Virginia AG Jason Miyares: Let’s Get Back to Winning

Jason MiyaresAttorney General of the State of Virginia, joined special guest host Joe Concha to discuss Vote Virginia, the national crime spike, and Biden’s insane green deal proposals.

Listen to the full interview below:


Full Transcript:

Joe Concha: He is Virginia attorney general. Jason Miyares. Jason, thanks for joining. I hear you’re one of my eight fans out there, so congratulations being part of such a small group.

Jason Miyares: It’s great to be with you. Thanks so much for having me.

Joe Concha: Of course. So Virginia has always fascinated me only because it used to be a toss-up state. Maybe it was a red state at one point. We have to go back, you know, 40, 50 years for that. But then it became decidedly blue to the point where on election nights in recent years, you wouldn’t even be paying too much attention to Virginia, because it’s not an Ohio. It’s not a Florida. It’s not I guess in the case of the last election in Georgia and Arizona, it’s going to go blue. So when Glenn Youngkin won that gubernatorial race, it was truly shocking because you had Joe Biden winning that state by double digits and Youngkin novice politician hadn’t run for obviously any statewide office before. And you had Clinton loyalty, let’s face it. And Terry McAuliffe, a former governor himself, had the name brand recognition, had the fundraising. And yet Youngkin won relatively easily on the issue of education. And now Virginia, in terms of his legislator legislative body, is more red now than blue. So what’s the formula and can that be applied nationally?

Jason Miyares: Well, I mean, listen, I think Virginia’s not a red or blue state. It’s a commonsense state. And I think you saw a lot of Virginia voters, obviously, in the nineties and early 2000, it tended to tilt to the red. And then if you look at Virginia history, really since the 1970s, it tends to go back and forth. But really what Governor Youngkin talked about, the same issues that animated us in 2021 are really going to animate a lot of the elections this year in Virginia in 2023, which is obviously education. This novel idea, which is parents matter, parents voice to many individuals, felt like you had just one. I had one mom tell me at a rally that we did and people who Alexandria that they were voting Republican for the first time ever. When I asked her why, she said Because too many politicians have forgotten a really important truth never, ever get between a mother and her child. And that’s been our attitude about empowering parents. You know, this is a governor that has high approval ratings in Virginia. The president does not. And so I think that’s a big factor. That was a factor when he was introducing himself to the voters of Virginia. It’s kind of a common sense conservative leader that also believes in practicing politics of addition, not subtraction. But I will tell you one thing we did in 2021, which was so important, we decided to look at the rules of the game. Well, of Democrats had dominated particularly things like early voting and absentee voting. And in 2021, that’s exactly what we decided to do. We decided, okay, you know what? We’re going to figure out what the rules of the game that there’s a previous Democratic governor. They had changed the voting that allowing no excuse, absentee voting and early voting starting 45 days out, we decided, you know what? We’re no longer going to sit and wait and try to make up the deficit on Election Day. We’re going to go out. We’re going to secure the vote. We’re going to lock these votes in. And it was a particularly effective for us in rural areas and rural Virginia. Sometimes it takes you 15, 20, 25 minutes to get to your polling place. We’re actually able to communicate to rural voters and Southwest and Shenandoah Valley and Southside Virginia and say, get your vote locked in now. Secure your vote early. We did it. We had record rural turnout in Virginia and that ultimately made up the made the difference for us. And so that’s a lot of what we want to do again this year. But a lot of it is what stop complaining about the rules of the game. Let’s go out and win. Let’s win with what the rules are and let’s go maximize our vote. And that’s a lot of what we did in 21 and what we want to try to do this year.

Joe Concha: We’re talking to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares. I wonder if the GOP nominee that’s currently leading right now by significant margins in Donald Trump and by GOP nominee, I mean, the two time defending, I guess you call it is listening in this regard because I couldn’t agree with you any more. You want to encourage early voting because you’re otherwise just going to give away an advantage to the Democratic Party, who that’s what they do very well is get out early voting and mail in voting. Do you think Donald Trump is starting to embrace this concept of early voting, voting absentee, or do you think it’ll still be complaints about 2020 rigged elections and the like?

Jason Miyares: Well, listen, all I know is Matt Hall, well-known activist down in southwest Virginia. He said, you know, you need to complain about the rules or you can go win with the rules. And that’s exactly our strategy. We want to know what the rules are. That’s what we did in 21. And the reality is, is that when you go by these rules, that actually enables you to maximize rule voters and you go into rural areas, maximize rural voters, go to these areas where it takes them 20, 25 minutes sometimes to get to these polling places So you can go vote early now. We could do things like Citizenship Sundays and you go to churches and you say, you know what, you can vote. We’ve changed the rules in Virginia. You can vote on Sundays. Let’s go vote on Sunday. Let’s have your let’s have people go out and vote on Sunday. And so that’s what the rules are. We didn’t make these rules, but we can either complain about the rules or decide how you’re going to maximize the win. The point that I’ve made to people in Virginia is we won with better rules. They set 45-day early absentee balloting notes, absentee ballot. We won by their vote, by their rules. And we have the same thing we’re emphasizing this year in our state legislative races. Secure, secure the vote. your vote… you could Google it, you could find it. We’re watching a major effort right now to make sure people have this mindset where, hey, you don’t have to wait until Election Day because, listen, something always pops up. Something can you can have a family emergency. You could have something at work that keeps you away. You can have a child that that that needs to be picked up early or taken early. And the reality is with this effort is you can right now walk your vote in, share your vote, get it locked in it so something pops up on Election Day. Or if you have an illness, you get you know, you get the flu and you just can’t get out of bed. Hey, you know, your votes locked and you have a bed. And that’s the mind that we want our side to have. Because to remind your listeners, we used to dominate. I remember back in 2000, in that contentious election, we so dominated absentee, they called the military absentee ballots overseas absentee ballots. And so many of the business travelers, people that travel during the week for work would vote early. And we had such a significant edge and then we allowed that to atrophy. And my point is, let’s get back to winning. Let’s get back to winning. With the rules put forth, do we maximize our vote? That’s what we did in Virginia 21 that shows that what we’re going to have to do in 2024 And that’s what we’re planning on doing in 2023

Joe Concha: We’re talking to Virginia AG Jason Miyares. And Jason, I’m curious as far as you taking on Joe Biden speaking of winning and losing his proposal on electric vehicles. And what I find amazing about this is that none of it is based in basic logic. Now, am I for going to a more electric type of situation when it comes to our cars? And does that help in terms of carbon dioxide and the environment in general? Sure, but only if it’s within the parameters of this thing called reality. And you look at electric cars costing something like on average $60,000, which many middle and low class people, lower class people cannot afford. But then the thing that really gets me is, let’s say I’m living in Arlington, Virginia, right? Or I’m on the campus of the University of Virginia or Virginia Tech down in Roanoke and I have an electric car. How am I charging that exactly? If I’m in a dorm or an apartment building and I’m sharing that apartment building with 500, 1000 other people, is there a charging station in the building for every car that’s in there? In other words, we don’t have the infrastructure to support these initiatives that that Donald Trump and Gavin Newsom in my governor of New Jersey and Murphy all say like, all right, we’re going all electric by 2035. Okay, where am I charging my car again? Because if I live in an apartment, it’s not feasible. It can’t be done. What are your thoughts on it?

Jason Miyares: No. And our grid can’t handle it. I mean, listen, what has happened is in Virginia, they passed a law tying our emission standards in Virginia to California to an unelected bureaucratic body. It’s not even an elected position. And they said they were going to ban all non-electric vehicle sales by 2035. But it’s a graduated scale. We can’t even meet the graduated scale last year. You know, the total number of electric vehicles that were sold in the United States depends on how you survey it. Some people have it as low as 5% of people. Some people have it as high as 8%, but we’re talking about 100%. And first of all, the great can handle it. Second, all, with the tax of the poor, the average electric vehicle sales, anywhere between $61000 to $66000 is the average sale of an electric vehicle. Well, your average working class American can’t afford that vehicle. And you layer on top of that the fact that they now want to take away consumer choice. You want to have electric vehicles. I have several friends that have Teslas and other EVs and they love them and they rave about them. That’s great. That’s your choice. But they are extremely expensive. And when I talk to dealers about this mandate, I asked them, how in the world are you going to get a situation where you have enough consumers needing this goal that’s graduated scale, third to 25% of all sales and 30 and 35% eventually 100 to 100%? He said the only way we could do that is to artificially inflate the price of every non EV corner by adding $15-20,000 to artificially the sticker price to make them competitive. So people would think, well, EVs and them are about that. The reality is, one dealer told me what’s going to happen is you could have working class Americans subsidizing electric vehicles for wealthier Americans. And that’s what this exactly is. Most people in electric vehicles, usually their second or third car of their home, it’s rarely, if ever, their primary vehicle. And it’s particularly impractical for large rural areas. We don’t have these charging stations. And oyu hit the nail on the head. If you don’t live in an apartment complex and you have 200 people live in apartment complex and you have 45 charging stations, what is it? Could it be just roulette or a lottery? And who gets to charge their car that night, the night before? So and then you layer on top of that, like we don’t have the mining capacity to make the lithium. So in 2001, we were a net oil importer. The shale revolution changes to a net oil exporter. So we have actually achieved energy independence and now we want to trade that away for being dependent upon oil from countries in the Middle East, which don’t like us very much, to being dependent upon lithium and other materials for electric vehicles from China. That’s really what we’re doing right now from all of the above. I support green energy, traditional forms of energy, because the one thing you don’t want is energy poverty that is crippling for working families and so on and all of the above. And that’s what’s at stake this fall in Virginia, because it was the legislature that is refusing. They they passed this law tying our emission standards to California, this unelected board banning non electric vehicle cars. And when we had a bill last year to repeal it, it never even got the Governor Jenkins back. Yes, because we have a Republican controlled House and a far left control of the state Senate. They killed the bill. It’s not common sense. It’s attacking working class Virginians.

Joe Concha: And we’re talking to the attorney general of Virginia, Jason Miyares. And Virginia is ranked as one of the ten safest states in America. And that’s according to an analysis by Crime Stats of Crime stats, I should say, collected annually by the FBI. Number eight overall. It seems that you’re one of the few states outside of New England because the rest include Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Idaho, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Wyoming. Virginia has the sixth lowest statewide violent crime rate and 11th lowest poverty crime rate in the country. So I asked a question before around formulas. What’s the formula? Why is Virginia so low? And it’s not like, you know, you’re not near any major cities and it’s not like crime doesn’t exist because you’re in a place like Wyoming where it’s completely rural. So what’s Virginia doing right?


Jason Miyares: Well, we’re the lot we’re the safest as far as a state that has a large suburban population, which we have in the eastern portion of the state alive at our reforms that that were passed years ago in the 1990s, that bill have had great effect. We still have truth in sentencing in Virginia. We still have a host of crimes and mandatory minimums. We actually have the lowest recidivism rate of any state in the entire country. In other words, people that have been incarcerated and they get out, they don’t commit more crime. A part of that is they know the consequences of their actions. That has a lot of incentive. There’s a lot of initiatives that former Governor Bob McDonnell put in place to help with prisoner reentry, to give them life skills and job skills to get them back, because ultimately you want these individuals working and not falling back into a cycle of crime. But that’s a huge issue. I mean, the governor and I want something called Operation Ceasefire in which we looked at our 12 targeted areas in the state that did have an uptick in crime. And we said, listen, we’re going to we’re going to have prosecutors that are going to prosecute repeat violent offenders, because if you look at the statistics, 3 to 5%, there’s been numerous studies that have shown this, but 3 to 5% of violent offenders are committing roughly 50% of the violent crime. So if you want to go after if you want to lower the crime rate, you have to go after that 3 to 5%, repeat violent offenders and prosecute them. And you hold them accountable. And so that is exactly the mindset that we have. It’s been tough getting through COVID. Obviously, the COVID shutdown had a huge impact on our young people, and that’s particularly egregious. But yeah, we support law enforcement. In Virginia, the governor launched a bold blue line initiative to encourage people in other states that maybe their states don’t appreciate law enforcement. Come to Virginia. You have a governor, an attorney general that so value the men and women in blue that wear the shield, that protect us. And we’re putting record investments in law enforcement. So come to Virginia. But all the progress we’ve made on keeping families safe, on seeking tax relief for working families, all of that to take Virginia this fall. And so if you’re a Virginian listening and you love the direction of where Governor Youngkin is leading, just secure your vote. Virginia dot com, get your vote secure. Get your vote locked in so we can continue the great work that we’re doing.

Joe Concha: Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, as you started this interview by calling Virginia a common sense state. And that makes sense. I wish I had that New Jersey here in New York where attorney generals actually enforce the law and actually keep criminals behind bars. For whatever reason it doesn’t happen in our states. And that’s why so many people are moving to places like Virginia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee. Sir, thank you so much for joining us. And we’ll talk again soon.

Jason Miyares: Always an honor. Thank you.

Joe Concha: All right. Thank you, sir.