Conlon Wins Debate: Also Secures Pete Wilson Endorsement
The country's financial crisis was a top issue on the minds of voters attending the October 28 debate featuring Republican Greg Conlon and four other candidates for Congress in California's 12th District, which covers portions of San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
Also, this week Conlon was endorsed by former California Governor Pete Wilson. Conlon served underneath Gov. Wilson as President of the California Public Utilities Commission and California Transportation Commission.
Conlon told the debate audience that the government's recent rescue package aimed at shoring up banks offers "a reasonable approach" for getting the U.S. economy moving again, given the seriousness of the current situation. He cited his background as a businessman and his years of regulatory experience serving Gov. Wilson, as President of the California Public Utilities Commission as qualifications for helping to regulate Wall Street.
Conlon also pointed to the lack of confidence in the markets and the pervasiveness of fear as key challenges to restoring the country's economy. He advocated measures to strengthen small businesses and said keeping corporate tax rates low would help employers create jobs.
Conlon also argued for extending the tax cuts that are due to expire in 2010. His research shows that if the tax cuts were repealed, the average household in the 12th District would see its taxes rise by $4,000.
He said, "We need to balance the federal budget without increasing taxes," and advocated cutting spending much as President Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. Conlon would cut expenses across the board with some exceptions mainly for national security funding, but would include decreasing the salaries of all federal employees from the President on down.
Energy policy was another major issue the candidates were asked to address. Noting that the nation must reduce its dependence on foreign oil, Conlon supported nuclear power as a clean alternative source of energy. Conlon said the nuclear waste issue cited by opponents "is a red herring. France successfully uses reprocessing plants to address the waste issue, and so could we."
Other issues covered in the debate included immigration, health care, and the war in Iraq. Conlon said the surge of U.S. troops is responsible for the decrease in violence in Iraq, noting that our engagement is limited to less than half of the 18 provinces in Iraq. He said we should leave as soon as the Iraqi police are ready to take over full responsibility for stabilizing the country, but to do so prematurely "would be foolish. We still have a vested interest in the Middle East. Gas prices could go up to $5, $6, or $7 a gallon if we pull out too soon."
On immigration, Conlon cited the need to help Mexico improve its economy and create jobs in order to stem the flow of illegal workers into our country. He also opposed universal health care, but agreed that catastrophic coverage was important to prevent bankruptcies.
Conlon discusses the economy, other issues and former Governor Pete Wilson's endorsement in his latest one-minute radio commercial.