McKelvey: Rage against the machines
Candidate for GOP nomination pushes power to the people
Story by Chris Graham
That the political winds are shifting, as evidenced by the upset win in Massachusetts by Republican Scott Brown in the race for the late liberal scion Teddy Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat, is not a surprise to Jim McKelvey.
“The problems are the politicians in D.C. They’re elitist. They think they know more than we do. Since getting involved with the Republican Party, I realize it’s not just the politicians. It’s the political machines. They’re all hellbent on power,” said McKelvey, who despite his concerns about party machinery is running for the Republican Party congressional nomination in the Fifth District.
The Moneta-based real-estate developer went into “defense mode” with his business interests after the 2008 election. “I made a conscious decision back then that until the 2010 election in Congress, I’m not doing a thing, because my take is, that’s where the problems originate,” said McKelvey, who announced his candidacy for the nomination in November on the radio talk show of former Charlottesville City Councilor Rob Schilling.
“Quite honestly, I’m scared for the future of this country. To the point where it forced me to run for Congress. I tell people, I didn’t want to run for Congress. I don’t want to go to D.C. I live in paradise here. I love what I do. But I am literally scared to the core about what’s happening to our republic,” McKelvey said.
“Congress is the problem. I’m so tired of putting people into office that just throw that political rhetoric at you, tell you what you want to hear, and then go and do their own thing to protect their own interests. We have to put the country’s interests first,” McKelvey said.
McKelvey’s platform jumps out at you first and foremost with his pledge to not take a salary while in Congress and his promise to serve two terms “and then come home and get back to work.”
“I’m limiting myself to four years. If I can’t get it done in four years, I don’t deserve to be in there. I’ve got an agenda I want done, and I’m going to work to get it done,” said McKelvey, who lists as his top issue priorities repealing any health-care reform effort that might pass Congress, working toward adoption of a balanced-budget amendment and a related 20 percent across-the-board federal-spending cut.
“If we can increase spending 20 percent in two years, we can cut it 20 percent in two years. My take on it is that we could cut spending 50 percent and still have a bloated federal government,” McKelvey said.
It’s a crowded race, to say the least, for the GOP nomination in the Fifth. Seven candidates have their hats in the ring, with the attention being on State Sen. Robert Hurt from Southside as the anointed frontrunner.
McKelvey chafes at mention of Hurt being the candidate of the party establishment.
“What is Congress doing right now with the health-care bill? Sixty-five percent of the people don’t want it, and feel like they’re shoving it down our throats. Why? Because they feel they know better than we do. Go to the Republican Party. They’re pushing Robert Hurt. Why? Because they feel that they know better than we do,” McKelvey said.
“Every citizen in the Fifth District should make their voices heard. I’m doing this through the campaign. And take note of this. I’m staying on board with this – I’m here with this from here to November,” McKelvey said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind if Tom Perriello is on the ticket and Robert Hurt is the Republican candidate that a strong conservative candidate will beat them both. Enough of the politicians and the attorneys in D.C. We need real people to fix the problems,” McKelvey said.