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Video: VA GOP’s 42nd House of Delegates District Nominee’s Palinesque Fiasco of an Interview


For those of you who aren’t familiar with Virginia’s 42nd House of Delegates district, here are a few factoids before we get into the Sarah Palinesque fiasco of an interview the GOP nominee, Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, just had on the Kojo Nnamdi Show’s Politics Hour.

  • It’s located in Fairfax County – West Springfield, Lorton, Mason Neck State Park, Pohick Bay Regional Park – and went overwhelmingly (57%-37%) for Hillary Clinton in November 2016.
  • It’s an open seat, due to the announced resignation of long-time Del. Dave Albo (R), which when combined with the overwhelmingly “blue” lean of the district, is why I rank it the second-most-likely Virginia House of Delegates district to turn “blue” this November.
  • Democrats have a superb nominee with an inspiring life story (e.g., she and her parents “fled Vietnam as boat refugees when she was just seven months old…waited 13 months for the United States to accept their application”) and superb qualifications in Kathy Tran.
  • The GOP nominee is Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, who Project Blue Dominion describes as “a Republican hard-liner and Fairfax County Republican Party Vice Chairman who backs the Trump agenda,” who “publicly fan[ned] the flames of debunked conspiracy theories surrounding Secretary Clinton last year,” and who “literally tweeted that Donald Trump was her ‘ideal Presidential candidate’ the day he announced that he was running.” Ugh.

So, earlier this afternoon, Mancheno-Smoak appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi Show’s “The Politics Hour” with Tom Sherwood, and the interview quickly went downhill into Sarah Palin-level “word salad,” nonsense, falsehoods, drivel, etc. The video is below, followed by my comments, followed by a classic Sarah Palin video for you to compare/contrast with Mancheno-Smoak. I believe you’ll find that quite amusing. With that…enjoy?

First, Mancheno-Smoak rambles incoherently about other parts of Virginia needing to be “self sustainability over the long term” so that they don’t have to rely on revenue transfers from Fairfax County and other wealthy parts of the Commonwealth. Huh? What is “self sustainability” exactly and what does that have to do with the question at hand? Who the heck knows…

Second, Mancheno-Smoak claims – completely falsely – that “more businesses are leaving our state than coming in.” Tom Sherwood grills her on that one, pressing for her source for such an audacious (ridiculous/absurd/fallacious) claim, and of course she doesn’t have one. Instead, it just spirals downwards, similar to Sarah Palin’s infamous interview (see video below) in which she claimed to get her news from “Um, all of ’em, any of ’em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years.” In Mancheno-Smoak’s case, she completely flounders, first claims she heard this anecdotally from a “compounding of small businesses” that they went to other states. Then, she claims she got her b.s. “more from articles…that I came across.” It’s completely, cringe-inducingly pathetic.

Third, Mancheno-Smoak makes a big pitch for taxpayer-funded corporate welfare (“lucrative incentives for businesses” to come to Virginia). This, after claiming she’s a Republican because she does NOT believe government should be heavily involved in people’s lives. Hypocrisy, anyone?

Fourth, she rambles nonsensically and incoherently about Medicaid expansion, including weird comments about being “cognizant about not putting a legacy expansion in our tax base for our future generation,” about how we don’t want to have “additional programs that may be overlaid” (????) and about “making sure that if we’re going to have Medicaid expansion, that it covers the people for whom it was meant to cover, which is the children and the elderly.” In the fact-based world known as reality, of course, Medicaid is a health care program “for families and individuals with limited resource,” not specifically for “children and the elderly” (on the elderly, perhaps she’s mixing up Medicaid with Medicare? who knows!), “providing free health insurance to 74 million low-income and disabled people.” Also note that 11 million Medicaid recipients are disabled, 27 million are adults, 34 million are children, and just 7 million are aged. So…Mancheno-Smoak is wrong on pretty much all counts in terms of who Medicaid covers (or is supposed to cover). She’s also wrong about burdening future generations; to the contrary, Virginia’s refusal to accept the billions of dollars that would come with Medicaid expansion simply means that those dollars go elsewhere, leaving hundreds of thousands of Virginians in the lurch – and hurting our state’s economy as well. Brilliant, eh? Bottom line: she has no clue what she’s talking about when it comes to Medicaid expansion, one of the most important issues facing Virginia.

Finally, she’s asked point blank if she’d vote to defund Planned Parenthood. She repeats the question, stalling for time, then responds, “Defund Planned Parenthood? At this point, I would have to say that…yes, because one of the things that I believe in is in the sanctity of life and I want to make sure that we provide all programs that are necessary for the protection and health of the mother and the child.” Of course, that’s EXACTLY WHAT PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOES!!! Sorry for shouting, but this is such bovine manure, it’s maddening. In fact, abortions account for only 3% of Planned Parenthood services; the rest is STIs/STDs (42%), contraception (34%), other women’s health services (11%) and cancer screening (9%). In short, 97% of what Planned Parenthood does is not abortion related and which is absolutely “necessary for the protection and health of the mother and the child.”

Again, bottom line: Mancheno-Smoak has no clue what she’s talking about, expresses herself in nonsensical word salad, and – as I noted from Project Blue Dominion above – is “a Republican hard-liner and Fairfax County Republican Party Vice Chairman who backs the Trump agenda.” On all counts, Mancheno-Smoak has ZERO business being in the Virginia House of Delegates, where she would only make things worse than they already are. Fortunately, 42nd House of Delegates district voters have a superb alternative this November – Democrat Kathy Tran. I urge everyone to vote for her, not for her Sarah Palin-like Republican opponent.


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