On August 11th, I sent a questionnaire to the campaigns of the Republican and Democrat candidates running for U.S. Congress for the districts representing the Orlando area: District 8 and District 24.
The first to respond was State Representative Kurt Kelly, who is running for Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives for District FL-8. My leading statements and questions below are in bold, with Representative Kelly’s answers following.
Issue 1: What is your faith background?
Kelly: I am a Christian who believes that Christ is my Savior. I accepted Christ at the age of six and have tried to live for Him each day. My father was a Southern Baptist pastor, so I have been involved in church work for many years. I became very interested in church music and won the title of Christian music artist of the year in 1984. I met my wife when I was singing in the choir at the First Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale. I was a deacon at First Baptist Church, Ocala. I have studied theology and Christian history at the Southeastern Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I was considering a call to the ministry when Governor Jeb Bush appointed me to the Marion County School Board and sent my life in a different direction. I later ran for the Florida House and am now running for Congress. I consider being a statesman one of the highest callings.
Issue 2: It has been claimed that the Healthcare Reform Act, as passed by Congress and signed by the President, allows several different ways in which abortion clinics could receive federal funds. To address these concerns, President Obama issued an executive order to prevent federal funds being used for abortions.
Q: Do you believe that it is possible (or even likely) that federal funds could be diverted to abortion providers via the Healthcare Reform Act?
Kelly: I believe that the executive order was simply a smoke screen and will definitely be enacted when we turn our backs.
Q: Do you believe that the President’s executive order was sufficient to address these concerns?
Kelly: No, Obama issued that order to get some conservative Democratic votes. I think he will cave and rescind it.
Issue 3: The Healthcare Reform Act was passed with the dual purpose of providing coverage to the uninsured while also keeping Medicare solvent. The latest CBO estimate, though, says that Medicare’s solvency has only been extended by about 12 years.
Q: Do you believe that Medicare can be made solvent?
Q: Do you think Medicare should be fixed? If not, should it continue at all?
Kelly: Medicare should be continued but there is much fraud- this must be fixed.
Q: What is your proposed (set of) solution(s) to the problems with Medicare?
Kelly: Cutting the abuse and fraud with Medicare will make a great impact on the funding.
Q: Do you believe the challenges with Medicare should be a higher or lower priority than the similar problems facing Social Security?
Kelly: Many people have paid into social security for a number of years; Medicare payments have not been made as long by as many people. I do not believe in means testing.
Issue 4: Adult stem cell research has yielded very good results so far with minimal controversy.
Q: What is your position on cloning (a.k.a., “somatic nuclear transfers”) and embryonic stem cell research?
Kelly: I oppose embryonic stem cell research that must destroy the embryo. Somatic cell or adult stem cell research has proven to be effective in many areas; I support it.
Q: What should be the role of the federal and state governments in these areas?
Kelly: I believe that most breakthroughs come through private research.
Issue 5: What do you believe is the best, most realistic way to deal with foreign governments who may be hostile toward us and are also pursuing the acquisition or fabrication of nuclear weapons?
Kelly: I believe that we cannot play with these governments. They have declared they will take out Israel and also the great Satan the United States. They do not mince words. Israel must be able to defend itself. After making a good faith effort and nothing changes, I am for utilizing force to take out the nuclear facilities.
Issue 6: What is your overall view of national defense, specifically in the areas of:
- national missile defense – solidly in favor
- R&D for new Navy warships and Air Force fighter/bomber jets – solidly in favor
- nuclear disarmament treaties with Russia – proceed with caution – they cannot be trusted
- the number of troops in our armed forces and where they are stationed internationally – Military leaders have the best feel for what is needed for the nation – I support our military
Issue 7: With the Bush tax cuts set to expire this year, what is your ideal proposal for the tax code in the upcoming years? Do you support any of the following:
- lowering the capital gains tax? yes
- lowering the “death tax”? abolishing the death tax
- a withholding (i.e., Social Security & Medicare) tax “holiday”? perhaps
- a flat income tax across all income brackets? Yes, this or flat tax – would have to study the numbers
- the FairTax (H.R. 25)? Yes
Issue 8: With Japan and China owning the bulk of our foreign debt and the Federal Reserve owning most of our domestic debt, what is your attitude toward each of these major debt-holders? What is your proposed strategy for handling the national debt?
Kelly: The National debt to Japan and China is a disgrace. I will work to lower this debt. Cutting spending an creating jobs here are ways to do this.