Thursday, July 31, 2008

Republican Richard Grayson, AZ-04 Congressional Candidate, Lays Out His Platform on Eve of Early Voting

PHOENIX, July 30 - On the eve of early voting, Arizona Fourth Congressional District Republican candidate Richard Grayson spoke to voters at the downtown campus of Arizona State University and laid out his platform. In the September 2 GOP primary, Grayson is a state-certified write-in candidate facing Don Karg, who has run against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor in the past two elections.

"I entered this race because the Arizona Republican party needs to suck less," Grayson told voters, before providing his positions on major issues:

The Economy:
Grayson favors fiscal stimulus in the form of massive government spending in both human capital and national infrastructure. Improving education is the crucial factor in making sure the U.S. is competitive in an era of globalism. Stronger regulation must be enacted in order to prevent the kind of bubbles that have jolted the economy in recent months. Short term, extended unemployment benefits, more foreclosure relief and increased spending on food stamps and other government programs will help struggling families through this recession.

The War: Grayson favors immediate withdrawal from Iraq, a war he opposed starting in late 2002, an unnecessary pre-emptive war that has destabilized the Middle East, left Americans less safe from terrorists, and which has caused countless deaths and injuries among both our brave troops and Iraqi civilians - in addition to costing billions that could have been better applied to pressing domestic needs. Grayson favors talks with adversaries like Iran and Syria to prevent future wars and opposes widening the war in Afghanistan.

The Environment: With oil prices starting to recede, Grayson favors an unpopular higher federal tax on gasoline - up to a dollar - to keep Americans focused on conserving energy, changing their car-oriented lifestyles, and research and development on alternative sources of fuel. He opposes offshore drilling and other short-term measures that will do almost nothing and opposes politically-motivated restrictions on speculators. Grayson supports a carbon tax and believes that measures must be taken to lessen global warming. Green technologies can be the new driving force behind an American economic revival and should receive government support.

Health care: Grayson supports Medicare for all, a single-payer system of universal medical care for every American, eliminating the inequities and inefficiencies of a system based on private insurance. American companies must be free to compete with international competitors that don't have the burden of providing health benefits to employees and retirees. This will all be expensive and should be paid for by ending the cap on payroll taxes and on the new energy taxes Grayson proposes.

Grayson also supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path for citizenship for undocumented aliens, a rollback of Bush administration assaults on personal freedom and liberty, mandatory sick days and other assistance to struggling working parents, increased foreign aid, an end to politicization of the judiciary, access to safe reproductive health care and abortions for women, marriage equality, increased aid to veterans, and generally believes the Republican party must return to the pro-growth activist government that Theodore Roosevelt championed a century ago in the progressive era.

In the international arena, Grayson favors ending U.S. imperialist policies and supports more cooperation with other nations, more free trade agreements like NAFTA, the creation of a viable Palestine with guaranteed security for Israel, and increased federal support for nongovernmental organizations that foster sustainable global growth and the welfare of the earth's people, animals, and other species.

"The era of talking about small government is over," Grayson said at the end of his talk. "Struggling American families need a helping hand, and the federal government needs to provide it."