Radle Mounts Campaign Against Moran in Democratic Primary

Franconia resident’s platform includes cutting taxes, strengthening economy

On his website, Will Radle calls Democratic primary opponent Rep. Jim Moran an “icon for insularity, arrogance and corruption.”

In person, he’s more conciliatory.

“Obviously, when you have a 20-year incumbent, the first question is, ‘Why are you running against Jim?’ And it’s like, no. I’m running so Jim, his family, our community can have a better quality of life,” Radle told Patch recently.

“I’m not running against Jim,” he continued. “I know this may sound naive, but I’m running for Jim. I want him to have a better life. I want his family to have a better life.”

Although he has never held elected public office, Radle has served on a number of local committees, including the Lee District Land Use and Transportation Committee. A Franconia resident, Radle is one several challengers Moran will face in the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th District.

His platform centers on economic growth, and Radle said he aims to double the GDP of the United States in the next 10 years.

His aims are high. Radle’s platform includes:

  • Making Social Security solvent without reducing benefits
  • Providing every American similar health care coverage allowed to congressmen and senators
  • Increasing household income
  • Balancing the budget and eliminating the federal deficit
  • Lowering tax rates
  • Lowering the cost of American production and increasing international competitiveness
  • Investing up to $2,000 per public school student annually to increase grade-level proficiency

Radle also wants to eliminate the income tax, the alternative minimum tax, gifts and estate taxes and the corporate income tax. This would allow the United States should exploit its comparative advantage of local manufacturing to increase production and achieve greater competitiveness, he said. In return, he would institute a national retail sales tax -- the so-called FairTax -- at a starting rate of 20 percent and a legacy tax on net worth.

These measures, he said, would help restore confidence in government and create a culture of sustainability. “We have an issue of trust,” Radle said. “We have an issue of confidence. When the credit bureaus are questioning our solvency, rightly so … we need to move forward with confidence, and we need to treat the federal government as an entity to invest in.”

Although his proposals for tax cuts may take a conservative or libertarian bent, Radle said his ideas are not the purview of Republicans alone.

“I think that economic growth is a nonpartisan issue,” he said. “I think that lowering the cost of production is a nonpartisan issue. I think increasing investments in education, I think that universal health care, with embedded choice and competition … is a core mission of the Democratic Party.”

On social issues, Radle said he supports equal rights for the LGBT community and universal health care. He is also pro-choice.

Carl Sell, who has served with Radle on the Lee District Land Use and Transportation Committee, called Radle a man who “asks a lot of questions.”

“He’s learned a lot,” Sell said. “It’s a very difficult thing to grasp. Land use is not just for someone to fly in and fly out, so he’s made an effort to graph the intricacies of land use. I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but I know that he has done his homework.”

Don Tasker, past president of Radle’s community association, the Franconia Commons Homeowners Association, said Radle was a friendly person.

“He’s just an all-around good guy in the community, as far I know,” Tasker said.

Humble roots

A Fairfax County native, Radle survived what he calls “challenging times” early in life. His father died when he was in high school, and Radle became homeless and struggled with depression. For a time he lived in the Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter on Route 1, where the staff, he said, was very supportive. He went on to graduate from Northern Virginia Community College.

His past, Radle said, has influenced his political outlook.

“I think it’s helped strengthen my empathy for people and instilled a desire to listen, a humility,” he said. “You’ll never hear me say I don’t really care about the really poor, because I care about people along the entire socioeconomic spectrum. I want wealthy, affluent Americans to be wealthier, more affluent tomorrow than they are today. The basis of my plan is expanding opportunity for every American.”

Radle formerly worked as an insurance agent for AFLAC but left that job last year to focus on his campaign, he said. In 2011, he ran as an independent candidate for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Democrat Sharon Bulova won that race, with Radle receiving only 1.53 percent of the vote.

Radle also took a lead in creating a nonprofit called the National Education Trust, although the organization's funding fell through when the recession hit.

In July 2010, Radle pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in Arlington County. He received a 12-month suspended sentence and was required to enter an anger management program. Radle has said the incident was an argument between adults over a parking space and noted he pleaded guilty under an Alford plea, in which a defendant claims innocence while acknowledging prosecutors likely have enough evidence to obtain a guilty verdict.

Radle lives with his wife and their four dogs.

Herb Smith March 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
What are the issues the next congress will face? Radle's Fair tax and net worth tax? No, because the nation has never had such taxes and these novel ideas will never get through Committee without the support of Treasury, Tax policy Center, and other experts. Besides CBO, Radle should send his plan to Treasury, Tax Policy Center, and other organizations for comment, because the other members of Congress are not going to bother reading such a novel tax plan without the blessing of experts. What will be an issue in the next Congress is Obama's job plans. In particular, does Radle support increased infrastructure spending now while interest rates are low, the construction sector suffers high unemployment, and the need to repair crumbling infrastructure is so very high? Or, would he join Republicans who oppose any additional government spending now? Will Radle even answer such questions? President Obama is trying to lead this country to a strong economic recovery and greater economic fairness, but he is being fought every step of the way by the Republican House. Would Mr. Radle support the President? It's clear he's got big ideas and wants to be the lead thinker. Can he also cooperate with the President's initiatives? That's the critical question in this eelection.
Will Radle March 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Herb Smith, this past weekend with wonderful weather, thousands of people went to their local hardware and big box stores buying something they do not want. You see, they wanted holes in the wall, but they bought electric drills. Respectfully, your focus on the tools of change is misplaced. My vision is a greater living space with increased household incomes, lower costs of American production, quicker economic growth, universal quality health care, and expanded access to opportunity. Do you want to use a hammer or a drill to do the work? My plan brings over $400 million annually to Virginia's 8th Congressional District with local control. Our need for traffic infrastructure remains critical in our community. If you read the plan, you will see I am advocating smart investments in our future. What are the visions and tools my challengers bring to the job site? My blue print is available for everyone to see. Thanks for the question.
Herb Smith March 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Mr. Radle, You've got a very fine vision for the future, and you've articulated it very well. However, every candidate for the Congress has an a similar vision. They all advocate growing the nation's economy - - in 70 years of watching politics, I've never seen one who didn't! So, the issues before the Congress involve HOW to get that growth and there are major fights about which policy tool to use. You say I've got a misplaced focus on the tools, and you are quite correct about my focus on the tools. I believe that is now where the issues before Congress are. For example, right now Boehner and the Republicans claim immediate spending cuts will increase incomes and employment, while Pelosi and the Democrats think the opposite is true. On immediate spending cuts as an appropriate and effective tool for growth, I know where Jim Moran stands on that. It's not clear to me where you stand on the question of immediate spending cuts, and also not clear on many other such tool-focused questions before the nation. Sincerely, H Smith
Will Radle March 22, 2012 at 07:48 PM
James P. Moran is not serious about preventing future government shutdowns, about repatriating trillions of American dollars, about economic growth and job creation, about making Social Security solvent without cutting benefits, about universal health care, about increasing household incomes. I support candidates who will do the necessary work. Ms. Leonard chose in her subtitle to not emphasize that my plan makes important investments in education and provides universal quality health care with embedded choice, competition, national portability and positions patients and doctors as the central relationship in medicine. James P. Moran will never chair a subcommittee in the US House. The Progressive Caucus will make certain that never happens. I appreciate that you have been watching politics in the past 70 years. Do you remember Howard Worth Smith? He represented Virginia's 8th Congressional District for nearly 36 years, from 1931 to 1967, ultimately serving as a powerful Chairman of the House Rules Committee. He represented our district longer than any other person since the establishment of our nation, yet most people do not remember Mr. Smith. What landmark legislation has our incumbent written in 22 years? Will he be remembered in 45 years? I have not seen his vision or plan for effective solutions. Have you? We live in serious times. We need serious statesmen who will prepare us for our future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3q5NyxI8nk&feature=related
Will Radle March 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Mr. Smith, today I withdrew from the campaign and endorsed Bruce Shuttleworth so we are not dividing the opposition to the incumbent. I am a team player. Thank you for your interest and encouragement. I will continue to serve on state, regional and local public committees as well as nonprofit boards.


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