July 18, 2022 News & Press Releases

Gov. Youngkin Appointee Compares the Union During Civil War to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, Praises Robert E. Lee, Defends Secession

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA – Governor Youngkin’s Appointee to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, Ann McLean, said several disgusting comments on WRVA Radio comparing the union during the Civil War to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, praising Robert E. Lee, and defending secession.

BLUE VIRGINIA: Gov. Youngkin’s New Appointee to the VA Board of Historic Resources Says Robert E. Lee Was a “Morally Fine Human Being”; “Secession Was NOT Treason”; the North’s “Invasion” of the South Was “just like we see Russia invading Ukraine”; etc.

According to McLean:

Robert E. Lee was a “morally fine human being who understood the constitution of 1787.”

The constitution was “broken when Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to fight against secession.” And, she added, “secession was not treason…each state was allowed to secede, we all had seceded from Britain…each state was like its own country, so Lee considered Virginia his country.”

“Invasion, just like we see Russia invading Ukraine, invading a new territory was wrong. And so many people want to just flatten the whole Civil War to slavery, and of course we know slavery is not good. But I think…slavery would have been outlawed in the South within 5 or 10 years, but they wanted to do it on their time.”

DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker responded to the latest disgusting remarks from a Youngkin appointee: 

It is appalling to see Governor Youngkin appoint someone to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources who somehow in one radio interview: 1) tried to defend secession 2) completely befuddle the language of our Constitution and 3) try to minimize the horrors of slavery with an inane statement that the south would have "phased it out” – as if one would go to war if that was the plan. And let's not even get into her bizarre take on Russia and Ukraine.   

I can't believe that Governor Youngkin, as he prepares to launch his 2024 campaign, would knowingly appoint someone this unqualified and ignorant of history. We hope and are confident now that he is aware of this that the Governor will withdraw this appointment. We also hope Ann McLean's advisers, for her own sake, don't let her near a microphone again.