Friday, June 04, 2010

Interview with Rick Waugh - Part 1 of 5

Rick Waugh is the Democrat running for Congress against Republican Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. I was able to sit down with Rick and ask him some questions. Okay, actually I asked him a lot of questions. So many that I realized afterwards that I needed to break the interview into several parts. Here's Part 1, in which we focused mostly on his personal background and family.
Q. 1. Tell us a little bit about your family background; I understand you were a Navy brat.

Rick Waugh: Yes, My father served for 20 years before retiring from the Navy. As a family, we moved from place to place, depending on where he was stationed, it seemed every three years. There were many times that he was overseas, and my mother had to sometimes work two jobs. It was not uncommon for me to walk from school to her work where I had to stay to complete my homework. Though I still believe her toughest job was raising me.

Q. 2. Where did you go to high school and college?

Rick Waugh: I moved to Virginia when I was nine years old. Virginia has been my home ever since. After my father retired from the Navy, he was hired on as a government contractor to teach military personnel in Dahlgren. We moved to a little town just outside of Dahlgren on the Potomac River, called Colonial Beach. There is where I spent all of my high school years. My grades stabilized, and I was highly active in sports. From there I attended Radford University and earned two degrees in Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

Q. 3. Running for the U.S. House of Representatives is a big commitment; why are you running?

Rick Waugh: I am a therapist and social worker. I help families everyday with the struggles of life. And I tell you, life will knock you on your knees. My job was to help guide those folks to get back on their feet to being self sufficient. The problem is that too many of our representatives have forgotten what it is like to struggle. They have lost touch with the people as a whole. And based solely on Eric Cantor’s votes, not counting his rhetoric or how he lavishly spends his donations, it is clear that Cantor represents big business, executives on Wall Street, and those who have power. It seems to be a common thread among those who go to Washington. And he has been there a decade. That is why I support term limits, and I promise I will retire from Congress at the end of my fourth term. Our framers believed the House of Representatives should be a place for citizen legislators who would rotate office. Thus the House has the shortest terms of any federal office. And a citizen legislator is what I will be.

Q. 4. I'm curious about your resume. So many members of Congress are lawyers or former lobbyists, but you're a social worker and a counselor. Did that influence your decision to run for Congress?

Rick Waugh: Simple. Everyday I work with families to help them get back up on their feet. I work with people who have lost jobs. I work with families who have children who are at risk, abused, or neglected. I work with couples going through a rough marriage because of financial struggles. These are the folks that keep me going everyday. I know that every day I wake up, there is someone that is struggling more than I am. God put me on this Earth to help others, not just make money off of someone else’s misfortune or to just take up space. That is why I chose the career that I did, and that is way I am running for Congress. It is time for our voice to have a say in Washington. I believe the Constitution refers to “We the People”, not “We the Rich”, or “We the Privileged few”. Perhaps I will inspire others to feel that it is their government also and join me to take action!

Q. 5. Do you think that you would bring a different perspective to public service than a lawyer or a lobbyist?

Rick Waugh: Most definitely. I think that it is sickening that our representatives in Congress are 44 times likelier to be millionaires than citizens who are not in Congress. I promise that not only will I do all that I can to release the wealth and potential that Virginia holds, but that I will never vote for a raise in Congress until there are no homeless, and our education system is number one in the world. I will never accept anything less. Compromise on this would be a disservice to the citizens of the Seventh.
I'll try to publish the rest of this interview over the course of the day, finishing up before 2:00 PM, before everyone disappears for the weekend. You don't want to miss the fourth and fifth parts of the interview where Rick Waugh takes on the Virginia GOP and his Republican opponent Eric Cantor.

Part 1 of 5 - Family and Personal Background
Part 2 of 5 - Jobs and the Economy
Part 3 of 5 - Military and Defense
Part 4 of 5 - Virginia Politics
Part 5 of 5 - Eric Cantor

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