Policy Differences between Dove and Connolly

September 6, 2018

Introduction: Jeff Dove (R) and Gerry Connolly (D) are vying for the U.S. House of Representatives seat currently occupied by Connolly.  Two non-partisan websites, Vote Smart[1] and OnTheIssues[2], provide excellent summaries of their positions on various issues.  There is much more information on Connolly, because he has a history of votes in the House.  He did not respond to most of the questions in the Vote Smart survey, so we take most of his positions from OnTheIssues[3].  Dove is not covered in OnTheIssues.  He responded to all of the questions in the Vote Smart survey; therefore, we rely on the data at Vote Smart[4], but add a few statements from his website[5].  Additional information on Dove might be available at http://www.doveforcongress.com/.  Because the two sites do not cover the same issues, the candidate’s position on any one issue may not have been asked.  We take the list of issues from the OnTheIssues website.

Positions of the Two Candidates: The two candidates were not given the same survey questions; therefore, direct comparisons are not always possible.  Major differences are evident on the issues of abortion, budget, education, photo IDs for voting, healthcare, and jobs, as summarized in the following table.

Issue Dove Connolly
Supports President Donald Trump yes no
Supports President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts yes no
Supports Common Sense Immigration Enforcement yes no
Supports Building the Wall yes no
Supports a Federal Ban on Late-Term Abortion yes no
Supports Rebuilding Our Military yes no
Supports Fully Repealing Obamacare yes no
Supports Restricting Your 2nd Amendment Rights no yes
Is Pro-life yes no
Supports National Education Standards (Common Core) no yes
Supports requiring a photo ID to vote yes no

 Discussion:  OnTheIssues lists the issues in alphabetical order.  We do the same.  We emphasize the differences in the positions taken by the two candidates.  Under many issues, the candidates were not asked the same question.  In these cases, a direct comparison is not possible.

Abortion

Connolly, despite being Catholic, considers abortion to be a woman’s unrestricted right.  He votes against laws that restrict abortion in any way.  He also votes to provide public funding for abortion.  In answering the Vote Smart Political Courage Test, Dove says that he is pro-life.

Budget

Connolly states that the economy is best stimulated by more government spending, thereby increasing expenditures.  He has not indicated if he wants to increase taxes.  Connolly agrees with Obama’s policies.  Dove opposes increased taxes and opposes cuts in military spending.  Dove agrees with Trump policies.

Civil rights (marriage)

Connolly repeatedly votes to protect and give more rights to homosexuals.  Dove was not queried on this issue.

Corporations

Connolly is rated 100% by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.   Connolly favors paying each worker a living wage, which, in Fairfax County, amounts to $16.80 per hour for a single person and $31.07 for a family of four with only one adult working.[6]

Crime

Connolly is rated 77% by the National Association of Police Organizations.  Dove is endorsed by the Virginia Police Benevolent Association.

Drugs

Connolly is rated B by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, indicating he wants to decriminalize marijuana use.  Dove opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Education

Connolly favors Common Core, requiring all schools to pass national standards of performance.  Dove opposes mandatory national standards such as Common Core.

Energy

Connolly did not indicate if he wants the government to support the development of renewable-energy resources; however, he did vote against off-shore drilling.  Dove opposes government funding to develop renewable-energy resources.

Environment

Connolly voted for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions (including CO2).  Dove opposes government limiting greenhouse-gas emissions.

Families

Connolly voted for more paid leave for employees of the Federal government.  Dove was not queried on this issue.

Foreign policy

Connolly is rated -1 by the Arab American Institute, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record.  Both he and Dove oppose increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support.  Dove opposes the use of military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing nuclear weapons.

Free Trade

Connolly supports imposing tariffs against countries which manipulate their currency or have undervalued currencies.  Dove was not queried on this issue.

Government Reform

Connolly opposes requiring photo IDs to vote, favors public financing of federal campaigns by voter vouchers, favors statehood for the District of Columbia, and favors automatic voter registration for all citizens.    Dove was not queried on this issue.  On his website, Dove states that he is against the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions.  Dove laments the preponderance of career politicians.

Guns

Connolly wants to close the Gun Show Loophole and restrict show sales.  Dove answered “no” to the question, “Do you generally support gun-control legislation?”

Health care

Connolly wants to retain Obamacare; Dove wants to repeal Obamacare.  According to his campaign website, Dove wants to decrease medical costs by increasing transparency in the industry and by increasing competition.

Homeland security

Connolly wants openly practicing homosexual people to be allowed to serve in the military.  Connolly favors roving wiretaps.  Dove wants to make schools become safe locations through hardening (e.g., increased security via metal detectors, single entrances, and some armed employees).[7]

Immigration

Connolly wants to allow more visas for those with STEM skills if they will be employed at the going wage.  Dove favors construction of a wall along the Mexican border and wants to require illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship.  He wants to increase the penalty for entering our country illegally.

Jobs

Connolly favors having unionization votes be by card-check instead of secret ballot.  He favors a two-year look-back period for suing for discriminatory compensation.  Connolly is rated 0% by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, indicating that he has a pro-union voting record.  Dove is against federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth and jobs.  He is in favor of lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth.

 Principles and values

Connolly wants to normalize the existence of same-sex couples by granting them copyright inheritance.  Dove was not queried on this issue.

Social Security

Connolly opposes privatizing Social Security. Dove was not queried on this issue.

Tax Reform

Connolly has cast no votes on this issue.  Dove wants to lower tax rates to stimulate the economy.

Technology

Connolly wants industry to share with the government its cyber security data.  He wants the Federal government to continue funding for National Public Radio.  In 2012, he also wanted the Federal government to invest $1 billion in transportation projects to stimulate the economy and create jobs.  On his website, Dove indicates that he wants government funding to decrease commute times.

 War and peace

Connolly voted to ban armed forces from entering Libya without Congressional approval. He voted against removing US armed forces from Afghanistan and favored boycotts and sanctions against Iran for its terrorism and nuclear activities.  He favored preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, including sanctions on Iran, to end its nuclear program.  Dove opposes cuts in military spending but opposes the use of military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing nuclear weapons.  He opposes increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support.  Dove also opposes the use of military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing nuclear weapons.

Welfare

Connolly does not want to impose a work requirement for welfare recipients. Dove was not queried on this issue.

References

[1] https://votesmart.org/

[2] http://www.ontheissues.org/states/va.htm

[3] www.gerryconnolly.com; also http://www.ontheissues.org/VA/Gerry_Connolly.htm

[4] https://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/179693/jeff-dove-jr/#.W23yFfZFzcs also http://www.doveforcongress.com/

[5] http://www.doveforcongress.com/mission

[6] http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/51059

[7] http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/375086-trump-prefers-hardening-schools-over-holding-active-shooter-drills

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