Home 2016 elections Barbara Comstock: Right for Alabama, Wrong for Virginia

Barbara Comstock: Right for Alabama, Wrong for Virginia

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Imagine:

  • a suburban/exurban northern Virginia Congressional district.
  • Wealthy, highly educated.
  • Significant share of voters working directly or indirectly for the Federal government.
  • About as purple as districts get, with liberal (near) urban to the east and conservative rural areas to the west.

That is a reasonably fair summary of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.

Now, let’s review its current Congressional representation:

  • Anti-funding government activity
  • Leading actor in GOP attacks on Clinton Administration & Democratic Party
  • Anti-abortion, anti-LGBT rights, anti-equal pay, anti …
  • Rated
    • National Parks Action Fund: 9%
      • District is home to Great Falls National Park, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, ….
    • Alliance for Retired Americans: 20%
    • Defenders of Wildlife: 9%
    • Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: 0%
    • Friends Committee on National Legislation: 0%
    • Food Policy Action: 20%
    • NARAL Pro-Choice: 0%
    • Environment America: 0%
    • Planned Parenthood: 0%
    • Council for a Livable World: 0%
    • American Civil Liberties Union: 0%
    • Etc …
    • Etc …
    • Etc …

Let’s remember, we’re talking about Northern Virginia … not Northern Alabama …

With reviews like this, this advertisement doesn’t simply ring true, it is truthful:

That advertisement, as with essentially all ads, barely scratches the surface.

When it comes to environmental and energy issues, for examples, Barbara Comstock has high-ratings from fossil-fuel fronts like American Energy Alliance (81%), and anti-regulatory groups (like US Chamber of Commerce (100%) and National Association of Manufacturers (100%).  When it comes to organizations that care about breathable air, drinkable water, and a livable climate, Barbara doesn’t score so high.

Let’s consider LCV ratings for a moment.

That’s right, when it comes to environmental and so many other issues, Barbara Comstock would be a good fit in bright-red Northern Alabama.

There are few in purple Northern Virginia who yearn for Alabama-like representation in Congress.

Barbara a savvy right-wind ideologue politician.  Her website and public words emphasize “bipartisan”, not how her positions and voting record are out-of-sync with her purple district.  She emphasizes ‘bipartisan’, not her long track record of dirty-trick politics (see after the fold).  Comstock presents a different face to the voter than in the Halls of Congress. Let’s be clear, Barbara Comstock’s extremist positions do not represent the sense of her community.

While Virginia’s Republican legislature gerrymandered the 10th to give her a safe-seat, Comstock isn’t such a sure bet in 2016. The 10th District election is tight.  And, if its voters knew the truth of Comstock’s position, ideology, and history, then they would recognize that Barbara is right for Northern Alabama, not Northern Virginia, and send her packing.


Barbara Comstock, is a long-time Republican operative.  No one has ever (honestly) accused Barbara of being lazy.  She worked extremely hard, as a Republican congressional staff member, to dig up dirt on and undermine the Clinton Presidency.  As an indication of hard working,

From a windowless first-floor office, where she changed the locks to keep out even the cleaning staff, Comstock would hold all-night vigils to keep watch over boxes of subpoenaed Clinton administration documents she feared would be stolen by Democrats. Her fixation was the White House travel office, where employees who were considered disloyal were replaced with Clinton allies. It was the administration’s first major scandal (although the president was absolved of wrongdoing), and it was in no small part driven by Comstock’s marathon workdays. …

When the Clinton years came to an end, Comstock jumped to the Republican National Committee’s war room, where she ran the party’s opposition research operation against Vice President Al Gore. … crafted a narrative, adopted by the press, of the vice president as a serial exaggerator. “She has a wonderfully devious mind,” one reporter told the New York Post.

As The Washington Post put it back in 2001:

Since joining the GOP, Comstock has become a kind of one-woman wrecking crew targeting Democratic leaders … Comstock has perhaps done more than any other GOP operative to skewer Bill Clinton, Al Gore and their congressional allies

As VA10 voters consider this election, they might want to think about whether they want a Clinton Nemesis to have a shot at undermining another Clinton Administration. From that Politico post in the 2014 campaign,

Fifteen years later, the Clinton Wars are back.

The backdrop this time isn’t the White House or Hillary Clinton’s likely presidential run. It’s the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., where a onetime congressional staffer who made her name digging up dirt on the Clintons, Barbara Comstock, is trying to win a seat in Congress herself.

Understanding the vehemence of anger within the District, writ large, at Republican obstructionism in Congress along with the toxic nature of Donald Trump (down 14 points to Clinton in latest polling) in the District, Comstock has been trying to reimage herself as a “Bipartisan” champion.  That re-imaging remains at odds with reality and, come January 2017 and a Clinton Presidency, it is not hard to imagine Barbara dedicating her energies to promoting specks of dirt (molehills) into dump truck loads (mountains) for partisan attacks on the Clinton Administration.

The Democratic Alternative

Luann Bennett’s life history serves as a stark contrast to Comstock’s record. While long a contributor to Democratic party candidates and D activist, Bennett’s compelling life story combines

  • personal struggle (widowed mother of three) with
  • impressive business achievements (a LEED-certified professional running a development firm that has done some great projects in the DC area and employed lots of people) who found
  • time to serve on non-profit boards and otherwise contribute to the community.

Her positions, on issue after issue, are almost diametrically opposed to Barbara’s anti-government, anti-environment, anti-women’s rights, anti… agenda.

Putting aside that “D” v “R” item, honestly, rather than another rabid partisan attack dog, Congress could use someone who knows the realities of trying to build sustainably (housing and offices) and can bring a business perspective to the table in discussions about how to improve our infrastructure investment programs and approaches.