EPISODE 233: “Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life” with Brandon Weichert


“Would you want your DNA and other healthcare data going to an authoritarian regime with a record of exploiting that data for repression and surveillance? Let’s be specific, would you want it going to China?”

That’s just one of the questions my returning guest national security expert Brandon Weichert and I cover in this far-reaching conversation about China’s BioTech ambitions and their alarming implications.

Brandon Weichert, author of Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life is a leading expert in geopolitics and emerging technologies and who been described as a “panic-and-anxiety inducing scholar.” He lives by Dr. Herman Kahn’s mantra that “I’m against fashionable thinking” and you won’t hear  much of that in this disturbing, yet at the same time entertaining conversation.

In the realm of cutting-edge biotechnology, the relentless drive of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to exploit emerging BioTech technologies casts a dark shadow over the global stage.

“China’s President Xi Jinping has identified biotechnology as one of the key fourth industrial revolution industries that China must dominate in order to achieve his China Vision 2049,” warns Brandon.

Amidst this pursuit, China has been utilizing CRISPR-Cas9, the gene editing tool originally developed in America. “China’s using CRISPR-Cas9, the gene editing tool that we in America developed and we shared with China, which allows scientists to go in, and at the genetic level, splice human genes and either take out unwanted or undesirable aspects of that individual’s genome or input,” reveals Weichert.

“You have to wonder, are they thinking, ‘Hey, we can gene edit desirable traits into our preferred people and create the perfect communist man,'” ponders Weichert.

“You need to think about genetics as a geneticist acting as computer programmer. Instead of manipulating ones and zeros in a program, they’re manipulating the genetic data that they accumulate on people, ordinary people, everybody.”

“They’re looking for things in our genes, either individual genes or group genes, that they can manipulate and they can create what the Chinese military refers to as specific ethnic genetic attacks.”

In this riveting conversation, Weichert leaves no stone unturned as he sounds the alarm about the urgent need to reassess our business ties with China’s biotech sector. “We need to stop doing business with China’s biotech sector and be very concerned about their hostile intentions towards the United States.”

Moreover, Weichert confronts an ugly possibility head-on: “COVID-19 might have been a bioweapon” and discovering the truth behind what happened with COVID-19 is crucial to understanding how to safeguard our future.

“In 2015, the top Chinese military scientists wrote a white paper in which they outlined how they could use weaponized coronaviruses to attack and collapse an enemy country’s medical and economic systems to affect political change at the international level. COVID-19 did all of that.”

“Coronaviruses can be artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponized and unleashed in a way never seen before. I don’t know for certain what happened in Wuhan, I will tell you what I am certain about. This is not a naturally forming disease. But we may never know whether this was a lab leak by accident or if it was intentional.”

China’s BioTech ambitions represent a grave threat to U.S. national security. Listen in as Brandon unravels these ambitions and confronts the ethical, geopolitical, and national security concerns they raise.


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EPISODE 233 TRANSCRIPT

Bill Walton (00:00):

I think Kaine is so bad that I almost thought about running for the Senate, and I’m not going to.

Scott Parkinson (00:07):

Yeah.

Bill Walton (00:07):

So I’ll support you instead.

Scott Parkinson (00:09):

Yeah. Well, you’ve pledged to be a donor, so…

Bill Walton (00:11):

Kaine’s terrible. Well, you got a thousand dollars.

Scott Parkinson (00:13):

Yeah.

Bill Walton (00:14):

That’s a good start.

Speaker 3 (00:20):

Welcome to The Bill Walton Show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers, fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing, interesting people, interesting things.

Bill Walton (00:40):

Welcome to The Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. We’re here today with Scott Parkinson, who’s running for the Senate in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and he is taking on somebody who I think very much needs to be taken on, Senator Tim Kaine, who has one of the worst voting records in the Senate. Scott’s got a great background to do this. He’s spent almost two decades working in the political world, most recently as Vice President Club for Growth, which is a very strong shop focused on economic freedoms and economic growth. And it’s early, the election’s now a year and a half away. And so, I want to give Scott a chance to talk about what got him into this and where we think it’s going to going and what he’s going to do as Senator. Welcome Senator to be Parkinson.

Scott Parkinson (01:31):

Thank you so much.

Bill Walton (01:31):

How does that sound?

Scott Parkinson (01:32):

Sounds pretty good to me, but it’s not about me. It’s about the people of Virginia.

Bill Walton (01:37):

So how’d you decide to do this?

Scott Parkinson (01:39):

I’ll tell you, after the 2022 midterms, my wife and I were evaluating the next steps in our lives and my career and had a lot of different options that were on the table for me. And as we prayed about it, none of those options seemed like what I was called to do in this moment in history. And when I look back at 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, the freedoms that were taken from us, and our rights that were infringed upon, the way that children were treated, I felt like I needed to get off the sidelines and get into the United States Senate race here in Virginia.

(02:16):

I think that Virginia’s very much in play, thanks to the blueprint that Governor Glenn Youngkin laid out in his gubernatorial race in 2021. So in evaluating my options, the window of opportunity certainly seemed like it was open, and I began to seriously consider running in January of 2023. Throughout the testing of the waters process, talked to roughly a thousand people throughout the country, friends, family, and really was receiving strong encouragement to do this thing. And we declared ultimately on April 3rd, and so far, the race has been going fantastic.

Bill Walton (02:55):

Well, that’s great. Anybody try to talk you out of it?

Scott Parkinson (02:58):

Nobody did. I had my dad visiting from Wisconsin with his wife, and I had my brother and my oldest daughter and my wife sitting at the table. We had four on one side and my wife over here, I was at the head of the table, and I laid out all those options. And I said, “Everybody gets one vote, A, B, C, or D. And D is this wild card idea that I’m going to get in and I’m going to run for the Senate.” And thankfully, it was unanimous. It was 8-0, so we didn’t have to cast that tie breaking vote myself. But really, it’s been strong encouragement from folks all throughout Virginia. They’re ready for a change. Tim Kaine is a career politician. He’s been on the ballot nine times, in office almost 30 years. And you’re right, his voting record is not that of a blue dog. It’s that of a socialist. He votes with Bernie Sanders 94% of the time now.

Bill Walton (03:47):

I’m surprised it’s that low. I thought it was closer to 100%. But anyway, I live in Virginia, so I’m very much interested in you getting the job. So what are the three big things you’d want to want to accomplish as Virginia’s senator?

Scott Parkinson (04:01):

Yeah, listen, I think, first and foremost, the economic situation that we’re faced with and the prosperity for future generations, with my children and your grandchildren, and everybody that wants America to be better off in the future, that’s at risk today. And if you go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and you enter into their inflation calculator “March of 2020,” when the coronavirus hit, and then, you enter in “April of 2023,” which is the most recent data set that they have available, it shows that inflation has been 17.5% since COVID started. And most people haven’t received a 17.5% wage increase. That means that they’re worse off today.

Bill Walton (04:43):

So this is not year to year. This is since it started.

Scott Parkinson (04:46):

The cumulative of that…

Bill Walton (04:46):

Things almost one fifth more expensive than they were when this…

Scott Parkinson (04:50):

Just three and a half years ago, less than three and a half years ago. And so, I think people’s wages aren’t keeping up. A lot of people have lost jobs, had to take on second jobs. Their 401K is becoming a 201K. We are in an economic crisis. We just had a major debt limit negotiation on Capitol Hill, that’s going to saddle us with roughly four to $5 trillion more in the national debt. I think that that’s a problem to give Joe Biden a blank check, and it’s basically this political oligarchy, this uniparty that is running Washington DC. We need new conservative champions that understand we have to slow spending, we have to provide for the macroeconomic pro-growth policies that are going to increase productivity.

Bill Walton (05:33):

What role does the Senate play in accomplishing this? Economic is a big, big, big topic. What can you do as a senator to bring about some of this change?

Scott Parkinson (05:42):

Yeah, what a great question. I think there’s so many things you can do to advance a pro-growth agenda, and I’ve worked for three United States Senators in the past. I’ve worked as an economic policy advisor to two of them, Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Marco Rubio, and you can use the Senate procedure and precedent, as one senator, to do all sorts of things that can make a big difference for our economy. When it comes to executive branch and judicial nominations, the way that the courts often slow down a lot of the things that are happening in states, whether it’s economic development project that’s slowed down by regulation, we can defund those regulations. We can use the power of the purse. We can also advance pro-growth tax policy. We did that in 2017 when I was on Capitol Hill as Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee. The Trump tax cuts were working.

Bill Walton (06:33):

That’s a big deal, Republican Study Committee. You were executive director?

Scott Parkinson (06:36):

Yes. In 2016 through 2018.

Bill Walton (06:38):

Yeah. So number one is economic. What’s number two?

Scott Parkinson (06:43):

Well, I think that we need a movement to restore parents’ rights in the classroom. In Northern Virginia especially, we’ve seen parents locked out of the classroom by teachers unions. We’ve seen so many folks that feel like there’s indoctrination for their children for this woke ideology. We have seen in Alexandria the National Merit Scholarship Awards not being awarded to Asian students, because they’re Asian. That’s reverse discrimination, and I think we need to celebrate merit. We also had the transgender rape case in Loudoun County and then, at Wakefield High School, we had a really, really high profile fentanyl overdose, where five kids were in the bathroom using illegal drugs. It was laced in fentanyl, and one of them died, four of them got really sick. Just a terrible thing that made its way through our community. And we need to stop this poison from reaching Virginia in the first place.

(07:40):

So much of it is flowing over our southern border. And I think that that leads to the third issue with public safety. Public safety is definitely one of these issues that continues to pop up, whether it’s carjackings, the overdoses, the drugs, violent crime, we need to celebrate and appreciate the men wearing the uniform, back the blue, instead of telling them that they’re being racist for having school resource officers in Northern Arlington and basically saying, “Hey, these are kids that are being discriminated against, because we’re mostly using our school resource officers to enforce poor behavior on Black students.” I don’t think that that’s why school resource officers got into the job. I think that they want to have a safe community and enforce it.

Bill Walton (08:30):

Now, a school resource officer, is that a policeman?

Scott Parkinson (08:33):

It is. It’s like a policeman in the school.

Bill Walton (08:35):

Somebody with a gun.

Scott Parkinson (08:36):

They are armed.

Bill Walton (08:37):

All right.

Scott Parkinson (08:37):

And there was a movement here…

Bill Walton (08:40):

I’ve gotten so unused to all the new euphemisms. You can’t just say there’s going to be a cop in the school. It’s gotta to be a school resource officer.

Scott Parkinson (08:47):

Okay. Well, there was a movement in Virginia to take them out, because of this woke ideology and sort of the defund the police movement. And I think that that’s dangerous. It’s led to more police officers retiring, and that makes our communities less safe.

Bill Walton (09:02):

Well, John Lott was on the show. He is the gun rights Second Amendment expert, and so much work, so many studies is that having a gun in the school in the hands of somebody who’s there to protect kids dramatically reduces the risk of school shootings.

Scott Parkinson (09:18):

We all saw the body cam footage from Nashville and the heroism from those officers going in and neutralizing the transgender student that was killing Christian kids.

Bill Walton (09:29):

It’s almost like putting a gun free zone sign in front of your school or institution is an imitation.

Scott Parkinson (09:34):

Yeah, it’s sad. I strongly support…

Bill Walton (09:37):

So what do you do about that from the Senate?

Scott Parkinson (09:38):

Yeah. I support Senator Rick Scott’s School Guardian program.

Bill Walton (09:42):

What’s that?

Scott Parkinson (09:42):

It would put federal funding for police officers in every school. Senator Scott and I have a mutual friend named Andrew Pollack. His daughter Meadow was killed in the Parkland shooting. I was Ron DeSantis’ chief of staff. In 2018, got to know Andy and his son, Hunter and Huck, and just that situation brought to my attention how vulnerable students are in the school. And in this situation, Meadow was protecting a classmate in the hallway, and the school shooter came and executed both of them, sadly, in that hallway and along with the other Parkland students and victims. I think that, if you do have a strong deterrent of several armed guards in a school, that that’s going to protect our nation’s most valued asset, our future and our children.

Bill Walton (10:35):

Some of my big issues, one of my big issues, is China, and the other one is the climate industrial complex. What do you want to do about that or those two?

Scott Parkinson (10:46):

Well, listen, I think China has clearly demonstrated that they want to engage in a trade war with us through their manipulative behavior, along with their theft of intellectual property. And you think about what President Trump did in terms of laying tariffs and trying to get China to come to the negotiating table. They had a renegotiation right at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and ultimately, we’ve seen what the results are with that. It hasn’t really changed a whole lot. So what do we do to become more competitive with China? We have to facilitate a labor force here in America that incentivizes multinational corporations to relocate away from Beijing and back over to New York City. I think that that starts with the deregulatory policy and in relation to a lot of these labor and environmental rules that are in place that prevent American businesses from doing their work here in the United States.

(11:44):

I think we need a strong diversification when it comes to bilateral trade agreements with other countries. And I think that, once we get China’s attention, also through reducing the corporate rate and also giving pass through entities more of an incentive to do business here in America, the tax and regulatory and labor differences will force China to come to the table and say, “Okay, we’re going to have to stop stealing their intellectual property. We’re going to have to start acting in good faith, when it comes to free trade.” Trump had this goal of zero tariffs at the end. Club for Growth shared that same goal. But what Trump did was he laid tariffs on the table as a hammer to basically try to penalize the Chinese businesses. And that pass is ultimately passed along to the US consumer. I think that we need to find a way to decrease costs here in America, and those incentives are laid out very much through our tax and regulatory structures.

Bill Walton (12:46):

I’m getting Bob Leitheiser on in a couple weeks. He’s got a new book out about what he did. He was US Trade Representative for Trump, and I’m eager to get him talking about just exactly what you’re talking about and what worked and what didn’t work.

Scott Parkinson (12:59):

One other thing I just want to point out is China had this monopoly on the production of PPEs, and they were really clear at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that they were going to withhold those from the American people. That becomes an…

Bill Walton (13:12):

PPEs means what?

Scott Parkinson (13:13):

Personal protection equipment. We’re talking about the masks, the rubber gloves, the production of these things that were really being withheld, and N95 masks, most of those were being made in China. And on the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, they’re like, “We’re going to withhold these for our own people. We’re not going to give them out in mass distribution.” And I think that’s a violation of the trade agreements that we’ve had with China in the past.

Bill Walton (13:39):

Well, you’re talking about the economic piece. I think they’ve got their notion of unrestricted warfare, and economics is only one piece of it. And they’ve been using economics to create a tremendous dependence that we have on them. Rosemary Gibson was on talking about drugs. It turns out we don’t make aspirin in America. We don’t make antibiotics in America. We don’t make penicillin. We don’t make a lot of the things, maybe a small tiny fraction we do, but generally, a lot of that’s made in China, India, with supply chains through China. They were threatening during the lockdowns, not only the PPE, but drugs.

Scott Parkinson (14:22):

Well, the green energy, Tim Kaine, Bernie Sanders idea on getting away from fossil fuels and getting toward lithium batteries, that enhances our exposure to places like China. China, Chile, and Australia are the three main producers of lithium batteries. And the Democrats, they want to say, “Oh, this is clean energy.” Well, think about the exposure on the labor force in China when they have to deal with that lithium. That’s a human rights issues as well.

Bill Walton (14:52):

Well, that doesn’t bother the Chinese conscience [inaudible 00:14:54].

Scott Parkinson (14:54):

It doesn’t bother them. You know what else the Chinese are doing?

Bill Walton (14:56):

That’s not troubling to them.

Scott Parkinson (14:58):

But it should be troubling to our so-called friends on the other side of the isle that’s…

Bill Walton (15:02):

Well, human rights, and we should care about human rights. I’m just talking about the Asian…

Scott Parkinson (15:07):

And should care about the manipulation of prices when it comes to foreign products like lithium batteries. Another thing, just to finish the point on China, I’m deeply concerned about the Chinese alliance with the Russians. They’re clearly working together when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Obviously, the United States is in the middle of that. We’re effectively within a Cold War with the Russians. But I think you need stronger leadership at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office to deter China and Russia from messing around. They’re watching every single move that Joe Biden and his national security team are making. And I think that we’re weaker now, from a national security standpoint, underneath the leadership of Joe Biden, than we’ve ever been as a country. People don’t take him seriously, and the exposure that he’s got with his son and his family and the foreign dealings that they’ve made, I think, further weaken our posture as a strong national security, national defense country. So we need to restore that strength by getting a Republican back in the White House in 2024.

Bill Walton (16:12):

And a Republican in the Senate from Virginia. This is The Bill Walton Show. I’m here with Scott Parkinson, who is running for Senator in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia, and it’s early in the campaign. We’re just getting started. First thing you’ve got to do is win the primary. What happens in the primary? When does that occur? And how does it occur? And who are your opponents?

Scott Parkinson (16:36):

So the Virginia State Central Committee back in April changed the nominating process for the first time in a really long time. It’s no longer going to be a convention. We’re going to have a statewide primary on June 18th, 2024. And there’s several other declared candidates now in the race. But what you have to do to qualify is you have to get 10,000 total signatures throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including 400 signatures in each congressional district.

Bill Walton (17:07):

And you have that done?

Scott Parkinson (17:08):

No, the signature gathering process begins in January, but the thing is…

Bill Walton (17:12):

Okay, January 2024? Okay.

Scott Parkinson (17:14):

And you have just a couple of months to gather all those signatures. So right now, basically anybody can declare, they can start raising money, and then, they can try to do the signature gathering when the process opens up. But the reality is that many of the candidates that have declared just won’t be able to achieve that threshold to have ballot access. I feel very confident in my ability to get on the ballot. I’ve hired a very similar team to Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, and we feel great about the process that we’ve undertaken with raising money and starting to meet people throughout Virginia and in all walks of life. I think people are really excited about the campaign. They know that Tim Kaine and the Democrats in Virginia have created this stagflation. They’ve created an economic malaise that’s really impacting that family of four that only makes $60,000.

(18:09):

I was talking about 17.5% earlier on in the first segment. And when you think about that, that’s over 60 days out of the year that’s gone, just in the hidden tax of inflation. So I think that my campaign’s going to get out there in a big way next spring. We’re going to be talking about the movement to save the middle class, be talking about increasing public safety and enhancing parents’ rights back in the classroom. There’s a lot of other issues that are certainly going to be in the fold as well. And I think, when you go around Virginia, sometimes things will pop up, and it’s like, “You know what? This just happens to be the biggest issue in Virginia Beach,” or “This happens to be the biggest issue in Roanoke.” And we are going to also go out and do a listening tour to every county in Virginia to make sure we’re talking to the people and understanding what they think the top issues are in America today.

Bill Walton (19:01):

Have you done any of that so far?

Scott Parkinson (19:02):

Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been all over the place.

Bill Walton (19:05):

What are you hearing?

Scott Parkinson (19:06):

What I’m hearing are a lot of consternation related to election integrity and illegal immigration. People want to talk about abortion. People want to talk about Donald Trump. They certainly talk about inflation, public safety, and parents’ rights, the trans issues. Right now, we’re in the middle of June, and the trans issue for Pride Month is a dominant conversation, when I go talk to Republican activists, especially when we’re out in Loudoun, where that issue has become a national issue.

Bill Walton (19:38):

Do you think we’ll have fair elections?

Scott Parkinson (19:40):

I do. I have confidence, because Glenn, and I’ll say fair election in Virginia, I have confidence in the reforms that Governor Youngkin is doing.

Bill Walton (19:51):

What’s he done?

Scott Parkinson (19:52):

Well, really, they’ve been cleaning out the voter rolls. They took out 19,000 bad names out of the voter rolls just a couple of months ago. And I think that they’ll continue to look at that, to ensure that everybody that shows up is only getting one vote and that there’s not any fraud. And if there is fraud, that folks are held accountable for that. In 2016 and 2020, we had Democrat governors, and Trump lost Virginia twice. I think that Virginia is very much in play, given the unpopularity of Joe Biden and the fact that Glenn Youngkin’s approval rating is about 56% right now.

Bill Walton (20:27):

And Youngkin will be governor during in November of 2024. His term runs through 2025.

Scott Parkinson (20:34):

Correct.

Bill Walton (20:35):

And what do you think about the odds of him deciding to be Senator?

Scott Parkinson (20:41):

Well, he is very much, I think, a strong candidate to take on Senator Warner in 2026 after his gubernatorial race.

Bill Walton (20:47):

  1. Okay.

Scott Parkinson (20:48):

Yeah, he’s not going to be running in 2024.

Bill Walton (20:51):

That’d be interesting.

Scott Parkinson (20:52):

This race, as I’ve tested the waters, I’ve talked to folks all throughout Virginia, and we know who the candidates are that are still thinking about getting in there. We know that there are seven of us that have declared. I respect the primary process, and you have to go out there and you have to earn people’s support. And we’re starting to do that. We’ve been in the race for a couple months now, and I just feel like the support we’re receiving so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Bill Walton (21:20):

And you’ve been endorsed by Tommy Tuberville and Dave Bossie?

Scott Parkinson (21:24):

Yeah, that’s a couple of them. I’ve been endorsed by Senator Mike Lee from Utah, Senator Jim DeMint, former senator from South Carolina. I’ve got Lauren Boebert, Byron Donalds, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, many of the Freedom Caucus, Patriot 20, that were front and center in those reforms to transform the House of Representatives. I’m also endorsed by Representative Jim Banks, who’s going to be the next senator of Indiana. I’ve got strong connections on Capitol Hill. I’m ready to get started on day one.

Bill Walton (21:53):

You don’t think the ex president of Purdue’s going to be the next senator?

Scott Parkinson (21:56):

No, he’s staying out.

Bill Walton (21:58):

Is he going to stay out?

Scott Parkinson (21:59):

Yeah. Mitch Daniel’s announced he’s not running. Yeah.

Bill Walton (22:02):

Okay. Because I know Club for Growth had a strong preference for Banks.

Scott Parkinson (22:05):

Yeah, we did.

Bill Walton (22:07):

Are you still working? Are you still at Club for Growth?

Scott Parkinson (22:09):

Yeah. I’m Vice President of Government Affairs at Club for Growth, and I’m firewalled from our campaign activities on the super PAC side.

Bill Walton (22:16):

Okay. So I think of Club for Growth as strong libertarian, economic growth, personal freedom, but not so much on social issues. And the big issue I think is going to be the Democrats are still going to make abortion as issue number one.

Scott Parkinson (22:34):

Yeah, absolutely.

Bill Walton (22:35):

Whether it should be or not.

Scott Parkinson (22:36):

Yeah.

Bill Walton (22:37):

So where are you on abortion?

Scott Parkinson (22:38):

Yeah. I tell people, and this is the truth, I’m a pro-life conservative. I have four children of my own. I have three daughters and a son. I’ve witnessed the miracle of life coming in the world four times. I’m grateful that I didn’t miss any of their births while traveling or anything like that. My kids mean the world to me. And my faith also teaches me that we need to protect life at all stages.

Bill Walton (23:02):

You’re Catholic or you’re…? What’s your faith?

Scott Parkinson (23:05):

I attend Cherrydale Baptist in Arlington.

Bill Walton (23:07):

You’re Baptist. Okay. So what does pro-life conservative mean when it gets down to issues like trimesters and viability of the fetus, that sort of thing? They’re going to get granular, and you’re going to be expected to tell them precisely what you mean.

Scott Parkinson (23:26):

Yeah. Well, precisely what I mean is that we need to protect life, and Tim Kaine is somebody that won’t allow for any abortion restrictions. He wants to allow for an abortion all the way up to the birth. And I think, when we flipp the conversation on…

Bill Walton (23:40):

Well, I think even after the birth, there’s still some question about it. Yeah.

Scott Parkinson (23:42):

Yeah. Our former governor, Ralph Northam, talked a lot about that.

Bill Walton (23:45):

Yeah, it’s unbelievable.

Scott Parkinson (23:46):

It’s a terrible thing when you talk about the rights of the unborn. On the other hand, the Dobbs case returned abortion to elected representatives. Some people interpret that as the state’s taking over the policy.

Bill Walton (23:59):

The Dobbs was the Supreme Court ruling overruling Roe v. Wade?

Scott Parkinson (24:03):

Correct. Returning it to the states and elected representatives. Now, there could be federal legislation, Lindsey Graham has the 15 week bill, with three exceptions, for rape, incest, and the health of the mother. That’s the similar legislation that our Governor Glenn Youngkin is hoping to get through in Virginia. He needs to win back the State Senate this November, in order to advance those policies. And Bill, when I was on Capitol Hill, working in three Senate offices, being a Senior Staffer in the House of Representatives, I’ve read tens of thousands of pages of legislation. And I understand and appreciate, when you vote yes, you own every single word on that page, every single word on that bill. If you vote no, you can explain to voters why you couldn’t get to yes. So I think we have to be really careful in pre-judging what the federal legislation will look like. And I’m committed to telling people in Virginia and throughout America that I will carefully review every single word in the legislation, as it pertains to federal abortion policies.

Bill Walton (25:11):

As you know, I’ve not spent my life toiling in the political vineyards. I’ve spent most of my time in private equity, venture capital, running a bunch of companies. Given that background, I’ve been stunned at the way the political process works, where we end up with these trillion dollar, 2 trillion dollar behemoths, so inappropriately named, like the Inflation Reduction Act, which turns out to be the Green New Deal in disguise. And everything’s hidden in there. And it seems to me like, if you’re in the Senate or the House and you’re on our side, you ought to want transparency, smaller bills, and a better process, so Americans can see actually what Congress is doing.

Scott Parkinson (25:52):

Yeah, it’s a great question, Bill. And the reality is that you need senators with the political courage to stand up and to say, “Don’t do this.” We have to slow down. We should be objecting and using every procedural tool that a senator has, and that’s what the power of one is. That’s why the Senate is very, very different than the House of Representatives, where you need to build coalitions to get anything done. And we’ve seen really great examples of senators that do understand their rights underneath the Senate precedent and procedure, like Mike Lee and Rand Paul. Right now, Tommy Tuberville is objecting to military promotions through the Department of Defense, in relation to abortion policy.

Bill Walton (26:36):

He’s got a hold on that.

Scott Parkinson (26:37):

He has a hold on all those nominees for all those military promotions, and they can’t move through, because he’s… They could file cloture, and they could spend time on each individual military promotion. But that’s a huge, huge time suck of everything that the Senate is trying to achieve. And so, when it comes to these omnibus appropriation bills, when you think about the 3000 pages in legislative text and then, you add in a couple thousand pages more in report language, nobody can read that bill in the three days that it’s out there. Everybody tries to scan it, and you see what the anomalies are that are in there and that are tucked away.

Bill Walton (27:13):

I have an idea now, we can use… ChatGPT can read the bill for us and tell us what’s in it. Artificial intelligence might be quite useful.

Scott Parkinson (27:23):

Well, maybe we’ll have to take advantage of that. But I think the good news here is that we’re going to win back the United States Senate. We’re going to win the presidency, and we’re going to have control over that process. And when you have control in Washington on federal appropriations, the power of the purse, we can certainly decide, “Hey, we’re only going to deal with the military veterans affairs construction element of the appropriations bills,” or “We’re only going to do our transportation and housing urban development bill.”

(28:01):

The different 12 subcommittees that are out there, this, it gives us the ability to adjudicate legislation and to have amendments that are germane to the underlying legislative text, instead of just pulling everything together in an omnibus, adding in tax extenders, adding in other end of the year must pass items. Everybody sort of hits the fan when it comes to how much of a crisis we’re going to be in Christmas if government shuts down. And in Washington, they have this joke that senators smell jet fumes, and all they want to do is get out of town and get home to their family over the Christmas holidays, even if it means bankrupting America. I think that type of business needs to end, and that’s part of why I’m running for the United States Senate in Virginia.

Bill Walton (28:51):

Well, good. I think that’s a… We got just a couple of minutes, but I want to talk about Tim Kaine. And you put out a couple of statements, one on Kaine criticizing Governor Youngkin for sending National Guard to the southern border, which Kaine has voted to keep wide open, and I guess he thinks he’s going to get some of those people to come to Virginia to vote for him. But what’s Kaine’s record on immigration?

Scott Parkinson (29:23):

Listen, I think it’s fair to say Tim Kaine is for amnesty. He’s for open borders. He wants to get as many people here to change American culture and to enhance government dependency, so that we have more of a socialist system of the federal government. I’m strongly in support of capitalism. I’m strongly in support of the rule of law. We need to enforce the laws that are on the books, as it pertains to our border, and we need to thwart the flow of illegal immigrants. And we need to have visa reform to ensure that there aren’t visa overstays, which ultimately is about half of the illegal immigration population.

Bill Walton (30:04):

Also, you also unearth something as deal with Dominion Energy. Evidently, they’re now in the housing business.

Scott Parkinson (30:13):

Yeah. Great point here. It’s interesting, because when you’ve been around so long, you start to get cozy with various leaders in the industry. And Tim Kaine has been doing the bidding of Dominion Energy in Virginia as it pertains to these wind farms. He’s taken about a hundred thousand dollars from Dominion Energy, in exchange for expediting the regulatory process to get these green energy boon doggles through. And simultaneously, he purchased a home, a luxury condo, in Richmond, from one of Dominion Energy’s lawyers. I’ve called on the Senate Ethics Committee to open up an investigation to Senator Kaine’s conduct and to have that report concluded many months in advance of the 2024 election, so Virginians can make up their own mind. I don’t have any sense that the Senate is going to expel him for this behavior, but to me, it smells like corruption. And usually, when you start to smell corruption in one area, you look at the other things within his official responsibilities and it bleeds into those things in quid pro quos, in relation to legislative and official actions, in exchange for campaign cash.

Bill Walton (31:31):

Well, Scott, I’m with you. How do we stay tuned with your campaign? Where can we find you? And what’s the next step?

Scott Parkinson (31:40):

Yeah, well, anybody can check out my website, scottparkinson.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at Scott T. Parkinson. I’ll tell you, Bill, raising money, getting the resources to be competitive with Tim Kaine is the biggest challenge for me as a candidate. You’re leaning on your friends, your family, national donors, that are willing to step up and make a contribution that isn’t even tax deductible. And during tough economic times, it’s even harder to look at your friend that you graduated from high school with and say, “Can you chip in a hundred bucks?” But we need people to do that. Otherwise, our fiscal situation is continuing to spiral out of control, and we will be a socialist nation before it’s too soon to reverse course.

Bill Walton (32:25):

Well, you’ve got me to chip in more than a hundred bucks, but it’s not going to be enough to get you over the top. How much money does it take to win a race in Virginia?

Scott Parkinson (32:35):

I think, for the primary, we’re looking at a three to 4 million dollar budget. Tim Kaine already has about four and a half million dollars cash on hand for the general election. I think, when this race gets to the general, after our primary in June, money will be coming in a big way. This is going to be a hundred million dollar race when you take into consideration all the dollars that both campaigns are spending and the super PAC spending that happens through independent expenditures.

Bill Walton (33:02):

And is most of that spent on TV?

Scott Parkinson (33:04):

Most of it’s spent on TV, direct mail. You have digital, you have door knocking operations. With TV, there are two buckets. You have cable and you have broadcast. Broadcast is a heck of a lot more expensive to run than cable ads.

Bill Walton (33:21):

You got the DC market, and then, you got… It’s a complicated media market. Well, anyway, I keep going back into the weeds on this. Okay. It’s great talking to our next senator from Virginia, Scott Parkinson. This has been The Bill Walton Show, and I hope you learned a lot about Scott and his plans when he gets into the Senate. As always, and thanks, Scott, thanks for joining, and I’ll have you back as the race progresses, after you win the primary. How about that?

Scott Parkinson (33:52):

All right. Thank you, Bill.

Bill Walton (33:53):

When we’re teed up against Tim. As always, you can find us on all the major podcast platforms and also Rumble, YouTube. We’re on CPAC now on Monday nights, and we’ve also got a fairly robust presence on Substack. And at Substack and on our website, I hope you’ll send us their comments. Don’t forget to subscribe, but we’d also like your comments about topics and guests you’d like us to cover and also feedback on the shows that you’ve seen or listened to. So once again, thanks for joining, and we’ll be talking with you again soon. I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more? Click the subscribe button or head over to thebillwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guest on our Interesting People page, and send us your comments. We read every one, and your thoughts help us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true, what’s right, and what’s next. Thanks for joining.

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