Home 2019 Elections Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Blasts Republicans’ “Unmistakable Violation” of Its Debate Rules...

Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Blasts Republicans’ “Unmistakable Violation” of Its Debate Rules as “Disgraceful”


More skeeziness from Barbara Comstock and her national Republican pals. Shocker, eh? Check out the statement from the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce — a pretty heavily Republican-leaning group, by the way — which is clearly NOT pleased at the “unmistakable violation” of rules set down by the Chamber at yesterday’s Comstock-Bennett debate. According to the Chamber’s president, “It is disgraceful that an audience member at a Loudoun Chamber event would disregard our reasonable request and brazenly produce and post this video.” Also, check out video (below the Chamber’s press release) of the national Republican “tracker” following LuAnn Bennett around, again in clear violation of Chamber rules.

Finally, I’d note that several right-wing blogs have posted video (again, this was NOT allowed under Chamber rules) of people in the [overwhelmingly Republican, male] audience actually laughing at LuAnn Bennett for simply stating the fact that health care is more affordable WITH the Affordable Care Act than without it. Don’t believe me? See Health premiums after Obamacare? They’re lower. (“Average health insurance premiums in the nation’s individual market actually dropped when the Affordable Care Act was implemented“). Not sure what Comstock supporters think is so HI-larious about helping millions of Americans gain access to quality, affordable health care, but it’s yet another illustration of why every voter in the 10th CD should make sure to cast their ballot for LuAnn Bennett on November 8th.

P.S. I’d also note that Comstock refuses to do debates, or even interviews, with any reporter or group she isn’t absolutely convinced will be friendly to her. Does that show confidence or cowardice on her part? You decide. Finally, I’d be stunned if Comstock’s campaign wasn’t aware of the allied GOP group videotaping at the debate; the fact that they took no action to stop it is VERY telling!

P.P.S. Note that the guy who founded “America Rising PAC,” Matt Rhoades, worked closely with Barbara Comstock on the Mitt Romney campaign in 2007-2008. So…basically zero chance Comstock didn’t know the “America Rising” tracker was at the debate, in violation of rules she had agreed to! (Of course, what else would you expect from a right-wing political operative like Comstock?)

Loudoun Chamber President criticizes blatant violation of rules, by an outside group, at Virginia 10th Congressional District Debate

Loudoun County, VA – The President of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce today criticized the production and online posting of a video taken at the October 6th Virginia 10th Congressional District debate, which represents an unmistakable violation of the event’s rules.

All audience members were warned, clearly and emphatically, at the beginning of event that the debate rules – which were negotiated with and agreed to by the campaigns for Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and LuAnn Bennett – prohibited all video, audio or other type of recording of the event, except by members of the credentialed media.

In spite of that clear warning, a video taken at the debate has appeared on both the web site and the Twitter feed of America’s Rising PAC. The video has subsequently been posted in other media platforms.

“It is disgraceful that an audience member at a Loudoun Chamber event would disregard our reasonable request and brazenly produce and post this video. In the 17 years that I have managed Chamber-sponsored political debates and forums, this is the first time that anyone has ever so blatantly violated our rules and disrespected the Chamber, both candidates, their campaigns and all of our guests,” said Chamber President Tony Howard.

Howard has made several attempts to contact America’s Rising PAC – through the organization’s Twitter Feed, through a direct message on Twitter and through their web site contact form (no phone number is listed on the organization’s site). No response has been received.

“The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce prides itself on conducting even handed, issue-focused political debates and forums. We have consistently received praise from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents for establishing fair-minded rules that allow candidates to express their views on business issues, without fear that their words and images will be exploited for political gain. Fortunately, the vast majority of audience members – particularly both the Comstock and Bennett campaigns – demonstrated the respect and integrity to abide by our guidelines,” Howard said.

The warning that Howard issued to the audience follows:

“Another friendly reminder to our audience, including both campaigns: ALL video, audio or phone recordings of this event by any attendee – to include the candidates, their supporters, political parties and their staff or volunteers, families, friends and any unaffiliated audience member – except for credentialed members of the media – is strictly PROHIBITED.”

Howard also noted that television news crews violated the prohibition against on camera interviews in the ballroom where the debate took place.


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