Have you found the 8th CD Democratic primary a bit boring so far? Well, it looks like it’s heating up, with Mark Levine ripping Patrick Hope (see press release on the “flip”) for his work at the American College of Cardiology, which Levine writes “has given more than $2 million to Congressional Republicans in the last decade and more than half a million dollars to the GOP in just the past four years.” Repeatedly calling it “Hope’s lobby,” Levine cites contributions to John Boehner, Eric Cantor, “Tea Party leader Marsha Blackburn,” and Mitch McConnell. What does this have to do with Patrick Hope? According to Levine, “Hope has been a lobbyist for the ACC since 2007,” and currently “oversees ‘all legislative priorities and political strategies related to Capitol Hill and ACCPAC activities.'”
I asked Hope’s campaign manager Ben Tribbett if he had any comment. Boy, did he ever! Here are the highlights (I’m paraphrasing here, but it’s very close to exact quotes):
1. Patrick Hope has been a state legislator for 5 years, with an extensive voting record (1,000s of votes) that proves he’s one of the most – if not THE most – progressive members of the Virginia General Assembly. There is absolutely no need for the Levine campaign to dig into Patrick Hope’s job to try and prove that Hope’s not progressive, when he clearly is strongly progressive.
2. Who the ACC gave political donations to is not Patrick Hope’s responsibility, as Hope is not the PAC manager.
3. If we want to measure candidates’ commitment to promoting progressive candidates and ideas by their volunteer efforts and/or financial support over the years, it’s worth pointing out that Levine is a multi-millionaire, yet has NEVER donated to Virginia Democrats in his life. Levine has enough money to have been able to put hundreds of thousands of dollars towards helping Democrats over the years, but instead he’s chosen to sit on the sidelines. Also, since Levine moved to Virginia, there have been thousands of hard-working Democrats busting their butts trying to move Virginia forward, in many hard-fought races that were decided by close margins (e.g., Jennifer Boysko lost last year by around 50 votes; right-wing Republican Barbara Comstock might not be running for Congress this year if people like Levine had helped her Democratic opponent for House of Delegates, Kathleen Murphy, defeat her last year), all while Levine sat by and did NOTHING. Mark Levine “has no record other than running his mouth.”
4. We had by my count 12 debates. Until the 11th debate, Levine never criticized Don Beyer by name. In the 11th debate, he finally did so when Beyer wasn’t there to defend himself. Similarly, Levine never brought up any of this stuff about Patrick Hope in 12 debates, where Patrick would have the ability to respond. This is pathetic, coward politics. Levine’s a coward who does nothing for Democrats. The ‘passive aggressive progressive’ strikes again.
5. The Levine campaign’s TV ad where he puts images of Elizabeth Warren and Barney Frank on the screen, NEITHER OF WHOM has endorsed Levine is not just misleading, but speaks to Levine’s character. I hope that Barney Frank will share with Democratic voters of the 8th CD what it is exactly that is keeping him from endorsing Mark Levine. Frankly, if I claimed the kind of relationship and experiences with my former boss as Mark Levine does with Barney Frank, and my boss wouldn’t even endorse me, I’d drop out of the race in embarrassment.
6. Levine takes credit for almost anything that comes anywhere near him. He has embellished his record this entire campaign. He claims, for instance, to be a syndicated TV host, when in fact he has hosted a program for Fairfax County Public Access TV that runs alongside a show where people pretend to be zombies.”
So, there you have it. Is the campaign getting a bit more entertaining now? Also, again, see the Levine campaign’s full statement on the “flip.”
Patrick Hope’s Lobby Prefers Republicans With $2 Million Bankroll to GOP
ALEXANDRIA – The American College of Cardiology (ACC), for whom Patrick Hope has served as Senior Director of Legislative Policy for seven years, has given more than $2 million to Congressional Republicans in the last decade and more than half a million dollars to the GOP in just the past four years.
In the current 2013-14 election cycle thus far, the ACC has donated $180,000 to the campaigns of House and Senate Republicans and strongly preferred Republicans over Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Despite the current control of the Senate by the Democratic Party, the ACC gave more than 72% of its 2014 Senate donations to Republicans. Clearly Patrick Hope’s lobby strongly favors a Republican Senate takeover.
In this cycle, Hope’s lobby gave at least $5,000 to 30 Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Tea Party leader Marsha Blackburn, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Hope’s lobby also favored the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee over its Democratic counterpart with a generous donation of $113,000 and gave $33,500 to “Every Republican Is Crucial” (Eric Cantor’s PAC).
It is unlikely Hope’s lobby has completed its Republican support in the current race. In the 2011-12 election cycle, the ACC gave $361,500 to more than 70 Congressional Republicans, including generous gifts of $10,000 each to John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Marsha Blackburn.
Patrick Hope has been a lobbyist for the ACC since 2007 and currently, according to his LinkedIn page, supervises a staff of five professional lobbyists and administrative support. He oversees “all legislative priorities and political strategies related to Capitol Hill and ACCPAC activities.” Hope has not commented publicly on why his lobby and the PAC he supervises so strongly favors the Republican Party.