If there’s one thing you’d better be sure of when leveling a nasty, negative attack ad… is that you’d better have the facts straight.
The latest desperate and deplorable gamble by Stosch-endorsed Siobhan Dunnavant? Failed.
So the gist of the last gasp of the Dunnavant’s campaign is as follows: Bill Janis is allowing hordes of illegal immigrants into Virginia and doling out free stuff like candy bars, Porsches, and of course the DREAM Act — a version of which came before the House of Delegates in 2003 and where then-Delegate Bill Janis voted among the “yeas” according to the hit piece.
Small problem with that. Janis voted no. Like, a lot of no.
In 2011, Janis voted for HB 1465, a bill that would prohibit illegal immigrants from attending Virginia’s colleges and universities.
In 2008, Janis did it again, voting for Del. Chris Peace’s bill (HB 14) that would do the same.
In 2007, SB 1024 comes before the House, a bill sponsored by State Sen. Emmett Hanger prohibiting in-state tuition for those unlawfully present in the United States.
In 2004, HB 156, a bill that prohibits the admission of illegal aliens — Janis again votes it up.
It’s pretty clear that Janis has a definitive stance on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Somewhere between “hell no” and “over my dead body” would be a safe bet.
So what happened in 2003? Well, the record is pretty clear. Then-Delegate Thelma Drake proposes a bill that would refuse in-state tuition for those unlawfully present in the United States. Janis votes for the bill in committee — a good vote, yes?
Vote comes to the floor of the House of Delegates, and Janis’ vote is recorded as a no — a vote against the bill that would prohibit in-state tuition.
Here’s where Dunnavant’s researchers get their pink slip.
The official record of the House of Delegates has Janis voting yes… it is the process by which, if the electronic teller makes a mistake and the Speaker calls the roll, a member of the chamber has to — that day — get out of their chair, approach the Clerk, and ask the record to be corrected.
In 2003? Janis picked himself out of his chair, marched down the aisle… and did precisely that.
Which earned him this:
Now folks, it’s not hard to figure this one out if you have even a tangential relationship with how the legislative process works.
Pro-Tip: If you, as a researcher, see a vote that stands out from the entire legislative history of a candidate, it behooves you to go confirm that such a vote was not corrected by the Clerk.
…so that’s what we here at Bearing Drift did. The response?
Not good for Dunnavant, who now has an integrity problem:
Third from the bottom?
Janis was a “yea” vote.
…which means one of two things. Either Dunnavant should pull her ad buy and needs to issue an immediate apology to Bill Janis for running a false ad, or Dunnavant outright lied.
Which frankly, is the impression that Janis has at the moment, if his robocalls are any indicator.
Folks, when reputations and truth are at stake, people need to be deadly accurate in their criticisms. Positive (reasons to vote for) and negative (reasons to vote against) campaigning are healthy, consistent, and all a part of the political process. Yes, sometimes there can be a bit of art applied to how those facts are presented.
But facts. Not outright falsehoods.
Dunnavant’s integrity as a campaigner — first with the flirtation of running on the Democratic ticket, then with her support for Medicaid expansion, and now striving for outright falsehoods in political attack ads — is frankly under the darkest of clouds.
Quite simply not the Virginia Way we hear so much about.