Paying For The Message

Brent Finnegan -- August 22nd, 2009

WHSV ran a short story about the way in which campaigns in Virginia are funded. It notes that the biggest financial supporter of Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob McDonnell’s campaign lives right here in Rockingham County.

Walter Curt is a long-time Republican supporter. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the Rockingham County businessman is Bob McDonnell’s top individual contributor. He says he’s given the candidate $150,000 this election cycle.

“It’s important. Without money, the politicians cannot get their message out,” says Curt. “When politicians go to buy media in the D.C. area, the Richmond area, or in [the] Norfolk area, the cost is enormous just for even a small ad.”

If you have time, spend a few minutes browsing VPAP’s information on political races, and who is paying for them.

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26 Responses to “Paying For The Message”

  1. Lowell Fulk says:

    Very important to know who’s paying Brent, thank you.

  2. Dave Briggman says:

    Lowell is correct. My favorite hobby is to find those running as Republicans, like Ken Patterson did previously, and see how much money they gave to Democrats.

    Of course, Bob McDonnell doesn’t even understand that unelected bodies can’t impose taxes here in Virginia, which is why the Supreme Court declared his “regional taxing authorities” to be unconstitutional.

    McDonnell is small-minded…but that’s my opinion so please don’t let it influence your vote in November.

  3. Dave Briggman says:

    BTW, I was going to ask about the latest on the Walter Curt lawsuits (there are FOUR pending in Franklin County and one in Bedford, I believe)…and you ALMOST have to be feeling sorry for Curt. …I said almost…

    Seems since April of 09, Curt’s had about 1 suit a month filed against him in relation to the boat incident…no coverage anywhere in local media about the additional suits or the FIVE DAY TRIAL set to be heard from April 26-30, 2010.

  4. BANDIT says:


    I’ve never agreed with you before but…..I do on this one!

  5. MuAwia says:

    Brent, Another good site to really drill down to see the deep and not so deep pockets in the valley is Some surprises, and some not, such as W.C. and Mike Merideth. I hope anyone who contributes at these levels is also putting equal or greater resources for the common good and not partisan politics.

  6. Greg says:

    Dave, I’m not sure what the latest news on the Curt lawsuits is, since we’ll definitely not read about them in the DNR. I do know that Curt’s business, PMI, was planning last year to expand by building a new building and hiring dozens of employees. But none of that has happened in the past year.

  7. BANDIT says:

    …OK, the DNR won’t report it but, what about the Radio and TV?…can’t they report on it?, or do they always follow the DNR’s lead?

  8. Karl says:

    We ran a story on the five day trial being set back on August 13th. Can’t help if you’re not listening…

  9. JGFitzgerald says:


    This sounds almost personal for you, and, full disclosure, it kind of is for me since I worked for Walter for a while. Are you suggesting there’s some sort of cover-up in place? Are you saying the local media are leaving this story out to cover something more trivial? Are you saying they’re covering other civil actions but not this one? Are you saying they’re covering other civil actions instead of this one? If there were a major judgment against a prominent person, one would expect that to be reported, quickly and out front. But one should look at a civil docket before suggesting every filing should be reported. Or is it just filings against Walter that should be reported?

  10. Dave Briggman says:

    While Karl has continued to follow the story (sorry Karl, I apparently didn’t listen on the 13th), but when a local resident is sued for $20,000,000 for wrongful death, it’s a story that is newsworthy in any medium.

    We all know the DNR and Jeff Mellott have their noses so close to Curt’s butt that if he stopped short…well.

    It’s a helluva lot more newsworthy than Curt having given Hose Company #4 his Hummer simply because they responded to his palace on a few occasions for false alarms.

    I wonder how important Curt would be if he didn’t have substantial amounts of spare cash to buy influence in government?

  11. JGFitzgerald says:


    There’s an old joke that ends, “Now we’re just haggling about the price.” If I sue someone – say, a major contributor to the Libertarian Party, if there were such a thing – for $1,000, accusing him of something – say, slander on a blog – is that then news? Does it become news if I raise the amount? Is it the amount of the lawsuit, the accusation in the lawsuit, or the defendant in the lawsuit that makes it newsworthy? And if the DNR is covering up a newsworthy story, why are they doing it? Inquiring minds want to know.

  12. seth says:

    i love that joke.

  13. Dave Briggman says:

    There’s no slander, Joe. First of all Curt’s a public figure…second of all, if Curt was such a great conservative and not buying influence, why the hell would this great “conservative” have given John Kerry $1000 toward his reelection campaign?

    Here’s the payment:

    Joe, you’re such a circular void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

    And to answer your last question presupposes that you have a mind, which is subject to debate.

  14. wood says:

    Would the fact that Walter paid for a full page ad in the DNR the other week extolling his virtues have anything to do with the lack of coverage?

  15. BANDIT says:

    Gee Josephine, is this a touchy subject for you or something?
    My comment was in line for negative coverage of prominent republicans who should be in the news … but are not. It is obvious when you read the paper that it is republican backed.
    Of course … that is just my opinion.

  16. JGFitzgerald says:

    Interesting that neither of these somewhat negative responses answers the questions of why the suits against Walter are newsworthy and, if they are, why the DNR is covering them up. But, hey, you got to call me names so it’s all worthwhile. Anything else I can do to help?

  17. BANDIT says:

    …You are “Josephine Fitzgerald” until you call me by my correct screen name…..
    If the stories are not newsworthy, why did we read them in other News papers?

  18. Dave Briggman says:

    Joe, knowing there’s no double entendre for stating the obvious, I’ll have to beg off entertaining you for the evening…although kindergarten begins tomorrow in Rockingham County…perhaps you should go into a refresher semester?

  19. JGFitzgerald says:

    I suppose I could try to explain the news business, but let’s try the legal tack instead. A lawsuit is not an indictment. The fact that a suit is filed in a case like this does not mean the defendant has done wrong. It often means the plaintiffs have unanswered grief. The news will be when the suit is resolved. In the meantime, every time Walter’s name is mentioned, gnats will swarm.

    But to return to the topic, that someone could give a quarter-million to a candidate for governor is not right. Twenty-four hundred is too small, and twenty times that is too much, but I don’t know where the line is. I do know that Walter didn’t write the laws that allow him to give that much, and I don’t blame him any more than I do the Dems giving six figures to Creigh. I do know that he got that quarter million by creating three hundred jobs in the Shenandoah Valley.

    And by the way, I know the amount above is 150K. But the race is young. Now I’ll go back to trying to figure out what “double entendre for stating the obvious” could possibly mean, and try not to think less of myself should I succeed.

  20. BANDIT says:

    Hmm…..could this be why he didn’t make with the DNR?

  21. BANDIT says:

    jgf, I suppose you could try to explain the news business to JMU’s Coach Brady. His lawsuit made headlines in the DNR today … front Page on the sports section. This is interesting … there were no deaths, no millions of dollars, no multiple lawsuits ….. but hey, this is newsworthy for the DNR.
    They had quotes and everything. Of course the fact that a suit is filed in a case like this does not mean the defendant has done wrong. I think you may want to explain the news business to yourself … and then … tell us why this is newsworthy and Curt’s isn’t.

  22. Dave Briggman says:

    Joe’s a legend in his own mind, Bandit. Nothing more, certainly a lot less.

  23. Lowell Fulk says:

    More than you Dave?

  24. BANDIT says:

    JGF……Cat got your tongue?

  25. Tex says:

    Mr. Fitzgerald,
    It is clear that you have elected to become the defender of all that is evil. The big wave of lawsuits that are coming are only partially related to the loss of life in the lake. It is a very simple act of integrity to acknowledge that the captain of the boat was the one that was hanging on the bow. What does this mean? Perhaps there is more to the back story on why the two that didn’t make it where the most qualified to survive? Perhaps the intended deed was done but the method was poorly executed? Was there something to be gained by the loss of these two? It seems like the news goes where it goes, and not under the rug as your defense eloquently outlines your paper’s choice instead of duty? You are bought and sold.

  26. Curt seems to have settled to avoid the second trial against him…according to Franklin County Circuit Court, the settlement will be recorded on July 26, 2010.

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