Last night the Arlington Virginia Democratic Committee hosted the last debate of the 8th congressional district’s crowded campaign. Thankfully there were only seven candidates present last night.
The debate turned out to be one of the best of the debate-heavy campaign. Each of the seven candidates submitted a single question that the other six candidates had to answer.
State Delegate Patrick Hope’s question for the other candidates was on whether the others supported mandatory arbitration contract provisions and a bill co-sponsored by retiring Rep. Jim Moran banning them. Hope’s question was clearly aimed at perceived frontrunner and car dealership owner Don Beyer.
Mandatory arbitration provisions waive an employee’s legal options and the right to sue if there’s a dispute.
Beyer told the audience last night he had only recently heard of the contracts but had instructed his brother and the Chief Operating Officer of his car dealership to eliminate the contracts. But after the debate, Patrick Hope’s campaign manager Ben Tribbett posted a photo of what Tribbett says is a mandatory arbitration contract from Beyer’s car dealership on facebook.
“Don Beyer claimed in tonight’s debate that he eliminated his mandatory arbitration contracts in January. Totally false. Here is a contract dated March 29th with the provision still in,” Tribbett wrote on the facebook post. The contract was first reported by Lowell Feld at Blue Virginia this morning.
“I talked to my brother and my COO, and said if we have any contracts like that in the business, get rid of them, both with our employees and with our customers, and we did that immediately,” Beyer told the packed room at the debate in Arlington last night.
Beyer’s opponents are attempting to paint him as a candidate who will say anything to get elected who isn’t a real Progressive. Given that Beyer has been out of legislative life for 18 years, unlike Del. Hope, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille and State Senator Adam Ebbin, the charge lingers.