Tag: glenn youngkin
'Losing Sucks': Virginia GOP Discord Surges After Campaign Failure

'Losing Sucks': Virginia GOP Discord Surges After Campaign Failure

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin's recent major legislative loss is shedding light on state Republican infighting, The Washington Post reports.

As other GOP members push to remove House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) from his position over failing to counter Youngkin's Spirit of Virginia political action committee's anti-abortion $1.4 million TV campaign, Virginia Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) is challenging the speaker for his seat.

The Post spoke with three GOP delegates who "said the governor's PAC did not consult them about the ad buy or the flurry of mailers on the same theme that the PAC sent to some districts," and the claimed the PAC also "ignored their concerns and made last-minute demands for them to appear at Youngkin-led rallies and other events, which they said were primarily meant to promote his potential last-minute bid for president."

The Postreports:

With prospects for his conservative agenda and potential White House bid on the line, Youngkin and his team made abortion a central theme with all 140 House and Senate seats on the ballot and both narrowly divided chambers up for grabs.

The strategy was a notable shift for Virginia Republicans, who have tended to play up kitchen table issues — such as the economy, schools and crime — and downplay abortion. After wooing GOP caucus voters with a vow to 'protect the life of every Virginia child born and unborn,' Youngkin himself said little about abortion in the 2021 general election. He was captured on video saying he had to downplay the issue to win swing voters but promising to 'go on offense' against the procedure once elected.

The governor eventually "proposed banning abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk," the report notes.

Two people familiar with the campaign told the Post that Kilgore was aware of "the abortion strategy and approved of it," but one delegate denies that claim.

"I have worked with the Governor and support his agenda whole heartedly," Kilgore said in a statement to the Post."However, this isn't about the Governor — it's about the future of leadership in the House of Delegates, and making the changes we need to make to be successful in the long term for the Virginians we represent."

He added, "While we are at a crossroads that we neither wanted nor expected, now is the time to come together and move forward."

The Post emphasizes that "infighting within the Virginia GOP suggests that Youngkin, at the midpoint of his four-year term, could have trouble with his own party as he faces a General Assembly controlled by Democrats."

Referring to the failed anti-abortion campaign, another Republican delegate told the Post, "We literally ran on one of the third rails of politics. We told them, this is the year to run on inflation, grocery bills, gas bills, fuel costs, freakin’ child care. … If we're not providing an answer or a solution to those things, then the people are looking at us like, 'Why are you talking about abortion?''

According to the report, the PACs executive director, Matthew Moran, said "on X that he looked forward to addressing any criticism at a panel discussion Monday night," writing, "Losing sucks, and I'm never afraid to wear anything on my chin. You can't be prepared to take the credit if you’re not also prepared to take the criticism. … I expect a good discussion on the effect of the Secure Your Vote Virginia program, the role of abortion and the thoughts behind our strategy to combat the attacks (most of them completely false), and why we invested in certain races. I look forward to all of that."

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Republicans Mail 'Revenge Porn' Leaflets In State Senate Race

The Republican Party of Virginia is exploring how low a political party can go with a new set of campaign mailers targeting Democratic state House candidate Susanna Gibson. Last month, the Washington Postreported that Gibson and her husband had performed sex acts for tips on the platform Chaturbate. At the time, Gibson’s Republican opponent, David Owen, ostentatiously took the high road, telling the Post, “I’m sure this is a difficult time for Susanna and her family, and I’m remaining focused on my campaign.” Now, the state Republican Party is using screenshotted images from those livestreams in a campaign mailer.

“Do not open if you are under the age of 18,” the outside of the mailer reads, and, “Warning: Explicit material enclosed.” Inside, “voters found two pieces of paper with censored quotes and screenshots from Gibson’s public porn livestream,” NBC12 reported.

“Glenn Youngkin wants to ban pornhub but had his party campaign committee mail out nude photos of a candidate. He’s a man of privilege that doesn’t understand CONSENT and that should petrify every voter in Virginia. Revenge porn is a crime and that includes in politics,” state Sen. Louise Lucas tweeted in response to the mailer.

That does raise an important question. When Gibson’s Chaturbate streams were first reported, her lawyer suggested to the Post that their preservation and sharing on other sites could constitute revenge porn, citing a Virginia court’s ruling that there is a “stark distinction between an image existing only in someone’s memory … [and] a permanent file that may be shared or re-viewed indefinitely.”

However, the Republican Party’s lawyers were on the case. Virginia does have a statute on “Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another,” which prohibits the malicious dissemination of “any videographic or still image created by any means whatsoever that depicts another person who is totally nude, or in a state of undress so as to expose the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast.” However, images of the inside of the mailer aired on local news show that the warnings on the outside about explicit content refer more to quotes from Gibson’s livestream than to the images used, which are not explicit. The spirit of revenge porn is absolutely there, but the letter of the law doesn’t appear to have been violated.

According to the same local news report, Youngkin claimed he didn’t know anything about the mailers—but he was happy to take the opportunity to attack Gibson and talk up Owen. That’s Glenn Youngkin for you. He markets himself as the nice-guy Republican antidote to Trump, but he’s the leader of a state party that’s sending out mailers carefully tiptoeing around the edges of revenge porn laws, and he’ll happily use the controversy around those mailers for political advantage. A total sleazebag, in other words.

Virginia elections expert Larry Sabato suggested that this might be a desperation move by Republicans. “They have decided that this will benefit their candidate. You wonder whether perhaps a private survey indicated that Susanna Gibson was doing better than they expected her to because that is a very competitive district,” he told NBC12.

According to a statement from Gibson’s campaign, “David Owen and the Virginia GOP are trying to distract voters from their extreme agenda to ban abortion, defund schools, and allow violent criminals to access weapons of war. Voters are tired of these desperate attacks, and they will not be fooled by them. From day one, Susanna has been focused on protecting reproductive freedom, fully funding our schools, and keeping our communities safe. Nothing will ever deter her commitment to our community.”

This isn’t the only recent Republican foray into revenge porn, of course, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene showing nonconsensual nude photos of Hunter Biden in a House hearing. When people—or political parties—show you who they are, believe them.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Glenn Youngkin

TikTok Billionaire Funding Glenn Youngkin's Anti-Choice Crusade

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is collecting millions of dollars from rich out-of-state donors as he works to win full GOP control of the General Assembly this November. Two million dollars came from a major investor in the parent company of TikTok, a social media app Youngkin banned as a threat to U.S. national security.

Youngkin’s Republican allies currently hold a narrow majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, and they have used their majority to advance Youngkin’s right-wing agenda. Democrats hold a slim majority in the Virginia Senate, which allows them to block Youngkin’s extreme proposals. They’ve stopped rollbacks of reproductive rights, loosening of gun safety laws, and tax cuts for the wealthiest Virginians.

Voting has already begun for all 100 seats in the House and all 40 seats in the Senate. The election ends on November 7.

Youngkin and his Spirit of Virginia PAC are spending heavily to try to win Republican control of both chambers. If Republicans win control of the Legislature, Youngkin has indicated he will attempt to pass an unpopular 12-week abortion ban.

To make a Republican takeover a reality, Youngkin has been relying on billionaire Republican megadonors who do not live in Virginia. CBS News reported on Tuesday that in just 48 hours, he had raised $4.4 million in PAC funds.

A million dollars of that came from Thomas Peterffy, a business executive from Palm Beach, Florida, bringing his total donations to Spirit of Virginia to $3 million for the year.

Another $2,000,000 came from Jeff Yass, the richest person in Pennsylvania, according to a 2022 report published by the website PennLive.

A Spirit of Virginia spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Yass is co-founder of Susquehanna International Group, which has owned about a 15 percent stake in TikTok parent company ByteDance since 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. The outlet estimated that Yass personally owns about half of that stake, accounting for about $21 billion of his $28 billion net worth.

Because ByteDance is mostly Chinese-owned, Youngkin announced in December 2022 that he would ban the use of TikTok on all state devices and networks.

“TikTok and WeChat data are a channel to the Chinese Communist Party, and their continued presence represents a threat to national security, the intelligence community, and the personal privacy of every single American,” Youngkin said. “We are taking this step today to secure state government devices and wireless networks from the threat of infiltration and ensure that we safeguard the data and cybersecurity of state government.”

Democratic legislative leaders accused Youngkin of hypocrisy in a press release issued Wednesday.

“This is the same party that, not even a week ago, tried to hold the government hostage for their own ambitions. So, am I supposed to be surprised at this blatant hypocrisy?” said House Democratic Leader Don Scott. “The Governor, and his party, seem to have one set of standards when it comes to the livelihood of Virginians and another when it comes to himself. He drove away hundreds of thousands of dollars from Ford to create jobs in the Danville area because of MAGA conspiracy theories, but will accept millions of dollars to his own campaign.”

Youngkin refused in December 2022 to support building a Ford Motor Co. electric battery facility in Virginia, claiming China would control the technology.

“The future of the commonwealth, reproductive healthcare in the south, and fundamental freedoms of all Virginians depend on it,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee communications director Abhi Rahman in a press release. “We are all hands on deck to show Youngkin and his billionaires that they cannot buy an abortion ban in Virginia.”

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Liz Harrington

Trump Spokeswoman Says Murdoch And Fox Aim To 'Damage' Him (VIDEO)

Fox News is hosting the first Republican presidential debate on August 23, and former President Donald Trump has yet to agree to participate, defying the Fox hosts who are pushing him to. This follows Trump telling Reuters recently that Fox is a “hostile network” and that he is considering offers to counterprogram the debate. This comes as reports indicate that the Murdochs have soured on Flordia Gov. Ron DeSantis and instead are turning their attention to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin; mentions of Youngkin have spiked on Fox lately as hosts have touted Youngkin and encouraged him to jump in the race. Additionally, mentions of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are crowding out opportunities for others on the network.

Meanwhile, Newsmax personalities are urging the former president to appear on their network instead; others in right-wing media are broadly understanding of Trump's inclination to skip the debate. Gabriel Sherman has also reported that Tucker Carlson may book Trump to counterprogram the debate.

Amid this, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington appeared on Steve Bannon's War Room and agreed with Bannon that the Murdochs and Fox were trying to take out Trump; she additionally called Fox a “fake news network” and noted that viewers are “fleeing” in favor of independent outlets.

STEVE BANNON (HOST): He just put out a tweet about, or Truth Social, about the debate. And he took a poll at the debate at the time that was happening. Now he's saying he may watch for VP candidates. I want to make sure President Trump knows that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Kari Lake will not be on that stage. I don't know if it's – I don't know if it's going to be a really productive thing to watch if it is for VPs.

But is President Trump now coming? Do you agree that Murdoch's trying to set a trap for Trump over at Fox and all he cares about is whether it's Tim Scott or Youngkin or – or you pick them. All they want to do is damage President Trump. Maam?

LIZ HARRINGTON (TRUMP SPOKESPERSON): It's obvious, but it's not working. And it didn't work in 2016. And the people have learned a heck of a lot since then. They know what's going on. And look, he poured, what, over a million dollars into Ron DeSantis pockets for his book deal. How's that working out for him?

I mean, they've already moved on basically over there at that fake news network. So, look, it's not working and people are fleeing that station. They've gone to alternative media. They go directly to the source. They go to the truth. That's why they're thousands of people breaking records in Erie, Pennsylvania. They're watching directly on our livestreams, RSBN, Real America's voice, all of these different outlets. That's what they're going to. So they think that it's still business as usual. They think that they still have the power. They don't. The people have the power. And the people are fully behind President Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.