Home 2019 Elections Four Months Before Election, Vulnerable VA Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-SD12) Goes Up...

Four Months Before Election, Vulnerable VA Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-SD12) Goes Up with Misleading TV Ad

Note that this is a district Tim Kaine won by 16 points, so it's more like #KainesDistrict than #DunnavantsDistrict (as she absurdly claims)

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I’m not sure I can remember a Virginia legislative candidate going up on TV this early in an “off-odd” election cycle, as Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-SD12) just did this morning. Of course, Dunnavant – who (mis)represents a district that went 57%-41% for Tim Kaine this past November and 52%-47% for Ralph Northam in November 2017 – is probably just a wee bit worried, and for good reason. Also note that Dunnavant faces a VERY tough Democratic opponent in Del. Debra Rodman (see my endorsement here), which of course is yet another reason for Dunnavant to be worried about November.

Finally, there’s the fact that Dunnavant is *not* the “consensus builder” or a “problem solver” in the Virginia General Assembly she (falsely) claims to be. Let’s look at her record, courtesy of Project Vote Smart:

  • She sports a ZERO rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.
  • She has a 100% rating from the right-wing/pro-Republican Virginia Chamber of Commerce, indicating that she’s no friend of workers, the environment, etc.
  • Speaking of workers, Dunnavant’s scores from the Virginia AFL-CIO have been abysmal, ranging from a low of ZERO to a high of just 38%. #FAIL
  • She has mediocre-at-best scores from the Virginia Education Association (25% in 2017, 50% in 2018) and Virginia League of Conservation Voters (50% Lifetime).
  • She’s got a 100% score from the even-more-extreme-than-the-NRA Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)
  • In 2015, Dunnavant ran a TV ad referring to “crybaby politicians whining to expand Medicaid and Obamacare; more taxes, more spending, let’s say no…Siobhan’s against expanding Medicaid, against Obamacare…I say no [to Medicaid expansion].” After unfortunately winning that election, Dunnavant kept her promise, voting against expanding healthcare coverage to 400,000 Virginians. Dunnavant has even called for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Dunnavant is no friend of voting rights; she voted NO on a bill that would have authorized no-excuse, in-person absentee voting in Virginia.
  • Dunnavant loves bashing immigrants, voting for bills like this one, requiring so-called “sanctuary cities” to be “liable for damages caused by undocumented immigrant[s]”; and for this bill requiring cities to enforce federal immigration laws.
  • Dunnavant is being backed by the hard-right, anti-environment billionaire Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, which among other things has pushed global warming denial, advocated for the tobacco industry, opposed the Affordable Care Act, fought against public transit, etc, etc.
  • Last but not least, check out this video, in which Dunnavant – following the Tree of Life Synagogue murders in Pittsburgh, cast doubt on whether there’s been a rise in hate crimes, despite the fact that (as the Washington Post reported in November 2018) “Reported hate crimes in America rose 17 percent last year, the third consecutive year that such crimes increased, according to newly released FBI data that showed an even larger increase in anti-Semitic attacks…The sharp increase in hate crimes in 2017 came even as overall violent crime in America fell slightly, by 0.2 percent, after increases in 2015 and 2016.”

Bottom line: with her new, misleading TV ad, Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant is demonstrating that she’s seriously worried – as she should be! – about losing this November to Democrat Debra Rodman, so Dunnavant’s putting out a false narrative about who she really is and what she really believes. The question is, will voters believe her faux-moderate makeover? It’s our job to make sure they’ve got the facts about Dunnavant’s atrocious record.