Friday, June 04, 2010

Interview with Rick Waugh - Part 4 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. Here's Part 4 of our interview, in which we focused on politics in Virginia.
Q. 16. This seems to be the year of the Tea Party. Over in Kentucky, when Rand Paul won the Republican nomination, he mentioned the Tea Party in his acceptance speech nine times and the state of Kentucky only once. Do you think the Tea Party is going to have a big influence in Virginia?

Rick Waugh: Yes. I say this because many people are angry at their politicians. They are not angry at a particular party, but rather at the establishment of government as usual. Many in the Tea Party have stated that they will not support Eric Cantor, because his actions do not support those of the true meaning of the Constitution. Personally, I understand their anger, and am glad that many are taking a stand.

Q. 17. The night after Rand Paul was nominated, he indicated that he was unhappy with some of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Your opponent, Eric Cantor, has refused to state what he thinks about what Rand Paul said and whether he (Cantor) supports the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in its entirety. Do you think Civil Rights are still a relevant issue in Virginia in 2010?

Rick Waugh: I 100% support the Civil Rights Act, and every word in it. I am outraged that Eric Cantor will not take a stand! Many folks from both sides of the aisle have tried to contact him for a response, but he still remains silent! Civil rights is a relevant issue everywhere. Civil rights, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, must be protected at all costs. A representative from Virginia, someone like Cantor, should know that racial discrimination is not an abstract issue.

Q. 18. Governor Bob McDonnell and the Republican Party drastically cut funding for public education in Virginia during this past General Assembly. Governor McDonnell has also withdrawn Virginia from the federal competition for educational dollars known as "Race to the Top." Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is interfering with climate research at the University of Virginia. Do you think this is the right approach for Virginia to take in the area of education?

Rick Waugh: Wow. I am so frustrated with Virginia cutting education infrastructure in the Commonwealth. Right now our education system is average. I guess McDonnell wants it to be below average. We are currently ranked 18th out of 36 developed nations in education, yet our government officials in Virginia feel that education is a good place to cut? I am not sure what they are thinking. We need to work on wasteful spending in Virginia, but we should not be putting the boot on the throats of our teachers.

Q. 19. Public trust is important in all government, and nothing undermines public trust like corruption. Governor Bob McDonnell recently appointed a government reform panel and he appointed a man named Fred Malek to head this committee on government reform. Do you know who Fred Malek is?

Rick Waugh: I haven’t met Fred Malek, but of course I know who he is. The appointment is disturbing. I understand that Bob McDonnell and Eric Cantor are friends.

What the situation reveals is that Cantor is completely unwilling to criticize or impugn a decision made by another Republican, even if other Republicans make decisions that are morally repugnant. Cantor has hollered about anti-Semitism before – including recently when claiming Democrats were “fanning the flames of hatred” – but he will not criticize anti-Semitism if it comes from another Republican. He will not criticize racism, nor anti-Semitism, when it comes from a Republican. This is another way of saying that he is willing to tolerate anti-Semitism when it is convenient to him.

I would never impugn a person’s religious behavior, but it is remarkable that Cantor is endorsing the opinion that anti-Semitism is okay because Malek was “just following orders.” Wasn’t that the argument we heard at Nuremberg? I do not believe Cantor is anti-Jewish, and I know he claims to take pride in his Jewish faith, but his behavior is either spineless or else hateful.

Q. 20. In 2007, Fred Malek admitted that he and his business associates had defrauded the state pension fund of Connecticut and Malek personally paid a $100,000 fine for his role in the scam. Do you think Fred Malek is qualified to head up a committee on government reform in Virginia?

Rick Waugh: Geez, is that a leading question? What do you think? Let’s say this: if you think of government as an entity of the people, then government must be treated with the utmost seriousness, transparency, and responsibility. The Republican Party of Cantor, Malek, McDonnell, and Cucinelli seems to believe government is a piggy bank to share with their friends. We need to get rid of their mentality. We need a government we can believe in.
I'll be publishing 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 fifth part of the interview where Rick Waugh takes on 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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