Bridge President Brad Woodhouse on GOP Rebrand: New year, same old party

Following the shellacking Republicans took in 2012, the party conducted a much-hyped autopsy in the hopes of identifying the cause of the GOP’s recent demise. One year later, Republicans are congratulating themselves on the “progress” they’ve made. Who are they kidding? Back in reality, nothing has changed. The autopsy depicted a Republican Party whose policies and rhetoric were anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-middle class. One year later, the Republican Party is still anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-middle class.

NEWS: American Bridge Launches GOTV Ad Campaign in Support of McAuliffe

American Bridge 21st Century today announced a new digital campaign to help Virginia  voters locate their polling place and learn about the Republican ticket’s history of fighting to restrict voting rights.

Earlier this year, Republicans in Virginia passed a restrictive new law to change voting requirements in the Commonwealth. The law limits the list of permissible forms of identification and severely restricts voters’ ability to cast a provisional ballot in the event they can only provide non-photo identification as proof of identity. The law hasn’t yet gone into effect and can only be stopped by electing Democrats like Terry McAuliffe, who will fight to uphold voters’ rights.

“Like many Republicans across the country, Ken Cuccinelli and Republicans in Virginia are trying to change the law to make it harder for minorities to vote. These desperate and cynical plans to gain the upper hand on Election Day are nothing more than an attack on democracy and our values as a nation,” said American Bridge president Rodell Mollineau. “Virginia deserves leaders who seek to inspire more people to make their voices heard, not craven politicians who gleefully suppress the rights of others for political gain. That’s why it’s crucial for Virginians who supports the right to vote for all Americans to find their polling place and vote for Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats.”

Republicans nationwide are pursuing similar legislation endangering the right to vote. These proposals are an admission that the party has no hope of winning elections without disenfranchising millions of voters. Republicans have come to the conclusion that it is easier to prevent Americans from voting than to propose forward-looking ideas that would appeal to a broader base of voters.

While American Bridge has previously invested in targeted digital campaigns to educate voters about Republicans’ harmful agenda, today’s ads mark the first time it has used its research in conjunction with an online tool to help voters find where to vote.

American Bridge 21st Century is a progressive organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions through the use of opposition research, candidate tracking, and earned media communications.

Cuccinelli clings to Tea Party extremism in final debate

At tonight’s debate, Ken Cuccinelli returned to his roots by embracing the extreme agenda of the Tea Party at every turn.

Virginians are seeking a mainstream leader to boost the Commonwealth’s economy and create jobs, so it’s no surprise that voters are rejecting a candidate who made a name for himself by waging unpopular fights to further his extreme agenda.

After three debates, voters know who Cuccinelli is and what he stands for:

When you stack up that extreme record next to the mainstream, bipartisan approach of Terry McAuliffe, it’s easy to see why Virginians are rejecting Ken Cuccinelli.

MEMO: Cuccinelli’s “All In” Debate Strategy Backfires

To: Interested Parties
From: Chris Harris, American Bridge Communications Director
Date: October 24, 2013
Re: Cuccinelli’s “All In” Debate Strategy Backfires

Earlier this year, Ken Cuccinelli issued forth a challenge: wherever two or more Virginians gathered, there he would debate Terry McAuliffe. It was exactly the strategy one would expect from a campaign bold enough to release fake polls and featuring a day-to-day messaging strategy with the focus of that dog from Up.

From the beginning of the campaign, Cuccinelli’s strategy hinged on definitive debate victories. Debates are where they would win the hearts and minds of Virginians. They went “all in,” so to speak.

Cuccinelli’s campaign has reassured supporters and the press that debates would be where he would turn it all around. In their minds, the debates would serve as the Republican’s big moment, where millions of Virginians would instantly fawn over the once-in-a-lifetime leader that is Ken Cuccinelli.

Unfortunately, the campaign forgot one little detail: the more voters learn about Cuccinelli, the less they like him.

With even the conservative Rasmussen poll showing Ken Cuccinelli trailing Terry McAuliffe by 17 points, not even a new RRR poll can swing the momentum in Cuccinelli’s favor at this point. His radicalism rejected by Virginians, the Cuccinelli campaign has incoherently vacillated between reviving his strategy of hiding his extreme social agenda and embracing every Santorum, Huckabee, and Duggar that wanders through his state.

We don’t know which Ken Cuccinelli will show up at tonight’s debate. It could be the false moderate who pretends he didn’t try to kill the bipartisan transportation compromise. Or it could be the extremist who wants “more Ted Cruzes” in the United States Senate. Either way, just like his previous debate performances, it won’t be enough to rescue his floundering campaign.


The Cuccinelli Campaign Created Expectations that the Debates Would Turn the Race Around

Cuccinelli Strategist Chris LaCivita Said Before The Debate, “We Have A Belief That The More People That See Ken Cuccinelli And Hear From Him Directly, The Greater The Likelihood He’ll Be The Next Governor. The McAuliffe Campaign Has The Exact Opposite View Of Their Candidate.” According to Politico, “If Republicans are upbeat about one thing in the race right now, it’s that their candidate has a much longer record of succeeding in high-stress environments than the Democrat does. ‘We have a belief that the more people that see Ken Cuccinelli and hear from him directly, the greater the likelihood he’ll be the next governor. The McAuliffe campaign has the exact opposite view of their candidate,’ said Cuccinelli senior strategist Chris LaCivita. ‘At times, they almost seem embarrassed.’” [Politico, 7/19/13]

Cuccinelli Strategist Chris LaCivita Said The Debate “Represents An Important Moment In The Campaign – When The Contrast Between The Candidates Became Abundantly Clear.” According to a Cuccinelli campaign press release, Cuccinelli strategiest Chris LaCivita said, “Ken Cuccinelli was the decisive winner of tonight’s debate because he was the only candidate on the stage able to articulate a serious, credible plan to grow Virginia’s economy, ease burdens for families and create 58,000 new jobs. […]Tonight’s debate represents an important moment in the campaign – when the contrast between the candidates became abundantly clear and Ken Cuccinelli stepped forward as the right person to lead the Commonwealth.” [Ken Cuccinelli For Governor Press Release, 9/25/13]

Washington Examiner: Cuccinelli “Has Relished The Opportunity To Go Toe-To-Toe With McAuliffe.” According to the Washington Examiner, “The candidates will have a chance to question each other. Cuccinelli, a more seasoned politician and a notably skilled debater, has relished the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with McAuliffe, challenging his opponent to 15 debates (though Cuccinelli has also turned down a traditional debate hosted by AARP and the League of Women Voters). National Democrats tempered the expectations for McAuliffe this week with a memo noting Cuccinelli’s experience in these forums.” [Washington Examiner, 7/20/13]

The Cuccinelli Campaign Dismissed Poll Numbers Prior To The Debate, Saying, “Our Campaign Feels Very Good About Our Position” And Noting The Number Of Undecided Voters. According to a Cuccinelli campaign press release, communications director Richard T. Cullen said, “Coming off a week in which Ken Cuccinelli secured one of the most important business endorsements in Virginia while Terry McAuliffe was exposed for having misled Virginians about critical policy details and his continued involvement with GreenTech Automotive, our campaign feels very good about our position heading into Wednesday’s pivotal Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Debate.” [Ken Cuccinelli For Governor Press Release, 9/23/13]

Cuccinelli Press Release: “We […] Are Confident The Contrast Between The Candidates’ Seriousness And Ability To Articulate A Positive Vision For Virginia’s Future Will Be Abundantly Clear.” According to a Cuccinelli campaign press release, communications director Richard T. Cullen said, “We look forward to this evening’s debate and are confident the contrast between the candidates’ seriousness and ability to articulate a positive vision for Virginia’s future will be abundantly clear.” [Ken Cuccinelli For Governor Press Release, 9/25/13]

Cuccinelli has Attempted to Distance Himself from his Record During Debates

Cuccinelli Denied That He Tried To Ban Several Forms Of Contraception In The July Debate. According to the Washington Post:

MODERATOR JUDY WOODRUFF: “And on contraception, would you again seek to make several forms, common forms, of contraception illegal, as you did several years ago?”

CUCCINELLI: “Well, I certainly didn’t do that several years ago. My focus in this race is on growing jobs for the middle class, and supporting them and not the well-connected. There are people, like me, who sincerely hold beliefs about protecting life, and I certainly bring those with me into the governor’s race.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]

  • The Washington Post Gave Cuccinelli’s Statement “Three Pinocchios,” Saying A Contraception Ban “Likely Would Have Been The Practical Effect Of The Bill He Co-Sponsored.” According to the Washington Post, “In any case, the 2007 proposal Cuccinelli co-sponsored appears to be even more conservative than the 2012 one, as it defines life as beginning at “fertilization.” There are various ways to interpret the impact on birth control, but some methods might be affected because there are birth control methods that prevent a fertilized egg from implantation in the wall of the uterus. We were told we would receive a response from the Cuccinelli campaign, but never got one. Cuccinelli’s answer was too cute by half, perhaps an effort to soften some of his conservatism. While he might not have specifically sought to ban contraception, that likely would have been the practical effect of the bill he co-sponsored.” [Washington Post, 7/23/13]

Cuccinelli Claimed He Only Backed Fetal Personhood Bills That Contained Language Requiring The State To Comply With Supreme Court Decisions; PolitiFact Rated His Claim “False.” According to PoliticFact, “Cuccinelli said all the bills he’s supported defining life as beginning at conception have contained language saying measures are intended to comply with Supreme Court rulings on abortion rights. Cuccinelli has backed two bills during his career; one had the qualifying clause he described and the other — which Cuccinelli cosponsored — did not. We rate his statement False.” [PolitiFact, 8/10/13]

VIDEO: Whose side is Cuccinelli on?

What if out-of-state companies siphoned natural gas from your property, but refused to pay you the money you were due.

Now imagine how you’d feel if the Attorney General’s office, who you thought would be on your side, was secretly helping those companies fight your claims in court. Searching for answers, you open the newspaper to find out that one of the companies in question had donated more than $100,000 to the campaign of that same Attorney General — who still claimed there was “nothing wrong” with with secretly aiding those out-of-state firms. And on top of all that, the AG fought to keep the whole episode a secret and refused to let a state investigator take a look at his personal involvement.

Sadly, that’s the position many Virginians find themselves in today thanks to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Here’s American Bridge’s new video: Cuccinelli: Whose Side is He On? — The extreme voices that support and advise Cuccinelli

We already know that if you’re a fan of public pools, birth control, or oral sex, you’re not welcome in Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia. So who does that leave?

Meet Ken Cuccinelli’s cabinet.

These are the extreme voices that support and advise Cuccinelli, the Tea Partiers he looks up to in nearby Washington, and the guy Ken turns to when he wants to vacation at a lake house. Look at his closest allies, and you see Cuccinelli’s vision for a radically different Virginia.


Let’s get real: Cuccinelli opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest

Tonight at the University of Richmond, a flailing Ken Cuccinelli once again attempted to deceive voters about his extreme social views. During the forum, Cuccinelli claimed to have supported public funding of abortions “in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother.”

That’s simply not true. In fact, regardless of whether publicly funded or not, Cuccinelli has opposed any abortion in all instances — including rape, incest and health of the mother — that “are not for the purpose of saving the mother’s life.”

Don’t take our word for it, though. Look at the 2002 version of


NEW VIDEO: Cuccinelli/Jackson on Women’s & Reproductive Health

Last night, State. Sen. Dick Black was a special guest at a Leesburg fundraiser for Ken Cuccinelli. As you know, Black caused jaws to drop when he made headlines earlier this year for comparing abortion to the Holocaust on the floor of the Senate.

With Cuccinelli and EW Jackson infamously comparing abortion to slavery and the KKK, it’s no surprise they’d turn to Senator Black with help raising money to further their extreme and divisive social agenda. Once again, the Cuccinelli-Jackson ticket has shown they’re simply too extreme for Virginia.

Here’s American Bridge’s newest video:

PETITION: Tell Cuccinelli to cancel his appearance with Ted Cruz

The responsibility of the government is to govern.

It’s not for one person to impose their political ideology on the rest of us. But that’s what Ted Cruz has done by persuading his Republican colleagues to shut down the government as a bargaining chip to drive their extreme agenda.

Ken Cuccinelli thinks the Senate needs “more Ted Cruzes in there. The last thing the Senate needs is more Ted Cruzes. And Virginia definitely doesn’t need one of Cruz’s biggest fans as its next governor.

Shutting down the government is bad for all Americans, but especially for a Virginia economy that will bear a disproportionate share of the burden. That’s why even Republican governor Bob McDonnell criticized Republicans in Congress: “You don’t shut down government and have the people that depend on government suffer because that’s really what will happen.”

And while the people of Virginia suffer because of Cruz’s antics in Congress, Ken Cuccinelli has invited Cruz to Virginia to campaign together Saturday. Instead of showing leadership to find bipartisan solutions to our problems, Cuccinelli has chosen to stand with fellow extreme Tea Partiers in Congress who are creating new problems that hurt middle class families.

Ken Cuccinelli should side with the Virginian people and reject the shutdown tactics of Ted Cruz and Congressional Republicans.

Click here to sign our petition calling on Ken Cuccinelli to cancel his Saturday appearance with Ted Cruz.