- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2009

Big names and special interests continued to play a huge role in fundraising for the Virginia governor’s race, according to September’s campaign-finance reports.

Republican Robert F. McDonnell raked in big bucks from business interests, several with ties to the beverage industry. Such donations to Mr. McDonnell included $50,000 from the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association Inc., $25,000 from Premium Distributors of Va. LLC, and $15,000 from Silver Eagle Distributors LP.

Mr. McDonnell has said that if elected governor, he would privatize the sale of hard liquor in the state and use the tax proceeds to pay for transportation upgrades.

Democrat R. Creigh Deeds continued to pull in major donations from unions, including a $400,000 donation from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - sending its total donations in the race to $900,517 as of Sept. 30, when the reporting period ended. Mr. Deeds also received $100,000 from the Services Employees International Union and $50,000 from the International Association of Firefighters.

That isn’t to say that Mr. Deeds lacks support from Virginia business owners.

Among business leaders who donated to Mr. Deeds is Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. He heads a group of statewide business leaders supporting the Democrat, and he gave an additional $12,500 to Mr. Deeds. As of Sept. 30, he has donated a total of $50,000 to Mr. Deeds’ campaign.

Among those helping Mr. McDonnell raise cash were former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who came on separate days in late September. On those days - Sept. 21 for Mr. Romney and Sept. 28 for Mr. Jindal - fundraising records posted on the Virginia Political Action Project show that Mr. McDonnell raised a combined total of more than $350,000.

And while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hasn’t campaigned for Mr. McDonnell, Sarah PAC, her political action committee, handed over $2,500 last month.

Mr. Deeds has had major party figures such as President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaign for him; however, none of those visits was in September. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner gave Mr. Deeds $25,000 in September, bringing his total donations up to $50,000.

AOL founding chairman Jim Kimsey gave Mr. Deeds $5,000, and the Democrat also received a donation of $2,500 from actor Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer on TV’s “24.”

Overall, Mr. McDonnell outraised his rival during the month by about $300,000, bringing in $3.8 million.

Among his larger donations, Mr. McDonnell received $50,000 from the Washington Redskins. His wife, Maureen, was a cheerleader for the team, and last month appeared in a halftime show at FedEx Field.

The Republican also received $50,000 from Sheila Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of BET Networks. The longtime Democrat announced in August that she would be supporting Mr. McDonnell over Mr. Deeds. On Thursday, the McDonnell campaign also launched a television advertisement featuring Mrs. Johnson, a little over a week after she apologized for mocking the speaking style of Mr. Deeds.

Texan Bob Perry, who paid for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisements against Democrat John Kerry when he was running for president in 2004, gave Mr. McDonnell $50,000.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide