It is a story that has been simmering for a few weeks. It started when Terry McAuliffe released this ad touting his role in the successful passage of the historic transportation funding deal.
The ad claims that McAuliffe helped "sway Democrats on transportation"
McAuliffe has said on the campaign trail that he helped "push the deal over the finish line."
There is no question that McAuliffe was an early and vocal supporter of the transportation deal, while his opponent Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) was critical of his fellow Republican Bob McDonnell's proposal.
But what the Cuccinelli campaign has taken opposition with is McAuliffe, who is not an elected official, taking credit for sawying members of the legislature to pass the bill despite some heated push back.
This week, Cuccinelli's team sent out veteran Henrico Senator Walter Stoch, a Republican who was one of the main negotiators in the transportation battle. Stoch completely rejected the McAuliffe's version of events.
“Terry McAuliffe was not a participant nor did he have any influence in the development or negotiation of the transportation bill." Stoch said in a statement. "To claim credit for its passage is simply misleading."
The Stoch release was followed up by a lengthy piece in the Washington Times by David Sherfinski, who talked to two Virginia Senate Democrats that said they had no contact with McAuliffe on the deal, or couldn't remember how influential he was.
Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) told Sherfiniski that he didn't know if McAuliffe tried to reach him. Sen. Charles Colgan (D-Manassas) said when he was there that the candidate did not reach out to him.
But the Cuccinelli narrative was disrupted when their former rival and current diruptor Lt. Governor Bill Bolling appeared Thursday on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on News Channel 8 in Washington, D.C.. Bolling gave a hearty endorsement of McAuliffe's version of how the transportation deal was hatched.
"I give Mr. McAuliffe a lot of credit. When it was crunch time and we were trying to count votes to make sure we had 21 votes in the Senate, 51 votes in the House, he was an ally" he said. "He was on the phone and he was calling Democratic lawmakers encouraging them to support the compromise bill."
Bolling went on to say, "I saw his commercials and there’s nothing in there that I would take exception with."
McDonnell at one point said that he had heard that McAuliffe was reaching out to Democrats. The two even shared a “a brief congratulatory phone call”.
How much or how little McAuliffe ultimately played in the eventually outcome we may never know for sure, but this scuttle presents two different problems for the Cuccinelli campaign. One having to do with the outcome of the transportation plan and the other having to do with Bolling's frequent desire to give his opinion on the campaign. It is an opinion that to this point has always been an attack against Cuccinelli.
You can see the full interview with Bolling on News Channel 8 here.