PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With Election Day six days away, it’s time to get out the Truth Tracker and put it to the test for commercials running in the 2nd Congressional District.
The district covers the Eastern Shore and parts of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and the Peninsula.
This report is on the truth in advertising in ads bashing Congressman Scott Taylor on the environment, and Elaine Luria on her support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
You can not ask for a more involved, visual, and sometimes nasty campaign as this one. A lot is at stake, and a lot has been invested.
One commercial attacking Luria has an ominous tone. The announcer reads, “Your vote decides if she becomes speaker again,” sounding as if the world could be coming to an end. He continues, “Pelosi says amnesty to illegal immigrants and gun controls. It’s what you get if Elaine Luria gets elected.”
What he read was absolutely false.
The ad quotes an interview Pelosi had with Politico laying out her playbook if Democrats take over the House and she becomes speaker again. What Pelosi actually said was, “we will work with Republicans on a gun background check and protect Dreamers brought into the U.S. as children.”
There is no mention of Luria and amnesty to illegal immigrants as a whole.
10 On Your Side found in Luria’s campaign finance filings, Pelosi gave Luria $2,000, but Luria maintains she’s no one’s puppet.
“I have never met her personally. I was at an event with about 300 people where she was present.”
Does she plan to have Pelosi campaign for her? 10 On Your Side knew the answer, which she confirmed as “No.”
Can you imagine what the Taylor campaign would do with that visual?
It is true that Pelosi raised $34 million for Democratic candidates this quarter, which helped benefit Luria. There’s no doubt about it.
10 On Your Side then asked Luria, certainly with Pelosi support on many levels, including being a targeted Democratic candidate to support, could she support Pelosi as House Speaker if Democrats win?
Luria, quick with her usual answer, “I can’t say who I would support if I don’t know who the other choices are.”
This is always a dodge answer. The fact is Luria could vote for Pelosi, and she certainly will if Pelosi is the only choice, and probably will if she is challenged for speaker.
Political paybacks are expected in Washington. Taylor knows that’s true, “when she says it depends, it means a big fat yes.”
The League of Conservation Voters is one of several political action committees supporting Luria.
“Taylor took over $750,000 in contributions from special interests, and sided with big corporations, allowing them to spew more toxic pollution into our air.” 10 On Your Side asked Taylor if he’s for toxic pollutants in the air.
He responded with a blast. “Of course not. Who the hell is for that? No one. Right?”
Taylor’s recent campaign finance report shows strong support from political action committees, and admits he supports not over regulating.
“You can over regulate and that doesn’t make any sense. That is bad for the economy and on business. What you have to do is have a responsible policy that has sufficient regulations so that you don’t have environmental disasters.”
The same commercial states, “and Taylor sided with insurance companies too. He voted to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
This has been a familiar theme with most of the commercials against Taylor. The truth is, Taylor sponsored a bill to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions if Democrats’ Obamacare was overturned by Republicans with their own plan, which it wasn’t. “If that were to happen, I want to protect pre-existing conditions,” he’s told us many times.
Scott has his own ad with three local women supporting Taylor. “The truth is Scott stood up to the insurance companies, and he voted to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.”
Luria responded to that ad, “I think that is entirely untrue. There is language in the bill that says people can not be denied coverage because they have pre-existing conditions, but there are absolutely no limits on what people can be charged.”
Scott added, “we want to lower your health care premiums. We want to protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
10 On Your Side took a look at the latest financial statements from both candidates.
Here is a quick summary, and there’s a link to see more.
Both Taylor and Luria have campaign receipts of around $3.6 million.
Luria also has an impressive $1.8 million in individual contributions, and had $914,000 cash on hand October 17.
Taylor was way behind with cash on hand, with $290,000. He also has $1.6 million in individual contributions, and $933,000 in political action committee money.