Ashland Times-Gazette - Q&A 5th District Congressional Candidates Speak Out
1. What would do you think should be done in the after math of the financial industry bail out to ensure continued oversight and protect the taxpayers huge investment?
Bob Latta: Now that the financial market rescue legislation has passed, members of Congress have the responsibility to ensure that the American taxpayers' investment is used in a responsible manor. Congress must provide oversight to ensure any investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Federal Reserve Chairman are used within the guidelines of the legislation. Unfortunately, I do not believe the legislation was specific enough to prevent taxpayer money from being used for unnecessary investments, as well as lacking enough oversight to prevent the Treasury Department from making investments outside the scope of our current financial situation.
George F. Mays: Considering the millions skimmed off the top of Fannie and Freddie, the millions given to politicians through their lobbyists and sweetheart deals, extreme speculation schemes and the huge amount of pork, I would not have supported the bill. The bailout (and believe me, there will be more) should be focused on helping those who have lost jobs and are losing homes.
Fannie and Freddie must be restructured and have sensible oversight. Mortgages in trouble should be restructured. This is much better than bankruptcy. The government should step back from other crashing banks, except for insuring depositors.
2. What direction should the United States take in regard to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Bob Latta: Our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan must continue to receive unconditional support from Congress. As secretarian violence and resistance continues to decline, it is clear that our troops are completing the mission they set out to accomplish. Moving forward, Congress has the responsibility to continue to support and fund our troops. Artificial timelines and reductions in troop funding only put the brave men and women defending our nation in more danger. Strategy and planning should be left to Department of Defense, not Congress.
George F. Mays: More than 5 1/2 years ago, when Bush rattled sabers and laid down rationale for an invasion, I did not believe him. With 4,200 troops sacrificed and hundreds of billions of dollars later, I still feel we should not be there. Systematically hand over the keys in an orderly drawback and come home. We cannot, nor could ever, afford Iraq.
Afghanistan is a different matter. In attention to its situation has caused prolonged problems, particularly with our "friends' the Pakistani's who are shooting at us. We must send more troops and capture Bin Laden and his terrorists no matter what obstacles exist.
3. What should be done to address America's energy needs?
Bob Latta: As energy demands continue to rise, Congress must act soon to pass an "all of the above energy policy." The abundance of oil and natural gas within the United States, in addition to renewable and alternative energy technology already provide us with the resources we need to reduce our dependency on Middle East oil. I introduced legislation that lays out a common sense energy plan for the United States and co-sponsored multiple bills that work to make the United States energy independent. Energy is the cornerstone of our economy and we must do everything in our power to provide affordable energy.
George F. Mays: For several years, long before gasoline was $2 a gallon, I believed we needed a nuts and bolts plan to place renewable resource power plants across our power grid. Wind, biomass plasma torch and hydro technologies are ready to go. The will, the plan and the investment is all that is missing.
The establishment of green power at our energy core would spur new science technologies and thus industries and jobs. It would create multiple options to power cars. Renewable resource power is the way to go.
4. With Ashland County being on the fringe of the 5th District, what presence would you have in the county and how would you serve your local constituents?
Bob Latta: While I am in Washington during the week for the Congressional voting schedule, I come home each weekend and for district work periods. I take pride in the fact that I travel to all corners of the Fifth District to hear directly from my constituents on issues that Congress is working on. With three district offices, including one in Norwalk, I work hard to ensure my constituents can contact me. If I am re-elected, I will continue to travel the district and have a district office in the eastern portion of the Fifth District.
George F. Mays: I believe all people have value. The people of northern Ashland County are no different. Even though District 5 includes or reaches into 17 counties, during this campaign I have been in Ashland County at least 5 times.
I will keep in touch with you through an office only a half-hour away, a staffer will normally be available to you and you will receive regular newsletters. I will keep in touch with your elected officials. I (we) will answer your e-mails and letters. I highly value Ashland County.