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April 10, 2010

 

COURIER JOURNAL CAMPAIGN QUESTIONS

 

Why are you the most qualified candidate?

I have a life time of government, business experience and training as indicated in my vitae. No other candidate has federal, state and local government experience. I have owned my own companies. I am not soliciting funds even from the labor unions which have endorsed my candidacy. I am an advanced government teacher and have been to all 120 Kentucky counties over five times and filmed the history of each; donating a set to each county library. I have produced more education access and Public Access programs than anyone in our area.

Before health care became a major issue I produced a weekly program called Your Health and Wellness which the Medical Association still continues. I have done this with no grants or tax revenue. Effective speaking abilities make me most qualified for the US Senate. God has prepared me for this job. I am a voice for the poor, ADA, workers, human rights and I love people and being a public servant.

 

What are the most crucial issues, and how would you address them?

Defend and improve healthcare for all of our citizens. We have our work cut out for us and we cannot waste any more time on divisiveness. It is time to stop the demagoging and realize that if we want a country that is thriving we will all have to sacrifice. Taxes will go up and services will need to be cut in some areas. We must address the moral issues facing our nation. We cannot continue to lock people up in prison and we must change our taxing system. I suggest a plan that would set up a business/labor round table which would look at all wages, bonuses and incentives being paid. When wages & bonuses are determined as out of line, then I would introduce legislation for surtaxes upon such companies and/or individuals. We must prohibit greed and abuse of the consuming public. To whom much is given, much is expected. Energy independence must begin!

 

What would you do to speed the economic recovery and produce jobs needed to put Americans to work?

I believe that the government should participate in coal research as part of a bigger picture in a jobs bill such as we saw in the 1940s with the Workers Progress Administration Program. America must consider a plan that resembles the New Deal that was created in 1939 under President F.D. R.s Administration. We need a program that will retrofit private enterprise companies, create jobs and stimulate the private sector. Money and time management are commodities that must be harnessed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt taught us, That we have nothing to fear but fear it. It is time to put our egos, our pride and personal agendas aside. Federal, state and local lawmakers must remove blinders and begin looking at what can work, even if it is a program that is like the WPA, which was instituted by presidential executive order, under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935, to generate public jobs for the unemployed.

 

Would you prefer to raise taxes or cut services to help Congress reduce record budget deficits? What areas would you cut or tax?

Try calling the President and you will soon see how the system is broken. I know. I tried calling and made eight long distant calls and could not even get an answering machine. Let me tell you with the debt we have run up we all better be praying that the good Lord pulls our bacon out of this fire. It is going to take real work and we all are going to have to share the burden of more taxes to pay for these wars while at the same time we need to continue to reform our education systems and put people back to work building a passenger rail system, infrastructure and energy independence. All government system will have to prove their viability are be retrained to do other functions in life. www.jstephenson.com

 

Do you support the health-care reform package that passed, or would you vote to repeal some or all of it? What would you replace it with?

I think we must give this plan every opportunity to work, but I suggested to Senator McConnell a compromise which included a tort reform package which now will need to be pass along with the ability to cross state lines in bidding for products as a separate package. These items by themselves will be hard to pass in the current climate. I think that many people will support the legislation when they see what provisions are included: Small Business tax credits, No discrimination Against Children with Pre-Existing Conditions, Help for Uninsured American with Pre-Existing Conditions, Ends Rescissions, Begins to close Medicare Part D Donut Hole, Free Preventive Care under Medicare, Extends Coverage for Young People up to 26th birthday through Parents' Insurance. Help for Early Retirees. Bans lifetime limits on Coverage. Bans Restrictive Annual limits on Coverage. Free Preventive Care under New Private Plans, New, Independent Appeals Process. These are but a few of the provisions.

 

Do you support Americas current military policy in Iraq and Afghanistan? How long should the United States keep troops in both countries?

I think both of these wars and their timing were a great mistake in judgment. I pray that I am wrong, but I feel, having studied the areas history, that as soon as we leave the governments which we have helped will soon be over thrown. I pray I am wrong because we have done a lot of good for human rights particular for women in these countries. These are different cultures. I believe that we should give the leaders a firm notice of time and continue to pull our troops out of each country but only if I was given that advice from the joints chiefs of staff and my Presidents National Security Advisors. We should never hesitate to strike quickly if attacked like 911 or Pearl Harbor, but with precision and remember for action there is a reaction. Strength in much more valuable in it myth than when it is used to often and soon becomes dreaded by the world. In short a war worth fighting is worth paying for with a war tax and a call to the Nation for Unity.

 

Do you support domestic and international efforts to curb global warming and reduce Americas reliance on fossil fuels such as coal?

I support global efforts to protect the wonderful world which God has given us to steward and care for with due diligence. I also am well aware God has also bless Kentucky with and abundance of coal and how it has become the major factor in our energy consumption. In fact over 90 percent of our energy comes from this source. I have tried to lay out a plan to join the government and private enterprise together to research the coal we have in abundance to figure out ways to use it cleanly. Global warming is real, we must not stick our heads in the sand but it will do no good to think we can just keep getting oil from the Middle East. The plan I have will result in energy independence, but it will take a collaboration and determination with all levels of government and business and labor working together which they can do if we insist on fairness and honesty for all concern. This must be tied with a WPA like workers program with a partnership with free enterprise and our educational systems

 

What guidelines or restrictions would you place on your earmark requests if you were elected?

I think they all should be eliminated, however since that is not a reality then I think I own it to our citizens to try and return as much benefits as possible, but only for valid and cost effective projects which have been recommended by local and state government valid studies. Before answering the following questions, I believe it is extremely important to impart to you and to your readers, my campaign disclaimer. Our nation and our wonderful Commonwealth of Kentucky cannot be all that they are called to be UNTIL we invite God back into the political process. Politicians can offer sound solutions to every issue our country is faced with. However, sound ideas alone do not, a great country make. Rulers during Biblical times would attest to this reality. It is time our country makes a U-turn back to God before we find ourselves in the same circumstances. We must approach every national and state issue through these lenses. John Stephenson

 

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