actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Request[AMA Request] Someone who has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law for illegally torrenting/downloading content

Jul 19th 2017 by holdthedoor444 • 26 Questions • 808 Points

Hi, I’m Robb Ryerse. I am running for Congress because I believe that the people of Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District deserve an independent voice in Washington. I will put the needs of people ahead of the desires of the party establishment, corporate lobbyists, and special interest donors. I also want to help restore the Republican party to its historic values.

My wife and I are both ordained ministers, and together, we co-pastor the Vintage Fellowship in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or, as I like to call it: “America’s best kept secret.” We follow in the footsteps of Jesus, doing good works, and opening our arms to differences of opinions. Vintage Fellowship, at its core, is all about care -- care for those less fortunate, care for our community, care for our neighbors, care for our family and care for our planet. Since its inception, our goal has been clear: we welcome all people. LGBT and folks from all backgrounds, creeds and colors. Even skeptics are encouraged to join us. We recently joined a group called OPEN, which is an alliance of progressive-leaning churches that embrace our view of Christianity. We are committed to lending a hand to anyone who needs it including aiding the resettlement of refugees in our district, something our current congressmen tried to shut down.

You may have seen me on Fox News recently. Honestly, we expected it to be pretty rough -- but it ended up being an incredibly positive experience. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we received afterwards from Republicans across the country who were disgusted by the state of politics today.

Check out my website here: Robb2018

This campaign is 100% people-powered. I don’t accept a cent of corporate donations or PAC money -- only individual small donors. If you want to help, you can donate here: Donation Page

Connect with me on social media: Facebook & Twitter

If you're interested in learning more about Brand New Congress, come join us at /r/BrandNewCongress.

PROOF!

Lastly, I want to mention the Summer for Progress. Brand New Congress has teamed up with 19 other progressive organizations to support 8 progressive bills. If you want to join the movement, please sign our petition!

I'll start answering questions at 2 PM CST / 3 PM EST. AMA!

Q:

It happened to me.

I was downloading the first part of "the hobbit" for about 3 min before I stopped it because the slow speed annoyed me.

I had to pay 800 € (about 900$).

It definitely wasn't worth it but what's worth it is the 10$ a month vpn I'm now paying for.

A:

As someone who has never been there, I am genuinely curious as to how your political views align with those of the voters in your district. I can't help but think that a great many folks in a district that went 62 - 31 for Trump may not necessarily agree with many of your more progressive social stances. What is your plan to carry the vote while also appealing to voters with more traditional, socially conservative views?


Q:

What happened when they contacted you? Did you try to ignore it?

A:

You're right, the President won my district pretty handily. I think that is evidence of the fact that people are sick and tired of carrier politicians who put the desires of the party establishment and corporate donors ahead of the needs of everyday people. My campaign is about being a representative voice for AR-3 because people are more important than party. I think that message appeals to a lot of folks, regardless of their party affiliation or who they voted for in 2016.


Q:

I called a lawyer.

Stuff like that is serious and shouldn't be ignored.

A:

Thank you for your response, Mr. Ryerse.

As someone who genuinely believes that it is more important now than ever for people of different political threads to come together, if not for common causes than for common civility, it's refreshing to know someone like you is entering the fray, even if your views don't necessarily align completely with mine.

Good luck to you, sir.


Q:

How did they tell you that you were being fined? Letter in the mail? Email?

A:

Thanks for your kind words. We don't all have to agree. But we do need to get along!


Q:

I live in the district, I'd say good his views are pretty consistent with the local mix of well-meaning, conservative, southern Christians and very liberal, free-thinker types.

edit: autocorrect

A:

I think so too.


Q:

As a southern Christian can you explain the current disconnect of the republican party to the actual teachings of Jesus? How can so many evangelicals support the republican party as it is today without appearing to endorse sin and evil deeds? How can you align with a party that seems to do the opposite of what Jesus taught?

A:

We all have a tendency to stray from our core beliefs over time. So much of life is about finding and returning to what is most important to us. I can’t speak for all southern Christians just like I can’t speak for all Republicans, but I know in my life the teachings and the example of Jesus have become more and more important. I hate that my party is often known for policies and programs that seem to be in opposition to my understanding of what Jesus taught and the example he set.


Q:

For federally backed student loans, (a) would you support forgiving all student loan interest, (b) eliminating compounding interest for student loans, and (c) instituting a 3% simple interest rate?

A:

I'm not ready to endorse specifics today, but these all seem like reasonable ideas that should be on the table.


Q:

Thanks for the answers. I look forward to seeing what you can accomplish in the future. Any plans of becoming president?

A:

Ha.


Q:

First, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for running. We need people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to reject corporate donations and do their best work for the American people. I'm a Democrat and while I may not agree with you on everything, I certainly respect you more than just about every corporate Democrat in office.

Environmental issues greatly affect people across the country, both in rural areas and urban ones. Having clean water and air are basic requirements for a safe and prosperous life. What is your view on climate change, and what do you believe needs to be done about it? Also, what would you do about corporations that pollute the environment and affect public safety?

Thanks for your time.

A:

Climate change is a reality that has clearly been impacted by human beings. I think we need to focus on investing in a green energy economy that will be good for the environment and the job market. We also need to make sure that while we're rolling back unnecessary and burdensome regulations on small businesses, we don't lose the needed protections we have in place for the environment.

For me, the environment is an issue that is deeply informed by my faith. In my faith tradition, the story begins with God placing people on this planet to enjoy and steward it, not to rape and pillage it or consume and destroy it. It bothers me that so many other Christians seem to forget this.


Q:

You're going to run up against the question of how to pay for it. What do you have planned?

A:

I saw something the other day that said the current system costs $49 trillion, but Medicare for All would cost $32 trillion.

Most Americans would see their take-home pay increase with a Medicare for All approach.


Q:

What historical figure do you style yourself after?

A:

Not sure I'd say I style myself after him, but I am always moved by the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German theologian and pastor who was one of the very few church leaders to speak out against the Nazis. He was arrested for being a part of a plot to assassinate Hitler and died in a concentration camp just a few days before it was liberated. A true hero.


Q:

What are the "historic values" of the Republican Party you'd like to return to? Can the party be reformed, and, if so, how?

A:

Yes, I believe the party can be reformed. Parties and platforms change over time. The how is by independent-minded Republicans like me speaking up and running for office and pushing for change.

The historic values I'd like to see the party return to are: - Meaningful Tax Reform - Wise and Competent Government Spending - Liberty and Opportunity for All People - Cautious International Engagement


Q:

Can you expand on each of those? Most of those points could mean a great many things.

A:

Meaningful Tax Reform - let's close the loopholes that allow big corporations to get away with paying virtually no taxes

Wise and Component Spending - let's cut waste and invest in ways that will benefit the most Americans possible rather than giving bailouts to fat cats, which means we focus on things like creating high wage jobs through infrastructure and green energy economy and then make sure we have the needed workforce through investment in education and technical training

Liberty and Opportunity for All - let's make sure all people can live their lives with freedom, which means we tackle a whole host of issues from immigration reform to ending mass incarceration, as just a couple of examples

Cautious International Engagement - let's end wars of choice


Q:

What do you think is at the heart of the Christian faith?

Relatedly, who is Jesus and what were his intentions?

A:

Love.

To me, Jesus is the intersection of the divine and human who lived, died, and rose again to show us the love God has for us.


Q:

How did you decide to get an earring?

A:

Well, my mom wasn't real happy about it.


Q:

Were you nervous about going on Fox News? When I heard you were going to go on there, I was very surprised.

A:

A little bit, but honestly, the producers and crew we worked with were very professional and kind. It was a great experience.

And I'll tell you this - nothing motivates you to clean your house like a national TV news crew coming over.


Q:

What would you do in terms of workers' rights? The Republican party is notorious for cracking down on unions and favoring the employers over the employees at almost every turn. What would you push for in terms of labor if elected?

A:

I think we need to start with a living wage. The Republican party used to be supportive of making sure workers could live on what they earned. We need to get back to that.

Just imagine how much spending we do on social programs could be rendered unnecessary if people could actually survive on the wages from a full-time job.


Q:

Do you side with the republican party out of principle or political necessity? Please explain.

A:

I am a lifelong Republican who decided that I would stay in my party and fight for needed change. Joe Scarborough recently made news for leaving the GOP. I totally understand his decision. But I want to work for progress within a party that's been co-opted. There are more independent-minded Republicans than we all realize. We can make a difference.


Q:

What convinced you to move to Arkansas?

A:

We moved to Arkansas 12 years ago to start Vintage Fellowship. We came here because we wanted to be near a university and in a growing part of the country. What we've found is home. Northwest Arkansas is simply the best kept secret in America. It is so optimistic and innovative. We're never leaving.


Q:

What are the top 3 things you want to change in Washington right now, whether possible or not?

A:
  1. Let's fix the healthcare crisis once and for all with Medicare For All.

  2. Let's get money out of politics so that our elected officials will actually serve the people who elect them rather than the corporate donors and lobbyists who own them.

  3. Let's make sure that all people, regardless of race, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, background, wealth, etc. has equal access to liberty and opportunity.


Q:

Hey Robb. What's the biggest challenge you're facing as an independent Republican running with BNC in this race? What do you think is the best way to get over that challenge?

A:

Hey Sarah! Everyone should check out https://brandnewcongress.org/Candidates/sarah-smith. She's will make a great representative of the people of Washington state.

The biggest challenge for me is fundraising in the face of a well-supported incumbent. Congressman Womack is bought and paid for by his corporate donors. Our campaign is people-powered, as yours is. We're not accepting special interest or corporate money, which means we've got to rely on the support of everyday of Americans.

That's the challenge - but the benefit is so important - when we're elected, we'll be beholden to serve the people who supported us, not corporate lobbyists. And that will make all the difference!

Vote Sarah Smith in Washington 9!


Q:

Are you willing to seize the means of production and lead an revolutionary movement to remove the bourgeoisie?

A:

I'm more of a "love your enemies" kind of guy.


Q:

What is your stance on abortion? Are you pro-life and antiabortion?

A:

I am prolife, but I think the best way to reduce the number of abortions is through access to healthcare and education. I think the focus of the prolife movement ought to be more focused on these things that have actually worked at reducing abortions rather than overturning Roe.


Q:

What's it like being the father of a two year old, and a college student, and running for office -- all simultaneously?

A:

Plus, I co-pastor our church and work a full-time job.

Honestly? I don't watch nearly as much Netflix as I used to. That, and I'm tired a lot. But I can't imagine doing anything else right now.


Q:

Hello Mr. Ryerse, What legislation would you support in regard to campaign finance reform? Would you like to see federal disclosure legislation, new Supreme Court decisions, or a Constitutional Amendment? Also, would you support legislation at the State level in regard to this issue?

A:

We need to get the corrupting influence of money out of politics. So many other issues will never be able to be addressed until this one is because of the power of corporate donors.

I'm not taking PAC money or corporate donations. I think that's the way it ought to be so that our elected officials end up serving the people rather than their corporate donors.

Yes, I would support states addressing this issue, but I also think it will require a federal solution - probably coming from the courts since our legislators are bought and paid for by their corporate donors.


Q:

How does your wife feel about you running for Congress? How did you two meet?

A:

We met in college in PA. Our 21st anniversary is right around the corner. She's my whole life.

And ... all of this was her idea. She first learned of Brand New Congress and introduced me to it. If she weren't 100% in, I wouldn't be doing this.


Q:

Where do you get your news?

How will u resist blindly falling for the often unverified claims of the establishment (Iraq has WMDs and the like)?

Do you support getting rid of voting machines?

What do you think of Ranked Choice Voting?

A:

I think one of the biggest problems in our current system is that so many people stay within their own echo chamber. So, I intentionally read Drudge, FoxNews, HuffPost, and CNN everyday. I also get a lot of my news on Twitter.

Since my campaign is about People>Party, my loyalty will be to my voters not the establishment. Not to mention ... I'm a naturally skeptical person.

Not sure on the voting machines. I get that we're worried about hacking and interference, but I tend to be someone who wants to see us moving forward with innovation and technology.

I think Ranked Choice Voting is a really interesting idea that needs to be studied. I'm not opposed to it.


Q:

Not sure on the voting machines. I get that we're worried about hacking and interference, but I tend to be someone who wants to see us moving forward with innovation and technology.

I recommend watching the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy"

A:

I'll check it out. Thanks.