Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. George Allen launched two ads in Virginia as well as a new website, VirginiaVoices.com, Thursday in his bid to regain the seat he lost to retiring Sen. Jim Webb in 2006.
Rather than focus on his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Tim Kaine, or his own record as governor and senator, Allen's two ads, "Dorothy" and "Bets," ads are short vignettes from two women who know and worked with Allen in the past and paint him as a caring, compassionate leader willing to listen to the voices of Virginians.
The ads are the first of several ads which will run in two-ad rotations throughout the summer campaign officials said. The ads will run primarily on cable, with a few broadcast airings.
The Virginia Voices website, along with Twitter and Facebook sites, will feature the ads along with the testimonials of a number of voters from throughout the state., campaign officials said.
The first spot features Dorothy Jaeckle who is the Vice Chair of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors and served as a parent appointee on the state Advisory Board for Teacher Education and Licensure.
"George Allen’s one of the most good natured people I’ve ever come across," Jeackle says in the 31 second ad which features a head shot of her talking then video of Allen sitting on steps talking with women, then reading to elementary school students. "When he was governor, I was on a field trip with my son and George Allen was on his way to work, and I yelled something out to him. And instead of heading on his way, he turned around and came right over, and it was so clear that he was interested in engaging in a conversation with the mothers of fourth and fifth graders to talk about education policy. I think he made an impression on everybody that day."
The second spot features Betsy Beamer who served as Secretary of the Commonwealth under Allen.
"As a Mom, it’s very important to me to have someone like George Allen there fighting for us," Beamer says over shots of Allen playing with young children and then in a living room with his own family. "I have two daughters; best job in the world is being their mom. A parent wants the next generation to have more than they had. George Allen’s running for this Senate seat for the right reasons. He wants to have a better future for our kids and there is no better reason. George Allen’s a good man, a good husband, a good father, he’s a good listener, he’s the real deal."
In a response to the new ads Kaine campaign officials suggest that Allen is purposefully avoiding his record in the U.S. Senate.
"Virginians don't need TV ads to tell them what kind of senator George Allen would be – they already know," said Brandi Hoffine, communications director for the Kaine campaign. "During his last term in the Senate, George Allen advocated policies that took us from record surpluses to massive deficits, tax breaks for wealthy oil companies over investments in education, and voted four times to raise his own pay while helping to create our economic mess. As he runs for reelection, George Allen has put pledges to Washington lobbyists and divisive legislation, like a federal personhood law, at the forefront of his agenda. He has a record of pitting Virginians against each other: threatening Democrats when he was governor, voting in lockstep with his party as a senator, and deriding hard-working Virginians as 'sanctimonious' in his campaign for reelection. Virginians couldn't afford the first six years of George Allen's failed economic agenda and hyper-partisanship. They certainly can't afford six more."