Sixth District Candidate Ready to Challenge Goodlatte

Karen Kwiatkowski addresses the June Tea Party meeting.

by Valerie Garner

Karen Kwiatkowski announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 6th congressional district Thursday at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. During her speech she challenged incumbent Republican Bob Goodlatte to a series of public debates.

The Roanoke Tea Party has offered to host the first debate after the fall elections. “We expect at least three debates. I am ready to meet the incumbent anywhere in the 6th district and talk publicly about the issues,” she said.

Kwiatkowski’s campaign theme and election promise “is simple and rock-solid,” she says and “Reduce, Redirect and Rein-In” the federal government, she said. She describes herself as a conservative constitutionalist.

If you count the “applause-o-meter” interruptions during Karen Kwiatkowski speech to the Roanoke Tea Party in June, it signals a future endorsement. She hit all the right notes.

When asked why she thinks Goodlatte needs to go, Kwiatkowski said he is “a go-along, get-along guy … he is an establishment Republican.”

“His constituents are not happy with him,” she claimed.

Chip Tarbutton, president of the Roanoke Tea Party, said they’d look at endorsements for 2012 after Virginia’s 2011 elections. If a primary were the method selected, it would take place June 12, 2012.

Thursday she said the “[Republican] party talks the talk, but does not walk the walk … I am a Republican who honors the Constitution, believes in liberty and is a hard-core fiscal conservative.”

Kwiatkowski believes that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional and the 16th and 17th amendments should be repealed. Though she would abolish the federal income tax, she doesn’t support the Fair Tax. By abolishing the 17th amendment, she would return the power to governors and state legislators to appoint Senators to the U.S. Senate. “It has produced U.S. Senators who cannot be accountable to the people they represent,” she said.

Kwiatkowski or Goodlatte will face Democrat Andy Schmookler, who so far is the only Democrat seeking the Democratic nomination. Both Schmookler, 65 and Kwiatkowski, 50 live in Shenandoah County close to the West Virginia border.

She plans to take Goodlatte to task on his votes for Obamacare, raising the debt ceiling, and affirming the USA Patriot Act of 2001. “The Patriot Act is unconstitutional,” said Kwiatkowski.

She admonished Goodlatte for not proposing the elimination of ethanol subsidies, then reversing his stance when “establishment leaders of the GOP told him to.”

“Fortunately, my opponent has in many ways been working hard to get me or someone like me elected,” said Kwiatkowski.

She opposes all subsidies and reduction of the budgets of federal agencies and audit of the Federal Reserve. “I oppose the politically-demanded printing of money and tax increases of any kind,” she said.

Kwiatkowski supports bringing the troops home to “conduct real border defense” and placing them under governors’ control.

By the government’s actions she believes that “Social Security and Medicare have been made into  dangerous Ponzi schemes … “we must transition away from being a nanny state,” she said.

She would support reducing congressional pay and benefits and support legislation to require all members of congress to read bills before they vote.

“No earmarks,” she said and “do away with the No Child Left Behind legislation.”

“A truly free market is the only way to keep America strong and productive,” said Kwiatkowski.

Kwiatkowski is a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel. She lives on a farm near Mt. Jackson with her husband. She has four grown children and two grandchildren. She has a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University of America. She admits to having no significant political experience, saying that her articles, opinion pieces and public speaking engagements have been her participation in politics to this point.

From May 2002 to February 2003, she served in the Pentagon’s Near East and South Asia directorate (NESA). While at NESA, she wrote a series of anonymous articles, “Insider Notes from the Pentagon.” Kwiatkowski was in her office inside the Pentagon when it was attacked on September 11, 2001.

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