Truth Tracker on political ads in the 2nd Congressional District


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side’s Truth Tracker is once more delving into political ads in the 2nd Congressional District race.

Ad against Luria

You may have recently seen campaign attack ads funded by the Congressional Leadership Fund that are against Congresswoman Elaine Luria and talk about China.

As of Oct. 14, the fund had spent $2.9 million against Luria, which is more than what her opponent, former congressman Scott Taylor, had raised for his own campaign.  

The money spent is evidence Republicans think they can win back the seat.  

“Communist China can’t be trusted: they lie, cheat, and steal,” begins one of the ads put on air by the Congressional Leadership Fund that authorized the China ads against Luria, a Democrat.  

The commercial continues: “It is very essential for U.S. businesses to have a strong economic presence overseas.” 

So, in 2019 Luria voted to continue allow U.S. businesses to get favorable loans to expand their exports around the world.

“Elaine Luria voted to allow the communist Chinese government to get loans, special loans that regular people can’t get.” 

Truth Tracker finds that that false. The legislation gave U.S. companies favorable loans, not the Chinese government. 

We asked Luria about the false statement made in the ad.

“The legislative action … has nothing to do with China. It has to do with U.S. investments overseas. It’s about … U.S. businesses being able to invest and build infrastructure projects overseas,” she said.  

The commercial then attacks Luria’s personal investments.

“Elaine Luria has invested over $250,000 in a Chinese company blacklisted for counterfeiting.” 

Truth Tracker finds all of that true: The Chinese company is stock exchange-listed Alibaba, which is a Chinese e-commerce giant. Luria compared it to eBay or Amazon.

It is true that Alibaba is blacklisted for selling counterfeit products, and it is true Luria owns at least $250,000 worth of Alibaba stock.

“Federal Election Commission reports a range, so it’s between $250,000 and $500,000 for that particular kind of asset,” she said. Luria would not pinpoint value due to market fluctuations. 

Her challenger, Taylor, who she defeated in the 2018 race for the 2nd District seat, made her Alibaba holdings a campaign issue in last week’s debate.

“When she personally invested in Chinese manufacturing, she chose China over America, and that is unconcsioubalbe for a U.S. congressperson to do that. I will always be for America,” Taylor said. 

Luria is offended by Taylor’s comment.

“Is he questioning my patriotism? That I wouldn’t fight and die for America? That I didn’t wear the uniform in the U.S. Navy for 20 years? That is disgusting. It is a disgusting attack, and it is unfounded,” she said. 

The ad ends:   “Elaine Luria trusts China, so you can’t trust Elaine Luria.” 

In the end, Truth Tracker finds that claim false. The vote on this legislative action is not an example of questioning whether she can be trusted.

Ad against Taylor

For her part, Luria has a commercial showing her fixing things: a wobbly table, a vehicle and a washer.

The ad begins: “I’d rather fix something than replace it … like Scott Taylor’s tax bill.  He gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest one percent.” 

Truth Tracker finds that claim true. Taylor did vote for that. We asked him why he voted that way.

“Because I believe in keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. I believe in making our companies more competitive, domestically and internationally,” he said. 

Luria’s ad also pins Taylor for taxing Gold Star families, “raising taxes on the children of service members killed in combat.” 

That is true. Taylor says it was an unintended consequence of the 2017 tax bill.

“While that fix needed to be done, I’m appreciative she worked on it.  I think it is absolutely shameful as a Navy officer and it is a damn shame, she would capitalize on it for her own political agenda.” 

We asked Luria about helping Gold Star Families with taking away the tax. It’s the story of those affected:   

A group of widows comes to me with this problem. One woman said my children taxes went up $6,000 dollars. There was another with $8,000. Why was that happening? This tax bill in 2017 was taxing at 37 percent. The survivor’s benefits that were going to the children whose father was killed in Afghanistan. We took the plan to the Ways and Means Committee, and over many months we got it fixed.” 

Luria went on: “I think it is important to talk to voters of the good work I have done in Washington. This is an example of how Congress should work.” 

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