Home Virginia Politics Example #Infinity: When Democrats Vote For Right-Wing Bills, It Kills Their Message

Example #Infinity: When Democrats Vote For Right-Wing Bills, It Kills Their Message


There are so many examples of this phenomenon, it’s hard to know where to start. I’m talking about Democrats voting for a right-wing bill, then hoping that nobody remembers (or something) so they can use that same bill as a campaign issue against Republicans.  Recent Virginia examples that leap to mind include: Democrats voting for – and Tim Kaine signing into law – the 2007 “transportation monstrosity” (including “abuser fees” and “regional taxation authorities”), which took that issue off the table for Democrats in the General Assembly elections that fall; Democrats voting for Bob McDonnell’s crappy budget this year, then hoping to run against McDonnell’s policies next year; Democrats voting for Bob Marshall’s crazy anti-“mandate” bill, then attempting to criticize Ken Cuccinelli’s constitutional challenge to mandates.

On that latter issue, a classic example came yesterday, as Democrats held a press conference in Richmond to denounced Cuccinelli’s anti-“mandate” lawsuit. The two featured speakers were Sen. Donald McEachin and Del. Jennifer McClellan (also a member of the DNC, a “superdelegate,” and vice chair of the DPVA). In McEachin’s case, that’s fine, as he voted against this horrible bill. The problem is with Jennifer McClellan, who – believe it or not – actually voted for the so-called “Health Care Freedom Act,” which declares “that a resident of the Commonwealth shall not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage.”  In short, Del. McClellan spoke at the press conference yesterday denouncing HB 10, even though she voted for HB10. I’m confused.

By the way, Jennifer McClellan was not the only Democrat who voted for this horrible piece of legislation. The only reason I’m singling her out is that she was chosen to represent Democrats at a high-profile press conference denouncing that very same legislation. Does that make any sense to anyone? If so, I’d love to hear the explanation.

P.S. I forgot to mention earlier, the VA GOP Caucus posted about this first thing this morning, pointing to the difference on this issue between Jennifer McClellan and her husband, DPVA Executive Director Dave Mills. You see how this undercuts our messaging?

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that Del. McClellan voted “no” on this bill multiple times prior to voting “yes” on the Senate substitute.

  • Hi, Here’s the explanation you were asking for:

    There were actually four bills dealing with mandated health coverage and Delegate McClellan and I voted against all four (HB 10, SB 283, SB 311 and SB 417) on initial passage. Where I made a mistake (and I assume she did too) was in voting for the Senate substitute to HB 10. Since Jennifer is on the House Commerce and Labor Committee, there is actually a record of her voting “no” on the bills in committee as well.

    Passing more than 1,700 bills in only forty-something floor sessions it is easy to make errors–in this case not knowing until it was raised after the legislative session. I know I made an unintentional error, that was inconsistent with my other votes on the same issue, on voting to accept HB 10’s Senate substitute. It is particularly easy to make a mistake when voting on “accepting Senate amendments” or “accepting the Senate substitute,” because those votes go faster than initial passage.

    Linking to only half the votes on one bill tells only half the story. Based on the consistency of her committee votes, vote on initial passage and on the other three bills, I am assuming that Delegate McClellan made the same error I did.

    The links that I tried to post for your readers would not work. Perhaps you can post them so they do?

    Thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight.

    Adam Ebbin

    49th House District

  • VAGOPCaucus

    Ward Armstrong voted in favor of the bill both times this bill was on the house floor…

    He carried with him more than half of the Democrat Caucus on the final passage vote.  It seems quite unlikely that all of these members “mistakenly” voted in favor (especially Del. McClellan who’s husband had such a vested interest in it’s failure)…

    In fact … the Democrats listed below (including their fearless leader Armstrong) voted in favor both times …

    Armstrong, Barlow, Dance, Howell, A.T, Joannou, Johnson,

    Lewis, Miller, P.J., Phillips, Ward

    DPVA ED David Mills has only his own party (and wife) to “blame” for the lawsuit that is underway by Cuccinelli…

    I will go ahead and spare you all the time of going into how the Democrat controlled Senate passed this bill out with 58% of the Senate in FAVOR …