It was a dreary, threatening-to-rain Sunday afternoon, and I was a bit bored. It dawned on me that I really had not thought about the coming election right here in my own, new congressional district. “New” in that Reston was redistricted by the powers that be. Those “powers” were the incumbent Virginia congressmen, who decided among themselves how they would like to have their respective districts re-drawn so as to ensure re-election, at least until the 2020 census. Their wishes were then largely rubber-stamped by the Virginia Legislature. Rep. Connolly, who won re-election by a hair in 2010, got his 11th District “gerrymandered” to add areas with Democratic voting records, like Reston.
So, I spent some time studying the candidates in our 11th District. They are, alphabetically: Gerry Connolly (D), incumbent; Joe Galdo (Green); Mark Gibson (I); and, Chris Perkins (R). Here is a thumbnail summary of what I learned, including candidate websites so you, dear reader, can easily begin your own research on your Nov. 6 choices for representation in Washington.
Gerry Connolly, at www.gerryconnolly.com, describes himself as a “pro-business”, “centrist” member of the New Democrats Caucus. His website does not have issues or candidate positions’ pages. It has campaign news and how to donate or volunteer. Connolly has supported extending Bush tax cuts for wealthy, but now says he is undecided as to whether to support Obama’s plan to exclude cuts for those over $250,000. He voted for the Affordable Care Act, including Public Option. He voted to withhold $350 billion of bank bailout. Connolly, seeking a third term, previously served on and chaired the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Joe Galdo, at www.joegaldo.com, has another site short on candidate stances on issues. Galdo is a first-time candidate with a career in Depts. of Defense and Energy. He is a strong advocate for renewable energies, especially solar, which he would introduce in the county schools, e.g., says he is “tired of dysfunctional Congress” caused by both parties. He supports sweeping reform of Capitol Hill processes. He supports the Affordable Care Act. Connolly says he has failed to get funding for rail to Dulles.
Mark Gibson is at www.gibson4congress.blogspot.com. Gibson’s website has a clear, new platform, including full tax reform. He would separate government and business entirely; market price all energy and tax pollution; convert Social Security and Medicare to general budget; keep, but amend the Affordable Care Act. He is a hybrid libertarian, progressive & conservative and the COO of a small business. Check him out.
Chris Perkins is at www.perkins2012.com. His website is informative, and has issues and positions laid out, though some lack specificity. He is a retired colonel, US Army Special Forces, and a former congressional liaison; now he is a DoD contract consultant. He would repeal the Affordable Care Act; simplify tax code by “lowering individual rates now distorted by excessive loopholes [not specified]” and cut corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. He would also reform Medicare (non-specific) and Social Security to be pro-growth and make budget cuts in “entitlements” and other non-defense/security areas. He would convert Medicare and supplemental food programs to state block grants. He would also stop penalties on fossil fuels.