Why this independent voter is voting for Randy Forbes for 2nd District Rep.

posted in: Politics | 6
elephants_and_asses_screwing_the_masses“Leaders need to be servant Leaders.” – Randy Forbes 

I am a registered independent.  Generally speaking; I don’t like (read: trust) the Republican nor Democrat parties (Look left).  This election cycle a wrench was thrown into the mix by our Representative, Scott Rigell; and then again by the state of Virginia. Scott Rigell is very popular, and I respect him a lot.  Unfortunately for me, he has decided to step down.  This combined with the state complying with federal regulations to redistrict the 3rd district – has thrown the proverbial wrench into my voting scheme.

Why do I like Rigell?  He is a moderate.  He isn’t one of those crazy tea types and doesn’t want to socialize everything…he is pretty middle of the road, and (this is important to me) he sends emails to the people he represents asking what is important to us, and how do we feel regarding key issues.  In short, he communicates with the people he represents. I don’t agree with everything he does, hell, I didn’t even vote for him the first time.  But he has earned my trust, which is more than I can say for most politicians.  You can see his voting record here.

The Federal court ruled that the 3rd Congressional district was not in accordance with federal guidelines.  As such it ruled that the district had to be redrawn.  This impacted the surrounding districts greatly.  Of the four districts that touched Hampton Roads.  The Supreme Court upheld the redrawing of districts.

  • 1st District no longer has any presence in Hampton Roads
  • 2nd District was marginally affected; it was expanded to include Williamsburg, York County, part of James City county and other nearby communities.  It lost a chunk of Newport News.
  • 3rd District was greatly altered.  This district lost Richmond and Petersburg, but gained parts of Hampton Roads.  It includes Portsmouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampton, the 2nds lost chunk of Newport News and Isle of Wight county.
  • 4th District was also greatly altered.  This district lost Suffolk and Isle of Wight county.  It retained Chesapeake and gained the cities of Richmond and Petersburg. it also has a lot of land that connect them all together.

So, who is going to replace my representative?  Currently there are four folks running to replace him (click on any name to be taken to their website):

  1. Shaun Brown (D) – She is a community activist from Newport News.  Her website did not load when I tried to navigate to it.
  2. Scott Taylor (R) – He is a Navy Veteran, who is currently a real estate broker and state delegate.  He has made positive changes for the local community and is well respected and liked.  He is a nice guy.  The only thing I hear from his campaign…he is an ex-SEAL, Iraq war veteran, and businessman.  I encourage you to read his voting record while a state delegate.
  3. Randy Forbes (R) – He has spent the last 14 years representing the 4th Congressional district.  His district was affected by the court-ordered redrawing of the 3rd Congressional district (I’ll address this in more detail later).  He sits as Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.  With the military presence located around Hampton Roads, this is an important committee; and “our” guy is the lead on the committee. He has a long voting record, and generally he and Scott Rigell vote the same – but there are key differences (I like to believe that Scott listens more). His House of Rep webpage.
  4. Pat Cardwell (R) – An attorney who wants to see a return to the Constitution.  I like what he has to say, I just don’t think he has the juice to do it.
  5. The good Dr D. (?) – I pretty much write myself in whenever I don’t like the candidates.  So far I’ve received two votes for dog catcher.  The two votes were me and my cat (he knows I’d make a terrible dog catcher).  Not even the Boss Lady voted for me. I think it pretty obvious – I don’t stand a chance in hell of being elected; I guess I’ll stick with one of the above; but which one?

I want to cover a lot of ground, so I’m not going to chart out each how I feel about each candidate.  I’m only going to hit my big points for Randy Forbes…

Pros:

Endorsed by Scott Rigell (There are many others; but this is the one that counts for me) and Thelma Drake.  He’s also endorsed by 200’ish really important people (I’m sure); but I trust Scott.

1 of only 17 members of Congress to vote against every bailout bill (Under both Bush & Obama).

He plays well with others.  While silly sounding, it is important that he can work across the isle.

He looks at you and looks eye to eye when speaking with you (passed my bullshit meter).

He didn’t speak negatively about folks in other parties and he respected differences of opinion.

He has spent his entire life in Hampton Roads and is clearly knows its issues and priorities.

People I know personally that live in the 4th District like him and feel he has represented them well.

Brought us the Albert G. Horton Jr. VA Cemetery (This is where me and the Boss Lady are scheduled to be planted).

Chairs the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

Cons:

He’s a Republican!

Has an A rating from the NRA.


I actually got to meet Mr. Forbes the other day, when he was in town speaking with the Filipino American Community Action Group of Hampton Roads (The honorable Nony Abrajano is Chairman).  It was a very informal setting, and he answered all of our questions.  He was not boisterous.  He impressed me, not like the usual “look at me…look at me” chest thumping politician.  He was laid back, he actually introduced himself to every person in the room and thanked them for coming.  When he tapped me on the shoulder, I had to ask who he was.  He was not what I was expecting; and I was very pleasantly surprised. Soft but well articulated – definitely comes across as someone who knows what he is talking about.  The voice of experience.

I had the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one and later in the group session.  I asked him a couple of questions…

  1. The Pentagon has proposed major changes to military healthcare premiums, what was his position on the proposed changes?  He answered me quite frankly that the Pentagon has asked for major changes and the Senate will go along with the request.  He is of the opinion that they are asking too much, and will work to lower the impact of the changes.  The American Military Retirees Assn has stated their views in a position paper.  I encourage all veterans to visit the AMRA website and see how you can make your voice heard.  I remember when I joined the military.  You do 20 years, you’ll never have to worry; you’ll be taken care of: we take care of our own.  To bad it isn’t working out that way.  But that is another story for another day.
  2. What is his plan for our national debt.  Here he played the politician.  His focus was on the military, and this question wasn’t on his radar; so I got the typical political response.  The debt is large, we have to do something.  We have to pick our priorities…blah…blah..blah.  All a bunch of political non-sense.

As an Independent, I vote for who I feel will serve me and my locality the best.  I don’t give a hoot about which party a person belongs to (I refer you to the opening graphic).  And I believe that Mr. Forbes is the right man at this time.  I think he will do right.  This article is my way of coming to a decision, I am only one man, but I vote, and my vote matters.  See you in the neighborhood on June 14th, 2016.


If you’d like to read more, I encourage you to follow up with some of my other sources which I didn’t use in this article.:

Richmond Times about the redistricting:

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/article_0ad5053b-6818-5d7e-b96e-c9ce02ad45cb.html

Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/judges-impose-va-congressional-map-that-adds-likely-democratic-seat/2016/01/07/e5d255c8-b587-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html

Virginia Redistricting by “All about redistricting”

http://redistricting.lls.edu/states-VA.php

http://redistricting.lls.edu/cases-VA.php#VA   – Court cases

Background:

http://cnu.edu/redistrictingcommission/index.asp  – Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting

http://cnu.edu/redistrictingcommission/final_redistricting_commission_report.pdf  – final report

http://www.fairvote.org/virginia-redistricting-a-better-method – another approach on redistricting

Supreme Court upholds redistricting:

http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/273764-supreme-court-weighs-legality-of-virginia-redistricting

http://www.rollcall.com/news/supreme_court_allows_virginia_redistricting_to_stand_in_2016-245689-1.html

http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2016/03/supreme-court-hears-arguments-on-redistricting-extraterritoriality.php

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-01-07-Opinion-Ordering-New-Plan-W3251208x9FAEE.pdf

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/wittman-v-personhuballah/

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Chupacabra

    Because independent voters do not have strong affectional ties to political parties, scholars who adhere to the self-identification method for measuring political independence theorize that independents may be more susceptible to the appeals of third-party candidates. It has also been suggested that the more independent voters, the more volatile elections and the political system will be.

  2. DR D

    Today I had the honor of speaking with Mr. Curtis Byrd, District Director of the Randy Forbes campaign. He called me today to discuss my letter (see above). So bear with me as I go through my mental processes with my feline companion sitting next to me, providing me guidance and writing suggestions:

    We (Mr. Byrd and I) spoke for about 20 minutes, and to be quite honest, I was shocked when he called. I didn’t expect an answer to my email. We discussed the website in question; which I still find distasteful. He stated, and I’m paraphrasing here.

    • The website was initiated because he (Randy Forbes) was receiving a lot of flak from his supporters about not responding to the personal attacks from Scott Taylor’s (visit his Wikipedia page) campaign. I looked up the WHOIS record for the website in question, and confirmed it was only recently created (April 4th, 2016). Visit Randy Forbe’s Wikipedia page.
    • Mr. Byrd went on to say that all the information claimed on the website, is from the public domain. I was successful at finding a few of the cases via the General District Court Online Case information system, Maryland Judiciary Case Search, and U.S. District Court of New Jersey.
    o Norfolk General District Court Case #712GT0600641300 – Traffic
    o Norfolk General District Court Case #712GT0800195900 – Traffic
    o Virginia Beach General District Court Case #810GT0401176100
    o Virginia Beach General District Court Case #810GT0401176101
    ? I found three traffic cases; but couldn’t verify these #s.
    ? More disturbing, I found a case, #GV12057477-00, where his business was sued for not paying rent. Rumor has it that he sold the business to himself, and moved the gym to a new location. I have personal ethical issues with this kind of activity.
    o Northampton Combined Court Case #131GT0000566500
    o Northampton Combined Court Case #131GT9900734700
    ? I couldn’t verify these two #s, but found 2 speeding violations.
    o Talbot County District Court Case #00000004Y0E7W – Traffic
    o United States District Court, New Jersey – #07-5954. I found this case to be very disturbing. I’ll provide a link so you can read the court documents yourself.
    • The only issue I have with the questionable website in regards to Scott Taylor’s court cases is that the VB court case for not paying rent appears to have been counted twice. I feel it stands better on its own, rather than being thrown in as part of the 1.5 million figure. The figure is accurate, as he did have judgments in that amount; I just feel it stands better by itself.
    • I asked him about the picture of Scott Taylor, pointing towards the camera. Scott Taylor accuses the Forbes campaign of “stealing” the picture from his Facebook account. He assured me the picture was not retrieved from Scott Taylor’s Facebook page, but from a google search, which is public domain. I quickly found the image via Google. The image was from the Virginia Fair Housing League Action Fund (who obviously have no love of Scott Taylor). The VFHLAF is a state political action committee.
    • I couldn’t verify the FEC violations. I anticipate the claim is accurate, as the rest of the information is pretty solid.

    Now, let me state a couple of things that Mr. Byrd and I didn’t talk about.

    • Scott Taylor spouts service to his country, and he should. He was a SEAL, from 1997 to 2005; and he should be proud of his service. But you know what, Mr. Forbes has also been serving his country. He has been representing the people of his district since 1989. He has served in the House of Delegates, the Virginia State Senate, and the US House of Representatives. Just because you aren’t being shot at, doesn’t make you less of a patriot.
    • The ads run by Scott Taylor call Randy Forbes a “Carpetbagger.” This is very derogative term for Notherners that arrived in the South after the Civil War and took advantage of the situation and profited greatly. Mr. Forbes grew up in this region. Mr. Taylor grew up in Maryland. He actually fits the definition of a Carpetbagger. He came south, and has become very wealthy off the backs of the local population.
    • One more thing: Most SEALs I know are very, very humble people.

    Ok, the yard signs for Forbes stay.

  3. William

    Fantastic post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  4. DR D

    Recently, Mr. Forbes was called out by our local paper, which I felt a need to send an email to Mr. Forbes’ cronies:
    ———-
    I am extremely disappointed in my candidate. I am (was?) a very fervent Forbes supporter. I have met him on a couple of occasions here in Virginia Beach while he has been stumping for the 2nd District.

    I like Randy Forbes (read my article, Why this independent voter is voting for Randy Forbes for 2nd District Rep: http://dansdigitaldive.com/web/archives/2426 )

    One of the virtues that I really liked about Randy Forbes is that each time I saw him speak, and when I spoke with him personally, he didn’t personally attack his opponent, Scott Taylor. Imagine my surprise when I read the Virginia Pilot article “Randy Forbes, Scott Taylor get rough as GOP primary for 2nd Congressional District heats up” (Bartell, 16 May 2016)[DR D. edit: http://pilotonline.com/news/government/nation/forbes-and-taylor-get-rough-as-gop-nd-congressional-district/article_8717c578-a6f3-583a-bbeb-9b5dcc0c4e5d.html ]. In the newspaper article’s online version, there was a link to http://www.unfitforoffice.com/, which I think is over the line. This website was paid for and approved by Randy Forbes?

    Unfitforoffice.com uses images of Scott Taylor that are less than truthful, and as far as I can tell, are taken out of context. Mr. Taylor should be held accountable for his actions, as should Mr. Forbes. This 2nd District race is swaying off of the topics into personal attacks. If Mr. Taylor did make the first personal attack, that does not give Mr. Forbes the justification for personal attacks. In my opinion, I would have much more respect for Mr. Forbes had he taken the high road, which he so often preaches in his opinion pieces to the 4th District.

    Speaking of Unfitforoffice.com; how exactly have they, our President and Hillary Clinton, ignored the laws of the United States? They have for sure (especially Hillary) woven a questionable course through the laws, but have they actually been convicted in a court of law?

    I find the website, http://unfitforoffice.com, in extremely bad taste. I expect more from my representative. Mr. Forbes is highly respected by members of his 4th District. He doesn’t need a personal attack website. Keep to the facts and issues.

    Pat Cardwell is looking pretty good now, too bad he was uninvited to the debate on May 20, 2016. Maybe it’s time to take down my Forbes lawn signs?

    Disenchanted,
    Dr. D.
    ———-
    I like Mr. Forbes, and I truly think he is the better candidate; but I do not want another common politician. I am extremely disappointed.

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