“I’m never going to back away from supporting President Barack Obama and Tim Kaine. I’ve got their backs,” said Powell, drawing hearty applause at the Saturday Goochland Democratic Committee meeting.
Powell attended the meeting at the Goochland Recreation Center, where he and Goochland County NAACP president Sekou Shabaka addressed about 40 party members. Powell talked about his campaign and Shabaka about the voter ID bills in the General Assembly.
“I’m not running to get a job. I have a job. I’m an attorney,” Powell said. “I’m seeking the nomination because I want to serve you.
“I’m going to fight for the middle class,” he added. “Rich people need to pay more taxes. They are at the top and they should pay more.”
Would he debate Cantor if he had the opportunity?
“I would welcome a debate with him, but he’s already said he will not debate,” he answered. “He’s running scared. If a debate was scheduled and he sent a surrogate, I will not debate a surrogate.”
Powell was also asked how he would finance his campaign.
“I would expect to spend at least a million dollars,” he responded. “A lot of that would be my money, but I’ve got supporters in California and New York ready to hold fundraisers once I am officially the Democratic nominee. Any money that I raise or that is donated to my campaign goes to the campaign. I’m paying all of my personal expenses and not taking any contributions for my personal needs.”
Powell said he favors keeping post offices open.
“I don’t understand why we are continuing to subsidize oil companies and closing post offices,” he responded. “We have the best postal service in the world, and if I have to pay 50 cents for a stamp, it’s fine with me as long as it keeps post offices open.”
Two other candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to face Cantor. David Hunsicker, a real estate broker, was at the meeting but did not speak. Jim Phillips, a college professor who teaches law at the University of Richmond and business at Virginia State, was not present.
Shabaka spoke about voter suppression and how literacy test and poll taxes were used to keep people from voting.
“A black person might show up to vote, and they would show him a jar of beans,” he said. “He would be asked how many beans are in the jar, and if he couldn’t tell them, he couldn’t vote.”
The bills in the General Assembly say that when a person comes to vote, “the officer shall ask the voter to present any one of the following forms of identification: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver’s license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; or any valid student identification card issued by any four-year institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.”
Attendees criticized the bill that would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. Powell said he opposed the bill and would work to protect a woman’s right to choose.
Goochland Democratic Committee Chair Molly Payne had phone numbers of the county delegates and senator for citizens to call and voice their opinions about the voter ID bills.
She also gave out the governor’s phone number and urged people to call and ask him not to sign the abortion bill.
Link to original article from The Goochland Gazette