Are you ready to fall in love? Get yourselves good and ready, because we’d like to introduce you to your new favorite congressional candidate crush, James Woods. No, not the jerkface actor. This James Woods, the genuinely progressive Democrat who is running for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

My Proof!

Edit: Thank you for your questions. I want to raise awareness for an issue that is deeply troubling to me. Please view my video and help me raise awareness for the need to require background checks on gun purchases

Comments: 215 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

cdpowerman5000113 karma

Why did you steal Peter Griffin's identity and family?

Also, do you feel that being openly atheist in a state like Arizona is a severe detriment to your possible votes? This country is really negative towards anyone against the norm and consider us atheists worse than rapists.

edit: I love you.

JamesWoods4Congress86 karma

We want to expose this country to atheism in a positive and inspiring way. To do that, I may have to steal Griffin's identity.

zacomer37 karma

First, I would just like to say as a young Arizona Democrat in a district where there is no Democrat on the ballot for U.S. House, I am in awe over what you and your team are accomplishing. Your "Prevent Abortion" campaign condoms are among my most prized possessions.

I'm curious about what the end game is on running an audacious campaign is in a deeply red district. Are you running to increase voter turnout statewide? Increase liberal visibility and try to turn the party away from their default tactic of running to the evermore dubious center? Genuinely turn the district blue? Some mixture of the three?

Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA. I'm really hopeful your campaign creates the kind of results the rest of the party is forced to pay attention to.

JamesWoods4Congress18 karma

Thank you for your kind words, our overall goal is to increase voter turnout by articulating a vision of what a progressive America would look like. While there are good reasons to reach toward the center on some issues, using this protocol when the right is so far right gives the GOP permission to be even more extreme. Our longterm strategy, one which we hope the party will adopt, is to continue to advocate for our marginalized communities by keeping to the left.

hirodavid33 karma

How do you feel your professed atheism is affecting your campaign, and how are you being approached by Christians?

JamesWoods4Congress54 karma

I see my candidacy as an opportunity to advocate for a political environment where non-theistic candidates won’t have to decide if being honest about who we are is worth the political risk. I try to respect the concerns fellow Democrats have about whether my atheism will alienate religious voters, but I also firmly believe that when we start telling candidates not to be honest, we’re ceding the moral high ground. I've actually been warmly welcomed at the many interfaith I've participated in by Christians and other people of faith.

lilbluehair6 karma

Does having Kyrsten Sinema nearby make this a little easier?

(for those who don't know, she represents Arizona's 9th district, and is the only current atheist in Congress)

JamesWoods4Congress5 karma

Rep. Sinema is popular among young voters and motivates the base to vote.

Nosito31 karma

How do you feel about the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana? Takes profit from the cartels, less prisoners, save money... Also, what do you think about using liquor stores to distribute it? There's already a 21 year old age requirement.

JamesWoods4Congress82 karma

It is irresponsible at best and unethical at worst not to legalize and regulate marijuana. Our current drug laws contribute to poverty and crime. We can and should do better.

DimiDrake20 karma

Ok. Down to brass tacks. Do you think it's fair that you run against opponents who are handicapped by having only two kidneys? Or even possibly just one? And if so, are you doing the whole blind thing just to make it seem more fair?

JamesWoods4Congress29 karma

I also only have five toes and survived two MRSA infections. I am not at liberty to talk about the quanitity of kidneys posessed by my opponent.

thepeterjohnson13 karma

Hi Mr. Woods. I live in your district. I'm a fairly conservative guy, but not in the social, "moral majority" kind of way. I don't particularly care for your opponent, but I agree with him on certain issues such as fiscal conservatism and an end to warrantless government surveillance. To be honest, I had barely even heard of you until I stumbled upon this AMA. What, if anything, do you think would make someone like me want to vote for you as opposed to Matt Salmon? (Or as opposed to the other possible outcome, which involves staying at home out of disgust.)

JamesWoods4Congress8 karma

We have been strong on libertarian positions that probably overlap with your own. Where is Matt Salmon on net neutrality? I believe in a free and open Internet. I don't share Salmon's enthusiasm for funding the military.

crimson_blindfold5 karma

Who is we, and can you elaborate on what those positions may encompass?

JamesWoods4Congress4 karma

Myself and the sitting legislators and candidates that signed onto my campaign.

CanardWC13 karma

Why, exactly, should the incumbent Matt Salmon not be allowed to retain his job?

JamesWoods4Congress3 karma

Voters in CD5 deserve to have their voices heard, even if they belong to marginalized communities not typically represented politically. We have more than 100,000 people 65 and older in CD5; I support the programs that keep seniors safe and healthy and out of poverty. We have nearly 80,000 civilians with disabilities in CD5, and thousands of people with disabilities working for sub-minimum wage in segregated workshops in our state. With only 19% employment among working-age people with disabilities, we need a representative who will support the government empowerment programs that help people get on their feet and into the economy. Even right-wing working-class Americans support Medicaid and other Progressive policies like family and medical leave, and an increased minimum wage. I support religious liberty for everyone, regardless of which religion is in the majority. I stand for marriage equality and reproductive justice--and these are values that stabilize American families and the economy. I'll represent everyone in CD5--not just people with deep pockets.

Brad_Wesley10 karma

What do you mean that you are a feminist exactly? What specific laws are you in favor of or against as a feminist?

JamesWoods4Congress21 karma

The simplest definition of feminism: I support full equality and opportunity between all genders. I advocate for reproductive freedom, equal pay for equal work, living wage policies, and ensuring the application of FMLA.

dog_whisperer8 karma

is there anything physiologically affected by having an extra kidney?

JamesWoods4Congress15 karma

I was an end-stage renal patient meaning I had close to no kidney function. I was on the kidney transplant list for over five years and when I was finally eligibile, I underwent the procedure. To make the surgery less traumatic they don't remove the failing kidney. Instead, they just push the kidney back into my left side and disconnect it. Eventually this organ atrophies.

redmachined8 karma

What assurances do we have that you won't be bought and owned by lobbyists and special interests like other Arizona politicians?

JamesWoods4Congress10 karma

If elected, I would be a strong advocate for sweeping comprehensive campaign finance reform, with a constitutional amendment if necessary, to ensure that no elected official is ever bought by special interests ever again.

Anti-Indoctrination7 karma

Mr Woods! Thank you so much for coming to Reddit and taking questions. I have been following your political campaign for quite some time, and I have been impressed so far.

My question: Many of my views on religion are highly critical. I am a former member of the LDS Church, and I have since been a vocal advocate of secularism, humanism, and, in some cases, anti-theism. How could someone like myself enter politics in an era when there is such a terrible stigma against the irreligious? I would love to enter politics and contribute to my local community and, perhaps, my country. However, it seems that such an aspiration is bound for failure. What advice do you have for someone in my shoes?

Again, thank you very much for this AMA. I await your response.

JamesWoods4Congress7 karma

Something the LDS church does well is foster a sense of community. By taking the best aspects of your upbringing and applying them in your political work, I encourage you to be activist in your secularism. The more visible we are supporting our communities, the easier it becomes for us to get elected.

Fafafafafafafafafa7 karma

How do you plan to make a tangible difference?

JamesWoods4Congress8 karma

We want to inspire candidates to be authentic about their values, like progressivism and humanism. We are often given the message that it is too politically risky to have certain beliefs. We have proven that we can rally local and national support for honestly expressing their truth.

KTcube6 karma

What do you think about Arizona recently getting marriage equality, but still allowing employers to fire their employees for coming out as LGBT? How does this contradiction effect LGBT people in Arizona, and do you think that it will be fixed soon? Or maybe even fixed on a national level, so that other states don't also do this.

On a different note, where do you stand on Common Core standards?

JamesWoods4Congress10 karma

Marriage equality is not enough, we must implement the employment non-discrimination act.

While standards are important, we need to empower teachers to innovate in the classroom and bring the education model to the 21st century. I don't know if national standards are helpful.

iamjacksprofile5 karma

In a recent interview you said that racist and sexist language should not be protected under the 1st amendment which is in contradiction to Brandenburg v. Ohio declaring that only speech that poses an imminent danger of unlawful action, where the speaker has the intention to incite such action and there is the likelihood that this will be the consequence of his or her speech, may be restricted and punished by law.

It would just be like them defending racism for the same thing. They might firmly believe that, you know, that people of other ethnicities are inferior. But if they say it, that’s racism, and it shouldn’t be protected. It’s the same thing. It’s bigotry.

My question is since the SCOTUS has already made a ruling on this matter how would you reconcile your belief that such language should be prosecuted with the current interpretation of the law?

JamesWoods4Congress6 karma

This quote refers specifically to bullying in a school setting, not toward protected speech that I find hateful.

mtf6125 karma

What are your thoughts on net neutrality?

piemax5 karma

What are you doing for Halloween? I'm planning on going to the Phoenix reddit Halloween event as Carmen Sandiego, but I can't find anyone to go as Waldo with me. Will you be my costume partner? The costume is easy. And I assume you already have a cane.

JamesWoods4Congress2 karma

Call me ;]

MarrowWanna4 karma

Hi Mr.Woods, what are the biggest problems and worst policies in the US government today? What are your thoughts on potential solutions for these problems? Thank you.

JamesWoods4Congress8 karma

Poverty seems to be the biggest problem. Societal investment in high-quality, universal education yields improved quality of life by equipping service providers, researchers, healthcare professionals, teachers and other workers with skills and resources to grow our economy and meet our civic and social needs. The integrity of our democracy is dependant on the inclusion and enfranchisement of all our citizens. To the greatest extent possible, we must seek to end all barriers to participation in elections and the political process.

psycholepzy3 karma

Mr. Woods, would you consider running a billboard in your jurisdiction with the headline you've posted here?

According to gallup, the religious affiliations of Arizona are (paraphrased):

Protestant: 43.1% Other Christian 7.5% Catholic 25.2% Mormon 5.4% Jewish 1.5% None 11.5% (from a sample of 1,066

In other words, you could earn up to 11.5% of the vote just by popularizing your secular affiliation. Wouldya couldya?

Creamstout2 karma

Do you have any plans or ideas on how to make the Post Office solvent? How do you feel about subsidizing companies like ebay and Amazon through the Postal Service.

JamesWoods4Congress-3 karma

Easy, institute community banking sources. It saved money for the social security department and the supplemental nutritional assistance program as they did not have to pay service charges to banks that handle transactions.

Insinqerator1 karma

Are you disappointed they named a high school after you in RI instead of AZ?

JamesWoods4Congress3 karma

I'm still young :)

ChickenHubben0 karma

Good for you for calling yourself a feminist. You're going to catch heat from reddit lunatics. Brace yourself. Do you think organ donation should be an "opt out" program, where everyone is an organ donor unless they choose not to be?

JamesWoods4Congress11 karma

I want to reply to the question about the "opt out" program. This topic is especially pertinent to my life and my campaign. I absolutely advocate that organ donation should be an "opt out" option. Currently in the United States, we only have 26 donors for every 1,000,000 people. Help me give them the second chance that I got.