Saturday, October 22, 2005

“It’s getting hot in heere. So hot!” But no, you don’t need to take your clothes off, as hip hop wrapper Nellie invites. Just stay tuned and watch Tim Kaine and Jim Kilgore slug it out to the end to win the hearts and minds of Virginia voters.

According to recent polls, the governor's race is statistically tied with the wind at Lt. Gov. Kaine's back. Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore, the former attorney general, had been ahead for most of the year but during the last few weeks, his campaign has faltered. Kilgore ran a slimy commercial decrying Kaine's death penalty stance and used Adolph Hitler imagery to hone the message; any momentum stalled.

In the ad, Kilgore asked Virginians to measure Kaine's death penalty stance based on religion as equal to Kaine closing his eyes to evil and condoning it. In a recent TV spot for Kilgore, a bereaved father puts down Kaine for defending his son murderer and says if it were up to Kaine, evildoers equal to Adolph Hitler would go unpunished.

The ad has caused an uproar. A quick glance at a weekly community paper in russet red Fauquier County, 47 miles southwest of the nation’s capital reflects the thoughts of many Virginians.

This week, the local paper published a voter's letter who asks, “Have you no shame, sir, no shame at all?”

Adam B. Siegel writes,

“Your campaign’s latest ad attacks Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine on death penalty issues. Using the father of victims as your mouthpiece, you ad states that Kaine ‘voluntarily’ represented the death row inmate.

That a judge assigned Kaine to the case—he was a court-appointed attorney—is a piece of information that viewers aren’t told.”
Oops…perhaps voters aren't so dumb after all.

Indeed, the perfect storm arrived at the Atlantic shoreline just in time for Kaine. Raising Kaine, a progressive blog reports that a fat cat Kilgore donor has switched political sides and in August contributed $100,000 to the Kaine campaign; in September yet another $100,000.

Listen to what "Randal J. Kirk of Radford, President and CEO of New River Pharmaceuticals and Senior Managing Director of investment firm Third Security, LLC" had to say of Kilgore.

If you believe the main thing the commonwealth needs to be doing to improve the plight of its people is to kill more people, then by all means you should vote for Jerry.
The small community paper in Warrenton further blasted Kilgore for making Kaine’s moral stance an issue in yet another op-ed; and another one extolled Kaine's proposal to allow communities to “charge…developers impact fees to help pay for schools,” roads, and other infrastructure.

The Fauquier-Democrat, a newspaper that has steadfastly refused to endorse candidates in the past came as close as they could without officially breaking their self-imposed canon in an Oct. 18 editorial, “Kaine Plan worth a look."

They write,

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine says he wants to change that infrastructure formula. He wants to put the onus on developers to build only where the infrastructure is in place or to pay for the needed work. After all, he reasons, the developers will reap jillions from their projects, so why shouldn't they pay to support them?

Like all Republicans, Mr. Kilgore opposes the idea. He knows where his campaign cash is coming from.We think it's an idea long past time for enactment. We can't continue asking taxpayers to support spending hundreds of millions on public works projects while developers take their Brinks trucks full of money and head on down the road.

Call me crazy, but that sure sounded like an almost ringing endorsement. The planets seem to be aligning for Kaine.

Gitty-up, here comes yet another donkey victory to the wire!

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