17 days and counting to election day: Andy Fox on the Trail

October 17th, 2009 at 9:46 am by under Personalities, Politics

I’m Political Reporter Andy Fox and this week on the campaign trail brings us to a Will Rogers quote: Rogers said, “Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.”
FOLLOW THE MONEY

Below is the amount of money raised by the statewide candidates. Millions raised and spent just to lose:

Deeds For Governor : $3.5 Million raised in September
McDonnell for Governor: $3.8 million in September
Bolling for Lt. Governor $476,336 in September
Wagner for Lt. Governor $465,302 in September
Cuccinelli for Attorney General $672,814 in September
Shannon for Attorney General $532,575 in September

It is clearly evident the excuse “I didn’t have enough money to get out my message” will not apply in these races.

Locally, the most heavily contributed to campaign is 93rd race in Newport News
Del. Phil Hamilton (R) against Robin Abbott (D) .
Money contributed as of September 30:
Hamilton: $306,690 with cash on hand of $174,624
Abbott: $231,608 with cash on hand of $56,893.

Most of the money spent in this race has been spent on a barrage of direct mail.
Is it possible Hamilton after all he’s been through can win? Remember, he’s part of an ethics investigation for his $40,000 pay check from ODU after he won $500,000 for the school’s teaching center.
After he got the job, emails surfaced showing he lobbied for his job before getting the school the money suggesting a possible quid-pro-quo.
After all that-if Hamilton wins he will show an amazing strength among voters unmatched by any other politician in Hampton Roads.
Hamilton told me, “Andy, don’t count me out…the door to door campaign has been very positive…I think I’m going to win this race.”

FOLLOW WHO’S SHOWING UP TO HELP:

Saturday Sen. John McCain campaigned for Bob McDonnell.
Writing about McCain, A federal judge has ruled that Virginia violated the voting rights of military service members and other Americans living overseas when state elections officials failed to send them ballots for last year’s presidential election on time. The votes are the focus of a lawsuit filed by Republican candidate John McCain’s campaign, which alleged that they weren’t mailed in time for overseas voters to return them before the polls closed on November 4th, 2008.

Deeds will get help in the last 17 days of the campaign from President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Both will campaign with the Democratic ticket over the next two weeks.

FOLLOW THE POLLS:

Polls this week clearly show strength with the republican ticket.
RASMUSSEN REPORTS: McDonnell 50
Deeds 43
Mason Dixon: McDonnell 48, Deeds 40
Washington Post: McDonnell 53 Deeds 44.
Average: McDonnell 50.33 Deeds 42.33

Deeds running out of time. McDonnell’s average takes him above 50%

Those numbers taking Republicans Bolling and Cuccinelli up
Democrats Wagner and Shannon down.
In fact this was mass emailed from the jody Wagner campaign,

“Many of you have seen the recent public polling and may be asking yourselves how we plan win this race. This memo from Pete Brodnitz, our pollster, and David Eichenbaum, our media consultant, is a great explanation, so I want to share it with you.Their conclusion is simple: If we have the resources to communicate our message, we’ll come out on top. With your help, we’re going to do what it takes to win, including using our TV advertising to tell voters about Bill Bolling’s no-show record.”

Reading between the lines, Wagner needs money and is trying to relay to supporters the time is now, and time is running out…..

Deeds’ Voter turnout: A Washington Post Poll has some alarming
news for Deeds. Deeds the democrat needs African American voter turnout , and the Post poll found just 12% African American turnout in a 20% African American state.

FOLLOW THE ADS: THE ANATOMY OF A CAMPAIGN AD-THE TRUTH TRACKER

This week I reported on the Joe Bouchard for Delegate commercial against his republican challenger Dr. Chris Stolle.
The two are running against each other in the 83rd District Race.

CLAIM ONE: “Dr. Chris Stolle is the director of patient care at a local hospital.”
TRUTH: Stolle is Vice President for Medical Affairs…two different jobs with different responsibilities

CLAIM TWO: “But recent investigations found that on Chris Stolle’s watch, a 90 year old patient was a victim of severe neglect.”
TRUTH: The patient “claimed” severe neglect. However, we obtained a letter from The Department of Health and Human Services that investigated the claim and sent a letter to the hospital, “I am please to inform you as a result of the complaint…(the hospital) was found in compliance with the Medicare conditions of participation.” Stolle added, “No where in that report do they use the word neglect nor severe neglect, and they write we are please to tell you you are in compliance.”

CLAIM THREE: “Infant mortality rates at Stolle’s hospital are twice the national average.”
TRUTH: “The most recent statistics available show in the years 2006-2008 the National Average for Newborn Mortality .15%. Stolle’s Hospital .23%. That number would have to be .30% to be twice the national average as stated in the commercial.
Bouchard used information from earlier years 2004-2006.
The National Average .15%. Stolle’s Hospital .31%.

CLAIM FOUR: “and Stolle’s hospital has been accused of shoddy patient care including a botched surgery and a wrongful death.”
TRUTH: Accused, yes that’s true, but the fact is one case was dropped and the other is pending. “We see tens of thousands of patients every year, and this is what he talks about,” Stolle says.

The claims are refuted by the Truth Tracker. We wanted to question Bouchard about his ad, but he refused an on camera interview.

Bouchard gave us this statement: ” “My campaign ad speaks for itself. The facts are researched and documented. Chris Stolle…can’t hide the truth about his record overseeing the quality of patient care or the dangerous conditions that have existed on his watch.”

It was interesting that Bouchard refused an on camera interview to discuss an he’s spending thousands to run on TV.

Del. Bobby Mathieson chose the same strategy against Virginia beach City Councilman Ron Villanueva. Mathieson refused to discuss his ad that claims “He’s missed all or part of 105 City Council meetings.” That’s true, but what the ad doesn’t tell you
Villanueva attended 92% of the meetings. He also cast votes 93% of the time. That is true.
Mathieson also hit Villanueva for voting himself a $10,000 pay raise for council members. Villanueva says he will vote to roll that back due to tough economic conditions.
Amazingly, Mathieson refused an on camera interview. The campaign called me the next day saying they will do an interview-but ‘the next day’ was too late….

These are two races that are too close to call, and would be huge rebublican pickups….

That’s this week on the Campaign trail, I’m Andy Fox reporting.

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