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Posted June 10, 2012 | comments 19 Comments

Goodlatte, Kwiatkowski seek GOP nod

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination to run for the 6th Congressional District share similar views on agriculture and the economy.

U.S. Representative Robert W. "Bob" Goodlatte faces challenger Karen U. Kwiatkowski in the Republican Party primary on Tuesday.

Goodlatte, 59, lives wth his wife in Roanoke. He was first elected to congress in 1993. The couple have two children.

Kwiatkowski, 51, has lived in Mt. Jackson with her husband since 2003. The couple have four children.

The 6th Congressional District covers all or part of Harrisonburg, Lynchburg and Staunton, and the counties of Shenandoah, Alleghany, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham.

Kwiatkowski describes herself as a Constitutional Conservative. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, worked as an officer in the Pentagon and operates a cattle farm in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, according to her website.

Goodlatte runs a private law practice in Roanoke. The congressman serves on several committees, including the judiciary and agriculture panels.

In recent phone interviews the candidates spoke about their views on several issues, including the proposed five-year farm bills. The U.S. Senate is looking at its version of the proposed legislation. The House of Representatives agriculture committee takes up its version later this month, according to Goodlatte.

Both Goodlatte and Kwiatkowski say they oppose subsidies to farmers. As Kwiatkowski noted, subsidies also benefit some dairy farmers and, while she wants their votes, the conservative said she favors more the free market.

"I have a huge problem with the way that the farm bill and all the farm bills -- and actually a lot of the other legislation -- move through the congress because they are pushed by the big, agricultural interests, pushed by the big, agricultural corporations," Kwiatkowski said.

Kwiatkowski noted one of her main concerns in the farm bill is how it pertains to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. The way GIPSA is being rewritten benefits the larger producers in the agriculture industry, Kwiatkowski said. Under the farm bill, Kwiatkowski argues many of the country's poultry and hog farmers own little yet remain in debt, working as "serfs" for larger corporations in the industry. But the GIPSA rules are being shaped in a way that would do much the same to cattle farmers such as those in the 6th District, according to Kwiatkowski.

"I'm not only against subsidies; I'm not only against socialized agriculture; I am against --particularly I'm concerned about what is going on and how they're writing those GIPSA rules and who they're listening to, and I'll tell you Bob Goodlatte I know who he's listening to -- it ain't us."

Goodlatte and Kwiatkowski agree that less government can only help the country move out of the beleaguered economy.

"I'm pessimistic on the economy and I think the government needs to get out of the way," Kwiatkowski said. "I think we got too much government borrowing and spending."

"Government doesn't create jobs," Kwiatkowski added. "People and private capital create jobs."

She also opposes over regulation by the federal government. Kwiatkowski spoke about the "adulteration" of gasoline with ethanol which she called a "bad idea." Kwiatkowski noted the federal renewable fuels mandate created an artifical market for ethanol, driving up the price of corn and resulting in sending approximately 40 percent of the harvest to gasoline rather than to feed animals or people.

"It's all government in my way and I want it out of my way and I think that's what people in the 6th District want, too," Kwiatkowski said.

Both candidates agreed federal spending has not helped the national economy. Congress needs to reign in spending as it works on the federal budget and surmounting debt, according to Goodlatte.

"It's gonna have to be tightened and, therefore, we're going to have to reduce spending for all our national priorities, including the farm bill," Goodlatte said, noting 80 percent of the legislation covers the nation's food stamp and nutrition programs while the remaining 20 percent goes to agriculture. "We're going to have to root out areas where there is waste, where there is abuse, where there's fraud, and to cut back on spending on those programs."

Goodlatte said he wants to see farmers move toward buying crop insurance rather than depend on subsidies.

"With regard to the farm programs, we need to move more toward a more free-market, agricultural program," Goodlatte added. "Over the last two farm bills we've been moving in that direction but because of the very sizeable cutbacks in the amount of money that will be available, I'm hoping that that will create an even greater incentives to move away from these big commodity programs ..."

Agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley consists mainly of crop producers in the free-market arena who don't usually receive farm subsidies, according to Goodlatte. Subsidies go mainly to the farms which produce crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans. While the valley does produce corn, Goodlatte noted most of that harvest goes to the livestock and other animals.

Goodlatte introduced legislation to end a mandate requiring a certain amount of the corn crop to go to ethanol production. The congressman said the proposed legislation is popular with farmers in the district.

"Out-of-control government spending" as do increased mandates keep the economy from recovering fully, Goodlatte said. Private firms with capital to invest remain unwilling to do so because of the uncertainty surrounding increased costs of doing business, acccording to Goodlatte.

The congressman claims the executive order signed by President Barack Obama concerning the Chesapeake Bay has hindered economic investment. Goodlatte also questions the legality of the order which he says reversed decades of legislation under the federal Clean Water Act.

"Our efforts are not targeted against the Chesapeake Bay," Goodlatte said. "We want the bay to continue to get healthier but we want to do it in a way that makes economic sense for the communities and the farmers and the small businesses in the Shenandoah Valley and elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and what the president has done is given all the power to the EPA and started mandated things to be done without doing any cost-benefit analysis, without any consideration of whether or not the health of the bay is going to improve as a result of these efforts."

The president's administration pulled its support for legislation the congressman had introduced which would have opened up Virginia to off-shore oil drilling operations, according to Goodlatte. Such an initiative would have created jobs, revenue from royalties and helped lower the cost of oil and gasoline, Goodlatte argued.

"To me the No. 1 issue in this election is are we going to elect a new president of the United States who can work with the congress and roll back the power of the federal government and create more incentives for the private sector to invest and create jobs," Goodlatte said.

Kwiatkowski claims she once supported Goodlatte but several years ago didn't receive a response from his office. Kwiatkowski said if elected to represent the 6th District she would improve relations between the office and the constituents.

Goodlatte said he is very proud of the work that his staff and he does in communicating with his constituents and listening to their concerns.

"We pay very close attention to what they have to tell us. We have offices where they can get help if they're having problems with governing agencies," Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte said his office receives more than 7,000 requests from constituents each year asking for help. The congressman noted his office also receives more than 50,000 letters, emails and other correspondence each year regarding legislation he has introduced. Goodlatte said his office makes "a very intensive effort to respond promptly and thoroughly and give them really meaningful information about what's going on with these issues."

19 Comments | Leave a comment

    ANYONE would be a better alternative to goodlatte

    Goodlatte is "good" at sending form letters: "I will look into the situation and get back to you".

    Forget the "get back to you part". I am still waiting.

    Just a suggestion for save federal dollars. If Goodlatte wins the primary, lets just keep him home thus saving his salary, benefits and perks.
    If you check his voting record in the US House he just rubber stamps the republican party, no thought involved.

    So lets just give his vote to the house leader and save the dollars he cost Virginians to use his rubber stamp.

    Aw, jeez, this runoff primary has all the excitement of watching cheese congeal.

    These two Tea Party courting Republicans are now engaged in a contest to see who can out-conserve the other by uttering the most inflammatory buzz phrases now popular with the Tin Foil Hat wearing crowd.

    Both Goodlatte and Kwaitkowski seem to believe out of control agricultural subsidies can be brought under control by trimming some fat off a rural farmers backside while ignoring the mega operatiors who receive subsidies for NOT growing a crop. This approach to trimming subsidies will be just as effective as jumping up and down will get you closer to the sun.

    Leave it to Republicans rooted in our rural communities to falsely understand what makes agriculture a profitable business just as if they were evaluating what makes a donut a donut. The differences in the way each political party makes these judgments differ subtly in concept and perception.... Republicans judge a donut by the size of the hole.... while Democrats judge a donut by the size of the whole.

    Which donut benchmark do you use?


    Wow, Thanks for the insight there. I must go out and buy more tinfoil for head adornment so I can vote appropriately. Thanks for clearing that up. I certainly can't eat my doughnuts correctly either, maybe you should demonstrate for us poor ignorant folks.
    Or, maybe you should stay on that floor you're rolling on and let the real people vote for a change, since that Hopey Changey thing isn't working out so well.

      TBMom, did you know your writing style is exactly like that of Kim Bishop?

      Well TBMom, that "Hopey-Changey" thing would have worked very well indeed if the Republicans in the Senate and the Republicans in the House had not been such obstructionists and had not made it their priority to say "no" to everything Obama tried to do to move this country forward after taking office during the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. (And things they had formerly been for up until Obama and the Democrats were for them! Go Figure!)

      The Republican's priority is not for the good of the country and certainly not for those of us who are not part of the extremely wealthy and Big Business classes, but for their own selfish agenda and the very rich. No wonder today's Right Wing Republican Party is the party for the richest Americans and not for the rest of us.

      May I suggest that instead of buying more tinfoil for head adornment as you mentioned, perhaps you could think more clearly if you just lose the Tin Foil Hat completely so blood flow is not restricted to the brain and your thinking will be clearer. In fact, I bet you will even be able to understand the donut analogy of ROFLMAO.

    Song98, you and the other lefties have such short memories. The Democrats had majorities in both the House and Senate for two years. They could have done whatever they wanted. What did they do?? They ran up huge deficits on things that were not just worthless, they were harmful. Look what the "stimulus" got us. Nothing but more deficit. What about the "Cash for Clunkers" program that made new cars more expensive and destroyed the used car market. I don't know where you get your donuts, but the Democrats donuts make me want to ROTTU (Roll on the Floor and Throw Up.

      So, stubie, you can't figure out why the Democrats didn't pass "whatever they wanted" between 2008 and 2010? I thought Boo Bird explained it quite well and in fact, by Oct. 2010 the Democratic led House had passed 420 bills that were sitting stalled in the Senate. Needing 60 votes in the Democratic led Senate to pass anything is difficult when you have one party, today's Right Wing Republican Party, who use their authoritarian regime to force lock-step compliance from it's obedient "soldiers" intimidating any Republican who dares to be moderate and vote for a Democratic bill. The Republican Party of NO was king of the filibuster. In contrast, the Democrats are more diverse with some members, notably the "Blue Dogs", who could not be relied upon to vote "yes" every time. Consequently, most of these bills passed by the House died in the Senate.

      Of course, I don't know why I spent the time to go through all this as I have the feeling you would rather continue to get all your misinformation from "Rush" and the rest of that bunch.

    Stubie is guilty of repeating shock blob Rush Limbergers laundry list of fact-free one-liner talking points that convey nothing of substance in support of his positions.

    Stubie implies when Democrats held majority positions in Congress they could have done anything they wanted, except overcome Republican fillibuster threats for Democrats not being able to muster a fillibuster -proof 60% super majority. The "Party Of No" was born.

    The Clinton administration balanced the budget for the first time in nearly 50 years and had a surplus in the bank when George "Dubya" became president, promptly running up huge deficits by fighting two wars based on lies about weapons of mass destruction . Obama inherited Bush's growing deficits thanks to tax cuts for the super rich accompanied by two un-funded wars.

    The stimulus package kept the economy going, avoiding another 1930's style depression. General Motors and Chrysler Corporation have returned to profitability and repaid the government guaranteed loans. Again, Stubie has his facts all wrong.

    Cash for Clunkers barely stimulated new car sales. In times of recession, the used car market thrives as consumers needing transportation find good bargains at a fraction of the cost of a new car. Wrong again, Stubie.

    I resigned from the Republican Party because it is no longer viewed as a unified populist, grassroots organization, but as a dangerous group of radical Big Business politicians with extremist views that don’t reflect the mainstream values of America’s middle class. Some of the divisive negatives now splitting the Republican Party into bickering factions come out of the fact that there isn’t anyone defending the Tea Party as a political party. Goodlatte didn't stand up there and praise them, did he? No, because they have become a liability, attacking Goodlatte for not being conservative enough for their liking. Goodlatte has been reduced to a bleating sheep looking for direction and he will not find it relying on has-beens like George Allen, trying to play down his 'macaca' racial slander image.

    Republicans now have as many incoherent factions as they do members. Speaking behind a cohesive central message is foreign to who they are, not only as a ‘party,’ but what they believe in. Election defeat has now become a foregone conclusion for all the grumpy old white guys, the Good Old Boys -- Cuccinelli, Allen, Goodlatte, Obenshain, Gilbert, and Romney.

    Just look at who Republicans consider to be their so-called philosophical leaders, beginning with radio shock-blob Rush Limbaugh and conspiracy theorist Glen Beck. The more that come, the worst they get, Limbaugh and Beck are the last to arrive.

    Now that Goodlatte has fallen on disfavor with the Tea Party crowd, it leaves me to wonder about what will Kwiatkowski do to curry their favor? Are we looking at another Sharon Engle or Christine "I Am Not A Witch" McDonnell?

    Join up with the Independents to defeat all the incumbents or you could rally around Stubie, drinking Kool-Aid and throwing up.

      Boo Bird, your argument is nonsense. In the first two years of the Obamination the Democrats passed the stimulus for shovel ready nothing, they did the Cash for Clunkers (BTW, your discussion about Cash for Clunkers sounds like you are arguing my point) and the Granddaddy of of all worthless pork and govt. intrusion - Obamacare (you will have to pass it to find out whats in it.) You can bring up Sharon Engle (sic) and Christine McDonnell if you want, but they were not elected. Nancy Pelosi one of the Democrats prime halfwits has been elected numerous times and has done significant damage to the US.

    Wow! I don't even have to comment to get someone throw my name in the mix. I use my OWN name because I'm not a coward like those others on this site that choose to use many different names because they have no trust in their words. If you believe it state your name. My only other name here was seeks4truth and I quit using it 4 years ago because I don't care what all you whinny libs have to say about me. Stick your head back in MSNBC and the Huffington post and get your mommies to clean your basements. Bunch of talkin point losers!!!!

    The late Rep. John Erlenborn, a wise statesman from Illinois, would say, "People like plants need to be periodically repotted." It is healthy for any organization - the legislative branch included - to be infused with new faces and fresh perspectives. It's just the way society benefits.


    WOW! First off, I'm being SERIOUSLY entertained watching idiotic democrats and republicans talk about who is worse. It's like seeing two morons trying to "Out-Dumb" each other. If you people can't see the writing on the wall showing us how BOTH parties have been screwing us for generations, then I pity you all. Keep up your moronic arguing, it makes the smart people in this country know who the REAL causes of our problems are. The ones who keep voting for the same crooks over and over again. (A good example is the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors constantly getting re-elected)
    I know Karen Kwiatkowski Has an "R" next to her name, but she is actually a died in the wool Libertarian cut from the same constitutional mold as Ron Paul. THAT leads me to how the Daily has to spread mis-truths at every turn, because she and Goodlatte DO NOT share the same vision as pertains to the economy, and saying they do is a flat-out lie. I cannot picture her voting for 13 increases in the debt limit. As of when I'm writing this, the election is probably over, but I do not yet know who won. But I pray diligently that Karen wins. Our state and our nation needs her kind of leadership. Enough of Goodlatte already.

    I was not able to vote today because the polling place for my district is in a god-forsaken out-of-the way location up in the hills and accessible only by car. I live in the Town of Front Royal and walk everywhere. But there is no way I could walk to the remote polling place. There are no sidewalks outside of town (why is the polling place not within town limits for town residents?) and it is downright hazardous. Why not allow folks to vote at the closest polling place?

    I will vote absentee if I expect to be out of town on election day and will do so at government center. This time, however, I tried to vote absentee due to lack of transportation and was told this was not a reason.

    Stubie's specious argument is limited only by his self-imposed constraints to his imagination - In other words, whatever he can conceive, he can achieve, if he can believe, and relate to us as the gospel truth.

    Perhaps 'stubie' can do his research at the non-partisan authority on matters of government spending, the Congressional Budget Office, where Republicans and Democrats alike turn to for the straight skinny on matters of government spending.

    Here ya go, 'stubie', find one single document originated by the Congressional Budge Office that supports ANY of your outrageous shock-blob derived arguments:


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