The interpretive online Town Hall hosted by Barbara Comstock’s campaign contribution report has ended. This event was well-attended with questions. A transcript follows, below.
Question: Ms. Comstock, why did you vote to repeal the rule that was designed to prevent certain people deemed mentally ill from purchasing firearms? This rule was intended to prevent future massacres like the ones at Virginia Tech, the Charleston Church, and many, many others. I, and many of my fellow VA-10 constituents are supporters of the Second Amendment, but we also feel that a common-sense approach must be taken to safeguard the public from being shot by people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms. Why would you vote to repeal this common-sense rule?
Answer (by Campaign Contribution Report): Thank you for asking that question. The answer, quite plainly, is money. As you know, my campaign for reelection was a very expensive one. I had to out-spend my opponent by several million dollars in order to secure a victory. That win might not have happened without the help I received from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, which spent almost $59,000 to support my winning efforts.
Question: Representative Comstock, thank you for working so hard for your constituents, both the ones who voted for you, as well as the ones who didn’t. I’m really concerned about the treatment of the environment by this current administration. You recently voted to repeal the Clean Stream Rule, which would have required coal mining companies to improve the way they monitor the waterways near their coal mining operations, to include before, during and after the actual mining. Not only was this intended to protect the public health of neighboring communities, but would also benefit the Chesapeake Bay, which is the recipient of all watersheds in West Virginia. Can you tell me why you voted this way?
Answer (by Comstock’s campaign contribution report): I’m really glad you asked me that, because mostly, I did it because of money. I’d like the opportunity to go on record as saying that this rule will kill jobs by being redundant and burdensome on the energy industry. Where would I be now, without that generous $106,000 spent on my campaign by the Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions?
Question: Barbara, how dare you vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act? I am so angry right now! And so afraid! For the first time in my life, I have health insurance, which I used to not be able to get, because of my pre-existing conditions. You’re about to take away the piece of mind that I’ve finally gotten from finally having health insurance! Why did you vote this way?!?!
Answer (by Comstock’s campaign contribution report): I understand that this is a very worrisome issue for you. To be honest, my reason is money. It’s just that my benefactors spent so much on my campaign to help me win! I reaped close to $177,000 from the insurance industry and from healthcare professionals. I also received over $200,000 from lobbyists, and I bet you can guess who their clients are. (No, seriously, you’ll have to guess, because this level of detail isn’t disclosed).
Question: Congresswoman Comstock, I live in your district, and I’m a voter. Actually, I voted for you, because you seem to be centrist and because you rebuked Candidate Trump. But ever since you were sworn in, you’ve toed the party line (with few exceptions) and I’m starting to worry whether you’re centrist enough to represent District 10. Can you comment on that?
Answer (by Comstock’s campaign contribution report): I can see why you would have that concern, looking at my voting record. A recent statistical report rated me as being nearly 100% aligned with Trump, in fact! The explanation for this is… money. The party leadership gave a lot of it toward my campaign, and now they lead me around by it. I’d like to use my own voice, but I can’t do more than issue periodic, tepid posts on Facebook that mildly disagree with the egregious actions of Congress and the Administration. Let me remind you, though, that the Leadership PACs spent in excess of $374,000 to help me find victory. Trust me, they have a plan that will be totally “patient-centered,” whatever that is.
Comstock’s contribution report: Well, I think that’s enough questions answered for now. The next time you feel like calling me to ask why I voted a certain way, I encourage you to ask my campaign contribution report, instead. It will save us all a little time. Take care!
(data from the Center for Responsive Politics).