Home 2019 Elections 5th CD Debate Live Blog: Brig. Gen. John Douglass vs. Corporate Congressman...

5th CD Debate Live Blog: Brig. Gen. John Douglass vs. Corporate Congressman Robert Hurt


See the press release on the “flip” for some “Hurt facts” to consider as you watch tonight’s 5th CD debate (starts at 7 pm) between Brig. General (ret.) John Douglass, the Democratic nominee, and corporate puppet/empty suit Robert Hurt, the Teapublican incumbent. How bad is Hurt? Heck, the guy’s radioactive, at least based on this photo of  people in hazmat suit costumes, handing out stoppingthehurt.com> pieces about Hurt’s ties to uranium mining interests. Should be an interesting debate, which I’m planning on live blogging (technology permitting).

UPDATE 7:59 pm: The debate is over, and Robert Hurt just got utterly walloped. No wonder why the poor guy doesn’t want to debate. In stark contrast, John Douglass demonstrated great knowledge of the issues, the ability to think on his feet, and a balanced view that is a stark contrast to Hurt’s doctrinaire views, right-wing ideology, Tea Party talking points, and empty-suited corporate puppet-hood. If voters of the 5th CD want someone who will represent them well in Washington, there absolutely no way they should vote for Robert Hurt, and every reason for them to replace him with John Douglass!

UPDATE 7:55: Hurt on a rant against Obamacare, throwing out falsehood after falsehood (including the $716 billion Big Lie, and many others). Need “market-based ways” to improve “quality of care.” (uh, so why hasn’t the market solved these problems?)

Douglass – The $716 billion is IN the Ryan budget he voted for, twice. Then he comes down here and tells us something completely different. We don’t leave our wounded on the battlefield. It is horrible to leave our seniors, veterans without health care. Ryan budget would devastate people. They’re dead wrong when they try to balance this budget on the backs of our seniors, veterans.

UPDATE 7:53 pm: We need to get rid of SuperPACs, system where millionaires and billionaires can do these terrible ads, never have to take responsibility for their lies. I’m going to fight for campaign finance reform.

Hurt – First Amendment protects speech, should be transparency (what a crock, his party does NOT support that!). Mentions that John Douglass was a “lobbyist.” Claims he always stands up for people he represents, not a political party (hahahahahahahahaha, this guy should be a comedian!)

UPDATE 7:48 pm: Question on sequestration, military. Hurt – Gives us the history, his “unique” version anyway, of sequestration. Claims the House has again and again “offered a solution” so that we don’t cut our military, and Harry Reid didn’t do anything. (My god, this guy is a joke. Does he believe the lies he spews?)

Douglass – Hurt voted for sequestration, one of the worst bills ever produced in history of American legislature. If it doesn’t get fixed, we could lose hundreds of thousands of jobs here in Virginia. Says he would have voted against sequestration, it’s wrong. Pay cuts for our military because Congressmen can’t get off their butts and make a decision. We won’t have stupid bills like sequestration when I’m in Congress.

UPDATE 7:43 pm: Question on political polarization, willingness to compromise. Douglass says he served at Ronald Reagan’s side for 5 years. Worked under Republican and Democratic presidents. Won’t find anybody as bipartisan as myself running for office. My opponent has thrown out names, tried to associate me with those names. I haven’t done that, because I can work with people on his side of the aisle. We’re all Americans. I’m not running for Congress to be a partisan person. I couldn’t give a flip about moving up in the party. I’m running to help Virginia families, don’t care whether Republicans help them or Democrats help them, as long as someone helps them. I worked with John Warner and Chuck Robb.

Hurt – Claims he worked across the aisle frequently in the Virginia General Assembly. (uh, dude? you’re in CONGRESS now, not the Virginia General Assembly; what relevance does any of this have? plus, I’m highly skeptical Hurt worked across the aisle in the Virginia General Assembly). Claims he’s found “many opportunities” to work with Democrats. We “might not know it” because you don’t read it in the newspapers. Uh huh. “EPA regulating dust.” What a joke, this guy is utterly unserious. Such a failure, can’t believe this clown is in Congress.

UPDATE 7:39 pm: Question about “forcible rape”. Hurt – I do believe that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for abortions (note to Hurt – they don’t!). Says he’s against abortion. There’s no “legitimate rape” vs. “illegitimate rape” in this country, “rape is rape.” (so why did he vote for that heinous legislation?)

Douglass – Leave family planning up to families. Hurt’s side of the aisle says it wants to get rid of regulations, but Virginia legislature wants to get in people’s bedrooms and start making rules. Women have come a long way towards equal pay for equal work, come a long way in our military. We’d be up the creek without a paddle without young women in the military, they’re defending America. Pretty sad for a young woman to risk her life in Afghanistan, then come back to Virginia and have legislature tell her what she can and can’t do with her body. We’ve come too far to go back now on this.

UPDATE 7:36 pm: Question on marijuana. Douglass – I’m not a doctor. Soldiers don’t take marijuana. We do have too many of our kids jailed for minor offenses like using marijuana. Absurd that we have largest % of our population incarcerated than any industrialized country around the world. Hurt – Worked as a prosecutor, got to see real devastating affect of drug use on families. Seems appropriate that marijuana be against the law. This is the first time I’ve heard this question. We’ve got 8% unemployment (FALSE!) and we’ve borrowed $16 trillion (most of which was borrowed under Reagan, Bush and Bush), blah blah blah. What does this have to do with marijuana? What’s Hurt smoking, anyway? LOL People smoke marijuana because they don’t have jobs? Or something. Who knows what this guy’s blabbering about. Mindless.

UPDATE 7:29 pm: Question on M-1 Abrams tank and, more broadly, spending money on military equipment that the Pentagon doesn’t want or need, and that we can’t afford. Hurt claims he’s increased funding for veterans (fact: his party has voted against many bills that would help veterans). Why is Hurt telling us what the three branches of government are, reminding us that it’s Congress that spends money. Essentially, Hurt’s saying Congresscritters know better than the military leadership what equipment they need in the armed forces. Unbelievable arrogance.

Douglass – As former Asst. Sec. of the Navy, I had members of Congress who never served in the military tell me they know more about the military than I did. Almost always, there’s a factory in their district, big contribution to their campaign. What happens is that the soldiers get the short end of the stick, as money is taken away from them and put into tanks, etc. that our soldiers don’t need in wars we shouldn’t fight. (Wow, Douglass is on fire!) Start by bringing home our troops from Afghanistan, spend that money here in the 5th District. Just because Congress has the power does NOT mean they have the wisdom, we need to listen to our soldiers, people who have put their lives on the line.

UPDATE 7:24 pm: Question on Iran. Douglass says he doesn’t support using force against Iran. We invested heavily in anti-mine warfare to keep Strait of Hormuz open. We’ve been at war too long, we don’t need another ground war in Iran. This is a time for diplomacy before anything else, but keep all the options on the table.

Hurt – We all agree that national defense is our highest obligation. Thanks everyone who is active service, salute my opponent General Douglass. Challenges we face require real leadership. Claims foreign policy from this White House has not been leading from the front, been leading from behind. Brings up Benghazi – a national tragedy – and politicizes it. Says we should use diplomacy and sanctions against Iran, before we ever consider using force.

Douglass – I’ve seen the face of war. There were three kidnap attempts on me. I know what our ambassador was going through over there in Libya. We do have to be strong,  but we have to be reasonable, and we need leaders who are soldiers. People who haven’t served in military can talk all they want about veterans, but then they take billions away from veterans in the Hurt-Ryan budget.

Hurt – Claims he’s never heard any veteran say I shouldn’t be in Congress because I didn’t serve in the military.

UPDATE 7:18 pm: Question on uranium. This should be interesting! LOL Hurt claims “regulatory structure in this country is killing jobs.” Another Big Lie, that’s simply not true. Starts blabbering about peaches and farm ponds. Dude, the question was about URANIUM, we know you don’t want to talk about it since you’re totally compromised on this issue. Obviously, uranium mining is something that takes place in this country and is highly regulated, claims he would never advocate reducing regulation on uranium mining (wait, I thought he said regulations killed the economy).

Douglass – Took Hurt a long time to get around to answering the question. Peach farmers, etc. won’t be able to do anything if their farm is radioactive. Hurt tried to take EPA out of regulation of uranium mining. Property values already dropping, just at the prospect of uranium mining coming here. I was Asst. Sec. of Navy, bought every nuclear reactor the Navy bought for 4 or 5 years. I know about uranium, it’s DANGEROUS. This is as clear a case as we’ve ever seen about good vs. greed. We don’t need, only a few people will benefit from this, including Cong. Hurt’s family. If we get that mine, we won’t have the farms, we won’t have the peaches, just go to Europe if you want to see.

Hurt – Says Douglass has lied about his relationship to uranium mining, claims (falsely) that he has no conflict on. Claims this is a state issue, that Douglass has shamefully brought this up.

Douglass – Says I’m “General Douglass” not “Mister.” We need a Congressman who will protect people in the 5th District. If they do the wrong thing in Richmond, we have to stop it!

UPDATE 7:15 pm: Question on affirmative action. Douglass – Appropriate for colleges to look at ALL of the factors. Need to invest in education so that every single child who wants higher education has opportunity to do that. I’ve served overseas, we live in a global economy, we have to compete with the world, every child should be looked at as national asset. We should NOT care where they came from, who their parents are, etc. Everyone can help us be strong.

Hurt – There aren’t many pleasures of being in Washington, DC. Dude! Then why on earth do you want to be there?!? Why should we hire someone for a job who doesn’t WANT the job?!? Amazing. Hurt claims one of his favorite figures is Martin Luther King, “content of their character,” claims that’s what he believes. (translation: he opposes affirmative action). Starts ranting about how Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have stood in the way of creating jobs. Total lie, of course, it is HIS PARTY that’s the problem.

UPDATE 7:11 pm: Question on education. Hurt says top-quality education is crucial, but of course his party’s presidential and VP nominees would utterly decimate it, with the Ryan budget and their austerity economics. Hurt now ranting about the “giant bureaucracy in Washington” and how we need more state and local control over education.

Douglass – Education is key to our future as a country. We’re not in a good place right now, rural counties struggling, I’ve talked to teachers in all 22 counties. Our youngest son is autistic, we couldn’t get him educated in the rural schools where our farm is. Kids in rural counties don’t get same education as kids in wealthy counties. My opponent wanted to double student loan rates, get rid of Dept. of Education. I was deeply involved in education long before I ran for office. Education is a national security issue, should not be politicized, it’s shameful to invoke partisan bickering when it comes to education of our children.

UPDATE 7:07 pm: Question about economy. Douglass says he’s optimistic, this is a great country, Americans are a good, hardworking people. Created thousands of jobs producing our warships. Creating jobs requires a partnership, working as a team we can do anything as Americans. We HAVE to work as a team, stop this partisan bickering in Washington. That’s why I’m running for Congress. I know how to create jobs.

Hurt – Top issue is jobs. Goes back to the usual right-wing blather/talking points about evil government, “Obamacare,” the “stimulus” (which worked, by the way). He has the gall to blame unemployment on THIS administration, not the Bush Administration. Amazing. Basically, this is just lie and distortion upon lie and distortion. Oh, I also love how Hurt claims it’s not the House – the most unpopular political body in America – that’s at fault! What a jerk.

UPDATE 7:03 pm: Uranium man starts with opening remarks. Hurt claims he was disappointed in the direction of the country, even though it was HIS party’s intransigence and crazy ideology that got us into the mess in the first place. Of course, Tom Perriello was an INFINITELY better representative for 5th CD residents than this loser.

John Douglass says he risked his life on numerous occasions to defend Democracy, the right to debate. “I’m not a politician, I’m a soldier.” Worked my way through High School, college, rose to rank of Brigadier General in US Air Force. Served with presidents on both sides of the aisle, spent 5 years in Reagan White House, helping to end Cold War. Here tonight to help VA families. Not a career politician. Congress is dysfunctional. Need leadership to look out for seniors, veterans, 5th CD.

UPDATE 7:00 pm: Bob Gibson of the Sorensen Institute is the moderator. He introduces the candidates, the Empty Suit/Corporate Congressman Robert Hurt and Brigadier General John Douglass.

From the John Douglass for Congress campaign. It will be fascinating to see what corporate puppet and empty suit Robert Hurt has to say for himself tonight.

Visit StoppingtheHurt.com For More About the Corporate Congressman’s Record

Chatham, VA – Ahead of tonight’s debate, StoppingtheHurt.com provides the facts about Congressman Hurt’s record of selling out to corporations, costing families, political partisanship and uranium payoffs. Watch the debate tonight at 7pm on NBC 29 and ABC 13 or view it online at www.wset.com

More on the “flip”


Energy & Environment


  • Hurt Won’t Stop Uranium Mining in Congress. The Virginia legislature seems close to lifting ban, but Hurt is still willing to leave it as “entirely a state issue.” He even tried to get away with blocking federal safeguards against mining by opposing an amendment to keep particulate pollution produced from uranium mining”subject to the Clean Air Act. [Daily Progress, 08/01/12; Roll Call Vote 909, H.AMDT.905 (A005) [12/08/11]]

  • Hurt Stands to Gain from Uranium Mining. It has been widely reported that uranium investors bankroll Hurt’s political career, including executives and his own father’s stake in the estimated $7 billion mining site, including $2,000 from Vice President Walter Coles Jr. (’01-’05, ’07, ’11), $1250 from CEO Norman Reynolds (’01-’03 and ’07) and $750 from Predrag Mastilovic (’07). [FEC and the Virginia Public Access Project]

Economy & Jobs

  • Hurt Subsidizes Outsourcers, Blocks Job Training. Hurt pledges to spend billions of dollars on more tax breaks for corporate outsourcers, after being one of only 9 state senators to block job training for laid off workers. [SB 239. 2/8/10; Norquist Pledge]

  • Hurt’s Cut to Safety Net. Hurt takes tens of thousands from Goldman Sachs, “a major proponent of privatizing Social Security.”He says balancing the budget requires “deeply cutting those programs right now.” [WSLS, 8/3/11]

Education & Health

  • Hurt to End Medicare’s Guaranteed Benefits. Hurt twice-voted to turn Medicare into a private voucher program that could cost $6,400 more in out of pocket expenses for retirees, transit jobs for 11,636 Virginia workers and work study opportunities for 2,570 Virginia students.The Ryan-Hurt budget would also eliminate $11 billion in benefits for veterans. [H Con Res 112 – 2012-2013; Committee on Environment and Public Works State-by-State Impact of Ryan Budget; White House State by State Impact of Proposed GOP Budget for 2013]

  • Hurt Leaves Public School Kids Behind

Hurt is an advocate for an across-the-board federal spending cut, specifically mentioning the Department of Education as a target for elimination. “If there’s a good reason for its existence, it’s not clear to me,” said Hurt.” [Washington Post, 01/11]


  • Hurt Votes to Allow Loan Rates to Double. Hurt sold out to the big banks that handed him $96,050 in campaign kick-backs when he voted against a bipartisan bill to create transit jobs and stop student loan rates from doubling. [Govtrack.us – H.R. 4348]

Foreign Policy

  • Hurt Votes for Across the Board Cuts to National Security.  Hurt voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which would result in job losses for 207,571 Virginians, mostly in the defense industry. The automatic cuts, known as sequestration, would “weaken national security, hamstring our system of justice and ruin any opportunity our nation has for timely economic recovery.. [due in part] to the loss of some 3,700 agents and U.S. marshals” in the DOJ, FBI, DEA, ATF and others. [S. 365 ENR; Richmond Times Dispatch, 8/13/12; Politico, 10/3/12]

  • Keep Spending Taxpayer Dollars in Afghanistan. The Hurt plan sticks Virginians with the bill for a longer stay in Afghanistan when he voted against a bipartisan resolution directing the President to remove United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. [H Con Res 28



Gen. John Douglass is running for Congress in the 5th District to help Virginia families get a fair chance at a better future after serving our country on President Reagan’s National Security Council and then as President Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy, before going on to promote air and space policies that grow our economy by creating manufacturing jobs and keeping our skies safe.




For more information or to request an interview, email press@johndouglassforcongress.comcall434-906-2022 and follow us on Twitter @JWDouglass 



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