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Fimian Unleashes Firestorm of Personal Attacks Vs. Connolly

nickstoryconnollyCharging incumbent U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly with being “very good at deception” and “subterfuge,” and telling him, “All you care about is getting elected and spending someone else’s money to do it,” GOP challenger Keith Fimian appeared angry and strident in a face-to-face debate Tuesday.

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GOP CHALLENGER Keith Fimian (right) assails his Democratic rival, incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly (left) during a debate before the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. The moderator was Bruce DePuyt of NewsTalk TBD (center). The candidates are slated to square off again today in a debate before the Vienna-Tysons Chamber. (Photo: News-Press)

 

Charging incumbent U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly with being “very good at deception” and “subterfuge,” and telling him, “All you care about is getting elected and spending someone else’s money to do it,” GOP challenger Keith Fimian appeared angry and strident in a face-to-face debate Tuesday.

When Connolly assailed what he called Fimian’s “personal attack,” “calling someone a liar,” Fimian shot back, “It is not a personal attack. It is a reality.”

The fiery exchange provided the few hundred members and guests of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce with some spice to their otherwise bland cold chicken and artichoke fare at Tuesday’s debate luncheon, held in the new Mason Hall on the campus of George Mason University.

Fimian and Connolly will be back at it again today, this time for the Vienna Tysons Chamber at the Sheraton in Tysons, also at noon.

Washington is broken. The bond with the American people is broken. Our politicians care about nothing but serving themselves.

Tuesday’s event also included a debate between 10-term Democratic incumbent Congressman Jim Moran and his also-strident GOP rival, Patrick Murray.

As the polls indicate a strong anti-incumbent mood across the U.S., both Fimian and Murray jumped on that theme, accusing their respective rivals of all the woes of big government and high taxes.

But Connolly and Moran fought back with the strong evidences of economic recovery, even if slow, due to federal stimulus efforts that brought the nation from the brink of a full-blown depression in less than two years.

Fimian’s strong rhetoric brought chuckles from the crowd when he referred to “a big black curtain that is a terrible thing that will devour your children.”

Then he pointed to Connolly and said, “This man is toying with the future of our children.”

He also cited as an example of excessive government spending $150,000 earmarked for doing cocaine experiments on monkeys.

In other examples of what Connolly called “hyperbolic rhetoric,” Fimian said that evidence of global warming is inconclusive and, in the meantime, “don’t handcuff our economy” with safeguards.

“Washington is broken,” he added, “The bond with the American people is broken. Our politicians care about nothing but serving themselves.” He called health care reform and the federal stimulus “terribly anti-business,” and said that anyone who “is a friend of unions” is not pro-business. As for the issue of undisclosed campaign contributions, he said, “It’s a free country. If you want to get involved in politics, it’s your right.”

Connolly cited the achievements of his seven years of service on the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce board of directors, as well as as Chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, and his two years in Congress, 16 years in public service in all. He said, “There is no substitute for the hard work of balancing budgets,” noting he’d drawn ire from some in his own party for voting against two jobs bills “because they weren’t paid for.”

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REP. JIM MORAN (right), seeking re-election to an 11th term as the Democratic Congressman from the 8th District of Virginia, debated his GOP challenger Patrick Murray (left) before a luncheon of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, with Bruce DePuyt of NewsTalkTBD (center) as moderator. The debate was the most high-profile of the campaign, held at the new Mason Hall on the George Mason University campus. (Photo: News-Press)

 

He also took credit for the fact that Fairfax County has been named Number One out of 3,000 counties in the U.S. for being “best managed,” and noted he’s taken the controversial stand of supporting an extension of the Bush tax cuts past the beginning of the year. “It is foolish” to eliminate the cuts “with the fragility of the economy,” although “it should be revisited within one or two years,” he said.

Connolly noted he voted against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy toward lesbians and gays, while Fimian said the decision should be made by “the senior brass.”

In the Moran-Murray debate, Murray lashed out at Moran as a “big spender,” although when pressed he offered no specifics for overcoming the deficit, other than to “stop spending money we don’t have.”

When Murray lashed out at Moran for a large federal building project in his district, Moran declined to reply, saying, “It will make me too upset to respond.”

On the issue of earmarks more generally, Murray charged, “They work well if you are seeking re-election,” while Moran said, “I support earmarks” because they help build the economy, and will get projects funded that prove to work, such as brain research at Virginia Tech and helping Northern Virginia “have the best schools in the U.S.”

He assailed the Republicans’ plans for cuts in education and the elimination of the NSA and DARPA.

 

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