I usually don’t spend much time advocating on behalf of candidates. I spend entirely too much of my time researching bills, tracking voting records, attending debates and rallies and writing letters to my representatives to want to spend any time promoting one particular candidate. However, I have become increasingly disgusted with the good ole boy attitude of the Georgia Republican party. I am also tired of the way my friends and neighbors continue to vote along establishment lines, knowing that their guy is part of the problem. I always hear mumbled excuses about the lesser of two evils and being better than the Democrats. Frankly, that’s not good enough and it’s time to make some changes.
I attended a debate on Monday for the two candidates in the run-off to replace John Linder in the House. Mr. Linder was a good candidate for many years. However, the last couple of years he, or his office (I realize he doesn’t actually respond to letters himself), got the attitude that he didn’t need to answer to his constituents on issues of policy and his voting record. I started getting peevish responses to my inquiries that were not in keeping with a public servant set on doing their job.
The reason I bring this up is because his right hand man, Rob Woodall, is running for the seat. His opponent is Jody Hice, who has never held public office before. Some would argue, and have, that we need someone ready to get to work on day one. Others, like me, want to see a candidate who respects the people voting for him and who understands the job they are being given. Therefor, I am posting the questions that were given in the debate and the candidates’ responses.I had originally intended to give my opinion of the proceedings as well, but will refrain from clouding your judgement with my emotional reactions to those present. I was not able to stay for the entire debate, but am sure there is a transcript available for anyone who is interested in digging deeper. I have included my notes and thoughts below in a summary of the debate.
Woodall: “Because I served Linder, I already have a platform in place. I am hoping for Republican control of Cogress after the fall elections because Democrat control is the current problem. I am set up to work from day one.”
Hice: “My goals would be to focus on the economy, reign in government attacks on free enterprise, reign in spending and bailouts, and focus on unemployement.”
1. What Congressional Committee is of interest to you, and how would it benefit Georgians?
Woodall: “I hope to have the honor of serving in Congress with Tom Price. The Rules Committe would be my choice because they see every piece of legislation that passes through Congress. I will vote to allow minority ammendments to be heard and fight abuse of powers.”
Hice: “I would make it my mission to fight beaurocracy, oppose economic restrictions and push for the Fair Tax.”
2. Question two delt with a battle between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida over water rights and likely holds little interest for a national audience beyond issues of states’ rights.
3. Do you approve of federal aid going to discounted lunch qualifiers?
Woodall: “Government should not be in the business of education. Georgia could lead the nation to abolish federal involvement in education by getting private investment in education through grants. I would like to see more privately funded grants for education as well as non-regulated federal grants.”
Hice: “I believe the department of education should be abolished. Control of education needs to be rreturned to the local level.”
4. Would you support public funding for private and home schooling?
Hice: “I support school choice. As a parent of homeschooled children, I understand the burden of parents paying for a system they don’t use. I oppose any tax money going to education, but under the current system, school choice is the best option.”
Woodall: “Private school is not the enemy of public education, but is rather, analternative and should be on equal ground. Gwinnett County’s resources are second to none. Each choice is a viable alternative that should be left up to the parents. Competition will improve the system.”
5. Georgia’s support and funding for transportation is inefficient. What are your solutions?
Woodall: “Government is not moving too slow in funding, they are taking too much of our gas taxes. I would fight to increase funding to Georgia from gas tax revenues rather than converting them to federal dollars. This money is being mixed into the pot in DC where there is no accountability or transparency.”
Hice: “The DOT is a wasteful department. The gas tax is a redistribution of wealth. I would fight to keep the revunue raised by gas taxes in the state. A reduction in gas taxes would reduce te cost of gas and local management would be more efficient.”
6. Do you support establishing a Gwinnett rail system?
Hice: “This is not a decision to be made in DC. This issue should be decided locally and the funding should come from the local level.”
Woodall: “I agree that the funding should be local. However, there is no self-sustaining mass transit system in opperation. Therefore, it would require funding through taxes. I like the rail system in the northeast and the research has already been done to determine feasability here in Gwinnett.”
7. What is your stance on the Arizona immigration bill? Do you support similar legislation in Georgia?
Woodall: “I do not support a GA law like Arizona’s because the federal government should be paying for it. We have to push the feds to address the issue. We should only support Arizona’s law as a last resort because I feel the feds are better able to address the issue.”
Hice: “I support the adoption of a Georgia immigration bill because the feds are not willing to enforce the law on the books. THe rights and safety of the American people are being compromised by lack of federal responsibility. There should be no amnesty, no economic rewards for illegal immigration, sanctuary cities should be defunded, and birthright citizenship should be ended.”
8. Republicans run on fiscal responsibility, but fail inpractice. Are you a strong fiscal conservative, and how would you address the debt?
Hice: “I oppose irresponsible spending. I support the Fair Tax, but realize we would need to abolish the IRS and repeal the income tax. This requires a Constitutional Ammendment. I also support slashing the corporate tax rate. I oppose the stimulous, the bailouts, and cap and trade. I would fight to repeal the programs in place and to prevent those being proposed. I support energy independence through national resources.”
Woodall: “In ’94, Gingrich spearheaded a revolution, split the government and achieved the highest level of reform. The deficit started with Bush. Representative Linder opposed all of the irresponsible funding under several administrations by both parties. I would fight to repeal TARP and the stimulous and apply those funds to the deficit. We can lead an entitlement discussion on Medicare and Social Security to reform the system.”
9. Should Congress add a consumption tax?
Woodall: “No. The Fair Tax should replace the IRS. Taxes drain the economy and I am prepared to fight the VAT>”
Hice: “Comprehensive tax reform is necessary, but will not happen over night. The current system is damaging the economy. We need to fight to build support for the Fair Tax within and without the federal government. We need to simultaneously reduce spending and entitlement programs.”
10. What is your stand on the Fair Tax.
Hice: “I support the Fair Tax and want to address reform of the current system. I would fight to reduce spending while fighting for the Fair Tax, because it will not pass over night.”
Woodall: “I am the only person running in the U.S. who can push for the Fair Tax.”
11. The 7th district is at the heart of the push for biodiversity in Georgia and the Innovation Crescent. How would you support this innitiative?
Woodall: “We have to support legislation that helps Georgia. It should not come from the federal level. I will work with state and private sources to create this platform in Georgia.”
Hice: “I like the innovation and fuel solutions. However, some of these companies also engage in research with cloning and stem cell programs. I do not support funding for such programs. The Innovation Crescent is an idea that needs to be discussed locally through free market solutions to reduce dependency on the feds for sustainability.”
12. What would you do at a national level to create jobs?
Hice: “The government does not create jobs. I would fight to reduce regulations, taxes and unequal funding. I would support economic liberty and local solutions.”
Woodall: “The challenge is to reduce the federal government to its Constitutional mandates. The government is hindering our ability to succeed.”
This review is also posted at Anystreet and ModernConservative.