Virginia Governor Democratic Primary Cattle Call

Last week's Virginia Governor Democratic Primary Cattle Call

With only 129 days until Virginia's June 9th Democratic gubernatorial primary, the race is in full swing. The good news for political junkies is that the race has been receiving a good deal of attention. For those looking for a fix, on Tuesday Public Policy Polling* will release head-to-head and favorability numbers for the Democratic Primary. Somepeople think that Tuesday's Sharon Bulova result will be important. But it is an all hands on deck for all the campaigns and the only candidate trying to up the ante is Terry McAuliffe in his attempt to smudge the fact he hasn't helped down ticket Commonwealth Democrats by glossing over with cash.

What's happened in the last week?

Terry McAuliffe ~ Big week for Terry McAuliffe, but that is both a blessing and a curse. And that will be the story for as long as he hangs around. Terry McAuliffe can raise big money to put his face on TV, but what comes out of his mouth when he is in front of the camera inverts the principle that more media is better.

Terry McAuliffe Money Everyone knows Terry McAuliffe is best known for escalating transactional politics and thus will be able to raise big cash from interests who appreciate pay-to-play. The GOP is already salivating over what looks like a $25,000 of sketchiness. And the $350,000 Park Avenue event is likely to cause some trouble when the next finance reports are released on Tax Day and people see where their Wall Street bailout is going. Optics aren't pretty:

McAuliffe then stated his case - business savvy to turnaround Virginia's economic woes - to a crowd with a zero percentage of Virginia residents. Still, the cream of New York's bundler society present at the dinner could be said to account for McAuliffe's financial base.

Not a cool base, but he will have lots of money, which brings him to the problem that he'll spend it putting his face on TV.

Terry McAuliffe on TV
The big money let McAuliffe air a Super Bowl ad, but does it help to brand his face on TV? Tim Craig noted:

And because he was a frequent guest on cable news programs as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, reams of footage could become fodder for a GOP advertising campaign. The Virginia GOP has compiled an extensive opposition research file on McAuliffe, GOP sources said.

Brian Moran ~ Picking p the endorsement of Dwight Jones was a major get, but again for Moran the big news was his big moves on the environment. This week, it was his Green Virginia Plan:

"Virginia can and must become a leader in renewable energy and get our economy moving," said Moran, a former delegate from Alexandria who is one of three Democrats seeking the party's nomination for governor.

"The time for leadership on this issue has come, and I'm committed to bold action. This plan will create tens of thousands of jobs in growing industries," Moran said. "These investments will produce returns for years in the form of new technologies and new jobs."

Bob Burnley, director of the Department of Environmental Quality under then-Gov. Mark R. Warner, endorsed Moran today and praised his environmental plan.

Creigh Deeds ~ While McAuliffe is putting his money on TV and Moran is again getting lots of earned media for his environmental consolidation, where is Deeds? Not only is he not making good moves, he is making mistakes. Again, he's going to have to step it up to be more than a spoiler.

*The latest PPC poll in Ohio had no clue when it came to the electorate, so take it with a grain of salt.

Tags: Brian moran, Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, va-gov, Virginia Governor Democratic Primary Campaign (all tags)



Re: Virginia Governor Democratic

Terry MacAulliffe not helping downticket democrats?  Who would have guessed it!  Maybe his utter failure has head of the DNC could offer a clue!

by LordMike 2009-02-01 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia Governor Democratic

His time at the DNC was the winter solstice for VA Democrats.

by Bob Brigham 2009-02-01 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia Governor Democratic

Right. Because the DNC makes recruits candidates or makes messaging decisions for party caucuses.

All the DNC does is raise money and provide infrastructure to the party - and Terry McAuliffe did that better than any party chairman who had come before him.

Howard Dean credited McAuliffe for his ability to create the 50 state strategy.

Bob, does Jerome pay you any of his Brian Moran cash, or the hit man who's dumb enough to do it for free?

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 05:41AM | 0 recs
I'm paid nothing, just helping the party

All the DNC does is raise money and provide infrastructure to the party - and Terry McAuliffe did that better than any party chairman who had come before him.

The Maginot Line ws the best to come along, but that doesn't mean it was good enough.

When it comes to money, McAuliffe was on the wrong side of history with his pay-to-play transactional politics that destroyed the soul of the Democratic Party. When it comes to infrastructure, went overboard on targeting (which he sucked at) and ran a top-down, anti-grassroots style that was also on the wrong side of history. Look at pretty much every major advancement in politics and you'll see Terry McAuliffe on the other side.

And the fact that McAuliffe dead-enders need to rely on Dean not saying bad things when he replaced McAuliffe instead of what McAuliffe did is pretty sad.

by Bob Brigham 2009-02-02 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm paid nothing, just helping the party

If you think targeting isn't still an incredibly important piece of the pie in winning elections, you're as ignorant as you sound. All those grassroots volunteers on the Obama campaign - who do you think they were calling, and where do you think the information came from? They were calling TARGETS and the TARGETS came from the voter history information compiled by the DNC starting with McAuliffe's chairmanship.

The "McAuliffe pay to play" myth is one that mainly exists because ignorant folks such as yourself don't know that McAuliffe's chairmanship at the DNC was the period when the party really started going after small-dollar donors and stopped having to rely so heavily on wealthy insiders.

The Obama victory proves you need both the big donors and the little donors to be competitive. Look at his numbers. It's not all mom and pop giving $20. It's hundreds of people bundling $200k or more, too. It's all those people who bought the $50k inaugural packages.

There is no state of the art model for victory that is solely powered by small contributions. If Virginia Democrats want to retain the governorship in 2009, they're going to need a candidate who understands that. Fortunately all three do. McAuliffe may be better at pulling the big checks than his opponents, but they're not turning any down.

If your goal is to build a party that is truly run by the grassroots, you're looking to build something that has never existed - not under Terry McAuliffe and not under Howard Dean. You're going to have to tear the thing down and start over with candidates who are willing to rely on small dollars only - in which case you don't have a horse in the Virginia race, and you can stop shilling for Jerome's client, since it's just a happy coincidence to begin with.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm paid nothing, just helping the party

If you think targeting isn't still an incredibly important piece of the pie in winning elections, you're as ignorant as you sound.

Targeting is important, but not nearly as important as it once was. With technology circumventing geography, the most persuasive voices no longer need to be neighbors. But McAuliffe over-targeted to the point where even if we won everything he wanted (which we didn't), we would still be losers. Same thing with Clinton where their over-targeting early cost them dearly.

The "McAuliffe pay to play" myth is one that mainly exists because ignorant folks such as yourself don't know that McAuliffe's chairmanship at the DNC was the period when the party really started going after small-dollar donors and stopped having to rely so heavily on wealthy insiders.

Uh no. McCain-Feingold forced the change and Terry was dragged along kicking and screaming -- all the while not taking advantage of the potential.

McAuliffe is to transactional politics what Joe Lieberman is to triangulation communication. The entire strategic reform online has been a backlash to McAuliffe's style of politics.

by Bob Brigham 2009-02-02 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm paid nothing, just helping the party

Mmm... just keep it up with the McAuliffe-bashing - you're probably not interested enough in the race beyond finding ways to bash him to actually educate yourself about the other candidates or make a realistic comparison.

You did the same thing in 2005 - you took a couple of things you heard about Tim Kaine, decided you were going to crusade against him, regardless of what was best for Virginia Democrats and without any diligence or even bare intelligence in your analysis. My favorite example of your brand of hatchet-job is this post from 2005, in which you cited an 8 point deficit for Kaine as evidence that his strategy wasn't working. That after you had written this post a couple of weeks before blaming his strategy for having him down by 10 points. So he picked up a couple of points, and you cited it as evidence that his strategy was failing. To your credit, you kept your mouth shut when he eventually won by 5 using the same strategy he'd been using all along.

Virginia Democrats didn't need you in 2005 and we certainly don't need you now. You're a shill, and ignorant, vulgar shill at that.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia Governor Democratic

Terry McAuliffe nearly killed the democratic party  How many seats did we lose during his tenure?  How many state governorships and statehouses did we lose as well?  What a complete and total disaster his chairmanship was... complete and total!  The party was in shambles when Dean took over... nearly dead.

You can argue all you want, but the results speak for themselves... We lost seats when we should have won them.  We lost the presidency when we should have won it.  

And then he tops it off by losing a slam dunk primary campaign as well...

The man has no business being in politics... he has the reverse midas touch... destroys everything he comes in contact with...

by LordMike 2009-02-02 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia Governor Democratic

Oh Lord, LordMike, you need an education...

DNC Chairs don't lose elections - candidates and consultants do. Terry McAuliffe set fundraising records for John Kerry, and Kerry and Shrum blew it. McAuliffe raised huge dollars for Hillary Clinton and she ran into a better candidate, pure and simple.

And the idea that McAuliffe left the party in a shambles is as silly as Bob's comment about McAuliffe's chairmanship having been the winter solstice in Virginia. McAuliffe was the first chair in modern history to leave the incoming chair debt-free. Meanwhile he built a huge voter file and a new headquarters.

The fact is that DNC chairs should be raising money and building infrastructure. McAuliffe did both better than anyone who went before him. Howard Dean credited McAuliffe's chairmanship with making the 50 state strategy possible.

As for Virgnia, We had no statewide elected officials when McAuliffe took over the DNC, and by the end we had the Governor and had picked up seats in the General Assembly as well. He ponied up HUGE for Virginia in the Kaine race (which Bob has argued was really an attempt to torpedo the 50 state strategy).

In any case, Terry McAuliffe has been very good for Virginia Democrats, and he was very good for the DNC.

Hate him all you want - you can even go around believing that the blogosphere somehow arose in response to McAuliffe (personally I thought Joe Trippi invented it), but if you're going to convince anyone, you're going to need to come up with some better arguments.

You are, after all, basically arguing against Howard Dean's assessment of McAuliffe's chairmanship.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: VA Governor Democratic Primary Cattle Call

I'm supporting Moran in the primaries but NLS took a cheap shot at Creigh Deeds.  Here's the full quote in context (emphasis mine):

"The power has shifted," he says. "Rural legislators ruled the roost for so long. But the idea that the power is still in the rural areas is nonsense. Most of the state is suburbia now. It's like 'Of Mice and Men,' where you have this big mentally handicapped guy who didn't realize all the power he really had. Fairfax has 14 percent of Virginia's population but pays 28 percent of the state's income tax."

Of course, all candidates have to make sympathetic noises toward Northern Virginia as its voters play an ever more decisive role in statewide elections. But Deeds says he's taking the next step, teaching the rest of the state that the Washington suburbs pay for a disproportionate share of the state's services.

"I tell my constituents, if you aren't willing to help Northern Virginia now, how are they going to want to help you later?" For example, he says, the formulas that govern how road and school money gets distributed must be changed.

As a NoVA resident, I could have done without the Mice & Men analogy, however Deeds is right in sticking up for us.  Richmond is happy to take our tax dollars but God forbid we get anything back proportionate to what we give.

Now if only the robocalls would stop for tomorrow's Board of Supervisors election.  

by KimPossible 2009-02-02 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Virginia Governor Democratic Primary

I still can't believe Va. has a One Term Limit.

Just the dumbest thing I ever heard.

by Bush Bites 2009-02-02 04:03AM | 0 recs
Primary Cattle Call

I'm thinking Brian Moran could shit his pants in public and you'd somehow find a way to give him the "up" arrow.  I really hope you're not pretending to be impartial here.

by Vox Populi 2009-02-02 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Primary Cattle Call

In fact, I can pretty much predict what each of these is going to look like.

1)Bash Terry.

2)Offer effusive praise to Moran.

3)Give a couple sentence blurb about Deeds being a spoiler.

by Vox Populi 2009-02-02 04:31AM | 0 recs

I think you nailed it. ;-)

by atdleft 2009-02-02 04:49AM | 0 recs
by Bob Brigham 2009-02-02 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: we'll see how the week goes

It's difficult to comment on your posts, Bob, without mocking you. Not sure whether you're just a shill for Jerome, so he can trash his client's opponent on his blog, or whether you fancy yourself a comedian...

One thing is for sure - if you think that Brian Moran is some sort of progressive hero, you're definitely writing comedy. The guy has been a total insider for years. For those who don't know Brian Moran, here's a tidbit from the Washington Post:

Moran initially was viewed as the establishment Democratic candidate, picking up endorsements from an array of elected officials and business leaders. Now, Moran is positioning himself as an insurgent to appeal to the party's liberal flank.


Moran's position on the Surry plant appears to run contrary to his stand on a coal-fired plant scheduled to be built in Wise County. As a member of the House in 2004, Moran voted to authorize the Wise project. Last year, when environmentalists tried unsuccessfully to derail the Wise plant, Moran was quoted on the blog Raising Kaine as supporting it, remarking that Virginia was the "Saudi Arabia of coal."

You really shouldn't be doing this for free - Jerome gets big bucks from Moran, and Lionel Spruill gets like $7500 a month from Moran for saying nice things about him. If Jerome's not sliding you some cash for doing this, he's cheap and you're as poor a negotiator as you are an analyst of Virginia politics.

It's been pointed out before that you've got the Virginia politics expertise of an armadillo - you were perhaps the loudest predictor of Tim Kaine's defeat in 2005. Maybe you should stick to the California cattle call, or wherever you come from, rather than purporting to update the rest of us on a state you know just about precisely zero about.

Either than or admit that the knowledge you have just sounds idiotic because you're getting paid to post press releases for Brian Moran.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 06:00AM | 0 recs

I don't have a side in this fight-- I have enough of my own problems that I'm not spending tons of time worrying about Virginia right now. But I'm curious, you said that Jerome and Lionel Spruill get money from the Moran campaign for positive blogging. Is this something you know, or just something you're claiming? I vaguely remember Jerome saying that he supports Moran, but I don't remember him saying that he's doing any consulting. Did I miss that?

It's possible that I did. I'm just eager to see evidence.

Generally speaking, I've found that saying the other side has been paid off by a campaign is counter-productive, especially if it's not true.

by Fitzy 2009-02-02 06:19AM | 0 recs
by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Question

I appreciate the links. I didn't especially like McAuliffe when he was the head of the DNC, but I don't know much of anything about the other two. So I'm not quite ready to pass judgment on anyone yet.

... Except, that's not quite true. Reading the back-and-forth between you and Bob, you're both acting like jackasses. I don't doubt the sincerity of either of you, and I don't doubt that both of you are friendly people. But this is silly, and it's turning outsiders like me off of both candidates.

I'm just saying, relax a little. It's a long campaign season.

by Fitzy 2009-02-02 08:17AM | 0 recs
Am I the only one?

No, I can't be. I can't be the only one willing to give Terry McAuliffe a chance? Sure, he's not perfect. However, it's not like him winning the primary will be the end of the world.

I'm starting to get the same feeling now that I got around Sep/Oct 2007 when Kos was in "Bash Hillary 24/7" mode. The more they bashed, the more offended I got... So much so that once Al Gore gave his last "No, I'm NOT running!" announcement, I gave Hillary Clinton a second look.

Maybe McAuliffe isn't like his old boss Hillary Clinton, but I can't really see why he's so much worse than Moran or Deeds.

by atdleft 2009-02-02 04:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Am I the only one?

Sure, he's not perfect.

That is one way of saying it. Anyone might be that he actually is quite perfect at being counterproductive politically.

by Bob Brigham 2009-02-02 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Am I the only one?

Bob is in bash Terry mode because he's a front pager on MyDD, and its owner, Jerome Armstrong's company is also Brian Moran's internet consulting company.

Kos bashes Terry because he thinks Terry is somehow the antithesis of Howard Dean - and of course he's friends and co-author of Jerome's book.

Also, the pace seems to have been stepped up since Kos/Armstrong friend Joe Trippi from back when they were paid consultants for Howard Dean joined Moran's team to try and convert him into an "internet candidate". Hopefully for Moran's sake he will do more than push the candidate to the left, cash checks, and try to take the credit (his John Edwards formula).

When you see Terry McAuliffe-bashing on MyDD or Daily Kos, you're seeing Brian Moran's campaign dollars in action, not some broad movement against McAuliffe.

Moran has no problem paying for praise - he pays Delegate Lionell Spruill $7500 a month for his endorsement and praise. Paying Armstrong or Trippi or their friends and associates for it is just another page in the Brian Moran campaign book.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 06:17AM | 0 recs
I don't think you get the history here

Bloggers have been bashing Terry since it became clear he was fucking up the 2002 cycle.

You could lay out a good case that Terry McAuliffe dug a hole so deep that the laws of physics created the blogosphere to fill the leadership vacuum.

by Bob Brigham 2009-02-02 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think you get the history here

Still laughing - McAuliffe caused the 2002 cycle? That's awesome. There we were, it was a year post 9/11, Bush was in the stratosphere, Democrats were rolling over left and right, and it was all Terry!

If you think that members on the Hill listen to DNC chairs EVER, you are living a bizarre little anti-Terry McAuliffe dream.

Russ Feingold ain't on the ticket in Virginia, Bob, and neither is Dennis Kucinich. You can look it up.

You could argue that Barack Obama is President because he ran a stellar top-down campaign that managed to excite activists after 8 years of George Bush, but that it was funded primarily by the same old big dollars and has produced and administration staffed by the old Clinton team.

You could also argue that Terry McAuliffe is the most progressive candidate in this race, both politically and on policy matters - and that both of his opponents have spent the last 15 years or so producing fairly middle-of-the-road legislative records while they pursued every contribution they could find, and the bigger the better.

by BlueVirginian 2009-02-02 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think you get the history here

I'd like to see more on your last paragraph. I don't have any problem with cattle calls, though I think they work better when the author is able to look past his biases, but before we get caught up in who is up and who is down it would be good to have a clear sense of who is who politically.

Joe Trippi has a record of taking the more conservative Democrat in a field and remaking their image into grassroots heros (Dean, Edwards), is he doing that here with Moran? McAuliffe has no governing record, but his rhetoric has always been unabashedly Democratic and liberal, where is he on the spectrum of Virginia issues?

by souvarine 2009-02-02 08:40AM | 0 recs


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