Friday, July 6, 2012

US Senate Candidate Mark Lodes Breaks Stereotypes

Mark Lodes, Republican candidate for US Senate, breaks many typical partisan stereotypes. For instance, he supports the Obama healthcare bill based on personal experience. Lodes is a diabetic. “I’ve been fighting insurance companies for the last twenty years over my condition,” he said in a telephone interview with the Sheridan Express. “I felt like we needed to fight the constantly rising healthcare costs in this country and this bill does that.” He noted that he was dropped from health insurance many times because of his medical condition. Lodes said that as a pro-life Christian, it was a moral value to ensure healthcare for all. “I looked at the Obama healthcare bill very carefully to see if it funded abortions with taxpayer dollars and it does not,” he said. “I could not have supported it if it had.” He said that while there was significant room for improvement in the Affordable Healthcare Act, it was a step in the right direction. He noted that Obama borrowed heavily from Republican ideas proposed in the last decade to combat the healthcare problem. Lodes said that the main change that he would make was to change the tax penalty for failing to purchase insurance to a credit for buying it. He said that his approach would foster growth. He said that he would also encourage the pooling of insurance to spread the risk. Lodes said that the main issue in Missouri was “jobs, jobs, and more jobs,” along with the rising national deficit. He said that his stances on the issues and his willingness to cross party lines made him the best qualified candidate. (Continued from Page 7) Specifically, Lodes said that the country needed to build the technical infrastructure to compete in the 21st century, including broadband to every community in the country. “This will give access to jobs for everyone,” Lodes explained. “When we have a well-trained workforce with the tools they need, we can be an unstoppable force. We have the potential to become the single most highly educated workforce in history.” Lodes said that he would be able to work across the aisle without compromising his values. “This is all about not leaving anyone in Missouri behind,” he said. Regarding education, Lodes said that he wanted to cut funding where possible and work on reducing the tax burden for people. He said that he wanted to reform the shortfalls of the school system where possible and foster co-mingling of public and private resources. Specifically, he said that there was a large need for English as Second Language courses in the cities, where public education was falling short. He said that he would remedy that by incentivizing private schools to offer help. On immigration, Lodes said that he would offer a carrot and stick approach. Normally, he said that he was in favor of smaller government; however, he said that on immigration, expansion of government was necessary. He said that he wanted more resources to go towards both more border security as well as hiring more government workers to process visa applications for this country. He said that part of the problem was that there was a huge backlog of applications for visas for the US. “This is an area we can’t afford to cut back on,” he said. “We are at our best as a country when we open our arms to those who want to come here. Here in Missouri, we have a ton of immigrants who came here legally who work hard and play by the rules. We also need the capacity to enforce our immigration laws as well.” Lodes said that he would also increase funding for road repairs as well. “We need to focus on the national debt, but we need to keep our roads in good shape so the people can get to their jobs,” he said. Lodes saw Northwest Missouri as having a lot of potential to become the wind capital for the rest of the state. He said that Missouri was in a strong position as far as energy was concerned because of the high amount of cheap coal, but he said that there was a need to diversify. “We don’t need a nuclear meltdown like Japan, so our future should be in clean energy,” he said.”I am envious when I travel to other states and see all the green energy being produced.” He said that he would favor a carrot and stick approach that he says would foster growth.

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