Richmond, VA - Please see below for an editorial in today's Roanoke Times that highlights the false, negative super PAC attack ads that were launched against Tim Kaine this week. The editorial calls the ads "exhaustively debunked," saying "Voters shouldn't swallow their charges as facts." The full text is below.
Editorial: A second helping of yuck
Interest groups are piling on attack ads against Senate candidate Tim Kaine that have already been debunked.
The Labor Day kickoff for this year's campaign season is still more than two weeks away, but outside interest groups are already serving up warmed over attack ads. Worse, the stale accusations being shoved down voters' throats have been exhaustively debunked.
The hapless "star" of three new negative TV ads that began airing this week is Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine. Surely his political opponents can scout out legitimate policy differences without resorting to fabrications. The former governor has an extensive record, and one that hardly qualifies as ancient history. He and his family moved out of the executive mansion less than three years ago.
But Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the advocacy groups underwriting the ads, aren't interested in a thoughtful policy discussion. They don't even seem to be that interested in saying nice things about Republican candidate George Allen. They just want to get the most bang for the millions of bucks they are spending by demonizing their target.
The ad that appears to be getting the most air time in the Roanoke market declares that "Kaine's big spending caused budget shortfalls every year" of his gubernatorial term. In fact, plummeting tax collections during the recession forced Kaine and lawmakers to cut expenses nearly $6 billion over those four years to balance the state budget.
That ad is part of a two-fer this week from Crossroads GPS, a national conservative group which, along with its SuperPAC, plans to spend more than $200 million across the country in this year's elections. Its other hit piece regurgitates accusations that Kaine supports a congressional budget deal that could result in deep defense cuts and dramatic job losses in Virginia. Kaine spoke in favor of the bipartisan agreement last summer that allowed the U.S. to avoid default on its debts, but he expressed concern about automatic spending cuts to defense and urged Congress to pass an alternative plan less onerous to the Pentagon.
Finally, the Chamber ad warns that states with right to work laws would be in peril from "pro-union regulations" if Kaine is elected to the Senate, even though the Democrat made no effort to tamper with Virginia's right to work law while he was governor.
Crossroads GPS and the Chamber are permitted to spend unlimited sums this year, and they don't disclose their donors. Voters shouldn't swallow their charges as facts. They don't know whose hands have been touching these moldy leftovers, but they do know those hands aren't clean.