By Karen Kwiatkowski
The conventional wisdom in the 6th District GOP congressional primary is just that: conventional. In my year-long campaign to challenge ten-term career politician and moderate Republican Bob Goodlatte, most outside observers have dismissed our race.
In the beginning, I would have been happy to pull Bob Goodlatte to the constitutional right. I’d have settled for a wider and more animated discussion of liberty and limited government. I’d have settled for a maturation of the conservative wing of the 6th District GOP.
Then Bob Goodlatte voted to borrow $2.1 Trillion more, to raise the debt ceiling for the 13th time in July, in the face of widespread conservative opposition. As the 6th District Congressman, I would have listened to my constituents, and followed their conservative wisdom.
In October, Bob introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act, and co-sponsored it. His “Internet Blacklist” bill was soundly criticized for 1st amendment and due process problems, and rejected by the people of the 6th District, which includes a dozen highly rated universities,colleges, and high-tech enterprises. As the 6th District Congressman, I would have supported better encryption, new software distribution models and free market competition, and I wouldn’t have entertained requests from rent-seeking industries in Hollywood.
In December, Bob voted against the final version of the NDAA, which included clauses that would allow American citizens to be detained by the government, without charges, counsel, or due process. I thought for a moment Bob was paying attention. However, he had voted FOR the NDAA earlier in the year, and true to form, he voted against the Smith-Amash Amendment which would have removed those unconstitutional clauses. As the 6th District Congressman, I would have opposed the NDAA, and if that failed, supported the Smith-Amash Amendment.
As 2012 progressed, Bob voted for the FAA Modernization Act (and its 30,000 drones over America). He co-sponsored and voted for CISPA, a 4th amendment atrocity. He proposed legislation to create a cap and trade style credit trading system for nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay, rather than simply cutting the EPA budget and allowing them to prioritize their efforts. He proposed legislation to turn the RFS Ethanol mandate into a complicated bureaucratic floating mandate for ethanol that would “account” for corn stock and gas prices on a real time basis. As the 6th District Congressman, I would simply cut spending, remove subsidies and never use the power of government to pick winners and losers.
Today, even Beef Magazine is lamenting the use of EPA drones overflying and surveiling stockyards and private farms. They get nothing but silence from a guy who claims he offers “valuable” seniority on the House Ag Committee.
The question we asked all year regarding a debate still applies, “Where’s Bob?”
My solutions are simple – a return to the Constitution and limited government. I ask that Congress read the bills, write the laws themselves, and pass legislation one subject at a time. I ask that Congress reduce spending in real and serious terms, do it now, and do it with spine and boldness. I ask that Congress reform the tax code using a FairTax model, and eliminate the income tax that has led to a warped and unfair national income transfer scheme. I call for Congress to end the congressional pension system, eliminate perks, abide by the laws they pass, and return to their homes and businesses after serving their limited terms.
We have already achieved what we hoped to achieve – Bob pulled slightly right (in fact, only weeks ago he cosponsored “Life at Conception” after years of “claiming” to be pro-life). We have gained a wide and animated discussion of liberty and limited government all over the 6th. The conservative wing now owns over half of the 6th District leadership positions. All that is left to do this week is to elect a rock solid, bold and brave conservative to the Congress, ending the era of Bob Goodlatte. Those who don’t understand the fundamental change that has already occurred in the 6th District call it revolution. We call it doing our Shenandoah Valley best to cut spending in Washington, to defend the Constitution and our precious liberties, and to restore the Republic. Revolution or not, we will win on June 12th.