Immigration, spending among top issues for Mumpower
Published 1:12 pm Friday, August 8, 2008
He sparked controversy in his party after saying he would support the impeachment of President Bush for failing to enforce the nation&squo;s laws against illegal immigration. He&squo;s also rebuked Democrats and Republicans alike&bsp; for approving a Farm Bill recently that he described as &dquo;a pork laden exercise in special interests.&dquo;
His views have drawn support from many in his party across the 11th Congressional District, but have also cost him some support. The Polk County Republican Party is no longer coordinating with Mumpower&squo;s campaign, leaving him to reach out on his own to voters with events such as the one on Monday at the Womack Building in Columbus. The town hall meeting, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., gives Mumpower a chance to share his vision for his party and the nation and address questions and concerns from voters.
Mumpower has made it clear that his vision for the Republican Party includes a return to the party&squo;s core principles. He feels so strongly about those principles that he briefly suspended his campaign until gaining pledges to uphold the principles from a majority of the GOP county parties in his district.
Upholding those principles, he says, means taking better&bsp; care of taxpayer&squo;s money, intruding less in their lives and halting or at least dramatically slowing illegal immigration.
Mumpower says he believes the current policies on immigration are at the root of a number of societal problems, including high dropout rates and a reliance on welfare.
To the Democrats, illegal immigrants represent a major voter block, while to the Republicans, they represent a cheap labor pool, he says. For those reasons, he contends neither party is eager to make needed changes.
Illegal immigrants continue to flow into the country, &dquo;artificially suppressing&dquo; wages and depriving many American citizens of better employment opportunities, he says.
With fewer, good-paying jobs available, he says, some students lack the incentive to graduate. The result, says Mumpower, is a 30 percent or higher dropout rate in many school districts. The rate climbs to 50 percent for minorities and 70 percent for black males, he says. Mumpower says the &dquo;mental dropout rate,&dquo; which includes those who graduate but lack skills needed for the workplace, is even higher.
When many of those people&bsp; turn to drugs and other crime, or become dependent on welfare, Mumpower argues the costs to the nation are far greater than the gains from lower wages.
Mumpower says the first step toward fixing the problem is stopping the flow of illegal immigrants by fining companies that employ them.&bsp; The U.S. government doesn&squo;t need to put illegal immigrants on buses and send them back to their native country, he says, because they&squo;ll go on their own when the jobs disappear.
&dquo;First we have to fix the leak in the boat, then we can work on fixing the motor,&dquo; he says. &dquo;We&bsp; need to stop the flow and reverse it, then we need to fix the immigration system.&dquo;
For many years the nation&bsp; had a system that worked utilizing stricter enforcement of the green card system, he says. In contrast, amnesty is a policy he says that does not work, even though it&squo;s been tried a number of times since President Reagan.
Current policies have further permitted lax enforcement, he says, adding that he was particularly troubled by President Bush&squo;s recent decision to pull national guard troops off the border. That move sparked his comment supporting the president&squo;s impeachment.
&dquo;We have to begin by enforcing the law. Any society not grounded in the rule of law has numbered days,&dquo; says Mumpower.
The Republican candidate says the chamber of commerce is &dquo;one of the greatest enabling organizations for illegal immigration, and he adds that the Mexican government also has a vested interested in the continuation of current policies.
&dquo;One of their major imports is American dollars,&dquo; says Mumpower. &dquo;We need to make them accountable for their citizens and we need to be accountable for our country and our citizens.
&dquo;I&squo;m responsible for my country, not Mexico,&dquo; he says. &dquo;I&squo;m responsible for all the children being lost here. I&squo;m not willing to sit back and ignore the children we are betraying. I&squo;m not willing to sacrifice the rule of law.&dquo;
Mumpower says current leadership is also putting children and future generations at a disadvantage by spending too much. Both Republicans and Democrats have been &dquo;partners&dquo; in wasteful spending, he says.
&dquo;We are guilty of assaulting the future of our young people,&dquo; he says. &dquo;Anybody under 40 should be up in arms at what the baby boomers and their parents are doing to their future.
&dquo;We&squo;re leaving them with such a horrific debt burden we should be ashamed of ourselves and people don&squo;t know even know it.&dquo;
Mumpower calls the proposed assistance for government backed mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a &dquo;boondoggle bailout.&dquo;
The government is making financial promises that require double digit growth that Mumpower says &dquo;is not going to happen.&dquo;
&dquo;We&squo;re taking a &squo;fly now, pay later&squo; approach to managing government,&dquo; says Mumpower, adding that the federal government has been increasing the money supply by 18 percent a year. &dquo;We&squo;re running a printing press.&dquo;
Mumpower says he would begin addressing the problem by eliminating earmarks and cutting spending on entitlements.&bsp; The Farm Bill was a perfect example, he says, of legislation loaded with special interest entitlements that related to &dquo;everything but farming.&dquo;
He says such bills are part of a system &dquo;where we&squo;re buying votes and offices with these selected applications of entitlements, and creating an &dquo;American of me&squo;s, not we&squo;s.&dquo;
To reduce spending the&bsp; U.S. also should remove troops from &dquo;foreign entanglements,&dquo; says Mumpower. He indicates the country no longer needs a large presence in such countries as Germany. &dquo;It&squo;s nonsense. We can&squo;t even run our own country,&dquo; he says.
Mumpower appears to be aligned with President Bush&squo;s administration on the issue of tax cuts. He says it&squo;s important to extend current tax cuts and avoid any tax increases until every effort is made first to cut spending.
&dquo;I like small government and big people,&dquo; says Mumpower, adding that he believes the country has been incrementally moving toward a failed socialist system. &dquo;We&squo;ve been robbing Peter to pay Paul. It&squo;s a formula that betrays the American success equation.&dquo;
If elected, Mumpower says the first thing he would do is ask for the worst office on Capital Hill. He adds he would not accept the health care plan for members of Congress until the nation&squo;s health care system is fixed, and he wouldn&squo;t participate in the social security program until that&squo;s fixed. Mumpower adds that he would not accept a pay raise or any &dquo;fancy committee appointments,&dquo; which he says are offered in exchange for votes.
&dquo;They&squo;ve accomplished very little in Congress in the past 10 years,&dquo; he says. &dquo;It&squo;s very evident that the system is paralyzed.&dquo;
Mumpower says he has seen first hand what can happen when politicians do not cave to outside interests or trade their principles for votes.
He points to his own experience as an Asheville City councilman for the past seven years, during which time he has worked to rid neighborhoods of &dquo;open air drug markets,&dquo; hold the line on taxes, maintain the city&squo;s savings account and avoid passing laws the city won&squo;t enforce.
Despite being a very conservative Republican on an &dquo;ultra liberal city council,&dquo; Mumpower says he has been able to accomplish many of his goals and help lead the council.
&dquo;I&squo;ve never swapped a vote. I think that&squo;s disingenuous,&dquo; he says. &dquo;People know what I stand for and they know where I stand on the issues. If you are willing to be principled, it&squo;s amazing how much change you can affect.&dquo;
The fact that he was elected and reelected in a liberal city shows that he can gain the trust of people across the political spectrum, he says.
His victory in the Congressional primary against &dquo;party favorite&dquo; Spence Campbell also shows that he can prevail against a candidate who carries a big edge in fundraising. Mumpower says Campbell spent about five times as much in that primary campaign. In the general election this fall against Shuler, the gap may be much wider.
Mumpower, who has refused all PAC, special interest, party and union money, says he is &dquo;putting principles first to compete with Shuler&squo;s dollars and incumbent status.&dquo;
&dquo;We will win or lose by working hard and campaigning aggressively all over the district,&dquo; says Mumpower. &dquo;If we do win, we will go to Washington with the independence to illuminate and fight the waste, corruption and paralysis that is robbing American&squo;s future.&dquo;