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Questionnaire responses from Jim Matheson

Published: Sunday, Oct. 15 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

Deseret Morning News questionnaire responses from 2nd Congressional District candidate Jim Matheson, Democrat.

1. In general, what are the two major issues facing the United States and your specific House district today and how would you address them?

Keeping Americans safe and securing the future for our children are major issues for my district and for my country. Providing children a good education, economic opportunity and secure and safe neighborhoods, including the "virtual" neighborhood online are essential to me. I've demonstrated my ability to cross party lines in order to achieve progress on major issues.

2. Would you over the next two years in office ever vote for a tax increase? Yes. No. Explain.

I don't foresee it.

3. Before the United States invaded Iraq, did you favor or oppose the U.S. taking new military action in the country?

I voted for the authorization of force, as a final option for the president, should diplomatic efforts to disarm Saddam Hussein fail.

4. In your opinion, what should the U.S. now do in the Iraqi war? (Please be specific: should we withdraw immediately, set a time-line for withdrawal, stay-the-course as President Bush advocates, etc.?)

We all want our troops to return home from Iraq as soon as possible. I oppose setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal. I oppose calls for an immediate withdrawal. I support having Congress clearly delineate the conditions that, if met, would permit a U.S. withdrawal. We need an honest assessment of what is working and what is not working and what needs to change in terms of strategy. Other countries in the region need to be involved. Success should include not just a military role, but also a plan for political, diplomatic and economic success.

5. Should Democrats take control of the U.S. House (U.S. Senate in the Hatch/Ashdown race) after the November elections, predict three things that will happen over the next two years because of the power shift.

I would hope for more balanced budgets; the end of funding for the design and development of new nuclear weapons; and the adoption of a long-term research and development program to wean us from our dependence on foreign oil.

6. Considering that the U.S. budget will be in deficit again, do you favor or oppose making the current tax cuts permanent?

I have voted to make some tax cuts permanent, such as fixing the marriage penalty, protecting the child tax credit, and repealing the estate tax. It makes sense to allow small businesses and families to make proper planning decisions. Deficit-reduction requires numerous budget reforms that I support, such as reinstating budget rules that say before you can add new spending, or cut revenue, you must show how you are going to pay for it, the line-item veto, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment.

7. Please give your specific stands on the following issues, which some term as moral issues:

— Stem cell research. I voted for HR810 — legislation that allows federal funding for stem cell research within narrow limits and under strict ethical guidelines.

— Cloning of human cells. I voted to ban human cloning.

— Abortion. I voted to ban partial-birth abortion; I voted for parental notification before a minor can cross state lines for an abortion; I voted for greater federal protection for pregnant women who are victims of crime.

— Capital punishment. I support capital punishment.

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