Wayne Independent - "Congressional Candidates Share Their Platforms"
Despite much of the attention in the Pennsylvania Primary on the Democratic race for President, Republicans also have a hotly contested choice, that of the Republican nomination for 10th U.S. Congressional District. Monday night, the Wayne County Council of Republican Women sponsored a forum at Tick Tock's Restaurant for the Republican challengers, Dan Meuser and Chris Hackett.
Each hope to unseat incumbent Democrat, Congressman Chris Carney who is running for his second term unchallenged in his own party.
Both of them hail as conservatives, and operate successful businesses in the Shavertown area of Luzerne County. Here is a summary of their remarks.
Meuser went first.
Dan Meuser said he has had opportunity learning and listening to the priorities of families and business owners of the 10th District. He estimates he has met about 10,000 people in 10 months. Meuser cites his business experience and personal, conservative character as the type of Congressman the 10th needs.
In the past 20 years he has developed his company Pride Mobility, maker of power wheelchairs and other aids, and employs about 1,200 people. It has been very rewarding, he said, as they have helped many charities and created good jobs. "Under promising and over delivering," his motto in business, will apply as Congressman if elected.
"My business career taught me to negotiate in good faith," said Meuser. Referring to his opponent's emphasis on banning the earmark system where legislators bring back to the District non-budgeted allocations for local projects. While he is for earmark reform, Meuser said he does not believe it to make sense to make the 10th a "martyr district" by refusing to seek earmarks for good projects, unless every district did the same.
"I believe in making government smaller." he said the federal government needs a massive reduction in expenses. He said the 10th needs to stay competitive for business. He also said he defends the U.S. Constitution, and is also strongly pro-life. Conservatism also needs application to energy and health care policies.
Regarding illegal immigration, Meuser calls for securing our borders and for the federal government to be required to enforce its existing laws. He countered criticism that came aimed at his record of managing his company. Meuser said that in 1995 his company unknowingly hired three illegal aliens. "We paid a fine and corrected the problem," he noted. "Over 13 years [since] we have not hired illegals. We set up screening, measures to not let it occur again." His company was a lot smaller then, he said, and some records then could have been screened better.
Chris Hackett stated he decided to run for Congress after seeing what the Republicans lost while controlling Congress from 2000 to 2006. While the tax cuts were good, Congress spent not only the taxpayer's money, but also that of our children and grandchildren. " We need limited government, regulations and taxes," said Hackett. "We need to return to the Party of Reagan."
Hackett said his conservative values can help. He said, "We need to get government out of our lives." Earmarks he said, are one of the greatest problems. While many earmarked project are laudable, the problem is the process. Rep. Carney, he noted, was able to get $18 million in earmarks for the 10th District, but in doing sop, compromised in his voting. "He brought Washington vales back to the 10th" rather than Carney's pledge to do just the opposite.
Special interests, he said, is the currency for the earmark process. "They buy your vote with your money." Rather than dictate how the money will be spent, Hackett said the taxpayers should be able to keep more of their money and make that decision.
He called for a less obtrusive country and lower taxes. "The Great Society Model" started by President Johnson 40 years ago, has not worked, said Hackett.
Regarding socialized medicine, Hackett said it is wrong to let government be more involved in the process. Tort reform must start from the bottom, up. Market forces should be allowed to keep health care costs in control, he suggested. Otherwise, in 10 years, no one will be able to afford health insurance. Also, Medicare costs won't need to rise as fast, he said., if we deal with underlying costs and allow competition.
Source: Wayne Independent