McKinley sort-of explains his vote against VAWA
On Saturday, a West Virginia newspaper covered how West Virginia’s representatives voted on the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. (All three voted against the Act.) Unfortunately for local readers, the coverage was in the Beckley Register-Herald. Reporter Erin Beck examined West Virginia’s representatives’ votes and, if they gave them, their justifications. Beck used what Carol Miller (WV-3) said in her floor speech against the bill and material from David McKinley's statement on the matter. (Alex Mooney had no explanation.)
Here is McKinley’s response:
“Let me be clear: the Violence Against Women Act needs to be reauthorized,” he said. “In 2013, I was proud to vote to reauthorize this legislation and last fall, I joined a letter urging Speaker Ryan to pass a clean extension of the Violence Against Women Act before it expired.”
“Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues let politics stand in the way of funding to help victims of violent crimes. They have included poison pill provisions in H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.”
From everything that I have read on the bill, the “poison pill” apparently was the “boyfriend loophole.” As Beck writes:
Multiple national news outlets also report that the National Rifle Association opposed the bill because it closes what victim advocates call the “boyfriend loophole” and prohibits people convicted of dating violence from purchasing or owning a gun. Currently, the law only applies to spouses, those who lived with their partner, family members, and people who have a child together.
As I noted in my previous post, McKinley’s vote was about supporting the NRA. Beck notes the importance of the vote to the NRA:
The NRA is considering the bill a “key vote,” meaning they will score lawmakers based on their votes on it and send those scorecards to NRA supporters around election time.
Beck’s article includes a short history of the bill and some statistics. She concludes:
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, West Virginia women had the sixth highest rate of death by firearm in 2017 out of the 40 states Kaiser had data for.
Sorry, but McKinley needs the NRA’s support.
I do not believe that I have ever seen or read any criticism of David McKinley in local media. The “newspapers” regularly feature him (with accompanying picture) anytime he speaks to a civic or veteran’s group and there appears to be a monthly Ogden requirement to praise him in an editorial. In congressional election years, McKinley appears to be running unopposed because there is minimal space given to his opposition. (His opponents in the last two elections were limited to two and three mentions between the primary and general elections.) There is never anything negative printed about the congressman. Even when the House Ethics Committee cited him for ethics violations in 2016, Ogden didn’t carry the original story. Instead, Editor Mike Myer used one of his weekend columns to defend him.
Local TV station WTRF regularly runs interviews with McKinley whenever he’s in Wheeling and even when he’s not. I have yet to see any interviewer ask him a semi-tough question and most of the interviews consist of McKinley’s unchallenged opinions on whatever McKinley wants to talk about.
As the lack of local coverage on the VAWRA vote demonstrates, local media function as PR outlets for his reelection – otherwise, you won't see or read about McKinley.