The Edmond Sun
EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of stories about candidates seeking the 5th District Congressional seat.
Republican candidates for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District were given an opportunity this week to state their opinions concerning government programs they deem to be unconstitutional.
“What will you do to end them?” asked Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper, who moderated the event.
Pastors of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ presented a 5th District candidates’ debate for Republicans running for the Oklahoma Congressional 5th District. The debate was at the First Baptist Church in Edmond.
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. Jolley did not attend the debate.
Russell noted that President Barack Obama traveled overseas this week to promote a Pacific trade agreement.
“While all of that sounds well and good on the surface, in reality as he pushes for fast-track authority to get some sort of a trade agreement, it will have some overarching agency or commission to put things in place to have commerce with other nations,” said Russell, who lives in Oklahoma City.
All of the agencies that were created after the 1970s need to be reexamined for usefulness, he said.
“The earth didn’t come off its axis during sequestration,” Russell said. “If we stand as conservatives as the last line of defense, we will get it done.”
Douglas said she would vote first to repeal ObamaCare to stop the federal government from hiring IRS agents to enforce Affordable Care Act regulations.
“Let’s then go to the EPA,” Douglas said. “And let’s tell them that they cannot extend the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act into unconstitutional boundaries where they’ve never been extended before.
“Let’s tell the EPA they don’t get to govern Oklahoma and that they don’t get to come in and regulate an industry that we have been regulating for 80 years.”
Douglas called for an audit of the Federal Reserve, which may not be able to survive if it lived by the rules it mandates, said Douglas, who lives in Edmond.
An audit of the Federal Reserve must happen because it operates behind a veil of secrecy, said Turner of Oklahoma City.
“I would love to outright abolish the EPA and give it back to the states,” Turner said. “That’s the purpose of the 10th Amendment.
Control of the federal government would be back in the hands of its citizens if Congress would pass Fair Tax. A Fair Tax would create a national retail sales tax of 23 percent on new goods and services, according to FairTax.org.
The Department of Education uses Common Core to see that a liberal, progressive agenda influences future generations, he said.
“When they say that the Second Amendment is at the behest of the government and not a natural or an endowed right given to man by God — we must reign them in,” Turner said. “The Department of Energy — gone. The Bureau of Land Management — back to the states.”
The federal government cannot borrow money to create a prosperous economy, said Jett, who lives in Tecumseh.
“The Department of Education is over arching in forcing our schools to comply with policies that are not aligned with the best interests of our students,” Jett said. Common Core is the same as No Child Left Behind, he added.
The Patriot Act may have sounded great but it has proven not to be patriotic, Jett continued. And the Department of Energy has not succeeded in making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, Jett said.
“The EPA has been used as a badgering tool to try to hurt petroleum industries by using fictitious issues with regard to the environment that hurts our economy,” Jett said.
Tea Party activists have been harassed by the IRS, which is not the jurisdiction of the federal government, he said.
Stimulation of the economy does not equate to more spending programs, said Jett, who called for calibrating taxation to empower businesses to create jobs.
The $17.5 trillion federal debt is a moral issue as well as a spending problem, Sparks said. The legacy of uncontrolled spending by the federal government must not be passed on to future generations, Sparks said.
“I agree we need to do away with the Department of Education, the IRS, EPA, Department of Energy,” Sparks said. “We need to reform the means tested welfare program.”
Too much money is being spent ineffectively in the name of pulling people out of poverty, Sparks said. Duplicative and inefficient programs need to be eliminated, he said.
Block grants and Medicaid need to be discussed and, the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, Sparks said.
“We need to do away with Title 10 Family Planning Services,” Sparks said. “We need to eliminate corporate subsidies to agriculture, technology and energy.”
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 on June 24 for the statewide primary election. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.
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