Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview with Republican candidate for Congress, Matthew Berry (VA-8)

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Berry, Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives, in Virginia's 8th congressional district, which is currently being represented by Congressman James Moran (D), a radical Liberal who has recently questioned millions of Americans and their Patriotism because of their belief terrorists should not be tried in America. This is the 28th in our interview series.

Matthew Berry was a Clerk under Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court, and is exploring a possible run for Congress, please visit his website at , and help defeat Congressman Moran, the worst of what Washington has to offer.

Tim Knight - Mr.Berry, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you are exploring a possible run for Congress.

Matthew Berry - I am 37 years old and moved to Northern Virginia after graduating lawschool to pursue a career in public service. I have had the privilege of clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, two outstanding jurists. I worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, primarily on counter terrorism policy. And I most recently served as the General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission. As the FCC's chief legal officer, I was responsible for managing an office of approximately eighty employees, providing legal advice to the Commission, and defending the Commission's orders in court. During my tenure at the Commission, I am proud of the work that we did to promote broadband deployment, bring more competition to the cable television marketplace, safeguard consumer privacy, and use communications technology to protect public safety. Outside of my work, I am a huge sports fan. I follow football and baseball closely, and attend about 8 Washington Nationals games a year. I also like to go to the movies as often as possible.

I have launched this effort for two reasons. First, I am deeply concerned about the direction in which the federal government is headed. We have a record budget deficit of $1.4 trillion this year, and we are projected to run up at least another $9 trillion in debt over the next ten years. Our present course is not sustainable and imperils our long-term economic future. We must bring spending under control and address our long-term deficit problem in a serious manner. Yet, all Congress is doing is passing new spending program after new spending program. And, what has all this spending accomplished? We were told that if the stimulus package was enacted, unemployment wouldn't go above 8 percent. Well, it's now over 10 percent, and some Democrats are pushing for another stimulus package? It reminds me of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different results.

I am also trying to get a campaign off the ground because I believe that Virginia's 8th District can do far better than Jim Moran. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Jim Moran has failed to live up to the standards to which we should hold our elected representatives. For example, I don't think that it is appropriate to take almost a million dollars in campaign contributions from the PMA Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm, and its clients and then channel over ten million dollars in earmarks to those clients. Nor do I think that it is acceptable to make offensive comments about Jewish Americans, such as blaming them for the Iraq War.

TK - Mr.Berry, Congressman Moran (D) has in recent weeks compared the Republican party to the Taliban, and called those who oppose the transfer of terrorists to the United States "un-American", what are your thoughts on the unprofessional attitude of Congressman Moran and is contempt for those of differing political beliefs?

MB - I believe that the recent comments by Congressman Moran are offensive, divisive, and unbecoming of a United States Congressman. Let me address his comment on the Taliban first. His insinuation that Virginia Republicans are somehow sympathetic to the Taliban is absurd, particularly given that Republicans, by and large, are supporting General McChrystal's request to send to Afghanistan the additional troops necessary to defeat the Taliban, whereas Jim Moran not only opposes General McChrystal's request, but actually called days ago for President Obama to start a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan!

Moving to his comment about the Obama Administration's decision to try 9/11 conspirators in a civilian New York City court, it is appalling for Congressman Moran to question the patriotism of the millions of Americans, including many relatives of 9/11 victims, who believe that terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried by military commissions rather than in civilian courtrooms. Furthermore, Congressman Moran’s comment reflects a basic ignorance of American history. Military commissions were used to try war crimes during the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War II. Therefore, the use of a military commission to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would have been entirely in keeping with American history and tradition.

TK - Mr.Berry, the 2009 Virginia elections we're a Republican blowout, as Governor elect Bob McDonnell, the two other fellow Republicans running for the executive office, and Republicans running for the House of Delegates had a stellar year after losses over the past few years, could this help your campaign?

MB - Yes, the results of the 2009 Virginia elections were very encouraging and give us tremendous momentum heading into 2010. I think that Virginia voters made it clear that they were concerned about out-of-control government spending, record budget deficits, the proposed government takeover of the health care system, and the job-killing cap-and-trade bill. I also think that Virginia voters responded to the fact that Bob McDonnell ran a substantive campaign and emphasized many specific policy proposals for improving the quality of life in the Commonwealth. I plan to run a similar campaign, and you can check out my specific policy proposals on my website ( Finally, we also saw tremendous enthusiasm among Republican volunteers that I believe will carry over into 2010.

TK - Mr.Berry, what basic principles is your campaign based on?

MB - I believe that we must bring federal spending under control, keep taxes low, and address the mammoth federal budget deficits that poses a serious threat to the long-term future of our economy. I believe that we must maintain a strong national defense and aggressively prosecute the war on terror. And, as a general matter, I believe that we should empower
Individuals rather than government. These are my basic principles.

TK - Mr.Berry, do you believe your campaign can bring all Republicans together in a common goal of defeating Congressman Moran?

MB - Yes, I am confident that my campaign can bring Republicans together behind the common goal of defeating Congressman Moran. Republicans, like many other voters in Northern Virginia, are sick and tired of Congressman Moran's antics, offensive comments, and ethics problems, and they realize that the residents of the Virginia's 8th District can do far better. During my campaign, we will keep the focus on Congressman Moran's troubling record as well as those principles that unify us as Republicans.

TK - Mr.Berry, Congressman Moran has made several terrible votes over the past few months, if you could elaborate on what you would have done differently if you we're Congressman?

MB - Most recently, I would have voted against the House health care reform bill. At a time when the federal budget deficit is more than $1.4 trillion and the federal government is projected to run up more than $9 trillion in debt over the next ten years, it is completely irresponsible to create another large entitlement program, particularly since entitlement programs almost always end up costing far more than is projected at the time of their creation. And, at a time when the unemployment rate is over ten percent, it would be a terrible mistake to impose the new taxes and mandates on businesses that are contained in the House health care bill. On the health care issue, I also disagreed with Congressman Moran on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. I believe that it is important to maintain current federal law and prevent taxpayers' dollars from being used to subsidize abortions. I therefore would have voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

I could go on for quite a long time about all of the issues where I would have voted differently than Congressman Moran recently, but I'll just quickly summarize a few more. Unlike Congressman Moran, I would have voted to defund ACORN. Unlike Congressman Moran, I would have voted against the jobs-killing cap-and-trade bill. Unlike Congressman Moran, I would have voted for a bipartisan resolution that expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas missile attacks from Gaza. And unlike Congressman Moran, I would have voted against the pork-laden omnibus spending bill that contained over 9,000 earmarks.

TK - Mr.Berry, from what I understand, you we're once a Clerk under Justice Clarence Thomas, what was that like sir?

MB - Clerking at the Supreme Court for Justice Thomas was an amazing experience. You have the opportunity to work on the most difficult and important legal issues, and it is fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes. I came away from my clerkship with a renewed appreciation for the importance of judicial restraint. It is the job of judges to interpret the law, not to make the law or impose their personal policy preferences on the American people. I also came away from my clerkship with tremendous admiration for Justice Thomas. He is a great person for whom to work, and he called them as he saw them. He didn't care about doing what was popular; he just cared about doing what he thought the law required.

TK - Mr.Berry, how can the average American help your campaign?

MB - First, we need to amass the resources necessary to get our message out to the voters. We know that Jim Moran will be able to raise plenty of money from lobbyists and unions so I am going to need average Americans to donate to my campaign. Every small contribution helps, and you can donate through my website. As we get closer to the election, we will also need volunteers to carry our message to the voters. In the 2009 Virginia elections, there was a surge in Republicans making phone calls and going door-to-door, and we will need to keep that up in 2010.

My fellow Conservatives, this is a campaign effort we must support.

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Matthew Avitabile said...

Awesome job, Mr. K!

varsity lakes said...

John McCain is the Republican nominee-to-be while Obama is the Democratic nominee-to-be. They will both be confirmed during their parties' convention during the summer.

varsity lakes said...

I think he's generally considered a lunatic. The Republicans didn't really run anyone legitimate because Baucus is extremely popular. Kelleher is one of those guys who runs for anything and everything - he probably won the nomination because nobody had heard of any of the other candidates and people recognized his name.

varsity lakes said...

Sure seems that way. Have not seen much press about McCain since Palin was introduced.

Surfers paradise said...

"Obama has the following to say at a stop in the town of Beaverton. 'It is wonderful to be back in Oregon. Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.' "