Herring attacks Miyares, Youngkin talks Trump and vaccines, and MUCH more from Virginia politics

The latest in Virginia politics.

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“He walks a very fine line” - CNN

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin was interviewed by CNN following an event in Virginia recently.

“We are about to absolutely send a shockwave around the country,” Youngkin said during the report from CNN.

He was pressed on Donald Trump, the former president that lost Virginia by ten points last year. Youngkin, who was endorsed by Trump after winning the nomination, has not exactly embraced the former president with open arms, barely ever mentioning him while walking the tight rope to keep moderates and Trump fans happy.

“He knows exactly where I stand, I am a Virginia-first candidate,” Youngkin said.

Youngkin said his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine is not political at all when asked if it was politics or science that is keeping him from supporting a COVID-19 vaccine requirement. He has said he does support mandatory vaccines for other sicknesses like measles, mumps, and rubella, after hesitation on that question at first during the debate.


Herring accuses Miyares of voting against legislation that would impact his family’s business

Attorney General Mark Herring is accusing his Republican challenger Jason Miyares of supporting his own self-interests instead of abstaining from votes on legislation that directly impacts his family’s business. Legally, Miyares is in the clear – but Herring is accusing the delegate of using his elected position to benefit himself.

“While raking in over $1 million from his family real estate business, Jason Miyares voted to protect landlords over renters and homeowners,” a new TV ad from Herring says. “It’s sleazy and wrong.” 

Miyares is a lawyer and state delegate for his day job. The family business that Herring’s ad refers to is Atkinson Realty, a “premier boutique brokerage for Coastal Virginia communities.” According to their website, Atkinson Realty sells houses and manages vacation and long-term rentals. 

Page Atkinson Miyares is listed as a broker at the business. She is also Jason’s wife. His campaign website lists Page as a third-generation owner of Atkinson Realty. 

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Miyares has reported since 2014 that his immediate family has earned at least $250,000 annually from Atkinson Realty. He has been serving in the General Assembly since 2016. 

Herring is calling attention to the votes that Miyares has taken during his time in the House of Delegates that had direct impacts on the real estate industry in Virginia. Instead of abstaining from the votes, Miyares sided with his Republican colleagues and voted against several bills last year that would have given tenants more power during the pandemic. 

In 2020, he voted against a bill that prevented commercial landlords from evicting a tenant until providing the opportunity to pay back rent through a payment plan. He also voted against a bill that protects renters from eviction for 60 days if they have proof they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

Miyares voted against providing additional funds in the budget last year that went towards providing legal support to low-income individuals facing eviction in the commonwealth. He voted against extending all of this legislation as well when the pandemic did not end by the sunset date of July1, 2021, that was added for many of the protections. 

Earlier this year, Miyares voted against legislation with his Republican colleagues that prohibited a landlord from requiring a tenant to pay a security deposit, insurance premiums for damage insurance, and insurance premiums for renter’s insurance prior to occupying the residence. 

He also voted against the Fair Housing Act, legislation that added discrimination on the basis of a person’s source of funds to the list of unlawful discriminatory housing practices.

During his first year serving as a delegate in 2016, Miyares was one of only 22 delegates in the House that voted against legislation allowing Virginians to list their house for rent on Airbnb. 

“Jason Miyares is showing us exactly why he cannot be trusted to be Attorney General. Voters can see that he is someone who has no problem with using his elected position to benefit himself and his family,” Attorney General Herring said in a statement to Virginia Scope. “I have always said, the Attorney General needs to be the people’s lawyer. That means standing up to fight for everyday Virginians and their interests, not your own financial interests.”

According to a spokesperson for Miyares, he was never advised to abstain from any votes when consulting with the Virginia Ethics Council. “While in the House, Jason regularly consulted with the Virginia Ethics Council on votes and was never advised to abstain,” said Victoria LaCivita, a spokesperson for Miyares. 

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Water Cooler

  • The Second Gentleman (Doug Emhoff) is coming to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Northern Virginia and Richmond this Saturday.

  • A Fox News poll shows McAuliffe with a four-point lead over Republican Glenn Youngkin in the gubernatorial race.

  • Congress passed a funding bill and President Biden signed it to prevent a government shutdown from happening at midnight tonight. They now have 18 days to figure out how to fix the debt ceiling before the Treasury Department runs out of flexibility to avoid missing payments.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill last night as they try to continue to convince Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W. Va.) to support the bill.

  • Tina Ramirez, a Republican candidate for the 7th congressional district seat says she raised over $300,000 during her first fundraising quarter. Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger D-Henrico is the current representative in the 7th CD. “I am 100% committed to defeating Abigail Spanberger next November,” Ramirez said.

  • The Princeton Gerrymandering Project graded two of the proposed House of Delegate maps that the Virginia Redistricting Commission is considering. (These maps are not finalized yet as the commission continues to work through the process.)

    • Map A: Grade = B, with a slight GOP tilt.

    • Map B: Grade = A, with no apparent bias.

  • Abortion access advocates are holding a “Ban off our bodies” event in Richmond Saturday. Senator Jennifer McClellan, Lucy Hartman from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, Steph Nash from Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Kenda Sutton El from Birth in Color, Dr. Shanthi Ramesh from Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Jana Hebb from Whole Woman’s Health, and other community members will be in attendance.


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Fact-checking the second McAuliffe-Youngkin gubernatorial debate - Washington Post

by Glenn Kessler

In their second and final debate Tuesday in the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) and former private equity investor Glenn Youngkin (R) attacked each other on a variety of issues. We’re not going to do a comprehensive fact check, but here are some claims that might have puzzled viewers in the quick back-and-forth. As is our practice, we do not award Pinocchios in debate or speech roundups.

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Spanberger released a statement after voting to fund the government

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger D-VA07 released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to keep the federal government open through Dec. 3.

“As we experienced during the last lapse in federal funding, a government shutdown would cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and hurt millions of hardworking Americans — including thousands of Central Virginia’s federal employees, contractors, and small businesses. As a former federal agent, I also know that shutdowns present a serious threat to our national security. On the floor of the House today, I was proud to protect the paychecks of our federal employees, federal law enforcement officers, Customs and Border Protection personnel, and other public servants who work at all hours to defend and serve our country. The safety and security of American families should never be put at risk due to irresponsible management of our nation’s finances — and I am glad to see this legislation now move to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.”

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As Congress debates following states in legalizing marijuana, youth use is up

By MICHAEL TOUMA

As congressional Democrats press for federal legalization of marijuana and more states continue to legalize it, an increasing number of college-age adults across the United States are ditching liquor stores and heading to dispensaries, a new study shows. 

Roughly 44% of college students consumed marijuana in 2020, a jump from 38% in 2015, according to a July survey by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

The survey, which has been tracking alcohol and drug consumption of Americans aged 19-60 since 1980, questioned nearly 1,600 young adults aged 19-22 from March to November of 2020. This age range showed the greatest changes in cannabis and alcohol use of all the groups studied.

By contrast, among 45-60 year olds, 10-12% reported marijuana use in 2020, a decrease from 12-15% in 2015

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