Once again the media, in this instance the Park Record, has decided to exclude me from being able to answer questions given another candidate. I have taken the liberty of copying down the questions and answering them for the voters of 1stDistrict.
Voters deserve to know where all candidates stand on the issues. Until the media decides to stop playing the partisan games, we will have to continue to do things this way, though I would encourage all who read this to send in letters and phone calls to the media and ask that they fairly cover all candidates in a race instead of skewing it to the Democrats and/or the Republicans.
Please describe how your background prepares you to serve in the office you seek and why you have chosen to campaign for that office.
To start off, I served nearly 8 years as a United States Marine in the infantry. This has given me first-hand knowledge of what happens in war, as I was deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It also gave me the skills of leadership and teamwork that are necessary to help bridge the divide our nation is experiencing. It also taught me that there is such a thing as honor, and to honor my oath I took on June 16, 2003, I chose to run to defend the rights of the people; it had no expiration for me.
I also served 3 years at the Internal Revenue Service in the Business Division. This has given me great insight to the many problems within our tax code. I dealt with the direct issues employers were having. I have heard their complaints every day, and also heard their suggestions. Though at the time I could not do anything to change the way the law was, if elected, I would be able to apply this experience to helping the businesses in America grow and prosper.
Finally, I am a small business owner. I know what it is like to roll up your sleeves and get to work. I chose to forge my own path, and while it may not be a multi-million dollar corporation, the fact that I can feed my family is a success. Tied in with this business experience, I am also the President of two non-profits, so I deal with the day in and day out of working with people.
The Park City and Summit County economies have performed solidly during the current two-year congressional term. Please discuss your reasoning for the performance of the local economy and identify one policy you will pursue during the next congressional term to ensure further economic expansion in the community.
Utah overall has had great results economically compared to other states in the nation. Our unemployment is one of the lowest, and I think it can really be attributed to the “can do” attitude the people of this state have. We aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and do the jobs necessary to take care of our loved ones. Park City and Summit County are no exception. They have that same grit to do what they need to, and because of this attitude, it’s not just surviving but thriving.
I think one of the best things I could do is listen to the small business leaders in the community. We constantly hear about Congressmen and women essentially being bought and paid for by large corporation, and that is why I’m not interested in talking to them. They will survive without my ear. The people who need the most help are the “ma and pa” stores. The self-owned restaurants. The bait and tackle shops. The snowboard rental stores. They are the ones we need to listen to.
I stated earlier that I worked in the Business Division of the IRS and there were a top number of complaints we dealt with: taxation being too much, regulations being a burden, and confusion with the ever evolving tax code. We need to simplify things for the businesses that can’t afford the team of lawyers and lobbyists. We need to make it easier on them.
Please discuss your opinion of the benefits and drawbacks of the Affordable Care Act. Please describe one item you would like added to the health care law and one that you would like removed.
I have been fairly strong worded about the ACA, and for good reason. I honestly don’t think the approach taken was helpful in the least. My dad told me a story to relate, and I will share it with you: When you have a leaking roof, you go up and apply some tar, maybe some new shingles, but you don’t tear the whole house down and rebuild.
There were obviously some needed reforms in the healthcare industry, but the ACA tore down the house, and some problems are still not addressed.
To be honest, I would scrap the entire law and go back to the drawing board addressing one specific issue at a time. Like college students being allowed to remain on their parents’ insurance. That could have been one law passed.
When we address the issues one at a time like this, it works far more efficiently. And if Congress is going to use the excuse that “there isn’t enough time for that,” well, maybe it’s time for them to work more than 120 days out of a year or maybe the bill shouldn’t exist if it needs to be so massively sweeping no one can read it.
The situation in Iraq has deteriorated in recent months, more than a decade after the U.S.-led invasion of the country. What dangers do you foresee for the United States in Iraq and what role should the U.S. have in Iraq as the government there struggles to maintain control?
This is where I am going to be very clearly contrasted from all my opponents in the race. I do not think we have any more business in the countries of Iraq and Syria. It is a no win situation for America.
If we go in and help defeat ISIS, then Bashar Assad will remain in power as a dictator and continue to oppress his people. If we support ISIS, then something worse comes along. We have seen examples like this happen time and time again when the United States starts getting involved with other nations.
Let’s not also forget that we really should not have been involved in Iraq in the first place. I personally believe that the actions we took were at least borderline criminal.
We also have no clear objectives, and as a former infantryman, you need to have a clear mission in order to accomplish it. We cannot continue to risk the lives of our young men and women in international conflicts, the price is too great. Our Department of Defense should actually start worrying about defense and not deploying all over the world to be involved in conflicts we have no business in.
Many Americans see partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., as one of the inhibitors to progress in the country, pointing to the government shutdown as an example. Please discuss the problems created by the partisan nature of Washington and describe one effort you pledge to make to cooperate with the other side of the aisle.
Well, let me just say that first of all, I am not partisan. I am running to represent the people in Utah’s District, and if the Libertarian Party started to ask me to do things that did not involve increases in liberty or prosperity for all my constituents, I would leave the party.
It’s high time that we stopped having the partisan lines drawn. It is one of the reasons I chose to run in the first place. Congressman Bishop blames Harry Reid, and Donna McAleer blames Congressman Bishop. They are all part of the problem. They will tow whatever line their party tells them to. So in spite of Ms. McAleer’s promises, I’m afraid that she’d only add to the gridlock, not work to solve it.
I have no qualms working with anyone that has the voters’ best interests in mind, so long as the law being passed respects individual and economic liberty, and also falls within the defined limits of the U.S. Constitution.
I pledge to the voters of Utah that I will not join in the political hackery that goes on in Washington, D.C. I am going there to represent you, and I will be your voice, but more than that, lend you and not the lobbyists and special interests my ear.
The tourism-heavy economy of Park City has for years relied at some level on foreign workers, both those in the United States legally and those in the country illegally. Please discuss your preferred immigration reform package. In your answer, please address the idea of amnesty for those already in the United States illegally.
I honestly would like to see a time where we are allowed to freely travel, work, and live anywhere we want, and that includes those in Latin America and Mexico. We do need to have border security to guard against threats, but someone wanting to work here and better their life is no threat.
I do not believe that they should be granted amnesty for citizenship, and should apply like everyone else to become a citizen, but I have no issues with them being here.
To address the concerns of them not paying taxes or getting benefits from the welfare programs, I have addressed this concern in some of the welfare reforms I have proposed and my tax plan to initiate the Fair Tax.
Benefits can only be extended to U.S. citizens, is the short answer on the reforms, but I do have a little more in depth on my website, too much to say here today. As for the Fair Tax, to summarize, it removes all forms of taxation currently in place and essentially creates a national consumption tax based on the purchase of new goods, with the exclusion of necessities like food, water, and housing. This means that all other spending done in the United States is taxed, which means there will be no “under the table” pay not making it into the revenue.
Please identify one of President Obama’s policies you support and one that you oppose. Please explain the reasoning behind your support and opposition.
To be honest, I really cannot think of anything off the top of my head I have openly supported from President Obama. He really seems to be continuing a lot of former President Bush’s policies, and so I don’t have a lot I can say in favor of what he’s tried to do. I really would have liked to see him uphold the promises he made, and has had several opportunities with bill passage he could have vetoed, but didn’t.
Please differentiate yourself from your opponents.
Well, I don’t avoid media questions and constituents like Congressman Bishop has shown to do. I am open and honest about any questions asked of me, and really try to have a 24 hour turn around on answering a question I receive.
As for Donna McAleer, I am the only candidate who is truly without the support of special interests. She has claimed many times that she is the candidate running without them, but when you look into her financials, you can see that she has received money from several sources that are not individual voters (approximately 15% from PACs, though to her credit far lower than Congressman Bishop who is closer to 80%). I have only received money from the Libertarian Party of Utah and individual voters. I’m not interested in money from PACs, unions, or any other groups. The voters’ voices matter.