Former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) released a new TV ad Thursday in which he accuses Republicans of “trying to do this to affordable health care,” as a compactor crushes an ambulance.
He goes on to say: “I’m Tom Perriello, and in Congress, I voted for Obamacare because it was wrong that a million Virginians weren’t covered, while insurance companies held all the power. … Together, we can stop Donald Trump, raise wages, and build an economy that works for everyone. And we’ll make sure this never happens in Virginia.”
“The ad, titled ‘Ambulance,’ was filmed in one live take. It will begin running next week.” (release)
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) “released a statement calling the House vote ‘the most spineless, unprincipled cruelty that I have ever seen come from a legislative body.’” Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and state Sen. Frank Wagner (R), “called the vote an important first step.” (Hampton Roads Daily Press)
FIGHT NIGHT. Perriello and Northam sparred over funding for community college in their second debate on Thursday. After Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said requiring public service in exchange for free community college would pay off the program by growing the tax base, Perriello said Northam’s plan “makes it more expensive” by creating a new “community service” program. Northam countered that Perriello was saying veterans like himself “shouldn’t serve in the United States Army” because of cost of the after-deployment benefits. “I think you just lost the audience, doctor,” Perriello replied.
Northam challenged Perriello’s plan to raise taxes and pass a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights, citing Republican control of the legislature. (WDBJ)
“Northam avoided taking a firm stance for or against natural gas pipelines. … ‘Regarding the pipeline, if it moves forward, it needs to be done with transparency and science,’ he said. Northam added state lawmakers need to be concerned with property rights and the environment should the project be approved.” (Roanoke Times)
“Northam and … Perriello both claimed Thursday to be Virginia Democrats’ best option for winning over rural voters who supported President Donald Trump in last year’s election.” (AP)
SNEAK PEEK. A memo prepared by the state Republican Party indicates it will attempt to register “thousands of voters in rural parts of the state, with the assumption that they will vote Republican. … A party database suggests that there are 200,000 unregistered voters who are likely to vote Republican in the Shenandoah Valley, Southwest and south of the James River. … Virginia does not register voters by party, and anyone can vote in either party’s primary elections.”
“Republican gubernatorial candidates … can’t afford to invest in registration drives, the letter says. And outside groups such as PACs and 501(c) charities face difficulties in signing up people for a particular party … [b]ecause of their tax-free status. … That indirect approach winds up making it cost more to register voters through outside groups — from $35 to $50 per voter, according to the letter. The state Republican Party, on the other hand, faces no such restrictions and can drive registration at a much cheaper cost — $20 or less per voter. So the letter asks donors to help the party raise $250,000 by June 1 and $2 million by the November election to register and turn out 100,000 voters.” (Washington Post)