Tag: Rob Wittman
Also worth noting, as Adam Cook points out in his interview on the flip, "this district isn't nearly as red as it used to be...the district also pushes significantly farther North than it used to, including roughly 40% of Prince William County. If the President does well in Virginia again this will be a competitive district in 2012."
Anyway, I was impressed with Adam Cook when I met him back in January. He struck me as serious, smart, thoughtful, and level headed. Same thing with the interview he conducted with me via email over the past week or so. Again, you can read the entire interview after the "fold," but a few highlights from my perspective include:
*His bio, which includes being the "son of a pastor;" a law school graduate who decided on 9/11 to "give something back" to our country by "join[ing] the Air Force as a Judge Advocate;" volunteering in 2010 "to deploy to Afghanistan in support of the mission at the central detention facility in the country...reviewing the evidence and intelligence concerning each of the roughly 3,000 Al Qaeda, Taliban and Haqqani network detainees in our custody." Impressive.
*His main reasons for deciding to run for Congress: a) "I was, and am, deeply offended by the Paul Ryan budget which makes roughly $5 trillion in cuts to services for seniors, students, veterans and the poor and turns them into $4 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations;" and b) while serving in Afghanistan, watching "a totally dysfunctional Congress unable to execute even the most basic functions of government, largely because we had a newly elected Republican majority in the house that was determined to use their newfound power to try to effectively repeal the 20th century."
*The fact that he's "proud to be a member of the party of working people, civil rights and equal rights for all Americans."
What drew the LCV's ire? Every single Republican voted for the House Republican budget resolution to gut the Clean Air Act & Clean Water Act, to protect billions in tax giveaways for oil corporations that banked $137 billion in profits in 2011, and to weaken offshore drilling safety rules even as they pushed to bring oil drilling to the Virginia coast:
What this film seems to be trying to answer is whether Iraq and America, Iraqis and Americans, are better off for the war. After an unsuccessful run for Congress as the Democratic candidate against Rob Wittman in Virginia's First District, Forgit turned to this project. Returning to Iraq during late 2009 and 2010 he recorded the efforts of U.S. and Iraqi troops to keep the peace in Saab al Bor on the outskirts of Baghdad. It focuses on a single troop in a single village but it is a microcosm of something much larger.
Forgit was an intelligence specialist in the navy reserve for 10 years. As such, in his assignment in Iraq he was immersed in the complexities of religion, tribal influences, trade and economic relationships. His perspective is shaped by his personal and professional relationships with Iraqis, both military and civilian. From that perspective, he believes most Americans do not fully comprehend the effect the war has had on themselves or the Iraqis. This is among his reasons for telling this story.
Additionally, congressmen are prohibited (Section 3210 (a)(6)(A), Title 39 U.S.C.) from sending out any mass mailings during the 90-days preceding the date of an election - be it primary or general. A mass mailing is defined as "an unsolicited mailing of 500 or more pieces of substantially identical content - whether mailed singly or in bulk - over the course of a legislative year."
Since the 90-day blackout period begun, Rob has not shied away from using taxpayer funds to send out what are clearly campaign mailers. Kandy Hilliard, Chair of the Stafford Democratic Committee, issued a press release this morning that accused him of misusing taxpayer funds for campaign expenses and called for a formal investigation to be launched.