Note: The Abigail Adams Project has sent out questionnaires to all Federal and state candidates in Utah; access the results HERE.
A questionnaire on issues jointly developed by Deseret News, KSL, the Utah Foundation and the Hinckley Institute of Politics was recently sent to all 11 formally-declared Utah U.S. Senate candidates. Only five of the candidates responded by the suspense date, including Republicans Bob Bennett, Tim Bridgewater, Merrill Cook and Mike Lee, and Constitution Party candidate Scott Bradley. Those not responding included Republicans Cherilyn Eagar, David Chiu, Leonard Fabiano, Jeremy Friedbaum, and Democrats Sam Granato and Christopher Stout. Read Deseret News story HERE; access the specific questionnaires HERE.
As expected, the responding Republicans agree on most issues: including opposing "Obamacare," fighting deficit spending, calling for tougher action against illegal immigration, opposing stimulus spending and making it easier to drill for oil and gas on public lands. But they divide sharply on a few issues, most notably on whether using "earmarks" — where a senator designates spending for home-state projects — is good. All of Bennett's challengers have attacked his earmarking, and they did it again in the questionnaires.
Here's a topical analysis of two of the most important sovereignty issues; immigration and free trade. Click on the candidate's name to go directly to his questionnaire:
(1). Immigration: Of the four Republicans, Mike Lee holds the best position on immigration, with Tim Bridgewater a close second.
------ Merrill Cook wants stricter employer hiring enforcement, improve physical border control, end perks such as in-state tuition for illegals, driver's licenses, and driving privilege cards for illegals, end "anchor baby" status awarding citizenship to a child born to an illegal if born in the U.S., and simply beign enforcing other laws consistently.
------ Mike Lee wants to invest in the technology, personnel, and physical infrastructure necessary to secure the southern border, enforce existing immigration laws, improve and promote the use of E-Verify to enable employers to ascertain quickly and accurately whether prospective employees are authorized to work in the United States, mandate and enforce the denial of federal and state welfare benefits to illegal immigrants, pass legislation specifying that children born to illegal-alien parents in the United States are not entitled to automatic citizenship, and block any amnesty for illegals.
------ Tim Bridgewater wants to protect and secure the borders to make illegal entry into the United States less attractive than legal avenues, remove incentives that draw illegal immigrants to the country, including eliminating the "anchor baby" loophole, and enforce existing immigration and workplace laws to reduce the economic incentives for illegal immigration. Wants incremental implementation to reduce disruption.
------ Bob Bennett wants a large fence, but with a gate that "swings both ways". This means he wants a guest worker program like the Bracero program of the 50s and 60s. Says he wants to eliminate the demand for illegal immigration as well as the supply. Keep in mind that Numbers USA rates him a "C-".
------ Scott Bradley correctly characterizes the current influx of illegal aliens as an "invasion". Bradley would give public notification to illegals that they would be given a reasonable length of time to liquidate the assets they hold in the United States (three to six months), and leave the country. They will then be allowed to go to the end of the line back in their home countries and follow the rules for legal immigration which the US Congress defines. Once they meet those criteria, they may apply to come to this country legally. Illegals discovered remaining in this nation after the grace period will be arrested, and they will be deported from the country with no possibility of applying for legal entry in the future.
(2). Free Trade: Of the four Republicans, Merrill Cook holds the position BEST supporting America's political and economic sovereignty; Mike Lee is a distant second.
------ Merrill Cook holds the most worker-friendly position. Opposes NAFTA, GATT, and the China trade deals because he believes it's impossible for American workers to compete with countries which use slave labor. Supports bilateral trade agreements as a substitute.
------ Mike Lee holds a worker-unfriendly position on free trade. He supports free trade, and believes Congress should make every effort to move in a direction of lower or even zero tariffs. He concedes that Congress should retain its constitutional authority over tariffs, rather than yielding it to international trade authorities and thereby eroding U.S. sovereignty, but this means he simply favors "kindler, gentler" versions of GATT and NAFTA. Both GATT and NAFTA are inherently anti-worker.
------ Tim Bridgewater holds an ambiguous position on GATT and NAFTA, failing to address these items. He strongly supports free trade and the elimination of any barriers. He believes Americans can compete with anyone, as long as the playing field is level and the markets are open. But he does concede the need to work for our best interests first and foremost.
------ Bob Bennett holds a worker-hostile position. He is an absolute believer in free trade without restrictions. He supports the practice of some American businesses exporting raw materials to other countries and then importing the finished product to sell to the American consumer at a lower cost. This is a colonialist practice which steals jobs from Americans. He says we need to focus more on training our workforce for higher-skill jobs rather than revert to protectionist, anti-trade policies in the name of bringing lower-skilled jobs back to our country, but until such time as education is made more affordable and more workers "re-skill", we need to cut back on outsourcing. This is just one more reason why Bob Bennett should not be returned to the U.S. Senate.
------ Scott Bradley absolutely opposes U.S. participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), as well as the pending Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Bradley wants America to abrogate these agreements and return to constitutionally-sound bilateral agreements with other individual nations.