(Nancy Dallas) – This is the fourth in our week-long series of interviews with Republican candidates for the United States Senate this year in Nevada. Today’s featured candidate is Danny Tarkanian.
1. Please write a brief summary of your professional and political history.
I proudly believe in constitutional conservatism. I believe in limited government and oppose the government takeover of private sector industries. I believe in a smaller government that – with some occasional help – leaves the average person free to achieve his or her ambitions.
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?
I know what it means to fight for what is right and never give up. During my campaign for Secretary of State, I was attacked by Harry Reid’s allies in the general election. Following the campaign, I said enough, taking those who had falsely attacked me to court for libel. I won the first ever campaign libel case in Nevada clearing myself of the accusations for good. I am running in this race on conservative principles that I have held my entire life. I have an un-altering view of how our government should function based on constitutional law and those principles set me apart from some of the other leading primary candidates. I bring experience in tough campaigns and a strong commitment to fiscal conservatism.
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?
As a fiscal conservative, I don’t support regulating how individuals choose to invest their money, therefore I don’t support limiting individual campaign contributions. However, I am also committed to transparency and accountability, and I will support legislation requiring every dollar of every contribution be recorded and the source of the contribution reported for the public to see. Let everyone donate as much as they would like and let everyone see just who is donating, that is the fair and transparent way.
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 current healthcare proposals on the Democrats’ side are reminiscent of a socialized, all-at-once approach to healthcare reform. The costs are enormous and the effect will only be expanded government involvement in providing healthcare, an approach that is already struggling to succeed in Medicare and Medicaid. I have proposed common-sense solutions since I got into this race that will not cost taxpayers one additional dollar and will not expand the role of the government. We need TORT reform, we need to open insurance purchases across state lines, we need to separate insurance from the workplace and make it personal, we need to cut waste, fraud, and abuse out of the current federal healthcare programs, and we need to reduce mandates that have driven costs up.
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?
I do support passing a balanced budget amendment. I have also proposed over $1.4 trillion in budget cuts as a beginning point if I am elected to the senate, you can view those at this website: www.tark2010.org/news/proposed-federal-agency-budget-cuts
6. Do you support the current U. S. military’s rules of engagement in Afghanistan? Explain.
I support our efforts in Afghanistan to root out and destroy all terrorist assets and contributors. This should be our primary effort and our sole effort in Afghanistan and once we have brought all those responsible for 9/11 to justice, we should bring our troops home. I support any means necessary to accomplish this mission, terrorists are not war-time combatants, they are not protected by the Geneva Convention and should be treated like the cowards they have shown themselves to be.
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 have outlined a clear path forward to help boost Nevada’s economy, you can read my full plan here: www.tark2010.org/news/economic-growth-plan-for-nevada.
8. How would you propose the Federal government address the issues related to the number of illegal aliens currently in the Untied States?
We need to do whatever it takes to secure the borders and stop completely the flow of illegal aliens. We need to enforce the laws we currently have on the books, taking away all incentives for them to be here, and no amnesty should be given.
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 support drilling in ANWR and off the Coast. I support increasing, and in fact doubling, our nuclear energy dependence to 40% of the national electricity output. I support re-opening Yucca Mountain and transitioning it into a nuclear spent fuel advanced reprocessing facility so we can bring the spent nuclear fuel to Nevada and recycle it to retrieve over 95% of the unused fuel and at the same time receive the $250 million a year in revenue from the Federal government. I propose making Nevada the home of small nuclear reactor development, a revolutionary new technology that is cleaner, safer and more efficient than the old large reactors. I support encouraging renewable energies like wind, geothermal, and solar, and finding ways to make it cheaper. I support the use of clean alternative energies like natural gas and the continued use of our natural resources like coal. All of these approaches together outline a clear path to America’s energy independence and freedom from dependence on foreign oil.
10. Is there a Federal department/cabinet position you would support eliminating? Explain.
National Endowment for the Arts, and the IRS. The NEA is a program that falls so far outside of the constitutional purpose of Congress that it is absurd. Congress was not designed to be the funding institution for the arts, it is one massive earmark and I propose eliminating all earmarks. I support a complete overhaul of the tax code to a fair tax system which would base the entire tax system on a set national sales tax. If this reform were to take place, the IRS would be unnecessary.
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.
I oppose NCLB and will vote to repeal it. The department of education should be completely scaled back to only include funding programs for higher education like running start and college aid. Public schools should be funded and run at the local and state levels where the parents, teachers and those closest to the children can determine the needs best.
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?
I have signed a pledge to neither seek nor accept pork/earmarks. I am opposed to this federal slush fund that is in place as a vote purchasing mechanism. I will stand firm on my position and refuse to solicit pork funding as a U.S. senator and seek to end the practice all together.
13. Should the United States support Israel in their efforts to protect their nation’s security and safety of its citizens? Explain.
Israel is this country’s strongest ally in the Middle East and we should support whatever steps Israel feels are necessary to protect themselves, especially in light of the recent remarks by Iran declaring they are developing a nuclear program. Israel has the right to defend itself and as their ally we should support them.
14. How would you propose to reform the Social Security program?
It should be privatized into individual, private accounts.
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?
I believe in a transparent legislative process and in respecting the will of the people. If you cannot pass a piece of legislation through the accepted procedures, it is probably not worth passing.