Campaign 2010

Apr 26, 2014

MEMO: Richmond Rubberstamp Barbara Comstock Would Go Along With Shutdown Crew

TO: Interested Parties

FR: DCCC Communications

DT: April 26, 2014

RE: Richmond Rubberstamp Barbara Comstock Would Go Along With Shutdown Crew

The last thing Northern Virginians want is someone who will rubberstamp the reckless agenda of Washington Republicans. But that’s exactly what Barbara Comstock did in Richmond, whether it was supporting nationally derided attacks on women’s health or opposing commonsense solutions to grow the economy, like the transportation bill.

Now she wants to be part of the shutdown crowd in Congress, where Comstock will continue to follow her irresponsible bosses down more ideological rabbit holes that hurt women, commuters and seniors. The northern Virginians who elected moderate Frank Wolf for decades will reject her brand of go-along-to-get-ahead politics.

In contrast, Virginians of all political stripes are united behind John Foust: a leader who will roll up his sleeves to solve thorny problems, who helped to balance Fairfax County’s budget and deliver quality services that resident expect. Foust enters the general election in strong shape to run a winning campaign.

Following this bruising Tea Party Primary, here’s the state of the race in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District:


The Washington Post said it best:

“Ms. Comstock is among the most conservative lawmakers in Richmond. A lawyer and prolific fundraiser, she represents thousands of commuters in a traffic-clogged district badly in need of road improvements; nonetheless, last year she voted against the first bill in more than a quarter century to provide fresh money for the state’s crumbling highways, even though it was backed by her own party’s top leaders.

“Ms. Comstock also supported legislation that would have required women seeking abortions to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds. She backed a measure intended to outlaw abortion by granting individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception. She voted to repeal a law limiting handgun purchases to one per month. And she opposes expanding Medicaid, which would provide health coverage for up to 400,000 uninsured Virginians […]

Ms. Comstock’s past primary votes are her business. But by jockeying to appeal to the most extreme fringe of the electorate, Republicans run the risk of alienating centrist, level-headed and educated voters in the 10th District.”

NUMBERS DON’T LIE: A strong open seat pickup opportunity for Democrats

President Obama carried this district in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote, while Tim Kaine won this district in 2012.  

Longtime Congressman Frank Wolf was a consistently strong candidate with a long record in the district, and voters saw him as a centrist, independent of political party. Wolf had an irreplaceable brand and outperformed Mitt Romney by 10 percentage points in 2012 – a performance Comstock will be hard-pressed to match, given her well-documented tendency to rubberstamp her leaders’ reckless agenda.

Republicans held onto this district only “based on the strength of his [Wolf’s] incumbency,” but over his 30-year career, the district changed underneath him, taking on an “increasing purple tone.” The district also includes a voting age population that is nearly 30 percent minority, including a 11-percent Hispanic voting age population who are increasingly infuriated by the Republican’s refusal to take up immigration reform

FRONT AND CENTER: Republicans’ Shutdown

Home to government employees and a large federal contracting community, this district was devastated by the Republicans' reckless government shutdown. The Washington Post wrote that: “Downtown restaurants and businesses that depend on tourism suffered. Furloughed workers fretted about bills, and some took part-time jobs,” while a Daily Press headline exclaimed “Shutdown hurts Virginia the most.”  

Similarly, the Republicans' sequester and furloughs for military families have inflicted serious pain on Northern Virginia’s residents and defense-heavy economy: Pew wrote that “of all the states, Virginia stands among the most vulnerable to the $43 billion in defense cutbacks,” while George Mason University Professor Stephen Fuller wrote that the sequestration could “very easily push the Virginia economy into recession.”


STATE OF PLAY: Comstock limps out of primary, Democrats unite behind Foust

Comstock secured her party’s nomination by highlighting her collaborations with the radical fringe of her party, like voting against the transportation bill and supporting transvaginal ultrasounds – but she endured weeks of blistering attacks from fellow Republicans that have exposed her liabilities.   

Republican Stephen Hollingshead blasted Comstock as a “government insider, both lobbyist and a career politician,” while Republican Howie Lind slammed Comstock for her support from the “establishment” Republicans in D.C. Republican Rob Wasinger even called out Comstock for lying about her voting record in the Democratic Presidential primary.

In contrast, Democrats are united behind Supervisor John Foust, a proven leader with a record of balancing every budget and making government do more with less by cutting wasteful spending while continuing to deliver quality services to residents. A local leader with a personal story of success earned through a lifetime of hard work, Foust is perfectly in touch with the values of the centrist district and enters the general election in strong shape to run a winning campaign.