Mark Levine Rips Patrick Hope; Hope Campaign Rips Levine Right Back


    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.


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    • Arlington Adjunct

      Lowell, it’s not “according to Mark Levine” that Hope has been a lobbyist since 2007 and currently oversees all legislative priorities and political strategies related to Capitol Hill and ACCPAC activities. You should correct your post.  It’s Hope himself that makes that claim. Check Patrick Hope’s LinkedIn page.

      In Patrick’s own words:

      “Supervise Legislative Policy staff of five (5) professional lobbyists and administrative support. Oversee all legislative priorities and political strategies related to Capitol Hill and ACCPAC activities. ”

      Either Hope is way over-inflating his own resume in claiming to be in charge of ACC’s lobbying and political efforts through its PAC or it is true that Hope both supervises ACC lobbyists and oversees all their PAC activities.  Hope cannot have it both ways.  Tribbett will have to explain how Hope “oversees” all PAC activities and all its lobby’s “legislative priorities and political strategies related to Capitol Hill” but still somehow miraculously plays no role in determining what the people he oversees actually do.  Saying Hope is not the “PAC Manager” sidesteps the question. For example, I doubt Richard Nixon personally deleted 18 1/2 minutes of Watergate tape, but I’m quite sure Nixon supervised the effort.

      Did or did not Patrick Hope play a role in helping his PAC bankroll Republicans to win elections?  Did Hope speak out against it privately?  Publicly?  And if Hope could not stop it, why does he continue to work for an organization that even this very year continues to donate thousands of dollars to Marcia Blackburn and her conservative friends?  Why is Hope’s PAC working so hard to elect Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader of a Republican Senate? And if so, why does Hope stay there? Hope owes the 8th Congressional District a better explanation.

      I’m glad Mark Levine’s campaign brought up what was apparently a well-sourced open secret.  We have a right to know what our potential Congressman does behind the scenes. In fact, I first read about Hope’s PAC giving so much money to Republicans right here on Blue Virginia.

      This is all fair game, and I find it disturbing that Tribbett spends a lot of time throwing trash at Levine.  But Tribbett does not answer the very basic question about his own candidate: what is a supposedly strong progressive doing working seven years overseeing a PAC that’s handing out millions of dollars to Republicans and tea party members?

      This is clearly a last-ditch effort by the Hope campaign to remain relevant while it is very obvious Levine has emerged as the true progressive alternative in the race.  

    • political.junky.NOVA

      Gun lovers know how ineffective Patrick Hope is, so they are asking Republicans to vote for him, “Hope’s record in the Virginia’s General Assembly demonstrate’s that he is unable to pass anti-gun rights legislation”

    • political.junky.NOVA

      Mr. Tribbet is right about one thing — Mark Levine has lived in Alexandria for many years but people I talk to in Democratic circles and in the LGBT community say that they have never seen or heard of him.

      I’ve recently moved to this area and I’ve been asking people I meet about the campaign.  I arrived too late to vote in the primary — registered for the general — but from what I hear neither of them are strong candidates.  

      This guy Ebbin seems interesting, I look forward to learning more about him.

      Other frontrunners I should look into?

    • campaignman

      We should elect State Senator Adam Ebbin as our next member of Congress in the 8th district.

      Adam Ebbin has over a decade of experience legislating in a hostile environment down in Richmond and has successfully passed progressive legislation, including Medicaid expansion for pregnant immigrant mothers.  

      Most amazingly, Adam brought together the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia and the liberal National Organization for Women to help pass legislation to stop trafficking of human beings.

      Adam has received support from the Latino community, labor unions and progressive leaders (the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed him) but more important than all that is his ability to work with a wide variety of people, stand up for our values, and still keep a positive relationship with everyone.

      One example is Adam’s ability to have earned labor’s support even while standing by his position to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline because Adam puts fighting climate change at the top of his agenda.

      That’s the kind of person we need as our member of Congress.

      P.S. As a bonus, if Adam is elected, we will have elected the first openly gay member of Congress from a southern state. It’s long overdue.  

    • Just one more week and this will all be over…most likely with Don Beyer as the Democratic nominee for Congress from the 8th CD.

    • Matt_H

      Can anyone explain to me why Don Beyer’s newest yard signs do not identify him as a Democrat (unlike all of the other candidates)?

      My guess is that he is either trying to attract cross-over voters, or many of the property owners where his support comes from don’t like the Democratic party.

      In either case, it doesn’t sit well with me that our next potential representative is uncertain on traditionally Democratic ideals and values.