Home 2016 elections VA-10 DEBATE PRIMER PART 1: Barbara Comstock’s Campaign Rhetoric vs. Her Actual...

VA-10 DEBATE PRIMER PART 1: Barbara Comstock’s Campaign Rhetoric vs. Her Actual Record

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From the LuAnn Bennett for Congress campaign:

VA-10 DEBATE PRIMER PART 1: Barbara Comstock’s Campaign Rhetoric vs. Her Actual Record

McLean –Tomorrow, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock will debate her Democratic challenger, small business owner LuAnn Bennett, for the first time. Expect Comstock to continue her pattern of attempting to paper over her record that is more in line with Donald Trump than with her Northern Virginia constituents.

Below are several claims that Comstock has continuously made on the campaign trail and is likely to repeat tomorrow – and the actual truth behind her claims:

Likely Comstock Claim: “I’m a bipartisan leader”

TRUTH: Comstock made her name as a partisan, Washington political operative and has legislated like the far-right ideologue she is.

  • Comstock has voted 90 percent with the Republican party [CQ Vote Watch, Comstock Member Profile, accessed1/21/16]
  • “Survey says: Comstock most conservative in N.Va. delegation” [Inside NOVA, 8/21/15]
  • “Barbara Comstock is as conservative as any right-winger could desire – pro-free enterprise, pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.” [National Review, 11/8/13]
  • “Ms. Comstock, a freshman member of the House from Virginia’s 10th District, did not simply switch sides; she eventually became one of the Republican Party’s fiercest partisans.” [New York Times,4/6/15]

Likely Comstock Claim: “I’m fighting for a better funded, safer Metro”

TRUTH: Comstock touts returning funding level already set in 2008; however, she was not a conferee nor did she negotiate the final bill. The 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) designated $1.5 billion for Metro over 10 years. This year, House Republicans halved that allocation; only after the Senate reported their spending bill with $150 million for Metro was the transit system fully funded. Comstock was not a conferee and did not negotiate the final bill; however, it didn’t stop her campaign team from proclaiming, “Comstock secures full metro funding.”

Comstock has fought the Silver Line, which will stretch into Loudoun county, since her days in the Virginia House of Delegates. She was one of a handful of legislators that voted against a historic, bipartisan transportation funding bill championed her own party’s Republican governor:

  • Comstock voted against state transportation funding compromise that contained crucial funding for the Silver Line [HB 2313, 2013 Session, 2/22/13; 4/03/13]
  • Voted for state budget that failed to include funding for Silver Line [HB 1301, 4/17/12; Virginian-Pilot,4/19/12]

Likely Comstock Claim: “I’m leading the fight to address the opioid epidemic.”

TRUTH: Comstock voted twice to block adding $600 million in fully paid-for vital new resources to address the opioid epidemic. [Vote #190 5/13/16; Vote #182, 5/11/16]

Likely Comstock Claim: “I’m a small business owner.”

TRUTH: Comstock briefly owned a crisis communications firm that helped embattled Republicans, including Rep. Tom DeLay and former Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, whitewash their image. [Blue Virginia, 10/1/16]

Likely Comstock Claim: “I voted against the government shutdown.”

TRUTH: Comstock readily admits that her vote was driven by ideological reasons – to keep a partisan investigation running into covert videos of Planned Parenthood employees. No wrongdoing was uncovered. [Washington Post, 9/24/16]

VA-10 DEBATE PRIMER PART 2: Like Pence, Comstock Will Pretend Trump Doesn’t Exist

McLean On Tuesday night, Gov. Mike Pence spent an hour and a half in his debate pretending that his running mate Donald Trump doesn’t exist, or at least that numerous outrageous and offensive statements Trump has made were never uttered by the GOP nominee.

Expect Congresswoman Barbara Comstock to adopt a similar tactic at tomorrow morning’s VA-10 Congressional Debate hosted by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. For months, the Congresswoman has attempted to confuse 10thDistrict voters by appearing to distance herself from Trump while simultaneously refusing to renounce him. Throughout the campaign, however, Comstock has made no attempt to distance herself from the extreme agenda she shares with Trump.

Both Donald Trump and Barbara Comstock:

–       Support Roe v. Wade being overturned

–       Support defunding Planned Parenthood

–       Oppose Comprehensive Immigration Reform

–       Oppose Equal Pay for women and families

–       Deny that climate change exists

–       Oppose common sense measures to prevent gun violence

Comstock has repeatedly refused to answer questions from the press regarding whether or not she will vote for Trump. Even after her mentor and predecessor, former Congressman Frank Wolf, endorsed Donald Trump, Comstock refused to comment. A recent Washington Post article noted that Comstock has been dubbed “No Comment Comstock” due to her evasiveness. In the same article, Comstock is quoted as saying, “I’m watching,” in response to a question as to whether she’ll vote for Donald Trump.

Here are just some of the things that Comstock has presumably been “watching” Trump do or say over the course of the campaign:

·      Donald Trump said Senator McCain was not a war hero because he was captured and implied that military members suffering with mental health issues aren’t strong

·      Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter

·      Donald Trump in a 3 A.M. tweetstorm attacked  former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whose weight he previously criticized, and falsely claimed she had a sex tape

·      Donald Trump doubled down on his statements calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”

·      Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin

Unfortunately for the Congresswoman, her constituents are very smart, and they’re not buying it. Recent polling suggeststhat 10th District voters know that Comstock “will go along with Trump’s agenda.” And even one of Comstock’s top lieutenant’s, Loudoun County GOP Chairman Will Estrada, in a moment of candor, pulled back the curtain on Comstock’s façade when he stated, “Barbara is doing what a lot of voters are doing – they support the principles that Donald Trump stands for as a Republican…”

So while like Gov. Mike Pence, Comstock may wish to preserve her future political ambitions by ignoring Donald Trump, LuAnn Bennett and her campaign will be continuing to remind 10th District voters that on the issues that impact Northern Virginia, Barbara Comstock is closer to Donald Trump than she is to Northern Virginians.

  • #VA10 DEBATE FACT CHECK: Comstock on Metro
    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock said she’s fighting for Metro.

    Factcheck: Comstock touts returning funding level already set in 2008; however, she was not a conferee nor did she negotiate the final bill. The 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) designated $1.5 billion for Metro over 10 years. This year, House Republicans halved that allocation; only after the Senate reported their spending bill with $150 million for Metro was the transit system fully funded. Comstock was not a conferee and did not negotiate the final bill; however, it didn’t stop her campaign team from proclaiming, “Comstock secures full metro funding.”

    Comstock has fought the Silver Line, which will stretch into Loudoun county, since her days in the Virginia House of Delegates. She was one of a handful of legislators that voted against a historic, bipartisan transportation funding bill championed her own party’s Republican governor:

    Comstock voted against state transportation funding compromise that contained crucial funding for the Silver Line [HB 2313, 2013 Session, 2/22/13; 4/03/13]
    Voted for state budget that failed to include funding for Silver Line [HB 1301, 4/17/12; Virginian-Pilot,4/19/12]

  • #VA10 DEBATE FACT CHECK: Comstock on Equal Pay
    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock flip flopped in her opening statement on her position on equal pay.

    FACTCHECK: Comstock’s own words and voted underscore her actual positon, not her rhetoric:

    Comstock believes supporters of equal pay laws are “partisan,” saying, “Lily Ledbetter and these other women have a left-wing agenda” [Andrea Mitchell Reports, 10/18/12]

    Comstock has voted twice to block consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would end the pay gap between men and women and ensure equal pay for equal work. [H. Res. 189, Vote #148, 4/14/15; H. Res. 200, Vote #154, 4/15/15]

    Comstock voted against a motion that would have protected “women’s rights to equal wages” by excluding claims of employment discrimination from the main bill. [HR 758, Vote #500, 9/17/15]

    All despite the fact that the 10th district has the largest disparity in pay between men and women of any of Virginia’s Congressional districts [American Association of University Women, September 2015; United States Congress Joint Economic Committee report, “Gender Pay Inequality: Consequences for Women, Families and the Economy,” April 2016]

  • #VA10 DEBATE FACT CHECK: Comstock on Bipartisanship
    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock said she’s “a bipartisan leader”.

    TRUTH: Comstock made her name as a partisan, Washington political operative and has legislated like the far-right ideologue she is.

    Comstock has voted 90 percent with the Republican party [CQ Vote Watch, Comstock Member Profile, accessed 1/21/16]
    “Survey says: Comstock most conservative in N.Va. delegation” [Inside NOVA, 8/21/15]
    “Barbara Comstock is as conservative as any right-winger could desire – pro-free enterprise, pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.” [National Review, 11/8/13]
    “Ms. Comstock, a freshman member of the House from Virginia’s 10th District, did not simply switch sides; she eventually became one of the Republican Party’s fiercest partisans.” [New York Times,4/6/15]

  • #VA10 DEBATE: Comstock on Republican Budget
    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock said she supports the Ryan budget.

    REALITY: Comstock Supports FY2017 Republican Budget with “Unprecedented” Cuts to Programs for Poor and Middle Class.

    “The House Republican budget plan, which could come to the House floor in April, would prove especially harmful to low- and moderate-income families and individuals, cutting programs for such people by an unprecedented amount while taking a strikingly unbalanced approach to deficit reduction. It also would be inconsistent with statements of Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan that reducing poverty is a top priority.

    “Specifically, the plan, which the House Budget Committee approved on March 16, would cut programs for low- and moderate-income people by about $3.7 trillion over the next decade. In 2026, it would cut such programs overall by 42 percent — causing tens of millions of people to lose health coverage and millions to lose basic food or other support.

    “In addition, the plan would secure 62 percent of its budget cuts from low-income programs even though they account for just 28 percent of total non-defense program spending (and just 24 percent of total program spending, including defense).
    While cutting supports and services severely for Americans of lesser means, the budget would secure no deficit reduction at all from the more than $1 trillion a year in tax credits, deductions, and other preferences, collectively known as “tax expenditures” — which disproportionately benefit high-income households and which former Reagan Administration economics adviser (and Harvard professor) Martin Feldstein has called the most wasteful part of the budget.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 03/28/16]

  • #VA10 DEBATE FACT CHECK: Comstock on Immigration

    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock waffled on her stance on immigration reform.

    FACTCHECK: Comstock has long taken a hard-right position on immigration, most recently affirming that she is against comprehensive immigration reform, which the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, the debate’s hosts, support. [Loudoun Tribune, 09/28/16; Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Agenda].

    Comstock called for the federal government to track immigrants like packages: “FedEx can track packages coming in here all the time, we can track people who are coming into the country” [NBC News, 9/25/14]

    Voted to restart deportation of DREAMers [HR 240, Vote #35, 1/14/15; The Hill, 1/14/15]

    Voted for racial profiling bill that went further than Arizona’s S.B. 1070 [Washington Post, 2/08/11; HB 2332, 2011 Session, 2/08/11]

  • #VA10 DEBATE FACT CHECK: Comstock on Education
    McLean – In today’s debate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district between small business owner LuAnn Bennett and Rep. Barbara Comstock, Comstock said refused to say where she stood on education funding.

    FACTCHECK: In Richmond and Washington, Comstock voted to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from education funding, and voted for a budget that cut funding for Pell Grants:

    Voted for a budget that cut $620 million in education funding, threatening local property tax increases [HB 30, 2010 Session, 2/25/10; Washington Post, 3/12/14]
    Voted Against An Amendment To Authorize STEM Education Grants For Women, Minorities, And Low-Income Students. In February 2015, Comstock voted against an amendment that “would have established a STEM Gateways program for state education agencies to issue grants for educating girls, underrepresented minorities and low-income students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields at elementary schools and secondary schools.” The amendment failed, 204 to 217. [HR 5, Vote #95, 2/26/15; Bangor Daily News, 2/27/15]
    Voted for Republican Budget that Reduced Funding for Pell Grants [S CON RES 11, Vote #183; Washington Post, 4/29/15]
    Voted to Cut $800 Million from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill cemented recent education cuts, ensuring that federal education funding will be lower in 2021 than it was in 2012, despite inflation and growing enrollment. The House Republican proposal caps spending on the ESEA for the next six years at $800 million lower than it was in 2012. The bill passed on a partisan lines 218-213, without any Democratic votes in favor of the bill. [HR 5, Vote #423, 7/08/15]