The Virginia GOP’s 2017 nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, Jill Vogel, is undoubtedly best known for her infamous “transvaginal ultrasound” bill, which would have “require[d] that a woman be offered an opportunity to view an image of the fetus and hear the fetal heartbeat.” For those of us who followed the Virginia GOP Lt. Governor primary this spring, we also know Vogel for allegedly “sending an email under a fake name to spread false rumors that [her Republican opponent, Bryce Reeves] was having an affair” (note: for her part, Vogel “denied any responsibility and suggested that the family’s electronics had been hacked” — riiiiiight).
As for Vogel’s ratings on the issues, Project Vote Smart reports a series of zeroes from NARAL and Planned Parenthood; 100% ratings from the NRA and the even more extreme (if that’s possible) Virginia Citizens Defense League; and perfect or near-perfect ratings from groups advocating for corporate interests. Also worth noting is where Vogel’s gotten her campaign funds over the years, including the $1.4 million she’s received from oil, coal and other fossil fuel interests. With that introduction, check out Vogel’s b.s. responses to questions on yesterday’s WAMU-FM Politics Hour show.
First, check out Vogel’s completely warped, inaccurate answer to a question on Dominion Power’s proposed fracked-gas pipelines. Among other things, Vogel laughably claims she’s been a “hard-core advocate for the environment.” A quick check of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters website demolishes that whopper, as it shows Vogel with a current 38% score, lower than only two other Virginia State Senators. In short, if you buy the whopper that Vogel’s a “hard-core advocate for the environment,” then you probably believe Donald Trump is a treehugger or something. Further evidence that Vogel has no clue when it comes to clean energy and the environment is her bizarre response on the proposed natural gas pipelines. According to Vogel, she doesn’t “see how you can fulfill that commitment to…expanding solar and wind if you…don’t support the pipeline.” Wait, whaaaaaaat??? Obviously, that makes no sense. Vogel’s explanation – that natural gas is “clean” (FALSE!) and that you need natural gas because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine (she clearly has no clue what she’s talking about, including not reading studies like Stanford engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert U.S. to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050. Finally, Vogel makes the absurd claim that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would create “20,000 new jobs” (for more on that b.s., see the last paragraph of this article and also Tom Perriello’s comments in this article about how “wind, solar and energy-saving weatherization projects would create more jobs and better protect the environment”).
Now, here’s Vogel on her infamous “transvaginal ultrasound” bill. You can believe Vogel’s distortions – such as that it was “never ever my intention to have any woman endure any kind of procedure against her will” or that it was all about “giving people more information” – or you can read news accounts at the time, which report that Vogel’s “original bill would have required women seeking an abortion to undergo whatever kind of ultrasound gets the best image of the embryo or fetus,” and that “In the early stages of pregnancy—when the vast majority of abortions occur—that’s typically a transvaginal ultrasound, which is far more invasive than the abdominal kind (think jelly-on-the-belly).” Also note that, contrary to Vogel’s claim about why she changed the bill, the reality is that Vogel was forced to back down “after a deluge of national attention,” a “public outcry” that included “Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show [taking] cracks at the bill; more than a thousand women gather[ing] in silent protest outside the state capitol.” So yeah, don’t let Vogel get away with her revisionist history here. The fact is that this was her bill and that it was NOT benign in any way/shape/form. Now, Vogel’s simply trying to put some political distance between herself and her own legislation because she’s running for statewide office and she knows this bill was – and is – extremely unpopular with Virginia voters. Clever, eh?
Finally, check out Jill Vogel’s comments on neo-Confederate/xenophobe/extremist Corey Stewart, who Vogel praises as “say[ing] what he believes, and he contributed to the dialog in a really meaningful way.” Vogel further brags that she has Corey Stewart’s support. On another topic, she claims that Ed Gillespie’s idiotic, irresponsible proposal to allow more powerful fireworks in Virginia is all about “government getting out of your way…people are sick and tired of government being involved in everything.” Yeah, except for the fact that government steps in where the market fails, such as to protect us against pollution/environmental destruction, unsafe cars or drugs or whatever, and in this case dangerous fireworks, which as the Politics Hour’s Tom Sherwood notes, “I’ve seen the damages that they do to little children…it’s a very dangerous thing to allow them to play with things that could actually kill you if they hit you.” Apparently, Vogel – and her running mate Ed Gillespie – would rather pander than be responsible in protecting the public. Typical right-wing Republicans, in other words…no thanks.