Full Name: Carl Bedell

Nick Names: 

 

Office Sought: House of Representatives, 7th Congressional District of Virginia

 

Party Affiliation: Democrat

 

 

Campaign Website: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/

Campaign POC: Unavailable

Phone Number: Unavailable

Campaign Email:
info@bedellforcongress.com

Structured Interview Request Sent: Refused 2024.

Structured Interview Response and Date: Refused.

Vetting Panel Selected: Refused

Structured Interview Completed: Refused

Biography:

“I am Carl Bedell, a proud American, Army veteran, lawyer, and small business owner, and I’m running for Congress in Virginia’s 7th District.” (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Our Nation deserves leadership that is principled and pragmatic, that upholds the morals and values we expect of those that govern. We need representation that will continue to find common ground and develop common sense solutions. I will be that leader in Congress. I will work to return respect to Washington, rebuild the confidence of our Nation in our elected officials, and be a testament to the belief that our representation should be, and can be, leaders of character who value and extoll the principles of honesty and integrity. As a moderate Democrat, I believe in governing in a fiscally responsible manner and transcending party lines when necessary to achieve the common good. I will always put our Nation and her people before politics. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Carl has a family legacy of service to our nation that dates to David Bedell, Carl’s 4th great grandfather who fought in the Revolutionary War. Carl’s mother, Colonel (Retired) Mary Bedell served for 34 years in the Army and his father was a Sailor during the Vietnam War. His ancestors have served in nearly every major conflict in our Nation’s history. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

As one of three sons in a military family, Carl’s childhood was transient – he was born in Kentucky and grew up in rural communities in Missouri and Oklahoma before moving to Germany with the U.S. Army. He attended Washington University in St. Louis on an ARMY ROTC scholarship where he studied marketing and international business and had his second opportunity to live aboard, this time in London, England. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Following college, Carl was commissioned in the U.S. Army and served in assignments with NATO and U.S. Army military intelligence organizations. He completed his military service as a Captain and Counterintelligence Special Agent. After graduating law school from Georgetown University, his work as a lawyer has focused on advocating for Veterans and small businesses. In addition, as a small-business owner and consultant to the Federal government, he has worked to enhance financial management operations and promote accountability of tax dollars and transparency of how those funds are spent. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Carl has a lifetime of commitment to his community. He has served on local and state boards focusing on Veterans issues, cancer research, and the arts. He is the current Vice Chair of the Virginia Board of Veterans Services, having first been appointed by Governor McAuliffe and reappointed by Governor Northam. While living in Northern Virginia, he served on the Arlington County Commission for the Arts and Chaired the Arlington County Public Art Committee. He also has served on numerous boards for museums in the Washington D.C. area. Philanthropically, Carl is the founder of multiple programs to raise money to support Veterans organizations, to provide morale-boosting activities for ill, injured, or wounded Armed Service members, and to champion artists. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Carl’s professional and civic experience provides real-world understanding of the issues facing our District, the Commonwealth, and our Nation. Carl lives in rural Greene County on a small homesite near the Shenandoah National Park. He grew up in small towns in middle-America and visiting his grandparents’ farms. And since his childhood has been an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and hunter. He understands rural America and the issues in those communities. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

​He also understands urban America. His final military assignment brought him to the Washington, D.C., area where he called home for 18 years. There, he attended law school, worked as a government contractor, opened his law practice, and built his management consulting company. He served on County boards and worked to improve the cultural fabric of the community through non-profit organizations. He lived the commuter’s life, spending hours commuting to and from work in and around Washington. He understands the issues facing those living in the I-95 corridor.

Carl’s professional experience provides a foundation to be an effective leader on the issues before Congress. His service in the Army provides him the national security experience we need in Government. After living abroad for over six years, he understands foreign policy and the importance of international relations and our NATO allies. As a small business owner, he has experienced the challenges of building and sustaining a small business. And pertinent to the 7th Congressional District, as a government contractor, he understands the local economy supported by government spending. Through his work on federal financial accountability and transparency issues, he has a keen understanding of the federal budget process, and the impact that failures to fund the government have on federal employees, our military, and government contractors. As a lawyer, Carl understands how laws should be written and how the legal system works. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Virginia’s 7th Congressional District is a moderate district with most of the population density centered on the I-95 corridor, yet the majority of the counties are formed by rural communities. The electorate votes moderate, and the District deserves representation that can understand, relate to, and represent the entire District. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Carl is a moderate Democrat. He believes in social justice, civil rights and social policies that support all Americans while governing in a fiscally responsible manner that supports our business community and grows our economy. He believes in strong defense policies that maintain our national security and sustain our Nation’s role as the leader of the free world. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Carl is a proud American and believes that we the people share far more similarities than differences and that our Nation and our citizens should always come before politics. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

 

Why you? See biography above.

What are your priorities?

Carl believes in governing in a fiscally responsible manner while developing commonsense solutions to address the issues facing our Nation – and when it is necessary, transcending party lines to get things done for the common good. At his core, he believes in people before politics. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

He is principled and pragmatic, believing that our elected officials should uphold the morals and values that are expected of our Nation’s leaders. His campaign platform is to return respect to Washington and rebuild the Nation’s belief that elected officials should be, and can be, leaders of character, leaders who value honesty and integrity. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

​​His positions on some of the major current political topics are listed alphabetically below:

Climate Change and Clean Energy

Climate change poses the largest environmental challenge we face – it threatens our economy, our water and food supply, and our national security. We must include environmental impact considerations in every act of Congress. We can use our federal legislative powers to provide funding that spurs innovation that combats climate change, while also driving economic growth. By investing in cutting-edge technologies, we can improve the efficiency of renewable energy, curb methane and carbon emissions, and secure America’s place as the global leader in clean energy. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

I will support legislation that builds a competitive clean energy economy that puts workers and communities first, accelerates the transition to clean energy, prioritizes a modernized renewable energy infrastructure and enforces emissions reduction programs. But these efforts must also ensure that clean energy solutions have minimal environmental impact. This means scrutinizing every aspect of technologies such as electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines, from production to disposal. By prioritizing environmental stewardship throughout the lifecycle of clean energy technologies, we can effectively mitigate potential harm and pave the way for a sustainable future that safeguards our planet and natural resources for future generations. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Criminal Justice Reform

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world—higher than China, Russia, or Iran—whether measured in total prisoners or percent of population. Virginia has an incarceration rate of 749 per 100,000 people – the 17th highest rate of all states, and a higher rate than the U.S. average overall. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the U.S. spends $81 billion annually on mass incarceration, a figure that may be an underestimate, with the Prison Policy Initiative suggesting the actual cost is closer to $182 billion. With one in three working-age adults in the U.S. having an arrest or conviction record, barriers to employment hurt our economy and exacerbate labor shortages. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

We must reform our criminal justice system. This means reevaluating mandatory minimum sentences, enhancing police accountability, and investing in initiatives addressing the root causes of crime, including poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse. Prioritizing reentry is paramount. Returning citizens confront significant challenges in securing safe and affordable housing, facing nearly 10 times higher rates of homelessness compared to the general public. Limited housing exacerbates difficulties in finding employment, accessing healthcare, and reintegrating into society. As your representative, I will advocate for policies and legislation aimed at addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment, strengthening reentry programs, and implementing community-based crime prevention strategies. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Economic Growth

I believe every American should have the opportunity to succeed and prosper in the 21st-century economy. My priorities include making healthcare more accessible and affordable, addressing the student debt crisis, raising the minimum wage to ensure fair compensation for hard work, and making housing more affordable by expanding access to affordable housing options and combating predatory practices in the housing market. I believe investing in infrastructure is an investment in the economy. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act presents a crucial opportunity to enhance our Nation’s transportation, water, electricity, connectivity, and aviation infrastructure, revitalize local economies, and ensure good-paying jobs are created in the process. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

To ensure economic fairness, I will support measures to hold corporations and the wealthy accountable for their fair share of taxes by closing loopholes and implementing progressive tax policies. Addressing inflation and corporate monopolies are also essential to create a competitive economy and marketplace where small businesses thrive and consumers benefit from fair prices and choices. Together, let’s build an economy that promotes fairness, opportunity, and sustainability and benefits all Americans, not just a privileged few. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Education

Investing in education is crucial to unlocking our Nation’s potential and addressing our most pressing challenges. I will advocate for greater federal investment in education to strengthen our schools and promote access to quality education for all students. Examples include increasing tax deductions for out-of-pocket expenses teachers incur and providing educators who work a full school year with tax credits and student loan forgiveness. I will also work to correct the formula used to distribute funding under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act so that Virginia receives equitable federal funding for special education. Investing in education is an investment in our Nation’s future. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Foreign Policy and National Defense

America must continue to serve as a beacon of liberty and global leadership, advancing peace, security, and prosperity worldwide. This entails cultivating and nurturing strategic alliances with like-minded nations, employing a comprehensive approach across diplomacy, foreign aid, intelligence, and economic strategies. We must lead global intelligence efforts, strengthening partnerships to address emerging threats and combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction while fortifying our national infrastructure. Upholding democratic principles is paramount, safeguarding elections and protecting against threats to our safety, privacy, and prosperity, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns. We have a moral obligation and a national security imperative to safeguard our nation and the world. Central to our mission is the modernization of our military, a vital step that entails prioritizing investments in cutting-edge technology while streamlining outdated programs and unnecessary expenditures. We must ensure our courageous servicemen and women receive the training, equipment, and unwavering support they need during deployments and the care they rightfully deserve upon returning home. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Gun Safety

As a former army officer, I can say confidently that there are guns available to civilians that don’t need to be, and there are guns available in places where they don’t belong. While I support the constitutional right of Americans to own guns, it’s imperative to address the unnecessary violence plaguing our schools, workplaces, and public spaces through common-sense gun control measures tailored to our communities. Gun control laws are overwhelmingly managed as state issues. For example, Virginia boasts a rich history of responsible gun ownership, with its gun control laws ranking among the top third of states by 2023. Federal legislation can bolster states with weaker gun controls, those with strong controls but high ownership, and regulate the gun industry overall. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

I believe we can protect the Second Amendment while also implementing common sense gun ownership restrictions that protect our communities and our families from gun violence. Gun safety reforms should encompass universal background checks, closing existing loopholes, bolstering mental health resources, and advocating for wider adoption of red flag laws. By striking a balance between protecting the Second Amendment and implementing sensible gun ownership restrictions, we can safeguard our communities and families from the scourge of gun violence. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Healthcare

As a Nation, we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other developed country, yet our health outcomes in areas such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and chronic disease management often lag those of other developed nations. Our healthcare system needs reform. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

I will support legislation that expands healthcare coverage and reins in costs so that people can afford to stay healthy without going into debt. I will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs and advocate for greater transparency and accountability around prescription drug pricing. I will develop solutions to ensure our rural communities have access to equitable, affordable, high-quality health. I will support innovation in health technology that allows for better treatment options, empowers medical professionals, enhances patient care, and saves lives. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Immigration

Our Nation’s immigration system is broken. Stringent eligibility requirements, limited immigration quotas, and massive backlogs in our nation’s immigration courts hinder legal pathways and leave millions of immigrants in limbo. Immigration reform and addressing barriers to legal immigration are crucial for reducing illegal migration. As Americans, we must acknowledge immigrants’ vital role in our communities, labor force, and economy, including their significant tax contributions. In Virginia alone, immigrants contribute billions in taxes and hold tremendous spending power. They fill essential jobs in healthcare, STEM, agriculture, construction, hospitality, and other industries that are essential to our state’s economy. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

As your representative, I will advocate for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform that will strengthen border security and increase pathways to legal citizenship at the border and for the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already living, working, and paying taxes in the U.S. and across the Commonwealth. By embracing immigration reform that combines security with compassion, I believe we can build a system that upholds our values, strengthens our borders, and honors the contributions of immigrants who have enriched our society for generations. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Infrastructure

Our Nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of attention, with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rating U.S infrastructure at a concerning ‘C-‘. In Virginia, our infrastructure received a ‘C’ rating in 2022, ranking the Commonwealth 38th overall in the nation. To propel Virginia’s economy forward, we must prioritize robust and sustainable infrastructure investments. This entails enhancing broadband access, expanding transportation networks, and supporting industry workforce initiatives to fuel long-term economic growth. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act presents a crucial opportunity to tackle our infrastructure challenges, create jobs, and enhance transportation, water, electricity, connectivity, and aviation infrastructure. As your representative, I am committed to championing the implementation of the IJJA and advocating for sustained infrastructure investment, ensuring Virginia’s prosperity and competitiveness in the 21st-century economy. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Veterans

As a former Army Officer and the son of two Veterans, I understand the sacrifice of service and believe that each Veteran deserves the benefits and support they have earned. As an accredited attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I have spent over a decade representing Virginia’s veterans and their families to ensure they obtain the benefits, support, care, and recognition to which they are entitled. This experience has highlighted the challenges many Veterans and their families face, including health problems, employment issues and struggles around accessing their benefits—immediately after service but also in the years that follow. Post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, illnesses caused by toxic exposure, and other injuries can show up years later and affect any stage of life. Struggles transitioning to civilian life can cause serious problems, including depression, homelessness, and increased risk of crisis. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

We must honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country by ensuring they have access to vital services, benefits, and assistance. I will work to lower healthcare costs, expand access to high-quality care, and expand access and improve the quality of mental healthcare for Veterans and their families. I will strongly advocate for policies and funding to alleviate Veteran homelessness, address mental illness and trauma, reduce Veteran suicide rates, and provide expanded services and support for justice-involved Veterans and Veterans navigating addiction and recovery. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Endorsements: No endorsements on website.

Education: He attended Washington University in St. Louis on an ARMY ROTC scholarship where he studied marketing and international business and had his second opportunity to live aboard, this time in London, England. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Following college, Carl was commissioned in the U.S. Army and served in assignments with NATO and U.S. Army military intelligence organizations. He completed his military service as a Captain and Counterintelligence Special Agent. After graduating law school from Georgetown University, his work as a lawyer has focused on advocating for Veterans and small businesses. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Relevant Employment History: See biography above.


Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge:
Commissioned in the U.S. Army and served in assignments with NATO and U.S. Army military intelligence organizations. He completed his military service as a Captain and Counterintelligence Special Agent. After graduating law school from Georgetown University, his work as a lawyer has focused on advocating for Veterans and small businesses. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

Past Offices Held and Tenure: No mention on website.

Community Service: No mention on website.

Leadership Experience: See biography above.

Personal Strengths: Refused to answer. 

What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? Refused to answer.

How would your friends and family describe you? Refused to answer.
 

What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? Refused to answer. No reference to the US Constitution on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

    

What are your thoughts on religious liberty? Refused to answer. No reference to religious liberty on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

    

What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? Refused to answer. No reference to the preservation of history on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thought on government transparency? Refused to answer. No reference to government transparency on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thoughts on national defense? Refused to answer. Demonstrated support for veterans and veterans issues and strong support for national defense. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

Foreign Policy and National Defense

America must continue to serve as a beacon of liberty and global leadership, advancing peace, security, and prosperity worldwide. This entails cultivating and nurturing strategic alliances with like-minded nations, employing a comprehensive approach across diplomacy, foreign aid, intelligence, and economic strategies. We must lead global intelligence efforts, strengthening partnerships to address emerging threats and combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction while fortifying our national infrastructure. Upholding democratic principles is paramount, safeguarding elections and protecting against threats to our safety, privacy, and prosperity, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns. We have a moral obligation and a national security imperative to safeguard our nation and the world. Central to our mission is the modernization of our military, a vital step that entails prioritizing investments in cutting-edge technology while streamlining outdated programs and unnecessary expenditures. We must ensure our courageous servicemen and women receive the training, equipment, and unwavering support they need during deployments and the care they rightfully deserve upon returning home. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)


Veterans

As a former Army Officer and the son of two Veterans, I understand the sacrifice of service and believe that each Veteran deserves the benefits and support they have earned. As an accredited attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I have spent over a decade representing Virginia’s veterans and their families to ensure they obtain the benefits, support, care, and recognition to which they are entitled. This experience has highlighted the challenges many Veterans and their families face, including health problems, employment issues and struggles around accessing their benefits—immediately after service but also in the years that follow. Post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, illnesses caused by toxic exposure, and other injuries can show up years later and affect any stage of life. Struggles transitioning to civilian life can cause serious problems, including depression, homelessness, and increased risk of crisis. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

We must honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country by ensuring they have access to vital services, benefits, and assistance. I will work to lower healthcare costs, expand access to high-quality care, and expand access and improve the quality of mental healthcare for Veterans and their families. I will strongly advocate for policies and funding to alleviate Veteran homelessness, address mental illness and trauma, reduce Veteran suicide rates, and provide expanded services and support for justice-involved Veterans and Veterans navigating addiction and recovery. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? Refused to answer. Professes values contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. No reference to the free enterprise system on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? Refused to answer. No reference to protection of the unborn on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? Refused to answer. No reference to the role or importance of the family  on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? Refused to answer. Professes values potentially contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. No reference to equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes on website. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

   

What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? Refused to answer. Professes values contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

Gun Safety

As a former army officer, I can say confidently that there are guns available to civilians that don’t need to be, and there are guns available in places where they don’t belong. While I support the constitutional right of Americans to own guns, it’s imperative to address the unnecessary violence plaguing our schools, workplaces, and public spaces through common-sense gun control measures tailored to our communities. Gun control laws are overwhelmingly managed as state issues. For example, Virginia boasts a rich history of responsible gun ownership, with its gun control laws ranking among the top third of states by 2023. Federal legislation can bolster states with weaker gun controls, those with strong controls but high ownership, and regulate the gun industry overall. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)

I believe we can protect the Second Amendment while also implementing common sense gun ownership restrictions that protect our communities and our families from gun violence. Gun safety reforms should encompass universal background checks, closing existing loopholes, bolstering mental health resources, and advocating for wider adoption of red flag laws. By striking a balance between protecting the Second Amendment and implementing sensible gun ownership restrictions, we can safeguard our communities and families from the scourge of gun violence. (Source: https://www.bedellforcongress.com/)  

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