September 11, 2006

Jon Scott and Ed Leather on the Issues, Part 1

Carroll Andrew Morse

For those First District residents who haven’t made a decision on who to vote for in tomorrow’s Congressional primary, here’s a quick summary of eight of the ten questions asked to Republican candidates Jon Scott and Ed Leather (via WJAR-TV Channel 10) in a program called “Primary Candidates Speak Out" put together by the Rhode Island Broadcasters' association. Both gentleman gave articulate and detailed answers to each question that was asked. If you have the time, the original video is worth watching…

Do you believe that tax cuts stimulate the economy?
Ed Leather believes that tax cuts can stimulate the economy, but would have to look at any tax cuts in terms of how they affect a balanced budget or reduce the national debt.
Jon Scott believes that tax cuts stimulate the economy by putting money back into people’s pockets that can be spent on their day-to-day needs. The best system is the system that allows the decision power of individual people to count first.

Do you believe same-sex marriage is a state or federal issue and what is your position on gay marriage?
Ed Leather begins by saying that gay marriage is a highly emotional issue. The Federal government shouldn’t force a state whose citizens oppose gay marriage to recognize it just because another state has recognized it. On a personal level, Leather thinks that marriage is sacred and should be left the way it has always been.
Jon Scott believes that gay marriage is a states’ rights issue. As a Constitutionalist, he is disappointed by the drive for a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage; social issues shouldn’t be injected into the constitution. The Federal government shouldn’t tell states, churches, justices-of-the-peace or anybody who they can or cannot marry.

Has No-Child-Left-Behind been successful in holding communities accountable for education? What changes need to be made to the program?
Ed Leather says that the program should be constantly evaluated. NCLB is basically a good program, but there is too much administration and too much red tape. Not enough money actually makes it to the classroom. The concept is sound, but the implementation needs some tweaking.
Jon Scott says that NCLB is a start. Education is a fundamentally a state issue, but if we’re going to have a law like NCLB, we need to fully fund it. The mandated testing needs to be standardized so we can better measure progress and provisions for testing learning-disabled kids need to be made.

Do you favor Federal susidies of embryonic stem cell research?
Ed Leather: Stem cells have potential to find cures for conditions like Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes. I favor federal funding for stem-cell research that follows the lead of the scientific community and has the appropriate oversight.
Jon Scott: Certainly I favor adult stem cell research. Adult stem cell have yielded actual treatments, while embryonic cells haven’t yet because of the rejection issue. Germ cell research is also very promising. We should continue to explore embryonic stem cells, but remember that we must focus on whatever is likely to be most successful.


Mr. Scott and Mr. Leather both talk issues on their campaign websites. Anchor Rising conducted interviews with both gentlemen earlier in the election season, which are available here and here. Both candidates have made it clear that they believe that America's goal with respect to terrorists should be defeating them, not learning to live with them.