McAuliffe vs Cuccinelli: Good News in the Battle Against Insanity

Perhaps the most heated gubernatorial race of 2013, the campaign for Virginia's top seat certainly has its share of storylines. Democratic candidate (and former DNC Chairman) Terry McAuliffe has the national party behind him and First Lady Michelle Obama on the stump for him. Across the aisle, Tea Party candidate (and State Attorney General) Ken Cuccinelli has managed to suggest that Planned Parenthood is racist and still be the voice of reason on the Republican ticket. That's because his running mate and potental Lieutenant Governor EW Jackson has videos like these floating around the Internet.

Two recent developments have provided some hope for those campaigning against the election of lunatics, both as reported by Blue Virginia.

First up, the money is coming in and it doesn't feel so dirty:

The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) is reporting pre-primary campaign finance disclosures that were due at 5 p.m. today. See the "flip" for a press release from the McAuliffe campaign, which announces that he raised $3.7 million during this period (85% of donors gave $100 or less). According to VPAP, McAuliffe had $5,406,481 cash on hand as of May 29. For his part, Teapublican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli raised $2.2 million ($1.5 million less than McAuliffe raised) and had $2.7 million cash on hand (about half of McAuliffe's cash on hand). . .

Nearly half of Cuccinelli's money came from one source, the Republican Governor's Association - clocking in at a cool $1 million. Other big Cuccinelli donors included the usual assortment of polluters (e.g., $25k from Alpha Natural Resources) and bad actors (e.g., $50k from this guy and $25k from this close friend of Clarence Thomas).

Secondly, following two prominent female Republicans calling Cuccinelli-Jackson the "worst ticket ever," two GOPers have thrown their support behind McAuliffe.

Republicans Dwight Schar and Earle Williams, leading Virginia businessmen and long-time Republicans endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor on Monday.

Schar, who served as RNC Finance Chair from 2005-2007 and was a major supporter of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009, cited McAuliffe’s commitment to finding “mainstream solutions” to the challenges Virginians face as reason for the switch. Schar urged Republicans and Democrats alike to join him in his support McAuliffe.

Statement from Dwight Schar

As a Republican and especially as a Virginia businessman, I am supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor.  Terry is going to work with both parties to enact mainstream solutions that reduce traffic, improve our schools, and develop our workforce for the global marketplace.  Ken Cuccinelli's ideological agenda has divided Virginians and blocked progress on education and transportation for long enough.  Cuccinelli's focus on extreme social issues will distract from urgent economic matters and make Virginia less welcoming to business.  Virginia's economic challenges require Terry McAuliffe's leadership and I call on all Virginians--Republicans and Democrats--to join me in supporting Terry for Governor.”

Statement from Earle Williams:

“I am supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor because he has pledged to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to make sure that Virginia's economy remains resilient in the 21st century. As a businessman and Republican, I care that Terry will focus on attracting and keeping the most innovative companies in Virginia. We cannot afford to have a new Governor who will continue to use his political office to obstruct vital transportation and infrastructure improvements because of his personal ideological agenda. We need a leader who will hear all sides of the issues and work with the Legislature to find solutions that will move Virginia in the right direction for the benefit of all Virginia citizens. The future of Virginia depends on this election and transcends matters of Party preference. That is why I urge all Virginians to join me in voting for Terry McAuliffe for Governor--a vote for a bright future for the Commonwealth.”

"I am honored to have the support of so many Virginians from both parties who realize that we have to focus on mainstream compromise in order to grow Virginia's economy in the 21st Century. As Governor, I'll always work with both parties to find solutions on the issues Virginians care about, like education, transportation, and economic development," said Terry McAuliffe. 

Schar, the founder and Executive Chairman of NVR Inc, a Fortune 500 company that is the fifth-largest home builder in the United States, has been a long-time supporter of Republican candidates across the nation and in Virginia. From 2005-2007, Schar was the National Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee, and has been an ally of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. During McDonnell’s bid for governor in 2009, Schar was a major supporter of his campaign, and hosted a fundraiser at his McLean home for McDonnell that was headlined by Bobby Jindal.

Earle Williams is the former President and CEO of BDM International, and in 1993 ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia. Williams also endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell during his gubernatorial campaign in 2009. Williams previously worked at the Standard Oil Company before joining BDM International in 1962, which he grew into an over $1 billion company, and is currently a Senior Advisory Board member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. 

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