Democrats ask Deeds for positive message

By Alexander Burns 

Influential Virginia Democrats are calling on gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds to spend less time attacking Republican Bob McDonnell's controversial graduate thesis and focus on a stronger, more positive message for the closing weeks of his campaign.

In just the past few days, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Democratic National Committee Chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe have all expressed doubts that Deeds's current message will be enough to overcome his opponent's persistent polling advantage. Deeds's ads highlighting the conservative social views expressed in McDonnell's thesis paper have helped narrow the former state attorney general's lead, but McDonnell still holds an edge less than a month before the election.

McAuliffe, who came in second to Deeds in the June gubernatorial primary, publicly urged Deeds in a forum Tuesday: "Tell people what you're for."

Addressing an audience at Harvard's Institute of Politics, McAuliffe said that McDonnell's Regent University master's degree thesis was "very right-wing" and said the former Virginia attorney general believed working women represented "the destruction of the home life."

But, when asked by a student whether Deeds's emphasis on McDonnell's writings was appropriate, McAuliffe suggested his former opponent might be overdoing it and losing voters in the process.

"Should it be the basis of your campaign? No," said McAuliffe. "My advice, I don't like to talk about my personal conversations with candidates, but would not be far from what you're saying: Tell people what you stand for. People don't vote the negative stuff."

"What are you going to do to fix transportation?" McAuliffe asked. "Virginia is the ninth wealthiest state in America; we are 37th on teacher pay . We're one of the few states next year that no longer will be able to apply for federal highway matching funds, cause we don't have the state grant. We are broke. That's what we should be talking about."

And in a jab at the newspaper that delivered a crucial endorsement to Deeds that helped in McAuliffe's defeat, McAuliffe cracked that Deeds wasn't even the most effective attack dog in the campaign.

"Creigh pretty much doesn't have to say anything because the Washington Post is out there every day doing it," McAuliffe joked.

Deeds spokesman Mike Gehrke countered that the candidate is currently airing a mixture of positive and negative ads. In the last two weeks, the campaign has begun running spots featuring the support of Sen. Mark Warner, a popular former governor of Virginia.

"Creigh's out talking about transportation, he's talking about how to expand access to higher education and raise teacher pay," Gehrke said. "We also think we have to point out the differences between the social agenda that we think Bob McDonnell has pursued and Creigh Deeds's record on economic development and education."

According to the Deeds camp, the Democrat's campaign intends to continue increasing its focus on issues such as education in the few remaining weeks of the race.

McAuliffe, an experienced campaigner who sent an email fundraising appeal on Deeds's behalf but has otherwise kept a low profile since losing the primary, was not alone in voicing his worries about Deeds's current approach.

Moran told The Washington Post Monday that Deeds should make a stronger case for himself, instead of going wholly negative in the homestretch.

"People know about the thesis - the people who care about the thesis, they're in Northern Virginia and they read The Post and they know. But there's got to be more. He's got to give people a reason to vote for Creigh," said Moran, whose brother, former state Del. Brian Moran, also lost to Deeds in the gubernatorial primary.

Like McAuliffe, Moran suggested that he had offered similar advice to Deeds directly.

In two automated polls conducted over the last 10 days, McDonnell held leads of nine and 11 points. But Democrats say Deeds's internal polling has the candidates within five points of each other - the same margin a Washington Post survey showed several weeks back. Deeds has trailed McDonnell in every public poll of the race since the middle of June.

On Tuesday, Kaine argued to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Deeds was in a position to win and "the gap has largely been closed because of significant concerns about what is Bob McDonnell's agenda and whether his agenda is truly representative of what Virginians want."

But, Kaine acknowledged, Deeds still needs to get "over the goal line" and it is "up to Creigh in the late innings to make the simple sell for himself."

Gehrke said the wave of public advice for Deeds wasn't a sign of concern - just a function of the calendar.

"I think it's just a factor of where we are in the race," he said. "People see the finish line in the near distance and the light at the end of the tunnel and they're excited."

Posted to: Elections Virginia

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You do what you know

Kind of like a bad rock band, either your good or your loud. For a candidate, either you have a message or you bash your opponent's.

Yes to fuel tax

If Deeds(or McDonnell) would just take a stand and say a 20 cents sliding fuel tax was needed to start immediately fixing our transportation problems (and creat jobs) he would have my vote.As the problems are corrected the tax would be reduced accordingly.The crisis is real and the money has to come from a real source.If the fix was easy then it would have already been addressed by previous governors. When I say fuel tax I'm speaking of fuel for cars and trucks to include gasoline, diesel, and natural gas.

positive message for Deeds



Any message would be interesting.

Endorsements of Bob McDonnell

In the meantime, Bob McDonnell has been endorsed during the past few weeks by: The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, the premier business organization consisting of 2500 firms with nearly 300,000 working women and men; National Federation of Independent Businesses, the leading small business association in Virginia with nearly 6,000 small businesses as members; Virginia Fraternal Order of Police with nearly 8,000 members and 50 lodges; Virginia Realtors, the largest trade association in Virginia with 33,000+ members; Virginia AgPAC, the political action committee of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation with 147,000+ members; Virginia Credit Union League, a trade association representing Virginia’s 194 not-for-profit credit unions and with 3,000,000 member-owners residing in Virginia; National Rifle Association with 120,000 members in Virginia; Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; Northern Virginia Technology Council representing 200,000 employees in about 1000 technology companies in Northern Virginia; and, Humane Society Legislative Fund, the lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the U.S.

Problems With The Plans

None of McDonnell's plans to raise funds for transportation is likely. Offshore drilling is many years away and the income from it is even farther if it is approved. Privatizing state's liquor stores has failed once.putting a toll on interstate 95 and 85 will have to come from the federal government. If he really want the funds,why not put the toll in northern virginia?It doesn't seem like he really has a plan to fix our transpotation problems.

Interstate Tolls

I don't think you have to go to the Feds to put tolls on those roads if they have turned over maintanence to the state. I may be wrong but it's my understanding is that was done years ago.

the obvious

Question:Democrats ask Deeds for positive message
Deeds: I positive I'm not going to win this election


Obummer and his side kick Joe are going to campaign in New Jersey but not here.

The Obvious - Part II

It's obvious Deeds has nothing positive to say. He's apparently lost when it comes to doing anything but run on a singular platform of his opponent's thesis.

Tax the richest top one percent

Just reinstate the tax rates on the top 1% back to any level from 1937 to 1988 and many financial problems would be solved for the United States. Those guys back then payed a lot more in taxes to help maintain the greatest country in the world, a country which made their mega-fortunes possible, and yet they still maintained well off, luxurious lifestyles. How much money does one person need? I was watching a PBS program on the national parks. I was amazed at how philanthropic many of the mega-rich were back then and how much they gave back to the nation. Greed at the top is killing this country and it never ceases to amaze me how average working Americans cheer on this system of greed and defend these disgusting excesses while the middle class shrinks and these same average Americans live check to check. The tax rate was 50% percent even when Reagon was in office. I don't know about the rest of you guys, but If I made 200 million dollars and had to give 100 million up in taxes to help keep my country operating at the top, with the best roads, schools, etc. I don't think I would miss any meals or have any less enjoyment in life than I would have if I had kept the whole 200 m

Clueless.... If the rate is

If the rate is raised to that level the money will go elsewhere. If you had 200 million and were taxed at half of that, great. But wouldn't it be better to take 50 million and invest it in a business that hired 500 people and that would make and average of 40-50K every year? Yes, the 50 mill is bigger in ONE year, but the 500 people making 40-50k is larger over the long run. Not to mention those 500 people BUY things that keep other people working.
Besides those making the levels of money you're talking about are going to hire someone to shelter their money, maybe take it off shore or overseas.

I'm not so sure about that.

The rates were around 25 percent for the top 1 percent during the roaring twenties, just before the great depression. The rates were anywhere from 90 to 60 percent during the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies and we were building bridges and dams, interstate systems, placing men in space, and the middle class was growing.

These days, the top 1 percent are keeping the money, as you suggest, but where are the 45 and 50 thousand dollar a year jobs being created? All I see is greedy corporations shipping more jobs overseas to maximize profit with third world cheap labor. How much is enough? There is plenty of profit to be made using labor here in America.

Average American income is on the decline and has been so for the past 20 years. The middle class is rapidly shrinking. I hear what you are saying but I just don't see it the theory becoming reality.

Greed isn't only for the wealthy

So who is greedier? The guy who delivers something that earns him $200M, and he wants to keep more than 30%? Or you, who wants to take that money away to spend on the things you favor, but are unwilling to earn? Looks pretty close to greed to me. Might not be greed -- might be envy. Both are sins. (History lesson -- top rate didn't go down in '88, it went from 70 to 50 in '82, then to 28 in '86 and back up to 39.6 in '93).

Second, and the lesson for Virginia, is that raising taxes has consequences. New York raised theirs, only to see people who built businesses and employed people (like Tom Golisano), leave for Florida. People will make choices in response to tax laws. They can move their money into tax free bonds, and generate tax free income, and move their investments into land, or non-dividend paying stocks, and defer them into perpetuity -- and create NO jobs in the process. Or they can move to lower income tax states like Florida or Texas.

Third, how much more do you want? In 2007, the top 10% of income earners paid more than the bottom 90%. You set the bar at $200M -- the top 1% starts at $345K. I will promise you that the $345K earner won't be happy abo


Do you think the CEOs that ran these banks and corporations into the ground and then received billions of dollars in bailout money and million dollar bonuses earned that money. Are you telling me that these corporations which are squeezing the life out of their workers in their pursuit of maximum profit earned that money.? They stole that money from from hard working Americans. That is the kind of mentality that assures them to stay in power and continue to abuse the system and working class people. I know they love it when guys like you step up to the ballot box.

Thanks for the correction.

I was off by two years. I had the tax breaks for the mega-rich beginning in 88 but as you so dilligently pointed out, they actually began in 86 under Reagan, when the assault on the middle class and working people actually began in earnest. I stand corrected.

Top 1 percent

If the top one percent starts at 345,000, then I also can see your point on that matter as well. Maybe the tax rate should be raised back to the
Reagan era or pre-Reagan eras rates just on the top .25 percent. I wonder how many millions or billions that would generate for the nation's infastructure, scientific studies, education, etc. I would definitely be interested in knowing. Plus I am all for keeping the tax rates as they are now, if companies like Wal-Mart etc would start paying living wages to their workers and help get stagnated incomes up for the rest of America. The money is definitely out there and being generated. American productivity is at an all time high. You are definitely correct greed is wrong at all levels. When the working folks start demanding an unfair share I will agree with you one hundred percent. However, the only folks I see hoarding the money are at the top. I guess we just disagree on the type of world we want to live in. I would like to see a world where if someone is willing to work hard they truly can live the American Dream and receive a fair and just piece of the pie. Right now though millions of hard working Americans are creating and b

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