Posted September 29, 2012 | comments 6 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Why won't Goodlatte debate?


I am a Democrat, yet I try to retain an open mind. I know many good, sincere Republicans and I respect their points of view, though I often disagree with them.

Right now, I am troubled by our Congressional representative, Bob Goodlatte.

Congressman Goodlatte has been in office some 20 years, and I presume he has been representing us all that time. Yet I wonder if that is what he has really been doing.

Throughout the George W. Bush administration and for the last 3 1/2 years of the Obama administration, he has acted pretty much as a rubber stamp for the Republican Party. Rarely has he ventured an idea of his own or put forth a bill that would serve the valley. Oh, I know he promoted a balanced budget amendment, but he surely knew that such a proposal would go nowhere, and would simply provide the curious with evidence that he is actually working.

Now he has a great opportunity to come before the public and talk about his ideas, positions on major issues, and ways in which he can truly serve the 6th District: he can honor his pledge to debate the Democratic challenger, Andy Schmookler. Schmookler has invited him to participate in three debates in different parts of the District, but Goodlatte seems to come up with an unlimited collection of excuses why he can't do it. Scheduling problems, or he is too busy, or doesn't wish to do it before TV cameras or what? Is he simply afraid? Afraid of what? That we will learn that he doesn't have any position beyond what the party leaders tell him, or that Schmookler will ask him hard questions?

And he is our representative? Well, represent us, Bob. Get out there and debate and let us know what you are made of - unless you don't want us to know.

Donald H. Albright, Mt. Jackson

6 Comments | Leave a comment

    As the saying goes, "Be silent and safe - silence never betrays you." And silence won't expose you for what you are but your voting record will.

    Goodlatte is a Republican clone and he votes NO on most issues and yes (or YEAH) on his annual pay raise.

    This career politician needs to stop avoiding the debate with Schmookler and if he "can't find the time" he should be automatically removed from office. He's obviously very bothered about facing off against this strong challenger: we must keep demanding it. Goodlatte has had a free ride for too long!


    VOTE for Andy Schmookler in November! Go to his website and learn about this man: give him a chance to represent the people for a change.

    I called his office and asked your question, Mr. Albright. I was told that Goodlatte couldn't schedule the debate because he was in DC doing the people's business while Congress was in session. Well, they are not in session anymore, and there is still no debate scheduled. I think he is afraid of Andy.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
    This is the opportunity voters should salivate over. Removing a career politician from office.
    It something that should happen all over the country. Republican or Democrat, too often they vote along party lines regardless of what is best for their constituents and too many of them vote in favor of a pay raise annually.

    I've seen a couple yards with the R&R signage along with Schmookler. I hope that bodes well for Schmookler, that people are looking at the man, not the letter behind the name.

    Some politicians believe if you want to contact them about an issue you must first make a monetary donation to their re-election campaign to gain their attention. Could Goodlatte be the poster child for this belief?

    First, to Mr. Albright - an open-minded democrat is an oxymoron. To the issue, Goodlatte should not enter into a debate with your guy. If the roles were reversed, your guy's handlers would be advising him likewise. You would think that incumbents have an advantage in debates but history says otherwise. According to George Condon, Jr., writing in the National Journal, Presidents were presumed to have the upper hand in debates the six times they ran for reelection since 1976. But the experts who set the odds were wrong in five of those six years. Besides, your guy can only discuss what he has read, while Goodlatte has experienced it.

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