Jeff Barnett for Congress A Long Shot in 2010 for the 10th District of Virginia
This was the official website for Jeff Barnett's run in 2010 for the seat of the 10th District of Virginia. Content is from the site's archived pages.
Jeff Barnett, a strong progressive, won the 2010 June 8th primary. He became the Democratic candidate for the 2010 Virginia 10th District election. Frank R. Wolf was the Republican incumbent who had maintained his seat since 2002 winning decisively each time. Frank R. Wolf won a fourth term with 54.16% of the vote to the represent the state of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.
Jeff Barnett is a father, husband, military veteran, corporate planner and accomplished author.
Jeff’s parents met in London during World War II. His father John was in the American 8th Air Force. His mother Joan was a British schoolteacher. After the war Jeff’s dad stayed in the Air Force. The family moved around the world like every military family: London (where Jeff was born); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; San Bernadino, California (where the family welcomed his younger sister); Austin, Texas; Wiesbaden, Germany; and, Oklahoma City.
After Lieutenant Colonel John Barnett retired from the Air Force, he and Joan settled down in Springfield, Massachusetts, his boyhood home. Jeff made friends quickly, eventually becoming vice president of his high school senior class, an honor student, and member of the wrestling team.
In 1968, Jeff entered the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. In college, Jeff majored in history and was active in student government. Jeff was also the cadet commander of Air Force ROTC.
After graduation in 1972, Jeff followed in his father’s footsteps by going straight to Air Force flight school. His first assignment was flying C-130s for the 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron in Little Rock, Arkansas. However, Jeff was seldom home. His squadron deployed to Thailand (where Jeff flew combat sorties over Cambodia), Germany, South Korea, Panama, Turkey, and England. In 1976, Jeff was sent to Frankfurt, Germany to fly DC-9s for the 55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron. Their primary mission was to transfer American military personnel and their families to hospitals throughout Europe.
Jeff returned to the United States in 1979. He attended the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School, where he was a Distinguished Graduate. He then flew C-130s for the 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, adjacent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The wing commander selected Jeff as his executive officer.
Jeff then moved to Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii and worked as a politico-military affairs officer. During this assignment, the Air Force promoted Jeff two years ahead of his peers to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
1986 was an important year for Jeff. Not only did he come to Virginia to work at the Pentagon, he also met his wife Katherine on the Metro. Jeff and Katherine married in 1988. A year later Jeff attended Air War College where he studied economics, politics and national strategy. Upon graduation he came back to the Pentagon to serve as a campaign planner during the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm). Based on his accomplishments, he was promoted to Colonel and assigned as the military assistant to the Pentagon’s Director of Net Assessment, the strategic planner for the Secretary of Defense. It was during this assignment that Jeff wrote his first book, Future War. This book eventually went through seven printings and 11,000 copies. The Republic of Korea Air Force translated it for their military colleges.
In 1996, Jeff transferred to Vukovar, Croatia as Chief of Staff for a 6,000 person, multi-national peacekeeping force. A study by the RAND Corporation called the United Nations Transitional Authority in Eastern Slovonia “the most successful peacekeeping mission in UN history.” In addition to his role as Chief of Staff, Jeff was Deputy Chief of Political Affairs and Commander of the United States military element.
Jeff’s final military assignment was Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. He assisted in negotiations with foreign leaders and was also a member of a select team that removed nuclear missiles and aircraft from unstable nations.
In 1999, following 26 years of distinguished service, Jeff retired from the United States Air Force as a full Colonel. He spent the next four years as a government consultant with Booz-Allen-Hamilton in McLean.
In 2003, Jeff joined Toffler Associates, the international executive advisory firm founded by world-renowned futurist Alvin Toffler. Jeff advised corporate and government leaders on how to lead their organizations in the information age. During this time, Jeff wrote his second book, The Job Box. This book helps young people understand their constantly changing job.
Jeff is very proud that both his children answered the call to service. Marit serves as an Army Doctor at Walter Reed Medical Center. Courtney is currently deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Air Force 41st Electronic Combat Squadron.
Jeff lives with his wife Katherine in McLean.
Our District deserves a Congressman who will work aggressively to address the problems we face. I am running for Congress because I believe that, together, there is little we cannot achieve. Click an item in the menu below to learn about my vision for meeting our challenges.
Our troubled economy is the most pressing problem we face, and our economy cannot recover until we grow jobs. Helping small businesses grow jobs will be my number one priority in Congress.
Our thirty-year incumbent Congressman has a terrible record on job creation. In 2009 he voted against a bill that created 1.4 to 3.3 million jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Just this year, he voted against a bill that will reduce the deficit and save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, and firemen around the country, including thousands here in Virginia.
Virginia can't afford a Congressman who stands in the way of job creation. That's why I have put together a comprehensive series of short term, mid term, and long term initiatives to create jobs.
In the short term, we must help small business, the #1 source of new jobs.
How do we do this?
- Give small business and the self-employed the same healthcare rates as big corporations.
- Help small banks; they extend credit to small business to invest and hire
- End today's overwhelming focus on large omnibus government contracts. Allow small companies to really compete with big corporations.
In the mid term we need to build for the future. Public/private partnerships are the key. The internet, genetic drugs, commercial jet aircraft -- all started with government “seed” money. Private entrepreneurs took government programs and spun-off world-class commercial industries. Their spin-offs created next-generation jobs. The secret is to work with government agencies and technological innovators. As your Congressman, I will initially focus on green jobs and the IT/Intelligence Community. Both have huge upsides. Both are ideal for the 10th Congressional District.
I know how this works. I did it when I was in business as a corporate advisor. I wrote about it in my first book. Bottom line: I know how to create 21st Century Jobs.
In the long term, we need to build life-long education and training for workers displaced by continuing waves of new technology. The era where a person can graduate from college at 22 and spend forty years at the same company is over. We need the ability to continually go back to school to learn the skills needed to succeed in our constantly changing economy.
When President Clinton left office, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected a $5 trillion surplus over the next decade. However, with Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the federal government ran up a $6 trillion deficit. Two tax cuts, two unfunded wars and one unfunded healthcare benefit (Medicare Part D) destroyed fiscal responsibility in Washington. Now we are in the deepest recession in 75 years. Frank Wolf crafted the budgets that created those record-breaking deficits.
This year the federal government will take in $2.2 trillion and spend $3.6 trillion. This temporary deficit spending is necessary but not sustainable. A Democratic Congress and White House worked together before to balance the federal budget. We can do it again.
I am absolutely committed to balancing the federal budget. It is immoral to pass debt of this magnitude to our children. How we fund government and what we expect from government must change. As a first step, stop squeezing middle class taxpayers. Start taxing the wealthy at the same rate as the middle class. Under the Alternative Minimum Tax, couples making more than $433,000 a year pay a lower marginal tax rate than couples making $150,000. The super-wealthy not only pay a lower percentage in income tax; they also pay a smaller percentage in capital gains tax. No wonder we have a federal deficit.
As a second step, we must cut discretionary spending. Because the Defense Department spends half of all discretionary spending, it has to be part of the solution. America spends about as much as the rest of the world combined on defense. As we complete our two wars, we must reshape our defenses within affordable budgets.
These two steps are easier said than done. They will generate armies of lobbyists in response. The same fear tactics and half-truths used in the healthcare debate will reappear. However, decisions of this magnitude are what Members of Congress sign up to do. Voters deserve to know exactly what their Congressman will support. We must regain fiscal sanity in Washington.
The Housing Crisis
The bank-fueled housing bubble should never have happened in the first place -- and must never happen again. Average people put the majority of our wealth into our homes. But government stood by while banks played roulette with our life savings. It will not happen again on my watch.
To make sure this never happens again, we need to stay ahead of financial manipulators in our hyper-speed, hyper-competitive world. I support Congress' plan to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This agency shouldn’t add a single bureaucrat – it will only combine existing offices into a single agency focused ONLY on protecting consumer finances. We need constant financial watchdogs to help us protect our homes, savings, and pensions.
Government rescued the banks that were "Too-Big-To-Fail" but told the middle class we are Too-Small-To-Save. That is wrong morally and short-sighted economically. We must take positive steps to help people keep their homes. We must re-institute common sense regulations to prevent another bank-fueled housing bubble.
With one of five mortgages “underwater,” tens of thousands of our neighbors live in constant fear of losing everything. They are one bad break -- sickness, job loss -- away from going bankrupt. They lose their home and their life savings.
I will champion three immediate steps to help homeowners:
- Institutionalize the short-sale process so homeowners can force a short-sale when their bank refuses to modify an underwater mortgage.
- Guarantee an FHA loan two years after the short sale – so homeowners with good credit can recover.
- Give homeowners the same bankruptcy protections we give big corporations.
None of these proposals should cost the federal government a penny. They won’t weaken the financial system – banks have already written off underwater mortgages. Our government must help middle class homeowners caught up in the housing bubble. We cannot forget the Too-Small-To-Save.
We need to actually fix our longstanding transportation problem. Traffic gets worse every year. Enough is enough.
First, we need to improve the efficiency of current roads, rail and bridges. We need better interchanges, additional lanes, metro extensions, and high-speed buses. These improvements will make life more bearable for our current population. They are necessary – but not enough. They won’t handle future growth.
Our district has the most fiber-rich dirt on earth. We are the internet crossroads of the world. Dulles is the last major airport on the East Coast with expansion capacity. Our wealth will continue to attract floods of people. We need next-generation infrastructures to absorb them.
Our parents showed us how to think ahead. They built I-66, I-81, the American Legion Bridge, the Beltway, and Metrorail. Since then, every solution to our traffic woes has been to widen or lengthen what we inherited. We can’t just “tweak” transportation infrastructures designed decades ago. Real growth requires next generation transportation. It requires renewed vision.
I will lead a consensus towards that vision. The Congressman from the 10th District is uniquely positioned to bring people together. I can reach across state and party lines, across federal, state, and local agencies, across public and private sectors, to forge a new consensus that protects the environment, the economy and our quality of life.
This consensus will help us to identify and build the next generation of transportation across the 10th District and Northern Virginia. If we don’t act now, gridlock will get worse for everyone – and that’s no way to live.
Like many American families, today’s wars are more than just “issues” for my wife and me. Our youngest child is deployed to Afghanistan. Our eldest child is an Army doctor at Walter Reed. I know what it means to have loved ones in harm’s way. As your Congressman I will never let politics influence my votes on sending our sons and daughters to war.
As your Congressman, I will bring a practical approach to foreign policy – and make sure we end our wars.
The invasion of Iraq was a monumental mistake. Our incumbent Congressman voted for this war – a vote I opposed at the time. I support the current withdrawal schedule and will stay on top of its timeline.
When we let Al Qaeda escape into Pakistan, we created a new and serious threat. Pakistan has 175 million people – and nuclear weapons. It must not become a failed state – which is exactly what Al Qaeda wants. This is why I support our temporary surge in Afghanistan, even though our daughter is deployed there. We must work with Pakistan, Afghanistan and our allies to build an indigenous vise around the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. I will be relentless in ensuring actions match specific and attainable goals, and I will make sure we stay on schedule for bringing our troops home.
As President Obama said in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, evil will always exist in our world. America must sometimes fight when nonviolence fails to surmount “the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” When decisions over war and peace face Congress, I will go the extra mile to emphasize peace. I understand war, from combat to peacekeeping. My father is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. My wife served for eight years in the military. Both our children serve on active duty. If our Nation must go to war, I will ensure there is no other option. I will ensure we have clear goals and the resources to attain those goals.
The Intelligence Community
Virginia’s 10th District is home to the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. Our office parks include companies that support these agencies. Incredibly, there are no Virginians on the House intelligence committee (HPSCI). I will push to serve on this committee.
I have directly worked with leaders in CIA, DIA, NSA and military intelligence; that’s why I maintain a Top Secret security clearance. I can lead the next generation of intelligence investment in Congress – because I understand the professional perspectives of the thousands of Virginians who work in support of the United States Intelligence Community.
Wall Street Reform
Under Republican leadership, our Nation tilted the economic playing field in favor of big banks – then took the referees off the field. Now we have the deepest recession in 75 years, mountains of debt, millions of lost jobs, and a housing crisis that is destroying tens of thousands of families.
Our 30-year incumbent Congressman had a central role in this crisis. First, he voted to remove the Glass-Stegall Act, allowing investment banks to gamble with federally-insured money, putting taxpayers on the hook. Then, Wolf was the chairman of a powerful committee with oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street watchdogs. Wolf failed to hold the SEC accountable for the financial markets, and the financial markets ran wild, creating a cascading series of interlocking problems that nearly leveled our economy.
After the recession hit, Wolf voted to bail out the big banks, but he voted against the Wall Street Reform that protects the middle class.
We need to take a serious look at our financial system. Five megabanks still control 75% of all lending in America. We saw the peril of consolidated banking in 2007 and 2008, and even today these banks are still "Too-Big-To-Fail." Don’t get me wrong, we still need big banks to serve global networks of huge corporations, but our concentration of trillion-dollar banks places national financial security at risk. We learned this lesson the hard way.
To manage risk we need greater involvement by small banks. We can help small banks compete with the megabanks by giving them an edge in the federal funds rate and the overnight discount rate. This will help the 8500 other banks in America serve a larger part of our economy.
I started following this election among the state's other elections since I was planning on moving to Virginia. In addition to the standard positions of the Republican versus Democratic platforms, I was interested in the Virginia gambling laws since I really enjoy playing online slots. It turns out Virginia gambling laws are relatively restrictive, and generally define gambling as betting on the outcome of any games or contests that depend on chance. While casinos and greyhound racing are specifically prohibited, the state allows horse racing and off-track betting at licensed facilities. On the other hand it appears that it is legal to gamble online in Virginia because there are no laws for online gambling in the state. Fortunately there are no references or prohibitions placed on online gambling in the state of Virginia.
Healthcare costs are out of control. Thirty years ago, healthcare was 8½% of the American economy. Now it’s twice that -- 17%. Healthcare costs put American businesses at a disadvantage in our globally competitive economy. Where will it end? When healthcare costs 20% of the economy, or 25%? Even with these immense costs, tens of millions of our fellow citizens still can’t get healthcare, and that hurts the families who do have insurance: when an uninsured person relies on the emergency room for primary care, we all pick up the tab. That's why I am glad that Congress passed health insurance reform this Spring. This isn't the solution to the problem, but it's a great first step.
This bill addresses many of my top healthcare reform priorities:
- Affordability: Make healthcare affordable for everyone. Small businesses and self-employed individuals should pay the same premiums per person as large corporations. This bill opens access to exchanges that will provide small businesses with access to healthcare plans that were not available in the past.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. It is un-American when people with pre-existing conditions can’t get health insurance or can’t change jobs over fear of losing coverage. This bill guarantees coverage for children with pre-existing conditions almost immediately, and phases it in for adults over the next couple of years.
- Coverage: Any American who wants healthcare should get healthcare. As many as 30 million Americans cannot get affordable healthcare under our current system. They must go to Emergency Rooms to get help. This is immoral, unnecessary, and wasteful. This bill expands coverage to allow these 30 million Americans to get health care.
- Cost: Get healthcare costs way down. America spends twice as much money per person on healthcare as our global competitors. Many of the controls in the bill are untested. As your Congressman, I will stay on top of IMPLEMENTATION – to make sure we actually cut costs.
Energy and the Environment
Every day, America sends $2 billion overseas to buy foreign oil. We also send 16,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Neither is sustainable. Both sell-out the future for short term profit.
Renewable energy is the future. Whoever leads in green energy will get massive economic returns, fantastic job growth, and a healthier environment. Virginians have the talent, schools and bandwidth to lead the world – so long as we invest in education and incentivize business.
Because corporate executives respond to incentives, I support a “carrot and stick” approach to energy use: Cap-and-Trade (“carrot”); and carbon tax (“stick”). Cap-and-Trade is a positive incentive that rewards corporations for doing the right thing. Cap-and-Trade worked to reduce acid rain emissions; it deserves an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions. A carbon tax, while not the only answer, is part of every solution. Polluters will change behavior when the status quo is more costly than embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The same “carrot and stick” approach can bust logjams in other area. We know we need low impact development, green buildings, renewable energy standards, vehicle energy efficiency standards. Let’s get to work. Combine positive and negative incentives to get people off the dime.
Centuries of experience have taught Americans the transformative power of education. More educated nations are less prone to poverty, illness, high unemployment, and crime. As Americans, it is in our national interest to have an educated citizenry. That’s why I believe that our national government has an important role to play in improving access to quality education. Our federal government’s policies should reflect our Nation’s abiding commitment to education as an essential part of a vibrant Democracy.
Congress should focus on five primary things over the next few years to improve education in America:
- Expand Access to Pre-K Programs: Students whose families are unable to pay for pre-school have long been at a disadvantage to their peers who have had a year of school before kindergarten. The Head Start Program fills an important role in addressing this problem, but in recent years the program has been underfunded and served fewer children. We must fully fund Head Start to make sure the all children have access to the crucial early years of education.
- Re-engineer the flawed “No Child Left Behind” Act: Teachers and schools must be held accountable for their progress, but we must do so in a way that encourages success, rather than punishes failure. The current system of "No Child Left Behind" causes teachers to "teach to the test," a process that stifles innovation, rather than promotes it.
- Pay Teachers a Professional Wage: Until we pay teachers the professional wage they deserve, we will not be able to recruit sufficient numbers of the best and the brightest. Few things have as much impact on a child's progress as the quality of his or her teacher, and we owe our kids the ery best.
- Increase Access to Post-Secondary Education: Higher education opens the door on life's opportunity, and we must continue to work to make sure that the promise of a college degree is accessible to all Americans, regardless of their background. That's why I support this year's college affordability reforms: a change in the Pell Grant levels to cover more of the cost of an education, tax credits for college education, and an elimination of the cumbersome student-loan bureaucracy that took billions of dollars away from educating our kids.
- Promote Lifelong Education to Enhance Economic Competitiveness: If we are to remain on the forefront of an ever-changing economic climate, we must equip our professional workforce with the tools they need to stay relevant and leading edge. That means a process of continual re-education, and a more robust role for America's excellent community colleges.
New Leadership for Virginia's 10th District
My name is Jeff Barnett. I am running for Congress in Virginia's 10th Congressional District.
Forty years ago, I answered the call to serve when I took the oath for the United States Air Force. Now, I'm answering a second call of duty. I am running for Congress because I believe America's best days are ahead of us. Virginia needs proactive and problem-solving leadership, and our 30-year incumbent Congressman isn't cutting it.
I am a career military officer, an author, a business leader, a father, and a Virginia Democrat. I have the background, the vision, and the ideas to spark the next generation of job growth, help our economy recover, and improve national security.
I hope you will take a look around this site and follow the links to learn more about our campaign and our vision. Don't forget to take a moment tosign up for our email list> to receive updates on our campaign. Thanks for dropping by - I'll see you out on the campaign trail.
10th Congressional District DebateTue, 10/26/2010 - 8:12am | by Marc
Jeff Barnett was the clear winner of the first and only debate of the campaign. His response to Wolf's over-dependence on outside commissions says it all: "Mr. Wolf, if you want to pass off your job to someone else, pass it off to me."
The Fairfax Times Endorses Jeff Barnett!Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:21am | by Marc
The Fairfax Times has endorsed Jeff Barnett in the 10th Congressional District. This is the first time that the Times, one of Northern Virginia's most prominent newspapers, has not endorsed Frank Wolf in 28 years.
Barnett in 10th District
Democrat Jeff Barnett spent much of the past year telling residents of the 10th District that Frank Wolf has done some good things during his 30 years in Congress.
Barnett is also quick to point out that the district desperately needs some fresh ideas and newfound energy.
For the first time in 14 election cycles, we agree.
The Barnett Campaign - on WTOP!Sun, 10/17/2010 - 4:35pm | by Jeff Barnett
On Friday, Jeff was a special guest on The Politics Program on WTOP. Host Mark Plotkin interviewed Jeff on a range of topics. If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to a recording
Nine Years LaterThu, 10/07/2010 - 4:31pm | by Jeff Barnett
On October 7th, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of the terrorists who attacked our country on September 11th. Nine years, thousands of lives, and billions of dollars later, we still have not achieved a successful resolution. I want this war's tenth year to be one of its last. I support the President's plan to begin to withdraw troops in 2011, and I want that draw-down to happen as efficiently and quickly as possible.
The Barnett Campaign - on NPR!Wed, 09/29/2010 - 8:36am | by Jeff Barnett
Last week, I had a great time sitting down for an on-air interview with local legend Kojo Nnamdi, host of WAMU's weekly politics hour. Kojo and NBC 4 reporter Tom Sherwood asked some good questions, and we talked a lot about the campaign and the most pressing issues Virginia faces.
To hear a recording of the live show. We're in the second half of the show, which begins around the 35 minute mark.
GOP Pledge to America Makes Me Proud to Be a DemocratThu, 09/23/2010 - 10:34am | by Marc
This morning, Republican Party leaders rolled out their "Pledge to America" in Sterling, VA. I was planning to congratulate 30-year incumbent Frank Wolf and his colleagues on finally coming up with an agenda that doesn't start and end with "no." Regretfully, I cannot do that. There is little by way of an agenda in the 21-page Pledge that the Republican Party is putting forth.
The Pledge manages to hit many of the hot button GOP issues; make the Bush tax cuts permanent for the top 2%, repeal health care, assail federal employees through hiring freezes, cut spending but pledge to fully fund missile defense programs. It also fails to include one single plan to move the country forward towards progress and prosperity.
The Pledge to America is chock-full of rhetoric...and not much else.
Its Time.Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:26am | by Jeff Barnett
In a free state, one that prides itself on openness and tolerance, it is unconscionable that we would prevent some Americans from serving their country because of who they are. Yet, that is the prejudice behind the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Policy that prevents openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces.
Roll Call Video on our Walk Across the DistrictThu, 09/09/2010 - 8:30am | by Marc
Last night, we completed the final leg of our walk across the District. We walked the final nine miles from Herndon to McLean on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. This morning, Roll Call featured a video on our walk on their front page. Take a look at the video below:
Day 3: Over the MountainSun, 09/05/2010 - 8:50pm | by Jeff Barnett
We finished another tremendous day of walking today. After three days, they've notched more than forty miles across the beautiful 10th District. Today, we walked from Berryville to the Shenandoah, climbed from the banks of that lovely river over the top of Mt. Weather, and descended the other side into Round Hill and Purcellville. We talked to a lot of voters, and caught quite a few friendly honks and waves around the way.
Thanks to Barbara and Jennifer Lee for welcoming us into their home, and to Timothy Wyant for hosting an excellent luncheon for us on top of the mountain. Our gratitude also to Kathy Turner, who gathered a great crowd at her home in Waterford. We talked long into the evening about the need for new leadership in Washington and about the ways our campaign will be engaging voters. Finally, Sam and Marty are, as ever, the consummate hosts.
- Federal Employees: #GOP thinks you're the problem. I think you're part of the solution. http://wapo.st/dg7BDw #pledge 1 day 22 hours ago
- Speaking of last night's debate, here's the link to the recording one more time: http://bit.ly/aKJ7SP 2 days 3 hours ago
- Great coverage of last night's debate in today's@LTMnews. 2 days 3 hours ago
- Thanks, @SpriteandPepper! 30 years is too long - especially after you violate two term limit pledges to keep your seat. 3 days 3 hours ago
- Join us at the first and only debate of the campaign! Tonight, 7:00 PM, Dominion High School. http://bit.ly/dt4Dao3 days 5 hours ago