- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crossroads GPS, an offshoot of right-leaning Super PAC American Crossroads, debuted a new ad Wednesday targeting Tim Kaine, Virginia’s Democratic U.S. Senate nominee.

The ad, titled “Similarities,” is GPS’s latest attempt to link Mr. Kaine to his friend and close political ally, President Obama.

“Reckless spending. Red ink. Higher taxes. They have a lot in common,” the ad says. “We work hard and save. Obama and Kaine tax and spend.”

Mr. Kaine’s campaign immediately assailed the ad, pointing out factual inaccuracies and turning it back around on his potential Republican opponent, former Gov. George Allen.

In a conference call Wednesday, Mr. Kaine said that there is a direct link between ads run by groups like American Crossroads, which don’t have to disclose their donors, and false statements.

A previous ad released by the group was debunked by independent fact-checkers. By law, Virginia governors must balance the budget. Mr. Kaine’s outgoing budget was somewhat controversial, proposing to abolish the local car tax and offset it by raising income taxes by $1.9 billion per year.

Mr. Kaine had unsuccessfully proposed to exclude Super PACs from the race entirely and, failing that, arrange a “no secret money” agreement with Mr. Allen.

It’s clear that the race will be among the most closely watched — and expensive — U.S. Senate contests this year.
Both Mr. Kaine and Mr. Allen now have Super PACs specifically dedicated to electing them. The New Virginia PAC, founded by two former aides to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat is raising money for Mr. Kaine’s campaign. Independence Virginia PAC is fundraising for Mr. Allen and was launched by Paul Bennecke, a former aide to Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican.

The $1.2 million Crossroads ad buy has several spots targeting different candidates in Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia. The ads will start airing Wednesday on broadcast and cable networks.