Name: John Stephenson
Address: 2994 Moffett Road Independence, Ky. 41051 Kenton County
Date of birth: September 4, 1943
Education: Graduate University of Kentucky (See Attached Resume)
Occupation: Educator/Rank II Masters, Realtor/Real Estate Broker,
Religious affiliation: Christian, Baptist Denomination
Family: Married Wife: June Geiman-Stephenson and Four Children and Eight Grandchildren
John Stephenson, Republican U.S. Senate
Campaign Disclaimer: 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
Government bailouts seem to be enormously unpopular, though some would argue that they've been enormously effective. Economists for both the Bush and Obama administrations recommended these interventions at a time when it seems that everyone was in agreement that something needed to be done. Would you have supported the bailouts? Why or why not? If not, what would you have recommended?
There is a really big elephant in the room and it needs to be permanently removed. For the past several decades, this big creature has been convincing political parties that it is okay to game the system; buy politics, bribes, inside knowledge, and not the least of these, technology scams. The bow and arrow was a great technology until it posed a problem; man learning he could use it against his neighbor. This is why we need Checks and Balances and Accountability. President Reagan offered us a lifelong treasure when he voiced the quote, “Trust, but verify”. It is that simple.
Brilliant minds, put to the wrong use and with the wrong motives, WILL soon fleece a field of sheep if they think they are getting something for nothing. Greed and continual, blatant excesses have, and will continue to drive this nation to the brink of disaster, if we do not change our ways now. We must implement stricter regulatory conditions and severe monetary punishment/s for all violations. Zero tolerance must be the lesson of the day. All bonuses of any manner must go through a justifiable commission when the amounts reach a certain level; to be determined by Congress. All meetings shall be open to the press and public and written objections may be sent as a part of the process.
If I were asked to bailout these systems, the preceding restrictions, which I have mentioned, would be, at best, the minimal requirements. I would demand that IN ADVANCE, before a vote took place and certainly before, if I would even consider casting a “yes” vote. I would immediately propose a joint piece of legislation to pass a tax increase, progressive in nature, in order to pay for the bailout if it was a measure to avoid borrowing monies from a foreign country like China. I would demand a complete FBI investigation into which the responsible parties were and with great haste, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
Judging Others: I want to remind every voting citizen that there are no perfect political parties. I would also like to add that I am not perfect; I am reminded of that fact daily. I keep in the forefront of my mind the following quote to help me keep a proper perspective on life and government: “before I try to take the speck out of my brother’s eye, I should try to remove the log from my own.” Matthew 7:5. I believe that when one makes a mistake/s, we must humbly admit it and move forward to find solutions.
To that end, I believe my Republican Party and my President George Bush/Cheney Administration dropped the economy ball in several ways and it has had far reaching consequences. Let me also make the point that NO ONE presidential administration is perfect, but I believe my Republican Party lost many nation changing opportunities during their presidential administration. This was a great disappointment to me as it was also too many Republicans across the country. While President Obama has certainly made mistakes and has assumed responsibility for the current bail out and stimulus monies, he has only been the President for one year. What disturbs me as a United States citizen is the “scapegoating” of the current president. It was on the watch of the Republicans that the economy was taking a spiral downward. I find it disheartening that many of our leaders and candidates nationwide are trying to put all the blame on one President. Considering the magnitude of the problems this country is faced with, I would say that the President has tried to be bipartisan in his approach. Perfectly? No! If the President suffers from any malady it is naiveté in looking for the idealistic and idyllic approach.
I have been in a member of both major political parties, and money has influenced most of the votes and the strategies of each party for years. There is a small contingent of members in the House and in the Senate who, from time to time, will break the mold and vote their conscience. Unfortunately, money and its’ influences have circumvented pure democracy. Rarely is there a bill that comes before Congress that you cannot pre-determine how a member is going to vote on the subject. I would never, and I repeat, never pass a bill which I had not read and studied in full detail. This is the very reason my position has not changed with regard to term limits. It is my desire to serve ONLY one six year term. I would not have to concern myself with the preoccupation of and time and energy required to raising money “to stay in office”. However, your question comes down to the bailouts. Never would I vote for any bailouts under the circumstances presented to date and with hardly any contingencies for proper usage and repayment of funds. The consequences of this decision have truly been the worst case scenario of greed that our country has witnessed to date. The taxpayers have been fleeced twice with little or no accountability. This crisis was understood by many respected economic experts, in responsible positions and yet their “cries of wolf” were not heeded.
We have to begin at the top. If the leader is not in control and if he does not hold his team responsible for their actions, then the American voters must demand restitution through their voting voices. Please do not get me wrong. As a former advanced government teacher, I taught my students that the free enterprise system and capitalism is the best system ever developed to maintain economic growth. However, a capitalistic system has no conscience. Profit and more profits is its only goal. An unwatched pot will boil over; a train engine without a “controlling” governor will burn itself to pieces. With regard to multi-national corporations, the disappearance of “internal” loyalty to America is going to be the next “rude awakening” to every American citizen because profit knows no boundaries. This sounds scary, does it not? Well, that is free enterprise, unrestrained and unbridled and uncontrolled and without conscience.
What can we do now? First, I would turn IMMEDIATELY back to God in a “voluntary” National Day of Prayer. Yes, I do mean calling all citizens and Government leaders and workers to join together in a voluntary 24 hour day of prayer. I would have held the prayer meeting before God with regard to our national economic crisis. We have learned a valuable lesson from our current federal legislative leaders Senators Bunning and McConnell, through their tenacity and legislative power that was used to block health care legislation would have used that same power to stop the bail outs while they were occurring.++
We have heard much talk about clean-coal technologies in Kentucky with its abundant coal reserves. Many would argue that developing these technologies can only benefit the nation's environment and the state's work force. Some have encouraged government investment in these technologies. Others believe that it's a matter for private companies to pursue. What do consider to be the government's role in developing clean-coal technologies?
I do believe that the government should participate in this research as a part of a bigger picture in a jobs bill such as we saw in the 1940’s 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 create jobs and stimulate the private sector. God will help us through our economic depression. I agree with the old saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, things are broken in Washington and the people of our nation must get involved to help turn this country back to God.
Money and time management are commodities that must be harnessed. Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt taught us, “That we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” It is time to put our egos, our pride and personal agendas aside. Federal, state and local lawmakers must remove the blinders and begin looking at what can work, even if it is a program that is like the WPA. The Works Progress Administration was instituted by presidential executive order under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935, to generate public jobs for the unemployed. The WPA was re-structured in 1939 when it was reassigned to the Federal Works Agency. Let me share the following historical facts:
“By 1936 over 3.4 million people were employed on various WPA programs. Administered by Harry Hopkins and furnished with an original congressional allocation of $4.8 billion, the WPA made work accessible to the unemployed on an unparalleled scale by disbursing funds for an extensive array of programs. Hopkins argued that although the work relief program was more costly than direct relief payments, it was worth it. He averred, "Give a man a dole, and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and you save both body and spirit."
While responsibility for such unemployable people as children, the elderly, and the handicapped was remanded to the states, the WPA provided literally millions of jobs to employable people, enrolling on average about two million a year during its eight-year stint. Far fewer women were enrolled than men. Just 13.5 percent of WPA employees were women in 1938, its top enrollment year.
The WPA was charged with selecting projects that would make a real and lasting contribution — but would not vie with private firms. As it turned out, the "pump-priming" effect of federal projects actually stimulated private business during the Depression years. The WPA focused on tangible improvements: During its tenure, workers constructed 651,087 miles of roads, streets and highways; and built, repaired or refurbished 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings, 8,192 parks, and 853 landing fields. In addition, workers cleaned slums, revived forests, and extended electrical power to rural locations.
Work was provided for nearly a million students through the WPA National Youth Administration (NYA). The Federal One projects employed 40,000 artists and other cultural workers to produce music and theater, sculptures, murals and paintings, state and regional travel guides, and surveys of national archives. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a program designed to address the problem of jobless young men aged between 18 and 25 years old. CCC camps were set up all around the country. The WPA's positive results for the public good and its popularity helped Franklin D. Roosevelt to garner a thumping electoral victory in 1936, even though the agency employed no more than about 25 percent of the nation's jobless.
Meanwhile, New Deal critics in Congress accused the program of waste, political maneuvering, and even subversive activity; they took their chance to prune the program when unemployment figures dipped a little in 1937. When unemployment rose again the following year, funding was brought back to previous levels. However, 1939 saw more cutbacks. The Emergency Relief Appropriations Act of June 30 eliminated the Federal Theater Project, cut back WPA pay and limited enrollment to 18 months. Reacting to charges of politicking by WPA employees during the 1938 congressional races, the Hatch Act of August 1939 prevented federal workers from participating in a broad array of political activities. We have seen the same act used in races in Northern Kentucky this year with several people resigning to run or dropping out of their races for fear of losing their jobs. With wartime prosperity rising in the 1940s, the WPA became more difficult to justify, and on June 30, 1943 the agency was terminated by presidential proclamation. All told, the WPA had employed more than 8,500,000 individuals on 1,410,000 projects with an average salary of $41.57 a month, and had spent about $11 billion.” (Internet research history of W.P.A. and quotes)
The point? As a nation, we can learn valuable lessons from the W.P.A. experience. We can put into effect a program that utilizes the private sector and the government; putting many of our people back to work and create learning and training opportunities that will create even further productivity. We can find ways to use our prison population and allow most of them to return to society as productive citizens. The worse thing we can do is sit back and hope someone else solves the problem. The giants of moral, structural and socio-economical collapse are looking us squarely in the face and we better elect leaders who will know how to move the ball down the court of life and operate in God’s will. First, we must humble ourselves, seek the face of God, ask for His forgiveness and turn from our wicked ways. Then we can ask Him for help. He will help us and He will heal our land literally. God is a God of promise keeping. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
I believe the government’s role should be to work collaboratively with our universities nationally, research centers and various private enterprises in order to jointly explore every conceivable avenue to make this country energy-independent. Kentucky has an abundant natural resource of coal with ninety percent or more of our energy already being produced by coal. It would behoove us, as a nation, to initiate research and development in conjunction with a national, mutually working WPA-like/private enterprise plan that will be of benefit to the entire nation. Because this would be a national plan, I would recommend every level of government; local, state and federal, be participants in the efforts of energy productions, including new green technologies such as solar, wind and nuclear. Government works best at all levels when we avoid unfunded mandates and when various levels of governments are included in the process. Our country cannot afford turf battles and partisan politics and ear marks in this endeavor.
Energy-independence must be a priority for the federal government because it is a national defense requirement. That is why we need to tie it to a national WPA type program. We need to introduce new legislation that enforces the Biblical concept of “stewarding” resources and helping our neighbor/s. ++
How would you react to an acceleration of the permitting process for nuclear power plants, including such plants in Kentucky?
Nuclear power plants have always been an answer, but it does have its drawbacks, that have not yet been completely resolved. Waste and what to do with it, to make it environmentally safe, is still a question that needs to be answered. Another pressing question to be considered is nuclear vulnerability to a terrorist attack. National Security clearance is paramount. If these problems can be addressed, then I believe nuclear energy can be used successfully in conjunction with our coal resources. ++
Kentucky is caught in a great debate over the pros and cons of the method of coal mining known as mountaintop removal. Obviously, there are strong feelings for and against because of the jobs it provides and because of the changes it brings to the Appalachian landscape. What legislative or regulatory changes do you believe are needed relating to mountaintop removal?
As to how we access coal, I would leave the methodology to engineers, consultants and corporations. I believe in the free enterprise system. However, I would support implementation of common sense governmentally approved environmental procedures, guidelines and safety measures with regard to procurement of Kentucky’s invaluable coal resource. The safety of our coal workers and protection of the environment are paramount. We must also embark on energy independence, using all resources and common sense in our regulations so as not to stifle the industry with bureaucratic red tape. Our goal must be to steward land properly. Coal is one of our major resources. We must work together and continue to use common sense in reaching the maximum use of this precious gift from God. As I have traveled throughout our 120 beautiful and diverse counties, I have sung publically, dedicating “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford, to every hard working coal miner and their families. This song comes from my heart and how I feel about the coal workers and drivers who mine and who haul this resource across our nation. Many coal haulers will recall that as the Commissioner, under Martha Layne Collins, I fought extremely hard for the coal haul roads and the money to build them. God gave us the gift of coal, black gold, and we must steward it properly, and with common sense. If used properly, coal can be a major answer to our National Energy Independence as well as being a “desired” resource internationally. We must market our treasures. ++
The debate has raged over health care at the federal level. What one portion of the plan being championed by congressional Democrats do you believe has the most merit? Why? What one portion of the plan do you least like? Why?
We are now faced with the question, “How can we work out a Health Care Reform that stimulates business in the private sector?” Every American citizen needs and deserves basic health care. The ability to fully participate in the free enterprise system, without the fear of a major medical catastrophe personally or in one’s family must be a right for all. Health care coverage is a right that must be extended to every American citizen just as I would have health care coverage as a United States Senator. Health care is not and should not be a Republican or Democrat issue. Health care is a human right issue and “We, the People”, need to understand the importance of this issue. How else can we proceed to rebuild our economy?
In order to curtail or harness the activity of greed and self interests, efforts must be made to publically access all major health care planning forums. This gives every citizen the right to view meetings where major policies are formed, in keeping with transparency. With the move by President Obama to call the leadership of both parties to sit and discuss this issue for over seven hours publically, following a year of debate and decades of health care problems facing the nation. It is high time to act. I support the majority party in this reconciliation action, and I fault my own party of its inaction. The Republicans had power for eight consecutive years and did little. Disappointedly, we dropped this ball many times. Now that we are the minority party and the Democrats have the office of President, we should have worked for bipartisanship. Instead, we have demagogued the issues and shamefully played on the worse fears of the People. Half truths will never have lasting benefits. Our leadership could learn lessons from the late famous Kentuckian, Henry Clay through his special ability to bring about compromise. Instead, our leadership will sit on the sidelines and attack the President and hope he fails. This is no position for Statesmen, Patriots, Americans or any God-revering person. It certainly is not what I would do. The power of the U.S. Senate office should be used to stop all abortions and to return to Godly principles.
History is a light to our future. History can and should open our eyes. “In 1973 the Endangered Species Act was enacted by Congress to protect animals facing extinction. To date, there are no fewer than 10 laws protecting more than 1,214 animals ranging from the giant panda to the Alabama red belly turtle to the bald eagle. In fact, the list includes nests and eggs of both bald and golden eagles because apparently an eagle is an eagle even before it is hatched. Ironically, the same year, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington represented Norma McCorvey in the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. This landmark case opened the door for women to legally end the lives of their defenseless unborn children. From the legalization of abortion to July of 2008, approximately 50 million children have been killed. In that time, the number one provider of both surgical and chemical abortions has been Planned Parenthood. I would like to remind citizens that according to Jim Sedlak, president of STOPP International, project of the American Life League, the federal government has given over 4.8 billion dollars to Planned Parenthood. In 2010, Planned Parenthood will receive more than one million dollars every day from the pockets of American taxpayers. Approximately every 30 seconds since Roe v. Wade, a son or daughter has been killed. And although black women make up 12% of the population, they have 37% of abortions according to recent Centers for Disease Control study. A black child is five times more likely to be aborted than his white counterpart. Margaret Sanger would be proud. Her organization kills more African Americans in four days than the KKK killed in 150 years. What Margaret Sanger once said about those on welfare is now true for her own organization: it “would die out were the government not feeding (it).” (Excerpts taken from American Family Association Journal, January 2010.)
I believe we will have a health care bill. I pray that abortion payments are not included. I fault our own Republican leadership for not using their filibuster ability against the desire of the Democrats to make this a bi-partisan bill; to keep these abortion demands of the left wing of the Democratic Party out of the legislation. It remains to be seen what the final version will include. If our leadership, who profess to be Right to Life supporters, had fought as tenaciously to stop abortions, as they have to block health care reform development, we could have prevented most abortions during the last decade. It is not too late. We still can still stop the murder of the Innocent if we will use our energy and argument vigorously for the rights of the unborn; in the interest of the People; guided by Godly principles and not motivations, that are regularly fueled by “Perpetual Washington Career” ambitions.
I see universal health care as a conservative issue. It will allow the free enterprise system to make a major move to eliminate the greatest fear any citizen has; whether leaving a job to venture into opening a new business or moving to new company. The fear of not having health care for oneself or their families is very real. Release the shackles and people will find their way under the free enterprise system. Again, what would Jesus do? ++
Do you believe the world is facing global warming? What would you propose the federal government do to curb this climate change? There is no doubt in my mind that we are facing global warming. My question is to what extent does this condition change our lifestyle in some major way?
Yes, we need to follow this closely, but we have to create reasonable solutions. Going “Green” is a very good idea. I think we received our first wakeup call in the mid seventies. I was working as a congressional aide for Congressman John Breckinridge, handling every energy-related matter for the Congressman and his constitutes. We, the Congressman’s staff, learned a major and very important lesson about our nation’s dependency on foreign oil and some of its consequences. Despite the recommendations and warnings from those of us involved, our leaders and the public were lulled back to sleep. Today, as a result of that inaction, we find ourselves in the middle of an international gridlock both economically and militarily. We have the strongest defense system in the world, but we are in jeopardy because of our continued dependence upon foreign oil and now our National debt. Just going “Green” alone will not solve our problems although, if implemented with the Work Program I have suggested, we could see great advancements and also betterment of our economy. This effort must be a joint Government/Private Sector Program. Any new developments should be gauged against their environmental impact. We cannot stick our heads in the sand and ignore what is happening around us but we must also remember every action has its reactions. ++
The Appalachian region of Kentucky has been a laboratory of sorts for the federal government to experiment with fixes to social problems like poverty, unemployment, even isolation. Please cite one of these programs that you believe to have been effective and what you believe made it successful?
I think the following programs pushed by Congressman Hal Rogers have shown great benefit to the Eastern part of the state which he represents. Rogers has been the founder of numerous organizations that serve these policy objectives including the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corporation; the Southern Kentucky Agricultural Development Association; the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association; Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education - UNITE; and The Center for Rural Development. Rogers first such organization was Forward in the Fifth, which promotes better education, and Rogers efforts through Forward in the Fifth brought national attention to his district, which at the time had the worst education attainment in the U.S.. Through S.K.E.D., Congressman Rogers has been instrumental in the creation of 10,000 jobs in southern and eastern Kentucky. ++
Among Kentucky voters, abortion clearly remains an important issue. Tell us why you would/wouldn't support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion.
Our nation and our Commonwealth will continue to be “plagued with ills” UNLESS we first stop the atrocity of abortion and the infanticide that occurs daily, permitted “by law”. Whether it is viewed politically correct or not, LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION. God ALONE gives life and it is God alone Who has the authority to take life away. It must be the number one responsibility of the office of U.S. Senate to push a constitutional amendment to ban abortion.
Historically, nations that walked away from God and behaved godlessly would soon discover that God would remove Himself from that nation. Is that fact any different today? No. How can God bless a nation who is behaving in ways that are against His will? Not only will God not bless the nation, He cannot bless a nation who blatantly commits such heinous crimes. In fact, according to Deuteronomy 28, God makes it very clear that if a nation keeps God’s commands, God in turn will bless that nation. Deut. 28: 1-3 says, “...if you will diligently obey the Lord your God being careful to do all His commandments...the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth..Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the country.” In turn, if a nation disobeys God commands, “...if you will not obey the Lord your God, observe His commandments… all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you…” vs. 15-68. There are fifty three verses of consequences for being out of God’s will. I would encourage everyone to read the entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28. These are not my words, these are God’s words and whether our nation wants to believe in God or not, or “choose” to believe in His commands or not, does not change the truth that God is and He does. We will not be a great nation again unless God is at the helm again.
Consider the circumstances of our nation today. Not one politician or political party can singularly be blamed for the current condition of our nation. Our nation “collectively” is responsible. Every citizen who “chooses” not to believe God and His commands is responsible. Tragically, abortion has been made law, but by man, a law that completely contradicts the law of God, “You shall not murder”. Deut. 5:17. As a nation, we must recognize abortion for what it is the murder of innocent lives. The framers of our Constitution were more in touch with the will God then this nation as a whole is today. Many God-fearing groups continue to fight vigorously against a current that cannot be stopped, unless we turn this nation around and seek God’s face. The fact that centuries have come and gone since we have become “one nation under God” does not remove the reality that God does not change, nor does His will. God will bless our nation again. He can bring healing and will bring “healing” to our land IF we seek His face and stop the atrocities of abortion. God can and He will use elected officials to bring real solutions, not perpetual sound bytes, not fruitless efforts and not disharmony among the political parties. Our nation, our citizens must begin to see this, and NOW.
Approximately 250,000 people die each day in the world. According to Right to Life statistics, “over 4,000 of those deaths are by abortion. That is one and half million people each year in the United States alone. These children, except for a few, are normal, healthy children, free from any physical or mental handicaps. Many millions more die from silent, chemical abortion. As the killing of innocent children continues, more and more childless couples, faced now with the reality that there will not be a child for them to adopt, are doomed to a life where there is no child of their own to love.” A human life amendment would codify the personhood of the unborn child from the moment of fertilization, holding that life begins at fertilization, and that all innocent human life must be protected by law. “Although legislation will protect the life of the unborn child, only a human life amendment will protect the life of the unborn child from the whims of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of both the federal and state governments.”
A constitutional amendment to block abortions MUST BE the first order of business or our nation will continue to operate in an ongoing spirit of futility. ++
Given the federal deficit and the ever-growing national debt, and given the social and economic needs so apparent in many parts of Kentucky, how do you feel about pork projects?
I think we must make a greater effort to prevent all earmarks. Every proposed or presented project must stand on its own merits or the lack thereof. Projects should have to go through a public hearing process in order to determine the validity of the project. Secondly, the project then must be considered by the specific agency, wherein it will be implemented, as to it priorities. This process will help to weed out waste and “politics as usual.”
I would like to share an example. I applied for and received a large federal grant to educate statewide Community Action Agency Workers. The non-profit was called Policy Management Associates Inc. (P.M.A.). I had twenty five employees and I wrote grant proposals to train all statewide workers. Through the construction of a full scale house within a warehouse, while filming the step by step efforts, we applied the latest energy saving techniques. Part of Phase 2 also included my produced training film, Home Weatherization Training film, which was then aired on Public Access and Education Access. Phase 3 involved disassembling the house, selling all the lumber and rendering the rented space. My teachers and I traveled to 120 counties to show the weatherization film and actual statewide workers’ training using on a senior citizen’s house. This effort increased productivity and at the same time, helped a senior in the process. After completing a teaching tour of all 120 counties, I dissolved the non-profit organization.
This is what needs to be done at the federal level. We need to take a hard look at what agencies are really fulfilling their intended purpose. This must be done in a non-partisan manner, but with due diligence. We continue to see how the system, for many years, has followed the rule of law in government, “spend it or lose it.” Unfortunately, this is the very reason government has evolved into a bloated patchwork of people doing many of the same tasks without the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing. Where is accountability/supervisory arms, overseeing all the agencies and their ongoing validity and duties? This consolation and restricting must be done with sensitivity, but with due diligence. I will never forget an “ethics challenging” lesson learned through years of experience; the philosophy of “if you want to make a lot of money, do business with someone spending someone else’s money”. Sadly, this is one of the most fundamental flaws in our government today. Every system in government should have to justify its mission’s validity and continuance. Every such program should also be required to draft studies as to how they could potentially consolidate services.
We must pay our debt, while continuing to prime the economy when and where it is required. This will take time. We must evaluate our involvement in many of the military interventions we have become involved with during the past twenty years. We cannot be the world’s policeman nor should we be. However, we must never forget what history has taught us; weakness is the enemy of democracy. National Defense is something you just cannot “do on the cheap”. Remember, the freedoms we fail to use, we tend to lose. Likewise, the freedoms we abuse, we also tend to lose. History has shown us the world is not without its devious power seekers. I will rely greatly on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our Commanders in the field. This leads me to the next question. ++
To what extent do you believe the U.S. military should go to stop countries like Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
I think we should use every available diplomatic resource/s and economic pressures to convince Iran and other countries that the best policy for them and the rest of the world is to refrain from building nuclear weapons.
I think we have put ourselves into an interlocking
economic infrastructure with the Middle East due to our oil consumption and
dependence on its ready supply. These needs frankly bind our hands in
dealing with each of the countries in the Middle East. Can you expound anymore.
How would your service in the Senate differ from that of Jim Bunning?
I would work with the Democrats to find compromise and solutions to our major problems, which I have mentioned earlier in my answers. I would really like to increase productivity and implement new ideas through innovation and collaboration. We must call upon all political parties and citizens to pull together to help restore America, returning her to some normal growth pattern. We have got to keep our focus on the seriousness of national circumstances and, at the same, time try to offer a return to some form of normalcy for our citizens, and also try to maintain our middle class social economic status.
I would be much more open and available to the
citizens and the press with regard to my functions and actions and their
questions and/or concerns. I believe in complete transparency and open records,
except with matters of National Defense. ++
In what legal venue do you believe suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay should be tried? Why?
This has been demgoged to death so let me just say this, “get the terrorists before a judge and if the citizens want it to be outside America, then that would be fine with me.” I do not fear these misguided souls, but I do not believe in torture. This is one thing John McCain is right about. Do it within the law. America should always be America, the best of the best and follow God’s teachings. What would Jesus do?
I think that we need to set an example for the world to see by our actions of openness and fairness. A military trial would most likely be best, but that is why we have a United States Attorney General and a President to make these decisions. There should be a policy in place and in most circumstances, we should follow that policy. ++
Position on Education
I would work to be the Education Senator for Kentucky. “All states and schools should have challenging and clear standards of achievement and accountability for all children, and effective strategies for reaching those standards.”—U.S. Dept. of Education. In response, national educational organizations and state departments of education have begun implementing sets of standard or guidelines. Governors and Legislators representing forty eight of the fifty states have pledged to implement the following standards put forth by the U.S. Department of Education. This combined with the President Obama’s education incentive, which we are line to receive in the forms of new education grants can boost Kentucky to the next level to true education reform. Arnie Duncan is doing a great job as Secretary of Education. My regular message to my former high school students and parents was, “if the student has not learned, then the teacher has not taught.” The freedoms we abuse, we tend to lose. And the freedoms we fail to use, we tend to lose. We must teach civics to our students. We have to remember, history is the light to our future.
There is nothing more dearly to my heart than to see a child, or for that matter, an adult, have the opportunity to learn new information and talents and skills. I believe we have a duty to God to continue our education until death. I believe with whatever gifts and talents we have acquired, we must share those talents in helping our fellow human beings with their plights in life and to help make our country a better place within to live. I love to learn and I enjoy to write and to share what I have learned, including God’s teaching and Love. I have learned so much about Kentucky by traveling into all 120 counties and filming their respective history. My wife, June and I learned a great deal from interviewing over 300 people and while gathering thousands of signatures for my diary which I began sharing in 1975. In the past fifteen I have also been collecting signatures, for my personal Bible, from several Governors and Senators and other dignitaries. I have been asked many times, “why sign my bible?” It is really straight forward. When I ask any government leader to sign my Bible, I am demonstrating to them that the word of God is the most important life compass to me. It is my way to remind them that the Bible can be a life compass for them as well. It is a way to pose the question to each signer, “What would Jesus do?” ++
John Stephenson, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky
P.O. Box 175885 Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017-5885