On August 25, 2011, the
Jefferson Area Tea Party
hosted a candidates’ forum for the Charlottesville City Council race. Five independents and three Democrats were invited to the event, but only four independents were able to attend. The forum was held at the Hibachi Grill on Seminole Trail. The moderator is Carole Thorpe, the chair of the Jefferson Area Tea Party.
Topics included switching to a ward system to elect City Council, positions on immigration reform, and the region’s participation in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission’s Livable Communities Grant.
Listen using player above or download the podcast:
TIMELINE FOR PODCAST:
• 00:45 – Introduction from Carole Thorpe
• 08:30 – Opening statement from Scott Bandy
• 14:15 – Opening statement from Brandon Collins
• 19:45 – Opening statement from Bob Fenwick
• 25:45 – Opening statement from Paul Long
• 35:45 – Question 1 from Carole Thorpe: If you are elected to City Council, you will be asked to swear an oath to uphold the United States Constitution. The Tea Party believes the U.S. Constitution is a uniquely special document. We believe in our form government and this is the one place in the world where people can come regardless of who your family is and what country you come from. You can work, you can make something of yourselves, and we strive for everyone to have equal opportunity. As you swear your allegiance to uphold the Constitution, what does the United States Constitution mean to you and what do you see yourself being able to do or not do in your role as a City Councilor to support the Constitution and American ideals?
• 42:00 – Question 2 from Carole Thorpe: The three core principles of the Tea Party movement, including the Jefferson Area Tea Party, are constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. Pick one of these topics and discuss your view.
• 48:00 – Question 3 from Carole Thorpe: The city, county and university are working cooperatively with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission on a livability planning project. They were recently awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is to fund a three-year plan that will be proposed and some people hope they will finalize for implementation in the county, the city and with UVA. This is having to do with, in the Tea Party’s opinion, a fairly gross overreach of government. Certainly this is sort of a blueprint for having local government having a hand in every aspect of our lives so I’m not trying to beg the question, but I would like to know what your feeliings are about the livable communities project, about the acceptance of the grant, and also if you are elected to City Council and these issues come up to you, how do you see your role as a councilor in either support of or opposition to these projects?
• 55:45 – Question 4 (directed at Brandon Collins): What is your general philosophy on illegal immigration?
• 57:45 – Question 5 (directed at Bob Fenwick): I am an immigrant who moved here legally 26 years ago. I waited my turn, I’m from Iran originally, and I entered America as a resident alien. Don’t you think if people come here illegally they are taking something away from people like me who come legally?
• 1:00:15 – Question 6 (directed at Brandon Collins): I’m just curious. A person who is arrested for a DUI and is illegal, what should be done with that person if not deported?
• 1:02:45 – Question 7 (directed at Brandon Collins): I think I heard you talk about the justice system and how we all have to be equal in it. At the same time, you’ve just ignored that someone has violated our laws and they don’t to face the justice for it. Who is it to determine and which laws are not followed? It seems like you’re making an arbitrary decision for us on that issue? How do you justify someone breaking a major law in crossing the border illegally, yet you all have to say we all have to say the justice system, but you say they don’t?
• 1:07:45 – Question 8: (directed at Bob Fenwick): What about ward elections or a mixed-ward system for City Council elections?
• 1:10:00 – Question 9: I’ve heard calls for an improved public transportation system and the idea of having buses every fifteen minutes has been floated. It just occurs to me that would triple the number of buses and I’m wondering if all of you have thought what that means in terms of having that many buses on the road during rush hour, as well as additional wear and tear on the roads.