Seal The Border – Repeal Health Reforms

Eight Republican congressional candidates vent outrage about immigration, health

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Build a double fence along the whole border — seal it up as tight as the Gaza Strip. Then send the Army to patrol it, with shoot-to-kill orders.

Oh, and repeal the recent health care reform — or at least refuse to fund it.

Meantime, best you can do is hope for an “act of God” to remove the impediment of President Barrack Obama’s veto power once the Republicans regain control of the House and Senate in November.

That’s a sampling of the positions of the eight Republicans seeking the right to face First Congressional District freshman Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who has no Democratic challengers in her primary.

The eight GOP candidates didn’t disagree visibly on a single issue in the hours of presentations and questions before 300 to 400 Republican precinct committee members Saturday in the Payson High School Auditorium.

The eight candidates include mining company lobbyist turned grassroots activist Sydney Hay, who lost to Kirkpatrick two years ago. Former state lawmaker Rusty Bower probably got the biggest opening round of applause. Other candidates include lawyer Bradley Beauchamp, dentist Paul Gosar, cardiologist Steve Mehta, economist Tom Zaleski, Jon Jensen and former real estate developer Joe Jaraczewski. None of the candidates live in Rim Country, which is part of the vast district that runs from Flagstaff down to Casa Grande, skirting the urbanized Valley.

The candidates all vowed to unseat Kirkpatrick, a former state lawmaker and Flagstaff prosecutor who has sided with President Obama on most of the big fights in the past two years including supporting health care reform and the federal stimulus legislation.

All eight candidates focused most of their fire on the Obama administration, with hardly a mention of any of Kirkpatrick’s specific votes. Most focused on sealing the border without granting anything that smacked of “amnesty” for people here illegally. None mentioned Afghanistan or Iraq in their opening statements — or said anything specific about the economy.

“We need to make government a lot smaller and God a lot larger,” said Jensen. “In God we trust. The founding fathers wanted government just big enough to get by, now people go running to government for money — especially the homeless, like they think it’s so easy to get.”

Joe Jaraczewski said both “American” and “Republican” end with “I can,” while the word “Democrat” ends with “rat.” He added, “We have to get the rats out of the barn — it’s a moral outrage. I am a Republican — I can. It’s time for America to swagger again.”

Flagstaff dentist Gosar said he’s the descendent of immigrant grandparents who “did it the right way. Folks, I’m not an attorney, I’m not a lobbyist, I’m not a career politician.” Later in his presentation, when asked whether Republicans could repeal health care reform if they gained control in November, Gosar said not unless an “act of God” removed President Obama and his veto.

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Sydney Hay

Bowers, a former lawmaker whose Web site stressed his anti-abortion stances, sponsorship of a law to let people carry concealed weapons freely and his poor ratings by environmental groups, said he’d raised seven children and produced four Eagle Scout sons. “I believe in the mining industry — the natural resource backbone of this district.”

Flagstaff attorney Beauchamp, an Arizona native, stressed the need to seal the border by giving the Border Patrol the resources it needs. “I’ve spent my life defending the U.S. Constitution (of) the greatest nation on the planet.”

Economist Zaleski vowed to fight against the “radical liberalism” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We must take back America and we can’t wait until 2012” at the next Presidential election. He advocated making the Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminating the capital gains and the inheritance tax and adopting a balanced budget amendment. He said he wants to counter “the biggest socialist agenda since (President Franklin) Roosevelt.” He advocated sealing the border the same way Israel sealed off the West Bank.

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Joe Jaraczewski

Former lobbyist Hay said “this country is in deep, deep trouble. Forty percent of every dollar the federal government spends is borrowed. We are being reckless and irresponsible with the money of Americans not even born yet. I’m so tired of Washington politicians apologizing for my country — we are the good guys.”

She said its time for “rugged individuals” to stand up to the federal government, predicting “1,000 years of darkness if we fail.”

Show Low cardiologist Metha said “I believe in American exceptionalism. We’re the greatest country the world has ever seen. Why is our President apologizing for our exceptionalism? We are Americans — that makes us exceptional. The government is not supposed to do things for us — we are supposed to do things for ourselves.”

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Bradley Beauchamp

Most of the statements, questions and answers focused on opposition to initiatives of the Obama administration; vows to simply repeal programs put in place in the past two years, including health care reform, banking reform, stimulus spending and any comprehensive immigration reform that includes a means for people who have lived in the country illegally for years to gain legal status without leaving the country and going through normal channels.

Every candidate vowed to do everything in their power to repeal or at least “defund” the bundle of medical reforms enacted to provide increases in coverage, require every citizen to obtain health insurance or pay a fine and regulate insurance companies.

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Jon Jensen

“We’re not going to be able to repeal it,” said Gosar. “Best that we can do is undermine it.

“This will be a rough two years. You will not have veto power, unless there is an act of God.”

Mehta said the regulations will give the government the ability to ration care “so that Congress will not have blood on its hands.” So Congress should “just not fund the whole thing.”

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Rusty Bowers

He advocated the expanded use of medical savings account so people would pay more costs out-of-pocket and keep money they save from not going to the doctor, which will induce patients to help control costs.

Beauchamp said “the bill needs to be defunded, it’s a horror story. This is going to bankrupt America.”

Hay also called for “defunding” the bill – and passage of a state proposition that would exempt Arizona residents from any federal requirement that people obtain health insurance so that “Obama care never impacts you or your life.”

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Steven Mehta, MD

The candidates all supported building a double-fence barrier along the border.

Beauchamp said he had a seven-point border patrol plan that would put up a double fence along the border and set up armed outposts, so that helicopters and armed patrols could get to a break before the illegals could cut through the second fence.

Hay also supported a double fence, saying that “known terrorists from every country in the world” are coming into the country through the undefended border.

Jensen suggested that the Army conduct its boot camps on the border and send soldiers to patrol the fence line with “shoot to kill” orders. He said we shouldn’t hesitate to also deport the children of illegals, even if the children were born here. “Just say, sorry kids, you’re out until you come in the right way.”

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Paul Gosar

Zalenski said we should use the same technology and patrol strategy that Israel has deployed along its 428-mile-long border with the West Bank. Zalenski was the only candidates who also suggested the U.S. should simplify and streamline the process of immigration and gaining citizenship.

He also claimed that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has “800 terrorists” in the county jail.

Jaraczewski, said “the question is about the politics of an open border and a welfare state. We have more takers than makers” now in this country.

“We pass 1070 (authorizing local police to check for citizenship whenever they have a reason to stop someone) and (the federal government) doesn’t come down to help us, they sue us.”

Bowers also supported a double fence barrier along with armed patrols and a network of forward operating bases so an armed force could reach any point along that fence quickly. He said the country must “define who is an American.”

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Thomas Zaleski

Gosar advocated doing away with the provision that awards citizenship to people born here, even if their parents are here illegally – a provision most of the other candidates also supported.

He also supported a physical barrier – and said the U.S. should sue Mexico to recover the cost of providing services to undocumented workers and their children.

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