WHAT VIRGINIANS SAW THIS WEEK: Terry McAuliffe Receives Endorsement from 18 Black Educators, Campaigns Across Hampton Roads, Calls out Extremist Republican Glenn Youngkin at Third Democratic Debate; and Terry for Virginia Launches Two New Digital Ads Highlighting Terry’s Work to Preserve Historic African American Cemeteries, and Linking Extremist Republican Glenn Youngkin to Donald Trump - Terry McAuliffe

WHAT VIRGINIANS SAW THIS WEEK: Terry McAuliffe Receives Endorsement from 18 Black Educators, Campaigns Across Hampton Roads, Calls out Extremist Republican Glenn Youngkin at Third Democratic Debate; and Terry for Virginia Launches Two New Digital Ads Highlighting Terry’s Work to Preserve Historic African American Cemeteries, and Linking Extremist Republican Glenn Youngkin to Donald Trump

MCLEAN, VA – Virginians across the Commonwealth this week saw 18 Black educators across the Commonwealth endorse Terry for governor on the 67th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. On Tuesday, Terry attended in-person events across the Hampton Roads area, including visiting the Ohio Creek Watershed Project Site and an early voting event. On Thursday, Terry laid out a clear contrast between himself and Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate Glenn Youngkin at the third Democratic gubernatorial debate, reminding voters how far the Commonwealth has come since he was sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd Governor. Also on Thursday, Terry for Virginia released a new digital ad calling out extremist Glenn Youngkin for running on Trumpism. And this weekend, Terry will meet with local leaders, business owners, and faith leaders in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.

On Monday, the 67th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, nearly twenty Black educators today endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor joining a growing list of over 100 educators from across the Commonwealth who share Terry’s big, bold vision to create a more equitable education system for our kids. Among those endorsing Terry today are Dr. Patricia Turner, and Dr. Algeania Freeman former President of Livingston College, St. Paul’s College, Wilberforce University, and Martin University. A member of the Norfolk 17, Dr. Turner joined Terry last month for a virtual conversation on equitable education.

“We are at a critical juncture in Virginia’s history and now more than ever, we need leaders with a proven track record of getting things done and moving the needle on some of our most critical issues, like education,” said Dr. Patricia Turner, educator and member of the Norfolk 17. “Terry McAuliffe is that leader. Terry’s passion for educating our children, dedication to supporting our teachers, and bold vision for the future of education shines through. Terry has our back and we have his.”

“Terry McAuliffe has made education the cornerstone of his vision to create a more equitable post-COVID Virginia and has a big, bold plan to get us there,” said Dr. Algeania Freeman, former President of St. Paul’s College, Wilberforce University, and Martin University. “Terry launched his campaign making a commitment to fund education, get every student online, raise teacher pay and support the next generation of teacher’s through his Lucy Simms educator program. This kind of leadership is exactly what we need to move the Commonwealth forward and I’m proud to endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor.”

On Tuesday, Terry McAuliffe took part in a number of events throughout the Hampton Roads area. He toured the Ohio Creek Watershed Project Sites in Norfolk. As governor, Terry helped to secure a $120 million federal grant to fund this project, which will combat recurrent flooding in two predominantly Black communities in Norfolk. Terry then participated in Senator Lionell Spruill’s Annual Fundraiser along with President Pro Tempore and Terry for Virginia co-chair L. Louise Lucas, Delegates Angelia Williams Graves, Cliff Hayes, and other elected officials from across the Hampton Roads area. And he attended an early voting event in Norfolk with Senator L. Louise Lucas, Senator Lionell Spruill, and Delegate Angelia Williams Graves.

On Wednesday, Terry for Virginia released a new digital ad highlighting Terry’s bold action as governor to preserve, protect and honor historic black cemeteries in Virginia. In the ad, Vincent Tucker, an advocate for preserving Black cemeteries, recalls how Confederate cemeteries received funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia for maintenance while historical African American cemeteries, like his family’s ancestral cemetery in Hamton, did not receive the same state support. As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry McAuliffe passed the law that helped fund the maintenance of these historical African American cemeteries. 

During Thursday’s Democratic gubernatorial debate hosted by NBC 4 and Telemundo 44 on Thursday, Terry laid out a clear contrast between himself and Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate Glenn Youngkin, reminding voters how far the Commonwealth has come in the eight years since he was sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd Governor. 

During his administration, Terry rebuilt Virginia’s economy from the turbulence of the Great Recession, sequestration, and a record deficit left by his predecessor. Terry created 200,000 good jobs and raised personal income 14 percent in the face of unprecedented Republican extremism and opposition. Terry was a brick wall against extreme Republican attacks on Virginians’ reproductive rights during his administration, vetoing all anti-reproductive health legislation including numerous bills that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. 

All that progress is at risk in November. In addition to his months of parroting Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, Youngkin has vowed to ban abortion in Virginia, promised to put more dangerous guns on the street and called Medicaid expansion, which has extended health care coverage to over 550,000 Virginians, a “sad” thing that happened. Fully embracing the most extreme elements of his party.

Terry is running for governor to defeat Republican extremism, Trumpism, and the Virginia GOP’s new standard bearer, right-wing extremist, Glenn Youngkin.

Terry also reminded voters exactly what is at stake in the November election saying in part:

“And what did this billionaire do right before his nomination? He campaigned all over Virginia with Senator Ted Cruz. Who was his first endorsement after he was nominated? Donald J. Trump. 
“In the first rally he gave after his nomination he came out to eliminate abortion in Virginia and put more guns on the street. 
“We’ve lived through an experiment at the White House with a right-wing billionaire. We’ve seen the damage that has been done to our country. We cannot let Glenn Youngkin do to Virginia what Donald Trump did to our country. I’m running for Governor on a big, bold plan to take Virginia to the next level, to lead this country out of the COVID crisis. It’s time to go big, no more tinkering around the edges.”


This weekend, Virginians will see Terry when he makes in-person visits to the cities of Harrisonburg and Charlottesville. In the morning, Terry will participate in events in Harrisonburg. Then in the afternoon, Terry will deliver remarks to local faith leaders in Charlottesville and participate in a small business tour.

Below is a highlight of the coverage Virginians saw this week: 

The Hill: McAuliffe ties Youngkin to Trump’s objections to 2020 results in new ad By Julia Manchester, 5/20/2021

Former Virginia governor and 2021 Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe is tying Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin to former President Trump‘s objections to the 2020 election results in a new ad released on Thursday. 

The digital ad, which was exclusively released to The Hill, opens with an image of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The spot also features a clip of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who endorsed Youngkin and voted against the Electoral College results in January. 
“The Republicans in Washington have pledged their loyalty to Donald Trump over our democracy,” the narrator continues.
“They kicked out Liz Cheney for saying the simple truth that we all know. And here in Virginia, they chose a nominee for governor who promotes the same conspiracy theories,” the ad continues.

The ad comes hours before the Democratic gubernatorial debate in Virginia. McAuliffe is widely seen as the front-runner in the primary, which is set for June 8. 

The spot is the latest effort from McAuliffe and Democrats to tie Youngkin to the former president. Last week, the Democratic Governor’s Association launched a six-figure ad buy tying Youngkin to Trump. 

Trump endorsed Youngkin earlier this month, calling the businessman turned politician “pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America.” 
Youngkin’s opponents have specifically taken aim at his “Election Integrity Taskforce.” Youngkin said the task force, launched in February, is meant to establish legal voting standards in election processes, but Democrats argue it serves to amplify Trump’s assertion that the presidential election was stolen from him. 

Washington Post: Editorial: Glenn Youngkin pivots on the ‘big lie’ 5/20/2021


“WITH AN “election integrity” plan that was his campaign’s only semi-elaborated proposal, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin winked at the “big lie” and his party’s Trumpist base on his way to
 winning the GOP nomination this month. Then, days after his victory, he edged away from the fiction that the 2020 election was marred by fraud, an issue he’d previously dodged. “Yeah,” he said last week when asked whether President Biden’s win was legitimate. “He’s our president.”

Mr. Youngkin’s pivot was smart politics, nimbly executed as he shifts toward a stance less likely to alienate moderate and swing voters, especially in the populous Northern Virginia suburbs. Yet he is still trying to have it both ways, as though there were neutral ground between fact and fiction in last year’s election. There isn’t.

His subtle straddle is embedded in the stated justification for his five-point “election integrity” proposal, a vague compendium of ideas for verifying mail-in votes, auditing voting machines, strengthening voter ID and establishing a “politically independent” state elections department. Disingenuously, Mr. Youngkin presents this blueprint as nonpartisan because “both parties have long raised concerns” about election fraud — including Democrats who supposedly regarded the 2016 presidential election as “rigged.”

This is false, but it’s not new. It is a page from the playbook of prominent Republicans such as Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.), who, sidestepping his own party’s assault on democratic norms, blamed Democrats for trying to“delegitimize the results of the 2016 election.” In fact, nearly every major Democratic leader acknowledged Donald Trump’s victory. By contrast, eight Republican senators and 139 Republican representatives voted against certifying the 2020 election, based on spurious allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Those allegations were made exclusively by Republicans themselves; the campaign to subvert trust in U.S. democracy has been a Republican project. By pretending that election integrity is a nonpartisan “democracy issue,” Mr. Youngkin feigns ignorance of recent history and the GOP’s role in it.

The degree of fraud in Virginia statewide elections has been negligible. (When we asked the Youngkin campaign to cite examples of significant fraudulent voting in the state, we got no response.) The truth is, Mr. Youngkin’s plan has nothing to do with election “integrity” and everything to do with paying homage to Mr. Trump’s “big lie.”

It may also dovetail with Republican attempts elsewhere to erect barriers to voting. Why, for example, should Virginia toughen its voter-identification requirements? What problem would that solve? Already, state law specifies the documents that may be accepted as proof of identity at voting locations, including a driver’s license or other official ID issued by Virginia or one of its localities, a U.S. passport, a valid student-ID card, an employee photo ID and so forth.

Even if belated, it’s good that Mr. Youngkin recognizes the 2020 election was on the level. Yet by spotlighting the integrity of elections and mistrust in their outcomes as top concerns, as he has, he dignifies fake claims of widespread irregularities. That is the real threat to American democracy.

The New York Times: Supreme Court Case Throws Aobrtion Into 2022 Election Picture

By Carl Hulse and Lisa Lerer, 5/20/2021

The Supreme Court action may have political ramifications before next year. The case is likely to be argued weeks before Virginia voters head to the polls in November to elect a new governor in a race often seen as a midterm bellwether. Terry McAuliffe, a former governor and most likely the Democratic nominee, is eager for another political battle over abortion rights, rattling off his record protecting clinics in the state and vetoing legislation that would impose restrictions.

“This is going to be a huge motivator,” he said in an interview. “In 2013, I promised women I would be a brick wall to protect their rights. And I will be a brick wall again.”

NBC News: In Virginia Democratic debate, McAuliffe seeks contrast with GOP’s Youngkin in governor’s race

By Ben Kamisar, 5/20/2021

As he seeks to return to his old job, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was focused far more on November’s general election than his Democratic opponents in a televised debate less than three weeks before the June 8 primary election.

But instead of mixing it up with his party rivals, McAuliffe peppered many of his answers with digs at Republican Glenn Youngkin, the former private equity executive who won the Republican nomination earlier this month.

He also took regular swings at former President Donald Trump, looking past the primary by trying to define Youngkin as an extension of Trump while repeatedly mentioning his own “friend,” President Joe Biden.

“The Republicans have just nominated an extreme, right-wing billionaire to be their nominee,” McAuliffe said, noting Trump’s endorsement of Youngkin.

“We cannot let Glenn Youngkin do to Virginia what Donald Trump did to our country,” he said.

McAuliffe has emphasized the general election as he holds a commanding lead in fundraising and public polling, and he has taken criticism from Republican groups and Youngkin along the way.

Blue Virginia: State Sen. Dave Marsden: My Picks for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General Would Give Us a Robust Ticket That Can Win in November 5/18/2021

… 

Let me start at the top of the ticket with the Governor. Plain and simple, we need Terry McAuliffe. When the flood of federal dollars has washed through our system, we do not know where our economy will stand, including the status of our small businesses. Southwest and Southside Virginia need our urgent attention. Terry broke all the records with respect to bringing economic investment to our Commonwealth as he secured well over $20 billion to advance our future. He works all day and he works all night and candidly, I don’t know when Terry sleeps. His four years as our 72nd governor were restrained by a Republican-controlled legislature. Imagine what he can do with a Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

Terry’s history of criminal and social justice reform initiatives on behalf of all Virginians was significant. Terry knows this Commonwealth and can hit the ground running like no other candidate in this race. I believe the majority of Democrats are in favor of Virginia considering two consecutive terms for our governors, which would require a change to our constitution. A second term for Terry now is exactly what many of us have been asking for. He will get the job done.

Washington Post: Opinion: The Supreme Court’s abortion case fundamentally changes upcoming elections By Jennifer Rubin, 5/18/2021

The Supreme Court on Monday announced it would consider a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after the 15th week of a pregnancy. The Post reports, “In accepting the case for next term, the court said it would examine whether ‘all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.’ That has been a key component of the court’s jurisprudence, and sounded ominous to abortion rights advocates.”

… 

For example, in Virginia’s off-year elections later this year, the GOP can no longer sustain the pretense that its gubernatorial nominee, Glenn Youngkin, is some sort of moderate. He is a vociferous opponent of abortion who has threatened to roll back access to the practice in the increasingly blue state. In his post-convention speech last week, Youngkin was blunt: “We will protect the life of every Virginia child born and unborn.” He likewise told Breitbart radio: “I’m pro-life and what my religious foundation in the cornerstone of my life teaches me is to protect life before birth and after birth.” Regarding Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s stance on abortion, Youngkin said he doesn’t “understand where [Northam’s] moral compass is.” Youngkin also raised an objection to Northam signing a bill expanding abortion access on Good Friday, as though the governor is bound to respect a sectarian view on certain days.

It is no mystery, then, why the Democratic front-runner for Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, made clear this is going to be front and center in the general election:

WAVY (Hampton Roads): ‘Candid with Kara…’ and Terry McAuliffe By Kara Dixon, 5/17/2021
This “Candid With Kara…” episode features former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running to become the Democratic candidate for governor.

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