On June 12th, Valley voters will have the opportunity to participate in something unusual, an event we haven’t seen in twenty years. Next month, there will be a Republican primary where voters will be able to choose between our current representative, Bob Goodlatte, and his challenger, Karen Kwiatkowski.
As we approach this primary, one important question we must ask ourselves, is Bob Goodlatte still the leader we need in Washington? After all, we live in an age where the power of the federal government grows more or less unchecked, the debt spirals out of control, and the prices of many of the goods we need to survive continue to inflate. All the while, so many of our legislators seek more power and become less responsive to the desires of our communities and less concerned with the limitations of the Constitution.
Although we hear a lot of good rhetoric about our representative, the simple fact is that Bob Goodlatte has adopted many troubling positions over the years. He’s marched us toward a police state by supporting the Patriot Act, both at its inception and ever since, which has given the government the power to spy upon the citizens without warrants through roving wiretaps, reading our emails, and placing tracking devices on our vehicles, all done without our consent. He supports heavy-handed censorship and control of internet, the supposed last bastion of freedom, through SOPA and CISPA. And what about those horror stories of the elderly and young children molested at our airports by federal TSA agents? Regrettably, Bob Goodlatte continues to vote for legislation which worsens this mess, legislation which erodes our constitutional protections supposedly guaranteed by the First and Fourth amendments.
Despite protests from his constituents, he has repeatedly voted to raise the federal debt ceiling, thus unfairly burdening not only our generation, but also mortgaging the future of our children and our grandchildren with a debt that they have had no hand in creating. To survive as a solvent nation, spending must be drastically curtailed and it must be done now.
When running for re-election in 2010, Bob Goodlatte refused to debate his opponents. Rather than promoting his principles and working to enhance political dialogue, which should be a goal of any good public servant, he instead chose to stifle discussion. Unfortunately, two years later, he continues to rebuff any attempt to engage in meaningful debate with Karen Kwiatkowski.
Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, I learned a healthy skepticism of government, especially the federal government. After all, who knows more about the problems of the local communities and how to correct them than the ordinary men and women from those very areas? However, when government action is needed, should you put more trust in local and state legislators who live in our neighborhoods or should we rely on a legion of bureaucrats who have never set foot in Elkton, Briery Branch, or Broadway?
Unlike previous elections, this year we will have a primary. So whom should we send across the Potomac? Should we vote for Bob Goodlatte again in the hope that he will become the liberty-minded champion we need? Or should we look elsewhere? My choice for representative is Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force who now works as a cattle farmer in Shenandoah County. She shares my conservative values and the values of many of my friends and family here in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. She promises to help restore our lost constitutional liberties, make desperately needed cuts in federal spending, and has proved willing and able to discuss the important political debates of the day.
Although Bob Goodlatte certainly has done some good during his decades in Washington, for which I thank him, isn’t it obvious that it’s time for someone new? I have no doubt that Karen Kwiatkowski will be an excellent leader and will work tirelessly to promote our principles. All citizens of the Shenandoah Valley should vote for Karen Kwiatkowski in the Republican primary on June 12th!