(Nancy Dallas) – Ed Bridges is running for the Nevada Congressional District 3 seat, currently held by Democrat Dina Titus. You can learn more about Ed’s background and political views at www.edbridgesfornevada.com
• Please write a brief summary of your professional and political history.
I served my country for 22 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. I was an instructor in technical and academic schools including an associate professor at the University of Missouri. I was assigned to positions supporting the State Department and was one of three USAF navigators chosen to escort Mr. Brezhnef when he visited the USA in 1972. I was a messenger to Cuba for the State Department and have worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for more than two years. I am familiar with Washington DC and the workings of Congress. I retired from the Air Force as a Colonel and was Commander of the multi service DOD Air Intelligence Training Center. Subsequently, I was asked to be the Project Manager to construct an oil field services camp at Prudhoe, Alaska. This included all decision making for the funding via Alaska Industrial Development bonds and making decisions concerning power generation in the Arctic. While living in Arkansas briefly before moving to Europe, I was the Financial Manager to the largest home builder in Arkansas, Cooper Communities. It was in Arkansas, I was asked to run for public office. Arkansas was a traditionally Democratic state and I ran as a Republican in a district normally dominated by Democrats and won the seat. The position is equivalent to Nevada’s Clark County Commissioner’s seat. In Arkansas, the governing body is the Quorum Court. Later, I joined a life insurance company as a life agent. I eventually took a position in Europe and became the European Regional Manager for the company.
• You have limited political experience. Why are you running for a Congressional office and not a state or local position? What past experiences do you think best qualify you to represent Nevada in Congress? Why do you want to replace Dina Titus?
First Question: Because I feel I am more qualified to serve at the national level than in a state position partly because of my residency here in Nevada but my international work experience in Europe.
Second Question: My service in Washington DC and my consistent defense to our Constitution. I am a fervent believer that our current government is not what our forefathers intended.
Third Question: Ms. Titus has consistently voted straight down her party’s ticket on the major items. Congress is supposed to act as a check to the whims of the President and she has not shown a loyalty to the people of Nevada. She has backed spending bills that threaten the very existence of our society and usurped our Constitutional rights by supporting bills that violate our individual rights and our State’s sovereignty.
• 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? Do you have any suggestions as to how campaign finance laws could become more transparent?
First Question: No, I do not favor persons being able to contribute unlimited amounts to any candidate. The campaign funding has become a major stumbling block to candidates and good representation in our country. Candidates who raise large sums of money to achieve their elected position are beholden to the donors and are no longer able to vote for their constituents.
Second Question: Yes, however, that is not the answer. All candidates should be restricted to low limits of expenditures and donors should be limited to rather small amounts, for instance, no more than $500.00 for any individual. This could level the field for all citizens to run for office and force candidates to focus on contacting the constituents in person. We risk government by elitists if we do not change the emphasis on money.
• What are your greatest concerns with the recently passed health care reform bill? What would you specifically propose to address your concerns?
First Question: My greatest concern is not about the substance of the bill but the way in which it is passed. Never in our history has there been such blatant extortion, intimidation and bribery used to pass a bill that has been shrouded in secrecy. The techniques of intimidations and the total lack of transparency prior to passage are unacceptable in a constitutional republic. As a secondary objection, I believe the bill to contain too many unconstitutional provisions, such as requiring Americans to have health insurance and Congress passing their authority to the Executive Branch.
Second Part: I would introduce a bill to repeal the health care bill as passed.
• 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 definitely support a balanced budget and support the ideas of the Founders when they advocated not passing debt to future generations. The tax payers of this country need to take control of the expenditures of our Congress. Instead of unlimited resources, we should give Congress a maximum they can spend. This can be linked to a percentage of the previous year’s GDP or some other index. Sending representatives to Washington with a “no limit’ check book from our pockets has proven foolish and unsound. Such limits were discussed within the Reagan White House in the 90’s but Republicans lost control of the Congress and the issues were never pursued. Reference Oehler’s book, “Setting Limits”.
• Do you support the current U. S. military’s rules of engagement in Afghanistan? Explain. Should accused terrorists be tried in civilian courts of law? Explain.
First Question: NO! The current Rules of Engagement are placing our troops in jeopardy unnecessarily. Troops should only be asked to risk their lives when a clear authority to return fire from any source is given. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone shooting at U.S. soldiers is not friendly.
Second part: it has been acknowledged by the President and others that we are at war with the terrorists. Since they choose not to wear a distinctive uniform as required by the Geneva Convention, they are spies and have no rights under international law.
• 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? Do you feel Nevada received it fair share of ‘bail-out’ money? Has the ‘bail-out’ program been successful in your district? Do you support the bail-out program?
This is a loaded multi part question for sure. First, the Federal Government can schedule its own conventions and meetings here. It could participate in building better roads and railroads through the region to connect with other metropolitan areas. It can support projects which build upon Nevada’s established hospitality industry. For example, we have world trade centers for garments and household goods, why not an aerospace exhibition center to attract international aerospace industries to display their goods? An Energy expo could be done as well. Our politicians should have decided many years ago to make Nevada, especially southern Nevada, the “energy research capital of the world.” Did Nevada receive its share of bailout money? I do not believe anyone knows exactly where or to whom bailout money has been paid. The current administration is the least transparent in recent history. And NO, I do not support the bailout program.
• How would you propose the Federal government address the issues related to:
o The unabated migration of illegal aliens into the United States
o The large population of resident illegal immigrants?
First, we start by enforcing our boarders; if that means giving the boarder patrol authority to shoot on sight then it should be given. However, we must mainly address the reasons persons what to enter illegally by eliminating the benefits currently offered of schools, social benefits, etc… A trip home should be their reward. An adjunct to that effort is to fine or otherwise punish those businesses hiring illegal immigrants. If they do not get benefits, cross at great bodily peril and cannot get a job, we will eliminate much of the incentive to cross our boarders illegally.
Second, we can start returning those already here by returning all prisoners incarcerated for non violent crimes to their home country. We should amend our law to keep children born of persons in our country illegally from automatically being regarded as citizens. This removes the compassion for separating families from the decision process. If those here wish to learn English and enter one of our military services and serve their time to obtain citizenship like others, then they should be allowed to do so. The others should be sent to their home country or the nearest boarder.
• What would be your priorities in resolving 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?
First: We must make the environment more favorable for the building of refineries in our country. Drilling our own oil will not be the answer until we can process it. I would consider abolishing the Department of Energy as one of those departments who have failed in their assigned tasks. Nevada can do many things to reduce energy costs. One is to develop nuclear energy.
Yes, I support the development of nuclear energy. Moreover, our office buildings and warehouses could have their roofs coated with more reflective materials and solar cells used more. The development and production of solar cells should become a major industry of Nevada.
Last portion of the question: Modern nuclear facilities do not generate nearly the amount of waste that current power plants do. The producing plants in the USA are using decades old technology. Finally, remote storage sites, such as Yucca Mountain can be used effectively if we take the politics out and consider scientific probabilities.
• Is there a Federal department/cabinet position you would support eliminating? Explain.
Yes, as stated above, the Department of Energy. However, I would review the Department of Education for elimination and return the responsibility to the states. Health and Human Services should be reviewed for elimination or modification.
• 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.
Much of this question is answered above. No, I do not believe the federal government should be involved in telling states what education programs they must have. The no child left behind program simply ties our system to the slowest student and should be abolished.
• The inclusion of 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. Congressman, what will you do in regards to this issue?
As a Congressman I will support or propose legislation that eliminates earmarks from bills. While earmarks make the politician look good, I prefer to let the district keep the money instead of hoping their politician can barter some back. That means reducing taxes.
• Should the United States support Israel in their efforts to protect their nation’s security and safety of its citizens? Explain.
Yes, Israel has always been one of America’s staunchest allies in a very strategic corner of the earth. Without a strong Israel, countries unfriendly to US interest will dominate a major transportation artery that is key to shipping for all countries using sea transportation.
• How would you propose to reform the Social Security program?
Restrict the other agencies and departments from raiding the accounts. Review the age at which new entrants into the system can begin drawing from it and link it to life expectancy or a time when the population is ceasing to be productive. This age is currently much higher than when the system was last reviewed. Computers allow persons formerly disabled to have productive, prosperous lives.
• 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. If elected, it is likely you will be a member of the minority party in Congress. What would be your position in regards to skirting the normal process in this manner in order to gain approval of your (the Republican) agenda?
Insist on openness and transparency in the deliberation of bills. Support term limits which will reduce the power of those in office and place every representative on a more equal footing for influence.
• Would you support the designation of additional ‘Wilderness Areas’ in Nevada? Elaborate. Do you have any proposals in mind, or been approached by others, in regards to Public Lands Bills for any area of Nevada? Elaborate.
There are a few areas which should be preserved for posterity. However, this is overused and should be used with considerable discretion.
Second Part: No
• Is there any issue I have failed to address that you would like to comment on? Go for it…….
We must make sure every proposed new law is firmly grounded in the Constitution. The 10th amendment must be regarded as a chain upon the federal government. The Constitution is not antiquated nor is it irrelevant; it is the supreme law of the land until the citizens declare otherwise.