Dems Go For The Race Card; Allen (and Everyone Else) Talks Coal Jobs, Energy IndependenceCoalEnergy independenceFeaturedPoliticsSouthwest VirginiaVirginia

So the third party money is rolling in.  Well, not quite… but a tiny little ad buy of $54,000 to smack Allen around?  Meh…

The labor-backed super PAC Workers’ Voice is launching a messaging campaign to brand former Virginia Sen. George Allen — who lost reelection in 2006 after dubbing his opponent’s Indian American tracker “Macaca” — a racist.

Workers’ Voice is putting $54,000 into web ads hitting Allen in Northern Virginia over a range of race-related controversies. One ad says Allen “hung a Confederate flag in his living room,” another that he “voted against MLK Day” and another that he “kept a noose in his law office.” One ad just says “Macaca.”

The Politico piece even reads like a massive shrug.  ”OK — we all get it now.  Allen is a racist, Republicans are racist, unions love Obama, rewind and hit play…”

Meanwhile, as big labor is gently kicking Allen under the table on the same 2006 tripe, conservative organizations appear to be a bit more worried about saving union jobs in Southwest Virginia than big labor does themselves — namely, rescuing coal from Tim Kaine’s policies:

American Commitment, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that supports GOP initiatives, hosted an event at Cumberland Square Park to kick off a regional “voter education” initiative. Organization representative Ben Marchi blasted Kaine’s position on coal and energy policies both during his time as Virginia governor and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Kaine, a former governor, faces Republican George Allen, also a former governor and U.S. senator, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Marchi criticized a Kaine TV ad that shows the former governor flying over the new Virginia City hybrid energy center while voicing support of the clean-coal technology employed there.

“If Tim Kaine had his way it [plant] wouldn’t even have been built. He supports lower emissions [standards], and that plant wouldn’t have even been built. He’s betrayed coal. You cannot be a friend of coal and support the policies and politicians who want to bankrupt coal,” Marchi said.

Given the horrific blowback Kaine suffered as he helicoptered around Virginia City’s new coal-fired plant Ben Bernanke-style and the hostile reaction from Southwest Virginia miners and businesses reliant upon Virginia’s single greatest natural resource — it’s no small wonder why Kaine wants folks to look the other way.

Oh, and one of the loudest voices in Washington on clean coal, drilling the Virginia coastline, and unleashing Virginia’s energy potential?

George Allen.

…which is why the Democrat funders in Washington desperately need to change the subject.  God forbid we talk about Virginia’s energy reserves for the whole month of October — Allen might actually inspire the job creation Obama and Kaine love to just talk about.

UPDATE:  Julian Walker over at the Virginia Pilot had just about the same take on the situation:

The push comes a little more than a week after Alpha Natural Resources announced it was cutting 1,200 coal mining jobs, including some in Virginia.

Republicans contend Obama’s environmental policies are to blame for those job losses.

“The heavy hand of government is crushing the coal industry,” Joe Gary Street, co-founder of West River Conveyors, an Oakwood, Va. manufacturing firm that provides machines to the coal industry, said at the Wednesday rally.

“Serving on the Coal Fields Economic Development Authority, I can tell you we’re working hard to bring jobs to southwest Virginia,” he added. “So, it’s frustrating when I see people running for office who claim to be a friend of coal, but support policies like cap and trade that are killing the jobs we’re working so hard to bring.”

Looks like the Kaine campaign just stepped in it.  We’re wandering into a classic case of ineptitude here…

UPDATE x2:  Just in case you forgot about Kaine’s earlier gaffe last week:

Channeling Creigh Deeds… wonder how that one-two punch is going to resonate among blue-collar Democrats and independents?

UPDATE x3:  The Virginia Black Conservative Fourm is understandably outraged.  From the release:

VBC President Terrence Boulden said, “I became a Republican because of Allen’s common sense leadership as governor. I’ve come to know him over the years, and the Allen these ads portray is not the Allen I have come to know.”

“Whenever you have to resort to calling someone a “racist” to justify why people shouldn’t vote for them, it’s because you can’t win on your own record and your own policies,” said Coby W. Dillard, the founder of VBC. “When you have to hide behind a third party to launch that attack, it says much more about your character than it does about the person you’re attacking. Gov. Kaine is hoping that this ad campaign will distract Virginia’s voters from the failed policies of the Obama administration, which he championed as the handpicked chairman of the DNC.”

“VBC calls for the Kaine campaign to join us in denouncing the vile and despicable web ads released by the super PAC Workers’ Voice accusing Governor Allen of racism,” said Carl Tate. “This Senate campaign should be about job creation and economic growth and we hope Governor Kaine agrees. That’s the debate the people of the Commonwealth deserve.”

This is probably not a good time to remind Kaine about all the hard work George Allen did as governor for historically black colleges and universities in Virginia… not to mention freezing tuition.

UPDATE x4:  Virginia Virtucon gets into the mix.  

This is not going well for Tim Kaine.  Jim Riley doubles down:

Fearmongering and name calling doesn’t create a single job.  Neither Kaine nor his union buddies have any idea how to create jobs, so they fall back on what they know best — attack and demagogue.  Kaine showed he is quite capable of doing that as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Simply pathetic and unworthy of a Virginia senate campaign.

If Facebook is any indicator, this sentiment is pretty widely shared.  Big oops from the Dems on this one…

 UPDATE x5:  Bearing Drift’s very own Alton Foley has a pretty amazing post on the entire misstep and what it means for Southwest Virginia:

We can assume all that means Governor Kaine is complicit with President Obama’s war on coal.

We can find several offhand mentions by both about “clean coal.” Neither goes into specifics. Scrubber technology has come a long way in the past decade or so. Virginia Tech has been working for years to develop a viable method to capture carbon and send it underground, sequestering it.

This new technology warms the heart of an old engineer. Our current scrubber technology could be compared to VHS tapes vs rabbit ears. The president and senate candidate expect us to make the giant leap from VHS to Blu-ray. Overnight.

That won’t happen.

Read it all.

UPDATE x6:  This says it all…

Ouch…

UPDATE x7:  …and you can always rely upon Kat Wilton for the very best in snark and humor:

Yeah. I really love the line about “[keeping] an open mind on the possibility of drilling for oil off Virginia’s shore.” Keeping an open mind is very effective in creating new jobs, opening up new areas for energy production, and moving Virginia forward as an energy-producing state (yeah, yeah, “Commonwealth,” I know). Really, it is!

Funny how nothing actually happened to meet those goals… Plus, at the moment, alternative energy is quite dependant on fossil fuels – both to make various pieces-parts as well as to, you know, provide the POWER to make and assemble those parts – and is also, comparatively speaking, far more expensive than fossil fuels.

…or this:

That reminds me – hey, Tim Kaine, what *IS* your jobs plan?

*crickets*

How about your plan to reduce government spending and invasive regulation?

*crickets*

Ah. Well, let’s make this a little easier. How about your plan to promote solid debate about issues?

*crickets*

Yeah. Thought so.

Hilarious.