Powell is a resident of Richmond and a retired colonel with the U.S. Army, serving 30 years both as an active reservist and active duty Army officer. During his time as a reservist, Powell entered the legal field, becoming assistant attorney general under then-Virginia Attorney General Gerald Baliles. Afterwards, in 1999, Powell formed the law firm Powell & Parrish, PC, based out of Midlothian.
“It’s perverse what’s happening in this country. Politicians are so beholden to special interests that they can’t take care of their own constituents,” Powell said. “People like Eric Cantor are so far from what the people actually are.”
Though Powell’s speech touched on a wide range of topics, special attention was given to issues of government transparency and the effects of lobbying on the legislative process.
“It’s not an accident that 80 percent of the country’s wealth is controlled by the top 20 percent of Americans,” Powell said. “What made this country strong is the working class.”
“There should be very clear laws to prevent undue influence by corporations and the wealthiest Americans,” Powell writes on his campaign website. He also supports legislation that would prevent members of Congress involved in “issues relating to investments” from participating in insider trading, as well as a limit on former congresspersons working as lobbyists.
Expanding on his philosophy of “We take care of our own,” inspired by the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, Powell spoke of his support for universal health care, as well as the protection of Social Security and Medicare. Powell is also in favor of restructuring tax codes and reducing defense spending.
“Anyone who has run a business will tell you that cutting income while increasing your outflow is not a wise business strategy,” Powell said, in reference to tax cuts in 2003 while defense spending was simultaneously increased.
“We need the Warren Buffett rule. We need to tax the most wealthy, because we need to take care of our own.”
When asked about his campaign’s biggest challenge in defeating Cantor, Powell mentioned his opponent’s funding and his connections within Washington.
“His funding is a definite advantage. A lot of the campaign is about educating people,” Powell said. “People think that with the years of experience he has, Cantor has the best idea of what’s happening.”
Accompanied by his wife, Powell gave credit to his family’s support during his campaign.
“Being a first-time candidate, you have to have the support of your family. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be as much fun.”
Link to original article from Culpepper Star Exponent
Watkevich is a correspondent for the Culpeper Star-Exponent.