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Conservative group targets Kaine for backing stimulus

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Local,Capital Land,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Well that didn't take long.

Virginia is still counting and certifying ballots from Tuesday's state and local elections, but the focus has already shifted to the 2012 race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.

The conservative group Crossroads GPS is airing a 35-second television ad criticizing Democratic frontrunner Tim Kaine for backing President Obama's stimulus package and likens the former governor to a "cheerleader."

Kaine served as Obama's handpicked Democratic National Committee chairman and was considered a possible running mate in 2008.

Appearance of the ad only confirms that the race between Kaine and former U.S. senator and one-time governor George Allen is going to get ugly and expensive quickly, with plenty of outside, anonymous groups weighing in. Allen has repeatedly made similar accusations as Crossroads GPS in regards to Kaine's allegiance, questioning where Kaine stands on the Keystone XL oil pipeline and slamming him for backing Obama's recent jobs package.

That's likely to be a common theme from Allen's campaign, although so far Kaine's support has not wavered despite the sinking approval ratings of the country's top Democrat. Kaine and Allen have been virtually tied in every poll conducted since the two launched campaigns earlier this year.

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  • Most recently, Kaine did distance himself from Obama, if only slightly, when he questioned why Virginia wasn't included in a five-year plan to open up U.S. coasts to offshore drilling. Although that complaint came with a compliment of the president as well.

    "While it is encouraging to hear the Obama administration is expanding opportunities for domestic energy production, I am disappointed that Virginia has been excluded from the latest lease sale for offshore exploration," Kaine said in a statement.

    "I hope the Department of Interior and the Obama administration will recognize the bipartisan support for developing Virginia’s offshore energy resources and add Virginia to the current lease sale."

    You can watch the Crossroads GPS ad below.