- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2009

RICHMOND (AP)| A Virginia political action committee set up to dog Republican Bob McDonnell got a huge boost this week from a national Democratic group.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also took aim at Mr. McDonnell on Thursday over the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee’s letter to Virginia congressional members saluting the General Assembly’s decision to reject $125 million in federal money to enhance benefits for Virginians who have lost their jobs.

Both actions came as Democrats on a broad front stepped up attacks on Republicans in this year’s state elections on the issue of jobs and the Republican-led legislative action April 8 to reject stimulus funds available to bolster unemployment benefits.

At issue is the House’s largely party-line vote to reject two amendments Mr. Kaine made into legislation from the 2008 session that entitle part-time workers to unemployment benefits for the first time and lengthen the eligibility period for people who lost jobs through no fault of their own and are in programs to train them for other fields.

Mr. McDonnell, legislative Republican leaders and business advocacy groups countered that the changes would have permanently raised the unemployment taxes that companies pay on every employee, an action that would force employers currently on the brink to cut jobs.

Common Sense Virginia got $740,000 on Tuesday from the Democratic Governors Association, the richest of three donations from the organization that now total nearly $850,000 since mid-March.

The state-chartered PAC was set up to take the fight Mr. McDonnell while Democrats Brian J. Moran, R. Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe battle toward a June 9 primary and the right to oppose Mr. McDonnell in November.

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