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Categorized | News, Opinion, Tea Party

ANTHONY RIEDEL to CHALLENGE Congressman WHITTMAN

I had the honor to speak with Anthony Riedel, the Republican Candidate challenging the establishment’s representative Rob Whittman in Virginia’s historic First District. Now, I’m not a professional reporter or a great interviewer. The questions I asked were quite selfish and self-serving since, as a King George resident, Mr. Riedel could be my representative.

Before I get into our conversation, I would like to say that, from the TEA Party’s perspective, Mr. Riedel is a dream come true. He is young, has experience working on Ron Paul’s campaign (a campaign that galvanized the youth vote for a Republican Candidate), and he is a principled constitutional republican. Now, Congressman Whittman is a nice man, a good man, and a not-entirely-awful congressman; but he is unresponsive to his constituents and he has made it clear that his priority is to gain power and position within the Republican Leadership.

Unfortunately, we live in a country where our representatives are either loyal to their constituents (Justin Amash and Thomas Massie) or loyal to the establishment (Robert Whittman and Bob Goodlatte). We need a change in the first district and I hope that Anthony Riedel is the man that can give it to us.

On May 20th, 2014, Anthony Riedel will be speaking to the Montross T.E.A. Party at 7pm. American Legion Post#252 14576 Kings Highway Montross, VA 22520. 

I sincerely hope that anyone interested in improving Virginia’s First District will attend. I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

I asked Mr. Riedel what prompted him to challenge Congressman Whittman in the Republican Primary. He explained that, like most of us, he was disappointed in Congressman Whittman’s lack of leadership in Washington: primarily with regard to raising the debt ceiling (3 times), federal encroachments on our civil liberties, and continued spending increases across the board.  In this regard, Robert Whittman is no different than Eric Cantor. When I speak with Republicans in the first district, I’ve actually heard people say, “Whittman isn’t as bad as Cantor”. Of course not! Whittman isn’t the Majority Leader!

On January 7th, Mr. Riedel went to a polling center during a special election in Mathews County, where he grew up, to see if there was any interest with local residents to challenge Congressmen Whittman. Apparently there was and here we are, with a choice!

I also asked Mr. Riedel, that were he successful, what kind of relationship did he expect to have with the Republican Leadership in the House? He responded by explaining, “Frankly, I think the Republican Party can be the party of liberty. By winning, I think my election would send that message to Washington. My one critique of Rob Whitman is that he goes along with the Republican Leadership more than I would“. Anthony pressed the point that if REPUBLICANS send to Congress true advocates of liberty and constitutionalism, that the leadership will eventually accept the will of people; or, face being replaced themselves. He is right. If a pure grassroots campaign like Anthony Riedel’s unseats a “safe” congressman like Robert Whittman, everyone will have to pay close attention.

My next question was, “Mr. Riedel, you have experience working on Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign; Did your experience on Paul’s team give you any insight into how to get young people involved in politics?”

The big lesson for the Republican party is the message. The message of liberty. Man inherently wants to be free and the youth are susceptible to that message. It’s not about me, or Ron Paul, or the Republican Party, but the message of Freedom; and if young people hear that message they would want to get more involved in the process and take a greater stake in their future.

 

I couldn’t agree more! What is more inspiring than freedom? What is it that we DO NOT HAVE today? FREEDOM. There are a handful of Congressmen in Washington fighting to sustain our liberties and they desperately need reinforcements. Does anyone really believe Congressmen Whittman is going to be an advocate of our liberty? If that was going to happen, it would have happened. It hasn’t.

Question 4: You support a balanced budget amendment; What strategy presents us with the greatest chance of success? Passing such an amendment through Congress or through Article V and a convention of the States?

I would lean toward having Congress do that, but the Balanced Budget Amendment is not the first step. The first step is educating the American people about the role of government in our lives and going after baseline budgeting and automatic increases. If we educate voters on that, it is the most politically viable means of moving forward.

Now, I’m a big supporter of Article V. I know that many of my friends and allies in the freedom movement are not. I have never heard a candidate frankly dismiss a convention of the States and a Congressional Amendment, by stating the obvious. Mr. Riedel’s point was this: Here is how spending works in Congress. Every year there is an automatic increase in spending throughout the bureaucracy and assigned to various federal projects. There are no conditions that have to be met in order to achieve these increases. They happen automatically. Anthony Riedel has enough faith in the American People that if they were to actually understand how irresponsible, and frankly irrational these automatic increases are, enough pressure could be brought to bare on our representatives that they would not be able to continue such reckless policies.

That said, I still believe that Article V is the only way to FORCE Congress to act. I believe it will take us twenty years to elect enough Dr. Dave Brat’s and Anthony Riedel’s to Congress to affect substantial change! But I loved his answer nonetheless.

Question 5: I was very impressed by your pledge to post every vote, with an explanation, on Facebook. This is a service that Justin Amash has taken, which has been very popular with his constituency in Michigan. What other ideas do you have for keeping transparent and open lines of communication with citizens in Virginia’s first district?

I think social media is a great way of reaching the younger generations, but everyone is on Facebook these days. People need to examine the role of government in their lives and social media is an avenue to make that happen. Explaining not just that I voted on a particular issue, but why I voted that way, is a great way to communicate with the constituency.

 

Question 6:  Starting a grassroots campaign for congress is extremely challenging. Have you been able to pull together a strong campaign team, or are you still looking for volunteers?

I’m always looking for volunteers, but this campaign would not be possible without the grassroots. The grassroots has propelled this campaign beyond anything I ever could have imagined.

 

Question 7: Would you summarize for Virginia’s First District why you are seeking their vote for Representative?

 

Ultimately, I am a candidate who is concerned about higher spending and debt, crony capitalism in Washington, and the encroachments on our civil liberties. I believe Americans have a better understanding on how to run their own lives than the federal government.

 

My impression of Mr. Riedel is this: He will represent Virginia’s First district, unless Virginia’s First District desired unconstitutional government. He would not hide his votes or his reasons. He would not offer K-Street excuses and strategies for voting for bad bills and awful compromises. He would not vote to increase the debt. He would not raise taxes.

In other words, as nice a man as Congressman Whittman might be, Mr. Riedel is more in touch with us than our current Congressmen. Shouldn’t that warrant investigation into an alternative on our part? At this time, that is all that I ask. Investigate Anthony Riedel. Ask questions. Show up at his events. Find out if he is what you want, or if Congressman Robert Whittman better fits the bill. After all, it is up to us to decide who represents us in Congress. Join me on May 20th to listen to what Mr. Riedel has to say. Even if you have to travel from King George or Gloucester: and seriously, it takes forever to get anywhere in rural Virginia. At least now we all have an excuse for the drive!

About Steven Brodie Tucker

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Also studied economics and political science at George Mason.

3 Responses to “ANTHONY RIEDEL to CHALLENGE Congressman WHITTMAN”

  1. LIBERTY says:

    That’s really good news!

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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