Cross-posted at the Onslow County Politics web-log.
On August 31st, 2006, I met with Mr. Craig Weber to discuss his candidacy for NC's 3rd District for the U.S. Congress.
Please follow below the fold for the interview.
Why are you running for election?
Bullies are in control with total disregard for our civil rights. We have to re-take our "integrity" in this world, which has been abused and convoluted by Bush and his Administration and a Confused Congress, which Walter Jones, Jr. advances and helps sustain. I have a total passion for the welfare of the people of Eastern North Carolina.
How do you differ from your opponent?
I am a representative, not a politician. We've never had a Congressman from the coast. Jones, Jr.'s method of sustaining in Congress is to follow the "trend" of time and go with it. In 1994, some Congressional Candidates made a Republican "Contract with America". The contract stated that if they were elected, they would serve no more than six terms of twelve years. They stated, swore and signed this Contract with the American People on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in front of all the Television Cameras that they wanted there. Gingrich, Myrick, Santorum, and....Walter Jones Jr. signed this Contract. At the bottom of the Contract with America, it states, and I quote..."If we break this contract; Throw us out." Six terms is up, and by Walter Jones' own admission and pledge, his time is up.
What experiences make you suitable to the job of Congressman from NC's 3rd District?
My experience comes from 24 years working in Television. I have anchored major news stories, produced and written. I have moderated political debate. I have seen government first hand, from Mayors of major cities to diplomats from other countries. - Experience is not the necessarily the question, especially if you learned the wrong things and then did these things for a long time. Walter Jones, Jr. has used his position to accomplish very little. And, when he did, he embarrassed America to the rest of the world by first sending our young men and women into harms way; and then, turning his responses into compromising and undermining our Military Mission. He made us look indecisive, weak and confused. It is inexcuseable. He stated on the floor of the Armed Services Committed, that Someone should apologize to Saddam Hussein for removing him from office.
What would be your top priority if you're elected?
The War on Terror, economy and education, as well as military recognition. In national polls, voters are ranking the economy, the war in Iraq and illegal immigration as the issues that concern them the most.
How do these issues rank in your district and how do your constituents feel about these issues?
The Iraq War is clearly the primary focus. NC's 3rd District is home to the United States Marines and many of those Marines have been or will be deployed to Iraq. I feel it my personal responsibility to guard and protect their families while they are in service. - The economic policies of the Bush administration (and supported by Jones, Jr.) have failed. The 3rd District is too dependent on tourism, when agriculture, manufacturing and other industries could be well supported here with the proper initiatives. I have those initiatives. - North Carolina has the fastest growing Hispanic population in the United States. I have outlined Immigration on my Website. I am not in agreement on the Republican Plan, nor the Democrat Plan. http://www.weberinthehouse.com/ It's time to confront this and it will take determined and realistic defined regulations. This is 'give and take'. There is a law and it is for everyone. On the other hand, my Great Great Grandfather helped bring the Statue of Liberty to the America.
Various levels of government are exploring the possibilities of off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas within 100 miles of the Atlantic Coast. How do you (and your constituents) feel about this? Will you support drilling near the North Carolina coast?
I do not support drilling for oil or natural gas off of the coast of North Carolina. The environmental risks are too great. It is environmentally unsafe, "Here". Walter Jones Jr. said that he wouldn't support drilling; then, voted 'for' it. He said that the reason was for 'financial reasons'. To me, no money is worth the welfare of our coast and the people who would be affected by its destruction. And, our children would pay the price. What will you do to make North Carolina a leader in the effort to slow global warming? - I will push for further uses of ethanol, solar power and other alternative energies in NC's 3rd District. There is bio-diesel, water turbines, battery power. The 'fox is in the hen house'. Bush's family has dealt in oil. He wouldn't shoot himself in the foot, here. Just like Cheney; He was and is in some regard still connected to Halliburton. They sell and contract weapon contracts. We are at war and the 'fox is in the hen house'. How can NC recover jobs when globalization is the ruling trend? How is this stance different from your opponent's stance? - Recovering the jobs is impossible. We can, however, improvise, adapt and overcome by pressing forward with agricultural and manufacturing opportunities. I have plans and a way of rebuilding commerce in Eastern North Carolina. See Website http://www.weberinthehouse.com/
What is your stance on same-sex marriage? Do you feel that a Constitutional Amendment barring same-sex marriage is the correct course of action?
Same-sex marriage is a moral issue and is not for a Constitutional Amendment. God never asked anyone for 'help in judging' other human beings. I think God can handle that Himself. The "Public Religion" that Our Founding Fathers decided upon for our Constituition, was based on that. They said, There is in fact a Supreme Being called God who will and always be, instrumental and revered in, and for, America. The other part is that We in fact, treat each other the way we would like to be treated, and do unto others as you would like them to do to you. The Good Neighbor Policy is fundemental.
Do you support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion or are you in favor making abortion illegal? How do you feel about the FDA's recent approval of the Plan B pill?
Women should be free to choose. I am not "for abortion", but I do support an individual's right to make her own decision with counsel from church, family and support groups. Then, "She" makes a decision upon her moral awareness, and discussions with her Doctor and her God. I respect a woman's integrity.
Recently, the U.S. Congress and North Carolina General Assembly looked at legislation that would ban the desecration of the American Flag. What is your opinion? Would you vote for or against such a Constitutional Amendment?
Burning the American flag is distasteful and dishonorable, I will salute Our Flag always; but, the Congress of the United States should not push for an 'amendment' to the Constitution of the United States.
Ethics reform has been in the news and is a topic for debate at the United States Congress. Current lobbying reform being debated at the NC House of Representatives includes a "no-gift" registry. Would you support a "no-gift" proposal that would ban any gifts from lobbyists to government officials in the U.S. Congress?
I fully support a "no-gift" registry that would ban any gift from lobbyists to government officials, including members of Congress. Money or help in any way from lobbyist-to-official, must always be an open book. Walter Jones Jr. took money from Abramoff and Delay. It's on record. He wants reform now; because, he got caught.
What is your view on campaign finance? Do you support restrictions on contribution amounts or do you support 'market driven' campaign contributions?
The only way to make the campaign playing field level is through public funding. Since money would be no longer be a factor, issues would take priority.
For more information on Craig Weber, visit his webiste, Weber in the House.
Questions or comments can be posted here or emailed to OnslowCountyPolitics@gmail.com.