Ed Gillespie, State Sen. Jill Vogel, and John Adams

The 2017 Virginia Republican ticket joins J.R. for a comprehensive look at the campaign as it heads into the homestretch. Ed Gillespie for governor, State Sen. Jill Vogel for lieutenant governor, and John Adams for attorney general make their case as to why Virginians should elect them Nov. 7, 2017.

In a policy-focused discussion, the candidates talk about the economy, energy production, job growth, attracting businesses to the state, healthcare and Medicaid expansion, public safety, combatting gang violence, partnerships with local law enforcement and the federal government, and providing support for those battling opioid addiction.

Getting through the noise and chaff created by their opponents and the media, this podcast gives the straight answers you’ve been looking for. This includes a discussion on how the policy to combat MS-13 is not an anti-immigrant policy, but a pro-immigrant one or how questioning whether Democratic candidate for LG, Justin Fairfax, could “talk intellectually” about the issues has nothing to do with race, as The Washington Post alludes, but about his complete inexperience on how the state government operates. On the other hand, when you have a record like Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam or Attorney General Mark Herring’s, there is ample opportunity to compare and contrast with them too.

There is little doubt going into the final days of this campaign that the ticket feels unified and confident.

Gillespie said that the ticket has all the “intensity, energy, and momentum” right now, and that sentiment was echoed by his running mates.

If you would like to know more about the campaigns, visit:

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Episode 1. Dave Levitan, author, “Not a Scientist”

In 1980, then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan appeared alongside President Jimmy Carter to discuss the environment at an event in Steubenville, Ohio.

Reagan, who we all know as the great communicator, said:

“I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens out on our West Coast. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know the figures, but…”

Thus was born what has been called by GOP strategist Mike McKenna “the dumbest talking point in the history of mankind.”

And this is on page one of Dave Levitan’s book, “Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science.”

You can only imagine where it goes from there.

We send our representatives to decide lots of things for us that they’re not experts in, so, why should science be any different when it comes to policy? As long as good testimony is being given by qualified experts, saying “I’m not a scientist” can only be considered a crutch.

The array of rhetorical devices politicians employ are numerous: Whether it’s oversimplifying the complex, cherry-picking data, buttering up only to undercut, or my personal favorite, blaming the blogger, there’s a convoluted pretzel of an argument that you’ve likely heard before – and probably, if you’re like me – accepted hook, line and sinker.

Levitan joins me to talk about how he came up with the idea for the book, how he collected and cataloged the information, and then he explains the rhetorical devices that politicians employ to “advance” their agenda. Spoiler alert – they only undermine it.

This book is a must-read for all Republicans – if only to stop the embarrassment.

Links of Note:
Dave Levitan’s Official Book Page
FactCheck.org and SciCheck
Interview on Science Friday
Interview on Physics World
Goodlatte Praises Passage of Micah’s Law

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