Home 2014 Races Video: 8th CD Candidates Speak at NAACP Forum in Alexandria

Video: 8th CD Candidates Speak at NAACP Forum in Alexandria

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Last night, I attended an 8th Congressional District candidates forum, hosted by the NAACP, at the Antioch Church of Christ in Alexandria. All the Democratic candidates, plus two Republican candidates, were there, for a total of 12 – count ’em! – folks up on the stage. Which means that even in a debate lasting about 120 minutes, each candidate’s averaged about 10 minutes, although it was lower than that because obviously time was taken up asking questions as well. So maybe 6 or 7 minutes per candidate, including opening and closing statements? It’s too bad, but that’s what happens when you have so many people running. Despite all that, it was an interesting – and at times highly entertaining – debate, particularly when hard-right Republican Paul Haring spoke (almost 100% about the evils of abortion, the need for religious instruction in our public schools, etc.). We’ll get to video of Mr. Haring, but first, here are three of the candidates – Don Beyer, Lavern Chatman, and Adam Ebbin – answering a question posed to those three about climate change (which Chatman mistakenly referred to as “climate control” – lol).


  • (at the beginning, he responds to some outrageous attacks by right-wingnut Paul Haring…)

  • says Planned Parenthood is “an evil organization,” that most of the “victims of abortion are black” and that if African Americans keep on “electing these Democrats who support abortion, there will be no blacks in this country.” After nervous audience laughter, Haring continued: “It’s not a joke, it’s a serious matter.” Haring then attacked Don Beyer for supporting equal rights for everybody, but Haring said not for the “unborn.” Haring charged that Beyer’s “supposed to be a Catholic,” so why does he support abortion, which Haring believes is “murder?”

  • to provide a countervailing force against management.

  • among other reasons, so that if you get HIV you don’t have to worry about going bankrupt.

  • Don Beyer: We need to pressure President Obama to stop deportations and make meaningful immigration reform a national priority.

    Adam Ebbin: Pressure White House on deportations.

    Euille: Agrees, stop deportations.

    Herring: Agrees on stopping deportations; this is another instance where Congress is broken.

    Hope: This is one area where he disagrees with President Obama. “We are a nation of immigrants.”

    Levine: The idea that Republicans don’t support immigration reform because they don’t trust President Obama is laughable. It is immigrants that are the reason America’s the strongest country on earth.

    Shuttleworth: Immigration is a great problem to have, it sure beats the alternative.

  • Also end crack/powder cocaine disparity and racial profiling — “that’s offensive.” Also get rid of “stand your ground” laws.

  • Mark Levine: A+ (He’s great at these types of forums, but I thought he was particularly strong last night, including when he talked emotionally about HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, inner city schools, etc.)

    Don Beyer: A (He was strong once again at a forum. He clearly has  depth of knowledge on a wide range of issues, is well prepared and quick on his feet, etc. In other words, he’s an excellent debater.)

    Bruce Shuttleworth: A- (Also very strong, although not quite at Mark Levine or Don Beyer level).

    Adam Ebbin: B+ (Nice job, although I thought his closing statement was a bit odd.)

    Patrick Hope: B (A few verbal stumbles, but other than that, he was solid. A big improvement from the first candidates’ forum in Mt. Vernon)

    Bill Euille: B- (He did ok, nothing spectacular but no disasters.)

    Charniele Herring: B- (Still a bit rough at these things, but much improved – more forceful, showed some passion, spoke up! – from the disastrous Mt. Vernon debate. Also, this time she wasn’t asked about foreign policy, which she clearly isn’t comfortable talking about.)

    Derek Hyra: B- (He was ok, held his own, nothing stood out for me.)

    Satish Korpe: C- (Hard to understand him, also not sure he adds anything to the conversation.)

    Lavern Chatman: C- (Other than calling climate change “climate control,” she simply didn’t have a strong debate. She’s glib, but clearly she’s not conversant with a lot of national (and international) issues, and it really shows.)

    Republican Micah Edmund: D for constantly asking the moderator for clarification, also for policy incoherence.

    Republican Paul Haring: A+ for entertainment value, F for substance.

  • campaignman

    It is odd that your grading system ignores the accomplishments cited by the candidates, or lack thereof.

    Adam Ebbin was particularly good in this respect and earns an A+ from me on that basis.

    While his final statement wasn’t another overview of opinions on matters, as is often seen at such debates, it was filled with details about his accomplishments on behalf of young women being trafficked.  That matters.

    Substance matters.  

    The regular news media is largely interested in style over substance.  I would hope that this blog would step up and give more credit for substance.