Recapping the 9th Congressional District Candidate Forum
A 9th Congressional District candidate forum was held Monday night in Charlotte hosted by CAUTION (Common Americans United to Inspire Our Nation) featuring six of the 10 remaining Republican candidates running for the U.S. House seat soon to be vacated by retiring Rep. Sue Myrick.
CAUTION President Dennis Peterson voiced his excitement for the event, “We reached out to all of the candidates in this race, regardless of Party, and are very pleased that six out of the 10 Republican candidates agreed to join us.”
The candidates who participated were Andy Dulin, real estate broker and three-term District 6 Representative on the Charlotte City Council; Jon Gauthier, conservative businessman and former executive in the Reagan and Bush Sr.’s Administrations; Ric Killian, colonel in the army reserves and three-term District 105 Representative in the N.C. House; Richard Lynch, small business owner and entrepreneur from Belmont; Edwin Peacock, financial representative and at-large member of the Charlotte City Council from 2007-2011; and Mike Steinberg, insurance agent and financial advisor.
After opening remarks each candidate answered 10 questions. A synopsis of their answers follows.
Edwin Peacock said he is a fiscal conservative whose priorities will be job creation, a strong defense and sustainable growth. His web site is www.edwinpeacock.com.
Ric Killian is most concerned with the national debt, economic stability, national security, energy independence and reducing unemployment. See www.killianforcongress.com.
Richard Lynch believes it is important to fill congress with Constitutionalists. He promotes a five-step plan to Constitutional government, which you can find at http://goforlynch.com/.
Mike Steinberg thinks we should follow the Constitution, save money, and be willing to say “no” even to our own party. Mike has long been dissatisfied with the ‘status quo’ in Washington and filed to run before any of the other remaining GOP candidates. Visit www.mikeforus.com.
Jon Gauthier has experience working in Washington. In this critical time in our nation’s history he wants to go there again as our representative to be a modern day “Captain Jack”. (Thinking Captain Jack Sparrow? Visit www.may20thsociety.org.) He is most concerned with the national debt and federal spending. His web site is www.jongauthiernc.com.
Andy Dulin said that after the 2008 elections everyone got mad and the tea party emerged. He attended many of those meetings and “raised hell” along with everyone else. If elected to Congress, “I will be here in the fight with you.” www.andydulinforcongress.com.
1. What is the greatest threat facing America?
Edwin Peacock – Our debt. Even Erskine Bowles (a Democrat who was Chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform) agrees. The Ryan budget needs to be considered.
Ric Killian – I agree, our national debt is our greatest threat. In the state house I stood up against our own party and against special interest groups. If you want to predict my future behavior, check my past.
Richard Lynch – Our national debt is our greatest threat, and we can thank the politicians already there. The budget should not be about buying and selling our philosophy.
Mike Steinberg – The national debt is a symptom of us leaving the Constitution behind. Remember I was the only candidate willing to stand up to the system before Rep. Myrick announced her retirement.
Jon Gauthier – I agree. I am a man of action. I was instrumental in reducing spending in the Reagan White House and working for Secretary Jack Kemp. Let’s put more teeth in it. I have signed a $45 trillion pledge, and I encourage all those here to do the same.
Andy Dulin – Complacency is our main threat. We need to maintain our (personal) energy, and I would do that. We need to have meetings like this all over the 9th District, so I can report back to you. I would be fired up every single day.
2. Under what circumstances would you vote to raise the debt ceiling?
Ric Killian – I would not vote to raise it. In my time overseas I saw how our bad economic decisions are affecting more than just us, it is hurting the entire world. Most of Europe is in financial trouble. We need fiscal discipline NOW.
Richard Lynch – I agree. Under no circumstance would I vote to raise the ceiling. How did we get to where we are? We have become an entitlement society and the bill is coming due. We must get back to a Constitutional government.
Mike Steinberg – I would not only vote no, but I would persuade others to vote no also. On my website I show where I persuade former Obama voters to consider voting for Republicans. We need to educate people.
Jon Gauthier – I will mention again my $45 trillion pledge. We are paying for programs we cannot afford. We must address our overspending. It has taken years to get to where we are. In 1983 we increased Social Security. We must get it under control next year.
Andy Dulin – NO!! No taxes raised in Charlotte, either. I want to be a part of the Paul Ryan/Eric Cantor leadership. I have been leading on city council for six years.
Edwin Peacock – Under no circumstances would I vote to raise the ceiling, unless there was a direct threat to national security.
3. How are you different from the other candidates in this race?
Richard Lynch – “They all have hair,” he joked. I am one of the only non-politicians running. As a small businessman, I know we are beat to death with regulations.
Mike Steinberg – TAPS (Transparency Agreement for Public Servants) is what I call my five part plan, check it out on my web site under Mike’s Blog. I will say again I was the only candidate in the race before Rep. Myrick resigned.
Jon Gauthier – My Washington experience. I was part of the Ronald Reagan legacy with Jack Kemp. If you want to know who I am get a copy of my book, “Embracing Goodness”. They sell it at Park Road Books. I am a rock at my core.
Andy Dulin – Accessibility. I already give my cell phone number out, and that will not change. You will have a direct line to me. I will get on your problems.
Ric Killian – I have the ability and experience to be effective starting today. In addition to my state house experience, I also have entrepreneurial and business experience. I have local understanding and a global focus.
Edwin Peacock – Energy, enthusiasm, electability. In Charlotte I have been able to work with others, and we need to stop the bickering in Washington. I am also business-minded.
4. What have you done to show you have the courage to go against your party when you believe it is in the best interest of your constituents?
Mike Steinberg – Challenging Sue Myrick, a much beloved representative, took a lot of courage. I voted for her, but I realized it was not in the country’s best interest to continue votes for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) and raising the budget ceiling.
Jon Gauthier – Sometimes it takes the greatest courage to follow your leaders. In 1995 I served on the Committee on Appropriations. We came up with a lot of cuts, but the others did not want to go further. They did not have the courage to follow through.
Andy Dulin – The Chiquita Banana deal. I voted to bring them to Charlotte with incentives because I believed it was the right thing to do. It would bring jobs and business. I worked on Dennis Peterson’s campaign, and he came and spoke against the incentives package.
Ric Killian – I voted against incentives. I introduced a bill to not accept Washington money for the train. As I said, look at what I’ve done in the past.
Edwin Peacock – I voted against the Chiquita incentives. I realized it was not necessary to spend $1.5 million when they were already spending $27 million to move here. They were coming anyway. I voted against it.
Richard Lynch – The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, there is courage linked to those. I will continue to drive the point of following the Constitution.
5. Should the 17th Amendment to the Constitution be repealed? Why or why not?
(It changed the process of electing Senators from state legislatures to a popular vote.)
Jon Gauthier – No, it does not need to be repealed. It would only be a distraction from the deficit. The House of Representatives can be thrown out every two years.
Andy Dulin – No, but Senators should only be allowed to serve two terms. Twelve years is enough.
Edwin Peacock – To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. I would like to study it more.
Ric Killian – No, it’s not a problem. It would only be a distraction. What we do need to repeal is Obamacare.
Richard Lynch – I would like to find out what the people think. There are too many decisions being made without the voice of the people.
Mike Steinberg – Yes, but keep in mind that Republicans are bad at the P.R. game. We need to educate the people first about why states rights are important. We should not take it on now.
6. Would you support a return to an asset-based currency (gold standard)?
Andy Dulin – No. We still have the best currency in the world, but we have too much debt. We need to keep the dollar the world currency.
Edwin Peacock – No, and I cast a vote for Kemp in my first election. But other economists say no.
Ric Killian – I like the idea, but I need to have more information. Our current monetary policy is devaluing the dollar. We need a comprehensive solution.
Richard Lynch – I strongly urge you to read the book “Debt Virus” by Jacques S. Jaikaran. We need to get rid of the Federal Reserve Board.
Mike Steinberg – Yes, I am strongly in favor of going back to the gold standard. There is nothing backing our currency except good faith in our government. We need to slowly dismantle the Fed.
Jon Gauthier – When I worked for Jack Kemp I agreed with it, but today I believe it is against our self-interest. The Chinese have made a huge mistake by pegging their currency to the dollar.
7. Should illegal aliens and their children continue to receive free health care and public education?
Edwin Peacock – Secure our borders, implement a guest worker program and make English the official language of the United States.
Ric Killian – Enforce the laws that are already on the books. I don’t agree with amnesty, and I have serious concerns about the unrest on our Southern border. It is becoming a national security issue.
Richard Lynch – If you remove the endless supply of freebies the problem will take care of itself.
Mike Steinberg – If we don’t provide education, health care and jobs (use E-Verify), there will be no incentives for them to come and stay. We must enforce the laws on the books. Our country is not protecting us from foreign invasion.
Jon Gauthier – At Harris-Teeter they know orange juice is selling at twice the price. We have the ability to close our borders. Illegals should not be able to get a driver’s license. We have the laws we are just not enforcing them.
Andy Dulin – The 287(g) Program is working in Charlotte. It is not as attractive for them to come here as it used to be. I am also concerned with our ports – they will continue to be a problem and if you elect me as your representative I will not forget.
8. Would you support the elimination of any federal department? If so, which ones?
Ric Killian – Energy, Education. It’s the responsibility of legislators to start from the bottom and work their way up – meet the needs of the citizens, not the wants of special interests.
Richard Lynch – All bills must be accompanied by the Constitutional check list. Everything else should be phased out. The problem is we’ve gotten away from the Constitution.
Mike Steinberg – I agree with what he said. No earmark amendments. USDA, Education, Energy. The State Department gives away billions of dollars to other countries.
Jon Gauthier – Eliminating the various departments is a big distraction. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, that’s what we have to address. There is a lot of waste in the system. We must address the trillions of dollars we are in debt.
Andy Dulin – I would love to address the Tenth Amendment (Reserved Powers). However I would support aid to Israel. The Department of Education should be gone. I would build relationships to get on committees to be able to make a difference.
Edwin Peacock – Ronald Reagan said the closest thing to heaven on earth is a government job. How many of you feel safer with the TSA manning our airports? Jerry Orr (Charlotte Aviation Director) calls it “Thousands Standing Around”. The TSA needs to be privatized.
9. What is your opinion of Globalization, Agenda 21 or Sustainable Development?
Richard Lynch – (Sustainable Development.) In the Constitution where is eminent domain? The zoning laws should be enforced the way the Constitution intends.
Mike Steinberg – (Globalization.) Israel does not need our money. The U.S. needs to be the world leader again and grow jobs, cut regulations and be job friendly. We would reduce our debt and trillions of dollars would pour into our country.
Jon Gauthier – I went to a Paris conference once for Jack Kemp on sustainable development. It was folly. The U.S. should support globalization. The growth is overseas, especially in technology. Those jobs do come back here.
Andy Dulin – We owe it to the kids, N.C. is non-union and we need to keep it that way. We ship wood to China and they ship furniture back – we want the U.S. to be able to compete.
Edwin Peacock – We must create a great climate to attract global companies. The airport is a great asset, with 6,000 jobs. It is a high value for a low cost. It makes us a global region.
Ric Killian – One significant problem is regulation. It causes companies to move overseas and that decreases the quality of life for the middle class.
10. What role should the government play in economic development?
Mike Steinberg – Adhere to the Constitution, limit the role of the federal government and we will have job growth and an economic boom.
Jon Gauthier – Level the playing field to keep America competitive. We can’t pick winners. Sometimes I agree with points from the other side. Find common ground and you can achieve much.
Andy Dulin – I voted for incentives for Chiquita, but at the federal level, no. Bring those decisions to the local level, to local economies.
Edwin Peacock – Economic development should always be about infrastructure. Congress should approve highways, public safety. Let the private sector create jobs. Washington should get out of the way.
Ric Killian – Government should protect and provide infrastructure.
Richard Lynch – My idea of economic development is my five step plan, implementing the Fair Tax, and drill baby drill. This will all stimulate the economy and grow jobs. You don’t need the government; let capitalism do its thing.
Republican candidates Dan Barry, Ken Leonczyk, Jim Pendergraph and Robert Pittenger and Libertarian candidate Curtis Campbell had prior commitments. Republican candidate Michael Shaffer withdrew from the race on April 1. Democratic candidate Jennifer Roberts did not respond to communication.
CAUTION is the organizational arm of the Charlotte Tea Party and meets every Monday evening at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille located at 911 East Morehead Street in Charlotte. Social hour is at 5:00 p.m., meeting at 6:00. www.proceedwithcaution.us
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