Election date: Monday, Sept. 20, 2010
» Other candidate for this office: Mike Lee
Why do you think delegates at the state Republican convention rejected the incumbent, Sen. Bob Bennett, and advanced you to a primary? What do they expect you to stand for as a candidate?
I believe that Senator Bennett is a good man who spent many years serving our state. Over the last several years, however, it seems that he lost touch with Utah. Utah voters began to associate him with the "Washington insiders" and were ready for a change. I believe they expect me to stand on those solid Republican principles of limited, Constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, free market solutions and they definitely expect a new way of doing business. I expect them to hold my feet to the fire. I will hold myself accountable to those voters to cut government spending and reform entitlement programs in order to end deficit spending.
What should voters know about your background? How have your personal/professional experiences prepared you to serve in the Senate?
I learned the value of hard work at an early age. After college graduation, I went to Washington DC where I worked under the Treasury Department in the Reagan Administration. Since then, I co-founded several successful small businesses, including in environmental services, energy, biotechnology, healthcare and multimedia technologies. My business ventures have brought hundreds of jobs to Utah. I know first-hand it is the private sector that creates jobs and that government interference causes distortions in the free market. I have experience in the private sector--balancing a budget, making payroll, and managing expenses. We MUST cut spending and we must remove the shackles on the private sector.
Under what circumstances would you support the resumption of nuclear testing?
I am completely opposed to any form of above-ground nuclear testing. Additionally, underground nuclear testing should never be taken lightly and as the son of a Downwinder, I know that as well as anyone. However, I disagree with those who would take the option off the table completely. Given the world in which we live, where North Korea and other countries continue to pursue testing and weapons development, there may come a time when limited underground testing is appropriate and necessary. Even then, it should never be undertaken without the input of state and local leaders, as well as other stakeholders.
Do you support or oppose Utah lawmakers who are considering passing anti-illegal immigration laws, including one similar to Arizona's, because they don't want to wait any longer for the federal government to act? Why or why not?
I support Utah lawmakers, although I consider it unfortunate that the federal government will not step up and be responsible for one of the limited powers that IS under their purview. The Arizona law codifies into state law the federal law already on the books which deals with illegal immigration enforcement. We have a broken legal immigration system that incentivizes people to break the law. We need to fix the legal immigration system that is currently in disarray, we must remove incentives to being here illegally, we must strengthen our borders and we must enforce the laws ALREADY on the books. I believe that is what the Arizona law is doing and Utah legislators will make the best decision for Utah.
What action should Congress be taking to deal with the continued effects of the recession? What steps should be taken to alleviate the national debt?
We must stop spending more than we bring in. We must cut taxes. I favor repealing the corporate tax and extending the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Three things: First I will propose & support a Balanced Budget Amendment that includes a limit on government spending. That's the way Utah does it, and we're the best-managed state in the Union. Washington needs a good dose of Utah, and I'm prepared to give it to them. Second I would vote no on any irresponsible appropriations bills which are not focused on balancing our budgets. Third, entitlements should not be automatically included in the budget and earmarks should not be dropped into bills at the last second. I am the only candidate in this race to sign the Citizens Against Government Waste pledge. We must change how we do business in DC.
Should more offshore oil drilling be allowed in light of the BP spill? How do you envision energy development going forward?
Yes. We should learn the lessons that need to be learned from this disaster, but we should not remove offshore drilling as an option. I believe we should be able to pursue more on-shore drilling - in ANWR, for example, and right here in Utah. I believe in an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy development and usage - ongoing drilling, coal-fired power plants, more nuclear power plants, reasonable renewable energy - all of it needs to be explored and used so that we can achieve true energy independence.
What are the most important qualities for a Supreme Court nominee to possess?
They must be faithful to the original intent of the Constitution, with a track record showing they have the ability to impartially interpret the law and not "legislate from the bench."
What action, if any, should the Senate take on such gay rights issues as the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy or moves to allow gay marriage?
I believe the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is a decision best left to our military leaders, not politicians. I also believe marriage is between a man and woman.
What is your position on federal health care reform?
Repeal, Defund and Replace ObamaCare. There is no question this legislation must go. It is unconstitutional and healthcare is something the federal government has no business being in. However, as long as we have government insisting on taking over, it is not enough for us to repeal this national healthcare law and then do nothing. We must enact a series of our own market-driven ideas to bring the cost of healthcare down at the state level, not the federal level. We must create real competition and choice in the insurance market. This includes making insurance portable and increasing incentives for Health Savings Accounts. We must reform the legal system to cut down on frivolous lawsuits. We must allow the states to control Medicare and Medicaid. This will cut waste and lower administrative costs and allow the states to exert stiffer penalties on those who commit Medicare fraud. Finally, we must improve the FDA drug review process to encourage more innovation in the invention of drugs and medical devices.
How would you reform entitlement spending? Specifically, would your plans include eliminating and/or cutting Social Security? Would it eliminate or cut Medicare?
We must begin with the stark fact that these programs are bankrupt. The unfunded liability (promised benefits minus expected revenues) of Social Security is $17.5 trillion and the unfunded liability of Medicare is $89 trillion. Without fundamental changes soon, we will see massive cuts in future benefits. I would support a transition to a privatized program for Social Security for younger workers. I have a plan to allow willing workers to invest some part of their FICA taxes into "personal savings accounts," which would be invested in equities and bonds paying a higher rate of return than the government now pays. These accounts would belong to the individual, and the nest egg accumulated over the years would be sufficient to pay better retirement benefits, and even leave something to bequeath at death. I will push for a pilot project to have states manage their own medicare plans.