Richmond, Va, 16 September 2013: Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) and Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-Mecklenburg), Chairman of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology, today expressed their dismay and disappointment with the intimidation tactics employed by Senate Democrats against members of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) political action committee, TechPAC.
Late yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Senator Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) had e-mailed TechPAC leaders Friday stating that the Senate Democrat Caucus would “be frigid and doors will be closed” to the NVTC’s legislative agenda if TechPAC were to endorse Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II for Governor. According to The Post, Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) “seconded those sentiments in emails” they sent.
“It is outrageous and unconscionable that Senate Democrats would even hint at endangering the future legislative agenda of a group representing such a vital part of Virginia’s economy for purely partisan purposes,” declared McDougle. “Thinly-veiled threats have no place in the General Assembly.
“The Northern Virginia Technology Council and TechPAC deserve an immediate apology. Further, they should make it clear that TechPAC’s reasoned endorsement of the Attorney General will not have any effect on NVTC’s legislative agenda during the 2014 session.”
“This is about as far removed from ‘the Virginia way’ as it gets,” Senator Ruff remarked. “I am very disappointed in Senators Howell, Saslaw, and Favola. Groups like the NVTC should never be subjected to bullying from elected public officials. No one should.
“It is clear from the reporting by The Post that Ken Cuccinelli understood the important issues and challenges facing the technology sector of Virginia’s economy. It is also apparent that Mr. McAuliffe did not. You cannot extort endorsements; they have to be earned.
“While I cannot speak for my Democratic colleagues, the NVTC can count on Senate Republicans judging the Council’s future legislative agenda solely on its merits, as it always has been in our caucus. It is my hope that Senators Howell, Saslaw, and Favola will retract all previous statements that fail to meet that standard.”