Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
The leading candidates for governor are already full steam ahead with their fundraising.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Would that every penny given this year to Virginia political candidates or spent on their behalf were invested in a meaningful discussion of the commonwealth’s future challenges and opportunities.
Alas, the motivations of those stroking the biggest checks in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest appear to be anything but uplifting. Indeed, the corporations, unions, rich folk and secretive political groups bankrolling the campaigns know full well their cash will be shoveled into deceitful personal attack ads like those that insulted the sensibilities of swing state voters during last fall’s slimefest.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are taking full advantage of Virginia’s no-holds-barred campaign laws, which allow unlimited gifts from individuals and groups who understand a five- or six-figure fee is a bargain it if guarantees them friends in high places.
McAuliffe had $5.2 million in the bank at the end of March, compared to $3 million for Cuccinelli, slowed by prohibitions on fundraising during the legislative session.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, 36 percent of Cuccinelli’s itemized donations (more than $100) in the first three months of this year came from donors with a Virginia address.
Just 21 percent of McAuliffe’s cash came from the state.
Roanokers can distract themselves from the noxious political ads this year by imagining how they might better have spent McAuliffe’s and Cuccinelli’s millions. The cash could have constructed a classy-looking culvert, necessary to bring passenger rail service to the city, and still left plenty to preserve Head Start classes for 100 youngsters who are about to lose that valuable educational experience due to federal budget cuts.
But the price of victory is high. Only the victor and his bankers will conclude that the money spent was worth it.
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