Q&A With the 9th Congressional District Republican Candidates

On September 9th 2014 four Republicans will vie for the nomination of the Republican Party in the 9th Congressional District.  Red Mass Group asked these candidates questions about federal policy that conservatives are interested in.  

All four candidates were given the opportunity to participate. Three candidates chose to partcipate, they are – in alphabetical order, Mark Alliegro, Vincent Cogliano, and Daniel Shores.  The fourth candidate chose not to participate.  

Each candidate was asked 15 questions.  Over the next three days their answers will be published here at Red Mass Group.  Five Questions each day.  Let’s get started.

Q1. Do you believe that Obamacare should be defunded? If so how far would you go to get that done?

Alliegro: Yes. All-out.

Chapman: Did not provide answer.

Cogliano: Obamacare should be defunded. Once the employer mandate takes effect and people see how much the economy worsens and how many jobs are cut it will be much easier to defund this poorly conceived program. I will take whatever actions are necessary to get rid of this program and will support market driven solutions to healthcare problems.

Shores: Defunding is an option to consider, but full repeal is the best course for us.  I reject the premise of government-controlled healthcare, and would vote to repeal Obamacare in a heartbeat, and send that wrongheaded law into the ash heap of history.   We need to focus on driving down the costs of care and costs of insurance through free market principles, something Obamacare did nothing to address.  As your congressman, I will push for this type of legislation as a first priority.

more after the jump

Q2.  Would you vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank?  Why or why not?

Alliegro: Did not provide answer.

Chapman: Did not provide answer.

Cogliano: I would not reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. It helps companies that in general don’t need the financial help. (Boeing) Some people argue that this bank serves a useful purpose and helps make us a stronger trade partner. I disagree and would eliminate it.

Shores:No, based on the limited information I have before me, I view the Ex-Im Bank as an instrument of crony capitalism, and would vote to eliminate it.  The central function of the Ex-Im bank can be better served by private institutions and the free market. That being said, before casting such a vote, I would want to confer with certain of my business constituents in the Ninth Congressional District to see whether abrupt elimination would negatively affect them.  If so, I would want a bill that stages elimination to minimize the negative impact on them while allowing them to engage with private organizations that provide the services they need.  

Q3. Would you support efforts to enhance Fourth Amendment protections in NSA data colelction?

Alliegro: Yes.

Chapman: Did not provide answers.

Cogliano: Yes. Justice Louis Brandeis described the Fourth Amendment by saying it gives us the right to be let alone. The NSA intrusive spying along with all of the cameras being used to spy on us in our cities and towns is an affront to the Fourth Amendment.

Shores: Yes, I would support efforts to enhance Fourth Amendment protections, while also making sure our national security does not suffer.  I believe we can and must both preserve our civil liberties and ensure our safety and national security.  That is very important to me.  We need to strike the right balance between those two goals, which will require a lot of rigorous analysis, evaluation and work.  But I know it can be done

Q4.  In February of 2014 the congress voted to raise the debt ceiling by an unlimited amount until March of 2015.  One of your first votes would be on a debt ceiling raise.  Would you?

A) Vote to raise the debt ceiling by a fixed dollar amount.

B) Vote to raise it by whatever debt is spent, up until a certain fixed period in time.

C) Scrap the debt ceiling all together

D) Vote no on a debt increase.

Alliegro: None of these.  Cannot make a blanket statement, but can state that I am NOT in favor of continual raises to whatever level matches our overspending.  This only paves the way for more overspending.

Chapman: Did not provide an answer.

Cogliano I would vote to scrap the debt ceiling altogether since it has little effect on spending. The current budget process offers ample opportunities to cut spending-which is what we should be doing. Unfortunately there seems little if any will in Washington to cut spending but that is the real problem. Raising or not raising the debt ceiling is somewhat meaningless in the end.

Shores I would vote no on a debt increase.  The mounting debt is generational theft from our children and grandchildren.  I strongly support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution which is long overdue.  I also support pro-growth economic policies that get government out of our way and will unleash our economy.  The growth will allow us to settle our debts and provide a free, prosperous, and safe America to our kids and grandkids.  The pie will get bigger once America is allowed to be America again, and there is no limit to the prosperity that we will generate.

Q5.  . Would you vote to authorize boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS?

Alliegro: Depends upon the circumstances.

Chapman: Did not provide and answer.

Cogliano We have advisors there now and I would move to increase the number of advisors to support the training and intelligence gathering operations of local forces. I would also provide arms to them and air support.

I would stop short of sending in combat troops until an assessment is made as to the effectiveness of the above strategy. I believe supporting the Iraqi troops can be effective in stopping the threat.

The problem in Syria is far more difficult given the fact that identifying “moderates” who can be armed and trained is nearly impossible. That puts us in the position of helping the Syrian government and we have already said we will not support Bashar al-Assad. I believe in this case we should stay focused on Iraq and let the Russians help the Syrians.

Shores: No, based on the limited information I have before me, I do not support putting combat troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.  Know that I feel very strongly that ISIS and other barbaric groups need to be defeated and destroyed immediately.  They represent a real and deep threat to humanity, peace, freedom and our national security.  To that end, with the limited information I have before me, and wanting to confer with intelligence officials and generals, I favor providing air, training and intelligence support to the people in those locations who seek to defeat ISIS.  I will never forgetSeptember 11, and will be a strong force in Congress to fight against the pre-9-11 mentality the present administration appears to have.  We must have a sound and comprehensive strategy to confront this threat and Congress should be involved in helping develop that strategy with the best interests of America and its future in mind.  

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno