George Yacus lost the June 2020 primary election to John Collick. Collick will be named on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 3rd District. Click here to learn more about Collick.
Candidate Name: George Yacus
Race: U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 3rd District
Biography: George Yacus is a native of Warren, N.J. After graduation from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1974, he served for 20 years in the U. S. Navy as a pilot and naval officer in a variety of assignments that included overseas, headquarters, shipboard, and aircraft carrier duties.
Following active duty, he worked as a performance improvement consultant for the U.S. Coast Guard, improving organizational excellence as an internal management consultant. He recently was a performance improvement specialist for the Office of Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, and then served as an acting office director for the Office of Quality Management at the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Department of Energy. As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he facilitated process improvement projects and events.
Dr. Yacus has served, or is still serving, on a variety of not-for-profit and local community boards of directors. He is an elder at the Bayside Church of Christ in Virginia Beach. He is also the bandleader, lead singer, and keyboardist in the local music group, The Phun Doctors Band.
Dr. Yacus holds a Ph.D. in management from Old Dominion University. He teaches management courses at ODU’s Strome School of Business and also at the New England Institute of Business. Degrees include a master of science in management from the Naval Postgraduate School, a master of urban studies from ODU, a bachelor of science in political science from the U. S. Naval Academy, and a certificate of completion from Naval War College.
He is married to Alana Yacus and has two children: a daughter, Lara Chapman, and a son, George Michael Yacus II. His hobbies include boating, aviation, motorcycles, running, and music.
Why should Virginians elect you to the U.S. House of Representatives?
Because after 28 years of the incumbent and the policies of his party, people in the 3rd District desperately want a change and want a representative that reflects their worldview and values. President Donald Trump is totally sincere about making America great and realizing a vision of excellence in government for all citizens. Status quo politicians in office will only give us more of the same tired policies, political antics, overspending, and eventual cultural, academic, and financial decline. I want to work side-by-side with district citizens of all colors and groups to make Hampton Roads a better community.
What is the most important legislative issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Although we have hot-button issues that are significant in Virginia’s legislature, the most important federal issues affecting Virginia are business, borders, and budget. Since you asked for only one, I think that Virginia’s business climate, particularly in Hampton Roads, needs to focus on our competitive advantages such as defense, ports, and tourism. I want to continue President Trump’s efforts at deregulation, want to make Virginia attractive for businesses, want to continue to develop infrastructure that supports economic growth, and want to develop new industries in Virginia that are currently dominated by the Chinese and other foreign providers.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it if elected?
Sustainability, the ability to continue functioning regardless of external conditions, is a broad category that captures the idea of greatest challenge. For example, the defense budget drives a large portion of our economy and is variable. Likewise, international shipping and commerce can experience wide fluctuations, and there is no guarantee of a consistently good world economy. Finally, tourism can be turned on or off by a pandemic, like we just experienced.
To address economic stability, we need to find less volatile economic sectors, like manufacturing or research or agriculture, or major corporate headquarters, or energy. We are well-situated geographically, have a temperate climate and an educated workforce, and could be attractive to any of these possibilities.
We need to stop looking at the federal government to spend more money here and just improve our efficiencies and our business processes and keep our people working and learning. Successful businesses and economies will yield higher revenues and better learning will yield better jobs. Wasteful states that overspend and look for bailouts are going to go broke and there will be no remedy for them. We need to take some personal responsibility for our community’s economic and social health.
In light of Virginia’s recent gun control debates, what, if any, gun laws would you support changing?
The gun control issue is not truthfully framed and gun control advocates promote their case with fear. Our Second Amendment rights actually should be promoted and valued, emphasizing that citizens with guns make Virginia safer.
Cars kill people, but we don’t promote car control. We don’t limit the amount of cars you can own or restrict the size of the gas tanks or outlaw cars that go too fast. If we only had two-gallon gas tanks people wouldn’t drive too so much or so far, but that probably wouldn’t reduce automobile deaths.
Criminals don’t obey laws, so writing more laws only burdens law-abiding citizens and doesn’t impact any root causes. I would promote the repeal of the recent anti-gun legislation passed by the current Virginia legislature, and I would endorse a national right to carry law so citizens authorized by their states could carry concealed weapons anywhere in the United States, mirroring our driving privileges in all states with a valid license.
Citizens with guns prevent crime, and if there is a criminal or an active shooter in my vicinity, I hope there is a gun-carrying citizen there to protect me if the police are unavailable. We are safer for it.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
The three largest issues I had with COVID-19 were:
- The economic suicide we committed
- Bad decision reactions, including overspending and inconsistent one-size-fits-all remedies
- The mandatory forfeiture of Constitutionally-protected rights that we so willingly gave up
I don’t want to be overly harsh, because our government just didn’t know fully what it was dealing with and lacked fact-based decisions due to having no facts. I admire that the federal government published guidelines for citizens to follow that did not have the rule of law and were voluntary. Likewise, I condemn the heavy-handed tactics of governors using executive orders to promote political agendas.
With respect to economic suicide, we should have allowed businesses the freedom to take precautions and establish reasonable, voluntary standards. Broad categories of businesses should not have been closed by executive fiat. Citizens were very accommodating and did their best to comply… they should not have been threatened with legal penalties and should have been allowed to do their own risk management.
Our economy suffered a large, unnecessary self-inflicted wound that may take a long time to recover from. Bad-decisions included treating the entire state with one policy (there was quite a risk differential between Abingdon and Arlington), prematurely shutting down too far into the future, choosing winners and losers on who could stay open and who couldn’t, manipulation of data (e.g., this virus had over 99.6% recovery, statistics were cooked to overstate morbidity and there were perverse financial incentives to hospitalize corona patients and get them on ventilators), sponsoring huge federal spending that just wastefully threw money at the problem with poor return on investment, and huge debt in the trillions, and (in some states) prohibiting drug treatments that were known to be effective (e.g. hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin).
Finally, I resented the unconstitutional overreach of police power by the state. The Constitution protects the inalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Governments exist to guarantee “we the people” (the people that own the government and vote for our officials to protect those rights) our guaranteed freedoms.
There is no “pandemic” clause in the Constitution (even though the Founding Fathers were well acquainted with plagues and major epidemics), and the closest similar power is for foreign invasion, which COVID-19 was not.
I hope that the courts uphold the legal cases of citizens that challenge the constitutional overreach of the state, and next time we remain within those limits rather than emboldening tyranny. In the future, as a Congressman, I will advocate more financial restraint and for citizens to have more choice rather than be placed on “house arrest” with inconsistent policies, and ensure that we act for the good of the citizens of the third district within constitutional limits.
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