Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2008

Economy heart of issue in congressional race

October 30, 2008

In the race for the 3rd District congressional seat, it’s no surprise the U.S. economy is a hot topic as Election Day approaches.

Incumbent Dennis Moore, a Lenexa Democrat seeking his sixth term, says there’s plenty of blame to spread around but insists he’d rather look forward to forging a solution to the troubles plaguing the U.S. and global economies.

“Our economy is facing many challenges, but there are steps that we can take,” Moore said in response to a question from the Journal-World about the nation’s economic woes.

Among those steps, he said, are decreasing “the federal debt … providing relief to hard-working families (including efforts to stabilize the current housing market and provide relief through the stimulus package) and developing a comprehensive energy package that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lowering gas prices and promoting new industries for American businesses and workers.”

Moore’s Republican challenger, Nick Jordan of Shawnee, says Congress and Moore are at the root of the sagging economy, and that’s where change is needed.

“We need market-driven reforms aimed at the heart of the problem — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Congress’ love policies that forced high-risk loans. …

“We need to stop Dennis Moore’s and Congress’ $683 billion tax increase — the largest in American history — so that Kansans can keep more of what they earn in this tough economy. And I will push for an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy independence to lower energy and gas prices that are killing family and small business budgets,” Jordan said in his questionnaire response.

Moore, a former Johnson County district attorney, was first elected to the 3rd District seat in 1998. Jordan, a small-business owner in Shawnee and a state senator, is making his first run for federal office. The district includes eastern Douglas County and Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

The economy isn’t the only area in which the candidates differ.

On health care, Jordan advocates breaking down barriers that prevent individuals from purchasing health insurance. He says he’ll work to make health care more accessible and affordable.

“I believe in market-driven reforms to bring down health care costs and not another failed government program,” Jordan said.

Moore says health care must be made more affordable and points to his legislative efforts to encourage the use of electronic medical records as a means of reducing medical errors and administrative costs. Beyond those efforts, though, “We must also care for those who simply cannot take care of themselves, such as children living in poverty, which is why I strongly support the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP),” Moore said.

Both candidates support a comprehensive national energy policy.

“I support responsible offshore drilling in order to increase our domestic energy supply,” Moore said. “But drilling must be part of a larger, comprehensive energy plan for our country’s energy needs. This means developing alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar and biofuels, investing in renewable fuels and promoting conservation.”

“I’ll work to support clean alternative energy sources like bio-fuels, wind, solar, and nuclear,” Jordan said. “I’ll encourage conservation and energy efficiency through tax incentives; increase the number of refineries to get cheaper gasoline to market; increase domestic oil production, including lifting the ban on offshore drilling; and go after abuses in oil speculation. We need comprehensive, innovative solutions to our nation’s energy crisis and we need them now.”

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