Race to Richmond
Virginia Teachers Union Blasts McDonnell in TV Ads
Union's TV Ads Fault McDonnell
The Virginia Education Association is airing TV ads in Richmond and Hampton Roads that criticize Robert F. McDonnell for opposing money for smaller class sizes and teacher raises, and for supporting vouchers for private schools.
The commercial directs viewers to a Web site that gives them the union's take on the gubernatorial candidates' education plans and urges them to sign a petition asking McDonnell to change his positions and encouraging Deeds to continue his education efforts.
"Our commercial asks those who agree with us to ask the candidates for governor to support our positions for smaller class sizes and increased teacher salaries and against draining dollars from public schools to fund private school tuition vouchers," Kitty Boitnott, the union's president, said.
McDonnell's campaign's response: "Only one candidate in this race is actually advocating bold reforms for Virginia's public education system: Bob McDonnell," said Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman. "He has put forward an innovative plan to get nearly half a billion dollars more each year into the classroom, increasing teacher salaries and improving technology, without raising taxes. And he is standing with President Barack Obama in strong support of charter schools and performance pay, policies opposed by the VEA and Creigh Deeds. We know the VEA is backing Creigh Deeds, but Virginia's parents, students and teachers in the classroom are standing with Bob McDonnell."
-- Anita Kumar
Police Again Back GOP Candidates
The Virginia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday endorsed former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, at a news conference in Richmond.
The group represents more than 8,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officials and lodges across Virginia.
The FOP also endorsed McDonnell's running mates, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is running for reelection against Jody Wagner, and attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who faces Steve Shannon. McDonnell also won the FOP endorsement when he ran against Deeds for attorney general in 2005.
There were signs that Democrat R. Creigh Deeds might have trouble securing the FOP endorsement as early as last week, when he gave the FOP and another group representing state public safety employees differing answers about whether he supports collective bargaining for law enforcement personnel.
In recent elections, the FOP has generally endorsed Republicans in statewide races, including Jerry Kilgore for governor in 2005 and George Allen for Senate in 2006. The group endorsed Democrat Mark Warner for Senate last year.
-- Anita Kumar