Home Don Beyer Video: Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly; Delegates Don Scott, Dan Helmer Urge...

Video: Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly; Delegates Don Scott, Dan Helmer Urge Democrats to Organize Like During 2017-2020, Win Back Majorities and Pass Progressive Legislation

"Curses are meant to be overcome"; "Despair is not a luxury we can afford"

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See below for video from Friday’s “Power Lunch” by NetworkNOVA, featuring Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA08) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA11), as well as VA House Democratic Leader Don Scott and Del. Dan Helmer. A few comments jumped out:

  • Del. Don Scott:All we’re focused on right now is getting back the majority, and I hope folks understand how important it is right now.” Also, Del. Scott says we shouldn’t be surprised if Gov. Youngkin calls back the legislature earlier than January 2023 in order to try to roll back abortion rights in Virginia, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade. According to Del. Scott, “we have people on the other side, they know how to fight, say what you want to about their positions…and they’re not timid about what they want…we can’t be timid, we can’t be mealy-mouthed, we have to be very bold…What we’re doing now is building the infrastructure…we can’t take anybody for granted…We’re working with the Rural Ground Game. We really have to not take anybody for granted…We lost the House majority by about 200 votes…We know that we can win the majority without Trump. There are some who say the only reason we won the majority is because of Trump, and I believe that’s not the case…We’re in the foxhole right now, we’ve got to have each other’s backs.”
  • Del. Dan Helmer: “All of you in December were knocking down the doors of your legislators saying you all need to pass  a constitutional amendment here in Virginia to protect access to safe, legal abortion. And it didn’t happen, but now we’ve got new leadership…We won the majority in ’19 and then everything went away. We didn’t take the majority and build the infrastructure to hold the majority. I know that Leader Scott is committed…to make sure that we take all of the energy and organization that groups like you are doing…and build a sustainable coalition that takes us to the majority…We know that this is a state that should not be a swing state, should not be a purple state; our values are Democratic values…There is not a single district that we need to win in order to take the majority where we will not field a Democratic candidate.”
  • Rep. Don Beyer: “We still have to win elections…I’m not as pessimistic as many are about holding the House this year. We have 36 frontline members [including Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton]; every one of them has won twice already in difficult situations; they have a $100 million cash advantage right now; they are smart, tough candidates...There’s 12 seats held by Republicans right now that we can win, that have Democratic performance way north of 50%…There are four open seats that are now held by GOP…that Biden won handsomely. There are three new Biden seats. There’s just no reason for us to lose the House…Curses are meant to be overcome. And now on the Senate side…we’ve got to get rid of that stupid filibuster that holds back everything, and we can win in North Carolina…in Pennsylvania…[in Ohio and Wisconsin]…and having 53-54 senators, they should get rid of the filibuster on the second day…We’ve had a 3-4 seat margin…we’ve passed 700 bills; if the Republicans have a 3-seat margin, they can’t pass anything, because they’ve got Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene…that are nutty…they need 30-vote margins to pass anything…We win elections at the federal level when we first win them at the state and local [level]…When I ran 8 years ago against a bunch of really good people – Lavern Chapman, Bill Euille, Charniele Herring, Patrick Hope – only 38,000 people showed up. In this last election, when I wasn’t making money calls and we didn’t go on TV…we had 50,000 people show up…12,000 more than in a hotly contested race [in 2014] and that just shows the power of grassroots organizing.”
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly: “Together we have [fought back]…But our majority as you know is precarious. We need  you to take the same energy you brought in 2017, 2018 and 2020 back. Despair is not a luxury we can afford. If we grow our majority in the House and the Senate, think of all of the things we can accomplish – codifying Roe v Wade into law,  universal background checks for buying ag un, marijuana decriminalization…ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and voting rights protections…continue to investigate the scandals and crimes of Donald Trump…[and] his attempted coup to overturn a free and fair election…If Republicans win the majority, the first thing they’ll do is to dissolve that commission and complete the coverup. We cannot afford to let that happen.”

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