Last night Andy Schmookler, the Shenandoah County Democrat challenging incumbent Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Roanoke County, held a talk entitled “The Real Threat to Our American Liberties” at the South County Library.
On Friday, Goodlatte will hold his own campaign events in the Roanoke Valley, touring Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) before holding a Dutch Treat Luncheon for area business and civic leaders out on Plantation Road.
After the jump, you can find a news release from Goodlatte about his vote to open Virginia’s coast to offshore drilling, as well as a Schmookler news release entitled “Goodlatte Kicks Students When They’re Down.”
Here’s the Goodlatte release:
Goodlatte Votes to Increase Energy
Supplies and Create American Jobs
Washington, DC: Congressman Goodlatte issued this statement following House passage of H.R. 6082, the Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan, which opens offshore Virginia to drilling. This bipartisan legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 253 – 170.
“Energy is vital to every aspect of American life. It is used in our homes, our small businesses and industries. Energy powers computers, appliances, technology and the Internet and fuels transportation and farming. When energy supplies are tight, families and businesses are severely impacted by the resulting increase in energy costs.
Today, with my strong support, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation that would not only help lower the energy costs of all Americans by tapping into the significant oil and natural gas reserves off our coast, including here in Virginia, but it would help create millions of American jobs.
Until we expand our domestic energy production, our nation will continue to see energy prices soar and our economy suffer. By lifting President Obama’s moratorium on drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) we could triple American energy production, which is key to ensuring abundant and affordable energy for all Americans.”
Congressman Goodlatte has been an ardent supporter of an “all of the above” energy policy, in an effort to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and lower energy costs. He is the lead sponsor of the Virginia Access to Energy Act, which allows for the exploration of natural gas and crude oil in Virginia’s waters off the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The legislation requires the Department of Interior to proceed with the Virginia lease sale no later than one year after passage of the bill.
And now here’s the Schmookler piece:
Goodlatte Kicks Students When They’re Down
A question for the voters of the 6th District: Does a guy who kicks people when they’re down represent your values?
Take Bob Goodlatte’s vote to double the interest rate on student loans.
The plight of students in America is of crisis proportions. They’re being squeezed from all sides.
- College tuition rates have increased 500% over the past generation. In just the past four years, the cost of tuition at our Virginia public colleges and universities has increased by more than a third.
- While these costs have been skyrocketing, federal aid to college students has decreased. Meanwhile, state and local spending per college student, adjusted for inflation, reached a 25-year low this year.
- No wonder the burden of student debt has made today’s young adults the most indebted generation in history. No wonder student debt in America is now, for the first time, greater than credit card debt and other consumer debt.
- When students emerge into today’s job market, their prospects of finding work – to earn the money to pay off those huge debts — are worse than that of any generation of Americans since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate of ages 18 to 29 is 50% larger than the rate for the labor force as a whole.
All these changes have hit our youth through no fault of their own. Our economy, our government, and our universities have dealt them a bad hand.
Isn’t that the kind of situation –like when people are hit by an earthquake or a tornado– where we Americans come through for one another?
Not Bob Goodlatte. He was one of only two Virginia congressmen who voted to double the interest rate that these struggling young people must pay on their student loans. (Imagine your congressman voting to double the interest rate on your home loan.)
If Bob Goodlatte had his way, millions of our youth, who already have the deck stacked against them, would be forced to cough up an average of $1000 more each year, even while they are struggling to make ends meet.
Does Mr. Goodlatte want to persuade our youngsters to stay away from college? That’s what’s already happening, and the less affordable college gets, the fewer of our youth will be able to make the most of their God-given abilities.
Here’s where Mr. Goodlatte’s unkind and shortsighted policies hurt not only these young people, but our country as well.
College isn’t for everybody. But if the American economy is going to remain vibrant in the 21st century, and if the American middle class is going to thrive, our nation needs an educated workforce. Policies that discourage the children of all but our wealthiest families from fulfilling their potential are recipes for national decline.
American workers now have to compete with billions of workers in Third World countries with a fraction of our standard of living. Is this the time to refuse to invest in our most precious resource—our children?
Apparently, Bob Goodlatte thinks so.
And Bob Goodlatte’s stinginess toward our youth has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility. While he’s afflicting the afflicted, Bob Goodlatte has shown himself quite willing to increase the comforts of the most comfortable. At a time when the fortunes of young families have sunk to a level not seen since 1959, and when the very wealthiest Americans have tripled their share of the national wealth and are now paying taxes at the lowest rates in 80 years, Bob Goodlatte has voted twice for a budget that would lower their taxes still further. So Bob Goodlatte’s war on college students isn’t about balancing budgets. It’s about taking from average Americans to give to those who already have the most.
If these reverse Robin Hood policies represent your values, then Bob Goodlatte is your man.
But if that’s not your idea of America then you’ll be better represented by someone else. Someone like me.