Super PAC rallies behind Kaine in Virginia
March 15th, 2012
01:48 PM ET
11 years ago

Super PAC rallies behind Kaine in Virginia

(CNN) - As the U.S. Senate race in Virginia heats up, a new super PAC supportive of Democrat Tim Kaine went public this week, just days after the launch of a super PAC dedicated to help Republican George Allen.

The pro-Kaine group, A New Virginia PAC, aims to raise $2-$3 million to aid the former Democratic National Committee chairman and former Virginia governor.

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Mark Longabaugh, a Democratic media consultant who helped start the group, said the committee was not created in response to the pro-Allen super PAC, Independence Virginia PAC, which was announced earlier this week.

He said the timing of the rival super PAC was simply "coincidental" and pointed instead to other Republican outside spending groups, like the conservative group Crossroads GPS, which have injected money into the race.

"We felt that we didn't want to see [Kaine] get outspent," Longabaugh told CNN. "We wanted to step up and level the playing field."

But Kaine's campaign has already been vocal on its opposition to third-party spending.

On Tuesday, following the announcement of the pro-Allen super PAC, Kaine sent a letter to Allen, urging him to call on outside groups to fully disclose their donors. Allen's campaign responded, dismissing the letter as a "gimmick."

Kaine's campaign attempted to fundraise off their opponent's super PAC, saying in an email to supporters, "We cannot allow the millions of dollars in ads that these organizations plan to run in Virginia go unanswered."

The campaign also cites Crossroads GPS, which is a private arm of the Karl Rove-backed super PAC American Crossroads.

As a 501(c)(4) organization, Crossroads GPS is not required to disclose its donors, unlike public super PACs. But it lives by different rules in terms of advertising. It can spend money on ads promoting or opposing candidates, as long it also focuses on a specific issue or cause at the same time.

These ads are the most prevalent form of spending by outside groups, and critics of such advertising call them thinly disguised campaign commercials.

Now that Kaine has the support of its own super PAC, a spokesperson for the Democratic candidate maintains the campaign will continue to insist on transparency and full disclosure.

"We've said all along that our preference is for outside groups to stay out of this race. Unfortunately, George Allen rejected that approach," Brandi Hoffine, Kaine's communications director, said in a statement. "Despite yesterday's news that George Allen won't stand by his own previous support for disclosure, we're still hopeful that he and his outside groups will reconsider."

The pro-Kaine group, according to Longabaugh, supports "wholeheartedly" the notion of full disclosure and plans to disclose its donors, as required by federal law.

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Filed under: 2012 • George Allen • Senate • Tim Kaine • Virginia
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Kaine is the loser that "led" the Democrats to record defeat in the 2010 midterm elections. Totally incompetent. Why would Virginians want to vote for this loser?

    March 15, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Lee

    The entire GOP "led" this country into economic freefall. Totally incompetent. Why would any Virginian want to vot for those losers?

    March 15, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |