Scandals in gubernatorial races overshadows platform issues

Posted at 7:14 PM, Aug 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-05 22:24:29-04

, VA (WTVR) -- Greentech. Star Scientific. If you are talking about Virginia politics they are must-have words in any politicos lexicon.

Although the candidates have hosted events and listed their platforms on campaign websites, most Virginia residents say only thing they've heard from the candidates relate to the respective Star Scientific and Greentech scandals.

"I hate attack and smearing campaigns," Rebecca O'Halloran, a Virginian voter, told CBS 6.

Terry McAuliffe recently released an advertisementattacking Cuccinelli's alleged involvement with a major energy firm. Ken Cuccinelli released an advertisement Monday attacking McAuliffe's former company Greentech, a company now being investigated by the SEC.

Both campaigns defended the scandal-related advertisements as being issues relevant to the campaign. Cuccinelli's team said that it was McAuliffe who aired the first attack ad.

Analysts tell CBS 6 part of the reason the campaign rhetoric has been scandal-focused and not issue-focused is because of the lack of debates, where issues are more easily contrasted.

Thus far only one debate has taken place with only two more scheduled to take place. Analysts also tell CBS 6 to not expect the scandal driven campaign commercial to change any time soon.

After all, a campaign commercial  relating to a scandal is far more appealing to creators of advertisements than a commercial about tax policy.

The campaigns responded to our questions regarding the campaign taking a negative, scandal driven tone with these statements:

“Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor is grounded in his vision to grow the economy, create jobs and ease the burdens on middle-class families. All summer he has traveled across the Commonwealth, holding town hall meetings, touring local businesses and discussing his ideas with Virginians.  This stands in stark contrast to his opponent who refuses to engage in debates (Cuccinelli too has declined a debate) , declined to participate in various interviews and relies almost exclusively on negative advertising to carry his message.  The Attorney General looks forward to continuing his conversations with Virginians throughout the remainder of the campaign.” – Anna Nix, Cuccinelli Press Secretary

"Terry's focus has been on important issues such as his mainstream approach to strengthening Virginia's economy and creating jobs. Terry has also focused on the bipartisan transportation compromise, and it's been the centerpiece of an ad we've run.  While the Cuccinelli campaign has focused on character attacks, when we've drawn contrasts they've been on substantive policy issues that impact the lives of Virginians on a daily basis.  Republicans and business leaders have been endorsing and praising Terry because of his focus on economic issues and his embrace of mainstream policies like the transportation bill." - Josh Schwerin, McAuliffe Press Secretary