Saturday, October 25, 2014

Foes face off for 6th district seats

  • Published: October 9th, 2012

Schmookler begins political quest

What specific policies would you support to create jobs and stimulate the economy?

We need to fix our crumbling infrastructure, provide job opportunities for our youth and end incentives for sending American jobs overseas. With the economy hobbled by lack of demand and corporations sitting on piles of cash rather than creating jobs, we need the government to take the lead. But it cannot lead if Republicans in Congress block every effort.

Schmookler

What separates you from the other candidates?

In the past, the issue between a Democrat like me and a Republican like Bob Goodlatte was often “liberal vs. conservative.” But not now. Not in this race. Not in today’s America. This is constructive vs. destructive. Honest vs. dishonest. The spirit of seeking the greater good versus the spirit of “everything for me.” This is the fundamental battle being fought in American politics today. That is why, at age 66, I am running for office for the first time.

What are your top five priorities and what would you do to make your political goals become a reality?

A) Average citizens, not just the richest and most powerful, should have a meaningful voice in our politics. I will propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disgraceful Citizens United decision so that “all men are created equal,” and “one person, one vote,” are not overpowered by “one dollar, one vote.”

B) Redistricting should be determined by computer and algorithm so that politics can be removed from that process. Congressional races would be more competitive, and voters would have real choices.

C) To honor private property rights, stockholders of publicly traded companies should have a genuine voice in determining how their companies act in matters having important social and political consequences.

D) I will continue to use my voice to stop the lie from defeating the truth in our political process. Our Declaration of Independence says that government gets its just powers from “the consent of the governed.” But that consent can be meaningful only if it is informed consent. The dishonesty in our politics has too often made that consent misinformed.

E) I will work to restore America’s leadership in “social mobility” — the chance for people to rise from the level they are born into. America was once known for that, but we have been surpassed by other democratic societies. We need to ensure that each young person has the opportunity to make the most of their God-given potential.

What steps would you support to reduce the national debt?

The best solution to the deficit is to put people back to work and revive America’s economy. When the economy is strong again, Congress can help cut the deficit by closing tax loopholes for corporations and raising taxes on the richest Americans back to what they were in the prosperous 1990s. As for spending, instead of cutting Social Security and other vital government programs that help average Americans, we should reduce the deficit by bringing health care costs under control and by cutting defense budget excesses. Fiscal discipline need not dismantle programs and institutions that make America a great and humane society. I will defend Social Security from those who cannot be trusted to deal with it honestly.

What specific laws, if any, would you support regarding abortion?

I believe strongly in the freedom of religion that our founders gave us in the Constitution. They had seen in the history of Europe the nightmares that come when the state enforces the religious views of some on those with different beliefs. It is the American way to let others live according to their own fundamental beliefs, even when we think those beliefs terribly mistaken. Because of our founders’ wisdom about how to sustain a free and peaceful society, we Americans respect the right to be wrong. At the core of the abortion dispute is a fundamental question of a religious nature: At what point, from conception onward, does a life become a fully human person, entitled to all the rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — that our Declaration of Independence says we have been endowed with by our Creator. Many Americans believe that the soul enters the body at the moment of conception. Roughly as many Americans disagree. And if we look at these two groups, we find that there are good people on each side. Science is powerless to resolve this essentially religious question. The American way is to keep the coercive power of the state out of such religious disputes.

What is your position regarding whether marriage should be between one man and one woman or whether it should also include people of the same sex?

I am happily married. I never chose to be straight. It is what I always naturally was. Other straight people I have asked do not feel that they ever made a choice to be attracted to the opposite sex, rather than their own. If straight people did not choose to be what they are, what reason is there to think that gay people did? A gay friend of mine, the son of a Protestant minister, said, “I’m gay, as God made me.”

Science increasingly seems to support the idea that, in most cases, being straight or gay is like being right-handed or left-handed: The vast majority are born one way, but a minority is born the other. (Earlier societies thought ill of left-handers, as words like “sinister” and “gauche” attest. It has not been easy being different.) If we knew that being gay is like being left-handed, with no moral choice involved, what would that suggest about how we — as a caring and just society — should deal with that minority? I think the best answer is found in Jesus’ Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Why should college students feel inclined to vote for you?

I believe that young adults — facing a more difficult situation than any generation since the Great Depression — deserve better treatment than Bob Goodlatte gave them when he voted to double the interest rate on student loans. My generation did not graduate with a burden of debt like today’s college students. It is unfair to the young, and bad for our nation, to make it so difficult for them to prepare for success in a competitive world. I believe that the way the present treats the future is a basic moral issue. I will use my voice and my office to see that the decisions of today do not sacrifice the needs of tomorrow.

Goodlatte aims for reelection

 

What specific policies would you support to create jobs and stimulate the economy?

I am committed to finding real solutions to address our nation’s unemployment crisis and sluggish economy. The first thing we must do is remove barriers to employment, including the threat of higher taxes, new government regulations and costly mandates.

It is common sense that you should not raise costs and taxes on employers at a time when unemployment is at record levels. Removing the threats of higher taxes and excessive regulations would provide immediate certainty for American job creators so they can hire new workers with the confidence that a higher tax bill is not on the way. In addition, we must restore confidence in America’s economic future by restraining federal spending.

Goodlatte

What separates you from the other candidates?

I have the proven experience needed to effectively represent the good people of Central Virginia and have shown through my accomplishments that I have the ability and determination to conduct the people’s business with results. Furthermore, I embody the conservatism required to protect the common-sense family values represented by the hard-working citizens of Central Virginia. I am committed to the conservative principles and priorities of accountability, limited government, low taxes, fiscal restraint, energy independence, border security, a strong national defense, personal responsibility, individual freedoms and economic prosperity, and I have been and will continue to be a leader in addressing these important issues.

What are your top five priorities and what would you do to make your political goals become a reality?

Jobs/Economy: Today, folks in the 6th Congressional District, like folks from all across the country, are facing one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history. Our economy remains sluggish, people fear losing their jobs and their homes, and many are worried about the future their children and grandchildren will inherit.To spur economic growth, create new jobs and bring personal opportunity to every American we must strengthen our free market system, not hamper it. We must reduce government intrusion, not allow more bailouts and regulation. We should also unleash all of our energy resources and become energy independent, not stifle certain energy sources with artificial government barriers. We must give our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit the opportunity to thrive, not enact policies that will forever alter our ability to seek prosperity.

Fiscal Responsibility: Out-of-control spending, skyrocketing deficits and massive growth in government programs have also increased economic uncertainty and prolonged our unemployment crisis. The federal government should focus on cutting spending and reducing the deficit, not finding more ways to spend taxpayers’ dollars. That is why I have introduced legislation that would force the federal government to balance its budget.

National Security: Defending our country is the most important constitutional function of the federal government. At this very moment, the brave men and women of our armed forces are serving on aircraft carriers in distant oceans, keeping the peace on volatile borders, and patrolling the skies of international hot spots. It is these heroes who are working hard to make our nation stronger and safer for future generations while working to preserve the freedoms that we as Americans hold dear. That is why I remain committed to ensuring that the U.S. military has the necessary resources to keep them ready to overcome any challenge we might face.

Constitutional Freedoms: It is crucial that Congress, the president and the Courts strictly adhere to the Constitution when making, enforcing and interpreting the laws, and that all three branches of government acknowledge and abide by the very real limitations on federal power contained in the Constitution. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the federal government that has expanded the finite authority granted to it in the Constitution into seemingly infinite authority, trampling on state and individual rights and blurring the distinction between the public and private sectors. I am committed to the Constitution and to the constitutional principles of limited government, states’ rights and individual liberties, and I will continue to fight hard to make sure the federal government abides by the restrictions the Constitution places on it.

Moral Issues: It is my priority to protect the conservative common-sense family values represented by the hard working citizens of Virginia’s 6th District. By applying the principles and beliefs that have guided our nation since its founding, I will continue to work to protect the sanctity of life and define marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman.

What steps would you support to reduce the national debt?

I believe we need to cut spending now, and that we must also enact institutional reforms such as passing a balanced budget amendment, enacting biennial budgeting, and other measures that will bind the federal government’s hands and cut up its credit cards once and for all. That is why for many Congresses now, I have introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to balance its budget each year. This will force Congress to make the decisions necessary to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington.

What specific laws, if any, would you support regarding abortion?

I support legislation: to declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution begins at conception, to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds for any abortion and prohibit federal funds from being used for any health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion, to prohibit transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion without the written consent of the minor’s parents, to prohibit discrimination against doctors, hospitals or health plans which refuse to provide abortions, and to ban abortion based on the gender or race of the unborn child, just to name a few.

What is your position regarding whether marriage should be between one man and one woman or whether it should also include people of the same sex?

I strongly support the traditional definition of marriage as solely between one man and one woman, and I support a constitutional amendment to define it as such.

Why should college students feel inclined to vote for you?

I am committed to ensuring that college students have a secure economic future and the opportunity for gainful employment. The enormous debt that we are accumulating today is unsustainable and will rest on the shoulders of today’s youth. I am working to curb federal spending and have introduced legislation to require balancing the federal budget. I also support policies that will enable employers to create jobs and grow our economy.

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