Negative Ads in Virginia Governor and Attorney General Campaigns

So…it’s not even Labor Day.

I guess the old timelines of political campaigning are well out the window. Launching within the past few days have been two negative ads: one by incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring (D) and the other by gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie (R).

While I think most people would consider them “negative” in the sense that they point to perceived flaws in their opponent, it is clear that the ads are very different.

First, we’ll start with Gillespie’s that was released today:

Gillespie goes right at Northam for voting in favor of allowing Virginia to have “Sanctuary Cities.” He effectively makes the case that Northam makes Virginians less safe. Gillespie then goes on to highlight his own policy and note that 55 Virginia sheriffs support his candidacy. This is a policy piece focused on legislative action.

Second, see Mark Herring’s attempt to smear John Adams:

In this ad, Herring pulls no punches. Adams is portrayed as an evil, white-collar lawyer.

Here’s the problem.

One – it tells you nothing of policy.
Two – everyone, in our legal system, is entitled to legal counsel (hence, a public defender for even the worst cases).
Three – Virginia hasn’t had an adequate defense of our laws in four years as every law Herring doesn’t like, he ignores.
Four – Justin Fairfax, Herring’s lieutenant governor ticket-mate, practices law for one of the biggest DC firms in the country, serving several of the clients Herring is attacking in the Ad. The Adams’ campaign rightfully lampoons Herring’s press release as follows:

If this is what we get to expect the next 60 days, get ready for a bumpy ride. But, at least one side is practicing policy differentiation versus the other attempting nonsensical personal destruction and attacks on the American legal system itself.

  • “Alleged”.

  • old_redneck

    — quote

    Gillespie goes right at Northam for voting in favor of allowing Virginia
    to have “Sanctuary Cities.” He effectively makes the case that Northam
    makes Virginians less safe.

    — end quote


    In the first place, not a single Virginia city is a “sanctuary city” and none have expressed any interest in becoming a “sanctuary city” — whatever that is.

    Also, there’s no evidence that “sanctuary cities” have higher crime rates than the rest of the country.

    Of course, as we all know, if it weren’t for FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, Gillespie and the GOP would have nothing on which to campaign.

    • Plenty of Virginia jurisdictions have stated that they will not participate in federal programs designed to assist ICE or cooperate with them to help enforce federal immigration laws. That’s the definition of a sanctuary city.

      I agree that this doesn’t have anything to do with safety.

      And given the FEAR FEAR FEAR about Trump, the Obamacare repeal, etc. we’ve seen coming from the Democrats, this is a bit of a hypocritical statement.

  • SJane

    AG Herring know up close and personal. Handling a case for an estate He performed in an unethical manner, was inept, and badly misrepresented what he had told the family he would do. He was FIRED after foot dragging, and the straight forward estate was then settled in less than 30 days. Mark is NOT a good AG representative for ANY Virginians..IMO

  • mezurak

    When a candidate is behind, throw mud. The farther behind, the more mud needs slung.

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