IAmA Democratic congressional candidate for Virginia's 4th district and an atheist; my opponent, founder of the Prayer Congress, won't debate me. If elected, I'll create a sub-reddit and have my aides monitor it for suggested legislation and input in gene
Barrett here. I'm going to go ahead and field this one since I know the answer, which is that neither Forbes nor his campaign has given an answer, even when asked by a newspaper editorial board that has supported him for years. Here's a link to a recent editorial on that particular subject.
Barrett here. You're not in the 4th district if you live in Loudoun, but you can still volunteer or donate (assuming that LeGrow is able to win you over when he answers your question a bit later this week).
Uh, in the other guy's defense, the title does indeed note that Wynn is an atheist and that his opponent is the Prayer Caucus founder and thus obviously a Christian. The update above might answer his question, but hopefully LeGrow will be able to answer it more fully himself.
Randy Forbes has been in office since 2001; previously, the seat had been controlled by a Democrat. Incidentally, the district went for Obama by a slim margin in 2008.
You've got bigger fish to fry.
We'll probably be doing a separate post in which we'll reproduce these questions along with Dr. LeGrow's answers.
Because we're stupid.
That was from me, Barrett Brown, advisor to the campaign. LeGrow is not funny at all.
We like that too.
I'll break the bad news to Dr. LeGrow.
Thanks, these are all terrible.
Perhaps Les Whinen should do more thinking and less whinin'.
I think you'll enjoy the press release we send out tomorrow. That's all we can say until then.
Don't worry, the $10 will go entirely towards getting LeGrow elected. We can send you junk e-mails at no cost to us.
Er, uh, what's your question?
Sorry, none of these are pretentious enough to be printed in Vanity Fair.
Well, in Forbes' defense, he's an incompetent coward who would lose any such debate. So walk a mile in his shoes before you judge him.
Barrett here, Wynne would be mildly less antagonistic.
Fine, I'll say it. The above exchange is from The Simpsons.
Please get in touch with me at email@example.com; you would definitely be interested in Project PM.
About an hour ago.
No, I need to get out less.
1- I was concerned about global climate change and the huge national debt.
2 - I am not an education expert, but I support race to the top program that spends money more wisely instead of just focusing on statistics.
3 - That's unusual, considering his stance on offshore drilling and climate change. Rep Forbes's bill was unworkable. It relies on "scientific breakthroughs" as the only solutions to our problems - when many approaches can now be instituted to encourage energy efficiency. CAFE standards, smart electrical grids, etc. A carbon tax or some sort of cap and trade is clearly needed. We should continue scientific research toward new energy sources, but Mr. Forbes and many other politicians pretend like there's no solution at hand. There is - we just need the political courage to make it happen.
4 - I was wary at first of Project Vote Smart - they offered yes or no questions when the answer what not as clear cut. That said, I recognize the value of the service and my campaign has since made multiple attempts to complete the survey (admittedly after the deadline). Project Vote Smart has not given me the opportunity to answer.
5 - He may feel that he has the numbers but his refusal to debate suggests that he does not have the courage of his convictions. His excuses not to debate are laughable and portray a fear that his ideas cannot hold up when challenged.
1 - Global climate change is real and it is caused by human beings burning fossil fuels. If this is not adequately addressed, the world as we know it will change dramatically for the worse.
2 - Campaign finance reform would help level the playing field, especially in terms of getting competing ideas out there for voters to examine.
3 - Eight years of mismanagement by the Bush-Cheney administration convinced me that changes needed to be made and those in power at that time did not have the insight, judgment or knowledge to make those changes.
4 - I admire Barney Frank's insight in dealing with complex problems and his wit in dealing with his detractors.
People certainly seem interested in the novelty of a nontheist candidate, but it is not a serious campaign issue. The local papers make it the number one story when they write about me - so yes - the general public is aware. However talking to voters one-on-one it is not a primary issue.
My number one goal would be to change the dialogue about climate change in Washington. I do not think our leaders take it seriously enough, and we need to act now or the results will be catastrophic.
I am aware of liquid floride thorium reactor technology. I won't pretend I fully understand it but it seems very promising.
The Government can encourage research, but we need a strong private research sector. As noted on other postings, India is already moving forward in this field and sees it as critical to future energy supplies. We should move with the same sense of urgency given our dependence on foreign and domestic fossil fuels and the specter of global climate change among us.
1.) What famous political philosophers do you look up to most and why?
I spent most of my life studying and practicing medicine. I spent little time reading philosophy. The existential philosophy of John Paul Sartre may best reflect my personal philosophy. Political philosophers? Calvin and Hobbes.
2.) What was the biggest regret you've ever made?
I don't spend my life looking back and second-guessing my decisions. I make my best judgment and move forward. This is not to say that I do not admit my mistakes. I simply see no point in dwelling on past decisions.
3.) What is your favorite TV show?
I have watched CBS News Sunday morning intermittently for many years and find that it often covers interesting topics. In the past I have been a fan of MAS*H and Seinfeld.
4.) How do you feel towards Sarah Palin?
Sarah Palin is an empty vessel. She is totally uninformed on any number of topics and proud of it. She lacks curiosity and she is incapable of demonstrating true insight on any topic that interests me. Those who react positively to her seem to be reacting to her showmanship and pseudo-patriotic musings. Her refusal to take questions from any serious journalist reveals her lack of confidence.
5.) How much to you plan on accomplishing in your first term in office?
I plan to speak out on the increasing risks of global climate change and the risks associated with the huge national debt. These were the main reasons that motivated me to run in the first place. What I can accomplish in the first 1 to 2 terms remains to be seen.
6.) What are your views respecting individual liberty? How do you feel towards things like seatbelt laws?
I respect individual liberty until it starts imposing on others' freedom. I accept the need for seatbelt laws because the government can control such things when traveling on public highways. It has clearly been demonstrated that wearing seatbelts decreases the risk of injury and death. Those who are more seriously injured while not wearing seat belts in auto accidents will of necessity be cared for in hospitals and the resultant bills will result in increased insurance costs for all of us.
7.) What are your views on net neutrality?
I favor net neutrality as it would allow equal access for all on the Internet. The internet, at it’s core, is about innovation. For the government to place laws restraining this innovation would be bad for our economy and our general welfare.
8.) What are your views on The PATRIOT ACT?
I feel that The Patriot Act was an ill-conceived idea and should never have been passed. It restricts individual liberties in ways that are unnecessary. The laws in place prior to The Patriot Act were adequate to handle the situation.
9.) What are your views on capital punishment?
I am against the death penalty. Two stories that were on the front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch recently demonstrate problems associated with the death penalty. One article was about a young man who bludgeoned four people to death when he was 19 years old. He was given a life sentence without parole. The other was about a woman with an IQ of 72 who was executed. She had agreed to have two men murder her husband and stepson. There was evidence suggesting that one of the two men who committed the murders had manipulated the woman in an attempt to get insurance money. The death penalty is applied too haphazardly to justify its use. In addition, I have never seen any study which demonstrated that the use of capital punishment was a deterrent. States that employ capital punishment have as high or higher incidence of capital crimes per capita than states that do not.
10.) What are your views on earmarks?
I think everyone would be better served if earmarks were eliminated completely. In that way any appropriations made for programs would have to be voted on and paid for directly.
11.) What are your views on the expansion of federal government?
Clearly some parts of the federal government have grown much larger than they need to be. Since September 11, 2001, many new agencies have sprung up to deal with security problems. Unfortunately many agencies duplicate the function of other agencies and do not communicate with each other as needed. My main concern would be that government function efficiently and the size of agencies be determined by the nature of the job they are performing.
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