Two fellow Democrats are taking state Senate candidate Jaime Areizaga-Soto to task for campaign mailers sharply critical of his opponent, County Board member Barbara Favola.
The latest mailer shows Favola between Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with the headline “These politicians have a lot in common” — a reference to the fact that all three have accepted donations from local real estate developer, philanthropist and Republican political donor Preston Caruthers. (Favolva accepted a $5,000 donation from Caruthers.)
“I’m disappointed that my friend Jaime Areizaga-Soto has been persuaded that victory in the primary can be achieved through slick negative campaign mailings,” Del. Bob Brink said in a statement said in a statement last night.
Brink, who intended to stay neutral in the race, said he’s now endorsing Favola because of Areizaga-Soto’s negative mailers.
“Voters in our region have shown repeatedly that they want their public officials to talk about the issues that touch their daily lives, and that they have little tolerance for Karl Rove-style mudslinging,” he said. “Any candidate who doesn’t understand that is unqualified to represent us.”
Technology consultant and Not Larry Sabato blogger Ben Tribbett, who was once considering a run in the 31st District state Senate race, took particular exception with Areizaga-Soto’s accusation that Favola “sold her vote” to developers.
“We have so many voters in Arlington who are national political people, they’re too savvy to be misled like that,” Tribbett said. “I agree with Jaime, I don’t think that Barbara should be accepting donations from developers. It creates the appearance of impropriety. But she’s not doing anything illegal and she certainly has not sold her vote. If she sold her vote she would be in prison… Making an accusation like that really crosses the line.”
“I think a hard-nosed primary campaign on legitimate issues would be welcome,” Tribbett added. “That being said, I think the mailings are way too negative, they’re not factually accurate… and I think that Jaime loses a lot of credibility when he overstates his case.”
Favola has been fighting back against the Areizaga-Soto campaign’s allegations.
“My opponent has decided that the only way he can win is to peddle untruths, distort the facts and use personal attacks,” Favola said last month. “I have always been transparent on where I stand on the issues and I have always been loyal to my values. I have never sold my vote to anyone, ever.”
The comparison to McDonnell and Cuccinelli, meanwhile, is a serious allegation in a Democratic primary. In a debate at Wednesday’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, Areizaga-Soto repeatedly referenced the two Republicans, calling their agenda “the biggest threat for the well-being and for the future of our Commonwealth.”
Areizaga-Soto told the Blue Virginia web site that it is “not ethical” for Favola to accept tens of thousands of dollars from developers who have recently had business before the county. She “should resign from the board or return the money immediately,” Areizaga-Soto said.
Earlier this year, Favola told ARLnow.com that her vote “can’t be bought.”
“People are contributing to me because they respect me and have confidence in me,” she said. “Everything here is reported, there is nothing illegal about what I have received.”
Favola and Areizaga-Soto are running for the 31st District state Senate seat, which is being vacated by the retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 23.
Krupicka’s biggest donor is businessman Robert Henry Duggar, who contributed $5,000 to his campaign. Ebbin’s biggest donor is the pro-immigrant-rights Laborers’ International Union of North America, which also contributed $5,000. Garvey’s biggest donor is the campaign fund of Sen. Patsy Ticer, who is retiring after 16 years of representing the 30th District. Ticer for Virginia Senate has contributed $10,000 to Garvey’s campaign.
On the Republican side, Alexandria businessman Michael Maibach
appears to be gearing up for a run (see below). Maibach told us he was thinking about entering the race, but so far hasn’t formally announced his candidacy. Nonetheless, “Mike Maibach for Senate” has $10,000 cash on hand after floating a large campaign loan. Meanwhile, a web site — mikemaibach.com — is currently under construction.
The 30th District currently includes much of South Arlington, as well as most of Alexandria and a portion of Fairfax County, although state legislators are still in the process of drawing new district boundaries. See the fundraising totals for local House of Delegates races on the Blue Virginia blog.
Update at 3:50 p.m. — Maibach says he is no longer planning on running, but notes that he has not made a final decision on the matter.
“As of right now my intention is not to be a candidate,” he told ARLnow.com. “I’m hoping the party will find somebody else.”
The list of donors to Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign is raising a few eyebrows among local political watchers.
More than half of the nearly $60,000 raised by Favola has come from local developers, including a whopping $25,000 from John G. Shooshan, chairman of the Arlington-based Shooshan Company. Shooshan has had business before the board recently, related to the company’s massive Founders Square project in Ballston.
Other big contributors to Favola’s campaign include Preston Caruthers, who donated $5,000, Mark Silverwood, who donated $2,000, and Thomas Shooltz, who donated $1,000.
Caruthers, a developer, is supporting Favola, a Democrat, despite the fact that he’s a big contributor to Republican causes. Caruthers is a noted philanthropist and recently gave $100,000 to the Arlington planetarium.
Silverwood is the president of the Silverwood Companies, a Northern Virginia development and property management firm. The company manages several properties in Arlington County, including the Quebec Apartments on Columbia Pike. Shooltz is a part-owner of Ironwood Realty Partners, whose developments include the currently under-construction Garfield Park at Clarendon Village project.
Public records show that Favola received just shy of 100 individual campaign contributions from Jan. 1 to March 31.
County Board members have avoided taking contributions from developers for their board campaigns, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Favola said that practice does not extend to campaigns for higher office.
“Traditionally County Board members have not asked for contributions [from developers] for their County Board races. I am not running for the County Board, I am running for the state Senate,” she said. “So they’re actually contributing to get me off the County Board.”
“Everything here is reported, there is nothing illegal about what I have received,” Favola continued. “My vote can’t be bought in the state Senate. People are contributing to me because they respect me and have confidence in me. They also have valued my contributions on the County Board.”
Favola is currently the only candidate to formally announce for the 31st District state Senate seat, which is being vacated by the retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple.