DGA calls on McDonnell to stand by his ads

Friday, August 28, 2009

From the DGA, one day after Blue Virginia asked the question, "Is Bob McDonnell Violating Campaign Finance Law?" As of now, it appears that McDonnell is - at a minimum - trying to "play cute" with the law, to basically get around the spirit of it while (possibly) abiding by the letter of it. Is that the kind of attitude towards ethics and legality we want in our next governor? Nope, didn't think so.
Washington, D.C. – The Democratic Governors Association is calling on Bob McDonnell to stand by the misleading attack ads that his campaign helped produce.

McDonnell’s negative ads are paid for by the Republican Governors Association (and sponsored by a group whose name they copied), but McDonnell’s name appears nowhere in the ads.

“Bob, we know it’s your ad. Your campaign staff took the footage. You’ve admitted you’re working with the people who bankrolled the ad, and they’ve admitted that they’re coordinating with you,” said Emily DeRose, spokeswoman for the DGA. “How could anyone honestly say that the ad is not authorized by your campaign?”

McDonnell’s fingerprints are all over the ad.

*Tracker Paul Logan is paid by the McDonnell campaign, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Logan is pictured here (upper right) taking footage at the event that was used in the ad.

*The Republican Governors Association, which bankrolled the ad, solicits contributions on its web site by claiming that: “The RGA is able to coordinate with Bob McDonnell’s campaign.”

*McDonnell himself claims to be working with the RGA. He told reporters in April that: "The Republican National Committee, the Republican Governors Association, a number of other people around the country are very motivated to help us," McDonnell said. "They're going to do some significant things for us. I'm certainly not on my own."

“As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Bob McDonnell took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth. He knows exactly why these disclosure laws were written – so voters would know who is really behind the ads they’re seeing,” DeRose said. “Bob’s trying to play cute with the rules, but he should be held to the highest standard of ethics if he wants to be governor. He should stop hiding behind this group to do his dirty work and stand by these ads.”

Skirting campaign finance rules is a pattern with McDonnell.

In his 2005 race for attorney general, McDonnell’s behavior was so egregious that the state Legislature had to rewrite disclosure rules. McDonnell used the Republican State Leadership Committee to funnel $1 million into his race without disclosing their donors. Newspapers congratulated the General Assembly for “quickly plugging the hole in campaign finance laws that masked major financiers of Attorney Gen. Bob McDonnell’s November election.” [The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 23, 2006]