Candidate questionnaire: Tommy Sowers

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Candidate Name: Tommy Sowers

Party: Democratic

Age: 34

Place of birth: Rolla, Mo.

Spouse: Not married

Children: None

Occupation: Teacher

Education: 11 years active duty in the Army is where I learned the most. I also received a B.A., Duke University; Masters, London School of Economics.

Employer: Missouri University of Science and Technology; resigned position due to University of Missouri regulations that prevent an employee from running for office while teaching.

Businesses owned, all or part:

Previous offices held/sought:

Question 1: Will you request earmarked appropriations for Eighth District projects? Why or Why not?

Answer: As a fiscal conservative, I will not seek so-called "earmarks" on the budget. Earmarks are a corrupting abuse of the budget process and have led to multiple investigations of Representatives and lobbyists who trade campaign contributions for earmarks. Congress has for too long run up record spending, oftentimes adding pet projects to bills without transparency. I'll seek support for Southeastern Missouri through normal budget channels especially for infrastructure improvements that create jobs and future opportunity.

Question 2: Should Congress repeal the health care overhaul bill? Explain why you support or oppose repeal.

Answer: The bill was far too complex and expensive but I don't advocate a full repeal. The number one reason for 8th district bankruptcies is medical related costs. I've heard hundreds of our neighbors talk about poor care, coverage denials, hitting lifetime caps, being dropped from coverage when they get sick. Congress of the past dozen years failed to fix health insurance and should focus on reducing costs and making sure insurance companies are held accountable.

Question 3: What three specific steps should Congress take to control the federal budget deficit? Why?

Answer: First, no more bailouts. Second, pass a balanced budget amendment. Third, like most veterans, I saw firsthand the waste of government contractors in Iraq. The taxpayers are currently paying $400/gallon for gas in Kabul. Once elected, I'd form a commission similar to the Truman Commission to cut wasteful contractor spending.

Question 4: Cap-and-Trade legislation would impose additional costs on companies with greenhouse gas emissions and reward companies that cut emissions. Where do you stand on this bill?

Answer: I do not support cap and trade. As a veteran, my first priority is security and Congress gets an F for reducing our dependence on foreign oil. After navigating to target sites in Iraq by the light of oil fires, my energy policy is simple -- domestic sources of energy. If it is domestic, I am for it: natural gas, nuclear power, and other alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and ethanol.

Question 5: What steps should be taken to deal with foreign and domestic terrorists?

Answer: I am the only candidate running here that has firsthand experience with terrorists. Do we expect former lobbyists like Emerson to know where to fund priorities? Unfortunately Congress is appropriating dollars to where the terrorists were instead of where they are. Every dollar spent on training Afghani tribesmen is not spent where it should be: expanding Special Forces, securing our borders and ports, airline security, and hunting down terrorists in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan.

Closing remarks: This is our home and it's time for new blood in Congress. Under Emerson we have lost hundreds of factories and tens of thousands of jobs, while she bailed out Wall Street and voted for bad trade deals, shipping our jobs overseas. Now she wants one more bailout -- at the ballot box. Let's send DC a message. I was raised voting for the person instead of the party and I'd be honored for your vote.