• Chairman Whitbeck: House Tax Reform Vote a Crucial Step Forward

    — Simplifying tax code, reducing tax burdens are key to getting our economy moving again —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Today’s vote is more than just a win for our economy here in Virginia. It’s a win for hard working families who deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money. It’s a win for small businesses who will be able to create more jobs.”

    “I want to thank Speaker Ryan and Virginia’s Republican Congressional delegation for their hard work on this issue. Democrats arguing that government is better equipped to determine how Americans should spend their money are just wrong. Tax reform — and tax cuts — for everyday Americans is long overdue.”

  • RPV Statement on Congressman Bob Goodlatte

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Congressman Bob Goodlatte has been a strong voice for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the people of the 6th District. Throughout his service, Bob has been a nationwide leader on issues such as agriculture, immigration, and for a balanced budget initiative similar to legislation the Commonwealth has on its books.

    During his service in the House of Representatives, Bob has served as Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, fighting for one of the most important economic drivers in his district, and as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, standing up for American’s constitutional freedoms and liberties.

    We sincerely thank Bob for his service, and he will be sorely missed in Virginia politics. It has been a privilege to work with Bob, fighting for our conservative values.”

  • Minority Republicans Slam Desperate Ralph Northam Race-Based Ads

    — Will Ralph Northam Condemn Latino Victory Fund’s hateful ad? —

    Minority Republican officials from across Virginia released the following statements in response to the outrageous Ralph Northam mailer and Latino Victory Fund ad released today:

    “This ad is disgusting and vile and has no place in politics. It is an insult to Virginia voters, and an insult to Latinos. Ralph Northam should condemn this despicable political attack on no certain terms,” —Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach)

    “The Latino Victory Fund’s ad is a disgusting fear mongering ad on behalf of Ralph Northam against Ed Gillespie, and frankly against anyone who agrees with him on important policy issues facing the Commonwealth.” —College Republican Federation of Virginia Chairwoman Nadia Elgendy

    “I am heartbroken by the Ralph Northam campaign and its allies using white supremacy and the deadly racism in Charlottesville for political gain. The Northam campaign and its allies’ use of this evil in a political campaign is reprehensible. As a Latino myself, I condemn this in the strongest possible terms,” —Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Will Estrada.

    “The Ralph Northam campaign is contributing to a culture of division, hate, and fear. These hateful campaign ads and mailers are highly offensive, especially as our community works to heal from the event of Charlottesville,” —2014 8th Congressional District Republican Nominee Micah Edmond.

    “Callously throwing around terms like ‘racist’ and ‘white supremacy’ dilutes the true meaning of the words. When these terms are misused and overused, nobody will care when real racism occurs, which ultimately hurts efforts to build racial unity and equality in Virginia. A refusal to denounce the Latino Victory ad and mailer by Ralph Northam and the Democratic Party of Virginia will speak volumes about the deceitful lengths they go to manipulate emotions to try to win an election,” —Prince William Republican Committee Vice Chairman D.J. Jordan.

    “The Charlottesville tragedy is an ugly event that our state continues to try to recover from. Stoking emotions through false ads like this only harms the healing process. If the Democrats really want to help our state move forward, they will denounce this ad,” — Young Republican Federation of Virginia Chairman Kishore Thota.

  • 53rd Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Speech “A Time for Choosing”

  • Whitbeck: Northam Hate Mailer Goes Too Far

    — Can Ed Gillespie expect an apology from Ralph Northam on Nov. 8? —
    – Even media have noted that the hit reeks of desperation-

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Ralph Northam’s latest mailer is the perfect example of what’s wrong with politics. Long after Ed Gillespie called out the barbaric, ignorant racists who invaded Charlottesville, Ralph Northam and his team are attempting to smear a good man with their reprehensible hate. In reality, Ed Gillespie was widely praised for his response to Charlottesville. Even reporters have noticed the reek of desperation from this attack.”

    “We as Virginians responded to Charlottesville in unity – coming together as one people to reject the hatred that these small-minded bigots brought with them. Three Virginians died. For Ralph Northam to use this gut-wrenching experience to score political points is abhorrent. It is the antithesis of the Virginia way.”

    The Washington Post profile of Ralph should have given us a hint that this was coming:

    ‘He ran hard, even ugly. He lambasted his opponent for suggesting that mental illness was a punishment from God, a claim some said stretched Rerras’s words.
    The local newspaper found that other claims were exaggerations or just plain wrong. Northam later apologized for some tactics.’

    “Can Ed Gillespie expect an apology call from Ralph Northam on November 8th?”

    Background:

    Roanoke Times Editorial Board:
    “Gillespie himself has said and done exactly the right things here. Vote against Gillespie because of his views on tax policy, if you want, but don’t vote against him because of anything related to Charlottesville. He and Northam are on the same side here.” (Roanoke Times, 8/18/17)

  • Whitbeck: Adams Debate Win Shows How Badly Virginia Needs a New Lawyer

    — Mark Herring is leading the Resistance; John Adams will represent Virginia —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Congratulations to John Adams on his resounding win in today’s debate! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone run from their record the way Mark Herring fled from his this morning. Four years after casting his lot as a far-left politician, Herring is just now attempting to claim the mantle of Virginia’s lawyer.”

    “Mark Herring wants to continue to use the Office of Attorney General as a vehicle to advance his personal political preferences, and serve as the legal arm of ‘The Resistance.’ John Adams will be a lawyer for all Virginians, and finally get politics out of the Attorney General’s office.”

  • Ralph Northam’s ‘Tax Plan’ Still Does Not Exist

    – In Television Interview, Northam Fails To Provide Any Details To His Mystery Tax Plan –

    In an interview today with WTKR, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam was again at a loss for details when trying to explain his tax plan and what he would change about Virginia’s tax code:

    SMITH: Does Virginia’s tax code need to be reformed? What would you change about it?

    RALPH NORTHAM: Absolutely. I’m a business owner right here in Hampton Roads. I’m part of Children’s Specialty Group. We need a tax code that is simpler, that is fairer, that is fiscally responsible and that protects our AAA bond rating. So, yes. And I plan to put a commission together, bring people from both sides of the aisle that can agree on that. It will be good for business and that’s what we are all about here in Virginia. We want to be the best state in the country in which to do business. So I plan to do that and have something again that there is bipartisan agreement and then the governor can sign that into law. (WTKR, 10/16/17)

    This is just the latest episode in the series of the Lieutenant Governor’s non-existent tax plan. Earlier this month, The Washington Post noted that Northam was running an ad encouraging Virginians to go look at his tax plan, despite not actually having one.

    “Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam released an ad calling on viewers to go online to compare his plan for economic growth, including bipartisan tax reform… But there is no detailed tax plan on Northam’s campaign website…What’s more, Northam’s campaign said in April it would release a set of ‘guiding principles’ on tax reform within a week. It never did, and a reference to that promise to voters was removed from the campaign’s website – until a reporter pointed it out.” (The Washington Post, 9/15/17)

    Northam now needs to answer the following question: Will he update his website with a tax plan before November 7th?

  • Chairman Whitbeck Applauds President Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

    -President Trump Fights for Tax Relief for the Middle Class-

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “I applaud President Trump’s efforts to reform our out-of-date, burdensome tax code. Once again, President Trump shows that he is an advocate for the middle class and will strive for tax relief to further stimulate our economy.”

    “Hardworking Virginians deserve tax relief. I hope you’ll join me in calling on the Virginia Congressional Delegation, specifically our two Democrat Senators, to put aside partisan politics and focus on what is best for Virginia’s middle class, to work with the President to update our tax code.”

  • Northam Thinks Fairfax’s Work Experience Disqualifies Him from Being Lieutenant Governor

    -Northam, DPV, and VEA Have Attacked Gillespie On His Career; Fairfax Did Similar Work-
    Will Northam Rescind His Support of Fairfax? Will VEA Rescind Its Fairfax Endorsement? Will VEA Pull Its Ads Against Gillespie? Will VEA Run Ads Against Fairfax?

    2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie has repeatedly been attacked by Ralph Northam, the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Virginia Education Association for one client that Ed’s firm did work for over a decade ago. Yesterday, however, The Washington Post reported that Justin Fairfax, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor did the same type of work Gillespie has been criticized for.

    Yesterday, The Washington Post reported:

    “Democrats have pummeled the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ed Gillespie, because his lobbying firm represented a student loan provider in the mid-2000s that was accused of defrauding taxpayers. But at his first legal job, Fairfax represented a different lender involved in the same scandal.” (The Washington Post, 10/10/17)
    Northam has said: “My opponent has worked on behalf of student loan lenders to keep the costs of college higher in order to line his own pockets at Virginian’s expense,” (The Washington Post, 10/3/17). Virginia Democrats have echoed those attacks.

    The Virginia Education Association Fund has endorsed Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor while simultaneously running and ad buy of over $500,000 against Ed Gillespie. Northam has received $20,000 in campaign contributions from the VEA, according to Virginia Public Access Project.

    The reports raise these questions:

    Will Northam Rescind His Support of Fairfax?
    Will VEA Rescind Its Fairfax Endorsement?
    Will VEA Pull Its Ads Against Gillespie?
    Will VEA Run Ads Against Fairfax?
    Or was the VEA playing partisan politics all along…

    Background
    Ralph Northam

    From The Washington Post:
    “My opponent has worked on behalf of student loan lenders to keep the costs of college higher in order to line his own pockets at Virginian’s expense,” Northam said, in a statement. “I want all kids to have the same opportunities that I’ve had, and as governor, I’ll work to strengthen our system of higher education to ensure its access, excellence and most of all – its affordability.” (The Washington Post, 10/3/17)

    From A Northam Campaign Press Release:
    Northam for Governor Campaign Manager Brad Komar released the following statement on Dr. Ralph Northam’s victory in the third general election debate:

    “With tonight’s victory, it was clear who will lead Virginia forward: Dr. Ralph Northam. Ralph again proved to voters that he’ll fight for the best interests of all Virginians, while Trump-lobbyist Ed Gillespie will lean into his career working for predatory student loan companies and big Wall Street banks, selling out Virginians to the highest bidder. (Northam Press Release, 10/10/17)

    From A Northam Campaign Press Release:
    Ed Gillespie’s career of lobbying for corporate interests is long, and his success has often come at the expense of hardworking Virginians. In his newest ad today, Gillespie boasts that “special interests have too much sway over policy in Richmond right now.

    Yet, Trump’s top Virginia lobbyist has a resume of lobbying for the student-loan industry as it was fighting for profits over students, representing Enron, and “turned his relationship with President Bush into an $18-million business.” Now, dark money Koch-funded organizations like Americans for Prosperity are pumping money into Virginia to help get Gillespie elected, despite Ed’s pledge to crack down on special interests.

    “Virginians will never buy the story that Gillespie will stand up to special interests when he made his millions as a corporate lobbyist representing companies like Enron. That’s like a gator trying to go vegan.” said Northam spokeswoman Christina Freundlich. “Gillespie’s corporate lobbying success and work for dark money political organizations often came at the expense of Virginians. And now, dark money organizations are pumping money into helping get Gillespie elected as if he was registered as the Koch lobbyist. The only special interest Gillespie has is in himself, the wealthy, and Donald Trump.” (Northam Press Release, 8/10/17)

    From A Northam Campaign Press Release:
    Northam for Governor press secretary, Ofirah Yheskel, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

    “Only in DC would being a lobbyist for a corporation like Enron qualify you as a small business owner. Instead, Ed Gillespie’s career of economic accomplishments have included fighting for tax breaks for corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy, stripping health care away from potentially millions of Americans and putting student loan company profits over students. These ads are nothing but audition tapes for Ed Gillespie to be Donald Trump’s lobbyist in Virginia.” (Northam Press Release, 7/25/17)

    From a Northam Fundraising Email:

    “In last night’s debate Ed Gillespie made a pretty telling statement:

    ‘I did show up for my clients.’

    But here are just a few of the clients he’s always shown up for:

    Predatory student lenders…”

    Virginia Democrats

    From a Virginia Democrats Press Release:
    Delegate Marcus Simon, Education Advocates and Virginia Students Call Gillespie’s Work for Student Loan Companies Disqualifying

    Gillespie’s Firm Made Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Lobbying for Predatory Student Loan Companies at the Expense of Virginia Students.

    Today Delegate Marcus Simon, former senior education counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy Michael Dannenberg, Generation Progress Action Executive Director Maggie Thompson, and Democrats at UVA Chair Elizabeth Parker laid out why Ed Gillespie’s years of lobbying for predatory student loan companies disqualifies him from serving as Virginia’s next governor. On a media conference call, speakers discussed why – in the wake of the Washington Post’s devastating report detailing Gillespie’s work for predatory loan companies – the Republican gubernatorial nominees is unfit to oversee Virginia’s higher education system.

    Listen to the press call here.

    The Post investigation revealed that, as a lobbyist in the 2000s, Gillespie and his firm made hundreds of thousands of dollars working to keep students loans expensive – and lobbying against policies to make it easier for Virginia students to afford to go to college. With Gillespie’s help, Bank of America and the private student loan lender, Nelnet, tried to kill legislation to take money away from predatory student loan companies and put it towards lowering the interest on student loans.

    “It has been shocking to read that Ed Gillespie made hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying against student loan borrowers and on behalf of private companies that seek to profit from keeping student loan interest rates high and limited oversight of student loan oversight practices,” said Delegate Marcus Simon.

    “Gillespie hasn’t been telling Virginians his firm specifically lobbied for the Nelnet corporation at a time when it worked separately to keep nearly $300 million in illegally claimed student loan payments,” said Michael Dannenberg, former Senior Education Counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. “The ill-gotten gains from the Nelnet student loan bank heist could have wiped out the student loan debt of every borrower at the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, William and Mary and Virginia Tech.”

    “We want to be sure borrowers in Virginia understand there is a clear difference between these two candidates and know about Ed Gillespie’s background lobbying on behalf of the people that are making money off of student debt,” said Maggie Thompson, Generation Progress Action Executive Director.”As late as this year there are still borrowers that are having issues with Nelnet with some of the same types of problems that they were having back when Ed Gillespie lobbied for them. There is such a difference between the two candidates in Virginia this year.”

    “Ed Gillespie claims to be running as a Governor for all Virginians, but it’s pretty clear from this investigation that Gillespie never has and never will be able to stand up for Virginia students like me,” said Elizabeth Parker, Chair of Democrats at UVA and a fourth year student at UVA. “As a student at a school like UVA, it’s frustrating that Ed Gillespie continues to sell himself as a viable candidate to students around the Commonwealth, when it’s clear that his loyalties don’t lie with us as students, but with these predatory student loan companies.” (Virginia Democrats Press Release, 10/4/17)

    From Virginia Democrats Press Release:

    Before Second Debate, Gillespie Doubles Down, Brags About His Work Lobbying for Predatory Student Loan Companies and Corporations That Laid Off Workers

    Gillespie Is Touting His Consulting Work on the Campaign Trail – But Refuses to Release His Clients

    For the past week, the Democratic Party of Virginia has been calling out Ed Gillespie for spending decades working for predatory student loan companies, Enron, and corporations that have laid off Virginia workers. In a series of events across the commonwealth, Virginia Democrats – including Tom Perriello, State Sen. John Edwards, Delegates Marcus Simon and Mark Levine, and Candidate for Delegate Djuna Osborne – have been hitting Gillespie’s shady work for student loan companies and urging him to disclose all of his clients from the past five years. (Virginia Democrats Press Release, 9/19/17)

    Virginia Education Association

    From a Virginia Education Association Press Release:

    Teachers’ Group Launches TV Ad: Ed Gillespie ‘Doesn’t Stand for Education’

    In a TV ad campaign set to launch Sunday, the Virginia Education Association (VEA) warns that gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie’s tax and education proposals would deal a crushing blow to students and public schools in the Commonwealth.

    The ad, “Education,” cites Gillespie’s tax plan, which would trigger large cuts to school funding, as well as Gillespie’s support for voucher programs that would transfer public dollars to unaccountable private interests. As Virginia parents struggle to cope with rising college tuition costs, the ad also notes that Gillespie, as a Washington, D.C., lobbyist represented lenders trying to keep interest loan rates high.

    “Ed Gillespie wants to take the Donald Trump-Betsy DeVos agenda of school funding cuts and vouchers and import it to the Commonwealth,” says Jim Livingston, president of the VEA, which represents 50,000 teachers and education support professionals in Virginia. “He’s ignoring the disastrous consequences of state funding cuts and vouchers in other states, because he cares more about ideology than about our public school students.”

    The text of the ad follows:

    “They’re studying for 21st century jobs…”

    “But Ed Gillespie supports Donald Trump’s plan to take money out of Virginia public schools and give it to private schools…”

    “As a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Ed Gillespie worked for lenders trying to keep student loan rates high…”

    “And Ed Gillespie’s plan to cut taxes for the wealthy could cut Virginia’s school funding, too…”

    “Ed doesn’t stand for education.” (VEA Press Release, 9/8/17)

  • Whitbeck: JLARC Investigation of Herring’s AG Office is Well Deserved

    — Oversight body audit actions of Herring’s office. —

    Earlier today, the General Assembly’s investigative arm, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, better known by its acronym JLARC, opened an investigation into the way Democrat Mark Herring has run the Office of the Attorney General.

    Specifically, the agency will review Herring’s use of funds set aside to fight human trafficking to give his staff unauthorized raises, as well his decision to hire outside counsel to defend Virginia laws he doesn’t personally support.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “This review of Mark Herring’s office is long overdue and well-deserved. Herring ran on the promise of getting politics out of the Attorney General’s office, but he’s done the exact opposite. Time and time again, Mark Herring has abandoned his client — the Commonwealth of Virginia — when it was politically expedient for him to do so.”

    “Herring’s diversion of funds from the victims of sex trafficking to his own staff’s wallets is disgusting, and JLARC is right to examine it. JLARC is about to discover what we’ve known for years – Virginia needs a new lawyer.”

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