I attended yesterday’s Brigades meeting at Neighbors restaurant in Vienna, at which four candidates (Don Beyer, Charniele Herring, Patrick Hope, Bruce Shuttleworth) for the 8th CD Democratic nomination spoke and answered questions. I’m continuing to upload video, and will post more as they become available. For now…enjoy.
P.S. As is often the case, I didn’t see any “traditional media” outlets at this event, let alone providing full videos of the candidates. Why is that?
P.P.S. I also had a chance to speak with Don Beyer for about 15 minutes after his talk, as well as Mark Levine (who I believe will speak at the next Brigades meeting) and folks from the Lavern Chatman campaign. I didn’t see any signs of folks from camps Sickles (UPDATE: I hear that Sickles showed towards the end, after I left but when a few people were still there), Euille, Ebbin, or Lopez at this event, but presumably they’ll all be speaking at future Brigades meetings.
First, here’s Bruce Shuttleworth’s speech, which lasts about 10 minutes. He talks about LGBT equality; his background at the Naval Academy, in the military, and Harvard Business School, etc.; his parents’ deaths from lung cancer; his vow to be the “hardest-working progressive warrior that the extreme right has ever seen” and to protect “America’s vulnerable;” about the crucial importance of universal health care (we need “Medicare for All” and “we need it now” – Obamacare doesn’t go “far enough”).
Bruce Shuttleworth on global warming, which he says is “real” and an “enormous threat.” He adds that we should “curtail behavior that you’d like to curtail, which means I’m a big believer in a carbon tax…we need to aggressively get on green energy.”
On Israel-Palestine, Shuttleworth says he’s a believer in a “two-state solution.”
Bruce Shuttleworth talks about Jim Moran, says he has “come to appreciate what Jim Moran has done for our district” (e.g., gay rights, women’s rights, animal rights), but he also wasn’t “as committed as I am to avoiding the appearance of impropriety, and that’s a big deal, and noone disagrees with me on that…It’s a complicated picture with Jim.”
On guns, Bruce Shuttleworth says he’s a strong supporter of gun safety legislation – “take the ‘mass’ out of mass murder,” assault weapons ban, no loopholes in background checks, child safety procedures on guns…
Don Beyer addresses the Brigades. He talks about: a) being “grateful to Jim Moran” who leaves” very large shoes to fill;” b) this is a necessary time to serve, and this is a position where we can make a “real difference in people’s lives” and to “serve others;” c) he’s “dismayed” by the increased disparity between the rich and everyone else, that the “deck is stacked for the very few that have all the power and the money”; d) “we can create real new paths” by things like raising the minimum wage, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, hiring the long-term unemployed, etc.; e) the glass ceiling is “way too stubborn” – we need to enact paid family and medical leave, the Fair Paycheck Act, protect a woman’s right to choose; f) we have an “absolute moral responsibility” to create a “meaningful path to citizenship” for immigrants; g) the “greatest crisis we face” is global warming (yet Fox News and others have persuaded millions of Americans that it’s not even real) and he is committed to doing whatever he can to fight it; h) his record as Lt. Governor and in President Obama’s administration (including as Ambassador to Switzerland – “if you ever have a chance to be Ambassador, take it”); and i) his work to help elect Howard Dean, John Kerry, Mark Warner, and Barack Obama. In sum, he says he brings the “idea, energy, and proven leadership to hit the ground running” in Congress.
On LGBT equality, Beyer says he was “astonished at the immorality and inhumanity at those who opposed including hate crimes against LGBT victims in the protected class.”
Don Beyer talks about the importance of equal pay between men and women.
Beyer says that the Citizens United decision was one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, and that the idea that corporations are citizens is “crazy.”
Beyer talks about which Congressional committees he’d be interested in serving on in Congress
Don Beyer says he’s worked for 27 straight years to elect Democrats and to “move forward on Democratic values.” He says humility has “enormous value in life and especially in politics.”
Don Beyer on why he supported Howard Dean for President.
Don Beyer says he was impressed with the idea of “shared power” in Switzerland, where they “actually work together.” So you don’t have the polarization, divisiveness, meanness, pettiness…and “while I don’t ever want to sell out my Democratic principles and values, I want to go [to Congress] and be a healer and bring people together” like Senators Kaine and Warner.
Del. Patrick Hope speaks to the Brigades, emphasizing: a) protection for those among us who are most vulnerable (e.g., people with disabilities, senior citizens, those who are discriminated against); b) that we need to stand up to the Tea Party and even those in our party who don’t support “the progressive values we all stand for” (e.g., voting for redistrictring that has left us in a permanent minority, supporting payday lenders); c) his decision to co-found the Progressive Caucus; d) prison reform (e.g, solitary confinement, shackling of pregnant prisoners, charging commissions on prisoners’ phone calls to their families); e) implementing the Affordable Care Act and expanding health care coverage; f) Special Olympics and helping people with intellectual disabilities; and g) fighting to end homelessness (“the cure to homelessness is a home”). Finally, Del. Hope said we have to deal with growing income inequality (e.g., by raising the minimum wage right now, investing more in our public schools and job training).
Del. Patrick Hope says he strongly supports overturning Citizens United, that we need a constitutional amendment to change it.
Del. Patrick Hope says “global warming is probably our single most public health threat that we’re facing right now, we’ve got to deal with it. I fully support a carbon tax, I strongly oppose the Keystone pipeline…we need to invest much more in our renewables…coal is yesterday, coal is not our future, and we need to get rid of coal-fired power plants and I would fight to make sure that that happens.”
Del. Hope says we need to tax carbon and incentivize renewable energy.
On “fracking,” Patrick Hope says he opposes it, says he sent a letter to the Secretary of Interior opposing fracking in the GW National Forest.
Del. Hope says he strongly supports a public option for health care, doesn’t think the Affordable Care Act is perfect, and would ultimately like Medicare for All.
On Jim Moran, Del. Hope says he “deserves a lot of credit” and was the “perfect fit for this district…he was always there and I will follow in his footsteps to fight just as hard as him…I wish he was going to serve longer.”
Del. Charniele Herring speaks to the Brigades, at which she describes her personal background (including a stint of homelessness as a teenager), says she believes in smart government problems, talks about being an advocate for children, for education, alternative energy, and for women’s reproductive rights and health care.
On Guantanamo Bay, Del. Herring says we have to protect our national security but she doesn’t believe people should be tortured or that Geneva Convention should be violated.
Del. Herring says she supports non-partisan or bipartisan redistricting.
Del. Herring says she’s a “big fan of Congressman Moran,” ranking him with Ted Kennedy as one of the “lions” of Congress. She says Jim Moran who would stand up and fight for what he believed in. In addition, she points to what Jim Moran has done for this region – BRAC, federal employees, Mark Center, etc.
On voting rights, Del. Herring says she believes there should be fewer restrictions on voting, that we ensure that every vote is counted, that there should be federal guidelines on these things (e..g, the Voting Rights Act).
Del. Herring says social media and the internet are crucial, such as her use of Twitter in the fight for reproductive freedom in the General Assembly, and she supports net neutrality.
Del. Herring says in order to get things done in the Virginia General Assembly, you have to work across the aisle. She cites the issues of preventing domestic violence and mental health care as examples.