Campaign Tactics Producing Angry Voters in Record Time
Thursday, September 27, 2007
RICHMOND - Note to Virginia candidates for the General Assembly and their consultants: You are starting to make some voters angry.
Fueled by record amounts of money, House and Senate candidates are already taking to the airwaves and cluttering mailboxes with literature.
Much of the advertising is nasty and deceptive. Such advertisements often come from campaigns in the final weeks before an election, but this year's contest is still more than a month away.
If the blitz continues until Nov. 6, some candidates could lose if voters think their advertising was over-the-top.
Democratic candidates, who are trying to retake the Senate and make inroads in the House, started the attack late in the summer as it became increasingly clear that GOP incumbents are vulnerable because of the party's woes at the national level.
Virginia Republicans, who sense that their grip on power is threatened, are mounting an aggressive response.
The mail wars have been particularly intense in Fairfax County's 37th Senate District, which includes parts of Springfield and western Fairfax County.
Last week, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) sent voters a manila envelope that bore the warning: "Notice: Your new Fairfax County income tax payment is due."
The sender, identified in bold letters, was the "Fairfax County Income Tax Authority."
There is no such branch of the county government, nor is there a county income tax.
When voters opened up the envelope, they found a flier from Cuccinelli attacking his Democratic opponent, Janet S. Oleszek, on taxes.
Cuccinelli charged Oleszek, a member of the Fairfax County School Board, with supporting the creation of a state sales tax on Internet purchases.