The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kaine aims for vote of Va. hunters, fishermen; B1

By Garren Shipley
(Daily Staff Writer)

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine took aim at the votes of hunters and fisherman on Friday with an afternoon skeet shoot, but his opponent quickly dismissed the event as an effort to gloss over an anti-gun record.

Speaking after the shoot on a farm in Franklin County, Kaine introduced the leaders of Sportsmen for Kaine, a group of hunters and fisherman who support his candidacy.

“I am proud to stand with Tim Kaine because he’s a sportsman like myself,” said “Big Tom” Buchanan of Wythe County, a contestant on “Survivor: Africa” and one of the group’s three co-chairmen.

“We’re racing to build support for Tim, and I know he’s going to be our next governor because he’s a real survivor,” Buchanan said.

Kaine said his past work to preserve the right to hunt and fish, as well as his conservation efforts, make him the choice this November for those who enjoy the outdoors.

“I want the sportsman of Virginia to know that I am a friend,” said Kaine. “I was the legal counsel in the effort to amend the Virginia Constitution to give Virginians the right to hunt and fish constitutionally, and we are one of the few states in the country to protect that right.”

Kaine’s campaign also issued a statement brandishing his Second Amendment credentials.

Like incumbent Gov. Mark R. Warner, Kaine won’t propose any new gun laws while in office, “because he knows the best way to fight crime is to target criminals, not law-abiding citizens,” the campaign said.

Former Del. Richard Cranwell, now chairman of the state Democratic Party, also weighed in, praising Kaine for his commitment to conservation.

The lieutenant governor was a staunch supporter of the 2004 budget deal that spent $30 million to help clean up rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, all of which made the state’s waterways better for anglers, he said.

Back in Richmond, the Kilgore campaign took little time to react, calling Kaine “John Kerry without the goose.”

That’s a reference to a 2004 photo-op in which Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic presidential candidate, spent an afternoon duck hunting in an effort to appeal to hunters.

“Now, in 2005, Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine has held his own Second Amendment photo-op,” the campaign says in a statement. “Anyone impressed by Tim Kaine’s shooting at skeet should take a gander at his record.”

Kaine helped put together transportation for a Richmond delegation to the Million Mom March, a rally in 2000 calling for gun control.

He and the rest of the Richmond City Council also asked the city attorney in 2001 about the feasibility of suing gun manufacturers, but were told that Virginia law makes such suits unlikely to succeed.

No further action was taken.
“It is shameful and dishonest to deceive voters during this gubernatorial campaign,” National Rifle Association chief lobbyist Chris Cox says in an e-mail to reporters.

“Anyone who supports shutting down gun shows and suing the gun industry out of existence is no friend of sportsmen,” he says.

Election Day is Nov. 8.