August 3, 2021 News & Press Releases

DPVA Statement on Tim Anderson’s Shameful Hypocrisy

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA — Today in Virginia, new reporting is demonstrating the shameful lengths of Republican hypocrisy when it comes to critical COVID-19 relief. Republican House of Delegates candidate Tim Anderson has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID relief funds for his businesses — despite campaigning against this essential relief.

In response to this new reporting about Anderson, DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement:

“Tim Anderson’s extreme attacks on the critical COVID-19 relief that has helped families, small businesses, and entire communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia are shameful -- and his hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Anyone who fights against the essential relief Virginians need to get through this pandemic belongs nowhere near the House of Delegates. Anyone who does so while cashing in themselves should be completely ashamed of themselves. 

Tim Anderson is a disgrace.”

See the Virginian-Pilot’s full report below.

The Virginian-Pilot: Virginia Beach delegate candidate Tim Anderson campaigned against COVID relief funds, but received nearly $750K for his businesses
By Katherine Hafner

During his campaign to be a state delegate, Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson recently said federal COVID-19 relief funding given to Virginia is unnecessary and should be returned.

“We should give it back,” Anderson wrote on his campaign Facebook page on July 4, referring to more than $4 billion from the American Rescue Plan that state lawmakers hope to use to help businesses and localities recover from the economic blow of the pandemic. “We don’t need it.”

Since April 2020, however, his businesses have taken in over $742,000 in federal COVID relief money, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Anderson, 46, is a criminal defense attorney and gun store owner who lives in Virginia Beach and is the Republican nominee to represent the 83rd District, which spans from Ocean View in Norfolk to northwestern Virginia Beach. His nomination in the June primary was an upset when he beat out former Del. Chris Stolle by two dozen votes. He’ll face Democratic Del. Nancy Guy in November’s election.

Anderson did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday and Tuesday.

Like many others across the U.S. struggling during the coronavirus crisis, Anderson’s businesses applied for federal financial assistance last year.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which offered federal-backed loans to help keep businesses afloat, gave $195,350 to Anderson & Associates, the candidate’s Virginia Beach law firm. Some came last April, with more during a second round in January.

Attorney Landholdings, a limited liability company formed in 2008 with the same address as the law firm and Anderson listed as registered agent, received about $3,200 last spring. His gun shop, Defensive Tactics of Virginia, got another $6,305.

The money went toward payroll, according to a database run by nonprofit news site ProPublica. All of it, including any interest accrued, was forgiven, meaning Anderson’s businesses don’t have to pay the money back. (The PPP offered forgiveness if businesses met certain terms, such as at least 60% being spent on payroll and no employees being laid off.)

He got a larger chunk of money through the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program: just under half a million dollars to the law firm. Attorney Landholdings got another $5,000, and his gun shop received $34,200.

On Facebook last month, Anderson said that the $4 billion the commonwealth is now set to use for COVID relief is “borrowed money and we should only spend what we absolutely need — which is Zero.”

That money is separate from the fund programs from which Anderson benefited. But Gov. Ralph Northam has said he wants to use much of it for similar state loan programs that offer aid to businesses struggling due to the pandemic.

Anderson has also spoken out against other forms of COVID-19 assistance, including the eviction moratorium and enhanced unemployment benefits.

Since March, more than $11,000 went from Anderson’s law firm to his campaign committee, according to state campaign finance filings — months after it received more than $100,000 in PPP loans.