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CD3 Forum Part 4: Getting rid of Constitutional amendments and how to improve the Republican Party

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Fourth in a series. Previously: Conflicts with the party and whether to move to a gold standard, Big government programs and impeaching Supreme Court justices, and Income tax and unconstitutional executive orders or Supreme Court decisions

A candidate forum for Congressional District 3 was held in Newberry on July 18, with the following candidates present: Bill Engelbrecht, Joe Dallas Millado, Judson Sapp, Kat Cammack, Ryan Chamberlin, Amy Pope Wells, and Gavin Rollins.

The forum was moderated by Tim Marden and Jennifer Cabrera.

The format allowed the first respondent to the question a minute to answer; the remaining candidates had 40 seconds to either add to or disagree with the first answer.

Question #7: Some of you have already talked about wanting to get rid of the 16th amendment. Is there another Constitutional amendment that you would get rid of and why?

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Rollins: “There’s some departments I’d like to get rid of, can I do that? As a teacher, I think the federal Department of Education should be eliminated and the $85 billion sent back to the states, to allow them to do what’s best, because D.C. doesn’t know what’s best for your classroom… And I think, in general, we have to be willing to eliminate, which isn’t fun. It’s not fun to eliminate government, but you have to be willing to sit in the hot seat and take those tough votes, and that’s why I think it’s important to have a proven track record. It’s easy up here to say yeah, I’d eliminate this or that, but have you done it? When you’re looking at a crowd of people and they’re angry at you… and you’re still having to lead that effort to eliminate and reduce the size of government and simplify it, and that’s what I’ve done.”

Engelbrecht: “I don’t know if there’s any one amendment I’d like to get rid of, but there’s one I would like to add, and that would be term limits for Congress… I think we should have a term limit for Congress of 8-12 years. When that happens, it actually fosters new thinking, and that’s what we need in Congress because we’ve got some old scrogies up there that have been there forever and they should not be there… they’re out of touch with America itself; they have no idea how to put gas in their own vehicle.”

Millado: “I don’t know if there’s a specific one that I could think of off the top of my head that I’d want to change… but I represent you… whichever one you do decide someday… I’d be the only one on this table here that actually did that… I actually wrote bills that actually do a thing… the writing of the bills is the silver sword and shield that I have… proven experience.”

Sapp: “Honestly, we’d probably all have to get out our pocket Constitutions and spend a long time talking before we could really fine-tune what our goals are, but… if we’re going to add something, and I know that wasn’t the question but I’ll answer it anyway because Bill did: a balanced budget amendment… We need that, and I think it would solve a lot of problems… As far as cutting things go, I run a business. I’ve had to cut people, unfortunately it’s the worst thing you have to do… but sometimes you have to do that to prosper.”

Cammack [looking at Sapp]: “Did you look at my notes? I agree with my colleagues, if we were having the discussion of what we would add or cut, I would love to see a Constitutional amendment with term limits and also a balanced budget amendment.”

Chamberlin: “I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a business owner that’s worked with thousands of people for the last 25 years, all across the country. What I’m tired of seeing is people we’ve elected that have never run businesses eliminating and adding things that they have no business eliminating and adding. It messes with all of us out here who are real people, making this country work the way it is, and we need to get there and get things done the right way… I’m going there to support this country’s Constitution.”

Wells: “I agree with you guys, we’d have to actually get out our pocket Constitution and go through this… For many years I’ve championed term limits—look at… Pelosi.. this is the kind of stuff that we’ve got to stop. And then I think we also need to get out of the business of education… we have far too many rules and regulations, far too much control, everything needs to be re-evaluated, but talking about making tough decisions: as a business owner employing hundreds of thousands of people, when you’ve got people glaring at you, your job as a leader is to make the choice best for all. Our job is to improve lives.”

Question #8: What is something the Republican Party does that you think could be done better? Or something they’re not doing that you think they should do?

Engelbrecht: “Actually get out more and door-knock. Although we’re in a pandemic, I think we should have more boots, more things to educate individuals… There’s a ton of non-party affiliates, and that’s who we need to convince because the Democrats… President Trump could give them $2 million, and they would complain… that he didn’t give them $3 million… We should be able to do a better job in getting out and getting those voters in for the Republican side.”

Millado: “One thing that’s become personal to me… Republicans claim we love competition. Competition spurs who’s the best out there, right? But running in a primary, what I’d like to change is, everybody vote your conscience… to have these weird roles where you can’t support or help another candidate because they’re running against an incumbent is ridiculous. Just because they’re there already doesn’t mean they’re the most qualified. Why should any party, anybody tell you who to vote for? I don’t know what we’re fighting for if you can’t make a decision for yourself.”

Sapp: “The way committee assignments are done. It’s basically, if you don’t know, they’re done by how much money you raise for other candidates. I’m actually good at doing that, so I’ll probably get a good committee assignment, but it doesn’t matter. Third in importance is what your job experience is. Again, I’m lucky, I have a transportation background, so that’ll help for Transportation and Infrastructure, where I want to be on that committee, but that should be number one in the decision of where you’ll be effective.”

Cammack: “It is not Republicans vs. Democrats in Washington, D.C., it is the party of big government vs. little government, and people forgot a long time ago that we are Americans first and foremost, and I would like for us to get back to what it means to be an American, not Republican vs. Democrat. If we’re going to tackle an issue that I wish conservatives and Republicans would go after, it’s our mandatory spending and our national debt.”

Chamberlin: “Stand stronger on the key principles that it was founded upon. Not pandering to things like Black Lives Matter, making these big issues that are happening today, whether it be statues or whatever… let’s stop… giving up room for that stuff to grow and cultivate and stand for what we believe.”

Wells: “[Talks about trip to D.C. and Capitol Hill]. I have never seen such an old boys’ club in all my life. I left that building the first time swearing I would never go back. It is literally playing games, power-brokering, and a focus—the first meeting I walked into, how much money you got? That has to stop. We must start representing our district and fighting for the voice of our people.”

Rollins: “For me, it’s the issue of life. We had both houses and the president of the United States, and we still did not defund the evil Planned Parenthood company and did not protect the lives of the unborn. I will not only check the box and say I’m pro-life, I will sponsor pro-life legislation, I will join the Pro-Life Caucus, I will fight for the lives of the unborn. My sister and nephew are adopted, and we can choose adoption instead of abortion in this country.”

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