A district newspaper editor allowed both Mr. Goodlatte and Kai to submit a 750-word statement to be republished in the newspaper closer to Election Day. Here is the statement Kai submitted. Use it to share with friends and ask them to donate.
The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution with two basic principles in mind: 1) Congress should have rigorous and honest debates between competing ideas to reach better decisions for Americans, and 2) Congress should not be full of career politicians. I agree with 80% of Americans who say congress is broken, and I believe our 24-year incumbent, establishment, career congressman is a big part of the problem.
Before speaking about specific policies, let me introduce myself. I own or have directed four businesses, including 7 years in real estate. I served as the mayor of Harrisonburg from 2009-10, and am finishing 8 years on city council. This combination lets me understand the financial challenges of small businesses owners, nonprofits, and families considering healthcare, housing, and investment options. I understand where government can fail, where it must work, and where it must go away. Also, in 14 years, I have led almost 300 community discussions on dozens of issues, which lets me appreciate the value of competing ideas and engaged voters coming together to solve problems.
As for issues, here are four where I am ready to act, but Mr. Goodlatte obstructs solutions.
- First, I will pursue specific changes to the Affordable Care Act so co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance are reduced, fair access is expanded, the family glitch is fixed, and businesses do not face such dramatic cost increases. Mr. Goodlatte has simply voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA with no plan for replacement, which is not a serious solution.
- Second, I will vote for immigration reform so businesses, families, and law enforcement have certainty. Mr. Goodlatte personally stopped immigration reform in his committee after the Senate and the President reached an agreement.
- Third, I support unleashing the jobs potential of the historic hemp industry, allowing scientifically proven medical use of marijuana, and stopping overcriminalization of poor and minority communities. Mr. Goodlatte refuses more sensible cannabis policy, and keeps in place debilitating regulations for farmers, feeds the dangerous opioid epidemic, and continues unjustly imprisoning Americans.
- Fourth, I will co-sponsor the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would protect consumers from scams like Wells Fargo. Mr. Goodlatte has for years refused to even hold hearings about the corporate practice of forcing people to give up their constitutional rights to the legal system in order to access basic services.
But, I also oppose legislation Mr. Goodlatte picks and chooses to advance.
- First, he fast-tracked the dangerous Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP cedes to the executive branch congress’ responsibility to negotiate, and it is designed for multinational corporations to sue taxpayers in an international tribunal if we stop a project in order to protect abuse of American workers and communities.
- Mr. Goodlatte also voted to streamline FERC’s review of regional pipelines, and previously voted to remove fracking from the Clean Water Act. I oppose these highly questionable projects that put in danger thousands of regional recreation, manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism-related jobs that depend on clean water and pristine environment. I also oppose using eminent domain for the government to take land for these for-profit projects, but he does not.
This campaign is about even more: the very essence of our democracy. Career establishment politicians like Mr. Goodlatte seem to listen more to party leaders and special interest donors than to individuals, families, and small businesses. Year after year, he demonstrates a dogmatic allegiance to his party, virtually never breaking away from establishment talking points or votes. His allegiance to Mr. Trump is a prime example. This is not statesmanship, it is partisanship.
In 1992, Mr. Goodlatte feared more than 12 years would make him too entrenched and disconnected. Now, 24 years later, he is asking voters to rehire him for years 25 and 26. It is extra concerning he broke his first promise because, in this lopsided district, he would very likely be replaced by another Republican. This suggests he is protecting his own personal power within the party more than protecting conservative ideals. To guard against such amassed power and entrenchment, we must replace career politicians. We must also pass campaign finance reform, fair districting rules, overturn Citizens United and consider the very term limits that Mr. Goodlatte promised.
I am ready to support solutions. As a real estate agent, just like families, business owners, and workers here in Virginia, I get paid when I produce results. Unfortunately, career politicians in gerrymandered districts in a historically unproductive congress can continue to get a paycheck regardless of results – unless you retire them.
Thank you for listening.
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