Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
I was one of the lucky few who was able to get a ticket to the debate of two of the 7th district Congressional candidates in Culpeper. I prefer to see people in person than through the filter of the television. Putting political theater aside, I tried to focus on the issues important to me: prescription drug costs, CTE education, and the cost of college.
I was first impressed by Ms. Spanberger’s opening message of optimism as there is simply too much division in our country right now. She also had specific data to share which I appreciate more than rhetoric.
I did not know that the corporate tax cuts resulted in $42 billion going to the top five pharmaceutical companies. She also pointed out that prescription drug costs are 80 percent lower at the VA than in a commercial pharmacy. This made me wonder why Mr. Brat has not pursued legislation to address this issue to help all of us, not just veterans.
Ms. Spanberger’s knowledge of pending legislation made her appear more like an incumbent than someone new to politics. She had clearly done her homework and prepared well. Mr. Brat stated, “We’ve done the right thing on the education front,” but he voted against a bill funding career and technical education. Our CTE program is very important here in Louisa and I was disappointed that he did not support funding it.
He seemed unconcerned that there is now more student loan debt than credit card debt in our country. We have got to help our young people have a future. Ms. Spanberger cited a current bill in committee that would allow students to refinance their loans and provide incentives for employers to help students pay off their debt. Finally, over a 90-minute debate each candidate spoke approximately 45 minutes.
During the course of his time Mr. Brat referred to Nancy Pelosi at least 21 times. It was out of place since so much of the discussion was about issues affecting those of us who live here in the 7th. He did not seem to understand who he is running against. His repeated use of Pelosi’s name became so comical that those in attendance laughed out loud the longer it went on. I was embarrassed for him.
After seeing the candidates in person having to answer the exact same questions, the choice for me was clear: Ms. Spanberger has earned my respect. She is an earnest, well prepared candidate interested in the issues affecting those of us living here in the 7th district and her opponent is out of touch with the district.
For these and many other reasons I will be voting for Abigail Spanberger for Congress and I hope each of you will carefully research the candidates on issues important to you. Your vote is an important responsibility.
Editor’s Note: This originally appeared in the Central Virginian, and has been reposted here with the author’s permission.
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