10th CD Dem Nominee LuAnn Bennett Discusses Her Extensive Public Service, Philanthropic Background

Article from the Blue Virginia blog.

I had a chance to sit down late last week with LuAnn Bennett, the Democratic nominee in Virginia’ 10th CD, running against far-right-wing ideologue and “GOP attack dog” Rep. Barbara Comstock. The interview is being presented in three parts: 1) Bennett’s background and why she’s running; 2) her public service and philanthropic efforts (see below); and 3) why she can win this race. With that, here’s part 2 — my questions and LuAnn Bennett’s answers on her extensive public service and philanthropic work, edited for length and clarity (bolding added by me for emphasis). Enjoy!

Q. You’ve done a lot of public service work, can you talk about some of that?

Bennett:I was a very early adopter of LEED [building energy efficiency standards], I got LEED-accredited, thought this is terrific, this is one way I can help with the climate change issue for future generations, to fix things for my kids going forward…We were at a lunch for Gov. Kaine and he was putting together a [nonpartisan] climate change commission, and he said would you agree to serve? We want some business voices on there…and I agreed.

The military considers climate change one of our greatest national security issues…I just did a national security briefing with the Truman National Security Project, it was fascinating, the Admiral talked all about climate change and why it’s such an important issue for the military. Four out of six casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan were delivering resources – either water or fuel – to the troops…and we buy it from our enemies…it doesn’t make sense…”

“When that year was finished, I got a call from Sen. Warner’s office, and he had put together this group in Richmond many years ago…called the Virginia Healthcare Foundation…they support the health safety net, the free clinics in the Commonwealth…uses part state money, part private dollars, it’s very successful, highly thought of on both sides of the aisle…I served on that board for four years as well.”

Q. Any other philanthropic work you’ve participated in?

Bennett: “I’m on the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities…they do phenomenal work globally on the climate change issue, it’s one of the most amazing organizations…they’re small and entrepreneurial…they’ve established health and safety academies in China…started one in Bangladesh and are moving into India now…In America, they’re in cities…they do a lot of work domestically…I’ve been on the National Children’s Museum board…It’s all about kids, about future generations, about being good stewards while we’re here.”

Also, when my husband died, he had just assembled a project…near Capitol Hill…in 2010 we were approached by the JBG Companies, we signed a joint venture agreement with them, they brought a concept to the site…a 75,000-square-foot WalMart…We built this project, it has a second-floor WalMart, street-level retail, 300 apartments above…and what this allowed us to do…required that we give 30% of all our profits from our partnerships to two community groups – one is the Joshua Group, which is a group of churches and local social welfare organizations around that area, and the other is the H Street Community Development Corporation (CDC).” (Note by Lowell: this WalMart also solved the problem of a “food desert” in that area, which is huge for low-income people who live there and didn’t have access to healthy/fresh fruit, vegetables, etc.)

“The other thing we were required to do was to fund an educational foundation – the New Jersey and H Educational Fund…education is something that my family has always strongly believed in…I felt very strongly that [the Community Foundation] would be the best way to manage the money…they already manage money for a lot of small foundations, they have a grant making process, they’d do all the regulatory work piece of charitable work…[The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region] has to abide by all of our requirements, which is to spend [the money] in a certain service area, only spend it for education, and our board then became an advisory board… We’ve given away $650,000 out of this $3 million fund.”

“I’m not one to go out and talk about what we’ve done, but this campaign forces me a little bit outside my comfort zone, and I knew it would. But one of the things I’ve learned in life is that you only grow when things are hard…So I knew that this would be one of those things that I was doing that would force me to speak in front of people – I’d never done that – talk about myself…I have to say, I’ve been terrified at times, but that’s when you learn to stretch yourself…”

P.S. Look for additional interviews with LuAnn as campaign season picks up this fall, and keep up with her and her campaign by checking out her stances on the issues important to Northern Virginia on her website and by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

Original post

LuAnn Bennett: “Republicans like Comstock who Criticize Trump but Refuse to Disavow Him Are Complicit in Trump’s Attacks”


From the LuAnn Bennett for Congress campaign:

Gold Star Mother: “Nobody has Told Trump Enough is Enough. And That’s What I’m Looking For.”

Republicans like Comstock who Criticize Trump but Refuse to Disavow Him Are Complicit in Trump’s Attacks 


Article from Blue Virginia.

McLean – On CNN New Day this morning, Karen Meredith, a mother of a U.S. veteran, called on Republicans like Barbara Comstock to not merely offer their support for the Khan family, but to renounce GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump following his latest attack on military families. Link to video full video here; text below [emphasis ours]:

Meredith: The Republican leadership has called or has responded to the family of the Khan family and expressed their opinion that their son was a hero and thank you for serving, but nobody has told Trump enough is enough. And that’s what I’m looking for. If you don’t say something, then it means you’re okay with it. And apparently the Republican leadership is okay with his behavior and his denigration of the troops.

Meredith organized nearly 30 Gold Star families to demanded an apology from Trump in an open letter to the GOP presidential nominee, and to call for GOP elected officials to stop disavowing individual comments but instead clearly renounce the GOP nominee. Anything short of fully renouncing Trump reveals that Republicans, in her words, are “okay with it.”

Her comments pierce through the attempts from Republican elected officials, including Barbara Comstock, to deflect without ever actually repudiating Trump. On Sunday, Comstock offered condolences for the Khan family yet refused to renounce Trump, a move that emboldens the GOP nominee and signals clearly that she will vote this November for her party’s standard bearer.

Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza summed up the bind Republicans like Barbara Comstock are in on MSNBC’sMorning Joe. Link to full video here; text below:

It’s a remarkable thing because the problem is they are afraid of the Trump voter. They cannot walk away from him. At the same time — McCain in his heart of hearts thinks I can’t believe we nominated this guy, I can’t believe it is happening. At the same time, he sees what Trump has done in the primary process, and he does not want to get on the wrong side of it. It’s stunning. You read that statement and you think, he can’t possibly support him. Well, he still does.

“Our opponent continues to tap dance around Trump, refusing to renounce a man who repeatedly attacks Gold Star families,” Bennett spokesman Robert Howard said. “She is a Republican who has spent her entire life in partisan politics supporting the Republican party. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’ll be voting for the GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in November.”

Original article

Comstock Claims Her Support For Overturning Roe v. Wade Won’t Matter Because…
Congress Doesn’t Deal with Women’s Healthcare?

Comstock Post Quote Pic

Washington Post 9/3/2014

LOUDOUN, Va. – At yesterday’s Fairfax Chamber Town Hall, Barbara Comstock actually claimed her support for overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t matter if she were elected because Congress doesn’t address women’s healthcare issues.

From the Washington Post

“[…] Comstock said, adding that her desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned would not come into play in Congress. ‘I’m not running for the Supreme Court, I’m running to be your congressman.’

But Comstock’s own right-wing record as a in Richmond – including her votes for mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds and for TRAP laws that close women’s health clinics – shows just how misleading her statement really is.

“Barbara Comstock couldn’t defend her right-wing record when it comes to attacking women’s healthcare choices, so she’s resorted to a bizarre, misleading and insulting claim that Congress doesn’t deal with women’s healthcare,” said 10th District Chair Charlie Jackson. “From supporting an overturn of Roe v. Wade to voting for mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, Comstock has focused relentlessly in Richmond on pushing her right-wing agenda that’s out of touch with Virginia’s women and families, and she’d do exactly the same in Washington.”


Comstock Said Her Desire to See Roe v. Wade Overturned Did Not Matter as a Member of Congress. ““I have worked on building these coalitions and, you see, my opponent wants to continue to divide and attack,” Comstock said, adding that her desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned would not come into play in Congress. “I’m not running for the Supreme Court, I’m running to be your congressman.”” [Washington Post, 9/03/14]

Comstock: “Yes, I think Roe v. Wade Should be Overturned.” In October 2006 on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Comstock said, “…yes, I think Roe v. Wade should be overturned and the states should decide it.” [MSNBC, 10/16/08]

Comstock Voted to Require Transvaginal Ultrasounds Prior to Abortions. In 2012, Comstock voted for a bill “that requires women to have a ‘transvaginal ultrasound’ before undergoing abortions.” [HB 462, 2/14/12; Associated Press, 2/15/12]

Comstock Voted for Virginia TRAP Laws That Closed Women’s Health Clinic. In 2011, Comstock voted for a bill that required abortion clinic to be regulated like outpatient surgical centers. As a result, the Board of Health adopted requirements that clinics “meet strict, hospital-style building codes that operators say could put many of them out of business.” [SB 924, 2011 Session, 2/21/11; Washington Post, 4/12/13]