The VCG Mailing (MORE)
Sunday, October 23, 2005 :::
Over at Too Conservative, a direct mail piece that is made to look like it comes from the Virginia Club for Growth is reprinted and roundly derided.
Looking closer, you can see in the fine print near Jerry Kilgore's picture the words "This mailing was authorized and paid for by Kaine for Governor."
Now that take balls. And while it is no secret the organization holds no love for Jerry Kilgore (it's personal -- just ask Paul Jost), this re-packaging of a VCG press release as a direct mail attack on Kilgore -- paid for by Kaine -- is jaw-dropping.
While I would lay the blame for this on the Kainiacs, and they surely deserve their share of abuse -- the folks who deserved to be lashed are at the VCG. The vapid attack Phil launched on Kilgore has blossomed into far more than a single-day press hit. It's become a campaign weapon.
My question is whether the VCG knowingly allowed the use of its materials in the piece. If not, then I would fully expect an immediate statement from the VCG explaining what happened and what they intend to do about it.
If not, however, and the VCG has willingly lent its materials to the Kaine campaign, then the organization has become a hollow mockery of what it once was. I fully understand organizations attacking politicians on both sides of the aisle. There is nothing wrong with that (I've done it myself). But again, if the VCG has willingly allowed itself to become an arm of the Kaine campaign, then it has sold its principles and its members down the river. If the VCG can shed additional light on this mailing, I suggest they do so right away.
Michael Shear picks up on this matter, and finds that this was put out by the Kaine campaign:
It's true, confirms the Kaine campaign. They designed this mailing, which is going out to folks across the state, based on an e-mail that the Virginia Club for Growth sent out a few weeks back. In fact, here's the press release on the Club for Growth's own Web site. Everything in the Kaine mailing is based on the Club's own e-mail. But it's sure designed to look as if the Club, not Kaine, sent it out.
My apologies to Phil and the VCG for suggesting (loudly) that they switched sides. Even so, I strongly suggest the VCG have its press release out on the wires Monday morning setting the record straight.
And for what it is worth, the Kaine campaign has produced a new classic in direct mail hit pieces. The VCG gave them all the fodder they needed, to be sure. But to take the step of creating a package out of it, putting it in the mail to a Republican list (it seems)...man oh man alive, that's brass. Sleazy and cheap. But brassy.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/23/2005