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.