One day after Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen debuted a set of positive television ads, a conservative group friendly to Allen announced plans to launch an attack on Democratic nominee Tim Kaine.
Kaine’s campaign wasted no time pushing back, challenging the accuracy of the group’s television ad and accusing Allen of relying on interest groups to do his handiwork.
Americans for Prosperity launched a television ad bashing Kaine for pushing for tax increases, running up debt and leaving the state with a budget shortfall during his term as governor.The group also plans to launch a bus tour next week to continue the campaign, with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as one of the speakers. Plans call for a Thursday, June 28 stop at the Roanoke Civic Center parking lot.
Allen has a past association with Americans for Prosperity. Shortly before he announced plans to run for his old Senate seat last year, he was the featured speaker on an AFP bus tour of the state.
“Virginia taxpayers are calling Tim Kaine out: your tax and spending policies were bad for Virginia, and they are bad for America,” said Audrey Jackson, the Virginia state director of Americans for Prosperity. “It’s time Kaine learned that you can’t spend your way to prosperity or tax your way to economic freedom.”
Kaine tried unsuccessfully to increase taxes for transportation during his term as governor, which ran from 2006 to 2010. In the final weeks of his term, he submitted a budget plan that called for ending state car tax relief subsidies, eliminating the local personal property tax and increasing the state income tax to help close a $4.2 billion shortfall. The income tax proposal failed to get a single vote in the House of Delegates when it was introduced in 2010.
But Kaine also made billions of dollars in budget cuts during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which caused tax revenues to decline at all levels of government. And the new debt approved on his watch included a $1.5 billion bond package for college building construction (including the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine), and a transportation funding bill, both of which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support. The state retained its AAA credit rating during that period.
“It’s not surprising that special interest groups run by Washington lobbyists are rushing to bail out George Allen’s re-election effort with false attacks,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “In Washington, George Allen reliably did the bidding of a few wealthy special interests, while Virginia families and businesses paid the price. As he runs for re-election, Allen pledges to solve our fiscal challenges by asking seniors, students, businesses, and families to pay more out of their own pockets so that he can keep his promise to Washington lobbyists like Grover Norquist and his allies in the oil industry, like the Koch brothers, who are funding this ad.”
Crossroads GPS, a group co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, also is running an anti-Kaine ad campaign in the state.
– Michael Sluss