U.S. Senate candidate Larry Linney
Why are you running for this office?
I am seeking the office of US Senate for three simple reasons. (1) It is my desire. (2) It is my civic and biblical duty. (3) It is my belief the eligible voters of this state desire a new senator.
Without question, during specific times in my live I have desired and sought to serve the public’s interests as an elected official. Sixteen years ago, I served in the North Carolina House of Representatives. It is a venerable tradition in our political culture that leaders would on occasion leave their chosen vocation and serve a stint in government. General Washington set an example by serving as our nation’s first president. After serving one term he became a private citizen. There is more noble nonsecular tradition in our culture paraphrased as “to whom much is given, much is expected”. I truly have been blessed. I have a Christian rearing. I have degrees from our state’s most prestigious schools, Duke and UNC Law. I have lived or visited the state’s most desired localities, from our mountains to the ocean. The expansion of government far beyond its role as envisioned by our founders has inspired political involvement in many ways from many citizens. I am a part of this movement.
Please list your top three priorities if elected to this office?
My top priorities as North Carolina’s Senator are to serve with distinction; to be accessible to constituents; and, to provide prompt and effective services to my constituents upon their request.
I have two legislative priorities as a newly elected Senator. First, I intend to co-sponsor legislation that mandates members of the Senate to follow ALL PROVISIONS of bills that it introduces. Second, I intend to sign as a co-sponsor a bill previously introduced that provides Senators have at least 72 hours to study a bill before a vote on it is taken. (It is incredulous this requirement is not already a rule of the Senate. Senators have six year terms. Constitutionally, it is the more deliberative chamber. This is a common sense requirement allowing Senators to fully understand legislation. More importantly, this requirement allows a Senator to seek imput from their constituents, if necessary.)
Please explain how you would have (did) vote for the health care bill?
The final version of the “health care” bill passed by the Senate consisted of over 2,500 pages. Even upon study, reflection and meditation, I would have voted no. The “bundling” of complex provisions radically changing fundamental aspects of our health care system rendered this legislation, at worst – illegal; and, at best unworkable. I support the change in law “purportedly” requiring health insurance providers not to deny coverage based on a preexisting illness. Sure, it is good policy to permit parents to carry their kids on the parents’ policy up to the kids’ 26th birthday. Both these two changes in the law could have occurred in separate, less complex legislation. Neither of these two provisions nor the remainder of the new legislation effectively reduces premium costs.
In fact, the provisions are neither market-oriented nor government mandates that would force a decrease in health insurance premiums. A market-oriented provision would have been to permit workers to buy and own their own health insurance policy separate from their employer, if any. The public option would have been a government mandate designed to lower health insurance premiums. Neither approach was taken. So, for all its cumbersomeness and complexities---the legislation is a failure, at inception.
How would you deal with the issue of illegal immigration?
Candor requires that I acknowledge the need for sensitivity in addressing the fate of the people in this ‘public policy issue.’ In this regard, enforcement of existing laws and implementation of new laws must be executed with due consideration. However, my position is that amnesty cannot be an option for those folks identified as unlawful residents of our nation. Superseding the “fairness’ issue is the “law and order” issue. Legislation can be crafted within this policy framework.
What would you do to spur economic development and reduce the unemployment rate?
A sad and alarming belief is held by many citizens that ‘government’ can save even good folks from the vicissitudes of life or from the vagaries of a capitalist economy. It cannot. There is an equally sad corollary: all well-intended outcomes can be legislated. They cannot. At the federal level, far short of creating more jobs within government, the government can enhance the private sectors’ job creation functions with low taxes, transparent laws and regulations, and an equitable enforcement of our laws and regulations. Specifically, as a Senator, I would encourage our newly elected members of the House to sponsor legislation eliminating all taxation on personal income. Alternatively, I intend to co-sponsor legislation in the Senate to eliminate the 16th Amendment and abolish the IRS. The intent is to allow potential investors/entrepreneurs to retain more capital to put at risk for job creation. This change in law also would enable consumers, so inclined, a) to spend more money increasing demand and causing the creation of more jobs or, b) increase their savings resulting in more capital available for risk takers to create more jobs.
As tax legislation must originate in the House, again, I would call upon members of the U.S. House to change existing tax law to permit American manufacturers to repatriate their earnings from foreign subsidiaries to the States tax-free. The intent is to encourage an increase in domestic manufacturing with the increase in capital available to invest.
Lastly, “free trade” is not “free” when global trading partners are not transparent with their subsidies to their domestic exporters. Arguably as with China, trade imbalances occur when countries manipulate their currency for an unfair trade advantage. As a Senator, I intend to persuade my colleagues to state a date-certain when we expect China to allow its currency to appreciate in value pursuant to the market. The date-certain would display American resolve for fairness and toughness. The intent and desired effect of a value-appreciated renminbi is to lower the cost of American exports for Chinese consumers in the largest consumer market on earth. The expected result is that American manufacturers would hire more American workers to meet this need for making more products.
What do you think of the government's stimulus plan?
Which one? The fact that it is not at all clear to which stimulus plan you are referring to underscores the ineffectiveness of . I was oppose to the amount appropriated and the premise this amount was based upon. If the stimulus plan the question refers to, the $700 appropriated for financial institutions then, I am indeed opposed to it. (See answer above)
What makes you the best candidate for this office?
I am the best candidate for U.S. Senate for two reasons. Firstly, I am not the incumbent. Incumbents have not governed pursuant to our Constitution. The incumbent Senator has not imposed on himself term limits. I pledge to serve only one term as Senator.
Secondly, I am the only Republican challenger with legislative experience having served in the General Assembly. My wife is an ambassador. I have met with Heads of State and many diplomats.