From NBC's Ali Weinberg
After revelations surfaced last week that New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie did not disclose a $46,000 loan he gave to a high-level staffer, the campaign of Christie's opponent, Jon Corzine, today "continued to insinuate that there is an improper relationship" between Christie and the staffer, current First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown.
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, running as Corzine's lieutenant governor, urged the U.S. Attorney's Office to remove Brown from the process of retrieving some of Christie's documents, like travel expenses and daily calendars, requested by the Corzine campaign through the Freedom of Information Act.
"Based on what we already know and on today's report by the AP that Christie is refusing to answer who he's still in contact with at the U.S. Attorney's office and how informed he is about day-to-day activities there, we are simply saying we need someone not caught up in this controversy to work on the FOIA requests," Weinberg said, per PolitickerNJ.
Deeds' new ad
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds released an ad on Friday echoing a speech he delivered intended to reframe his campaign in terms of "backwards-forwards," where Republican Bob "McDonnell will take the state back, Deeds will take it forward."
The ad says Deeds will continue the "pro-business economic policies Mark Warner put in place, and not go backwards by embracing the failed economic policies of George W. Bush."
On the campaign trail, Deeds frequently mentions the record of DNC Chairman and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat whose success among conservative Southern Virginia voters Deeds hopes to mimic. But Deeds has had to walk a fine line between channeling Kaine's gubernatorial legacy and over-aligning himself with Kaine's position in the national party.
"Privately, some [Deeds campaign officials] say they realize it's not always politically beneficial for Deeds to be associated with [Kaine]," the Washington Post writes. "Kaine's popularity rating remains above 50 percent but is waning, and his position as party chairman brings with it the burdens of a national party that voters are viewing with increasing skepticism." And "nationally, Democrats will be counting on Kaine to deliver his own state and provide a political boost to President Obama. If he can't manage that, many will wonder how effective a chairman he can be."
A recent Washington Post poll found McDonnell with a lead over Deeds among likely voters, 54%-39%, and a smaller lead among all voters, 47%-40%. Columnist Josh Goodman writes that Deeds leads among unlikely voters: "The results, based on my calculations, are 42 percent for Deeds, 31 percent for McDonnell and 27 percent undecided. So Deeds enjoys a double-digit lead among those unlikely voters. That to me is the strongest indication yet that Virginia Democrats are unmotivated this year."
Goodman says the biggest challenge for Deeds "is persuading people who are predisposed to think he will make the best governor to actually vote. Getting unlikely voters to the polls isn't impossible, but it is, well, unlikely."
Deeds and McDonnell will participate in a debate Oct. 12th in Richmond organized by the League of Women Voters of Virginia and AARP Virginia. The Peoples Debate will feature an online component allowing voters to submit their own questions to the candidates. We are very excited to give the average Virginian a voice in this debate," League President Olga Hernandez said. The debate will be moderated by PBS's Judy Woodruff.