Holy Dirty Tricks, Batman!

This Tuesday is the Virginia general election.  I haven’t been writing much about it, because, as I’ve mentioned before, I find it hard to summon a lot of enthusiasm for Tim Kaine except by comparison to the alternative.

This evening, I got a robodialed phone call that began something like "I’m Tim Kaine and I want you to know where I stand on the issues…"  It’s too bad I didn’t let the answering machine get it, because I really wish I could play it back and get it word for word.  It went on to say that Kaine is a social conservative, religious, served as a missionary, opposes gay marriage, and supports restrictions on partial-birth abortion.

I hung up the phone going "huh?"  Why would the Kaine campaign be calling me with this message?  I am on some Republican mailing lists because I voted in the Republican presidential primary in 2000.  (Virginia does not have party registration, and the only thing that you need to swear to is that you are not participating in the candidate selection process of another party.)  But two days before the election is not the time to be trying to identify possible crossover voters.

The end of the message caught my attention, as it stated that this message was paid for by "Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC," not Kaine for Governor.  A quick google search revealed that this PAC "supports the election of conservative Republican candidates in the state of Virginia, including 2005 gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore."  Moreover, it is fully funded by the Republican Governors Association.  And other Democrats have been receiving these calls as well.  So, this isn’t from the Kaine campaign at all — it’s a deliberate attempt by Kilgore’s allies to discourage liberal Democrats like me from showing up to vote on Tuesday.

I’m not an elections lawyer.  I don’t know if it’s illegal to run ads like this.  But it’s sure as heck sleezy.  And I’m a lot more motivated to vote for Tim Kaine on Tuesday than I was an hour ago.  So, for those of you in Virginia, or who have friends in Virginia, pass the word.  Don’t be duped by Kilgore’s dirty tricks.  Read the Post editorial endorsing Kaine.  And please come out and vote, even if it requires a clothespin.

Updated: 

The Post blog has the text of the call.  I poked around the Kaine website, and I’m pretty sure that this radio ad from June is what the RGA outfit spliced to make the recording.

I got another robo-call tonight from the same outfit, this one claiming to be from a pro-choice advocacy group and pointing out that NARAL VA has declined to endorse Kaine, and suggesting independent candidate Russ Potts as an alternative.   The man outside the metro station tonight handing out literature for the local Republican candidate for delegate also seemed to be talking up Potts from what I overheard as I went by.  Nice try.

4 Responses to “Holy Dirty Tricks, Batman!”

  1. dave s Says:

    Baffles me why you are so unhappy with Kaine. You live in Virginia, the last Dem we gave our electoral votes to was Lyndon Johnson. The Dems survived as a moderately liberal party in VA for years based on gerrymandering the legislative districts and talking center-right in the rural areas. That’s over as a strategy now with Internet access – you can’t get away with dividing your message. And the Reeps finally overcame the Dem-friendly districts from the 1990 census and now have put in place their own districts, for the forseeable future.
    Kaine is absolutely as far left as a Dem can possibly be and win election. And he’s been enormously helped by the Reeps nominating such an unattractive candidate this time. Nominate a Leslie Byrne (for example) and you have guaranteed a Reep governor. Want to move things in your direction? Hold your nose, vote for Kaine, and work for plausible centrist candidates like Roemmelt and Poisson in the exurbs.

  2. dave s Says:

    Baffles me why you are so unhappy with Kaine. You live in Virginia, the last Dem we gave our electoral votes to was Lyndon Johnson. The Dems survived as a moderately liberal party in VA for years based on gerrymandering the legislative districts and talking center-right in the rural areas. That’s over as a strategy now with Internet access – you can’t get away with dividing your message. And the Reeps finally overcame the Dem-friendly districts from the 1990 census and now have put in place their own districts, for the forseeable future.
    Kaine is absolutely as far left as a Dem can possibly be and win election. And he’s been enormously helped by the Reeps nominating such an unattractive candidate this time. Nominate a Leslie Byrne (for example) and you have guaranteed a Reep governor. Want to move things in your direction? Hold your nose, vote for Kaine, and work for plausible centrist candidates like Roemmelt and Poisson in the exurbs.

  3. Genevieve Says:

    We got that same phone call, Elizabeth. Glad to see it made public. It struck me as a horrendously dirty trick.

  4. CGG Says:

    KOS has something up about this as well.
    http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/11/7/16214/4559

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