DSCC's George Allen Ad

As Jerome notes over in Breaking Blue, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has decided to invest close to $1 million in the Virginia Senate campaign on advertisements going after GOP Senator George Allen Junior.


The ad is, I think, successful on a number of levels. First, it gets out a lot of information about Allen's voting record, pointing out some of his more outrageous stances, such as those on the minimum wage and body armor. Yout the real success of the ad lies in the fact that it uses these issues as a cover to go after Allen for his racially insensitive language, most notably targeting the "macaca" comment.

In order for Jim Webb to win this year, it is assumed that he will need to trounce Allen in the less culturally conservative areas of the state, particularly in Northern Virginia. This ad goes a long way towards achieving this end by reminding these voters, many of whom are averse to the type of racially-charged politics that once played (and perhaps still does) in other areas of the South, that a vote for Senator Allen is a vote for someone who, at best, is prone to making statements clearly offensive to racial minorities and, at worst, is a racist himself.

It's not a perfect ad, but it does the job it intends to.

Update [2006-10-10 11:40:3 by Jonathan Singer]: And, as an aside, Michael Forsythe and Miles Weiss of Bloomberg news report, "Stock options that Senator George Allen described as worthless were worth as much as $1.1 million at one point, according to a review of Senate disclosure forms and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings."

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Webb Performs Well at Final Debate

I'm not sure if any of you had the opportunity to catch the final televised debate of the Virginia Senate campaign on C-SPAN (or the Montana Senate debate that followed on the network -- I just had an enjoyable two hours of television viewing time), but from my vantage point three thousand miles away it appeared that Democratic candidate Jim Webb made the most of his opportunity to get out his message to voters in the Commonwealth deciding between him and his Republican opponent, Senator George Allen Junior.

For those who missed it, Lowell over at Raising Kaine provides a blow-by-blow description of the debate. I'd like to focus on one of Webb's answer's in particular, though, one that brilliantly cut through Republican spin on national security and the Iraq War.

After Sen. Allen attempted to tie the Iraq War to the so-called War on Terror and parrot the most oft-used GOP talking points on the war, Secretary Webb got up and delivered a stinging blog to Allen: Instead of throwing out "propagandistic phrases" like "stay the course" and "cut and run", the debate should actually center on figuring out the best policy to alleviate the problems on the ground in the country. Webb said it better than that -- I am just paraphrasing generally from memory and from Lowell's account -- but that was the gist of it.

And it gets to the root of one of the most fundamental differences between Sen. Allen and Sec. Webb in this campaign: substance. Over the course of his two plus decades in public life, George Allen Jr. has cultivated an image of himself as a down home country boy-cum-western cowboy that has resonated with Virginian voters. One need only look at his vote totals in past elections to see the effectiveness of this effort.

But over the past two months, or so, as the media have finally begun to raise a skeptical eye towards Sen. Allen and ask the tough questions about his actual beliefs and history it has become clear to Virginians that he is a man of little substance -- and that which is there isn't necessarily appealing.

Sec. Webb, on the other hand, is pure substance. He might have come off a tad too self-assured and know-it-all-ish when he asked Sen. Allen about his stance towards the situation in the Shikoku Islands, an issue that I and likely the vast majority of Virginians did not know about prior to the debate. But on the whole, Sec. Webb appeared to be a reasonable candidate well qualified and able to serve in the United States Senate. And if there were any remaining voters who still questioned whether Webb would be a great Senator before the debate, there are likely fewer now.

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AP: George Allen in Ethics Heat

Things were already bad enough for George Allen. The junior Republican Senator from Virginia has faced an unrelenting steam of negative press over the past two months as real questions about his racial insensitivity and possible racist proclivities have emerged, and the latest polling from his reelection campaign show him in a dead-heat against Democrat Jim Webb, with Gallup showing a statistical tie among likely voters. But now, Allen is bound to face even more questions following a report by the AP's Sharon Theimer and Bob Lewis that he failed to disclose stock options in one company, as is required by Senate ethics law, and interceded on behalf of another company from which he had received similar benefits.

For the past five years, Sen. George Allen, has failed to tell Congress about stock options he got for his work as a director of a high-tech company. The Virginia Republican also asked the Army to help another business that gave him similar options.


An Associated Press review of Allen's financial dealings from that era found that the senator:

_Did not have to look far to find corporate suitors, joining three Virginia high-tech companies he assisted as governor. Allen served on boards of directors for Xybernaut and Commonwealth Biotechnologies and advised a third company called Com-Net Ericsson, all government contractors.

_Twice failed to promptly alert the Securities and Exchange Commission of insider stock transactions as a Xybernaut and Commonwealth director. The SEC requires timely notification and can fine those who file late.

_Kept stock options provided to him for serving as a director of Xybernaut and Commonwealth, but steered other compensation from his board service to his law firm.

Today's article by Theimer and Lewis is quite in-depth, so I would highly recommend you check it out in full rather than simply reading what I've quoted above. Taken as a whole, the article is fairly damning and provides yet another piece of negative press for Allen -- news that could represent the final straw for the Virginians who still had faith in Allen even after reports about his race issues.

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

It's a grey Saturday here at Jack and Jill Politics. The perfect weather to spend listening to the soothing bluesy sounds of "The Incredible Jimmy Smith" album: Back at the Chicken Shack. Don't take my word for it. It says right on the cover art over the chicken coop and above the black-and-white dog in big red letters that he's incredible.

First a word: Jack and Jill Politics is looking for local minority-authored blogs to start building a blogroll. We want to find more progressive blogs covering politics in the states like CTBlogger (CT), Where Is the Outrage (NC), Vivian Paige (VA) and Black At Michigan (MI) with voices that can add new perspectives. If you are a local minority blogger or know a local minority blog that deserves a little more attention, please leave the link in the comments or email us at jjpolitics at gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

Mama's got a lot to do today and I bet you do too. So I'm gonna hit you with some quick links to check out in our weekly roundup of what's happening at the crossroads where minorities and politics meet.

* First, this Mark Foley Predatorgate coverup thing is not partisan despite Republican efforts to make it so. That's why they are going to lose and lose big in the elections. It's not Democrat vs. Republican; it's Right vs. Wrong. The cover-up caused even conservative Christian Black blogger La Shawn Barber to dig deep and question her loyalty to the current GOP leadership. Furthermore, Wanda Sykes would like you to know that Foley is giving alcohol a bad name. (Thanks to the Huffington Post for the link!) I would like to know why Mark Foley is in rehab and  not in jail. Isn't what he did somehow against some law somewhere?

* Republic of T breaks it down on attempts to connect homosexuality and pedophilia. This is wrong and ignorant, Margaret Cho agrees. Hopefully, pastors will keep that in mind in church this Sunday. Let's keep the hate where it belongs: directed at child molesters and not at the GLBT community, ok?

More after the jump...

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Foley on the AP amid questions

Republicans Dennis Hastart, Tom Reynolds, John Shimkus, Rodney Alexander, and John Boehner have all been working furiously to get their stories in line after Mark Foley resigned abruptly on Friday. They AP has two stories on the wire. Foley e-mails 1st reported in fall '05 and Democrats see chance in Foley's district (the understatement of the week).

Lot's of questions:

* It's unclear in the AP, but there appears to be more than one minor involved with Foley. Josh Marshall talks about this late last night, but their hasn't been any follow-up reporting by ABC about whether the other individual in the IM transcript is the same minor, or not. What's the timeline?

* Boehner's role in this is unclear, with the WaPost scrubbing quotes of his that have him saying that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it."

* Rodney Alexander was maybe the only one to see the emails, but what about the IM's? Part of the problem here is that mainstream reporters are talking about emails, when it's the IM's that make the case so damning. I'm guessing most of them don't IM? There hasn't been near enough background on the IM's.

* John Shimkus hid the information from the only Democrat on the House Page Board. If we had challenger in this race, it'd be on target-rich right now. (edit-- we do have a challenger, Danny Stover, so hopefully this provides some traction)

* Tom Reynolds is probably the most targeted at this moment, particularly by Kildee saying that "any statement by Mr. Reynolds or anyone else that the House Page Board ever investigated Mr. Foley is completely untrue."

* Dennis Hastart is showing himself to be totally an out-of-touch fool. He knows according to Boehner and Reynolds, but says he doesn't know. (edit--it's time for John Laesh)

The Democrat Tim Mahoney wraps it up well with this:

"It looks to me that it was more important to hold onto a seat and to hold onto power than to take care of our children," Mahoney said. "I think that's wrong. I think that's what's wrong with Washington."A few other thoughts:

It's interesting in seeing how the national theocons respond to this GOP moment. Nothing yet.

The notion that a Republican can replace Foley is absurd. Any politician that is willing to be associated with Mark Foley's name on the ballot has stupid written on their back. What's the slogan going to be? A vote for the pedophile is a vote for me?

Congress is out, and everyone is going back home to campaign now, but DC and the beltway is going to be obsessed with this story (mainly because of all the questions) for at least half of October.

One more. Democratic Avenger has a list of everyone that gave money to Mark Foley or accepted a contribution from Foley or his PAC, and it's a long list. Every Republican on that list should be getting hit by his Democratic opponent over the wire. The name of George Allen, among others, pops out.

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