WASHINGTON (CNN) – For those who might doubt that bashing AIG equals good politics, look no further than the commonwealth of Virginia.
In the span of just one hour on Thursday, all three of Virginia's Democratic candidates for governor released harshly-worded online petitions demanding that the insurance giant return $146 million in bonuses to the federal government.
"It's time we fight back," read an e-mail to supporters from former House member Brian Moran, whose campaign has already adopted a populist pitch. "Tell AIG executives that this is wrong. Tell them to return the money."
A similar e-mail from Creigh Deeds hit inboxes minutes later. The state senator took the step of attacking AIG CEO Edward Liddy directly, urging supporters to sign a petition that tells Liddy: "I don't think you get it."
"Where I'm from, your boss gives you a bonus when you work hard and your business succeeds," said the Deeds e-mail.
The third Democratic hopeful, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, followed suit with an outraged missive of his own, entitled "Nonsense."
"I supported this administration's plan to inject capital into the marketplace, but like the president, I believe that there needs to be accountability," he said.
(CNN) – Could Terry McAuliffe’s hefty bank account backfire against him in the Virginia’s governor’s race? That’s certainly what one of his Democratic rivals is hoping
At the Democratic Party of Virginia’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday, McAuliffe got an earful from former House member Brian Moran, who implied that the onetime DNC chairman is trying to buy the governor’s mansion by tapping his rolodex of national donors.
“We must decide what our party stands for,” Moran told the audience of activists in Richmond. “Will our party be dominated by big money and those who raise it, or will we be the party of the people?”
Before his remarks, Moran’s campaign played a video outlining his 12 years of experience in state Democratic politics. As the short movie faded to black, the phrase “Money isn’t everything” appeared on the screen, a clear shot at McAuliffe and an indication of how Moran plans to define the primary race.
(CNN) – Among the challenges Terry McAuliffe faces in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor: his lack of deep Virginia roots and limited experience in state politics. His Democratic primary opponents, former delegate Brian Moran and state senator Creigh Deeds, don’t have that problem.
Moran today will announce another local endorsement of note, this time from Dwight Jones, the new mayor of Richmond and the former chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. Jones said Moran has “a long, proven record of fighting hard for working families in Virginia.”
The city of Richmond, with its majority African-American population, has been Democratic territory for years. The former mayor of Richmond - Douglas Wilder, who was also the nation’s first black governor from 1990 to 1994 - has not endorsed a candidate in the governor’s race.