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CD3 Forum Part 5: Federal spending and gun control

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Fifth in a series. Previously: Conflicts with the party and whether to move to a gold standardBig government programs and impeaching Supreme Court justices, Income tax and unconstitutional executive orders or Supreme Court decisions, and Getting rid of Constitutional amendments and how to improve the Republican Party

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 #9: Federal spending is out of control. 60% of spending is reportedly mandatory through programs like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment. Another 15% is on military spending, and we’re spending that being the policemen of the world. What spending cuts do you want to focus on if you’re elected?

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Millado: “There is no difference between discretionary and mandatory spending. You see these buckets all the time when you hear these appropriations bills, and every time, every year, what is that word you keep hearing? Continuing resolutions, omnibus, because they can’t get their job done. News flash, Congress: that’s one of your main responsibilities, one out of two, is to fund the government. But they act every year as if it’s a new thing, that they got caught off guard. Hello, read your orientation handbook, I guess… The military spending isn’t just tanks and bullets and bandages, it is defense research, cancer, prostate research. I did an amendment that raised it $40 million back in, I think, 2011. It’s finding ways where we can cut what’s already there. There’s no point adding on new laws, more bandaids on shark bites. We have laws, they’re not working, so we need to go back and re-write the whole title. Give me 2 years—you gave the last one 8—give me 2 years, I can write every single title.”

Sapp: “I would abolish the Department of Education. I’d get rid of the IRS… let’s fight hard for that… Start getting rid of the bureaucracy up there. Like I said, the 10th amendment, look at the Constitution, see what we’re supposed to do, everything else, push it back down to the states… And that’s also where it comes down to a Balanced Budget Amendment—look, I run a company. I make a budget first; then I spend it… they just spend, spend, spend, then they go oh, what are we going to do now?”

Cammack: “There’s no amount of small-time tinkering that we can do that is gonna get us on track. We’re at $26 trillion in debt, and by the end of this year, we will have probably $4-$6 trillion in an actual deficit. I am a proponent of the Penny Plan, which cuts one penny out of every federal dollar spent. It will balance our budget within 6-7 years, give or take, and if you add another penny on top of that, it will start tackling our national debt; and if you add another penny on top of that, that will pay for a national infrastructure plan. There’s a lot of bold plans to slice and dice these agencies, and I do believe that we need to get back to the core Constitutional basics that the federal government is supposed to tackle, but talking points aren’t going to do it. We need tangible, workable plans that we can move through Congress.”

Chamberlin: “One thing I would not cut is our military. What I’d like to do, as a businessman… I’d like to go into every department up there in D.C., have them open up their books, and my guess is, most anybody here can eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending, and let’s just stop the nonsense… that’s been building up from decade after decade, there’s too many people doing too many favors. They can’t get anything done. We need to elect people ready to be held accountable.”

Wells: “It’s bloated and wasteful… We need to get back to the core function of what our federal government is, push everything back down to the states that we need to do… it’s not about what gets cut, it’s what gets kept. Only focus on our core function.”

Rollins: “There is a lot of waste… last year, we spent a billion dollars paying payments to dead people, people who are no longer alive, because they accidentally didn’t check their death certificates with the payments that were going out. So let’s start there with waste, fraud, and abuse, and let’s look at foreign aid to countries that hate us. If you stomp on the American flag and burn our flag, we’re cutting your foreign aid. No more. And then cap the growth of government… at 3% and have pro-growth policies… where we reduce regulation and simplify government, get businesses back to work, then we’ll grow, and that gap will be narrowed and over the long term, we’ll be okay.”

Engelbrecht: “The problem we have with our budget is, in every department, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So… cut the waste out of each and every department. One of the departments I would increase the spending on is our veterans. Our veterans only get 5% of the budget. We have too many veterans that have come home from the war; I use my brother as an example. He was in three tours. He had to drive from Daytona over to Gainesville to see a doctor. There’s no reason for any veteran to drive that far to see a doctor. So I would increase the spending on that, but there is so much pork fat in the other departments.”

Question #10: Are you in favor of any sort of new regulations on gun control, or would you change any existing federal gun control regulations? 

Sapp: “I don’t. Look, I’m for the 2nd amendment. I’m endorsed by Dana Loesch, who actually, like me, thinks the NRA’s kind of weak; they should be stronger. We need to protect the 2nd amendment. It’s supposed to give you the right to defend yourself; it’s also supposed to give you the right to defend yourself against tyrannical government. So I’m going to stand very strong.”

Cammack: “My position when it comes to the 2nd amendment is very simple: shall. not. be. infringed. I’ve taken action on my belief in the 2nd amendment. I currently sit on the board for the Alachua County Friends of NRA; we’re the fastest-growing 2nd amendment-supporting county in the country right now, and that’s a really big win when you live in the People’s Republic of Alachua County.”

Chamberlin: “One thing I believe you’re safe with up here is strong 2nd amendment. I’m absolutely right in there with my two colleagues here; we absolutely have to protect that with everything we’ve got.”

Wells: “I’m a proud country girl who grew up around guns and… the right to bear arms. We live in the country; if we’re waiting on 911 to come and protect us, we’re in a world of hurt… I fully support the 2nd amendment, but one of the things I think we should talk about is background checks… we have to not only just do background checks, but no expansion of that conversation after that. Period, the end.”

Rollins: “I absolutely support the 2nd amendment. I wouldn’t add regulations; in fact, I would support repealing the National Firearms Act… I don’t know if any of you got to see my recent video. I’m shooting an automatic with a suppressor because it’s a statement of the fact that I support the 2nd amendment and it’s also a symbolic act. We have to fight back in this country. As a county commissioner, I led the effort to allow our employees to concealed-carry on the job—they can do that to this day—and also made Clay County a 2nd amendment sanctuary county.”

Engelbrecht: “As an everyday American, I’ll tell you my first gun… I was 11 years old, was a .22-gauge shotgun from Western Auto… And not to tell you what kind of guns I have, but I’m ready for the Walking Dead. I stand strong for our 2nd amendment… our country will never be invaded as long as we have a gun.”

Millado: “Absolutely believe in 2nd amendment rights. There’s no need for interpretation at all. If you can read from left to right, then you’d understand that it’s our right to bear arms… The thing is this:… the people… who are doing these mass shootings, it’s not anybody that has had proper education to conceal; it’s somebody who doesn’t understand… high school kids… I couldn’t walk in with extra candy in my bag without my mother knowing, yet we’ll have a high school kid with a thousand rounds with parents in the same [house]. Parents’ responsibility, too.”

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