Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CC: McDonnell Campaign Calls for Negative Ads to Stop Running

In a 1:30 PM conference call today Ed Gillespie, McDonnell for Governor Campaign Chairman called for the ads by Common Sense Virginia to be discontinued immediately. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Common Sense Virginia was a recipient of the Democratic Governors Association funds that the State Board of Elections found to be in violation of campaign finance laws. The DGA was fined $2500 for not disclosing immediately large donations. Gillespie said that “these ads are being run in violation of [Virginia’s] campaign finance laws.”

The misunderstanding by the DGA has been rectified but the McDonnell campaign took this opportunity to respond to the attack ads saying “they distort the truth” and are “deceptive.” The campaign’s point was the dispute that has arisen over refusing the $125 million to fund extended unemployment benefits that included providing unemployment benefits to part-time workers who accumulate less hours to qualify for the benefits. Gillespie made the point that no other state was receiving the $125 million that Virginia rejected as the ad claims.

Gillespie explained in the conference call today that the “mandate” had no “sunset clause.” That is to say when the funding for the program runs out the state must pick up the price tag to keep the funding going. According to Tucker Martin spokesman for the campaign, McDonnell has called for the language to be changed by Congress to include a “sunset clause.” Martin said, “so when the money runs out [Virginia] would go back to the old category and [Virginia] would not be left holding the bill.”

Gillespie asserted that Virginians will see that the $100,000 donation to the DGA by big labor is union’s “effort to gut [Virginia’s] right-to-work laws … and Virginians will see that it is not in their best interest.” The union donations to the DGA for the ads are directly related to their support of Card Check according to Gillespie. Card Check as described by Republican candidates will do away with the “secret ballot.” Democrats see Card Check usage as a means of preventing companies from bringing pressure on employees who sign “cards” supporting an election to determine if the majority of employees want to form a union. The bottom line is that Card Check would fast track union representation. Generally Democrats support and Republicans oppose union representation. When pressed on the conference call Gillespie admitted that Card Check would “not override Virginia’s right-to-work laws” but stood by the claim that it would “gut the law.”

When asked how this differs from from the RGA receiving the bulk of its donations from “big business”, Gillespie replied that Virginians can make the determination between businesses who provide jobs and unions who want “to gut Virginia’s right-to-work laws.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

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