Bipartisan Commonwealth Caucus signee listed as speaker at Saturday MAGA rally

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There’s a MAGA rally scheduled for Saturday at the Staunton Mall, and it wouldn’t be worth writing about except for one of the speakers advertised: John Avoli.

The last we had heard from Avoli, who represents the 20th District, which encompasses Waynesboro, Staunton, Highland County, parts of Augusta County and Nelson County, in the Virginia House of Delegates, was as part of a press release from a group calling itself the Commonwealth Caucus that we wrote about on Election Day.

The Caucus, eight Republicans, including Avoli, and six Democrats, issued a joint statement:

“As members of the bipartisan Commonwealth Caucus, we are committed to putting partisanship aside and protecting our democracy and institutions. Now more than ever, we will need to come together after this contentious election to address this pandemic and the resulting economic and health crises. After the votes are all counted, we ask that all Virginians and all Americans unite in support of our nation by accepting the outcome of the election. We support the right of every Virginian to peacefully protest, but we call on all to reject violence. We as a Caucus plan to work across the aisle regardless of who wins the election and continue to serve as an example for unity and bipartisanship.”

So, OK.

“After all the votes are counted, we ask that all Virginians and all Americans unite in support of our nation by accepting the outcome of the election.”

“We as a Caucus plan to work across the aisle regardless of who wins the election and continue to serve as an example for unity and bipartisanship.”

Contrast this with the Facebook post promoting Saturday’s MAGA rally.

“We are not defeated, we are not discouraged. MAGA is not just a phrase. It is a movement. It is every single one of you working together to protect the foundation of our nation, the wisdom of our Constitution and the integrity of our electoral process.”

The election outcome is known. The Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, will win with 306 electoral votes. He currently has a 5.3 million vote lead nationally, with that lead expected to grow as the bulk of the votes remaining to be counted are in liberal New York and California.

It’s all well and good to rally for your cause, but … the 2020 election is over.

“After all the votes are counted, we ask that all Virginians and all Americans unite in support of our nation by accepting the outcome of the election.”

Maybe Avoli didn’t mean it.

Maybe it’s worth asking the other signees – the list includes State Sen. Emmett Hanger, who is running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul, who is running for the Democratic Party lieutenant governor nomination – if this “bipartisan Commonwealth Caucus” announcement was even worth the paper it was printed on.

Biden has stressed repeatedly the past few weeks that he will reach out to Republicans and pledges to serve as president for both those who voted for him and those who didn’t, a stark contrast to the approach taken by President Trump.

The Biden salvo is doomed if people like John Avoli are quick to doff the bipartisan cloak in favor of donning the MAGA hat.

Story by Chris Graham


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