Full Name: Joe Babb
Office Sought: Congress,
11th Congressional District
Party Affiliation: Republican
Phone Number: 571-699-9678
Campaign Email: email@example.com
Structured Interview Request Sent:
11 Feb 2022, 17 Feb 2022, 2 Mar 2022, 4 Mar 2022
Structured Interview Response and Date:
23 March 2022
Vetting Panel Selected: Pending
Structured Interview Completed: Pending
Biography: Joe Babb is a retired 20-year career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. He entered the Foreign Service in 1999, and served overseas at the U.S. embassies in Mexico, Spain, and Latvia, and at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey. Domestically, Joe served as a senior advisor to the International Joint Commission, which administers the U.S.-Canadian treaty on sharing the Great Lakes and border rivers. He finished his career working on international trade negotiations in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. He served on the interagency teams that renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, now USMCA), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the European Union, and the initial free trade treaty discussions with the United Kingdom following their Brexit vote. Joe was also an accredited delegate to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) committees on agricultural trade.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Soil and Water Science, specializing in stream and river biology, from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA in International Business from San Diego State University. From 1988 to 1999, Joe worked as an environmental management specialist with the County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use, analyzing the environmental impacts of development projects and creating satellite mapping and computer modeling for the region’s Multiple Species Conservation Plan.
Joe is married to music teacher Maria Babb, whom he met while serving in Madrid, Spain, and they have two high school-age children. The family attends Burke Community Church. Joe speaks Spanish, Latvian, Turkish and Russian, and coached for five seasons with the Springfield South County Youth Club (SYC) in volleyball and flag football.
Why you? For the last 20 years, we’ve allowed the extreme ends of the political bell curve to lead the discussion in our elections, education, and in the media. The far left and far right have used caustic rhetoric, violence, and non-factual arguments in their attempts to polarize our society. The resulting tribalization of politics and demonization of our neighbors has led to gridlock in politics. Neither party in Congress shows the courage and creativity needed to find solutions that put the country’s long-term well being above short-term electoral interests. As our great leaders like Kennedy and Reagan demonstrated, working to reach bipartisan solutions does not involve compromising values, it involves finding overlaps of interests, areas of agreement, and objective truths. Finding those common areas, however, takes working relationships built on civility and respect for our fellow Americans, and solutions rooted in facts rather than ideological spin.
I believe I have the demeanor, integrity, range of experience, and positive message that can not only reach my fellow Republicans, but also the 100,000 moderate Democrats and Independents that we need to bring on board to win in the 11th. I will show my Democratic and Independent neighbors the same respect as I show my fellow conservatives, and will strive to prove workable solutions to the issues they care about with the same vigor that I give to Republican themes. Reagan built a broad coalition in a similar time of high inflation, rising gas prices, and Russian aggression. I firmly believe we can restore that positive majority in our community to meet the challenges of our day.
What are your priorities? My first priority is to change the tone of politics. We need to not only stop the hate-filled language we use between the parties (and even inside each party, at times), we also need to stop using unnecessarily alarmist or factually-misleading talking points. Each party should be able to articulate its policies and values in a civil fashion and defend those beliefs with level-headed evidence and facts.
Only through improved civility and discussion can we make large-scale progress to solve the country’s pressing issues, the greatest of which is our ballooning national debt. We can no longer kick the can down the road, as our massive debt and endless deficit spending is resulting in 40-year highs in inflation. The growing burden of interest payments on the national debt threatens all other government spending, from social programs to military outlays, and printing money to cover the debt could eventually crush the value of the dollar, making imports of needed good and components unsustainable. Both parties need to come together to surmount Senate filibusters and pass measures to balance our budget and prioritize government expenditures.
Endorsements: Scott Dudley, Account Executive, CMG Financial
BS Soil and Water Science, University of California, Davis, 1987
MBA International Business, San Diego State University, 1991
U.S. Department of State Economic Course, Foreign Service Institute, 2006
Relevant Employment History: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State, 1999-2019
Environmental Management Specialist, County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use, 1988-1999
Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge: None.
Past Offices Held and Tenure: None.
Community Service: Hunt Valley Precinct Captain, Republican Party, Fairfax County, VA
Springfield South County Youth Club (SYC) coach, volleyball and flag football
Leadership Experience: Pol-Econ Deputy Chief, U.S. Embassy Riga
Deputy Principle Officer/Political Officer, U.S. Consulate Adana
Personal Strengths: Integrity, Persistence, Optimism, Open-mindedness, Love of Learning, Compassionate, Independence
What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? I am running for office to make a positive change in what I see as our deteriorating political discourse. I have no financial or career ambitions in mind, and in fact was fully enjoying retirement the last two years after 18 national and international moves during my life. I just want to correct the course I see both parties heading down and see us restore our country’s financial integrity.
How would your friends and family describe you? Hopefully they see me as loving, faithful, giving, full of humor and serving my God.
What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? Obviously, I believe that the Constitution provides the legal core on how we base our society and the necessary direct root of our laws, but I’m also in Abraham Lincoln’s camp in believing that the Declaration of Independence is the truly inspirational American document. I abide by the the 16th Amendment’s creation of an income tax, but hardly view it as transformational and uplifting as “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”
What are your thoughts on religious liberty? I firmly believe in not just the right to religious belief, but also to the “free exercise thereof” as expressed in the First Amendment.
What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? It depends on what is meant by preservation. We should always strive for the truth in our definition and teaching of history. We should never be afraid of constant examination and research of our historical tenets, and revise them as new factual information dictates, but history should never be altered or obscured due to passing ideological desires that find historical facts inconvenient. Truth is our always the goal.
What are your thought on government transparency? Government needs to be transparent and honest, especially at the civil servant level. It would be great if elected officials and political appointees avoided “spin” and misleading propaganda, but it is absolutely unacceptable for civil servants to engage in such practices. Our professional public servants must stick strictly to facts and honest transparency.
What are your thoughts on national defense? I join Reagan in believing that a strong military deterrent is a key to maintaining peace. We should never strive to be a militaristic people or a bullying nation, but we should always be prepared to act, to treat military service as honorable, and to be faithful to the commitments we make.
What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? The free enterprise system is the greatest tool in human history in eliminating hunger and lifting humanity out of poverty. As America showed the world in the decades after casting off monarchial rule and the remnants of mercantilism, and China has recently shown in a single generation, letting people have control of their own labor and property, and enter into mutual exchanges with others, leads to the highest societal benefits. Society plays a role in ensuring that those mutual exchanges are honest and of free-will, and that markets are free from barriers to entry or competition, but the rights of individuals to make their own decisions is preeminent.
What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? It has obviously been difficult for our society to reach agreement on abortion due to the intermixing of religion, science and the law…with conflicting views not just between those aspects, but also within each aspect. My Christian faith leads me defend the right to life for the unborn child, but equally leads me to compassion for the mothers struggling in difficult situations. The best remedy I personally find is to advocate for support to women in crisis pregnancies and providing as best as possible viable alternatives to abortion for those women. Hillary Clinton ran on the platform of making abortion “safe, legal and rare”. I think we can find common ground in society in our desire to make abortion as rare as possible.
What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? I do believe that the nuclear family is important and plays a key role in making for a healthy and successful society. Stating that does not diminish acknowledgement of the love and effort of those who for various reasons don’t live in traditional nuclear families, but neither should we ignore the proven benefits of traditional families in an effort to avoid hurt feelings. We can both honor the traditional family structure as the desired societal goal while honoring the demonstrated character of those in other circumstances. It’s not a zero sum situation.
What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? Equality of rights, justice and opportunity for all is a founding principle of our country since the Declaration of Independence. While it is lamentable that the desired equality expressed in that document was not immediately realized, it cannot be discounted how earth-shatteringly revolutionary that statement of equality was. After thousands of years of human civilization formed around the ideas of family lineages, monarchial rule, caste systems and societal stratifications, the bold American statement of the innate equality of all set in motion chains of events throughout the world. Sadly, the current focus on equal outcomes (the “equity” movement) as a goal in and of itself appears to me as individuals giving up on equality out of frustration. Stating that all differences in outcomes in our age must be due to residual discrimination or institution inequalities just seems like a lazy offramp to a quick fix. While finding the root causes of why individuals succeed at differing rates is difficult and frustrating, it is a necessary exercise to determine if inequalities persist or if cultural influences or individual choices are determining factors. Simply mandating equal outcomes for all papers over discrepancies, it doesn’t solve them.
What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? I am a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms. Whether for hunting, home protection, or even the unlikely need to defend against tyranny or invasion, I believe in the safe and legal ownership of personal weapons. That said, I do not have a problem with gun registration and criminal background checks that are respectful of the 2nd Amendment and done in a Constitutional and not overly burdensome manner. I also agree that red flag laws are beneficial to protecting society in demonstrable cases of danger to the community, such as domestic violence perpetrators, those with violent psychological problems or compulsions, or other imminent threats. However, I believe there is a danger of the misuse of red flag laws by individual officials or jurisdictions, so I will only support red flag laws that include the provision that a jury of one’s peers makes the determination of potential danger.
Additional sources of information on this candidate: