July 20, 2006

Meet Jon Scott, Candidate For U.S. Congress, District 1

Carroll Andrew Morse

Jon Scott is running for Congress in the 1st District for the seat currently held by incumbent Patrick Kennedy. Mr. Scott is the endorsed candidate of the Republican party. Anchor Rising caught up to Mr. Scott at a recent Young Republican meet-the-candidates event, and offered him a chance to introduce himself to our readers in his own words....

Anchor Rising: Even to the political junkies of Rhode Island, you are something of a blank slate at the moment. What is motivating your run for Congress?
Jon Scott: I am really running for two reasons. One is to get rid of Patrick Kennedy because he needs to go. The second reason is to put a spotlight on the fact we need to shake-up the Democratic power elite. One of the ways to do that is to put the spotlight on Patrick Kennedy, who is part of the biggest power machine in the Democratic party -- not just locally but nationally.

AR: Whatís the one issue most important to you?
JS: My number one issue getting representation for the common man, the working man. Patrick Kennedy is a millionaire, but thereís a misperception that itís the Republican party thatís the party of the country club and the party of the elite. The funny thing is that Patrick Kennedy is all of that but thereís a perception that he's the one fighting for the common man.

I am the common man. He doesnít fight for me. Iíve done things; Iíve been through some hardship. Iíve worked -- which is not a hardship, but it might be to Patrick Kennedy! Iíve worked for twelve years in the inner city and I've lived paycheck to paycheck. Iíve adopted a son. Iíve been through bankruptcy.

Three dollars for a gallon of gas matters to me. I donít think it matters to Patrick Kennedy. I want to help get rid of that perception that this party is the party of elite because the reality of it is that the elites in this state are on the other side of the coin.

AR: Correct me if Iím wrong, but Iíve seen reports where you describe yourself as a ďprogressiveĒ Republican. What does that mean to you?
JS: Iím a Jack Kemp Republican Ė I know that reference goes back a bit. Jack Kemp is a very progressive guy socially. I understand the fact, having been there, that we need a safety net. People need our help. There are people who need the help of government in order to get by. I donít think that needs to be an extended period of time for everyone and I donít think that the business of America should become social services, but I think social services need to exist. Iíve seen our tax dollars spent in a good way on great things and Iíve seen wasteful spending of our tax-dollars. And I think it takes somebody who can relate to understand that there can be a better structure.

A lot of things that the Republican party does I agree with. I am very much a Constitutionalist and a federalist and conservative in an international sense. But the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of social service programs that need to continue and we need to spotlight that. Iím ready to do that and make sure tax dollars that get spent on the good things and not on the things that waste our money.

Tomorrow, Anchor Rising will post its interview with Edmund Leather, who is also running for Congress in Rhode Island's first district.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I never thought I'd see the day when a candidate cites filing for bankruptcy as a reason why he should be elected to Congress.

It's one thing to have grown up poor or to go into debt because of medical expenses or educational. It's quite another to incur so much debt as to go bankrupt. I'd be interested in knowing what caused his bankruptcy.

Let's hear what Ed Leather has to say.

Posted by: Anthony at July 20, 2006 3:02 PM

I never thought I'd see the day when a candidate cites filing for bankruptcy as a reason why he should be elected to Congress.

It's one thing to have grown up poor or to go into debt because of medical expenses or educational. It's quite another to incur so much debt as to go bankrupt. I'd be interested in knowing what caused his bankruptcy.

Let's hear what Ed Leather has to say.

Posted by: Anthony at July 20, 2006 3:02 PM

Progressive Republican? Does he mean a Chafee Republican?

Posted by: rightri at July 20, 2006 5:39 PM

I liked this guy when I saw him at the fundraiser Tuesday night.

He seems like a fresh face and the type of person that can defeat Kennedy. I told Dan Yorke two years ago that the best way to defeat Kennedy is to go to Gregg's in Warwick on a Saturday and just talk to people as they came and went.

Kennedy has a stranglehold on the hearts and minds of people in Rhode Island. But, I do believe people are ready for a change if the right candidate comes along.

I don't know if Scott is that person, but I like what I see and would rather a progressive,Chafee, or whatever kind of Republican you want to call him than Kennedy.

Posted by: don roach at July 20, 2006 5:45 PM


I tend not to make too big a deal about the label a politician chooses to describe himself or herself, so long as the label reasonably matches up with the ideas that the politician espouses. In fact, in general, I prefer the politicians that make some attempt to honestly describe themselves to the politicians that try to convince you that ďmy ideas are so special they defy labelsĒ (ala John Kerry).

I think Jon Scott gave an answer on what he means by ďProgressive RepublicanismĒ that stands on its own merits. In fact, I think he handled describing his ideal of [adjective] Republicanism better than some established politicians in this state have.


Do you see the contradiction youíre presenting in wanting to throw a newcomer over the side for not being perfect at the same time you want Republicans to support the established leadership, even if they disagree with that leadership on almost everything?

Itís supposed to be the Republican Party, not the Republican Cult-of-the-Established-Leadershipís-Personality.

Posted by: Andrew at July 20, 2006 7:12 PM

There is no contradiction. I would still vote for Scott or Leather over Patches. I just don't think either can beat Kennedy and I'd rather see a credible candidate challenge Patrick.

If there were a 1st District primary between an electable Republican and a Republican who stood no chance of beating Kennedy, I would vote for the electable Republican. That's consistent with my view on the Senate race.

don, your advice to Dan Yorke is strange because Warwick is in the 2nd Congressional District and very few voters from the 1st District (Burriville to Little Compton/Newport) ever go to Chelo's in Warwick.

Posted by: Anthony at July 20, 2006 10:57 PM

I said Gregg's and yes they do...

the point was you've got to attack Kennedy's base.

Posted by: don roach at July 21, 2006 5:17 AM

don, I give you credit for the bold suggestion of having a candidate seek votes outside of their District.

Hmm, maybe Laffey is doing the same thing...campaigning to seek votes in Oklahoma....

Posted by: Anthony at July 21, 2006 7:48 AM

I wanted everyone to know that I was contacted by Jon Scott after posting the comment about someone using a bankruptcy as a positive when running for office. He indicated that he had an explanation for it. I say this for two reasons-

1. I thought it was admirable for a candidate to respond directly, so I wanted to give him credit for it; and
2. I think it is important for voters to know, so I'll post the response when I get it. Or maybe Jon can just post it here himself.

Posted by: Anthony at July 24, 2006 10:57 AM

Anthony (et al):

Thank you for the debate about my candidacy. There is a bit of faith that I'm asking for from folks at the outset of this. I realize that I am unknown and that I am facing an uphill battle, but anything can happen and I am quite certain that we have put together a plan that will get our message out and give us the name recognition that we need to win this thing in November.

As far as the bankruptcy goes, we believe that it is my weak point and we don't ever want Patches to accuse me of "keeping a dirty little secret" or use the negative against us at a time of his choosing. I am about honesty and the last hurdle that I had to get through before I signed my papers was: Do I want people to know everything about me?

I don't see the bankruptcy as a real issue. About eight years ago, I adopted my son from the DCYF case rolls. He had some behavioral issues and there was an adjustment period. I don't want to dig too deeply into his privacy, but he has given me some sort of cursory approval to discuss the situation.

I made a commitment to him and was willing to go right to the brink of disaster in order to prove to him that he could count on me and that I was not going to abandon him. I had to leave my job for a bit so that I could spend 100% of my time being a father to him. We survived on my savings and a small stipend from DCYF. The bankruptcy was a strategic move to keep a roof over his head because, in the end, I was just paying out more than I was taking in.

In the end we recovered, though I still feel the effects of being behind for a year. He is doing well and, although we are not totally out of the woods, every day is better and he is a permanent part of my family. I am not inclined to discuss it too much but I wanted the truth to be out there.

Thanks for the challenges as well as the kind words. Seek me out. Go to my web site. Get in touch. I look forward to meeting you and to working for you as we better our state and our nation.


Posted by: Jon Scott at July 25, 2006 12:05 AM

Well said, Jon. I wish you the best in your efforts to send Patrick packing!

Posted by: Anthony at July 25, 2006 2:25 PM