This week marks the fifth in a series of six questions The York Dispatch is posing to candidates for the 4th Congressional District. York County voters will select Democratic and Republican nominees in the April 24 primary election. Candidates were asked to respond to the questions in 150 words or less.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION
What other issue do you consider pressing, and how would you address it if you're elected to Congress?
Chris Reilly (R): I want to ease the regulatory burden on American businesses. Congress must review every federal regulation on business and eliminate those that hinder job creation and economic growth. A small business owner in York told me that he has 13 attorneys on retainer to ensure that he is complying with the cumbersome federal regulations imposed upon his company. Instead of paying for the attorneys he could hire 20 new, full-time employees.
Scott Perry (R): The economy is still recovering and many people in our area are still struggling to find work. I think creating jobs is a key issue today. I started my own business. I've created jobs, had to meet a payroll and struggle against the red tape and bureaucracy of government. Reducing the size and scope of the federal government is a critical component to job creation. Government needs to get out of the way of the private sector. One role the government can play is to help provide workers with the skills they need for the current job marketplace. Training programs need to be targeted toward jobs in high demand, such as energy, pharmaceuticals and tech´nology.
Sean Summers (R): Representatives cast votes on a variety of issues. There should be no debate that the most solemn duty that a representative has is a vote concerning whether to send our most valuable resource - our young men and women - off to war. History has shown that our country has fought a war at least once every generation. Currently, Iran continues to attempt to develop a nuclear weapon, and we cannot be the generation that allows Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Eventually, if undeterred, Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon and a ballistic missile that will reach the United States. Iran has pledged our destruction, and we cannot live in fear or allow a terrorist nation to blackmail the world. We do not need to send our troops to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities, but we need to support Israel in the defense of itself.
Mark Swomley (R): I believe the regulatory burdens placed on business by government have caused much of the job and economic crisis in this country. A company in Red Lion was penalized by a law designed to keep foreign companies from dumping products in the U.S. at artificially low costs. Despite winning a lawsuit against the government, this firm had to declare bankruptcy and lay off most of their workers and has still not received remuneration for the penalties. This is just one case of the draconian measures that government regulations impose on the small businesses of this country. If elected, I will work to repeal legislation that restricts job and economic growth and work to simplify the necessary framework within which our free market economy can grow.
Kevin Downs (R): Our current administration has allowed gas prices to sky rocket. This is not by accident. Alternative energies simply are not cost-effective unless oil prices are above $3 a gallon. This administration has played a game of smoke and mirrors, touting that our nation's domestic oil production is higher than ever before. That is mainly because private land oil production has increased. Obama has dramatically reduced offshore and federal land drilling. Escalating energy costs are weakening our nation because we are forced to deal with nations that do not like us. We need more nuclear facilities. France made the decision in 1974 to build nuclear reactors. They now are energy independent and have one of the lowest-cost energy programs in the world. An "all in" approach, starting with the Keystone pipeline, natural gas and oil drilling, more nuclear reactors, wind and solar energy would reduce our debt.
Eric Martin (R): I can not choose one. The most important is to repeal the 2010 health reform, which undermines the individual sovereignty ingrained in the American psyche. Forcing a person to buy health insurance leads us down a path of the destruction of liberty. I envision forced vaccinations, checkups, procedures, drugs, and more invasions of privacy, to name a few of the slippery slopes that we may fall down if we do not act now. I am 100 percent pro-life and pro-gun. There should be no federal funding or mandates to the states for abortions, and there should not be one federal law or regulation related to guns. No Child Left Behind is a failure and needs to be repealed. We need to have an any-and-everything goes policy in energy. We also need to work toward true free trade with all nations in order to obtain more markets for our services and goods.
Ted Waga (R): At one time we were the great melting pot. All Americans, despite their race, religion or economic status, were proud Americans. It seems we are now becoming a divided nation - divided along economic lines, social lines and racial lines. We are seeing unconstitutional mandates being forced on religious institutions creating division. Finally we are seeing a division created through multi-culturalism. As mentioned, we were the great melting pot where we came together as Americans despite your national origin, race or color. Now we are divided into different classifications such as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American and so on. We must come together again as Americans and erase these lines of social, economic and racial division. United we stand, divided we fall.
Harry Perkinson (D): There are three vital issues: 1) Growing the economy through short and long term job programs. 2) Improving the public education system so that our students can compete in a world job market. 3) Making sure that we maintain and improve the environment so that we have clean air, water and land for our families and sportsmen. If elected, I will work to develop programs that will increase the work force and work towards an industrialization policy and an energy policy that can drive a long-term job-growth environment. I will work to get increased funding for local schools so that pre-Head Start programs can be created along with remedial and academic-enrichment after-school programs that can help students of all ability levels to reach their full potential. I will work to bring industry, government and citizens together to drive preservation of our environment.
Ken Lee (D): What other issue do you consider pressing, and how would you address it if you're elected to Congress? Whether Democrat or Republican, we must stop the "brain drain" of our children. Families are being torn apart and grandparents unable to see their grandchildren because our kids are leaving. Pennsylvania is the second-oldest state and we fail to recognize that our kids have goals and desires and attack what they think are important. We refuse to attempt new and innovative initiatives for them. To reverse this trend, I would encourage incentives for government and private jobs brought to this area; invest boldly in infrastructure, including mass transit; create job- and professional-training coalitions between all schools at all levels (including the Harrisburg Area Community College system) and businesses to furnish the skilled employees businesses require; and I would introduce legislation to pay a child's college loans or tuition if he or she remained here and either performed community service here or worked for an employer located here, or started a business here.