Connolly Aims for “Most Shameful Campaign” Award

By VA Blogger

Gerry Connolly is in hiding, and he must be scared for his political life if he’s running this sort of campaign.

I just listened to the DCCC’s despicable attack on Keith Fimian, claiming that Fimian is opposed to women because a Catholic organization he belongs to apparently believes (as Ephesians 5:22-33 states) that wives should be submissive to their husbands (and husbands should give themselves up to their wives; this part was cut though, presumably for time constraints). Since this was a robocall with fairly low production value, there’s no source so I can’t verify (nor can I find) any of the claims the calls make; but of course the point of the call wasn’t to educate voters.

It was made to scare people into believing that Keith Fimian is a religious nutjob.

The problem with this is that Keith Fimian isn’t a nutjob, of course, unless Democrats believe that anybody who believes the Bible is a nutjob. But you won’t hear Fimian talk about that on the campaign trail because he is too in-touch with his district; moreso, it turns out, than Gerry Connolly and the DCCC. As soon as this garbage started to hit, Fimian made it clear that his focus was on issues such as energy, the economy, and national security. As it well should be, and as the voters of the 11th agree.

The only people who disagree are the folks at the DCCC, and the Connolly campaign for abetting them. I challenged the Connolly campaign a month ago to oppose the smear campaign on Fimian’s Catholocism. Connolly had no response. At first, I took that as the campaign simply ignoring a local blogger. It’s now that I realize that the Connolly campaign, for all intents and purposes, has taken a vacation and let third-parties run with their message.

Seriously, in the last month, what have you heard from the Connolly campaign? They released a poll showing them up and got the hell out of Dodge, ignoring other polling data that showed a close race with a large amount of undecided voters that need to be courted. Yet Connolly has no events on his page in the month of August, other than canvassing with national Democrats for Obama, and a house party to watch the DNC Convention.

Compare that to Fimian, who is up on TV with his new ad, regularly is holding meet and greets, stopping by at local organizations, touring the region talking about gas prices, and engaging votes on the issues that matter to them.

So where’s Connolly? There are two answers and they aren’t mutually exclusive: 1) His fundraising has taken a hit and he needs to conserve resources, and/or 2) he’s taking a step back and running a shadow campaign to smear Keith Fimian. Already, local bloggers have picked up on the narrative, a letter to the editor campaign has been waged, and now the national party is getting involved running these smears. The bloggers and the letters could have been arranged without Connolly’s help, but there’s no way that the DCCC would run this message if it wasn’t in conjunction with the Connolly campaign.

A month ago, I wondered if Connolly would take the same route Janet Oleszek tried. It was a legitimate question, as Connolly hadn’t taken any action one way or another. But now, with his campaign’s approval, they’re running and running hard on Keith being a Catholic. And Connolly doesn’t want his name attached to it, for fear of the deserved backlash.

Gerry Connolly is a corrupt and cutthroat man who has driven Fairfax County to a massive budget deficit and is now attacking his election opponent for being a faithful Catholic. Men like this don’t deserve elected office, especially in one of the most educated districts in the country. It is a shameful display, and you would have to be a complete fool or a complete hack to be proud of it.


  • […] Too Conservative sums this up pretty well: Gerry Connolly is a corrupt and cutthroat man who has driven Fairfax County to a massive budget deficit and is now attacking his election opponent for being a faithful Catholic. Men like this don’t deserve elected office, especially in one of the most educated districts in the country. It is a shameful display, and you would have to be a complete fool or a complete hack to be proud of it. […]

  • Dont know how to trackback but my take is at

  • jb says:

    Uh, the fact that the DCCC is airing this stuff doesn’t mean that Connolly approves of it. In fact, if it’s the DCCC it’s mostly likely an independent expenditure, meaning that if the Connolly campaign was working in conjuction with the DCCC, or even knew what it was doing ahead of time, it would be a pretty serious violation of campaign finance law.

    You’ve got no evidence whatsoever that Connolly is doing this, only that outside groups are. It is illegal for Connolly to coordinate with or control the message of those outside groups. Yet you still put up this post claiming Connolly is the sleazy one. Hate to break it to you, but you are the sleazy one here.

  • Dan says:

    Let me try to understand this. Both candidates are Roman Catholics, but somehow anti-Catholicism is supposedly being employed to influence the outcome. That makes zero sense.

    I live in the 10th so I haven’t received this robocall. You may have a legitimate beef with the script and feel that it unfairly characterizes Fimian. But to claim that anti-Catholicism is at play here when both candidates are Catholic is just plain silly. It seems far more likely that Republicans are trying to invent the notion that a “smear campaign” is afoot in order to engender a backlash against it that would help Fimian.

    In a race for an open seat in a Democratic leaning district in a year like this against a well known (albeit not terribly likeable) Democrat a Republican has to try something. Fimian has a big hill to climb. Pretending he is the victim of anti-Catholic bigotry isn’t going to get him to the top. He has to come with something stronger (and more reality based) than that.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Whoever’s doing it, it’s a peculiar tactic and I suspect it won’t work – to the point of being counter-productive. We’re only beginning the serious campaign season and Fimian is running from nowhere against someone with great name recognition. Why would they give Fimian this issue? The answer is that there are dunderheads is both parties. But I very much doubt Connolly has anything to do with it. I’d be very surprised if he has any anti-Catholic sentiment in him at all (other than grievances over the food at seminary or some such thing). Normally I think it prudent for candidates to ignore the nuts in both parties. In this case, maybe Connolly could make an exception and publicly tell these lib-nuts to go away.

  • Shaun Dakin says:

    If you have the audio of this robo, let me know.

    Shaun Dakin

  • novamiddleman says:

    Agree with all the others. Connolly hates blogs and progressives in general. This is all coming from the DCCC fed to the bloggers and then flamed. I think this is a good time to state that bloggers have pretty much zero impact on the race. The liberal bloggers parroting this are preaching to people already in the camp for Connolly. People who are upset are all ready for Fimian. With the majority of people having no idea what the heck is going on let along caring what bloggers actaully say or think.

  • Haven’t heard the robocall – but in all seriousness, who here really believes that women should be “submissive to their husbands”? It may be an outrageous accusation, but what I don’t see in this post is refutation that this is what the candidate believes. Is he or is he not another Dick Black type? He doesn’t have to wear it on his sleeve to believe such nonsense and have his voting behavior driven by it.

  • VA Blogger says:


    I’m sure Connolly and the DCCC distanced themselves with concern of this phone call to the extent that the law forces them to, if you believe the Connolly campaign and the DCCC aren’t working off the same script, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    Furthermore, the absolute lack of any sort of active campaigning by Connolly shifts even more attention to the actions of third-parties that, through their inaction and silence, are tacitly endorsing.

  • VA Blogger says:


    The Bible says that wives should be submissive to their husbands, and husbands should give themselves up to their wives. It is a two-way street, and is the biblical notion of marriage. My wife and I subscribe to it, as do most other married couples I know who believe in the Bible.

    However, that’s the full extent of it. I believe it is a personal point of guidance; I do not believe that everybody should be mandated to act this way.

    Simply believing in the Bible does not make one a “Dick Black” type. In fact, most Democrats will tell you that they believe in the Bible. The latest polls I’ve seen, IIRC, show upwards of 80% believe in the Bible, and most of them at least pay lip service to its tenets.

    If you want to know what kind of a politician Keith Fimian is, you should ask him. He’s made it clear that the most important issues are the ones affecting everyone: energy, the economy, national security, among others.

    Gerry Connolly has made it clear that he has no interest in talking about anything, let alone important issues, and is sitting on the sidelines letting this cultural smear campaign go on.

    The choice couldn’t be clearer.

  • AFF says:

    I believe in the Bible. I saw one in a hotel once so I can testify that it in fact, does exist.

  • There’s “believing in the Bible” as testimonies of faith, and then there’s believing in it as a literalist test of faith. Most people do say that they believe in the Bible, but people generally also see contemporary marriage as a partnership between equals, even as they may see a division of labor and roles. My sense is that the old “obedience and submission” language is pretty archaic, and a failure to distance oneself from it as a candidate for public office would be alarming. Do you really believe that the 80% you cite thinks that women should be submissive to their husbands, or that they hold a literalist view of the Bible?

    There are liberal Catholics, moderate Catholics, and fundamentalist Catholics like Dick Black/Eugene Delgaudio. That’s why I roll my eyes when I hear that some statement or other is “attacking Catholics” or “attacking Christians.” Which ones? A huge majority of Catholics use contraception, even though it’s forbidden by doctrine.

    Like I said, I haven’t heard the call and don’t know what “organization” we’re talking about. I just found the presentation of the issue a bit suspect.

  • VA Blogger says:

    The problem you have is that you are only focusin in on half of the idea of marriage. Wives should be submissive to their husbands; husbands should give themselves up for their wives. It is a two-way street. No one here is talking about keeping a women where she belongs or any other mysoginist rhetoric.

    However, no one is asking you to practice this in your own life. Live as you like and believe what you want to believe. There are more important things to worry about in this election. Someone should pass that along to the DCCC.

  • Ron says:

    Maybe Connolly had no advance knowledge of the DCCC ad (yeah, right), but he sure can come out and condemn it if he wanted. If he stays silent, that will speak volumes.

  • I understand what you’re saying about it being a two-way street. The problem I have with that particular model is that if one partner’s role is to “submit in all things,” that is by definition inequality. Whatever is meant by the husband “giving himself up for” his wife, that is functionally different from submission to an authority that can make decisions for you. I’ve heard many apologists explain the rationale here, and the justification is this: If there is a disagreement, one partner has to have authority over the other and have the final say.

    I personally don’t think authority has any place in a healthy marriage; if two people make the commitment to join their lives together, they need to learn the skills of negotiation and compromise, and both be willing to give themselves up for each other. Pulling rank is appropriate for adults to do with children; it shouldn’t be the solution to conflict between spouses. Adult women are not children, and this is a misuse of scripture. Just my opinion.

  • VA Blogger says:

    I’ll grant you and even agree with you that “pulling rank” has no place in a marriage; I don’t think anyone has rationally done this. I do question what you mean when you say that this is a “misuse of scripture”. Are you referring to the act of pulling rank, or are you referring to the notion of a wife being submissive?

  • t says:

    David, we do not need someone who links to a radical homosexual website lecturing us on the Biblical role of wives.

    Women who abide by Scriptural principles and lifestyles are far happier and more productive than their backsliding counterparts.

    Are you married to a woman David?

  • t says:

    t encourages all readers to boycott both Hallmark and McDonalds for their pro-homosexual activism.

    These are NOT pro-family entities.

    They should BOTH be put OUT of business.

  • Perhaps “rationally” is the operative word here. I don’t see how, if we are all equal before God, that women should be expected to submit to the authority of men. In what circumstance other than an irreconcilable disagreement would the demand to submit become an issue? And how would the demand to submit then not amount to “pulling rank,” as I perhaps inelegantly put it?

    The way that I have heard this explained in the past left me thinking “that is really not what God had in mind.” It very much seemed to be one of those “precepts of men” that Jesus talked about.

    Also: It sure would be nice to hear from some women about this.

    t: Equality Loudoun is encouraging folks to send Hallmark thank you cards to McDonald’s 🙂

  • BlackOut says:

    What I find most interesting is that those who take the bible “literally”, cherry pick from it to prove their point and ignore other passages that provide true clarity and balance.


  • Ed Myers says:

    Compared to the culture of his time Jesus was radically progressive on issues of family values and heaped scorn on the social conservatives of his day: the Pharasees.

    Women were part of Jesus’ ministry, not just servants. (compare Mary to Martha) Sexual improprierty was a forgiveable sin and should be viewed with a sense of justice (e.g. Woman at the well; woman caught in adultry..those without sin may cast the first stone.) Social conservatives should take a lesson from Jesus instead of the Pharasees on the homosexual rights issues.

    Paul needed to caution the early church leaders that the freedom women found in Christianity challenged the social structures of the day. Although love not power was the Christian bond in marriage, that was such a liberal concept that it needed to be toned down to prevent political backlash in Greek and Roman societies who imagined the end of the world if women were elevated as equals with men. One needs to know the context before trying to apply Paul’s comments to an ancient church to contemporary society.

    Conservatism, particularily in politics, has an important job of keeping the world grounded and safe from hare-brained ideas. Religion, however, is progressive — the more we learn about God the more we need to change (progress) so that we can be more like God.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Ed adds important context to this particular shard of scripture (it is rare that one or two verses in isolation provide useful guidance).

    St. Paul certainly acknowledged significant , co-equal roles played by women apostles who joined him in the work of spreading the Good News. Some of these references were obscured in later manuscripts of Paul’s letters by changing the order of their identification or by putting masculine endings on their names. But there is plenty of evidence that Paul continued Jesus’s treatment of women as equals in the eyes of God, both in general and in terms of Paul’s comfort with women being church leaders. My readings and studies have led me to believe that the Church’s prohibition on women priests and clergy was a later bolt-on that would have seemed quite odd to Paul and his contemporary early Christians.

  • Gerry Connolly had no knowledge of what I wrote – I’m the local blogger who wrote most extensively about Fimian’s ties to two very traditionalist organizations associated with Tom Monaghan.

    To imply that Connolly, a Catholic himself, or others who are critical of Legatus and Ave Maria are anti-Catholic is ridiculous. Many Catholics worry about the influence of Tom Monagahan who rules these organizations in an almost cult-like fashion. As to the charge that the organizations believe that a woman should be submissive to a man, I can only say that there was an incident where a female employee of Ave Maria was forced to kneel at Monaghan’s feet because he did not like the length of her skirt.

    Most of the critics of Monaghan and his organizations are former employees and students of his colleges, all devout Catholics themselves.

    It’s an issue because so much of Fimian’s money comes from Monaghan and other Ave Maria and Legatus donors – 40 percent of whom don’t even live in Virginia.

    It’s disingenous of him to run from his true supporters. He’s doing it because he knows this is a more moderate district. Other hard right cultural conservatives have run trojan campaigns in the past and I sincerely believe that’s what this is.

    Republicans defending him by denying his background and agenda should instead pick candidates more in step with the 11th CD. Or are there no other moderate Republicans in the mold of Tom Davis?

    Further, you may not agree with my opinion, or the DCCC’s concerns, but please don’t distort it as a dishonest politcial trick. There actually are people out there who are committed to separation of church and state and who are concerned with issues like this. I have a very long record of writing about precisely this subject so it’s not just a campaign trick or smear.

  • Monaghan does seem pretty wacky, and skirt incident, if true, is despicable.

    That said, Connolly is still a scumbag.

    I prefer someone with morals, even if they are a little extreme. And just because Monaghan supports Fimian doesn’t mean Fimian supports Monaghan in every way, or follows his edicts.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Thanks to AIAW for stepping up. I like her writing style on her blog and she comes across as a stand-up person.

    I guess the money angle is legitimate if you are a Dem. Certainly we on our side are quick to make points about where money is coming from (what groups, what is the distribution, how much is outside the state/district). I haven’t paid much attention. Is Fimian’s funding largely traceable to certain individuals tied to these groups? Are they largely outside the district? I know KF is self-funded to a substantial degree and I frankly admire him for being willing to put so much of his own money into a largely uphill challenge.

    There certainly are more qualified Rs in the district. However, none seemed to be in a position or willing to run. Fimian stepped into the vacuum and, for a newcomer, my sense is that he’s done reasonably well after a shaky start. You really need people in both parties who are willing to take on these tough races. They are hard to find. Getting someone who has all the right credentials to drop what he/she is doing for the dubious honor/pleasure of having mud thrown at you non-stop for several months is not an easy sell to someone with a lot of good things going on in his/her life.

  • Thanks for the nice words NoVA Scout. I appreciate that we can disagree without it getting personal. Please understand my concerns are sincere, not a personal attack on Fimian, the man. When you stand for election, citizens will have questions. Even partisan citizens can have legitimate questions. I don’t hide my biases, though, because you have an absolute right to know where I’m coming from too.

  • t says:

    It’s obvious you are trying to attract attention to your low-traffic pedestrian blog by posting here AIAW.

    Your anti-Christian vitriol might find a warmer reception elsewhere woman.

  • BlackOut says:

    I guess some think the Bible has taught…treat woman as subordinate.

    Views are views, that doesn’t mean you have to get freaky about it.

  • Ah t, always the gentleman. When rational argument and facts fail you, launch an ad hominem attack. Very effective.

    Seriously, NovaScout, I didn’t answer your question yesterday when I thanked you, but yes Fimian’s funding has been traceable to Tom Monaghan and his wife, both of whom maxed out at $2,300 each to Fimian’s campaign. Most of his donors come from Michigan and Florida, the two locations of Ave Maria, and most of the stuff I’ve found out about the organization, I found on-line. You can do the research for yourself or read what I’ve written. No extra link because, no t, I’m not trying to drum up business for my “pedestrian site.” VA Blogger linked to me first. And discussed what I wrote.

    But the source of Fimian’s contributions came from the Examiner newspaper and the Fairfax Connection. And yes it’s a fair topic to bring up. Republicans do the same to Democrats, pointing out when our candidates receive money from out of state or even out of their district, and who is giving it to them. It’s all fair to question. But it cuts both ways. Fimian received most of his money from either Ave Maria and Legatus supporters and also self-funded. Not much from his district. And most of the money came from those with a sectarian, theocratic agenda. Not the same as simply religious folk.

    BTW, here are links about the funding issue:

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    David, I am a woman (my handle is accurate) and I am responding to the “women should submit” input request from you. VA Blogger’s response is spot on, it is a 2 way street.

    Mr. Loudoun Lady, who would kill me if he knew I referred to him in this manner, is much more of a biblical scholar than I. However, he knows that if he tried to pull a “submit, woman! The Bible says so!” I’d kick him in the apple sack.

  • It’s interesting that Fimian thinks that his views on capital punishment are relevant to residents of the district, but that his views on contraception are not. I mean really, how many people are affected by capital punishment, versus use the common forms of contraception that people like Monaghan and Dick Black would redefine as “abortifacients?” We’ve watched religious extremists try to sneak that language into the VA code for years.

    It’s clear from what AIAW dug up that this guy is, in fact, a stealth candidate. There is nothing mainstream or moderate about these views, and people like Monaghan don’t throw their money around in out of state races for no reason. Thank you, AIAW, for your excellent work bringing this to light.

    If “submit” is the equal of “give yourself to,” why is the command not “spouses, give yourselves to each other” or “spouses, submit to each other?” Wifely submission is not a moderate or mainstream view, either, as evidenced by LL’s equivocation. I have yet to see anyone explain what “submit” means in actual, contemporary practice; nevertheless, it’s good to see Ed and Scout bring some contextual light to this issue also. Thank you, all.

  • K Street Mole says:

    This smear campaign isn’t just being waged with robocalls. I received THREE mailers, three days in a row from the DCCC, each with the same content but slightly different formatting, claiming that Fimian’s organization, Legatus:
    1. promotes groups dedicated to outlawing constitutionally guaranteed rights of women (abortion, of course, but they don’t say that)
    2. promotes a group that advocates the end of access to contraception for women, and
    3. promotes a group so extreme that they encourage women to be more “submissive” to their husbands.
    Today I received yet another mailing only mentioning the last item.

    For this “submissive” smear, the mailers cite E5Men ( I went to the website and didn’t see the term “submissive” or “submit” anywhere. I used the Google search on the website for these terms and it came up with NADA. So the mailers are a complete LIE.

    I guess the DCCC would argue that by naming the group after Ephesians 5, it is implicitly endorsing the whole chapter, which does say women should be submissive to their husbands. But if that’s the problem with E5Men, or with Fimian by extension, then EVERYONE who says they believe in the Bible is in the same boat.

    And as for the “ending access to contraception” claim, that’s a distortion too. Legatus does have a link to the Gift Foundation on its website, described as a “Non-profit organization dedicated to ending contraception, promoting chastity, and establishing a pro-life society.” But if you actually look at what this organization does, you find they teach people about natural family planning. They aren’t engaged in any advocacy to end “access” to contraception. They aim to non-coercively persuade people to not choose contraception. And again, this is the official position of the Catholic church, so if this makes Fimian “guilty by association” it does the same for all practicing Catholics.

    But, of course, the DCCC couldn’t care less about the truth, and apparently they have no shame about this thinly veiled rabid anti-Catholicism.

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