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Politics Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin accused of anti-Semitism after saying George Soros plants 'political operatives' on school boards

13:40  23 october  2021
13:40  23 october  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks to members of the press after casting an early ballot September 23, 2021 in Fairfax, Virginia. Win McNamee/Getty Images © Win McNamee/Getty Images Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks to members of the press after casting an early ballot September 23, 2021 in Fairfax, Virginia. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Glenn Youngkin said Jewish billionaire George Soros was planting "political operatives" on school boards.
  • The GOP Virginia gubernatorial candidate has been accused of anti-Semitism by some Democrats.
  • A spokesman for Youngkin said the accusations were "ridiculous partisan nonsense."

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin has been accused of anti-Semitism after he said that Jewish billionaire George Soros plants "political operatives" on school boards in the state.

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  Blank slate to best hope: Can Youngkin rescue the Va. GOP? RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — When Glenn Youngkin threw his hat and his cash into the Republican nominating contest for Virginia governor this year, he was a rich former private equity executive with no experience as a candidate, and few insider connections or public political views. “Most party loyalists and insiders didn’t know much about him," said Todd Gilbert, the state House minority leader, who initially endorsed a fellow lawmaker in the race. Nearly nine months later, Gilbert and much of his party have come around.

Youngkin, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, made the comments at a rally at in Burke, Virginia on Tuesday.

"The blame for these wrongs and the present chaos in our schools lays squarely at the feet of 40-year politician Terry McAuliffe. It just does," Youngkin said, referring to his opponent and former Virginia governor.

"But also at George Soros-backed allies. They've inserted political operatives into our school system disguised as school boards."

Youngkin was speaking about various controversies plaguing Virginia's school system, particularly protests from parents over the teaching of critical race theory at Loudon County schools.

Democrats have accused Youngkin of anti-Semitism over his comments about Soros, a popular target of right-wing conspiracy theories.

The Virginia governor's race is shaping up as a test of the state's Democratic strength and Biden

  The Virginia governor's race is shaping up as a test of the state's Democratic strength and Biden A GOP candidate who is uniting the business class and pro-Trump voters, along with Biden's sagging poll numbers, have put the leans-blue state in play.ormer Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe once wrestled a 280-pound alligator to secure a $15,000 campaign donation for President Jimmy Carter's 1980 reelection campaign. In 2009, the former Democratic National Committee Chairman ran unsuccessfully for his party's gubernatorial nomination, but came back to win the nomination - and the governorship - four years later.

These conspiracy theories invoke anti-Semitic tropes, casting Soros as a puppet master secretly controlling the global economy and politics.

"Evoking George Soros as a shadowy funder is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. This is an unacceptable statement from Glenn Youngkin," Rep. Elaina Luria wrote on Twitter.

Jewish Rep. Eileen Filler-Corn, who represents the district where Youngkin made the comments, also criticized the candidate.

"The next time you visit my home precinct - represented by a Jewish school board member no less - leave your division and antisemitic tropes at home," Filler-Corn wrote on Twitter.

Youngkin's campaign spokesman Matt Wolking said the anti-Semitism accusations were "ridiculous partisan nonsense," The Hill reported.

"Glenn Youngkin stated facts reported by The Washington Post, so by Elaine Luria's absurd standard, The Washington Post is anti-Semitic," Wolking said in a statement, cited by the outlet.

McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows

  McAuliffe and Youngkin are in a dead heat with one week to Virginia governor election, poll shows Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin are tied at roughly 45% each, according to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released Tuesday. But roughly 5% of likely voters say they are still undecided a week before the Nov. 2 election. © Cliff Owen, AP Virginia gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Terry McAuliffe left, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, talk during the Virginia FREE Leadership Luncheon in McLean, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said the race is simply a "dead heat," and will boil down to which party can get out its voters.

"The millions of dollars that Soros gives to Virginia Democrats and PACs funds the efforts that elect school board members."

The Washington Post said it asked Youngkin's camp for examples of Soros backing school board candidates in Virginia.

His spokesman Matt Wolking sent the paper links to articles about money connected with Soros going to prosecutor races but nothing about school board candidates.

In 2019, the paper also reported that a political action committee funded by the Democratic mega-donor had spent nearly $1 million to promote progressive candidates in primaries in Virginia primaries.

The Republican Rabbi Aryeh Spero, who is the president of Jewish group Caucus for America, said the accusations were "specious chutzpah."

"Mr. Soros actively and openly engages in politics and in influencing state and local governments and is, therefore, a legitimate object of criticism, especially concerning the leftwing policies he's tried to force on America through his massive underwritings."

"Thus, this accusation is just another dishonest attempt to win an election by playing the 'anti-Semitism card,'" he said, according to The Jewish Voice.

Glenn Youngkin is currently locked in a tight race for governor with Terry McAuliffe. The election is on November 2.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet Glenn Youngkin, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who might flip Virginia .
Glenn Youngkin had never run for political office before he quit his job to run for governor of Virginia. He has a good shot at being the first Republican elected to statewide office in Virginia since 2009. © Provided by Washington Examiner Recent polls suggest that the Tuesday election is a toss-up between Youngkin, 54, and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking a second, nonconsecutive term. The numbers are a surprising turnaround considering President Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points in 2020.

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