Friday, October 30, 2020
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Tag: 2nd Congressional District

Scandal in CD 2 Demonstrates Need to Research Candidates

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By Josh Stanfield of Activate Virginia Yesterday, I stumbled across a couple of articles breaking the shocking news of a federal indictment of Shaun Brown, 2016...

Compassionate Conservatism: Pretending to Have Our Backs

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The three guests may be forgiven their lack of business savvy, they are physicians. But the self-proclaimed business icon and Virginia 2nd District Congressman Scott Rigell can't. In the Republican free market version of a death panel, the four of them claimed to be protecting those over 55.

Representative Rigell hosted a town hall last night in Virginia Beach. It was billed as "Let's Talk About Health Care, A Conversation with Members of Congress." Everyone there recognized that there are problems and issues. There was plenty of chatter. But no one who attended was provided any information that would change their already rigid opinions. Anecdotes passed for evidence. No one on the panel had any credible argument to support positions presented. Everyone applauded statements they supported and ignored information challenging their firmly held assumptions. However one BIG LIE proffered was that grandfathering citizens over 55 in the current Medicare system is some magnanimous, compassionate gesture. Another BIG LIE is that business experience conveys financial acumen. Rigell never recognized the first BIG LIE, demonstrating the second BIG LIE (see Governor Bob McDonnell and ABC).

"To give us a little background on why this is such an issue going forward for our country, as you can see, the average couple turning 65 today in their lifetimes has contributed a little over $100,000 to the Medicare program over the course of their lives. But because of the increased costs of healthcare and all the technology and all the things we can do for people today, that same couple will have about $300,000 in benefits over the course of their lives." - Representative Larry Bucshon (M.D.) R-IN

So, what's your point, Doctor? That works out to be a surplus of over $54,888.88 at death. $100,000 invested on a straight line over 45 years earning a reasonable (until recently) 5% per annum, compounded, would yield $354,888.88 (game it yourself). A surplus even if the bill was levied on the first day of eligibility; which it isn't and the balance will continue to accrue interest and grow through the remainder of their hypothetical lives.  

Republican Poll: Rigell 45%-Nye 40%-Golden 7%

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Just as with polls done for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it's hard to know what to make of polls commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee. With that disclaimer, here are the results from a new poll by the NRCC on Virginia's 2nd Congressional District:
In Virginia's 2nd district, Rep. Glenn Nye (D) trailed car dealer Scott Rigell (R) by 5 points. The Congressman took 40 percent to Rigell's 45 percent. Independent Kenny Golden, a former Republican, took 7 percent. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted by the GOP firm Ayres McHenry & Associates Sept 23 to 26 and had a 4.9 point margin of error.
That 5-point lead for the used car dealer (Rigell) is just outside the statistical margin of error, so right now it looks like the 2nd CD could go either way.  That's assuming, of course, that the GOP polling is accurate, which we can't really know since we aren't privy to the "internals" of the poll. How about we just call this race a tossup and leave it at that?

Kenny Golden Endorses Ron Paul for Speaker

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Yesterday, while being endorsed by something called the Modern Whig Party (seriously!), 2nd CD independent candidate (vs. Rep. Glenn Nye and Republican nominee Scott Rigell) Kenny Golden endorsed Ron Paul for Speaker of the House.  The only problem with Ron Paul is that he's about as extreme as you can get in American politics. A few of his ratings from Project Vote Smart: ZERO from NARAL Pro-Choice America; ZERO from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund; ZERO from the Humane Society; 8% from the NAACP, 100% from the Eagle Forum; F from the National Education Association; ZERO from the American Association of University Women; ZERO from the League of Women Voters; ZERO from the League of Conservation Voters; ZERO from the Children's Health Fund; ZERO from the American Public Health Association; ZERO from the AFL-CIO; ZERO from the Military Officers Association of America; ZERO from the  Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; ZERO from  NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; F from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy; F from the  Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; ZERO from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; ZERO from the American Association of University Women; etc., etc.  

Plus, let's not forget his "decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays." Other than that, he's a great choice for Speaker of the House. Nice job, Mr. Golden!

I Agree With This Ad. The Only Problem Is…

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I completely agree with this ad; 2nd CD Republican nominee Scott Rigell is simply another member of the "I've got mine so @#$@ you" party, fighting for the rich and powerful over the other 98% of us.  I also agree that extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is not worth the nearly $1 trillion price tag, all of which will be added to the national debt.

So, I like this ad, right?  Well, yeah, except the only problem is, Rep. Glenn Nye doesn't really advocate different tax policies than Rigell does. Just recently, for instance, Nye said he favored extending all the Bush tax cuts, including on the wealthiest Americans, commenting that "now is not the right time to raise taxes on anybody." How is that different from Rigell's position, exactly?  Uhhhhh.  Also, Bearing Drift appears to be correct when it says, "Nye co-sponsored H.R. 498 last year, which makes permanent the very capital gains tax cuts attacked in the ad." Whoops!

The fundamental problem here? When you vote and talk like a Republican, it's very hard for the Democratic Party to attack your opponent without causing collateral damage on you as well.

Kenny Golden on Scott Rigell, the GI Bill, “FreedomFest”

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Kenny Golden, independent candidate for Congress in the 2nd congressional district of Virginia (currently represented by Democrat Glenn Nye). The interview is fairly long, so I'm breaking it up. You can read Part 2 here. Enjoy.

Blue Virginia Question
In at least two instances now, Scott Rigell has been asked, on camera, for his opinion of Senator Webb's GI Bill. In both cases, Rigell has refused to answer.  Why do you think Rigell won't respond to a simple question regarding whether or not he supports the GI Bill for our veterans?

Kenny Golden Answer
I have no idea why Scott would choose not to answer a very straightforward and reasonable question. It certainly makes him appear reluctant to address an issue that is very important to those of us who have served on active duty. Moreover, it makes him appear weak on the issues and reluctant to engage in unscripted conversation. The public deserves to know how a candidate stands on a particular issue.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill was an important step in helping our promises to our veterans. Actually, my daughter and I both benefited from its contents.  She is leaving active duty after 13 years and heading for Veterinarian School at NC State. (I hate the Wolf Pack, I lost a cartilage down there) She will earn her degree completely through the new bill.  We can't underestimate it's positive effect on the All Volunteer Force either, but there are still many things we must do especially locally here in the 2nd at both Portsmouth Naval Hospital and the VA Hospital in Hampton.

Blue Virginia Question
Recently, there was a "Freedom Fest" rally in Norfolk with Sarah Palin, Oliver North, George Allen, Bill DeSteph and other figures from the far right of the Republican Party.  Scott Rigell chose not to attend, you apparently were not invited, and a couple of conservative bloggers were evicted.  What is your opinion of "Freedom Fest," of Sarah Palin, and of the hard-right social conservative wing of the Republican Party?  Also, would you have spoken at this rally if you had been given the chance?

Kenny Golden Answer
Based upon what I heard in the beginning, I actually thought "Freedom Fest" was going to be more of a Tea Party event. I know there had been some excitement expressed by various people associated with that movement. I viewed it as an event at which those concerned with the fiscal situation of our country could gather, not so much as a social conservative gathering. However, as things progressed it became apparent that it was to be a Republican "Love Fest" expressly for Scott Rigell.  I was and remain extremely disappointed with Steve Batten, as he twice promised to recognize me in the audience. In fact, he saw me at the rally and confirmed that, but failed to show the courage to make that a reality.  Rigell's sponsorship, along with that of Gary Byler probably prevented him from doing so.  I was hurt by his failure to recognize me, particularly in light of several very personal conversations Steve and I shared.

That said, yes, I would have taken the opportunity to speak had I been asked. As an Independent, I need to reach out to all people. George Allen and I go way back to our days as football players at UVA, when we were roommates. We may not agree totally on all issues, but I still consider him a good and valued friend. I certainly would not have had a problem being on the same stage with him.

Interview with Kenny Golden: Opinion of GOP, Tea Party

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Kenny Golden, independent candidate for Congress in the 2nd congressional district of Virginia (currently represented by Democrat Glenn Nye). The interview is fairly long, so I'm breaking it up. You can read Part 1 here. Enjoy.

Blue Virginia Question
What attracts you to today's Republican Party and where do you differ? Same question for the Democratic Party.

Kenny Golden Answer
I am not really attracted to either party at this time. I think the partisanship that the two parties have developed over the past few years has been detrimental to the country. There is a severe shortage of statesmanship in Washington. It's time that we do what is good for the country, rather than what is good for a particular political party.

Blue Virginia Question
Given that you've been a Republican for many years, why are you now running as an independent?  Do you believe the Republican Party has shifted to the right in ways that make you uncomfortable?  Or, are there other reasons for leaving your long-time partisan home?

Kenny Golden Answer
Actually, I am running as an Independent because the Republican Party strayed from its values. Under President George W. Bush, government expansion and spending were anything but Republican in nature. Spending was out of control under his watch along with then Speaker Dennis Haskert. President Bush could have taken action to stop it, but never once did he exercise his veto authority during his entire tenure in office, the first in over 200 years to attain such a record.  Thus, spending went totally out of control and, unfortunately, it has worsened under our current leadership.

Interview with Kenny Golden: Response to Shaun Kenney

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Kenny Golden, independent candidate for Congress in the 2nd congressional district of Virginia (currently represented by Democrat Glenn Nye). The interview is fairly long, so I'm breaking it up. Here are the first two questions, which respond to a post by Shaun Kenney on conservative blog Bearing Drift in which he charged that there are now "two Democrats to choose from" in VA-02. More to follow, but for now, enjoy!

Blue Virginia Question
According to Republican blogger Shaun Kenney, writing recently on "Bearing Drift," your candidacy now means that "VA-02 has two Democrats to choose from!" According to Kenney, "there isn't much that distances Golden from the policies of Glenn Nye and any so-called centrist progressive."  Do you agree or disagree with these characterizations of your candidacy?

Kenny Golden Answer
The problem with Shaun's assessment is that it is based on a single issue: abortion. I do not believe the Federal Government should be involved in the Pro-Life/Choice issue. First of all, this issue should be decided at the state level. In other words, invoke the Constitution's 10th Amendment. Furthermore, you can't go around preaching smaller government, claiming to be a conservative, while at the same time promoting legislation that involves the Federal Government in a decision that is extremely personal.  Take a look at the website and you'll see "Give a Child a Chance", my idea for curtailing abortions as much as possible.

My personal position is definitely anti-abortion.  However, it is my personal religious belief and is not something I should impose on another.  I'm married to a staunch Catholic, and Francie and I decided long ago if our daughter became pregnant we would keep the child and or help raise it outright.  Fortunately, we didn't have to face that problem.  I certainly don't think that makes me a centrist by his definition. A Constitutionalist, yes, but certainly not a centrist.

Also consider this: Unlike both of my opponents, I never once supported an issue that would have lead to a greater tax burden on our citizens or one that would have increased the scope of government. The GOP nominee cannot make this claim. So perhaps Shaun got the names of his second Democrat crossed up. He's still a great friend and I told him I owe him a beer next time down for helping me with the Democratic vote.

Kenny Golden: Social Libertarian, Economic Populist, National Security Hawk

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After watching this interview by Vivian Paige (good reporting, by the way), my conclusion is that 2nd Congressional District independent candidate Kenny Golden is a social libertarian -- government should stay out of the bedroom, whether it's on abortion or civil unions for gay couples.  On economics, Golden seems to have a populist - and possibly environmentalist - streak, blasting the "greed and nothing else" of BP which might have "killed the Gulf of Mexico" and supporting more regulation on the out-of-control oil industry. On national security, Golden is clearly a hawk, favoring an aggressive stance in the "war on terror" and comparing the "Islamic jihadists" to the Comintern.  Finally, Golden appears to be concerned with the deficit.  All in all, I agree with Vivian Paige that Golden seems to be an "independent thinker."  

It will be interesting to see how Golden's independent philosophy, combined with his military background, plays in the 2nd Congressional District this fall. Can he pull from the left and the right, or will this former Virginia Beach Republican chairman appeal more to Republicans and GOP-leaning independents?  Most importantly, perhaps, will Golden have the resources necessary to garner more than a few percentage points in November?  The answers to those questions could very well determine whether Rep. Glenn Nye returns to Congress next January.

Nye Gets Good News From Golden

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From Virginia Beach Republican Kenny Golden's Facebook page.
Kenny Golden announces his intentions to run as an independent candidate for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. Recent polling suggests a mood of frustration across the nation, highlighted by a disenchantment with and lack of faith in Congress. Yet, the two major parties offer only business as usual as their response to the people. The voters of the second district deserve a better choice, and that is why Kenny Golden has decided to seek the congressional seat as an independent. Leadership and vision are what he offers, not going along to get along.
It's hard to see how this move by Golden - former chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party - isn't good news for Rep. Glenn Nye (D-2nd) and bad news for likely Republican nominee Scott Rigell. Nye's hope, obviously, is that Golden's candidacy will split the conservative vote this November, giving him an easier path to reelection. Now, if we can just get Kenny Goldens to run as third-party candidates in every district in America, we'd be in superb shape!