- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 28, 2021

With the race for Virginia governor coming down to the wire, the Democrats have pulled out all the stops to make sure it goes in the win column. A lot is riding on the outcome, including, say some analysts, the future of the party’s big taxing, big-spending, big-borrowing budget plan.

Some commentators are already projecting that a loss by Terry McAuliffe, the former Clinton insider who served as Virginia’s chief executive from 2014 to 2018, would be a repudiation of the Biden agenda. His loss would reflect, in practical terms, the considerable decline in support for the president now showing up in most national polls. The stakes are indeed high.

The importance of the outcome does not excuse the use of questionable tactics. As the commonwealth’s voters have recently been reminded, a group of Democrats posing as conservatives concerned about gun issues was caught using money donated by one of the state’s largest utilities to send targeted messages through social media to voters in rural areas claiming Mr. McAuliffe’s opponent, Glenn Youngkin was not with them on Second Amendment issues.

Democrats repeatedly tell us voter suppression is wrong – yet they did and seem about to get away with it without serious consequences. The company that donated the money – Dominion Energy – has asked its contribution be returned, and that, it seems, will be the end of it.

That’s not good enough. This deliberately deceitful effort to sway the sentiments of Virginia voters and affect their voting behavior needs further investigation. The problem is there is no one to do it. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, is unlikely to antagonize the party machine by using the resources of his office now (or ever) to look deeply into the matter. The Democrats in control of the General Assembly haven’t called for hearings, and Gov. Ralph Northam has remained silent.

It’s equally unlikely the Biden Department of Justice – which is supposed to be interested in election integrity – will investigate despite all the whining by the president after the U.S. Senate again failed to approve the Freedom to Vote Act he so strongly supports. Is it possible he thinks elections are only fair when they go his way?

What the Accountability Virginia PAC did is not merely a sophisticated dirty trick, as some claim. The Democrats who were involved could have sent perfectly legal messages to their voter targets, saying, “We liberals don’t think Glenn Youngkin is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. We’re not voting for him. Thought you’d like to know.” But how effective would that have been?

Instead, they masqueraded as gun rights advocates in a pitch to dissuade voters concerned about Second Amendment issues not to vote in the upcoming election. They are keeping people from voting. That’s the dictionary definition of voter suppression.

The Democrats say they are the party of free and fair elections despite evidence to the contrary. What happened in Virginia is reason enough to wonder if they mean it or if they’re just playing to the crowds.

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