The event was well attended by an attentive audience, who, upon arrival, submitted questions on provided 3x5 cards, to be asked of three seated debaters, following their responses to the LWV moderator.
Libertarian Paul Jones, Independent Green Party Ken Hildebrandt and Democrat Lawrence Gaughan answered political position questions on immigration, disclosure of campaign expenditures, improving the voting process without undue barriers, as well as the three most critical economic challenges facing the United States, in their opinion.
Unlike other political experiences, the candidates stayed on topic with specific, though perhaps repetitive answers:
Libertarian Jones affirmed immigrants are coming to America to work, not steal
Independent Hildebrandt suggested legalizing industrial Hemp would solve all our problems
Democrat Gaughan insisted we must get TV ad money out of elections
Failing to muster roll call, Congressman Hurt's name and record were nonetheless mentioned repeatedly
Conventional political wisdom is, Republican Hurt would more likely win his bid for a third term in the House of Representatives, by passing on the call to appear before a gathering of his constituents and wannabe replacements.
I first met Robert Hurt wearing thin the GOP mantra of, jobs, jobs, jobs, when he was attempting to take Congressman Tom Perriello's job in 2010. After the debate with mike outstretched, I asked the then wannabe Congressman, if Corporations create jobs, where are the jobs and why aren't they creating them?
The man now seemingly ensconced as Virginia's 5th District Congressman, stared blankly at me for a moment, and then blamed the 2010 lack of jobs on uncertainty -- not the certainty of a Wall Street certainly complicit in the legacy of The Great Recession of 2008 -- a dead certain creation of GW Bush/Cheney administration, but the uncertainty of a president tying, against all odds, to reign in two charged wars, unemployment and a subprime mortgage raped economy.
Never claiming or expecting Obama to be the second coming, I fully acknowledge, while taking less than the likes of Cantor and Mitch McConnell, our black looking president has taken dirty corporate money and compromised his mandate while chess mastering historical political traditions, like:
winning second term despite bad economy and weak recovery
the greed of Health Insurance Companies, to provide affordable healthcare to America's 99%
republican chauvinistic resistance to even the possibility of income equality for women, or a minimum wage raise
simultaneously fending off Ebola panic while defending healthcare professionals without Senate confirmation of his Surgeon General nomination -- expected to kneel before Mitch McConnell's Koch coronation