Douglass Attacks Hurt on Uranium Mining Money, Medicare
July 30, 2012 11:28 PM EDT
John Douglass, the Democrat trying to unseat 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt had some tough words for the incumbent Republican Monday night.
At a town hall panel discussion at C'ville Coffee in Charlottesville, Douglass said Hurt has no business taking campaign money from groups that support uranium mining. He calls Hurt's family's connection to the uranium mining industry a conflict of interest.
Douglass says Hurt shouldn't accept campaign money from groups that want to pursue uranium mining in southwestern Virginia because his father, Henry Hurt, once invested in the business.
"I think that mine would be a disaster. And I think it's a huge conflict of interest for his family to be a proponent for opening that mine and for him to be in a situation where he can influence decisions," he said.
This is not a new charge against Hurt. Groups supporting former Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello made similar accusations back in 2010.
In the past, the Hurt campaign has called charges that he supported uranium mining because of a family connection patently false.
Douglass also spoke on a number of other topics such as education, support for veterans, and ways to reform Medicare spending.
On Medicare, he said Republican plans to partially privatize Medicare are not the answer. Instead, he says, the government should seek out waste, fraud and abuse, streamline the program with new technology, and consider raising the age of eligibility.
"We are going to have to look at the eligibility requirements as the population changes. It doesn't make any sense to have a set of rules that were designed for population, age X, and then 15-20 years later, the population is X plus some increment, and have the same rules," he said.
This year, Congressman Hurt voted in favor of a budget which would raise the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 from 65. The bill would have also changed it to a voucher system where seniors would purchase health care from either the government or a private insurer.
A Douglass campaign official estimated about 70 people attended Monday night's town hall.
We did reach out to the Hurt campaign, but have not received a response.
Douglass Attacks Hurt on Uranium Mining Money, MedicareMore>>
Derick Waller joined the NBC 29 news team in August, 2010. Prior to this, Derick graduated with degrees in both broadcast journalism and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story