My short bio: By day I’m an international environmental consultant. My experiences abroad helped motivate me to get into politics. I won the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District with 78 percent of the vote focused on economic growth, national security, and good government. I am the next generation of the Republican Party: I support marriage equality, fiscal responsibility, and climate action. Now … the work in Ethiopia is done, so let’s have some fun! [THANKS FOR JOINING ME BEFORE MY FLIGHT! BACK IN VIRGINIA NOW ... and back on the campaign trail!]

My Proof:

Comments: 3210 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

Ivedefected1268 karma

As an environmental consultant and a GOP candidate, how do you reconcile your personal views on climate change with that of the GOP platform? Specifically that the platform rejects the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement while stating that coal is "clean" energy and that climate change is "far from a pressing issue"? Also, what do you think should become of the EPA? What "climate action" do you support?

HernickForCongress633 karma

I support a cap and trade system to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It is a free market way to do it. Cap and trade was invented by Republicans -- so I wish so many were not opposed to it now. Coal can be clean if the emissions are sequestered underground. I helped the EPA write the Geologic Sequestration rule that would help make coal "clean". It's the only regulation the EPA has written that didn't get them sued. That's because we worked with oil and gas, the financial industry, and environmental groups to write the Reg.

Spelr439 karma

I support marriage equality and climate action.

Why are you a Republican? The GOP platform opposes both these issues in no uncertain terms.

HernickForCongress544 karma

Well … I didn’t write the GOP platform. I was on the road working during the GOP convention when the platform was written. I’m not a millionaire career politician like my opponent -- I’ve got to work to pay the bills and so that I can take the next few month off to campaign. I am a Republican because I believe in economic freedom and personal liberty. I believe in the Virginia Republican Creed: and it doesn’t say anything about marriage equality or climate change. Donald Trump vowed to defend the LGBTQ community -- that’s a good thing. I want to shape the future of the Republican Party and I am proud to represent the next generation of leaders in the Party.

matt_the_hat253 karma

Do you think there is a need for greater accountability for police violence? Do you support dash cams, body cams, independent prosecutors, or other reforms?

HernickForCongress527 karma

Dash cams and body cams are a great idea. Transparency is a good thing -- and I know a lot of cops that appreciate that level of transparency -- to protect themselves.

krnkid26237 karma

Hi, I live in the VA's 8th congressional district and will be voting this year so thank you for doing this AMA.

Two big issues that I care about are the TPP and net neutrality. What are your stances on them?

HernickForCongress236 karma

I support net neutrality. I support the TPP. A critical feature of many trade deals is the requirement that each country enforce it's own laws -- particularly on environment. That's good.

scribbles_in_sand212 karma

What would you change in the American political system, given the chance?

HernickForCongress1033 karma

I would make same day voter registration mandatory in all states. Only politicians think about the votes months and months in advance -- a lot of people are busy with work and think carefully about the candidates only to show up on election day and not be registered? I grew up with same day voter registration in Minnesota and it was great.

joshuar9476208 karma

Though I am from the state of Indiana and cannot vote for you , it is nice to see a more moderate Republican. As a lifelong liberal, I'd like to see both parties lean more middle. Can I get you position on both 2nd Amendment Rights and your stance on LGBT rights?

HernickForCongress282 karma

Sure! I support marriage equality -- in short, government should stay out of the bedroom. And I am a strong defender of the Second Amendment -- it's super clear and simple "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

Tigermilf113 karma

Why even bother running against Don Beyer in one of the bluest districts in the country?

HernickForCongress209 karma

Voting patterns change with each election -- and the demographics have changed in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, McLean, and Fairfax. There are more Millennials in my district than almost anywhere in the country -- I am a Millennial (just barely!). There are more Latinos in the 8th than ever before -- my mother is from Ecuador and I have been campaigning in English and Spanish. There are a tremendous number of Federal workers who are frustrated with the status quo Federal bureaucracy and would love to see better incentives for innovation and pay based on their performance. And there are a lot of small business and startups that are hitting roadblocks because of high taxes and heavy regulation. The incumbent, Don Beyer, isn’t focused on any of these issues. I AM. I got into this race because my friends, neighbors, and coworkers all #ExpectMore from Congress. I intend to deliver for them.

tanyatornkiki85 karma

  • 1) What do you think of net neutrality?
  • 2) Can I get you stance on Muslim ban from entering the United States?
  • 3) In which issue are you opposed to Donald Trump? What's Donald Trump's most ridiculous mistake?
  • 4) What do you think of guaranteed basic income to everyone?
  • 5) Do you support electoral reform such as having Runoff voting, proportional representation and overturn Citizen United? Why?

HernickForCongress160 karma

3) I disagree with Trump on trade. I think we need free and fair trade. Is there room for improvement on some trade deals? Sure. But free trade allows us to compete and export to our comparative advantage and buy other goods at a lower price -- I don’t want America competing with African countries on low wage goods. Ethiopia’s costs are something like 30 percent LOWER than China’s costs … we don’t want to compete with everyone on everything. I want America to compete and export on clean energy and high-value added goods and services. Let’s innovate!

drewfer19 karma

When you say that you don't want America competing with African countries on some goods, how would you prevent it?

HernickForCongress83 karma

It's not a matter of protectionism ... we should just play to our economic strengths!

HernickForCongress94 karma

1) I support net neutrality. 5) The election system is just fine. The system is not rigged. If a guy like me can run for congress, win the GOP nomination, and hold a sitting congressman to a higher standard we are in fine shape! That said, FUNDING a congressional campaign is hard work. It is soul sucking to ask people for money.

HernickForCongress77 karma

2) I do not support banning Muslims for immigrating to the US. I have Muslim friends that live in the US, live abroad … they love peace and freedom and I love them for that 4) A guaranteed basic income is a crazy idea. If the government hands out cash to everyone prices will just go up proportionately.

fencelizard58 karma

What are your ideas for climate action, specifically? Do you support a carbon tax? Cap and trade?

HernickForCongress88 karma

I support a cap and trade system for reducing greenhouse gases. The Federal carbon tax proposed by the incumbent congressman ignores the good work that has already been done by states. Cap and trade systems are already working in several states and countries--in Europe and China. We can build off of those and not start from scratch. Cap and trade was a system designed by Republicans in the 70s and it worked to cleanup our air, it works for protecting wetlands, and it will work for climate change.

notjabba29 karma

What cap would you support specifically? Do you have a schedule for reducing the cap over time?

Would you be willing to vote for Democrats as committee for leadership positions if they support cap and trade and their Republican opponent opposes the same and perhaps even denies the existence of climate change?

HernickForCongress52 karma

If I am elected I WANT TO LEAD the committee that sets up the cap and trade systems.

NEED_TP_ASAP48 karma

What is your position on the Fed, gold standard, and the Keynesian model?

HernickForCongress170 karma

The Fed is doing a fine job. Regular audits of government agencies are a good thing, so I would support auditing the Fed. Gold standard = out a long time ago. On Keynes: government spending on public infrastructure is good and necessary. There are positive economic externalities associated with it building roads, drinking water and wastewater systems. That said, government cannot afford and should not spend in every sector. Government can't pick the winners and losers --- that the job of the free market.

notjabba27 karma

You say you are an ecologist who supports climate action, yet as a Republican you would organize with the party of science denial, empowering opponents of action.

What would you actually do to prevent climate change?

HernickForCongress25 karma

I would propose legislation for cap and trade system in my first year in office. I would work like hell to convince my Republican colleagues it is the right thing to do for the ECONOMY. The Federal carbon tax proposed by the incumbent congressman ignores the good work that has already been done by states. Cap and trade systems are already working in several states and countries--in Europe and China. We can build off of those and not start from scratch. I want the US to be an exporter of clean energy technology.

NovelDame24 karma

With all the high-profile attacks in the last 18 months, how do you think the US Government should address cybersecurity?

HernickForCongress123 karma

I wouldn't make "jokes" about having Russia help! I would change Federal hiring practices so that we can get the best and brightest brains from Silicon Valley to defend our intellectual property and national security interests.

ATryHardTaco8 karma

It's nice to see a moderate republican like myself, my question is;

Do you support the 4th amendment? Pretty simple.

HernickForCongress17 karma

Yes, absolutely.

memercopter8 karma

Specifically, what kind of policies would help the VA, which had been suffering from months-long wait times among other things. As I understand, some recent action has allowed vets to see doctors outside the VA system in order to expand overall access and decrease wait times, but it hasn't been that effective. What changes would you make to the system? Would you be open to making a large financial investment (which we would hope would be wisely spent and accounted for) to really ensure that we address this resource crisis affecting our veterans?

HernickForCongress52 karma

We need to create incentives for federal employees -- especially in the VA -- to find efficiency and get rewarded for it. Pay for performance -- team bonuses. I am totally fine giving a team of Federal employees a few thousand dollar bonus if they can improve service delivery and save the taxpayer thousands more! And Administrators need to be able to fire totally incompetent employees. Right now it's nearly impossible to fire a federal employee -- that totally kills morale for the other REALLY HARD WORKING federal employees in the office.

Amanoo2 karma

Why are you still with the GOP? Climate action, marriage equality, and considering you work a lot abroad, the fact that you are fluent in Spanish as well as some of your comments, I doubt you have very strong racist tendencies.

The Democratic party may be corrupt as fuck, but the Republican party is based on idiocy and science denial as well as corruption. Shouldn't you be running as either a Democrat or an independent?

HernickForCongress3 karma

No. I'm totally comfortable as the GOP nominee. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. Party leadership changes -- but I believe in the core principles that my party was founded on. Economic freedom and personal liberty. And I am proud to be one of the voices in the next generation of leadership.

lethaldoze-4 karma

Thanks for doing AMA. How did you roll your career of social justice warrior issues into something that pays you when most SJW's still work a day job unrelated to their passions? What helped you most among luck,education, connections, and money to get you to where you are today?

HernickForCongress5 karma

Ha! Not sure that I’ve ever labeled myself as a Social Justice Warrior -- but I like it. I do love my day job: I’ve worked at the intersection of economic growth and environment for over a decade, most recently helping to figure out how the US Government can help our friends in developing countries sustainably develop their economies. Honestly, it took a lot of hard work and incremental steps to get to where I am. I threw my hat in the ring, raised my hand, or took risks wherever I could to chase the dream. I have always been motivated by the Teddy Roosevelt quote: do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Indeed, that’s what I am doing with this run for Congress -- and it’s been super rewarding so far! So … I’d say EDUCATION and CONNECTIONS … then maybe some luck … I grew up middle class, so it wasn’t the money.