No big deal, says John Reid, director of communications for Allen. "The key thing that people need to remember is that we're not asking anybody to go to a campaign Web site," Reid says. "We're asking them to go to their senator's Web site."
Allen's voting message is one of three PSAs he taped to run on Comcast, which offers the service to a variety of public officials and community leaders, says Kenneth M. Dye, director of government affairs and community affairs for Comcast. Allen used his other spots to urge support for National Guardsman and troops, and to tell senior citizens about a new Medicare prescription drug card.
He didn't have carte blanche, Dye says. "He couldn't say just anything he wants, because we're focusing on issues of importance to Virginians." And if he were a candidate for office, he adds, there would be different broadcast rules.
Dye deferred interpretation of the "how I'm working to help Virginians" line to others. So what do the Democrats think about Allen's message?
"I don't feel like it's the worst thing he's ever done by any stretch of the imagination," says Laura Bland, director of communications for the Democratic Party of Virginia.
"Whatever a politician's intentions are," Bland says, "getting information out about voter registration is always a good thing. Did he do something that was wrong? Was it nefarious? Probably not." Jason Roop
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