While Gareth Rhodes is the baby, Dave Clegg, at age 65, is the oldest of the candidates. His website says he’s “the only candidate who has lived in and worked for this district for his entire career.” Yet farther into his website, if you click on “Human Rights,” he says he “spent two years representing Native Americans in Nebraska and North Dakota,” then “worked for two more years as lead litigation attorney for Western Nebraska Legal Services.” You or your website manager need to correct that contradiction Dave. On the other hand, I certainly cannot fault a man for spending 4 years in forlorn territory earning subsistence wages for defending low income Native Americans. What’s not to like about a career social justice lawyer who got his Master’s Degree at Yale Divinity School, and has an ongoing list of volunteer work, church service, and community service that is longer than both of my arms? I really worked hard to find some article that contradicts what he says about himself, even paying $25 to “truthfinder.com” to get all his personal (including criminal records) and occupational information – but, unlike Flynn and Ryan, none of the report consisted of anything illegal, unethical, immoral, or even “shady.” I got so desperate I even just googled “Criticism of Dave Clegg.” At first I thought I was on to something when I ended up at a website called “kiwifarms.net,” viewing an article that began with “King Critic (real name David Clegg) is a z-list you tuber who’s become infamous in certain circles for being vocal about society’s supposed mistreatment of pedophiles” [in his case, men who are extremely attracted to 12-15 year-old girls]. However, after listening to this “David Clegg” call into “The Dick Show” podcast, I decided the voice on the call did not match up with the Dave Clegg I have heard in the debates, so there must be more than one David Clegg in this country.
If Jeff Beals dropped out of the race I would vote for Clegg, but here are the reasons I DON’T recommend voting for him: 1) The Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org) reports that as of June 6, 2018 Clegg’s campaign had raised had raised $586,243, of which $183,078 (31.23%) was raised from “Large Individual Contributions,” and $353,453 (60.29%!) came from “Campaign self-financing! Only 8.72% came from “Small Individual Contributions.” I can’t understand how ANY man aged 65, whose net worth is large enough that he’s willing to toss $353,453 of his own money into a primary race that mathematically he has a 14% chance of winning, could possibly relate to working class people. 2) He performed the worst in the debates (no passion or charisma displayed, no innovative ideas, and was a dogmatic rule-follower who cut himself off in mid-sentence whenever “time” was called ) probably because he’s just so doggone nice! I can’t imagine him fighting his colleagues for a bill in committee; 3) He’ll have no immediate friends in Washington to work with (unlike Jeff Beals, who’ll have a pre-formed coalition of “Justice Democrats” to work with) – and no help from the DNC or DCCC (they’ll just start on Day 1 beating his door down to ask how much money he’s raised so far for his re-election campaign); 4) He says he believes that “there are many people of faith living in this district,” and wants to use his religious background to connect with people, and I’m a firm believer in the Separation of Church and State; 5) He is after all a lawyer, and do we really want more of those in Congress? I grew up around a lawyer culture – my mom was a paralegal, head secretary, CPA, and office manager for one of the largest law firms in Binghamton for 27 years, and my first wife was a legal secretary. Lawyer are trained to argue effectively, and for some this spills over into their personal lives – being “right” can become more important than being happy. To work in Congress effectively, you can’t just argue – you have to bargain, persuade, cajole, flatter, and sometimes use the carrot and sometime use the stick; 5) Dave’s volunteer work and community service is so extensive and valuable that I want to keep him HERE – right in Kingston and Woodstock, to keep on doing it! Let’s not waste his talents and compassion for his fellow human beings in Washington!