(Nancy Dallas) – This is the first in a series of interviews with various Republican candidates for the United States Senate race which will be published each day this week. All of the candidates interviewed were asked the same set of questions and their responses will be published throughout the coming week. Our first candidate is Sharron Angle.
1. Please write a brief summary of your professional and political history.
I began my political career as a mother fighting in the Nevada State Legislature with other citizens for a home school law in 1982. I served a term on the Nye County School Board of Trustees in 1992 and was elected to four terms in the Nevada State Assembly from 1998 to 2006. In 2007 I was an unpaid citizen lobbyist for my ten Bill Drafts (BDR’s) that I requested before my retirement as a state legislator. Among these was my home school freedom law which is model home school legislation for the nation. In 2008 I sponsored and qualified the Nevada Property Tax Restraint initiative for the 2008 ballot. I have been to court five times in defense of the Constitution. I received the Ronald Reagan Freedom Medallion from Claremont Institute in recognition of my battle in the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve Nevada’s Constitutional two-thirds legislative vote requirement to raise taxes and fees.
Professionally, I have been a teacher in public, private, home school, community college, senior citizens and juvenile probation for over 25 years. I also managed two small businesses. My community service began in college as a reading tutor in a high risk Reno elementary school. I co-founded a crisis hotline for troubled teens in Ely, NV. I was part of a ministry team to the nursing home and the prison honor camp in Winnemucca, NV as well as co-founder of the Winnemucca Fine Art Gallery. In Tonopah, Nevada I co-founded the Tonopah Life Center a recreation facility for teens and their families.
2. What past experiences do you think best qualify you to represent Nevada in the U.S. Senate? Why should voters support you over your Primary opponents?
My experience in the Nevada State Legislature fighting taxation and government regulation, passing several important bills from my position in the minority without compromising my principles or making deals, leading a minority of Assemblymen as minority whip through the battle against the largest tax increase in the history of Nevada in 2003 and my Supreme Court cases to restore the Constitution uniquely qualify me to be an independent representative for Nevada in the United States Senate. I have the battle tested, proven record of standing for lower taxes, less government regulation and keeping my oath of office to uphold the Constitution that the people of Nevada can trust. No other candidate in this race including Harry Reid has that record.
3. Should individuals be allowed to contribute unlimited amounts of money to Federal candidates? Would you support a law requiring immediate disclosure via the internet of large contributions?
I have been endorsed by Citizens United, the group that won the U.S. Supreme Court case against McCain Feingold as a violation of First Amendment rights to free political speech. The Constitution is the rule of law in our country. We can not violate it or we will lose our foundation. The matter of limiting campaign contributions has failed because big donors who want a vested interest in campaigns find the loopholes in the campaign reform laws. The limitations must come from the candidates themselves. I have not accepted money from casinos and unions. I do not oppose those groups but I want to avoid the perception by voters that those groups might put undue pressure on me as a legislator. All of my U.S. Senate contributions come from individuals and seventy-five percent of those contributions come from small donors. Yes.
4. Understanding the proposed Congressional health plans are under scrutiny and changes will be made to the original proposals, what are your greatest concerns with the current proposals? What specific alternatives would you propose?
The federal healthcare takeover offers no solutions to the cost issues or quality of care issues related to healthcare. Defeating these proposals is important to the economic survival of our country because of the frontloaded tax increase contained in this bill. The pro-life coalition has been successful in derailing the healthcare bill votes which only underlines the importance of these constituencies’ views as part of the Republican platform and the importance of my record on this issue. I introduced legislation which is part of my record as a Nevada Assemblywoman that repealed state mandated healthcare coverages allowing for a basic insurance policy. It also provided for small business membership in larger private sector insurance pools spread the risks of employees with preexisting conditions and costs for individual insurance. I voted for medical tort reform in Nevada as a legislative and as a Constitutional amendment I helped collect signatures. I also introduced tort reform for all businesses that reduced the litigation risks. These are some of the free market solutions that should be implemented across the nation. Adding to eliminating coverage mandates, expanded pools, and tort reform, purchasing insurance across state lines and tax credited health savings accounts are also part of the solution.
5. Our national debt is growing at an astronomical rate (to $1.4 trillion this past year). Do you support a ‘balanced budget’ amendment to the Constitution? If so, specify your plan to create an annual balanced budget?
Yes. I also support a single subject rule on all legislation to help eliminate pork attachments. A supermajority two-thirds requirement for passing tax increases and spending increases and a restriction on spending growth to population plus inflation growth. My specific economic policy is pay back, cut back and take back. First a triage of paying back the $500 billion left in stimulus funds, the $500 billion TARP funds being returned by banks and the $1 billion in unspent budget appropriations. Paying back $1.1 trillion on the deficit. Second, cut back to a capped 2010 budget and cutting 5% per year for the next five years on a prioritized list of those departments and agencies (not including our contract with seniors on Social Security and Medicare) specifically those not Constitutionally enumerated. We need to make the death tax and capital gains tax cuts permanent. Third, we need to take back our government by auditing the FED, dismantling Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and abolishing the IRS code which is 67,000 pages of rewarding friends and punishing enemies replacing it with a tax system that is fairer and flatter.
6. Do you support the current U. S. military’s rules of engagement in Afghanistan? Explain.
Yes. Terrorism is the central challenge of our time. I support a military force of superior strength and readiness to deter all threats to our national security for the safety and freedom of our citizens. We must equip our military with the best possible weapons and intelligence. The United Nations or foreign capitals must not be allowed to dictate the steps we take to defend our national security, and I oppose placement of our troops under any foreign command, including the United Nations. Abandoning the strength of our resolve in the Middle East has emboldened terrorists and put us at risk here at home. Since the democratically elected government in Iraq is more stable, we can begin to remove American security forces. For the stability of our future at home, we can accept no outcome other than swift victory in Afghanistan.
7. Nevada’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. What, if any, steps should be taken by the Federal government to specifically address Nevada’s unemployment concerns?
I am opposed to the unconstitutional big corporation stimulus and bail outs by the Federal government. Small businesses create a large percentage of Nevada’s jobs. Encouraging small business to take risks, expand their businesses and hire more employees can be done from the Federal level by cutting regulations and taxation that directly affect all businesses but most of this government strangle hold is at the state level which is covered by the tenth amendment.
8. How would you propose the Federal government address the issues related to the number of illegal aliens currently in the Untied States?
We must secure our borders and enforce the law. Every day, thousands of people cross our borders illegally and undetected. We don’t know their intentions and we don’t have any means to track their activities. I support a much heavier physical presence on our borders, including military assistance to help the Border Patrol effectively do its job.
I oppose amnesty proposals, which send a ruinous signal that breaking the law is acceptable in our country. In the Legislature, I voted against the Millennium Scholarship because it allowed non-citizens to receive taxpayer subsidized college tuition. I also authored legislation to safeguard our election process by requiring identification for voting in Nevada and legislation to make English the official language of Nevada.
9. What would be your priorities in resolving the concerns related to the increasing dependency of the Untied States on foreign oil? What measures would you propose at the Federal level to help alleviate Nevada’s high energy costs? Do you support Nuclear energy? How do you propose we resolve the dilemma of dealing with nuclear waste?
I would legislate to repeal regulations that prohibit off shore drilling, drilling in ANWR and development of our own petroleum resources. I would have supported the three coal fired plants in Ely that Harry Reid killed. Yes. Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Energy industry have long been demonized and demagogued by Harry Reid. In 2005 I voted for a resolution rejecting Yucca mountain as a dead-end nuclear dump. However, I lived for eight years in Tonopah, NV near the test range and Yucca Mountain. For nearly twenty years, I have been in favor of Yucca Mountain as a profitable center for reprocessing not a nuclear landfill and dumping ground.
Yucca Mountain has enormous potential for fulfilling the need in America for clean, cost efficient energy as well as economic diversity for Nevada and much needed jobs for thousands. As your Nevada Senator:
• I would promote Nevada as the Nuclear Energy capital of reprocessing spent fuels for the United States.
• I would invite scientists to do research and development in a secure test site environment as well as mentoring students who would come to UNR and UNLV to study under these great minds.
• I would introduce and shepherd legislation that would remove the prohibitions on reprocessing in the United States as well as the executive order agreement with France which has strangled domestic reprocessing.
• I would reverse Reid’s actions which have reneged on the contract with the nuclear industry for storage of nuclear spent fuels at Yucca Mountain. This contract should be negotiated in terms of reprocessing those fuels at Yucca Mountain and using those reprocessed fuels to fire nuclear power plants on site at Yucca.
• I would educate Nevadans and Americans on the safe transportation of nuclear spent fuels since 1954 over 400 million miles without an accident.
10. Is there a Federal department/cabinet position you would support eliminating? Explain.
Yes. There are several Federal departments that are not covered by the Constitutional Federal enumerated powers clause and should be given back to the states per the Tenth amendment. Those cuts should include the Department of Education, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, IRS code, audit the FED leading to cuts, National Endowment of the Arts, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Planned Parenthood funding, funding of czars and more. I include these cuts in my economic policy for taking back our government. ]
11. Should the Federal government be involved the regulation of our nation’s public school education system? If so, to what degree? Are you satisfied with the “No Child Left Behind” law? Explain.
The Department of Education is unconstitutional and should not be involved in education at any level. Agencies such as the Department of Education have given us one-size-fits-all policy and programs that fit no one such as No Child Left Behind. NCLB has burdened classrooms and hamstrung teachers with testing and regulation. The Federal Department of Education should be cut. The best education is the education that is controlled closest to the local level and should have alternative choices for parents which is why I am an advocate for home school, vouchers and charter schools.
12. The inclusion of apparently wasteful, foolish “pork” and “earmarks” in federal legislation is an historical practice – the public and many elected officials decry this practice, but, with no one wanting to be left off of the gravy train, it seems it is impossible to curtail. As a U.S. Senator, what will you do in regards to this issue?
Pork is about politics not people. “Let’s make a deal” Harry Reid proved his prowess at manipulating politics by offering pork deals like the Florida free-ride, the Louisiana purchase and the Nebraska cornhusker kick-back. There are two solutions. First as a U.S. Senator, I will not ask for pork for Nevada and encourage legislation that will restrict bills to one subject requiring any returns of Nevada’s federal tax dollars to be made in a forthright manner based on the merits of the bill. I support any legislation that will deter the practice of pork and encourage its elimination such as line item veto and single subject requirements.
13. Should the United States support Israel in their efforts to protect their nation’s security and safety of its citizens? Explain.
Yes. Israel is a democratic nation and ally in the middle east. Their sovereignty, stability and security are in the best interests of the United States when dealing with radical Islamic terror. Our diplomatic dealings with Israel and all of our allies must always promote freedom around the world and we must encourage our allies to join us in sanctioning those nations who harbor terrorists and encourage tyranny.
14. How would you propose to reform the Social Security program?
Social Security is a broken and bankrupt system because we have allowed congress to transform it from an insurance program to and entitlement program. We must continue to keep our contract with seniors who entered into the system on good faith and now are counting on the contract. We must offer a free market alternative to those still in their wage earning years, one that transitions from the present system by offering retirement choices to employees and employers and phases out the Social Security system for young workers.
15. Senator Harry Reid has a long history of using dubious Congressional rules and procedures to skirt normally accepted procedures in order to promote/pass his personal/party’s agenda. What would be your position in regards to skirting the normal process in this manner in order to gain approval of your agenda?
This practice has fostered cynical voter apathy and underlined the corruption that is pervasive in government. The rule of law is our foundation. The oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution is our trust. I will keep both and reject back door deals and closed secret meetings. This has been my reputation in Nevada government and my record when I was the only vote against the split roll property taxes that violated the Constitutional uniform and equal property tax provision.
16. Is there any issue I have failed to address that you would like to comment on? Go for it…….
o I respect and defend the rights of the individual to own property leading the effort for the Nevada Property Tax Restraint Initiative and co-sponsoring an initiative that protects property owners from the potential abuses of eminent domain.
o I support the individual constitutionally protected right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, property, as well as for other lawful purposes. I affirm that each citizen is a part of the well-armed militia.
o I recognize the traditional family as the foundation of our society. I worked to pass the Constitutional Protection of Marriage Act in Nevada, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
o All human life is precious, regardless of location, age, infirmity, or degree of dependence. I hold the pro-life position. In the Legislature, I have introduced and supported life-protecting legislation.
o Please read my record at www.sharronangle.com and remember we have the right contract with America…our Constitution, the right message… lower taxes, less government regulation, more individual freedom and less spending and I’m the right angle to replace Harry Reid.