Tim Kaine Sanctioned for Campaign Fraud

Tim Kaine, the Democratic nominee and apparent leader in the Virginia governor’s race, has been cited by the Virginia State Board of Elections for a fraudulent advertisement using Republican logos.

VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SANCTIONS KAINE CAMPAIGN [PDF] (Republican Governors Association)

Refers to Commonwealth’s Attorney for Potential Prosecution

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning the Virginia State Board of Elections, in an emergency meeting called to examine Tim Kaine’s deceptive campaign mailer, issued the strongest possible penalty against the Kaine campaign for violation of Virginia Law, as well as referred the matter to the Commonwealth’s Attorney to further investigate whether the illegal mailer was intentional, and therefore subject to criminal penalties.

The Board of Elections, in response to a complaint filed by the Republican Governors Association (“RGA”) against the Kaine campaign, unanimously ruled that the disclaimer on the Kaine campaign’s deceptive mailer did not meet the requirement of Virginia law to be “conspicuous.” The Board of Elections then unanimously voted to issue the maximum allowable fine ($100) against the Kaine campaign. Next, the Board discussed whether the Kaine violation was intentional or “knowing” under VA law, and because of the seriousness of the violation unanimously referred it to the Commonwealth’s Attorney to further investigate and potentially prosecute.

[…]

RGA Executive Director Mike Pieper stated: “Virginia voters need to evaluate whether they can trust Tim Kaine and his consistently dishonest campaign. It must be especially disheartening for Kaine’s supporters to see his campaign referred to the Commonwealth’s Attorney on the eve of Election Day for potential prosecution.”

A $100 fine is a joke, but then most election law is. I doubt this will have much impact on undecided voters, although almost anything can matter in such a tight race.

The complain letter is here [PDF].

Poll shows Kaine, Kilgore nearly tied (Virginia Daily Press)

The Virginia governor’s race is coming down to the wire with the outcome very much in doubt, as Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore mount a final, furious bid for undecided voters.

A Mason-Dixon poll released Thursday showed Kaine holding a 1-point lead over Kilgore, 45 percent to 44 percent. Independent Russ Potts is at 4 percent and 7 percent are undecided. Kaine has gained 3 percentage points from a Mason-Dixon poll released two weeks ago. But pollster Brad Coker cautioned against concluding that the Democrat is pulling away down the stretch. “Is there a trend? There could be, but you can’t prove it with these numbers,” he said. “There’s also an equal chance it means absolutely nothing.” More likely, the outcome would hinge on which side works harder Tuesday, he said. “This is now a ground game,” he said. “It’s really who’s got the best organization and who turns people out.”

[…]

A Washington Post poll released Sunday showed Kaine up by 3 points, gaining strength in Northern Virginia suburbs.

Almost all of the recent polling, including today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch poll, has Kaine in the lead but within the margin of error.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2006, General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.