If you live in Virginia, I’m sure you’re sick and tired of all of the attack ads airing for the gubernatorial race between McDonnell and Deeds. It has been a long and ugly race and many around the area are excitedly awaiting the coming of election day on Tuesday, November 3rd, so we can be done with all of this. But did you know that attack politics is hitting very, very close to home for many today? If you live in the 48th district in Virginia, which includes north-east Arlington and wraps around down to Crystal City, you may be waking up to a very nasty attack mailer compliments of Aaron Ringel, the Republican opponent of six term incumbent Democrat Bob Brink. According to Ringel, Brink wants to hurt your children.
The mailer, which says “Paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia”, features a stereotypical picture of a scary convict in an orange jumpsuit. The reason? Ringel is trying to tell you that Bob Brink hates your children and wants convicts to hurt them. The basis for this mailer is that Del. Brink voted for HB 1481, which was proposed legislation to allow ex-felons to apply for a waiver to serve as a contractor on school grounds, as long as they had not been convicted of a violent crime or sex crime, and had waited at least 5 years from the date of the crime. This legislation failed in Richmond by a vote of 30 to 65. Why this bill ever came up and what the driver was behind it, I’m not completely sure. But read the text of the bill and the fact that 29 other delegates voted to support this and I think you can agree that this mailer is ridiculous. Talk about out of control fear mongering!
Among other ridiculous statements that Ringel should be ashamed of, the back of the mailer says Bob Brink doesn’t want our schools to be safe. Really? Do you think the Delegate wants our schools to be dangerous and for your children to be hurt? This kind of crap is what turns people off of politics completely. The GOP in Arlington, which has shown a lot of promise in the last few months with some of their recent candidates and campaign approaches, should be downright ashamed of a mailer like this. Word is that the VA GOP is supporting similar mailers around the state as a last ditch effort to attack opponents in races, trying to make HB 1481 the deciding factor.
I contacted Del. Brink to get a response to this, since we know what Ringel’s position is. This is what Brink had to say:
“My opponent grew up in the Karl Rove era of Republican politics, and apparently he thinks Rove-style personal attacks, half-truths, and fear-mongering are the way to win an election. I think he’s wrong. Having lived in Arlington for nearly 30 years, I’m confident the voters in the 48th will reject such ham-fisted smear tactics.”