EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of stories about candidates seeking the 5th District Congressional seat. GOP candidates include Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, state Rep. Shane Jett, state Sen. Clark Jolley, former state Sen. Steve Russell, former congressional aide Harvey Sparks and state Rep. Mike Turner.
Democrats running for the 5th District include former UCO professor Tom Guild of Edmond; state Sen. Al McAffrey of Oklahoma City; and Leona Leonard, chair of the Seminole County Democratic Party.
The three Independent candidates running for the 5th District include Tom Boggs who currently lives in Thailand, Buddy Ray of Edmond and Robert Murphy of Norman.
Voters will nominate their party’s candidates June 24 for the statewide primary election. A runoff primary election is set for Aug. 26 with the general election scheduled for Nov. 4.
State Rep. Mike Turner said he is the only across-the-board conservative running to represent the state’s 5th District of Congress. He continues to fight against bloated state government on behalf of taxpayers, said Turner, R-Edmond.
“First off, we need a Congress that actually works. Last year they worked 126 days,” said Turner, 27. “I don’t think that’s very honest to the people.”
It is the job of Republicans to stand for principle while negotiating aggressively with Democrats and realizing it is their job to stop failing policies supported by liberals, he said. The Affordable Care Act is the most harmful of all government programs, he said.
President Barack Obama said last week that more than 8 million people have enrolled in the ACA — more than expected at this point — and many of them young people. Turner contends the Obama administration’s numbers are skewed by not reporting the number of people who were punted off their private plans.
“I question how many of those numbers are actually real, true, uninsured individuals coming into the system,” Turner said.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s latest report issued this month determined that the percentage of Americans with private health insurance is increasing. The Washington Post reported that CBO experts estimate that 84 percent of the non-elderly population will have insurance this year, instead of 80 percent before the ACA.
With the buy-in to the plan by some previously uninsured Americans, Turner said that Republicans will continue to offer alternatives.
“We as Republicans would have a competent and rational plan that would allow market place choices, greater competition between states, as well as ensuring them the ability to have choices between appropriate health care,” Turner said.
Federal spending is a national security risk, Turner said of the $17.5 trillion federal debt that continues to increase a trillion more every year even though the national deficit is going down.
“We have a national debt with a global economic climate that is highly fluctuating,” Turner said. “We don’t have any competent leadership out of the Senate and out of the Executive branch to lead us to fiscal prosperity.”
The debt will come due at some point and lead to runaway inflation, Turner said. So a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is appropriate, he said.
“We need to institute some very severe financial restraints and shackle the federal government, frankly from taking people’s liberties and livelihoods away,” Turner said.
Turner said he is disappointed that tax relief was not included in last year’s budget agreement between the House and Senate leadership.
“We have all-time tax revenue and we continue to set new benchmarks for tax revenue,” he said. “I see tax revenue increasing. That means there is less dollars in the private economy’s hands. And that means we are having greater economic bureaucracy added. And that is not a win for the people.”
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