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Clinton Is Coming To Help Out Kaine

Former president Bill Clinton, shown in New Jersey, will attend Northern Virginia and Charlottesville fundraisers.
Former president Bill Clinton, shown in New Jersey, will attend Northern Virginia and Charlottesville fundraisers. (By Mike Derer -- Associated Press)

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By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 12, 2005

RICHMOND, Oct. 11 -- Bill Clinton will come to Northern Virginia and Charlottesville on Oct. 21 for two high-dollar, private fundraisers for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Timothy M. Kaine, the campaign spokesman said Tuesday.

The former president, whose recent fundraising has been mostly limited to working with former president George H.W. Bush for Hurricane Katrina relief, will appear at two private homes of Kaine supporters for the invitation-only events.

"We're definitely excited to have him coming," said Mo Elleithee, Kaine's communications director. "The president is clearly someone who speaks to a lot of folks."

Clinton will be the latest, and by far the highest-profile, national Democrat to help Kaine raise money. Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) held fundraisers for the Democrat this year.

Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore had the assistance of President Bush in July. At a Northern Virginia fundraiser, Bush helped Kilgore raise more than $2 million, breaking Virginia records for a gubernatorial fundraiser.

First lady Laura Bush and Vice President Cheney are scheduled to hold separate fundraisers for Kilgore at private homes in Virginia. The Bush event, tonight at a McLean home, is $5,000 a person, according to an e-mail invitation. Cheney is scheduled to be at a Richmond home Monday, also for a $5,000-a-person event. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is scheduled to campaign for Republicans in Virginia this weekend.

Kilgore spokesman J. Tucker Martin said the Clinton visit proves Kaine is too liberal to be elected governor in Virginia. "How do you say you're a liberal loud enough for everyone to hear it? Invite Bill Clinton to Virginia," Martin said. "Bill Clinton is a nationally recognized liberal figure. Tim Kaine is proud to stand next to him. We appreciate the help."

One of the Clinton events will be at the home of developer Al Dwoskin in Northern Virginia. The other will be at the home of a supporter in Charlottesville, Elleithee said.

The invitation to the Northern Virginia event, which was e-mailed to potential donors today, reads: "You are cordially invited to a Kaine for Governor fundraiser with Special Guest President William Jefferson Clinton."

Both events have a minimum ticket price of $5,000, Elleithee said. According to people familiar with the planning, Clinton also will be the guest of honor at more exclusive receptions for people willing to pay $25,000 a couple.

Kaine had raised $13 million and Kilgore had raised about $14 million as of last month's reporting deadline, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign finances in the state.

Elleithee said Clinton's schedule does not allow for a more public display of support for Kaine, such as a rally. But he said the campaign is considering that kind of event if it becomes possible.

He said he is not concerned that Clinton's support could backfire in a state he did not carry in either of his presidential elections. He said he thinks Clinton's popularity now transcends party.

"When President Bush needed someone to help with Katrina and tsunami relief, he called on Bill Clinton," Elleithee said.


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