• 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.”

  • Chairman Whitbeck: We Know Why Northam Only Wanted Three Debates

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a greater contrast between two candidates on debate stage before tonight. Ed Gillespie was poised, polished, and had complete mastery of the issues facing Virginia. Ralph Northam simply looked out of touch and out of place. Confronted with real issues and difference, Ralph Northam was simply outclassed.‘”

    “Next month Virginians will have a choice between a servant leader and a protest leader. In the voting booth, they’ll choose between policy and platitudes. They’re going to choose Ed Gillespie to be the next Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. ”

     

  • RPV Research: How Ralph Northam Tried to Rev Up the Liberal Base for Political Points, Only to Find Himself On Wrong Side of Virginia Voters

    On August 17th, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam surprised many Virginia political observers when he went on Roanoke radio station WFIR and said he now believed Virginia’s Civil War statues, both those at the local level and those controlled by the state, should come down immediately.

    He told the station: 

    “I will do everything that I can, that I have authority to do, to to remove the statues at the state level and I also will be a vocal advocate for their removal elsewhere.”   (WFIR August 17, 2017)

    This position from Northam stands in stark contrast to Ed Gillespie’s consistent position, which is that he believes decisions regarding city and county statues should be made by the localities, but he believes those statutes should stay up, with context. Local tax dollars should be used not for removing monuments, but for schools, roads, teacher and law enforcement salaries and the core functions of government.

    And that when it comes to state statues, which a governor has significant authority over, they will stay up in a Gillespie Administration. Gillespie has also called for the erection of new monuments to other Virginians including former Governor Doug Wilder and Booker T. Washington. As Gillespie has said, “our history is our history.”

    Longtime Virginia political columnist Jeff Schapiro at The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote about the Lieutenant Governor’s dramatic move, noting:

    “Northam declared – unbidden – that if it were up to him, he would take all of them down…Northam is playing to the Democratic base, further revving up the party’s most enthusiastic voters. But is he going too far with an issue that is more symbolic than substantive?” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 19, 2017)

    It now turns out, after extensive public polling on the issue, that yes, the Lieutenant Governor did go “too far.” And the headline of Jeff Schapiro’s column looks eerily prescient: “Northam’s new stance on statues a monumental blunder?”

    Here’s what public polling has revealed in the six weeks since the Lieutenant Governor introduced his promise to take down Virginia’s Civil War statues into the 2017 gubernatorial campaign:

    Roanoke College – September 2017
    20. As you know, there has been a great deal of discussion recently about Confederate statues and monuments. Some people see them as historical objects, while others see them as racist symbols. Which is closer to your view?

     
    Historical objects 62% 

    Racist symbols 28%
    Both [VOL] 6%
    Unsure 2%
    Refused 3%

    21. Do you think statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson should remain as a historical symbol or be removed because they are offensive to some people?

     
    Remain 66%
    Remove 28%
    Unsure 5%
    Refused 2%

    22. And should we remove the statues at many courthouses in Virginia that commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War or allow them to remain?

     
    Remain 76% 

    Remove 14%
    Unsure 7%
    Refused 3%

    Christopher Newport – September 2017

    Recently there has been a lot of debate and controversy surrounding Confederate statues and monuments in Virginia. Do you support or oppose removing confederate statues and monuments from public spaces around Virginia?

     

    Oppose: 54
    Support: 36%
    Among independents:
    Oppose: 47%
    Support 36%

    55% of voters oppose removing Richmond’s statues
    35% support
    Independents oppose removal 65%-25%
    61% of voters support keeping up monuments and adding context (Ed Gillespie’s exact position)
     

    And Democrats, DEMOCRATS, were split 46%-45% on keeping the statues up but adding context

    And just yesterday, The Washington Post, in a poll that had a sample of Democratic + 10 (a partisan turnout that has never occurred in a modern Virginia election) found that, even with a heavily Democratic sample, support for keeping up Virginia’s statues is strong throughout the Commonwealth.

    Washington Post – October 2017
     In Virginia, do you think monuments to leaders of the Confederacy in the Civil War should be (removed from) government property or (kept on) government property? Do you feel that way STRONGLY, or SOMEWHAT?

    All Voters:
    57%- Kept
    31%- Removed

    Likely Voters
    53%- Kept (42% STRONGLY)
    36%- Removed (ONLY 23% STRONGLY)

    Northern Va Exurbs:
    55%- Kept
    35%- Removed

    Richmond Area:
    57%- Kept
    29%- Removed

    Hampton Roads
    55%- Kept
    33%- Removed

    Even in the inner DC Suburbs
    46%- Kept
    41%- Removed

    Statewide: Even 34% of Democrats want them kept up

    Independents:
    58%- Kept
    30%- Removed

    In August many Democrats worried that Ralph Northam had gone too far in making such a radical promise. The Washington Post reported:
     

    “At least some Democratic officials expressed concern that both Northam and McAuliffe were too quick to stake out hard-line positions in the wake of Charlottesville.”

    The governor has since backed away from his position, as noted in the same article. Appearing on “Ask the Governor” on WRVA on August 31st he reverted back to his prior position of keeping statues up, but adding context:

    “Listen, if I’m the mayor of Richmond or I’m on the City Council, I’m faced with a tough decision,” he said on WRVA radio’s “Ask the Governor” program. “Do I spend – I don’t know, $5 [million] or $10 million – taking something down when I got schools – I’ll tell you my first priority has got to be schools, because I got to get people employed.”

    He also indicated he would be satisfied with adding “context” to statues, such as plaques, as Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney proposed in July for Confederate statues that line the city’s Monument Avenue.

    “Let’s go ahead and put some context to these things and move forward,” McAuliffe said.

    Leading The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney to note: “Northam’s staked out a tough position on this, in favor of removing them. Now McAuliffe’s sawing off the tree limb that he’s sitting on.” (WAMU, 9/1/17)

    Wrapping it All Up

    When Ralph Northam proclaimed his support in August for taking down all of Virginia’s Civil War statues, and vowed to do all he can as governor to make that happen, he made them an issue in the general election.  But public polling has made clear that the vast majority of Virginia voters agree with Ed Gillespie’s position on the issue.
  • Does Ralph Northam Agree With His Running Mate on Single-Payer in Virginia?

    — Nearly a Third of House Dem Candidates Also Support Single-Payer —

     Richmond, VA- Recently, nearly a third of the Democrat Party’s House of Delegate candidates endorsed a socialized, single-payer government takeover of health care which would end private insurance as we know it for more than 5 million Virginians. The “plan” would amount to a $23 billion increase in spending per year and eliminate nearly all forms of private insurance. Given the current budget in Virginia, the only way to pay for such a large spending increase would require, as the plan’s authors write, “an exercise of the General Assembly’s taxation authority on a scale not seen before.”

    While Ralph Northam has attempted to avoid this issue, his running mate for statewide office, Justin Fairfax, has openly endorsed the concept of single-payer at the federal level, as reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In a survey filled out for Bernie Sanders-linked group Our Revolution, which endorsed Fairfax in June’s Democrat Primary, Fairfax clearly indicated he supports single-payer healthcare. Simply put, does Ralph Northam agree with his running mate?

    Statement from Chairman Whitbeck:

    “I understand why Ralph Northam doesn’t want to talk about the crazy single-payer government takeover that multiple House Democrats put forward. However, Ralph must answer this very basic question: Is his own running mate, Justin Fairfax, and nearly a third of Democrat House of Delegate Candidates horrifically wrong on the issue of healthcare in Virginia? 

    As a doctor, Ralph must understand what a disaster a single-payer healthcare system would be for Virginia families. The issue is also horribly unpopular with the public.  Nearly 80% of voters in Colorado voted against single payer last year and attempts in both Vermont and California to implement such a system have gone up in flames.

    Unfortunately, given Ralph’s repeated history of hiding from Virginia voters, it likely that Ralph will continue his record as No-Show Northam instead of answering a basic question.”
  • VA Democrats Embrace Government-Run Healthcare and Massive Tax Increase

     16 Democrat candidates for the House come out in support of single payer in Virginia —

    Today, a group of 16 Democrat candidates for the House of Delegates announced their support for the both the largest tax increase and most sweeping expansion of government in Virginia history – the abolition of private health insurance and the creation of a single-payer health care system in Virginia.

    Led by Democrat Lee Carter, the group has called for what is – by their own admission – a “staggering” tax hike. From their proposal:

    “Bringing the function of health insurance wholly under the purview of the Commonwealth of Virginia will thus require an exercise of the General Assembly’s taxation authority on a scale not seen before, an estimated increase of at least $23 billion per year.”

    Ralph Northam campaigns with single payer supporters Justin Fairfax and Lee Carter.

    The current biennial budget spends around $100 billion over two years. A $23 billion tax increase would add to total government spending by 46 percent! It would also put unelected bureaucrats in Richmond in charge of health care – regardless of what happened to Obamacare.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “This is without a doubt the most extreme, far-left proposal I’ve ever seen from any candidate in Virginia, let alone a group of 16 candidates working together. Similar attempts at establishing a single-payer system have failed miserably in both California and Vermont. The Democrats’ plan would destroy the private insurance market in Virginia, add a new layer of bureaucracy between patients and their doctors, and then make Virginia taxpayers foot the bill!”

    “If it wasn’t clear to every Virginian before, it should be now: a vote for Ralph Northam, or a vote for a Democrat in the House of Delegates is a vote for government-run health care with taxpayers footing the bill.”

  • Chairman Whitbeck: Gillespie Trounces Northam in First Televised Debate

    — Tonight’s results explain why No Show Northam wanted only 3 debates —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “It’s pretty clear now why Ralph Northam was so adamant that he only appear on stage with Ed Gillespie three times, and only twice on television. Ed laid out a clear, common-sense vision for the future of our Commonwealth, and all Ralph Northam had was attacks.”

    “The choice could not be more clear. If we want a governor who will truly be for All Virginians, and build a better future for our children and grandchildren, we will elect Ed Gillespie in November.”

  • Walking the Tightrope: Ralph Northam on Right to Work

    Ralph Northam is in quite the bind on Right to Work. Just days before the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce debate, Northam doubled down on his refusal to defend Right to Work.
    A Northam Campaign spokesperson told The News Virginian:

    “Dr. Ralph Northam knows right to work has been the law for 60 years, that it’s not going to change anytime soon, and he won’t make any attempt to change it.” (The News Virginian, 9/16/17)

    Protecting Right to Work is a perennial legislative priority for the NoVa Chamber. But Northam’s campaign gets huge money from labor unions — and their top priority is rolling back Right to Work.

    Northam has taken nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from labor groups, including:

    $355,000 – National Education Association
    $154,141 – Service Employees International Union
    $150,000 – Firefighters – International Association
    $100,255 – Baltimore Washington Construction & Public Employees Laborers PAC
    $79,500 – Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Political Education Fund
    $50,000 – American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
    $15,000 – Virginia Education Association
    $10,000 – United Auto Workers

    Northam is already struggling to shore up the Democratic base, given his late-found support of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. Over the weekend, he took heat for accepting a $10,000 check from a company helping to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

    Democratic unity is nowhere in sight.

    ###

  • Northam to Democrat Base: I Don’t Care What You Want

    — After months of fence riding on pipelines, Northam takes $10k from pipeline co. —

    The primary is over, and Ralph Northam thinks he doesn’t need the tens of thousands of Democrat voters who are adamantly opposed to the Mountain Valley Pipeline anymore.

    Northam spent months refusing to take a position on the issue, before finally coming out in favor of the project after the Democrat primary. Today we learned that Northam took a $10,000 check from a company helping to build the project.

    Sorry pipeline voters, you’re no longer useful.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “When Ralph Northam needed the far-left, environmental vote, he billed himself as a ‘progressive champion.’ But now that Tom Perriello has been defeated, Ralph has decided he needs corporate money more than he needs environmental voters.”

    “Sorry, anti-pipeline voters. Ralph doesn’t need you anymore. But if you’re willing to write a $10,000 check, I have no doubt he tell you what you want to hear.”

    ###

  • Chairman Whitbeck Congratulates Rep. Comstock on Gang Removal Bill Passage

    — Virginia Republicans Committed to Combating Gang Violence —

    Today, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-10) and Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-06) bill H.R. 3697 “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act” passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Once again we have seen a proliferation of gang violence and a growth of gang membership in the Commonwealth. Combating this scourge has been a priority for all Virginia Republicans. Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has worked tirelessly, like Congresswoman Comstock, to come up with a plan to make our communities safer.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “As a resident of Northern Virginia and the 10th Congressional District, I’m once again proud to see my Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock, leading and fighting for safety in our communities and to see our Congressional delegation rally around such an important issue in the Commonwealth.”

    “It’s wonderful to see the synergy between our Gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie and Congresswoman Comstock on this important issue. Ed has a clear vision for combating gang violence and making our communities in the Commonwealth safe, which will be a top prior as our next Governor.”

     

    For more information regarding Congresswoman Comstock’s H.R. 3697, please visit here.

    For more information regarding Ed Gillespie’s plan to combat gang violence, please visit here.

    ###

  • Whitbeck: UVA Vandalism Must Not Be Tolerated

    — Defacing monuments isn’t free speech, it is a criminal offense —

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:
    “The vandalism of the Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia is the next step in the extreme left’s movement to erase our history. The defacing of our historical monuments is not free speech, it is a criminal offense, plain and simple. I urge the Charlottesville police and University administration to move swiftly to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We cannot tolerate lawlessness and extreme political correctness masking as free speech any longer.”

    ###

    * Image from www.nbc29.com
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