Congressman Rick Boucher met with members of Floyd’s Coffee Party at the Floyd Country Store on a recent Saturday morning. The meeting preceded a Town Meeting with the Congressman at the Floyd County High School Auditorium.
Seeking to be more engaged in the democratic process, a dozen members of the local Coffee Party chapter were present. Also in attendance was the current Chair of the Floyd Democratic Party, Deborah Baum.
At the meeting, several questions were raised concerning corporate power versus the will of the people, and the Supreme Court’s recent decision to lift restrictions on corporate campaign spending. “If they have all the money and power, we don’t have a chance,” voiced one frustrated attendee.
Pointing out that a polluting industry or corporation can campaign for a candidate under a misleading name like Virginians for a Bright Future, Boucher said he was working on legislation that would hold campaigning corporations more accountable. “We can’t overturn the Supreme Court decision but we are working on legislation called Stand by Your Ad,” he explained.
Community Organizer Freeda Cathcart spoke about the importance of teleconference calls for uniting supporters and activists. Deborah Baum announced that the Floyd Democratic Party would be hosting an information booth at the town Jubilee on June 19th. She invited everyone to a dinner for Boucher at the Pine Tavern that evening and encouraged people to attend an upcoming Democratic Party meeting at the library.
Boucher spoke of his support of SustainFloyd’s new Farmer’s Market, which was in full swing across the street. He also talked about his work on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which he said considers issues that corporation and citizens care about, related to health care, consumer protection, telecommunications, energy, and environmental laws.
To a concern voiced about offshore drilling and the current BP oil disaster in the Gulf, Boucher replied, “BP may be criminally negligent.”
He stressed the importance that individual supporters have in the outcome of an election, noting that he would need their efforts in the next election. “I’m happy to see so many people around this table,” he concluded.