Home Daily Feature Thursday News: What You Need to Know About the Cassidy-Graham Monstrosity; Gillespie’s...

Thursday News: What You Need to Know About the Cassidy-Graham Monstrosity; Gillespie’s Version of “Willie Horton”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, September 21.

  • Audio: Barbara Comstock’s bogus “town hall” last night


    • VA 10th CD Dems’ response:

      Tonight, Representative Barbara Comstock demonstrated a shocking lack of respect for her VA-10 constituents. After going over 6 months since last holding a “virtual” Town Hall, and nearly a thousand days in office without holding a real in-person Town Hall in the district, Representative Comstock held a stealth conference call and claimed it counted as a town hall. Despite Congress having spent much of the last few months in recess, Rep. Comstock decided to hold her “town hall” on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. While the event was nominally open to the public, Rep. Comstock failed to advertise it on social media, her Congressional website, or her email newsletter. Rumors that it would be held began trickling out yesterday, but only folks who got the secret PIN code or were hand-selected to be robocalled by Comstock’s staff were able to participate.

      Not only did Representative Comstock fail to provide her constituents with any public notice, she showed up 10 minutes late to the 7PM event, and only at 7:30 (a third of the way through the event) was the first member of the public allowed to speak. Representative Comstock received criticism for her previous teleconference “town hall”, where she gave the first question to a Republican campaign consultant, but tonight she doubled down, taking questions from her staffer and from a DEA agent she described as a good personal friend. It’s not bias or fake news to say she got softballs – even Rep. Comstock herself commented on how easy one of the questions was.

      Rep. Comstock and her staff frequently encouraged listeners to subscribe to her official newsletter (so sparse it didn’t even contain notice of this event) and come by her Sterling office (which features a recently instituted locked door policy and an “appointments are encouraged” sign). Much mention was made of her (unannounced) mobile office hours and pre-screened photo ops, but they’re no substitute for direct and unfiltered constituent contact.

      All of Representative Comstock’s challengers, Democratic and Republican, have pledged to hold in-person Town Halls, live and unfiltered, here in the district. Rep. Comstock has repeatedly refused to do so, instead trying to skate by with unpublicized, staged and pre-screened teleconferences. Voters in the 10th CD deserve better, and next November they’ll have a chance to vote for a candidate who will communicate with them respectfully and frequently, instead of hiding behind a telephone or a locked door.

  • old_redneck

    Re: Gillespie’s ad trying Northam to MS-13.

    I live in VA-01 where we allegedly are represented by Rob Wittman. Of course, Wittman never shows up in the district except for an occasional visit to the Sili mansion and plantation in Caroline County or to entertain high-rollers at the Indian Creek Cpuntry Club in Kilmarnock.

    I subscribe to his mailing list, which results in my receiving 2-3 “surveys” from him each week.

    Immediately after the Gillespie MS-13 AD started running on Richmond TV, Wittman issued a survey asking if I thought MS-13 was a threat — Yes, No, Don’t Know.

    So — looks as though the MS-13 topic will be a major GOP talking point against Northam . . . because they have nothing else.

  • Video: Jimmy Kimmel Fights Back Against Bill Cassidy, Lindsey Graham & Chris Christie


  • From Rep. Don Beyer, doing great work as always!

    Top Democrats Ask Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian: Will You Restore Consumers’ Rights in the Wake of the Equifax Data Breach?

    September 21, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Following the Equifax data breach of 143 million Americans’ personal information, Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) wrote to the three main credit rating agencies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—to hear whether these companies will continue to include forced arbitration clauses in their terms of service or end their campaign against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule to restore consumers’ day in court.

    They wrote:

    “The economic security of nearly half of all Americans has been jeopardized because Equifax’s failure to safeguard our most sensitive information, which is now in the hands of criminals. Making matters worse, many of those affected by this massive security breach are unsure whether they even have legal recourse because of your company’s use of forced arbitration clauses. Although Equifax has revised its policy in response to public outcry, this limited change is simply not enough given the systemic nature of this problem and the scope of the lives affected. We therefore request information concerning your plans to revise your terms of service and stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule to restore consumers’ day in court.”

    The CFPB arbitration rule includes important safeguards for consumers against forced arbitration, a practice that routinely allows corporate entities to avoid class-action lawsuits by burying legal language in the fine print of contracts that require consumers to waive their right to court.

    A Republican measure to repeal that rule, supported by all three credit rating agencies, passed in the House of Representatives in July on a nearly-straight party-line vote. It is currently pending in the Senate.

    The group of House Democrats denounced the three credit agencies for their opposition to the forced arbitration rule, writing, “Rather than support this commonsense protection, your company and others like it have reportedly campaigned against it, spending millions in campaign contributions and other efforts to undermine both the rule and the CFPB. Now is the time to demonstrate your respect for the rights of your customers, not undermine them.”

    Signed copies of the letters are available here, here, and here.