Where do they stand?

Rep. Ben Cline (R)   

From Ben's official website:  "For a list of the committees and caucuses on which Representative Cline is serving, please contact our office."   Hmmm... where is the transparency?  Cline recently sat on a House Judiciary Committee hearing, chatting up Matthew Whitaker while refusing to exercise his oversight responsibilities.  So we can deduce that Rep. Cline does sit on the Judiciary Committee. 

Pick ANY issue, and Ben Cline will be on the wrong side of it.  Cline repeatedly voted to continue the Federal Shutdown.  He also continued to take his $174,000 salary, unlike most of his fellow Virginia reps.  He voted against supporting NATO.

            On universal background checks for gun purchases:

Cline voted NO on HR8 in committee, a vote that tells us that he is against universal background checks.

            On Saudia Arabia and Yemen:

Cline voted NO on HJ Res37, which directs the removal of US armed forces from Yemen that have not been approved by Congress.  This NO show’s Cline’s support for the murderous Saudi regime.

            On border safety:    

     CClineWatch details an interview in which Cline speaks in heavily partisan tones about Trump’s border wall (suggesting Dems are “pushing for open borders” as part of a nefarious plot to “replenish their voting base,” and suggesting that freshman Dems are hyper-partisan and afraid to contradict Nancy Pelosi). He also took positions against organized labor, which may be out of step with his constituency.  

           https://clinewatch.com/2019/01/19/another-appalling-interview-of-ben-cline/

             On the Federal shutdown:

         Cline’s website editorial (dated 1/26/19) recasts the shutdown talks, positing that Pelosi refused to speak with Trump (despite that Trump had walked out on talks with Pelosi and Schumer).  He ends the discussion by saying that he hopes “Pelosi will listen to the growing chorus in her own party who believe in enhanced border security and want an end to the partisan politics that put us on this path.”   

              https://cline.house.gov/media/editorials/sixth-district-perspectives-1

Cline's voting record can be found here:

         https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/50959/benjamin-cline#.XFiBjvx7lTY


State Senator Mark Obenshain (R)

         Committee Assignments:

  • Voted AGAINST the Equal Rights Amendment ratification. He refused to publicly take a stand the day before the vote.
  • Voted AGAINST raising the minimum wage.
  • Voted FOR the continuation of "conversation therapy," for minors, a pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions.
  • Voted AGAINST a bill (SB1025) that would require adequate shelter and space for animals (exempting farm animals) during a heat advisory or severe weather warning. 
  • He is one of the sponsors (patrons in VA) of a measure to overhaul I-81. Among the proposals are building a 3rd truck only lane. To pay for this tolls would be instituted on I-81. There is discussion that residents along the I-81 corridor pay a flat $30 yearly fee. This is still under discussion. It should be noted this measure has wide bi-partisan (not a word used too often this days) support.
  • Obenshain has opened an office (and moved portion of his law practice) to Main Street in Woodstock. He has not indicated why.
  • Obenshain's legislative contributions are generally uninspired.  See the bills he has patroned or co-patroned here:           
                   http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+mbr+S68C


Delegate Todd Gilbert

       Committee Assignments:

Gilbert is the House Majority Leader, a position of great power that could be used to better the lives of us in HD 15 and better the lives of all Virginians.  Sadly, Todd Gilbert has other ideas.

Gilbert was given more than 1,000 constituent postcards in January 2019 in support of the ERA. He has been visited in Richmond by HD15 ERA advocates.  He would not push for a floor vote.  Gilbert revealed his opposition to the ERA and a floor vote by introducing a rules change on 2/14/19, bill HR 279, which would kill the ERA. 

In a move worthy of a Dickens novel, Gilbert killed SB 1013, a bill sponsored by Republican Senator Stanley that would separate civil fines from drivers license suspensions. The bill sailed through the Senate, with even Mark Obsenshain voting yes.  Stanley is quoted in the Virginia Mercury, “The idea was, you drive, can get to work, pay the fines, and break the cycle. It was a real Republican-y idea.”  Link:  https://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/shad-plank-blog/dp-nws-drivers-license-suspension-20190211-story.html?fbclid=IwAR05-MuFkuuvGW16tTGTs9CtqGAStNz6Dg4XFgofeV-d7pmni4SGtRmppco

Gilbert killed SB 1107, a bill that sailed through the Senate.  SB 1107 would have eliminated a vague misdemeanor charge that has been used to criminalize student behaviors that are better addressed through school discipline policies.  The use of the misdemeanor charges is highly subjective, and is applied inconsistently and disproportionately on children of color. 

Take a look at his 2018 record.

·       Voted NO to provide health care services to more than 400,000 needy Virginians, including 4,000 people in his own District!

·       Voted NO to bring back to Virginia and Shenandoah County millions of dollars in money we have already paid in Federal taxes.  This is money to expand medical services, and money we are simply leaving on the table.

·       Voted NO to provide additional funding to attack the horrible Opioid Drug crisis affecting Shenandoah County.

·       Voted NO to economically strengthen Shenandoah County Memorial Hospital.

·       Voted NO to help hold down the cost of health care insurance for those who can afford it.

·       Voted NO to provide a pay increase for teachers and school staff, something that would have helped Shenandoah County Schools and provided additional funds to help balance the County Budget.

·       Voted NO to provide pay increase for state supported local employees, something that would have helped those who work for Shenandoah County.  Again, this would also have helped balance the County Budget.

·       Voted NO to increase cash reserve to maintain Virginia’s high bond rating, and keep Virginia a strong and appealing place to locate business.

·       Voted NO on legislation to help economically strapped counties in Southwestern Virginia, and apparently did nothing to make this aid available to Page and Shenandoah Counties.

Gilbert's legislation is oriented towards law and order and conservative social issues.  He is a 2019 co-patron of HB2570, which would change public schools' Family Life courses from opt-out to opt-in.  This would create an onerous and unnecessary burden on our public schools.  This bill passed the House on 2/4/19 along party lines.