by Ibrahim Moiz
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for what we have. Earlier this month, Virginians spoke loud and clear by voting out certain incumbents who perpetuated hate and bigotry, demonstrating the strength of our Commonwealth’s rich diversity, and ensuring our elected officials will represent the needs of ALL citizens.
This week, I must give thanks to Governor McAuliffe, Governor Elect Northam, Attorney General Herring, and our state senators and delegates for standing up and fighting back against the machine that continues to try and erode our civil liberties, morality, and civility that, frankly, we should have learned from our grade school teachers.
As a father of three girls, I am thankful to Congresswoman Barbara Comstock for the strong stance she is taking against sexual harassment against women. She continues to demand that Roy Moore drop out of the Alabama Senate race and continues to push for changes in how Congress handles harassment claims. Unfortunately, this is where my thanks end.
Those who followed me on social media throughout Virginia’s 10th congressional race know that I fully supported LuAnn Bennett in 2016 and believed she was a better fit to represent our needs in the 10th. But my neighbors re-elected Rep. Comstock.
I first met Rep. Comstock when she was standing in the Food Lion parking lot in Potomac Falls, soliciting signatures for her candidacy to run for delegate of the newly drawn 34th House of Delegates district (in 2011, the Republican-majority House and Senate re-drew the district lines and created a new District 34 which gave Rep. Comstock’s district more traditionally Republican voters).
Rep. Comstock asked me to sign her form — and I signed it, knowing that while I might not agree with her positions, we live in a democracy and those running for office, regardless of their party affiliation, have ideas that can help improve the Commonwealth and we need to hear those ideas. I explained to her that if she won, I hoped she would represent the district like my former delegate and boss, David Poisson, did. David was and continues to be a mentor who helped me navigate the 2009 General Assembly session in Richmond and gave me a taste of what it means to be on Capitol Square.
I was very critical of Rep. Comstock in my Loudoun Times-Mirror piece (“Is Comstock a friend or foe of the Muslim and immigrant community?”), due to the disconnect between her messaging and voting record during her first session. After Comstock won her reelection, I hoped for the sake of the 10th district that my critique was overblown. Unfortunately, notwithstanding her stance on sexual harassment against women, it has been disappointing to watch her toe the party line time and time again, with an astounding record of voting 96.2% of the time in lockstep with President Trump. Her most recent vote in favor of overhauling the tax code will undoubtedly harm our sons, daughters, and future generations by driving up higher education costs for students.
This month, Virginians sent a clear message to the White House that we will no longer allow Trump’s destructive policies to enter our Commonwealth and imperil the Virginia way. Rep. Comstock has clearly not received this message. As her former boss infamously proclaimed, “Fool me once shame on you…fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” Here in the 10th CD, we will not get fooled again by Barbara Comstock.