Our opponent has decided to flood the airwaves with half-truths and whole lies, supported by lots of big campaign contributions. Please find the truth regarding our opponent’s claims below.
Jane Dittmar’s 2nd Television Ad, “Doing” (Uranium Mining)
Claim – Tom Garrett voted for Uranium Mining
Bill in Question – HB 1790/SB 1138 (Identical Bills), Passed 127-8
Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium.
Facts – This bill was in no way related to Uranium Mining. Please follow the link to read the bill for yourself.
News coverage bears this fact out. Read the article, ‘GOP lawmakers defend Garrett’s vote on nuclear energy bill’ from GoDanRiver to learn the truth.
“It [claiming the bill was about Uranium Mining] was a scare tactic then and it’s a scare tactic now,” said Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville.
“After I had a chance to carefully review the final bills, I voted for them because there was absolutely nothing that could have been construed to allow mining in Virginia,” Ruff said. “It could, however, have a positive effect on nuclear energy research that is very important for the economy for Lynchburg and the surrounding counties.”
Additionally, considering the bill passed 127-8, if it contained provisions for Uranium Mining, there would be Uranium Mining in Virginia today.
Verdict – This assertion is completely false. Tom Garrett has never voted for Uranium Mining, and if you send him to Congress he never will.
Update – Jane Dittmar is now attempting to say she was not trying to say Tom voted for Uranium Mining, but rather only to show there was a ‘cozy relationship’ between Tom and a specific Uranium Mining company who wanted Uranium Mining. (Note – the Ad was about Dominion, not the Uranium Company who gave Tom two small donations.)
Verdict – Even more false, and a blatant contradiction to the image seen above.
Jane Dittmar’s 3rd Television Ad, “Do No Harm”
Claim – “[Tom] Voted with powerful interest against small business”
Bill in Question – HB710 (2012)
Bill Summary – “Use of mine voids. Establishes the presumption that, unless specified by contract, the owner of the coal mineral estate retains the rights to extract any coal remaining in place and to use an underground void for any activity related to the removal of coal from the subject property or other properties.”
Facts – Saying Tom voting for this bill was voting with powerful interests against small business makes absolutely no sense. There is simply no factual data that indicates this is the truth. It appears the Dittmar campaign chose a random bill and made the charge.
Verdict – As a complete nonsense claim, totally untethered to reality, this claim is false.
Claim – “[Tom is for] Taking dominion money and allowing them to hide their profits”
Bill in Question – SB1349 (2015) – Passed along very bipartisan lines (Senate 32-6, House 72-24)
Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings.
Facts – Tom has taken donations from Dominion, but has repeatedly voted against Dominion’s interests. This bill passed along bi-partisan lines because it simply made sense, and allows Dominion to continue to provide you with cheap, clean energy.
Verdict – Misleading at best, intentional falsehood at worst.
“[Tom] Even voted to hide the salaries of his political cronies”
Bill in Question – SB202 (2016)
“Virginia Freedom of Information Act; disclosure of salaries of public employees. Provides that public access to records of the official salaries or rates of pay of public employees whose annual rate of pay is the annual equivalent of twice the federal minimum wage or less is not required under FOIA.”
Facts – Jane Dittmar calls teachers, firefighters, and police officers ‘political cronies.’ Because the name, address, and salary information were all available, criminals were filing fake tax returns for many individuals. This was an effort to make it slightly harder for criminals to steal public employee’s identity.
Additionally, Virginia’s FOIA laws created circumstances that compromised the identity and safety of undercover law enforcement and their families. In voting for this bill, Tom stood up for our teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement. It had nothing to do with political cronyism.
Verdict – Not only false, but offensive to working people employed by the government.
“Tom Garrett was the only republican to vote no money to our schools.”
Bill in Question – HB1400 2015
Facts – Tom Garrett voted against this budget because of the incredible amounts of wasteful spending contained within it. Tom Garrett voted against the waste of taxpayer money, not for keeping money out of our schools.
Watch this video to see why Tom voted against this budget.
Fundraising Email “Fact Check: Data Contradicts Garrett Ad”
Claim – “Most egregiously, Garrett completely distorts his record as a county prosecutor. In his ad, Garrett claims he cut “major” crime by “more than half.” Data from the Virginia Supreme Court contradicts him. Their records show that major felonies in Louisa County increased by 175 percent from 2008 to 2011—Garrett’s tenure as Commonwealth’s Attorney.”
Cases of Major Crime in Louisa County 2007 2011 % Change
Murder 3 0 -100%
Abduction 3 1 -67%
Sex Crimes 30 19 -37%
Robbery 2 0 -100%
Arson 9 1 -89%
Total 47 21 -55%
Verdict – Complete Falsehood. Tom was one of the most tough-on-crime prosecutors in Virginia during his tenure and cut major crimes by over 50%.