Politico Pro: “Comstock pushed client’s issues, didn’t disclose”


    (UPDATE 10 am Thursday: The story is now up on Politico, so everyone can read it. – promoted by lowkell)

    The full story is on Politico Pro, which requires a subscription, but that heading and brief explanation kind of say it all.  For a few more details, see an excerpt from the article below.

    It was a remarkable run of success: From 2011 to 2013, Republican Virginia state legislator Barbara Comstock shepherded a trio of bills that were opposed by labor interests through the legislature and into law.

    One called for union votes by secret ballot, another kept employers from giving employees’ information to unions and a third prohibited awarding contracts for state-funded construction projects exclusively to unionized firms. Each was approved in a largely party-line vote.

    But Comstock never officially disclosed that all the while, she was being paid thousands of dollars by the Workplace Fairness Institute, a well-heeled conservative group that listed the issues advanced by the Comstock-sponsored measures among its legislative priorities.

    Comstock, now running for a competitive House seat in the Washington suburbs, also initially failed to list WFI as a client when she filed papers to run for the seat. Her campaign later disclosed the relationship to The Washington Post, calling the omission unintentional. Congressional candidates with an ownership interest in companies are required to report clients who paid $5,000 or more in fees.

    So…just what we need in Congress, huh? More like Barbara Comstock is the LAST thing we need in Congress. Unless, of course, your goal in life is make it even worse than it is now, possibly reduce its approval rating from the high single digits to the low single digits? LOL

    • Dan Sullivan

      And Ms. Comstock’s disservice to her own gender plays right into “conservative” objectives.  

    • True Blue

      Telling comment from a conservative blogger, 8 months ago:

      “The only opportunist I see in this campaign is Comstock based on the issues she pushed when she was a lobbyist, the contributions she has taken from pro-gay marriage sources, and some of her questionable votes as a delegate. Not consistent with someone who claims she is conservative. BTW one of her campaign staffers denied she was a lobbyist (he contacted me), but the hundreds of lobbying disclosure forms available to the public tell a different story. She seems like someone who lets the money determine her positions.”

    • “It’s unacceptable that Barbara Comstock failed to disclose this conflict of interest: this is a blatant example showing that Comstock has been bought off by her right-wing clients. Her responsibility is to represent Virginians, not special interests or her own bank account,” said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Legislation should never be for sale. This latest revelation of Comstock’s shady dealings proves she just can’t be trusted to do the right thing. Virginians deserve a representative who puts their needs first, not the interests of the highest bidder.”

    • The following statements are from the Virginia Senate Dem caucus, specifically Senators Barbara Favola and Janet Howell.

      Sen. Favola, “Virginians expect their leaders to act in a fair and objective manner – but in this matter, Del. Comstock leaves us to question her motives and her judgment. In effect, she gave voters in the tenth congressional district another reason to question her record.”

      Said Sen. Howell, “Now more than ever, voters expect honesty and transparency. Elected officials in Virginia have a responsibility to meet the highest ethical standards, but Del. Comstock’s actions fell short of that mark. She ignored a clear conflict of interests, and then she failed to disclose that conflict. I find her choices deeply troubling. Virginians deserve better.”

    • Barbara Comstock has been caught using her position as a delegate in order to push through priorities of her paying clients – a truly disturbing breach of our trust. Even worse, she didn’t disclose it. Northern Virginians are already fed up with politicians in Richmond and Washington who are putting their own agenda over ours. Comstock’s actions are frankly inexcusable, and are further proof that she can’t be trusted to speak for Northern Virginians in Congress.

    • “As a part-time legislator many of us have jobs apart from our duties as members of the House of Delegates, but that is why it is imperative that we disclose and abstain from votes when it is in our personal interest,” said Caucus Chair Scott Surovell.  “Delegate Comstock not only voted on legislation that directly benefited her company, but she introduced the legislation herself.”

      “Delegate Comstock should have followed the House Rules and removed herself from debate involving the interests of her client,” said Democratic Leader David J. Toscano.  “The public has a right to know who Delegate Comstock’s clients are and it is disgraceful that she used her position as a legislator to help her paying client.”

    • Gotta love how they roll out Dave Albo of all people to talk about ethics! I know, hahahahaha: Dave Albo and ETHICS?!? Uh huh. Also, note that Albo just makes s*** up here about “Rule 69,” adding in language that doesn’t appear in said rule. Of course, this is the same Dave Albo who thought THIS was hilarious, so consider who we’re dealing with here…

    • From DPVA:

      “Barbara Comstock can’t defend her right-wing agenda and she can’t explain why she abused her position as delegate to push the agenda of her paying clients – so she’s hiding from Northern Virginians,” said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Whether she’s running away from questions about her right-wing record on women’s healthcare or refusing to level about the growing scandal surrounding her conflict of interest as a delegate, Comstock keeps proving she’s totally out-of-touch with Northern Virginia’s values.”