Fitch Takes Wrong Turn, Attacks Kilgore on the Eavesdropping Scandal

GOP gubernatorial contender George Fitch has borrowed a page from the Democratic Party play book, attacking Jerry Kilgore for obscuring his role in the infamous eavesdropping scandal.

“Jerry Kilgore is trying to be all things to all people on the important issues of taxes and spending, and he is unwilling to discuss his possible connection to the eavesdropping scandal that hit the Republican Party in 2003,” Fitch said in a recent press release. “No wonder Jerry Kilgore is afraid to debate me, no wonder he is afraid to debate Tim Kaine.”

“Jerry Kilgore has already spent $4 million and he’s preparing to spend that much and more to mask over questions about whether his actions as Attorney General were on the up and up,” Fitch continued. “That’s why he won’t release his phone records and that’s why he won’t debate. Virginians are entitled to know the full story about Jerry Kilgore’s possible connection to this scandal and the voters are entitled to examine that story in a public debate with me or with Tim Kaine. But Jerry Kilgore can’t afford to do that…”

The eavesdropping scandal itself was real. The extension of that scandal to Kilgore, by contrast, always struck me as contrived, little more than a partisan Democratic effort to taint the future Republican candidate. But, truth be told, I never followed the issue that closely, so I don’t pretend to know. However, it’s hard to imagine that criticisms of Kilgore long made by Democrats will resonate among the GOP stalwarts who vote in the primaries. My instinct: This issue is a loser for Fitch. He needs to stick with his strength, as the candidate who’s serious about cutting spending and taxes.

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  1. My instinct is that this issue is a winner for Fitch and I appreciate him bringing it to the table. Citizens want to know what really happened and what was Kilgore’s involvement. Release the records and debate the issues. I suspect this is one reasons Kilgore does not want to debate Kaine or Fitch or Potts. I don’t blame him.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    I tend to agree with Jim’s take, but it would be nice to have certainty that Kilgore was as quick on the draw to shoot down the slimeballs as he claims. Besides, Fitch has better things to talk about IF Kilgore gives him a chance. I suppose Kilgore is using the primary season to practice avoiding Fitch as a warm-up to the general election when he will spend his time and energy avoiding Kaine. Not only is Fitch not getting a chance to close with Kilgore, many functions are even denying Fitch a chance to speak when Jerry is a no-show. This happened last night in Prince William.

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Democratic partisans think this issue is a winner, but despite their best interests, this “scandal” never took off. If most voters were told that it was a disgruntled Democrat who started the whole thing by giving out the access code for a conference call to a Republican, they’d dismiss it out of hand as “just politics.”

    Everybody in the Kaine camp is clamoring for Kilgore to debate now, a sure sign that they know they’re behind. Again, only partisans care about a debate about debates. By the third Bush-Kerry debate in the month before the 2004 election, the whole country was bored by the stilted format and the rehearsed answers.

    Democrats ought to also be careful what they wish for. The “best” debaters aren’t always the electoral winners.

    If Kilgore doesn’t debate Kaine on television at least twice in October, I’ll be the first one to call him on it. I wish he’d debate Fitch now just to sharpen his skills, but the “Warrenton Miracle” worker really hasn’t shown me the kind of support that justifies being on stage with the overwhelming choice of the Republican Party.

  4. Clayton Delaney Avatar
    Clayton Delaney

    No one is clamoring for a debate now. They just want Kilgore to agree to debates at the proper time in various regions of the state. Very simple Will.

  5. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    He’s said he would. What more do you want?

  6. When and where Will?

  7. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    What if I said Roanoke Civic Center on October 12th, 7PM. Would that make you happy?

    I’m sure Larry Sabato has prepared or is preparing a debate proposal. The candidates will spar over it, get a few concessions, try to make some hay out of them, and then meet for a debate(s) that will be televised on one channel in most Virginia markets.

    (BTW, I love Larry, but I will scream if he pulls that video question stunt … the old “here’s a question from Jennifer Blevins, a senior at Ft. Defiance HS …..”)

    You can beat on me all you want if this does not happen in October. For now, you’re just grasping for a lifeline.

  8. I like Larry Sabato. I guess he’s ok. Took his class, enjoyed it. Agree with him on the incumbent protection act (MCCain Feingold)

    But he’s got a sneaky gut! His arms and legs are really skinny, but this gut comes out of no where. When I first noticed it, I did a double take. I guess that’ll be me one day.

  9. Sorry I’m late responding. Been visiting the great Eastern Shore of Virginia, home of Bill Fears, Bob Bloxom and Lyn Lewis, great Virginians all. No debate fear in them. Just stand up guys.

    Roanoke Civic Center on October 12th? I would say that is a joke. If JK’s people keep him from the debate table state wide, he’s going down. I guess they figure a no show is better than a bad show. An empty chair will do. You heard if here.

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