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The Virginia Terry McAuliffe v. Glenn Youngkin Governor's Race

Virginians, Stop Trump Extremist Glenn Youngkin —Vote in Droves for Terry McAuliffe 10/28/2021


Yes, in the real world, Donald Trump was clobbered on 11/03/2021 by a popular margin of 7,059,547 votes (Cook Political Report). In the constitutionally required electoral vote count, Trump also handily lost 306-232 to Joe Biden, the same margin by which Donald beat Hillary in 2016. However, far too many of Trump’s rabid disciples don’t believe he lost the election. According to a 2/25/-3/01/2021 Monmouth University Poll, almost 2/3 of GOPers believe that Democrat Joe Biden did not legitimately win the election, and 65% of these GOPers believe that Biden’s win was solely the result of voter fraud. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans say they never will accept Biden as President. More than 60% of Americans overall, however, believe that Biden won fair and square (nbcnews.com, Dann). The GOP has, in effect, became a cult, a party completely taken over by Donald Trump. The horrible 1/06/2021 attempt to storm the Capitol to overturn Biden’s legitimate election was evidence of how deeply implanted that feeling was. Fortunately, that coup attempt was thwarted. Nine months after this coup, a Politico and Morning Consult Poll taken between 10/22 and 10/24/2021 found that 35% of registered voters wanted Biden’s election overturned. Sixty percent of those wanting Biden’s election overturned in this new poll were GOPers (“The Hill,” 10/27/21).

The Trump GOP party now testing other ways to elect Trump-like candidates not only in “Red” states like FL and TX, but in “Blue” ones like California and Virginia. The attempt to recall CA’s popular Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom went down in flames on 10/14/2021. Newsom heavily outspent his opponents and had the gift of Larry Elder, a Trump fan openly bragging about his extremist positions, as his chief recall opponent. In VA, the Trump/GOP cult is trying another way to win the 11/02/2021 gubernatorial race which it hopes to use in 2022 and beyond. Get yourself a filthy rich millionaire, Glenn Youngkin with no previous political experience. Youngkin, an unknown blank slate, can blanket the media with endless ads building up a positive brand. Youngkin can spend like crazy to self-finance a good deal of his campaign. Youngkin tries to behave like he’s a “normal” basketball playing “moderate” fellow. He repeats Trump’s extremist positions before his “red meat” MAGA base. However, he tries to hide those positions from the general anti-Trump public, often quickly deleting such comments. Youngkin claims that Trump is irrelevant to his campaign, even though Trump has repeatedly endorsed him. Too many members of the major media covering his campaign foolishly buy Glenn Youngkin’s “independence” from Trump because Youngkin won’t personally be seen campaigning with Donald. Never mind that Trump’s wacky follower Steve Bannon comes to VA to bolster Youngkin. Bannon and his Youngkin gang pledge allegiance to a flag at a VA rally. That very flag was used in the 1/06/2021 Capitol coup attempt (usnews.com, Jacobson, 10/25/21). Youngkin hopes to charge up his base in Southside VA and the western part of VA. At the same time, with his “moderate” act, Youngkin aims to keep the Democratic base in Richmond, Hampton Roads, and NOVA, the Northern VA D.C. metro suburbs home because of “voter fatigue” and lack of enthusiasm. A recent Monmouth poll found 49% of GOPers enthusiastic about the VA governor’s race v. 26% of Democrats (cnn.com, Merica 10/23/21). Too many Virginia Democrats and independents are giving Biden lower ratings after his “not graceful” withdrawal from Afghanistan. The awful bickering of liberal Democratic House members and conservative Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema over Biden’s major infrastructure and social safety net bills is also far from helpful. Trump is not personally on the ballot. The national media has always looked at VA’s off-year elections as a bellwether. If the GOP wins in VA, they will see this as a good indication that “Team Red” will take back the House and Senate in the 2022 midterms. VA voted for the Obama/Biden ticket twice as well as for Hillary. Biden carried the Old Dominion in 2020 by 10 points (Cohen & Cook, 2022 Political Almanac). Still, in gubernatorial elections, VA often votes for the party not sitting in the White House and most polling now shows the VA governor’s race tied or very close. However, in recent history, one “Team Blue” candidate won the governorship in 2013 while Democrat Obama sat in the Oval Office. His name? Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe is the Democrat now running against GOPer Trumper Glenn Youngkin. McAuliffe was previously Gov. of VA from 2014-2018. Let’s view this race.


Glenn Youngkin (54) graduated from TX’s Rice University where he received a 1990 Bachelor’s degree on a basketball scholarship and played on the Rice basketball team. He obtained a 1994 degree MBA from Harvard Business School (riceowls.com, hbs.edu., 10/27/17). After graduating Rice, Youngkin worked at the investment bank firm First Boston and the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company (investigate.co.uk, 6/27/06, bloomberg.com, Kelly & Perlberg, 6/04/18). From 1995-2020, Youngkin worked at the D.C.-based private-equity firm The Carlyle Group. He was involved with buyouts and investments. He ultimately became the company’s co-CEO and helped oversee the firm’s transition from a publicly traded partnership into a corporation (wsj.com, Louch, 7/21/20). The co-CEO relationship was described by Bloomberg News as “awkward and increasingly acrimonious.” Youngkin’s partner Kewsong Lee gained sole control after 2 ½ years (Perlberg, 7/23/20). Youngkin retired from Carlyle in 9/2020 (Wiggi & Vandevelde, 7/21/20). As of 5/2021, Youngkin had a net worth of over $300 million (washingtonpost.com, 5/12/21, Schneider & Vozzella).


In 5/2021, Youngkin announced he was running for Gov. of VA in 2021. He spent at least $5.5 million of his own money and self-funded his successful primary campaign against six other GOP candidates (nytimes.com, Gabriel, 5/10/21). He has loaned at least $12 million to his gubernatorial campaign (marketrealist.com, Clarendon, 7/23/21). Youngkin and all his primary competitors stressed their loyalty to Demagogue Donald. Trump endorsed Youngkin after he won the nomination (AP, Barakat, 5/15/21).


Youngkin, a Trump supporter, tried to play it both ways with pro-and anti-Trump voters. He employed “big time” the dishonesty card. While seeking the GOP nomination, Youngkin for months refused to acknowledge that Biden had legitimately won the presidency, while Trump himself would not acknowledge Biden’s victory. After winning the gubernatorial nomination, Youngkin “shifted” his position, stating that Biden was the legitimate president (Oliver, virginiamercury.com, 5/12/21, politifact.com, Fiske, 5/19/21). Youngkin, however, continues to emphasize “election integrity” as a major campaign issue. He supports stricter voting laws, such as a photo ID requirement (Vozzella, washingtonpost.com, 8/06/21). Translation: stricter voter laws under the guise of “election integrity” is a dog whistle for suppressing voting rights of people of color, a strong part of the Democratic voting base.


During the primary, Youngkin pledged to stand up against gun control legislation that the Democratic VA legislature had passed, including expanded background checks and handgun purchase limitations (Washington Post, Vozzella, 5/25/21). During the primary, Youngkin called himself an opponent of abortion. After winning the primary, Youngkin “suddenly” de-emphasized these social issues, not popular among suburban swing VA voters, who will decide this race. However, in 7/2021, Youngkin was caught on a hot mic telling an activist that he would limit his comments on abortion during the campaign so that he would not “alienate independent voters.” He still promised this activist that he would, if he became Governor, “go after Planned Parenthood,” which performs some abortions (See Pope, wvtf.org/post/hot-mic, 7/08/21, washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics). Again, dishonestly conceal from the general public what you really stand for, but make sure your base knows what you believe. National GOPers hope Youngkin’s dishonesty game, if he wins, can be used to put more GOPers in office. Youngkin supports the COVID-19 vaccine, but opposes mask and vaccine mandates (Schneider & Vozzella, washingtonpost.com, 8/13/21). In video footage caught by a liberal advocacy group on 9/23/2021, Youngkin told a person that if he wins, he could overturn VA’s COVID-19 safety requirements for public employees on “Day One.” This comment goes against what Youngkin said in a 9/16/2021 debate with Democrat McAuliffe. He then stated that individuals “should be allowed to make that decision on their own,” but he did not suggest getting rid of the existing requirements. VA has had more than 857,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 12,000 deaths. More than 60% of Virginians are fully inoculated against the virus. A Washington Post-Schar School of VA Poll released on 9/23/2021 found that VA voters support requiring vaccinations for school teachers and staff (67%-31%), high school athletes (60%-37%), and business employees (55%-41%), (Israel, J., americanindependent.com, 9/28/21). This issue is a very hot one in the VA governor’s race, and Youngkin is on the wrong side of it.


Youngkin repeated to the AP that he is opposed to marriage equality but said since marriage equality “is acceptable” in VA, he would “support that” as governor. Youngkin stated he feels “called to love everyone.” Some “acceptance.” The anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, which has been called an extremist group, endorsed Youngkin. Terry McCauliffe called Youngkin “the most homophobic anti-choice candidate in VA history.” McCauliffe, as a previous VA governor, was the first Southern Governor to officiate at a same-sex wedding. McCauliffe called the type of bigotry and intolerance Youngkin advocated against the LGBTQ community one that has “NO place in our Commonwealth (washingtonblade.com, Lavers, 10/25/21).”


And there is more. Youngkin, in an attempt to emphasize education, an issue in NOVA (Northern VA), states he opposes the “pervasive teaching of critical race theory.” There is little evidence this obscure academic theory, which GOPers obsess about, has ever been taught in VA. What Youngkin and fellow GOPers mean is that they don’t want VA students to hear much about the horrors of VA’s and the South’s “original sin,” African American slavery. Youngkin put an ad out saying that black author Toni Morrison’s book “Beloved” about the horrors of black slavery upset a mother’s son. The son allegedly “upset” was a 17- year old student in an Advanced Placement honors high school class. How can you not teach about how bad slavery was in the U.S. when it caused the Civil War and its legacy has hurt many blacks for generations (See politifact.com)? Youngkin, without evidence, accused liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros of furtively putting “radical leftists” on school boards (Kampeas, jta.org, 10/27/21). Let’s ad an anti-Semitic bullhorn to the VA race on the GOP side. Youngkin stated that he doesn’t know what causes climate change and that it really “doesn’t matter.” He said that he would not have signed VA’s Clean Economy Act, which calls for VA’s carbon emissions to reach zero by 2050 (Hankerson, WHRO-TV, 10/13/21). You get the idea. Downplay your extremist stands and your association with Trump and hope you get away with it. However, make sure your true base knows “you’re one of them.”


Unlike blank slate GOP Trumper Glenn Youngkin, Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a strong record of public service which he does not hide. McAuliffe graduated from D.C.’s Catholic University and received a 1984 law degree from Georgetown University. He worked on President Carter’s unsuccessful 1980 re-election campaign and was its national finance director at age 22 (leadersmag.com, 7/03/07). He started his first business sealing driveways and parking lots at age 14. McAuliffe later made millions as a banker, real estate developer, home builder, and internet venture capitalist. McAuliffe has a net worth of $30 million, a mere fraction of Youngkin’s $300 to near $400 million fortune (Gardner, washingtonpost.com, 5/03/09, Clarendon, 7/23/21, marketrealist.com). In 1996, McAuliffe chaired President Bill Clinton’s successful re-election campaign. From 2001-2005, he was chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In 2008, McAuliffe was chair of Hillary’s unsuccessful attempt to win the 2008 presidential nomination. In 2013, McAuliffe ran against GOPer Ken Cuccinelli for Governor of VA and defeated him in a close contest by a narrow 2.52 percentage (VA gubernatorial 2013 election, politico.com). As Governor, with a GOP legislature, McAuliffe vetoed over 120 bills. These were reactionary ones attacking abortion rights, including defunding Planned Parenthood, anti-LGBTQ ones, bills to suppress voting rights, and anti-environmental legislation (cbs19news.com, Schutte). Under McAuliffe, unemployment dropped in VA from 5.7%-3.3% and personal income rose by 14.9% (wtvr.com, 12/18/17). President Obama appointed him to the Council of Governors in 2014, and McAuliffe became chair of that organization in 2015 (richmond.com/news, Truong, 8/22/16). Despite GOP opposition to many of his health care plans, McAuliffe, an Obamcare supporter, authorized regulations and issued one executive order allowing for use of federal funds made available by Obamacare to expand a state’s Medicaid program. He brought many corporations to VA, increasing employment for its residents (richmond.com, Meola & Nolan, newsleader.com). McAuliffe restored the voting rights of 173, 000 released felons (Shineman, tcpalm.com, 11/08/18). Under VA law, popular Gov. McAuliffe was unable to run for a second consecutive term.


In running for Governor in 2021, McAuliffe stressed his pro-choice stance. He is a strong supporter of education. In 2016, he vetoed a GOP-sponsored bill known as the Toni Morrison “Beloved bill” because it would have allowed parents to block books containing “sexually explicit content” in schools. It seems that reactionary Youngkin wants to relitigate this old issue. Another book by another black author, Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” would also have been vetoed under this bill (Moriah Balingit, washingtonpost.com, 3/24/17). When Youngkin put up his ad attacking Toni Morrison’s book, McAuliffe noted that Trump GOPer Youngkin seemed to have a problem with black authors being taught in VA schools. Unlike Youngkin, McAuliffe believes that human activity has contributed to global warming and calls it a national security issue (Kunkle, 9/13/13, washingtonpost.com). He wants to move “past coal” and wants to limit the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by power plants (Pershing, roanoke.com, 10/03/13). Unlike Youngkin who now wants to dodge his previous stance against gun control, McAuliffe, a hunter himself, supports universal background checks for gun sales and VA’s attempts to limit handgun purchases. He has called for a ban an assault weapons in VA (Vozzella, washingtonpost.com, 12/17/12). McAuliffe has written several books, including a best-selling one, that condemned white nationalism after the fatal Charlottesville 2017 riot (nytimes.com, 8/18/19).


The only reason this race is so close is because far too many Democrats fail to understand that they must come out and vote in EVERY election, not just presidential ones. There are more moderate and progressive Virginians than the Trump reactionary crowd. However, that group can win and chart a reactionary agenda for VA if our base fails to show up. Just recently, President Biden, voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, and former President Barack Obama came to VA to rally Democratic voters to vote for McAuliffe and the entire VA Democratic ticket. Biden said it best. He declared, “I ran against Donald Trump, and Terry’s running against an acolyte of Donald Trump.” Biden also aptly stated, “Extremism can come in many forms. It can come in the rage of a mob driven to assault the Capitol. It can come in a smile in a fleece vest (what fake moderate Youngkin wears on the campaign trail). But the big lie is a lie. So Virginia, show up. Show up like you did for Barack and me. Show up like you did for me and Kamala. Show up for Terry McAuliffe.” Yes, Virginians, show up for Terry and for defending our democracy.