Friday, December 07, 2007

Phil Forgit in December 11 Special Election

NLS had an excellent live blog with Phil Forgit. I just finished reading it and am more impressed than ever with the Democratic candidate from the 1st CD.

Forgit, a moderate Democrat, is an Iraqi war veteran, Naval reservist and a Bronze Star recipient. He's also a nationally recognized teacher and winner of the 2005 National Education Association Award for Teaching Excellence. He brings creative ideas and independence to the race.

His views on health care are particulary impressive and show an understanding of the pragmatic solutions that will work for America. Here's what he had to say on the topic:
Let me say again for the record (and I hope my opponent is listening), I am not for single payer health care and I am not for creating new bureaucracies. I want to pursue three guiding principles: accessibility, affordability, and portability. I know from experience that it can be a real hassle to keep insurance between jobs, so portability issues must be resolved.

I would like to look at successful programs like the State Children's Health Insurance Program and to some degree Medicare and build on what we are doing right in order to expand coverage for those who need it. I want to encourage a unique American system with competition and full involvement of private insurance companies.

Forgit puts an emphasis on practical solutions that work for the U.S., not rhetoric and ideology. He rejects the European systems which are government run and understands that reforming health care delivery will best be achieved through a market based public-private partnership.

His position on energy consumption and conservation is equally thoughtful and pragmatic:
How is it that we can send a man to the moon, but we can create engines that don't run on substances produced by our enemies? This is an environmental and national security nightmare. Thanks to the Democrats, Congress is finally coming close to updating our CAFE standards. But this is just a start. I strongly support initiatives to develop alternatives that rely on renewable resources like wind, sun and water, as well as new technologies which reduce energy consumption.
Finally, he displayed his dedication to doing more than paying lip service to "supporting the troops" by showing how he would write legislation to actually assist soldiers and veterans:
As an Iraq Veteran and Naval Reservist, I want to help craft legislation, similar to what Senator Webb is working on, that helps our troops and veterans. There is a push to draft a new GI Bill of Rights to increase health and other benefits for troops to a level closer to what our WWII heroes received. I've seen how this Administration has talked a good talk all the while making budget cuts for health care and benefits--not to mention armor, etc.--for our troops. I will not stand for this. Their hypocrisy must come to an end.
Let's not have any illusions. As good a candidate as he is, Phil Forgit has an uphill battle. The 1st CD is a Republican district. And the GOP candidate, Rob Wittman is already a state delegate with name recognition. He also is considered moderate by Virginia Republican standards. But that's actually a stretch. His record and positions are more in line with conseratives nationally.

He supports Bush's unpopular Iraq war. In addition he has endorsements from National Right to Life and the Family Foundation. In fact, he has a 100% rating from them as well as an A rating from National Rifle Association.

In Phil Forgit, the 1st CD would get a pragmatic problem solver not somebody interested in fighting the culture wars.

But, as I said, despite Forgit's qualifications, he has to gain name recognition and introduce himself to voters in a short time. This race is expected to have low turn out and will be decided by whichever side is most successful in getting their voters to the polls. For a list of events including volunteer opportunities and canvasses go here.

This weekend is the last big push. Finally, if you live in the 1st CD, remember the obvious: go out and vote next Tuesday, December 11.

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