia Bar Association, which is sponsoring the debate. But officials there say it's not likely to be available for a couple of days. Or, you can always drive four hours to beautiful...

By Michael Shear | July 14, 2005; 04:20 PM ET | Email a Comment

We're in the Money...

"I've got more!" "No, me. I've got more." "Uh-uh. I do." That's the sophisticated message out of the Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore camps today, as both revealed their latest fundraising efforts for the month of June. Kilgore, who had been trailing in the money race for most of the summer, claimed victory in the latest money chase by raising $2.1 million during June, compared to just about $1 million for Kaine during the same period. The GOP crowd crowed about its success, calling the effort a stunning victory, even as the campaign acknowledged that a good chunk of the $2.1 million is advance contributions from people attending a swank fundraiser in McLean next week headlined by President Bush. Makes on wonder whether their July numbers will be quite low. Meanwhile, the down-on-their-luck Kaine fundraisers found a silver lining by noting that their overall donations -- just over $11 million --...

By Michael Shear | July 13, 2005; 04:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Not what we had in mind

This can't be what Jerry Kilgore had expected. Last week, the Republcian candidate for governor announced a "steering committee" of about 90 African Americans he said showed that his campaign was reaching out to the minority community. Earlier, he had been running radio ads in urban areas asking blacks to give him a chance. The Richmond Free Press, the city's leading black newspaper, then did an article. So far, so good, right? But the article, titled "Kilgore Unveils Team" is not full of praise for Kilgore. In fact, in the third graph, it concludes that "most of the members of what the former attorney general called his African-American leadership team seem to be dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who are as loyal to their party as Yellow Dog Democrats and have little track record of success in garnering black support for the GOP." Yikes. But that's not the worst. The same paper carried two...

By Michael Shear | July 12, 2005; 01:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Shhhhhhhhhhh

It's waaaaay too quiet out there. It's nearly four o'clock in Virginia, and there's not a peep out of any of the candidates for governor. No nasty e-mail exchange. No new radio ad, accusing someone of lying or misrepresenting their record. No stump speech. No angry complaint about debates. Nothing. It's like they all disappeared. Well, okay, not all. Jerry Kilgore's flack, Tim Murtaugh, did put out an e-mail this morning, congratulating fellow Republicans for a huge turnout over the Fourth of July weekend. According to Murtaugh, Kilgore supporters attended 137 separate events. (By using Kilgore's twin brother, Terry, it's possible that Kilgore was seen at all of them.) Democrat Tim Kaine also crisscrossed Virginia. Nothing like a festival or parade to shake a few hands. But no pat-on-the-back e-mail from Delacey Skinner or the rest of the Kaine press staff. Maybe they're taking a day off. Or maybe they're just...

By Michael Shear | July 5, 2005; 03:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

Kilgore Unleashed

Republican Jerry Kilgore today launched a barrage of criticism at his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, accusing Kaine of personal attacks on Republican donors. In a conference call with reporters, Kilgore called Kaine "bitter" in tone and said he has become "unhinged from reality" and "disconnected from true facts." Later, he said the Kaine campaign has "once again cast reason and reality to the side, substituting ridiculous rhetoric instead." Kilgore criticized a Kaine spokeswoman for saying that Kaine was not aware of the Richmond schools' failure to meet disability standards while he was on the city council. Kilgore said Kaine was the chairman of a schools subcommittee at the time. And Kilgore also lashed out at Kaine for a recent mailing in which Kaine questions Kilgore's top donor, John Gregory, a former CEO of a drug company. Gregory's former firm, King Pharmaceuticals, is under a federal fraud investigation. Kilgore said the mail...

By Michael Shear | July 1, 2005; 02:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

Two Ads Target Black Voters

Blacks in Virginia sorting through their gubernatorial choices will have a pair of campaign pitches thrown their way this week by the major party candidates. Both the Democratic nominee, Tim Kaine, and Republican nominee, Jerry Kilgore, will be placing ads in black newspapers this Fourth of July weekend. Blacks, of course, are one of the most consistently Democratic constituencies in Virginia and the rest of the nation. In 2001, Republican gubernatorial nominee Mark Earley received 11 percent of the black vote. With an endorsement from three of the leading black lawmakers in the state hovering at the top of the page, Kaine takes aim in his ad at what he calls the "failed leadership" of Kilgore regarding issues concerning blacks. For example, he points to Kilgore's opposition to the budget passed last year that included millions of dollars for Virginia's historically black colleges and universities. Kaine's ad also says that Kilgore...

By Chris Jenkins | June 30, 2005; 12:39 PM ET | Email a Comment

Kilgore Hoping to Win Support From Blacks

Former attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore sought to reach out to blacks in Virginia this morning by unveiling his "African-Americans for Kilgore Leadership Team." The team consists of about 100 blacks from across the state who will serve as informal "advisers" to the campaign--essentially presenting issues to Kilgore as they come up. The team members will also serve as Kilgore boosters in the community--telling their neighbors and friends about his virtues. The effort is an attempt to prevent a repeat of the poor showing that former Republican gubernatorial nominee Mark Earley had among blacks when he faced Mark Warner in 2001. Earley received about 11 percent of the black vote, said Ashley Taylor, who serves as the Kilgore campaign's chief counsel and helped coordinate this morning's event at the Richmond Convention Center (where a handful of Kaine supporters, several of them black, held up campaign signs for...

By Chris Jenkins | June 29, 2005; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (1)

Disability Politics

Standing with a group of disabled supporters, Tim Kaine today accused his Republican opponent in the race for governor of being "insensitive" to disabled people in the state. His charge: That Kilgore, as attorney general, formally opposed a lawsuit that would have allowed people to sue states for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the time, Kilgore claimed he was protecting the state's right of "soveriegn immunity" against frivolous lawsuits. Gov. Mark Warner opposed Kilgore's intervention in the California case, saying the state had "nothing to fear" from the ADA. Apparently, though, Kaine thinks Kilgore might have something to fear. He told reporters today that "this was clearly a free-lance effort" by Kilgore to oppose the lawsuit. "It demonstrates a severe insensitivity to the equality principle." Kilgore press secretary Tim Murtaugh called the charge baloney. He said the former attorney general was moved by what he said were frivolous ADA...

By Michael Shear | June 28, 2005; 04:42 PM ET | Comments (7)

Allen Rides to the Rescue

Like the tall, mysterious cowboy in those old Western movies, the junior senator from Virginia, George Allen, rode in on his high horse today to defend Jerry Kilgore from the most recent attacks by Tim Kaine. (Remember, Allen is fond of wearing a bolo tie, cowboy hat and boots, so this image is not really far-fetched.) It all started this week, when Kilgore bragged about his record combating gangs, especially in Northern Virginia. He issued a plan of action that included a proposal to make accessories to capital murder eligible for the death penalty. Kaine pounced, claiming that Kilgore had done little to combat gangs, especially while he was Allen's secretary of public safety in the mid-1990s. That charge was like a slap on the rear to Allen's steed. So today, Allen issued a statement of his own, praising Kilgore for being "a proven, steady leader in fighting crime in our...

By Michael Shear | June 22, 2005; 02:13 PM ET | Comments (3)

Ganging up on Kaine

This time, it's gangs. But the story's the same: Tim and Jerry goin' at it. It started Monday, with Jerry Kilgore rolling out (again) his plans for dealing with Northern Virginia's growing gang problem. He wants to do a lot of stuff, but the major newsmaker was his idea to allow the death penalty for most accomplices to capital murder. Tim Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner declined to say whether Kaine thinks that's a good idea. That prompted an e-mail from Skinner's alter ego in the Kilgore camp, Tim Murtaugh. The e-mail was titled "It's really Just a Yes or No Question," and offered a place for Kaine to check "Yes" or "No." (At the end, Murtaugh wrote, "Please check only one." Earlier, Skinner issued her own e-mail, saying that gang violence had increased a 220 percent during Kilgore's term as secretary of public safety. In the fine print, you see the...

By Michael Shear | June 21, 2005; 06:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

Warner and Kaine: Two Peas in the Death Penalty/2nd Amendment Pod?

GOP gubernatorial nominee Jerry Kilgore surprised some Virginia politicians a few months back when he said in a meeting with Post reporters and editors that he was more like Mark Warner than Tim Kaine will ever be. Well, now a group is trying to prove it. The Center for Individual Freedom, which bills itself as "a non-partisan, non-profit organization with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution," is starting to run television ads it dubs "Mark and Tim," comparing the two Dems' views on the death penalty and the Second Amendment. For instance, the ads point out that Kaine said in 2001 that he supported a moratorium on the death penalty, although he has said he would uphold state law if elected governor. Warner is supportive of the death penalty, as is Kilgore. A press release announcing the ads says they...

By Chris Jenkins | June 20, 2005; 01:26 PM ET | Comments (4)

Is that letter for me?

Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William has sent identical letters to the state's candidates, asking formally whether they would outlaw abortion completely if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court. Talk about a hot potato! And it's not such a bizarre question. In Washington, there's much speculation that President Bush will have the opportunity to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice. That could shift the court's position on abortion during the four-year term of the next Virginia governor. So what do the campaigns have to say? Not much. Both gubernatorial camps declined -- politely -- to engage in hypothetical "what-ifs" with Marshall. Kaine's communications director, Mo Elleithee, pointed the way to Kaine's official position on abortion, which you can find here. In short: He opposes abortion, but will uphold the law of the land. Hmmm. What if the law of the land changes, though? He doesn't exactly say....

By Michael Shear | June 16, 2005; 05:18 PM ET | Comments (2)

Can Kaine Claim Project Exile?

If there's one thing that you don't hear often, it's the former president of the NRA, Charlton Heston, praising a Democrat. So Tim Kaine's radio ad, running in small, rural markets, got the attention of Jerry Kilgore's campaign aides. In the ad, Kaine brags about helping to cut the murder rate in half with Project Exile, a local-federal program aimed at getting tough on guns. "Charlton Heston of the NRA even said, not many felons carry firearms in Richmond anymore," the radio script says. The ad can be heard here. In fact, in 1998, the NRA's executive director praised Richmond's Project Exile, saying it "ought to be in every major city in the country where there's a major crime problem." How to respond? The Kilgore camp and the NRA put out a statement today saying Kaine's ad was a "brazen attempt to mislead Virginia voters [and misuse] comments made by former...

By Michael Shear | June 16, 2005; 04:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

Takin' It to the NRA

Tim Kaine is heading into the belly of the beast. Fresh from being hammered by Jerry Kilgore for what the Republican candidate said was Kaine's desire to sue gun manufacturers, the Democrat has decided to submit to an interview with NRA News Radio. Yes, that's NRA, as in National Rifle Association. The show is heard on Sirrius satellite radio. Kaine denies wanting to sue gun manufacturers. He says that as mayor of Richmond, he merely requested information from the city attorney about the legality of such an action. Kaine says he's a supporter of Second Amendment rights. In a new radio ad, which began running today in rural areas of the state, the sheriff of Montgomery County, Va., asserts that Kaine is a friend of gun owners. But more than that, the sheriff goes after Kilgore for "not telling the truth" about Kaine. The 60-second ad says Kilgore "fought against funding...

By Michael Shear | June 10, 2005; 01:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

GOP versus GOP?

Jerry Kilgore, who wants to be governor, has been very clear about his disdain for Tim Kaine's claim to have cut taxes while mayor of Richmond. In a conference call Wednesday, Kilgore said that local leaders who trumpet cuts in the tax rate while total tax bills go up are "dishonest and intentionally misleading." Who was he talking about? Tim Kaine, of course. But Democrats pounced today because Kilgore might as well have been talking about fellow Republican Sean Connaughton, who as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors has touted his ability to cut the tax rate. Kilgore said he hadn't studied the details of the Connaughton situation like he had Kaine's. But in a news release, Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Griffis asked, "Does this mean that Jerry Kilgore thinks Sean Connaughton is being 'dishonest?' Is he 'intentionally misleading' voters?" The answer, from Kilgore spokesman Tim Murtaugh: "The...

By Michael Shear | June 2, 2005; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

Not about Watergate

Washington may be buzzing about Watergate (and rightly so) but in Richmond, the campaigns for governor roll merrily along, as do the back-and-forth e-mails by the two press secretaries, Kilgore's Tim Murtaugh and Kaine's Delacey Skinner. In person, the two are pleasantly cordial with each other. But in cyberspace, they take the gloves off. Today, Murtaugh punched first, sending out an email at 1:10 p.m. entitled "Kaine Takes Out A Pillar of His Own Real Estate Tax Plan." In the e-mail, he argues that Kaine has had a muddled message when it comes to how much he will spend on education and how that will benefit taxpayers. Skinner responded at 1:13, with her own e-mail: "Kilgore's Credibility Problem - A History Lesson." Referring to a comment Kilgore made on Wednesday, Skinner said "Jerry asked us to believe the most incredible assertion of all - that he will fully fund public education....

By Michael Shear | June 2, 2005; 02:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

The Kilgore Cap

Jerry Kilgore started his campaign for governor with an agenda he calls "10 Weeks of Honest Reform," which has roughly translated into a press conference each week. The 10 weeks ended today with Kilgore emphasizing his intentions to cap what he calls "skyrocketing homeowner assessments." He proposed a 5 percent cap on assessments, once again vowing to keep local government officials honest by forcing them to raise tax rates if they want double-digit revenue increases. "I'm not running for governor believing I'm going to win the votes of all local officials," he declared. He also stole a page directly from the Tim Kaine campaign, by saying he wants assessment notices to include information about proposed tax hikes. And because it will take three years or more to implement his cap, he offered an interim idea: until the cap is in place, force courts to give preference to property owners when they...

By Michael Shear | June 1, 2005; 12:14 PM ET | Comments (3)

Memorial Weekend Campaigning

A three-day weekend: Time for relaxing at home, the beach or the swimming pool, right? Not for the men who would be governor of Virginia. Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore will be all over Virginia looking for votes this weekend. Kaine plans to spend most of the weekend in Southwest Virginia. There's a meet-n-greet at the Chicke-N Little restaurant in Abingdon and Ralph Stanley's Thirty-Fifth Annual Memorial Bluegrass Festival in Coeburn on Saturday. Sunday, he'll participate in a wreath laying ceremony in Bedford. And Monday, he'll make stops in Lexington, Roanoke and Salem. But don't worry if you live in the rest of the state. Kilgore's got you covered in Tidewater by attending the Pungo strawberry festival on Saturday. If you're in Northern Virginia, catch Kilgore at the Viva Vienna festival Monday morning and the Falls Church festival that afternoon. Kilgore will be at his kid's soccer games on...

By Michael Shear | May 27, 2005; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Jerry "Darth" Kilgore?

It's an epic battle. The future of the universe is at stake. It's good versus evil, heading toward a final, all-out onfrontation. No, we're not talking about Star Wars, Episode III. It's the Virginia governor's race. There are not likely to be any lightsaber duels between Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine. And yet, perhaps Kilgore's staff was looking for a few pointers. Wednesday night, a dozen of the campaign's top staff got in line at midnight for the premiere showing of Revenge of the Sith. At least one of his top policy staff said she planned to catch a few winks before attending the late-night geek fest with her colleagues. Afterward, she called it "decent" but declared the crowd more entertaining than the movie. No word yet from the Kaine camp on whether they've seen the movie....

By Michael Shear | May 18, 2005; 02:18 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

© 2006 The Washington Post Company