Larry Sabato, UVa guru and perhaps the most quoted man in political journalism, writes in his new “Crystal Ball” today that the Virginia gubernatorial race is too tight to call: “Last-minute advertising, new issues, gaffes, controversies, and even dirty tricks could tilt this race.”
We may have our first dirty trick. The Tim Kaine campaign has sent out a mailer (pdf) disguised as a Virginia Club for Growth mailer. Using language from a Club for Growth press release from earlier in the month, the mailer is likely intended to depict conservatives as wary on Kilgore and undermine his strong GOP support. While only the second page is on the VA Club for Growth site, I saw the front page of another copy this morning showing the GOP elephant logo with the Kaine campaign’s address and no name. The only admission that it’s a Kaine mailing is the credit on the Jerry Kilgore photo.
Not exactly forthright, is it? Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner confirmed to TAS that the mailing was indeed sent by her campaign and not another group. She defended it as verbatim use of a Club for Growth press release. VA Club for Growth has responded with their own new release, calling Kaine deceptive and foolish for criticizing Kilgore on taxes. “Given Kaine’s unequivocal support of Mark Warner’s huge 2004 tax increase, it’s insulting to have a tax-and-spend liberal question anyone’s credentials on taxes.” The group still questions Kilgore’s commitment to no tax increases though. Calls to the Kilgore campaign were not returned.