I'll be back at 7pm EST to answer questions. I'll answer as many questions as I possibly can.

Check me out and ask away: PowellForVA.com or on Facebook or Twitter

The current top post about Cantor on the front page shows what we're up against.

Proof: PowellforVA.com Q&A session tonight on Reddit.

Edit: (7:15pm) What a response!

Edit: I'm typing as fast as I can, but for those of you looking for this: I am completely against both SOPA and PIPA. I believe in a free internet.

EDIT: I'll keep answering questions for as long as I can tonight, and I'll come back tomorrow, too.

EDIT: Taking a break now to watch the Colbert Report and do some research so I can answer more questions. I'll be back. Thank you all for participating tonight.

If you're in a position to so, and are so inclined, please sign up to volunteer or you can donate through my website or donate directly through ActBlue.

Comments: 2084 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

captshady805 karma

1) What is your stance on SOPA, PIPA, or generally any bill allowing for government control of the internet, without due process? 2) What is your stance on a limitation of terms on members the House and Senate? 3) Stance on Unions? (A general good, or bad, and why) 4) Stance on Corporate Personhood 5) What do you plan on doing, that will make you different that a carbon copy politician who's vote is for sale to the lobby?

WaynePowell987 karma

1) I am against both SOPA and PIPA. I believe in a free internet. 2) An educated public will impose term limits, but if that doesn't work a Constitutional Amendment would be in order. The way money is corrupting politics, I think we might be getting close to that point. 3.) I favor Unions because it balances the power between workers and management. 4.) Corporations are not people. 5.) I won't take money from SuperPACs. I want all my contributions from real people.

skiddleybop59 karma

upvote for you, mostly due to the amount of undue frothing at the mouth reddit has been collectively doing since you didn't answer in 5 minutes. Also for seeming level headed.

WaynePowell135 karma

Thank you. It is hard to answer 900 questions all at once!

WaynePowell288 karma

I am against both SOPA and PIPA. I believe in a free internet.

BravuraRed468 karma

Whats your stance on NASA funding for space exploration?

WaynePowell1197 karma

My father-in-law worked for NASA developing the thermal shield for the shuttle program, so this topic is often discussed in my home. We need to increase space exploration. I support going to Mars and establishing and outpost on the moon.

easygenius648 karma

Aaaaaaand you've got my vote.

ToffeeC68 karma

Always be suspicious when someone tells you exactly what you want to hear. Especially a politician.

WaynePowell343 karma

I’m not a politician. I’m a retired veteran, small business owner, attorney, husband, father and grandfather. This is my first run for public office.

I’ve spent a lifetime fighting for ‘justice for all.” When I decided to go to law school, I’d heard the familiar refrain about lawyers taking advantage of people, and that it was necessary to compromise your values to practice law. I never believed or accepted that. I became a practicing lawyer to seek justice through our legal system.

[deleted]113 karma

Veteran, small business owner, attorney

Good idea what war is really like, knows how to make something profitable and keep it that way, and knows how to read the legal jargon written into long bills.

If I was in your district, I would vote for you.

WaynePowell55 karma

Thank you.

DV1312140 karma

Europe here. Do you like to go to the prom Mars with us? Or should we ask Russia?

WaynePowell339 karma

We'd be glad to go to Mars with Europe. We're much safer than Russia. (And Australia is invited.)

manyamile315 karma

As a resident of the 7th, I've been disappointed that Cantor has repeatedly refused to engage in a debate with his opponents. How will you prevent him from successfully dodging this important aspect of the election process?

WaynePowell1099 karma

I'll challenge him to a debate and if he doesn't show up, we'll just use a cardboard cutout in his place -- and rebut his on-the-record comments.

I challenge Cantor to a debate anywhere, anytime, any topic.

StellaLiebeck264 karma

Considering the general advantage incumbents have in election, especially someone like Cantor who i'm sure has a lot of special interest money, how do you plan to legitimately challenge him?

WaynePowell490 karma

With your help. That’s the only way. Money isn't the only way to reach voters. I've been extremely active in appearing in local groups and talking to anyone that will listen.

But ultimately, it's being visible. We do need money to reach more people, and we're hoping to get the support of people who share our progressive values and goals....no super-PACs, no secret money in my campaign.

[deleted]261 karma

What are your thoughts on gay marriage and abortion?

WaynePowell247 karma

LGBT: I am pro-equal rights.

I believe in equal rights for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered citizens. I favor the repeal of DOMA and I advocate marriage equality as well. Everyone should be treated equally - period.

I am pro-choice, and I believe it’s an issue of equality and civil rights. 

Decisions regarding reproductive health should be made by the patient. A woman has the right to control her own body and a right to privacy.

WideLight33 karma

You need to tell all the Democrats in the country to stand up and say what you just said here. IF they would all show this kind of conviction and, lets be honest, cojones, we'd see a whole lot more of your party on the national stage.

[edit]fixed the spelling of boxes since I'm not fluent in Spanish

WaynePowell161 karma

I've been told to tone-down vocalizing my support for LGBT rights. That's not how I roll.

BearDick252 karma

1) Do you think there is a realistic solution to the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana that both parties can get behind?

WaynePowell216 karma

I believe THC should absolutely be permitted for medicinal purposes, no question.

I'm still researching the impact/benefits of legalization/decriminalization. I'm not dodging the question, I'm simply not prepared to speak off the cuff about a topic that encompasses everything from Cancer research and the environment to prison overcrowding and freedom itself.

So, help me sort it out. Please post your arguments and links; and please suggest books I should read or videos I should watch. I'm running for Congress to represent the people. You have my ear.

StephensonB161 karma

As a veteran, what do you think of America's military presence in Afghanistan?

WaynePowell406 karma

I am a retired Colonel from active duty in 2002. I commanded a specialized intelligence unit that was the first of its type mobilized after September 11, 2001.

I believe we should leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. I'd like our military presence to end within six months.

Duke_Newcombe72 karma

Watch out for being "Swift-boated" by your opponent, if you make it to any significant level of recognition in your district. Military service to your country only counts if you have an (R) after your name, after all. /s

GhostedAccount55 karma

I doubt he would know "/s" means your comment was sarcastic.

WaynePowell91 karma

My wife knew that one, and I'm all-too-familiar with IOKIYAR.

webby_mc_webberson148 karma

How much of your decision to do this AMA has been influenced by the power of reddit and other social media sites in swaying public opinion?

Also, which of your staff is the redditor who prompted you to do this AMA?

WaynePowell284 karma

None of my staff/volunteers are Redditors to my knowledge. I was prompted by Redditors contacting me on Twitter, and yes, I was influenced by the power of social media. It's impressive!

Shiny92155 karma

None are Redditors "to your knowledge" - Believe me, we are everywhere!

Zlibservacratican138 karma

We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not... fuck with us.

WaynePowell153 karma

duly noted!

Pyehole25 karma

I'm curious whether you get the reference.

WaynePowell114 karma

I do. But, the first rule is that you do not talk about.....

theruins50 karma

Mr. Powell as a member of the 7th district I've been waiting for a challenger to Eric Cantor and seeing this reddit post has made my day! You have my support!

WaynePowell69 karma

Thank you so much - join the fun: sign up to volunteer

ryelee143 karma

Why do you think my taxes should support a country such as Israel? They have nuclear weapons and lots of money. They don't need out help and we cannot afford it.

Do you support Obama?

I am a Virginia resident. What is your stance on public transportation? Street cars in Virginia?

WaynePowell124 karma

Our tax dollars should primarily support America, but foreign aid supports our National Security interests.

Yes, I support Obama.

There should be more use of public transportation. I'd support the return of Street Cars to Virginia.

themcp30 karma

There should be more use of public transportation.

Please allow me to suggest you have a look at Skytran. It's a next-generation public transportation system designed to be more useful and more affordable to customers than traditional systems with lower impact on neighborhoods, and run at a profit. If you're interested in it, I can put you in touch with one of the people behind it from MIT if you send me a private message.

WaynePowell29 karma

I'll PM you. Skytran looks very interesting!

beastmonster141 karma

What are your feelings on the NDAA bill?

WaynePowell323 karma

It makes me think of a saying that comes from Benjamin Franklin's time - "If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both."

In my view, that provision is probably unconstitutional and would be ruled against by a court because of that. It should not have been in the defense budget bill anyway, and the bill should not have been passed with that in it.

WorkerBeeWI107 karma

Virginia requires that defendants in criminal and civil cases provide their own language interpreters if they do not speak English, meaning it is entirely possible for... say, refugees living there legally to be arrested and convicted of crimes without ever understanding anything said to them during the arrest or trial. Additionally, state programs in Virginia that distribute federal assistance do not provide language interpretation for refugees - even though federal law requires it and the Justice Department has in the past come down hard on other States doing the same thing. As a former Virginian, I was horrified to know this was going on and is resulting in significant abuses to the most vulnerable people in society - people we, as a nation agreed to assist and support. What are your thoughts on this and if elected to a federal office, would you take actions against your home State, if you knew they were breaking the law?

WaynePowell212 karma

I have extensive experience with non-English speakers in court. If elected, yes I would immediately take action against any state (including VA) breaking the law by denying anyone access to interpreters, regardless of immigration status.

I speak several languages, I'm fluent in Spanish and French.

[deleted]86 karma


WaynePowell102 karma

I think an Obama, Tim Kaine and Wayne Powell ticket has a good chance against the fading Tea Party. It won't be easy without your help, though!

Maxmidget84 karma

If you could unilaterally pass a single piece of legislation, what would it be?

WaynePowell269 karma

The Dream Act. Kids shouldn't suffer for the acts of their parents.

32koala67 karma

Hello, Mr. Powell. It is a pleasure to get the opportunity to talk to you. How many koalas do you think could fit in a car? (A normal sedan—like a Honda civic.)

WaynePowell321 karma

Only five koalas, because there's only five seatbelts. We have to protect our wildlife.

[deleted]66 karma

As a Virginia state resident and a person who lives in Blacksburg next to Virginia Tech, I want to know what your stance is on H.R. 822, or the National Right to carry reciprocity act.

WaynePowell44 karma

I would support reciprocity as long as there's standards set for all the states.

andrewsucks65 karma

As someone who grew up in Western Hanover it's hard to get excited about the Democratic candidate from the 7th district. However I must admit after reading through your 'About me' section on your website, you're the most promising shot against the status quo here in years. A couple quick questions...

  1. How do you compete with the big money Cantor is going to throw at you?

  2. How do you plan on dealing with the large rural, traditional Republican populations throughout the district?

  3. Lastly, what can we do to help?

Thank you for your time Mr. Powell and good luck!

WaynePowell107 karma

  1. I won't compete with big money, but I plan to use the money I have from small donors creatively to get my message across.
  2. I plan to tell them that my background is just like theirs. They should vote for the man and not the party.
  3. Volunteer, spread the word, and send your winning Powerball tickets to..donate

southnole56 karma

Where do we donate? Cantor has got to go.

WaynePowell43 karma

Donate on my website: donate

Servalpur50 karma

What's your stance on campaign finance reform?

Also, how do you feel about the revolving door between Washington and the private sector? Specifically the way certain representatives will work in Government for a few terms, vote and write bills that favor certain organizations, and then leave Washington to sit on the boards and lobby (at a very substantial pay increase) for the same companies they helped while in office. If you disapprove of the practice, what would you do to stop or reduce it?

Finally, why should we the voters trust you? We see every election that candidates trot out a list of promises, only to run dead center and accomplish very little, all the while pandering to population and preparing for the next election.

WaynePowell103 karma

I think politicians should be barred from lobbying for five years after leaving office.

WaynePowell62 karma

To quote myself: As a citizen politician, service to the people should be paramount, and there should be very clear laws to prevent undue influence by corporations and the wealthiest Americans. This would include: a total bar to insider trading by congressmen and women who are overseeing issues relation to investments; a total bar of any former congressman from advising or performing lobbying services for any corporation or entity regulated by Federal law.

Pryach50 karma

What is your personal religion, and how would it affect the way you legislate.

WaynePowell165 karma

Born and raised a Southern Baptist, but to quote JFK:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

DrowningSink43 karma

What is your opinion/stance on Citizens United v Federal Election Commission?

WaynePowell123 karma

Corporations are not people.

sorry4partying41 karma

Have you met Cantor?
If so, what's he like?

WaynePowell176 karma

No, I haven't met Cantor. I don't care what he's like, I care what he's done. (Which is nothing for anyone but his cronies and corporations.)

MustStopMasturbating26 karma

What is your opinion/stance on the Occupy movement?

Good luck this November. Here's hoping you'll cream that little obstructionist weasel.

WaynePowell24 karma

I've went to Zucotti Park in October and wrote about it on DailyKos: OWS: The basis of all that is good and right about our country

chezygo25 karma

Which of the amendments is your favorite?

WaynePowell57 karma

The First Amendment, because it protects the most important freedoms we have.

[deleted]21 karma


WaynePowell6 karma

I believe THC should absolutely be permitted for medicinal purposes, no question.

canadamoose1820 karma

Would you have given the speech at the University of Pennsylvania?

WaynePowell24 karma

I would have given that speech, absolutely yes!

mphtmnslt17 karma

Would you agree that insider stock trading is wrong? Would you agree that Congress being exempt from insider trading isn't fair for the rest of us reeling from the woes of Wall Street?

Would you agree that it is highly unethical and un-democratic for Rep. Eric Cantor to indefinitely postpone the "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act" (STOCK ACT)? The bill would hold our Congressional leaders the same standards that we're subjected to.
Will you support this bill?

WaynePowell26 karma

Yes. Yes. Yes. And not only would I support I would sponsor it.

ListenToTheMusic17 karma

What are your thoughts on the State of the Union address? Also, do you have any thoughts on the 'future of capitalism', a current hot-topic at the World Economic Forum?

WaynePowell9 karma

I thought it was perhaps the best SOTU address I've ever heard in my adult life. President Obama hit on many progressive issues that I care deeply about. The president was very clear and specific about laws that need to be acted upon -- and I agree they need to be acted on now.

The Republicans came up way short in their response.

Drunk_Wombat16 karma

You are going against one of the most recognized republicans in the country by today's standards. How exactly do you plan on garnering the momentum in your campaign to drum up the support outside of left-leaning people who are looking for a different message but are finding it it hard to vote for someone with a D in front of their name?

WaynePowell41 karma

I need to convince voters they should vote for the man and not the party label. I need to break through complacency and show people why a vote for Cantor is a vote against their own self interest.