On Wednesday, July 18th, Andy Schmookler and I appeared on 550 AM, WSVA for our 60th show, marking the 5 year anniversary of our radio hour. Unfortunately, our time on the air this month was shorter than usual given that the station conducted a surprise interview with the superintendent of the Harrisonburg Public School who recently resigned his position to take a new job elsewhere.
The central focus of the conversation revolved around President Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Putin in Finland as well as Trump’s attacks against some of American’s traditional allies. I hoped to speak more on the topic of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, but unfortunately, we didn’t have sufficient time to cover it in much depth. Hopefully, next month will be better.
If you missed the show live, you can find it here.
On July 21st, the Virginia Bar Association will be holding the first debate for the race for the 2018 U.S. Senate election in Virginia. However, like the debates they have held in previous years, they will be excluding one of the candidates who will be on the November ballot, Libertarian Matt Waters. Although the organization claims to be nonpartisan and “the VBA debates are not intended to in any way promote or advance one candidate over another”, it is obvious that through their exclusionary practices they intend to advance the candidacies of two of the options at the expense of their third.
Virginia has one of the most difficult hurdles for statewide candidates to achieve ballot access. An independent or third party candidate (or a Republican or Democrat competing in a primary but not a convention) needs to submit the signatures of 10,000 registered voters to the Election Board with at least 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. After a majority of Republican presidential candidates failed to make the cut in 2012, the Virginia General Assembly lowered the threshold for that office (and that office only) to 5,000 signatures.
If you are tired of being forced to select between the lesser of two evils, you don’t think that the Virginia Bar Association ought to be picking winners and losers in elections, and/or you feel that every candidate who succeeds in making the ballot ought to be given the same equality of opportunity of having his or her voice heard, I encourage you to visit the Facebook page of the Virginia Bar Association and let them know you don’t support their sham of a debate. I’ve spoken to them already and perhaps if enough of us make our opinions known, then politics in Virginia can become more free and fair.