Gillespie Criticizes Warner on Silence on Redskins Name Change

The Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins gave Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie the perfect opportunity to debut his new attack ad. The ad criticizes  incumbent Democrat Mark Warner for his silence on a proposed Senate bill that would put added pressure on the Redskin franchise to change their name, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The ad alleges that Warner “refused to answer if he supports the bill or not” and asks why the Senator won’t “fight the anti-Redskins bill.”

Gillespie then goes onto say “I’ll oppose the anti-Redskins bill. Let’s focus on creating jobs, raising take-home pay and making our nation safer, and let the Redskins handle what to call their team,” delivered with a smirk on his face.

On Thursday some Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Thursday that would take back the NFL’s tax-exempt status if they continue to defend the Washington Redskin’s name. Warner has not yet joined this effort as he, along with Virginia’s other senator, Tim Kaine (D) refused to join the group urging the name change.

A spokesman for Warner said, “Senator Warner believes that it’s not for Congress to dictate what the league does. He believes that over time, team names will change to reflect the times, as has happened with the Washington Wizards.”

Proponents of the name change hold that the term Redskins is derogatory to Native Americans. The team receives much support from Virginia as it’s training camp is located in Richmond.

Warner and Gillespie Face Each Other in Final Debate

On Monday, October 13th candidates for U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie faced off in their final debate before the midterm election, reports The Washington Post. 

In their final debate Ed Gillespie made sure to attack Warner for the recently revealed job talked he had with the son of former state senator Phillip Puckett. The talks surrounded a potential federal judgeship for Puckett’s daughter, which had the intention of persuading Puckett, a Democrat, to keep his seat and thus avoid giving the control of  the state Senate to the Republicans.It was also recently revealed that Governor McAuliffe’s chief of staff had similar conversations with Puckett.

“This is very serious in terms of the federal bench, [it] has a big impact on our lives, and we need to make sure the qualified people are put on the bench, and I would never play politics with recommending judicial appointments,” declared Gillespie during the debate.

Warner denied the job offer and said that the call was intended to innocently “brainstorm” potential job options for Martha Puckett Ketron, Puckett’s daughter.

Warner also responded that “I’ve been a friend of Senator Phillip Puckett and his family for nearly 20 years. When I heard that Phillip was considering resigning from the Senate, I reached out to his son Joseph to find out what was going on,” further elaborating that, “I did not offer her a job nor would I offer her any kind of position.”

Ten Things to Know About Ed Gillespie

The Richmond Times Dispatch continues their series and puts the spotlight on Mark Warner’s challenger, Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie.

1. Gillespie grew up working for at his parents grocery store, the JC market, in New Jersey. J and C stand for his parent, Jack and Conny Gillespie.

2. His job as a U.S. Senate parking attendant helped Gillespie pay his was through Catholic University in Washington.

3. Gillespie’s father was and Irish immigrant and he had a picture of JFK hanging in his family’s dining room when he grew up. His first job on Capitol Hill was with Florida Rep. Any Ireland who served from 1977-1993. Initially Ireland was a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party in 1984.

4.   The Gillespie family lives in the  Mount Vernon area of Fairfax on one of George Washington’s old farms.

5. Sunny and Skye are the names of the Gillespies’ two Jack Russel terriers.

6. Gillespie has a  net worth between $8 million and $19 million as a result of founding a Washington consulting firm and his work as a lobbyist.

7.  After his term as chairman of the RNC in 2006 Gillespie competed in the annual fundraiser, the “Funniest Celebrity in Washington”. He teamed up with Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and did a parody of CNN’s “Crossfire” using ventriloquist dummies. Their act came in second to Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Democrat from California.

8. Gillespie became friends with NBC’s Brian Williams during their time at Catholic University.

9. Gillespie and his wife, Cathy, met on a softball team.

10. Gillespie has volunteered his time as a youth baseball, basketball,  soccer and softball coach.

Number of Factors Can Be Contributed to Gillespie’s Lag

Jeff Shapiro of The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a taken a look at the many reasons for Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie’s lag in the the race against incumbent Mark Warner.

Despite a new poll projecting that Gillespie is only 9 points behind Warner, the candidate still has a lot of ground to cover in the next five weeks if he wants to win the election.

In his piece Shapiro contributes Gillespie’s struggle to a number of factors including a lack of funding and poor standing among his own Republican Party, but Shapiro also notes that Gillespie may be the first person to fall victim to the effects of Bob McDonnell’s trial.

For almost five weeks, in a critical point in the campaign, the McDonnell trial blackout news stations with coverage, making it  extremely difficult for Gillespie to get out his story and name. The verdict of the case hurts the GOP candidate as it reaffirms the idea that Republicans are bought and paid for.

Along with the lack of action of campaign finance reform by Republicans puts Gillespie in an unfavorable light. It looks like he will have to do more than equate Warner with Barak Obama  if he wants to start winning public opinion.

Gillespie Makes Progress in the Polls

The Washington Post is reporting that Ed Gillespie is now only nine points behind U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D). The new poll shows that with only six weeks to go the Republican challenger is closing in on the incumbent.

The poll released by Quinnipiac University shows that, in a head-to-head match up Warner leads Gillespie 50 percent to 41 percent. Earlier polls by the university showed Warner having an almost 22 point lead, showing that the Gillespie campaign has picked up major steam in the recent weeks.

“U.S. Sen. mark Warner has been the most popular politician in Virginia for the past several years and appears to be in reasonable shape for reelection, but his lead is not insurmountable with six weeks to go until Election Day,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

This poll was released after Gillespie, who had been outspent on television advertising by Warner by 3-1, debuted commercials in the Washington-area media market.

Surveyed were 1,010 likely voter between September 17-22 and the poll has a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Gillespie Goes on the Offensive

Withe just over  a month left before the crucial midterm elections,  Republican candidate Ed Gillespie upped his ante in efforts to secure more voters, reports The Washington Post.

Gillespie focuses his attacks at the 2014 U.S. Senate Candidates Battleground Forum on the front runner, incumbent Democrat Mark Warner. Gillespie painted Warner, a former Virginia Governor as a pawn for the Obama administration, using the President’s poor approval rating as a tactic to deal Warner a blow.

“If Mark Warner had been a senator like he’d been a governor I might not be standing here today. But Governor Warner wouldn’t recognize Senator Warner,” remarked Gillespie at the forum.

During his time at the podium Warner took a different approach as he appeared relaxed, joking with panelists. His comments focused on his across the aisle work with Republican colleagues and called for more bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.

Warner’s strong and consistent lead over Gillespie, recent polls show him 22 points up, has had the Republican candidate scrambling to undercut the Senator’s image. Gillespie has focused on linking Warner to problems such as the current state of the health-care system, threats of terrorism and rising fuel prices. Gillespie called Warner “a blank check for President Obama,” rather than the independent bipartisan politician he is painting himself as.



New Poll Projects Comfy Lead for Warner

The Washington Post  is reporting that a new poll released by the Wason Center for Public Policy shows that the incumbent Sen. Mark Warner maintains a 22 point lead over his challenger Ed Gillespie with less than 2 months before Election Day.

The poll showed Warner leading Gillespie 53 percent to 31, roughly the same margin as a poll taken in January. This new poll also shows that 5 percent of voters are supporting Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate and 11 percent are undecided.

This midterm election has been characterized by Republicans capitalizing on the dissatisfaction with Congress and President Obama in order to win the Senate majority. The Wason Center directo Quentin Kidd said “Warner conservatives” are sticking with the Democrat despite these efforts. Voters have not been swayed by Gillespie’s criticism of Warner’s voting record, where he has voted with Obama 97 percent of the time.

The poll shows that 91 percent of Virginian Democrats are supporting Warner, while Gillespie only holds 80 percent of the state’s Republicans. Kidd remarks that “Warner not only has the solid backing of his own partisans, but also significant levels of support among Republicans and ideological moderates and conservatives.”

John McCain Boosts Ed Gillespie’s Campaign

The Washington Post is reporting that former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John McCain will accompany Senate candidate Ed W. Gillespie in Norfolk to meet with veterans at the VFW post.

Ed Gillespie’s star-studded campaign has also received support from Mitt Romney and has benefitted from the strategist and former lobbyists’ pull with high level members of the GOP. Gillespie served as a senior advisor to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

While the incumbent Mark Warner has raised a lot more than Gillespie, they have both heavily blanketed Virginia airwaves with campaign airwaves. On Tuesday, Gillespie released his first attack ad and Warner followed suit on Wednesday.

Will New NRA Ads Featuring Ed Gillespie Help or Hurt His Campaign?

Last week the National Rifle Association (NRA) debuted a mutli-million dollar ad campaign to push back against Michael Bloomberg’s gun control efforts by focusing in on Senate races throughout the country, including Virginia, reports The Washington Post.

The group distributed a large number of mailings in it’s home state of Virginia (their offices are located in Fairfax county) which featured a Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie.

The ads featuring a smiling Gillespie with the quote next to him with his pledge to “strongly oppose and fight against Obama’s gun ban treaty, any bans on guns and ammunition, a federal gun registration database and government approval for gun sales among friends and family.” These ads were made and distributed by the NRA without the consultation of of Gillespie’s campaign.

These mailings may have upsetting consequences for Gillespie, as the candidate who was nominated by the Tea Party, has focused a large part of his campaign on securing the vote for more moderate voters.

Especially after tragedies  such as the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, these news ads put Gillespie at risk of pushing away voters in Northern Virginia who may not support the second amendment rhetoric.


Warner and Gillespie to Meet Eight Time Before November Election

On Thursday Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Warner agreed to eight different appearances with Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, reports The Washington Post.

There will be two more televised debates, in addition to the one held last month, that are slated for October 7 in Fairfax County and October 13 in Richmond.

Four more appearances were agreed upon with two being made in in Northern Virginia in September , one in Danville in October and the other to be scheduled at a later date.

Warner addressed the joint appearances and said, “I look forward to continuing the conversation with “Virginians about my commitment to finding common sense solutions that provide every Virginian with a fair shot at success during these forums in all parts of the Commonwealth.”

As of now Warner is enjoying a double-digit lead over Gillespie and has raised more money than his challenger, who released his first TV ad this week.