Republican incumbent 6th district congressman Bob Goodlatte has agreed to debate his Democratic opponent Andy Schmooker. Dr. Schmookler is a writer living in Shenandoah County two miles from West Virginia near Orkney Springs.
Schmookler has been hammering Goodlatte in recent months to debate him. It’s not clear how many debates Goodlatte will agree to but one of those might be a forum in September according to Brenda Hale President of the Roanoke Chapter of the NAACP.
On Thursday Schmookler held press conferences in Lynchburg, Harrisonburg and Roanoke. In Roanoke City council chambers he said he had just learned that “Goodlatte has relented and agreed to debate me.” No one should be able to coast to an election he said – “not having had to work up a sweat.”
Schmookler said he hopes for at least three debates in Lynchburg, Roanoke and Harrisonburg.
A statement he handed out read in part: “I have been declaring that you, Mr. Goodlatte, are betraying the trust of the people who sent you to Washington, the good people of Virginia’s sixth district. I believe strongly sir, that you have put your own ambition, and your partisan interests ahead of serving the interest and values of the people of Virginia. Your policies – however well you can sell them to your supporters – are hurting those same people. Further, I declare that the [Republican] Party you so consistently rubber stamp has been lying to the American people like no [other] major political party in the history of our country.”
He accused Goodlatte of being part of “changing the Republican Party from a good responsible conservative Party into a Party which is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”
“We can’t have a political process that honors our values as Americans of one person, one vote if money is able to buy our political process,” he said.
Schmookler summed up his view of the partisanship in Washington by saying that if it is one Party’s idea the other Party rejects it even if they had had posed the same idea in the past. “I have no interest in working with that spirit.” He believes in conservative values he said and I also believe in liberal values. “I think American needs both,” he said.
His reason for running for office has not changed since he was interviewed in April of 2011 when he said, “I feel that what I’m fighting for is the soul of America. …It is a grave crisis this country now faces.”
Schmookler believes that people power can still trump money power and that the Democratic Party has not been willing to fight. “There is plenty of blame to go around,” he said.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2012, Elections, National, Politics
Tags: democrat, Election 2012, Elections, Goodlatte, Schmookler