Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

House GOP Leaders Slam Howie Lind For Anti-Comstock Smear

Howie Lind

Howie Lind

House GOP leaders defend one of their own against misleading ads and rhetoric by Howie Lind directed against Del. Barbara Comstock

Yesterday, I heard a radio ad from the Howie Lind campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Frank Wolf in the 10th District. It started out good, but I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when the ad stated (and then repeated) the charge that Comstock supports “McAuliffe’s Medicaid expansion.” This shockingly dishonest charge is easily disproved, and is really disappointing coming from Lind, a former chairman of the 10th District GOP.

Clearly, I’ve had my issues with how Medicaid expansion has been handled in Virginia, and I’ve even had my issues with Del. Comstock in particular. I continue to have some reservations about certain language on her Delegate campaign website, but it is clear from everything she has said in this campaign—and from the actual votes she’s taken in the House of Delegates—that she cannot in any way be characterized as favoring “McAuliffe’s Medicaid expansion.”

When I wrote about the Citizens United poll that was released Tuesday, I noted that Comstock’s incredible positive/negative image ratio and huge percentage lead points to the likelihood of a highly negative campaign as we roll into the homestretch ahead of the April 26 canvass. I didn’t know then just how correct that assessment was.

This kind of campaigning is beneath Howie Lind. And, a group of House members, joined by Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity, have just released a letter to Lind expressing their profound anger and disappointment in the tactics. I hope this convinces Howie and others to stick to the facts. Comparing and contrasting records is a good thing…that’s how we inform voters ahead of elections. But you can’t just make that record up.

The letter to Lind is posted in full below:

April 10, 2014

Dear Mr. Lind,

It was extremely disappointing to see your campaign act with such disregard for the truth in your false, negative attacks on Del. Barbara Comstock. Your actions are especially troubling, since you were previously a 10th District Committee Republican Chairman, and until recently a U.S. Senate candidate. As fellow Republicans, we had hoped you would be aware that Del. Comstock has consistently voted against Medicaid expansion as it relates to Obamacare, contrary to claims your campaign is making. We believe that anyone who holds himself out as a Republican leader has an obligation to tell the truth and not take the road of distortion so frequently taken by Democrats.

Your false radio ad claiming Del. Comstock supports the Medicaid expansion advocated by Gov. Terry McAuliffe crosses the line and is simply untrue. This year the House of Delegates has taken up the issue of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion on numerous occasions, and every time, Del. Comstock has voted against the proposal. This information is readily accessible to anyone who wishes to see it by simply going online and checking the voting records. In addition, last year she was one of only 17 members of the House to vote against the budget because of her concern about Medicaid expansion. Incidentally, Del. Comstock was in Richmond again on Tuesday opposing Gov. McAuliffe’s Medicaid expansion, which as you know is being used to hold our budget hostage. Barbara has been a stalwart on this issue and your allegations to the contrary are unfounded and flatly untrue.

And now, not only are you falsely attacking Del. Comstock, but you also have objected to having Prince William’s Young Republican Chairman, Terrence Boulden, on the panel for the debate held yesterday by falsely claiming that he was on Del. Comstock’s payroll. This is also false, and now because of your false allegations, a young African American YR leader has been excluded from a YR debate panel. At a time when our party wants to be reaching out to all interested Virginians, you are trying to exclude people based on false allegations.

We request that you do the honorable thing and apologize for your false statements, withdraw your ad, and seriously review why you are even in this race. Your tactics and actions are causing actual harm to fellow Republicans, including some of our future leaders in the Young Republicans. We suggest you follow Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment — “Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican” — as 10th District Chairman John Whitbeck, Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins, and Congressman Frank Wolf have all recommended.

Sincerely,

Speaker William J. Howell
Majority Whip Delegate Jackson Miller
Delegate Tag Greason
Delegate Rich Anderson
Delegate David Ramadan
Supervisor Pat Herrity

Cross-posted to The Bull Elephant.

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