My name is Barrett Brown; I'm a longtime redditor (BarrettBrown, natch), a contributor to Vanity Fair, the Skeptical Inquirer, and other outlets, and the founder of the distributed think-tank Project PM. I've recently been brought on as a pro bono advisor to the campaign of Wynne LeGrow, whom I've convinced to answer questions on reddit. Submit any questions below and Dr. LeGrow will answer as many as he can in a future post. He's also agreed to have his office create a sub-reddit where anyone can submit ideas for potential legislation or any other input; I have explained to him that reddit's user base represents a wide variety of skill sets and that its dynamics are such that good ideas will be voted, if not to the very top, at least high enough to compete with memes, joke answers, and pun threads, and that this medium can thus serve as a crowd-sourced advisory group possessing a number of advantages over more traditional means of getting information.

If admins would like to verify, PM this account and I'll put you in touch with the campaign manager.

Update

I should also mention that the incumbent, Randy Forbes, once introduced legislation whereby Congress would affirm that "The Holy Bible is God's Word." Here's an article I wrote the other day with more information on the race. And here's our campaign site.

Update II: Electric Boogaloo

I'm going to go ahead and answer those questions involving facts about the election and district, such as how long the seat has been Republican and whether a particular county is located within that district; Wynne will be on eventually to answer questions that are directed at him.

Update III: George Lucas Screws Up Everything

Barrett here again. Those who would be interested in furthering the cause of internet-based improvements to governments and NGOs, as well as developing improved methods of collaboration, should e-mail me at [email protected] for information about joining Project PM.

Update, Uh, IV

Dr. LeGrow will be online on this account Tuesday around noon EST to respond to some of these questions. Thank to everyone for their interest and kind words.

Comments: 619 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

[deleted]359 karma

[deleted]

Wynne_LeGrow8 karma

I am aware of liquid floride thorium reactor technology. I won't pretend I fully understand it but it seems very promising.

The Government can encourage research, but we need a strong private research sector. As noted on other postings, India is already moving forward in this field and sees it as critical to future energy supplies. We should move with the same sense of urgency given our dependence on foreign and domestic fossil fuels and the specter of global climate change among us.

levilarrington134 karma

Hey, here's some cool slogans you can use.

LeGrow - for stem cell research.

Live and LeGrow

LeGrow Pot

Virginia needs to LeGrow

LeGrow - if he's right you don't have to go to hell

They don't LeGrow them like they used to

LeGrow, French for "The Grow"

LeGrow my Eggo

LeGrow: "Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole." Sorry - this is really a good song. Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole - not like you! I mean, this is really a good song. If you understand this cover, you'll understand me. Man, I had this dream I lived in Kent, Washington and played guitar in a grundge band back in 1992. I'm so fucking high. VOTE LEGROW - HE HAS ADD.

"Hi, I'm Wynne LeGrow, my opponent thinks he can just stand up there on his high tower and throw large barrels at me, some of them flaming, while I jump over them? Well, I have another thing coming." Then he pulls out his Mario hammer. - This idea I want to be paid for, I already ran it by Dino Rossi, so there's a bidding war.

So there's this 86 Nissan Maxima driving down the road. It stops at a gas station and the driver gets out. It's (the) LeGrow. He collapses the door (Vanity Fair slang for closing a door) and walks into the gas station. We pull back to the Maxima and the camera runs over its sleek looks. At the end "The 86 Nissan Maxima. Casual Calm." -You'd get mass weird retro people votes. Before you get annoyed - this shit works.

A castle moat. LeGrow is struggling in the briney waters looking up the correct spelling for "briney". This circus ape jumps from the castle and onto LeGrow. LeGrow begins beating back and the ape seems to be beaten, but then a bigger ape with a helmet jumps onto the fight. The two apes pull LeGrow from the water and throw him onto the castle side of the moat. They respect his fight and shake hands with LeGrow.

This kind of humanity is what Virginia needs, don't let any knucklehead tell you different. And just an idea - LeGrow: Ape fighter.

I want, at least, 45567 million for this idea. And the nudes from the Johanssseeennn (spl?) shoot.

LeGrow has a message for Washington lobbyists: FUCK YOU!

I have more...

Wynne_LeGrow267 karma

Thanks, these are all terrible.

-B Brown

levilarrington52 karma

OK. Let me get more Vanity Fair then.

LeGrow, he is "earthy"

LeGrow you know

LeGrowing is half the battle

Wynne! LeGrow! Wynne! LeGrow! Wynne! Can't we win and LeGrow?

The Courtney Love and LeGrow issue

Is LeGrow in shape? You could do one of those half naked Liebovitz shoots with the white curtains and halogens. Then you have Admit It, You're Legrowing One.

Wait, so there's this white horse and LeGrow jumps from off camera onto the white horse and as he rides it towards this tower labeled Virigina Is Rad, he spray paints his name on the side of the horse and the horse whinnies in encouragement?

We could go New Yorker on them: LeGrow isn't the type of guy to be pegged as some weird Antichrist; he reveals himself in the way that he buys fruit at the local Farmer's (Farmer's Market (FM)).

"When I decided to run, I took in account my affinty for Virginia squash."

The candidate is, of course, talking about the squash that Marla Mappleseed plants yearly to bring to the local's FM.

"My wife enjoys making fondue with it. There's something Virginian about squash fondue that resonates with the people. St. Louis has the arch, Seattle has the Space Needle, but Virginia has squash."

In Citizen LeGrow's back plantation he raises squash that he donates to a local harvest.org.

"This here's my favorite!" LeGrow exclaims while walking past a bushel of tubular green and yellows that could spill from the sky on any Fall day.

You get the idea. P.S. let your New Yorker friends know I can cinch this piece to any personality.

Hey, it's just nice to be shot down by a Vanity Fair guy.

Thanks,

Wynne_LeGrow66 karma

Sorry, none of these are pretentious enough to be printed in Vanity Fair.

earfo65 karma

Constituent of WA Congressional district 05, but I had a few questions for Dr. LeGrow.

  • What was the impetus to run for a Congressional seat?

  • You stated that you were in favor of repealing No Child Left Behind, however, you propose alternative methods of funding education. Can you elaborate on some of the proposed alternatives?

  • Your opponent introduced H.R. 6260 in 2008, establishing a monetary incentive for development of energy independence. (Which is odd considering his stance on offshore drilling / climate change) Do you feel like this program is a legitimate path towards finding a solution, or do you propose a different way to drive energy reform.

  • In 2009, you refused to participate in Project Vote Smart, how do you defend your position?

  • Finally, your opponent is a 4th term incumbent in a traditionally republican, white collar district. Do you feel that he wont debate you because he has the numbers already?

Thanks in advance,

Wynne_LeGrow9 karma

1- I was concerned about global climate change and the huge national debt.

2 - I am not an education expert, but I support race to the top program that spends money more wisely instead of just focusing on statistics.

3 - That's unusual, considering his stance on offshore drilling and climate change. Rep Forbes's bill was unworkable. It relies on "scientific breakthroughs" as the only solutions to our problems - when many approaches can now be instituted to encourage energy efficiency. CAFE standards, smart electrical grids, etc. A carbon tax or some sort of cap and trade is clearly needed. We should continue scientific research toward new energy sources, but Mr. Forbes and many other politicians pretend like there's no solution at hand. There is - we just need the political courage to make it happen.

4 - I was wary at first of Project Vote Smart - they offered yes or no questions when the answer what not as clear cut. That said, I recognize the value of the service and my campaign has since made multiple attempts to complete the survey (admittedly after the deadline). Project Vote Smart has not given me the opportunity to answer.

5 - He may feel that he has the numbers but his refusal to debate suggests that he does not have the courage of his convictions. His excuses not to debate are laughable and portray a fear that his ideas cannot hold up when challenged.

jeffinfremont41 karma

[deleted]

Wynne_LeGrow101 karma

Don't worry, the $10 will go entirely towards getting LeGrow elected. We can send you junk e-mails at no cost to us.

[deleted]26 karma

First of all, that would be amazing. Good luck.

As far as questions go:

  • Which issues are you most passionate about? They can be major or minor political issues.

  • what do you think is the number one improvement that could be made in the way American political discourse?

  • What made you want to be a politician?

  • Name a congressman that you look up to or respect, and why.

Wynne_LeGrow8 karma

1 - Global climate change is real and it is caused by human beings burning fossil fuels. If this is not adequately addressed, the world as we know it will change dramatically for the worse.

2 - Campaign finance reform would help level the playing field, especially in terms of getting competing ideas out there for voters to examine.

3 - Eight years of mismanagement by the Bush-Cheney administration convinced me that changes needed to be made and those in power at that time did not have the insight, judgment or knowledge to make those changes.

4 - I admire Barney Frank's insight in dealing with complex problems and his wit in dealing with his detractors.

[deleted]23 karma

I'm a Virginian, but I shamefully don't have a clue which district I'm in. I live in Loudoun County. Do you know which district that is?

Also, if I am in your district, why should I vote for you over the other guy? Or, I guess a better way to word it is, how do you differ from your opponent, other than in a religious way?

Wynne_LeGrow22 karma

Barrett here. You're not in the 4th district if you live in Loudoun, but you can still volunteer or donate (assuming that LeGrow is able to win you over when he answers your question a bit later this week).

[deleted]12 karma

[deleted]

Wynne_LeGrow19 karma

We'll probably be doing a separate post in which we'll reproduce these questions along with Dr. LeGrow's answers.

nomlah10 karma

that's kind of stupid then, why didnt you just wait to do the IAMA until you're man would be ready to actually respond?

Wynne_LeGrow137 karma

Because we're stupid.

intersectv322 karma

What reason is he giving for not debating?

Wynne_LeGrow48 karma

Barrett here. I'm going to go ahead and field this one since I know the answer, which is that neither Forbes nor his campaign has given an answer, even when asked by a newspaper editorial board that has supported him for years. Here's a link to a recent editorial on that particular subject.

iamanogoodliar18 karma

Dr. LeGrow, councilman Les Whinen says that you're not experienced enough to be Virginia 4th's congressman. Sir, what do you have to say about that?

Wynne_LeGrow28 karma

Perhaps Les Whinen should do more thinking and less whinin'.

Eggmont13 karma

you're well-known, sir, for your lenient stance on crime. But suppose for a second that your house was ransacked by thugs, your family tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths, you try to open the door but there's too much blood on the knob

Wynne_LeGrow15 karma

Er, uh, what's your question?

Willravel17 karma

If you know you're almost certainly going to lose (sorry to be so blunt, you seem far more qualified than your opponent), you don't have to hold back in your message. Call people in power on their BS without holding back. Don't worry about pandering to to center or the right. If you believe something and have good reason to believe something, go for it. Sell people on your ideas, don't just stroke their egos by repeating back their assumptions.

Balls and integrity are something seriously lacking from the Democratic party these days. You have an opportunity to set the standard for "Holy shit, that Democrat is awesome."

Wynne_LeGrow19 karma

I think you'll enjoy the press release we send out tomorrow. That's all we can say until then.

DDme11 karma

It's interesting that you are willing to use reddit as a governance tool. I always thought that the world could do with a political/government version of reddit, for policy making and general straight talking. I wanted to design one, but figured that the level of accountability would scare the living crap out of any politician. Do you think the internet is being undervalued as a means for governing through dialogue?

uguysmakemesick10 karma

i like how you threw in that you were an atheist thus solidifying your massive upvotes from the hive.

Wynne_LeGrow17 karma

We like that too.

jdotcole8 karma

How long has Virgina's 4th been controlled by the Republicans? And how long as Mr. Forbes been in the seat?

Wynne_LeGrow23 karma

Randy Forbes has been in office since 2001; previously, the seat had been controlled by a Democrat. Incidentally, the district went for Obama by a slim margin in 2008.

s73v3r7 karma

I find it quite disturbing that an election for higher office such as Representative can go without there being at least one debate.

Wynne_LeGrow33 karma

Well, in Forbes' defense, he's an incompetent coward who would lose any such debate. So walk a mile in his shoes before you judge him.

Barrett here, Wynne would be mildly less antagonistic.

dzle3 karma

Is there a way i can vote for you from texas :)

Wynne_LeGrow29 karma

You've got bigger fish to fry.

Darus5 karma

What'tha a politician thats funny?

Wynne_LeGrow31 karma

That was from me, Barrett Brown, advisor to the campaign. LeGrow is not funny at all.