Truth Tracker: Taylor, Luria talk attack ads on health care, immigration, forged signatures case

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Millions of dollars are being dropped to launch negative campaign commercials in the 2nd Congressional District race in Virginia. 

Republican incumbent Scott Taylor faces Democratic challenger Elaine Luria.   

At Tuesday’s debate he expressed frustration with the Democrat onslaught of ads against him which unofficially could be somewhere between $4 million to $6 million.

Make no mistake, Scott Taylor and Republicans are launching negative ads too.

In their first debate Tuesday, the big issue across the nation came up: whether Republican or Democratic health care plans cover pre-existing health care conditions. 

Democrats claim Taylor’s vote for the Republicans’ American Health Care Act would gut the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and Luria hits that in her most recent ad. 

“Taylor voted to gut protections for pre-existing conditions. That could be cancer, asthma, diabetes.”

The ad continues as Luria is seen deep-sea fishing, mocking a commercial that ran against her comparing her to a dangerous shark in the water. She told us when it first hit air, “I just think that is a silly ad … a shark in the water?”

10 On Your Side asked Taylor about the ad, “What I am saying is their ad is wrong … the bill I voted for protected pre-existing conditions. I voted for the House Bill, and I also co-sponsored legislation to protect pre-existing conditions. I have family with pre-existing conditions.  We are fighting for those with pre-existing conditions.”

Luria challenged Taylor on the topic during their debate, “if pre-existing conditions have no controls on what insurance companies can cost you it effectively removes coverage because the cost will skyrocket where people can’t afford it.”

It is true. Republicans across the country are challenged on the issue, forced to convince voters their plan will not lead to skyrocketing insurance costs.

It is also true that Scott Taylor did co-sponsor HR-628, that would require health insurance be included for pre-existing conditions if Obamacare were ever repealed by Republicans. 

Another ad put out by the National Republican Congressional Committee begins with a dusk time of day and a woman walking with a flowing dress. 

It is true that the NRCC ad is confusing with what the woman on the pier is supposed to be. The announcer comes in, “what is the most radical plank in Elaine Luria’s platform, it’s immigration.”

The latest attack ad against Democrat Elaine Luria airs while 7,000 immigrants known as the ‘Caravan’ are marching from Honduras, through Mexico, heading towards the United States. The ad continues, “Elaine Luria supports amnesty for all illegal immigrants. Luria opposes building a border wall.” 

To that Luria answers, “we can have both strong borders and an immigration policy that works.”

It is true Luria supports comprehensive immigration reform and full consideration for all to enter the country. 

“I think if people present themselves in an orderly manor at the border, and claim asylum, we have to take every case into consideration…They should be allowed to be considered as valid asylum seekers.”

Another anti-Taylor ad from the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee is just beginning a run on air. 

“Scott Taylor is a politician who doesn’t think the rules apply to him,” the ad states.

It is so new Taylor had not seen it until we showed it to him in the lobby of the restored Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach following the Tuesday debate.   

He laughed a bit when he saw it. The ad says Taylor had, “over $10,000 in unpaid taxes. $1.5 million in legal judgments.”

Is it true? Yes it is true.  At one time Taylor was delinquent $11,800 in property taxes. The explanation at the time was a lapse due to campaign activities and the job in Washington, according to Taylor campaign director Scott Weldon. 

Taylor also responded about the ad. 

“I’m 100 percent paid up on my taxes, so if they can find that (I haven’t paid) please prove me wrong, but my taxes are paid.”  It is also true, and well documented that while in the House of Delegates he had serious business issues. 

“Did we have failures in business.  You know that very well, you reported on it when I was a State Delegate … we were hit as a business in the recession.  There is no question about that,” Scott said with candor. 

And there is no question that Taylor has had millions of dollars of ads from independent groups in addition to the DCCC supporting Luria, attacking him over his staffers forging signatures to get an opponent on the ballot. 

Taylor has said all staffers involved with the forged signatures to get independent Shaun Brown on the ballot have been removed from the campaign.  WAVY broached the issue with Taylor when it first happened, suggesting he would have to remove them from the campaign, but it took over two months to actually do that.

The ad repeats an often made statement that, “Congressman Taylor himself was subpoenaed, but he refused to appear,” which is completely false. 

10 On Your Side reported on this, and it was clear in the courtroom that the judge did not require Taylor to report because it was a misdemeanor and he was in session at the time in Washington. 

The statement has been run in the DCCC and other ads so many times it is quite likely that voters believe that is true.  It is false.  For this constant bombardment by the DCCC, Taylor is talking about suing the organization and others too.

“I believe this is defamation, and rose to the level for a public figure. That they knew this was false, put it out with malicious intent to win an election.”

For her part, Luria hit Scott for launching a negative commercial against her, “If Nancy Pelosi’s puppet  Elaine Luria  wins we will lose.” Luria forcefully setting the record straight as she did in our first interview that, “Showing me dancing around in a tiara, as a puppet, I am not anyone’s puppet. I served in the military for 20 years.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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