- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 8, 2006

MAIDENS, Va. — Sen. George Allen last night rallied with his most reliable conservative friends, saying he is the only choice for them come Election Day, while Democratic challenger James H. Webb Jr. accused the Republican of running dishonest attack ads.

Mr. Allen, elected to the Senate in 2000, told attendees at his annual “Hoe Down” that Mr. Webb would increase taxes.

Mr. Allen echoed the theme of his latest campaign ad, saying that the national Democrats who support Mr. Webb want to let President Bush’s tax cuts expire.

“You know what that means?” he asked. “Tax increases.”

“You can count on me to make sure those tax cuts … stay permanent. My friends, raising taxes would hurt our competitiveness and would cost us jobs and you ought to keep more of what you earn anyway.”

The Webb campaign called on the senator to stop running the ads.

One ad says Mr. Webb would increase taxes because he is supported by liberal national Democrats. The other features a woman who accused Mr. Webb of misquoting her in a 1979 article, though she was not quoted in the piece after he interviewed her.

The campaign also said Mr. Allen violated a promise to voters that he would “get back on the issues.”

“He must pull these ads and apologize to the people of Virginia for sinking Virginia politics to a new low,” the Webb campaign wrote in a memo to reporters.

Mr. Allen yesterday promised he would stay on the issues and his record as a governor and a senator. He promised to be tough on national security and to fight for energy independence, themes that are sure to arise tomorrow at his final debate with Mr. Webb.

When Mr. Allen linked Mr. Webb to “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton,” the crowd booed and hissed.

Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham spoke at the fundraising event, at a private ranch where attendees dined on barbecued chicken and kept out of the rain under a large tent.

Miss Ingraham threw the 500 attendees some political red meat, saying Virginia voters are smarter than the “dinosaur media.”

She asked the crowd what Mrs. Clinton, Howard Dean, Sens. John Kerry and Charles E. Schumer, Barbra Streisand and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had in common. “They’ve all endorsed Webb,” she said, adding a “just kidding.”

A few minutes later, she told Allen supporters: “When I see the politics of smear and fear versus the politics of substance and focus, I worry for our country.”

Mr. Webb, secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, was forced to cancel several appearances scheduled for the Richmond area yesterday afternoon because of the sloppy weather.

He was scheduled to speak at a Norfolk reception of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and at an event in Portsmouth.

At the “Hoe Down,” Mr. Allen and his supporters insisted his campaign ads were not negative.

Donors at the event were named “buckaroos,” “cow bosses,” “ranch hands” and “el ranchero grandes,” depending on their gift, from a $50 minimum to $10,000.

Mr. Allen, sporting a bolo tie and a cream-colored cowboy hat along with his everyday footwear, thick-heeled boots, stood on the stage with his family: wife Susan, son Forrest and daughters Tyler and Brooke Victoria.

“We’re all cowboys today,” said Lt. Gov. William T. Bolling, a Republican.

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