- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The Democratic Party is obviously scared of Bob McDonnell. Before Virginia voters have even chosen a Democratic nominee for governor, the national Democratic Governors Association has created a shell organization to try to bloody up Mr. McDonnell, Virginia’s Republican candidate for governor. No punches have landed.

The shell organization, a political action committee called Common Sense Virginia, is spewing poppycock about Mr. McDonnell’s record while skirting state campaign laws in the process. Mr. McDonnell was the commonwealth’s attorney general until February, when he stepped down to run for governor.

The Democratic Governors Association, which already has provided Common Sense Virginia with more than $2.2 million - almost the entirety of the group’s money - failed earlier this month to make timely disclosures of the sources of its campaign cash, as required by law. A look at its now-updated filings shows that it’s highly dependent on money controlled by union bosses. The Democratic Governors Association’s three biggest donations, of $250,000 each, came from the political arms of the Teamsters, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The National Education Association kicked in $100,000 more.

More important than the money’s provenance is the weak basis for Common Sense Virginia’s televised and Web-based attacks against Mr. McDonnell. The campaign has made a mountain out of Mr. McDonnell’s agreement with other Republicans that Virginia should decline a molehill of federal stimulus money.

Out of $4.8 billion in such funds, the Republicans blocked acceptance of just $125.5 million, which is less than 3 percent. This was for good reason. Those funds came attached to a mandate to hike the state’s business fees for unemployment insurance. The law in question prohibits states from adopting a sunset provision to end the state fee hike when the federal funds run out. There is nothing irresponsible or unusual about the refusal to take these funds under these circumstances. Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alaska and Texas all rejected some of the stimulus money for the same reason.

The baseless attacks by Common Sense Virginia amount to nothing more than yawps of fear from the union-dominated Democratic Party. Recent polls show Mr. McDonnell leading all three Democratic contenders in a head-to-head race. Wise Virginians have too much common sense to give credence to the criticism.

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