The primary election is Aug. 28 and early balloting is underway. Between now and Aug. 20, InMaricopa.com will publish two to three Q & As done with candidates in primary races.
Name: Jeff Flake
Occupation: Member of Congress, 2001-present
Family: Married to Cheryl; five children
Education: Brigham Young University, B.A., 1986; M.A., 1987
Heart’s desire: Spending time with my family.
Political experience: Member of Congress, 2001-present
Why are you running?
The federal government is too big, and it spends, taxes, and regulates too much. I am running for Senate to advance the principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility.
What is your biggest election challenge?
It takes an enormous amount of money to run a successful statewide campaign. Fortunately, we’ve received an outpouring of support across the state and we will have the resources needed to bring our message of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility to the United States Senate.
Why should Maricopans vote for you?
The country is at a precipice right now. Years of runaway spending have put our country on the edge of a fiscal cliff. Unless we elect leaders with the courage to make tough decisions, the country will face a real fiscal crisis similar to what we’re seeing in Europe. Every year the National Taxpayers Union rates each member of Congress on every vote we take that affects tax, debt, spending and regulatory issues. I’m proud that I’ve been ranked No. 1 in the entire Congress for eight years straight. That’s the record that I will take to the United States Senate.
Who are you voting for president?
I support Mitt Romney for president. The country cannot afford another four years of President Obama, and Mitt Romney can get the economy back on track and put the federal government on a fiscally sustainable path.
What is the greatest challenge facing the country?
There is no issue as urgent or important as our growing national debt. It affects every aspect of government, from the economy to immigration reform. It's imperative Congress begin to take this problem seriously by reducing discretionary spending and making reforms to entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare. If Congress acts now, these reforms can be implemented without affecting those currently receiving benefits or nearing retirement. We’ve seen in Europe what can happen when these issues are ignored for too long. If elected to the United States Senate, reducing the national debt and passing balanced budgets will be my priority.
What are you plans for immigration reform?
Greater border security is desperately needed along the southern border. Along with Senators McCain and Kyl, I have introduced a 10-point plan to improve border which includes border fencing.. It also includes National Guard troops, increased Border Patrol agents, reimbursing states for court and jail costs, funding for Operations Streamline and Stonegarden, UAVs and surveillance and more permanent and mobile checkpoints. Until the border is secured, other components of immigration reform will have to wait.
Americans don’t trust the federal government to address this problem until the border is secured. Once the border is secured we can address these issues.
I oppose ObamaCare and have worked hard to repeal it and replace it with more effective health-care reforms. While health-care reform is needed, inserting the federal government deeper into the health-care industry is not the answer. I support health-care reform that uses market forces to increase competition, control costs and improve care. Allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines and allowing individuals to use pre-tax dollars to purchase insurance, as well as medical liability reform, are good first steps.
What would you do to create jobs?
The federal government needs to create a tax and regulatory environment that allows the private sector to grow the economy and create jobs. The U.S. needs a tax code that allows American companies to compete globally.