Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview with Rick Waugh - Part 5 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 5 of our interview, in which we focused mostly on Waugh's opponent, Congressman Eric Cantor.
Q. 21. Your opponent, Eric Cantor, has led the fight against federal involvement in economic recovery—how would your approach differ?

Rick Waugh: Small businesses and farms are being wiped out, while giant “too big to fail” companies get a free pass. Eric Cantor should never bail out Wall Street unless he bails out Main Street. I saw a Republican bumper sticker the other day upset at Cantor stating “Where is my bail out?” That is so true! Our representative needs to concentrate on finding ways to put regulations in place so that our businesses are not too big to fail. But Eric Cantor can’t do that if his campaign is funded by big dollars from those same corporations. He has to side with the oil companies that ruin the families of fishermen and oystermen. He has to side with those banks that fund his campaign. He voted to bail out a bank that his wife works for, where she sits on the board of directors. By the way, the minimum account balance in that bank’s wealth management division is $40 million. How many ordinary Virginians can maintain a $40 million balance? Special interests will not ever have a place in my congressional staff. They will never influence me to vote one way or the other. Only the citizens of the district can do that. That is who I listen to, because that is who I work for.

Q. 22. Can you think of any instances where Eric Cantor's "approach" has hurt the people of the 7th Congressional District?

Rick Waugh: Everyday, he hurts the district when he refuses to speak to us. He doesn’t listen to what we want to tell him. Yet he continues to pull the wool over our eyes by playing political games with voters with this weird “You Cut” program because he is more interested in stomping the idea of citizen legislation out of the Constitution. He wants to make a career out of politics, while us hardworking folks are trying to save our careers and jobs. Well, I say he can either represent us, or he can find another job. It is time for his pink slip. For too long, he has gained more and more power while showing us no results here in our district! Where’s the beef, Mr. Cantor?

Q. 23. Eric Cantor is notorious for voting against federal projects and then showing up at the ribbon cutting ceremonies. What do you think this says about Cantor's leadership?

Rick Waugh: He likes the cameras.

Q. 24. Do you consider Eric Cantor a "career politician," and if so, why? And what makes you so different?

Rick Waugh: Perhaps he didn’t like the real estate business, and thought a change of careers was needed. We can debate small-time welfare, and we can grow disgusted with corporate welfare, but when you look at the American people financing Eric Cantor’s extravagances, well, that is welfare I want to see cut! I will not venture on why he does what he does. All I can say is that his record speaks for itself. He looks out for himself and a few friends. That’s it. Shouldn’t the folks of this District, the people who hired him, be thought of as friends?

Q. 25. Eric Cantor is one of the top fundraisers in the Republican Party. Cantor spends hundreds of thousands of his donors' dollars every year on luxury travel and expensive restaurants for his friends, campaign supporters and staffers—how will you counter all of that campaign cash from K Street lobbyists?

Rick Waugh: All I can do is bring up to the voters what I will do for them, regarding the struggles that they are experiencing. I will lead by example, and I won’t be part of these dirty Washington games that seem to be a form of sneering at the American people. I will never vote myself a raise, or utilize any donation money to pay for luxury travel or expensive restaurants. In the last year and a half alone, Cantor has spent $136,000 of donor money on golfing and restaurants and the like. For Cantor, luxury seems to come for free, because he abuses donor money. If what he does is legal, it shouldn’t be.

Q. 26. Eric Cantor and the rest of the Republican Party believe strongly in drilling for oil offshore in deep water, even though the Deepwater Horizon disaster has shown that oil companies have no idea how to control oil spills that occur at those depths. What is your position on drilling off shore in deep water?

Rick Waugh: I will never vote for off shore deep water drilling, period. I will never take the word from an oil company that we are safe again. I will look at the recommendations of government scientists and independent scientists, but not industry shills.

Allow me to point out that Cantor has been calling for Chesapeake Bay drilling to begin in the next year. If he were to admit he made a mistake after the BP disaster, I would think: Okay, well he was wrong to begin with, but at least his sanity is intact. Yet he hasn’t done that! He has dug in his heels. He still wants to drill in Virginia’s waters, the sooner the better apparently. It’s madness! He has the gall to accuse Obama of failing to lead because Obama has reconsidered offshore drilling in light of the disaster. What this shows is that Cantor doesn’t represent people, he represents oil companies and Wall St. banks.

Q. 27. If we can't depend entirely on oil, where will our energy come from in the future?

Rick Waugh: Well, giving petro dollars to tyrants overseas is writing death certificates to our solders who fight them. We need to harness wind, and solar energy. We need to have a comprehensive energy plan that includes hydro, wind, solar, switchgrass, and safe nuclear technologies. What our oil companies and those politicians bought by Big Oil fail to tell us is that the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” strategy will not provide any profit for another 10 years. The other forms of storing and creating energy are safer, cleaner, and more profitable in a shorter time frame. Oil is old news. It’s time for a change. And this change will create jobs into the district!
This concluded my first interview with Rick Waugh. I really appreciated the time he took to answer my questions. Hopefully we will get more opportunities to talk with Rick as his campaign for Congress progresses.

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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