SEMO Decides: 8th Congressional District
As SEMO voters prepare to go to the polls next week we decided to ask a few questions that may be on your mind heading into election day.
Democrat Jack Rushin
Why are you running for Congress? I have long been interested, but I am very devoted to my profession. I have been very active in the Missouri Chiropractic Association for many years in fact I had meetings with Bill Emerson over Medicare when he was in office. I just do not feel that we have advanced as a society over the last 25 years as we should have?
Do you see government as a way to facilitate that advancement? As I have spoke to different groups and said that I am not for smaller government I am for leaner government. When disasters like a New Madrid earthquake a small government isn’t goint to be able to help. That is what I told the Tea Party in Rolla.
What was the Tea Party’s reaction to your candidacy?
You know they never booed me or heckled me and were very polite to hear every view. I explained that both Jo Ann and Paul Ryan were front and center for the Bush years and inherited a surplus and left a debt.
What is the most important issue facing the 8th District?
Our extremely low level of economic growth, and I believe a Member of Congress could get rid of these trade deals that have killed these small factories throughout the 8th district. We now rely on agriculture in our district, and agriculture alone will not support the district we need manufacturing.
What is your position on gun control?I believe a citizen should have the right to own any firearm they choose even an assault rifle, but I believe we should address how many shells fit into the magazine.
What is your position on abortion? I am definitely pro choice, but I am pro choice for a reason. I cannot in good conscious ask a 12, 13, or 14 year old girl to take a child born form incest to term.
What is the one thing you would like to tell voters before they head to the polls? I think the electorate needs to be more patient, more responsible, and they need to learn.
Republican Jo Ann Emerson
Why did you decide to run for re-election? Serving the Eighth Congressional District is the greatest honor of my professional life. I love the people I work for every day, and we have a lot of challenges I know we can overcome with the right leadership. It requires us to put people before politics, to work together, and to advance commonsense conservative solutions not just for Missouri, but for our nation. I have a record of that kind of success in Congress, and I think it is important to continue the strongest possible representation of our district.
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing southeast Missouri? Jobs. Our rural economy depends on the freedom to innovate, freedom from onerous government regulations, freedom to keep more of what we earn, and freedom to do what is best for our communities. That means investing in infrastructure, passing permanent relief from the Death Tax and other taxes, limiting the power of the federal bureaucracy over our lives, and promoting free markets. We have the most talented, hardest-working people in the world in Southern Missouri, and we have a bright future.
What is your position on abortion? I am pro-life, endorsed by Missouri Right to Life.
What is your position on gun control? I am pro Second Amendment, endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
What was the most rewarding day of your last term? I dropped the gavel to pass a comprehensive repeal of ObamaCare in the U.S. House of Representatives, just a few days after the Supreme Court ruled on the law’s legality. I was very honored to chair that vote. It is a symbol of the will of the American people to stop ObamaCare and prevent its many taxes and expansions of government authority.
What was the most frustrating day of your last term? When Congress rubber-stamped a measure to actually increase federal spending for the first six months of FY 2013. I had written a bill to cut a billion dollars from the IRS, enact deep reforms at several federal agencies, and eliminate some agencies and programs, and I was very frustrated to not see all of those commonsense savings put in place for taxpayers.
Could you describe to our readers who may not follow government that closely how your seniority in Congress helps you represent the district? First, my seniority means I know our district extremely well. I have visited thousands of families, small businesses and community groups in our district during my service to Southern Missouri. I carry all of their stories with me when I go to Congress, and I am fortunate to often vote with a specific example in mind of someone who has written me a letter on the subject or a business I have visited or a veteran I have met who is directly affected by the legislation.
I chair a subcommittee where we have been central to reforming government by limiting funding, preventing the expansion of government intrusion into Americans’ lives, and exposing waste and abuse. We provide a key check against the powers of the Obama Administration, and that is a major responsibility these days. In the next two years, I hope to have to opportunity to put more accountability measures in place.
What is the one thing you would like to tell voters of the 8th district before they go to the polls? This election is a key turning point for our country and our economy. We are selecting leaders, but we are also choosing a vision for our future. I want Southern Missouri, and America, to have a future full of economic success, opportunity, and freedom. That is what I have worked for in Congress, and that is the vision I hope to pursue in the coming term.