We’ve been covering the elections here in Virginia closely, of course, and there’s tons of detail out there. But just to boil things down, 50+ hours until polls close on Tuesday, here are five reason to vote FOR Virginia Democrats on the ballot for Congress and five reasons to vote AGAINST their Republican opponents. It goes without saying that Blue Virginia endorses every Democrat on the ballot (including, of course, the superbly qualified Babur Lateef for Prince William County School Board Chair, Democratic nominee for Arlington County Board Matt de Ferranti and Carter Turner for Delegate in the special election in HD-08). With that, here are reasons to vote FOR the Democratic candidates and AGAINST the Republicans.
Tim Kaine (D): Reasons to vote for Kaine are almost endless, including: 1) He’s a smart, knowledgeable, compassionate, wise leader who really listens to people and really cares; 2) He believes in a Virginia and an America that’s truly “for ALL”; 3) He has been a leader on a host of issues, from immigration to healthcare to national security to supporting veterans and the military to…you name it, basically; 4) He has been a respected leader in Virginia for years, starting on the Richmond City Council and including Mayor of Richmond, Lt. Governor of Virginia and Governor of Virginia; 5) He has been a fierce defender of our constitution, rule of law, checks and balances and right as American citizens.
Corey Stewart (R): Reasons to vote AGAINST neo-Confederate Corey truly ARE endless, including: 1) He’s run a nasty, disgraceful, divisive, self-described “vicious” campaign that in and of itself makes him unfit to hold ANY public office; 2) He is a dangerous demagogue, particularly against immigrants, but really in general (including his associations with white supremacists, anti-Semites, etc.); 3) He actually BRAGS that he was “Trump before Trump” – ’nuff said; 4) He is a wacko climate science denier; 5) He is strongly AGAINST a woman’s right to reproductive health and freedom.
Vangie Williams (D) Reasons to vote for Williams include: 1) She is strong on healthcare, believes “it’s time we make a commitment for a Medicare-for-all like system which includes coverage for dental and vision”; 2) She is strong on gun safety, believes in “universal background checks to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands” and “prevent[ing] ownership of firearms by those who have battered their partner or spouse”; 3) She is strong on net neutrality, pledging to “immediately co-sponsor legislation (the reintroduced version of what is now HR 4585 Save Net Neutrality Act) to reverse the FCC chair’s decision to end net neutrality and allow additional bandwidth charges at multiple levels”; 4) She is strong on immigration, supporting comprehensive immigration reform, including “preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program”; 5) She is strong on women’s rights, writing that “[e]mpowering women economically, socially and politically improves the lives of all Americans, including the women.”
Rep. Rob Wittman (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Wittman include: 1) Wittman’s basically accomplished nothing in Congress; 2) Wittman’s been “a conservative ideologue,” with his “favorite pastime…voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something he did more than 50 times”; 3) Wittman is one of the very few Virginia Republican candidates on the ballot this year who have publicly, unabashedly stated that they support neo-Confederate Corey Stewart ugly, vicious, odious, disgraceful campaign; 4) in his spare time, Wittman likes to hang out with theocratic extremist EW Jackson and pander to Islamophobic bigots; 5) and last but DEFINITELY not least, Wittman has an abysmal 11% lifetime score when it comes to the protecting the environment AND is a climate denier/minimizer.
Elaine Luria (D) Reasons to vote for Luria include: 1) She served our country honorably for 20 years as a Navy Commander, “conducting operations in the Middle East and Western Pacific on destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers”; 2) She believes in “equal pay for equal work”; 3) She believes “every child [needs to have] access to a quality public education— from pre-K to college or technical training— so that they have the tools they need to succeed later in life”; 4) She believes that “every American [must have] equal access to the ballot box— so that their voices can be heard and our Democracy remains responsive to the people”; 5) She believes we must “protect and preserve our planet for future generations— by incentivizing green innovation.”
Rep. Scott Taylor (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Taylor include: 1) Taylor is horrible on health care, having spent his entire career opposing Medicaid expansion and also voting for the Republicans’ horrendous AHCA, which among its many bad points would have seriously weakened protections for people with pre-existing conditions; 2) Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA02) staff members engaged in criminal (quite possibly felony) offenses in forging signatures and making false declarations on petitions; 3) Taylor is in the pocket of the NRA and even stated that the AR-15 is a “scapegoat” not a “monster”; 4) Taylor votes 98% of the time with Donald Trump; 5) Again, last but definitely not least, Taylor has a horrendous 6% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters is at best a minimizer on man-made climate change.
Rep. Bobby Scott (D) Reasons to vote for Scott include legislative achievements in the areas of: 1) “Working on legislation to create the Affordable Care Act”; 2) “Enhancing criminal enforcement of fraud by financial institutions”; 3) Earning a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood; 4) Earning consistent 100% ratings from environmental groups; 5) Earning consistent 100% ratings from the Human Rights Campaign.
Rep. Donald McEachin (D) Reasons to vote for McEachin include: 1) He “believes affordable health care should be considered a human right”; 2) He will continue to “work to reduce gun violence by requiring universal background checks, renewing the assault weapons ban, and enacting other common-sense reforms”; 3) He “strongly believes that all people deserve equal rights, equal treatment, and equal opportunities to participate in our democracy. Americans should never suffer because of whom they love, what they believe, or where they came from”; 4) He will continue to “work to strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share”; 5) He “knows that climate change and pollution pose grave and growing threats to our communities.”
Ryan McAdams (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST McAdams include: 1) McAdams wants to “repeal and defund” the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a “free-market solution,” whatever the hell that means; 2) McAdams is absolutely against a woman’s right to control her own body, advocating that the government needs to ban abortion – which he calls “murder” – and also “defund Planned Parenthood” (which of course would INCREASE the abortion rate); 4) he rants about illegal immigration and so-called “open borders” (which we don’t have, obviously); 5) McAdams has absolutely NOTHING on his website issues section about what is, by far, the #1 issue facing humanity; also no sign of anything on his Twitter feed — worthless.
Leslie Cockburn (D) Reasons to vote for Cockburn include: 1) She supports “‘single payer’ healthcare, which means Medicare for all”; 2) She is a strong defender of the environment, opposed fracked-gas pipelines and believes in strong action to combat man-made climate change; 3) She believes “it is time for women to be treated as full citizens,” including “equal pay” and protection of women’s reproductive health/freedom; 4) She is a strong proponent of campaign finance reform, proposing “a broad reform agenda to finally get to the root of the problem; and 5) On foreign policy, she “believe[s] the U.S has a critical role to play in encouraging Israel and the Palestinians to cease hostilities and find a two-state solution” and pledges her full support for the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” with Iran.
Denver Riggleman (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Riggleman include: 1) Riggelman spewed out “far-right talking point after far-right talking point” at a debate in mid-October, including stating “I don’t believe healthcare is a human right” and “I don’t support net neutrality”; 2) at that same debate, asked about “growing concerns over sexual assault prevention and awareness, Riggleman blurted out, ‘I think a lot of it comes to educating females specifically in the fraternities and sororities'”; 3) Riggleman will be another rubber stamp for Trump, evidenced by Trump’s liar-in-chief Sarah Sanders campaigning for Riggleman the other day and by Trump’s endorsement – albeit completely botched – of Riggleman; Riggleman is extreme on gun issues, refusing even to support banning “bump stocks”; 4) 5) Riggleman actually said, at a debate, “What I don’t want to do is to have science become a religion where we’re taking jobs away from people rather than having some incremental way of making sure that change happens.” That alone should eliminate him from consideration.
Jennifer Lewis (D) Reasons to vote for Lewis include: 1) She believes, correctly, that “believes that healthcare is a human right and that it’s our moral obligation to create a nation in which nobody dies – or goes bankrupt – because they lack insurance. The Affordable Care Act was a historic start, but the insurance and pharmaceutical companies had too much influence over policy”; 2) She is a staunch, passionate defender of the environment who “opposes both the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines” and who “supports legislation moving us towards 100% clean and renewable energy as soon as possible”; 3) She “supports a constitutional amendment to eliminate corporate personhood and require federal, state, and local government to ensure all citizens have equal capacity to influence elections, regardless of wealth or power” and “refuses to accept campaign contributions from corporate PACs, special interests, and the fossil-fuel industry”; 4) She “supports providing up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, wants to increase funding for domestic violence shelters, urges Virginia’s General Assembly to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and wants to protect funding for women’s health centers”; 5) She “supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. as soon as possible. Jennifer wants to reduce unfair discrepancies in pay between men and women and protect workers from being exploited.”
Ben Cline (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Cline include: 1) Cline is extreme on pretty much every issue, wanting to completely repeal “Obamacare,” believing that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, actually sponsoring a resolution calling for an annual “Day of Tears” in memory of the Roe v Wade decision, etc; 2) Cline is 100% with the gun lobby, bragging about being “the only candidate in this race who has been endorsed in the past by the NRA and VCDL”; 3) Cline’s “hallmark achievement in healthcare” was “his transvaginal ultrasound bill – which forced the government between women and their healthcare providers”; 4) Cline has actually BRAGGED about being endorsed by bat****-crazy State Sen. Dick Black and by the Koch brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity”; 5) has a well-deserved F rating from the Sierra Club for his pathetically bad environmental record.
Abigail Spanberger (D) Reasons to vote for Spanberger include: 1) She has “always served her country and community,” including “as a federal law enforcement officer working narcotics and money laundering cases with the US Postal Inspection Service” and as an Operations Officer in the CIA; 2) She “will work to ensure that every person has quality, affordable healthcare”; 3) She “support[s] background checks for all firearm purchases, regardless of where or from whom the purchases are made” 4) She believes we need to fight climate change, that “investment in clean, renewable energy is an investment in our ecosystem, our health, and our economy”; 5) She believes, correctly, that “Citizens United ruling is one of the most destructive decisions ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court” and ” support[s] campaign finance reform and efforts to reduce the influence of money in politics.”
Rep. Dave Brat (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Brat include (note: this list could be endless): 1) Brat is a plagiarizer who literally almost ran people down while running away from a student asking him a question about this; 2) Brat point-blank admits – points for honesty? – that he’s a liar, as are Paul Ryan and other Republicans, and in fact Brat is a wild, pathological liar who literally can’t/won’t tell the truth about anything (except for that one moment of honesty where he admitted he’s a liar – lol); 3) Brat belittled/minimized the struggles of Virginians dealing with the opioid addiction epidemic; 4) for an “economist,” Brat is…well, check out this bizarre interview in which, among other things, he muses about how the free market supposedly keeps restaurants from poisoning people by…letting restaurants poison people (!); 5) on man-made global warming, Brat is completely shit-for-brains (“The climate changes, I think there’s consensus on that, there’s not much debate on that, just look at the data ..it is what it is ..and then how much of it is man made and what’s the cost to fix it and who’s going to pay for it.”).
Rep. Don Beyer (D) Reasons to vote for Beyer include: 1) He is “a cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, a bill which would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024”; 2) He has been a leader on gun violence prevention, believes in enhanced background checks and “banning high capacity magazines”; 3) He “strongly support[s] a woman’s right to choose and also believe[s] that access to affordable, reliable birth control is a fundamental component of health care” 4) He believes that “[a]ll Americans should have access to quality healthcare” and has strongly defended the Affordable Care Act from attacks by Republicans; 5) Beyer has been superb when it comes to protecting the environment, is ” the House sponsor of the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act, a cap and dividend approach that returns the dividends to every American electronically each quarter.”
Thomas Oh (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Oh include: 1) Oh believes in an incredibly regressive tax policy that would eliminate the progressive income tax and replace it with a regressive national sales tax; 2) Oh’s ideas on cutting the deficit/debt center on cutting non-military discretionary spending, which of course is not the part of the budget that’s contributing the deficit/debt, and (unsurprisingly) says nothing about ditching massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans in order to achieve his stated goal of eliminating the debt; 3) Oh has avoided Corey Stewart…except when he hasn’t; 4) Oh says he’s “happy about what’s happening regarding North Korea,” which is…what exactly?; 5) Oh doesn’t even mention climate change in his website issues section.
Anthony Flaccavento (D) Reasons to vote for Flaccavento include: 1) He believes, correctly, that “trickle-down economics just doesn’t work” and that we need instead to do things like “level the playing field for workers, local businesses and the community banks that lend to them”; 2) He believes, correctly, that “the flow of money into our political system, especially “Big money” from wealthy individuals, large corporations and special interests, has utterly corrupted our politics”; 3) He believes, correctly, that we are a nation of immigrants and that we “need broad immigration reform that both protects our borders and offers a clear and reasonable path to legal citizenship”; 4) He pledges that he will “ight to restore net neutrality rules to the internet, overturning the June ruling by Ajit Pai and the FCC that gives telecom giants the power to create ‘fast lanes’ and ‘slow lanes’ on the internet”; and 5) He writes, “I support a woman’s right to choose, and I will work to support women, so that this difficult choice is made much less frequently.”
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Griffith include: 1) Griffith is 100% against a woman’s right to choose; 2) Griffith brags about his A+ rating from the gun lobby; 3) Griffith is a massive hypocrite, claiming he cares about the national debt, while voting to explode the national debt by giving massive tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations and individuals; 4) Griffith voted dozens of times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions; 5) Griffith is embarrassing and appalling on climate change.
Jennifer Wexton (D) Reasons to vote for Wexton include: 1) She is “a strong advocate for gun violence prevention and has consistently fought for common sense legislation to keep our communities safe while also respecting the rights of responsible gun owners”; 2) She “believes women’s healthcare decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, and has continuously fought to keep government out of those decisions”; 3) She believes that “Climate change and sea level rise are real threats to Virginia and our nation, and Jennifer knows we must take active steps to address them”; 4) She believes that “access to affordable healthcare is a right for all Americans”; 5) She believes, correctly, that “America is a nation of immigrants ” and that “Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families, protects DREAMers and their futures, prioritizes the deportation of violent criminals over status offenders, shuts down inhumane private detention centers, and ensures money that this administration would spend on building a wall instead be spent on securing and modernizing our borders and defending national security.”
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Comstock include: 1) Comstock has been a right-wing political operative for years, also is supported by extremists and bigots like Trump, far-right-wing TV and radio demagogue Sean Hannity, far-right-wing hate radio host Mark Levin, the horrendous Newt Gingrich, loony-tunes former Sen. Rick Santorum, warmongering nut John Bolton, etc, etc.; 2) Comstock refuses to “allow her constituents any form of open, honest engagement to discuss policy, raise concerns, and otherwise interact with her”; 3) Comstock votes 98% of the time with Trump; 4) time and time again, Comstock has sided with the NRA over her constituents; 5) Comstock has a pathetic 5% lifetime LCV score and also says stupid/ignorant shit like “We do understand the earth is warming. But we can’t destroy our economy while we’re at it. We need affordable energy.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) Reasons to vote for Gerry Connolly include: 1) He is a fierce advocate for high-quality, affordable health care for everyone; 2) He is a strong proponent of protecting our environment, including “leading the fight to stop and reverse climate change”; 3) He is a strong defender of DREAMers and advocate for comprehensive immigration reform; 4) He is absolutely committed to protecting a woman’s right to reproductive health and freedom; 5) He has been, and will continue to be, a strong defender of retirement security, even as “Congressional Republicans have given tax breaks to the wealthiest and want to loot Medicare and Social Security to pay for it.”
Jeff Dove (R) Reasons to vote AGAINST Dove include: 1) Dove seems like a good guy, but…he would strongly oppose a woman’s right to control her own body; 2) Dove claimed he wasn’t sure if Corey Stewart was too close to white nationalists and said “I haven’t seen it”; 3) Dove falsely claimed that Trump has “condemned white nationalists and these hate crimes constantly” and that “you can only do it so much” (HUH?); 4) Dove said he was “all in for Ed Gillespie” last year, despite the nasty, xenophobic campaign Gillespie ran; 5) Dove doesn’t seem to have anything on his website about the environment, energy or climate change. That’s simply unacceptable, given that this is the #1 issue facing humanity.