The Daily Review - Congressional Candidates Discuss Global Warming and Abortion

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By Unknown

In recent interviews with the editorial staff of The Daily Review, the three candidates for Congress in the 10th District discussed their views on various issues, including global warming, abortion and term limits. The incumbent, Republican Tom Marino, and the challengers, Democrat Scott Brion and independent Nick Troiano, each had a separate interview with the paper. Below are some of the questions the candidates were asked, along with their responses.

1. Do you support term limits for members of Congress?

- Tom Marino said that congressmen should be limited to 12 years of service; two terms in the Senate and six terms in the House.

Under the current system, too many congressmen lose touch with the realities of their district, Marino said.

"There is always somebody younger, smarter, brighter coming up that can carry that ball. In industry, every 8, 10, 12 years, you see the CEOs change. If you don't accomplish in 12 years what you set out to accomplish, you better get out," Marino said.

- Nick Troiano said that Marino's strong support for term limits "is a sham. He (Marino) knows it's never going to pass the Congress, but he does know it's a way to get cheap applause wherever he goes. There is a reason why the founders voted down term limits at the Constitutional Convention. It's because it would be an infringement on the most important liberty we have, which is to choose from whomever we like as to who gets to represent us in government. Term limits would inherently limit our choices."

Troiano said that he himself is opposed to having career politicians, which is a also goal of term limits, "and I think the way we can reduce the number of career politicians in government is through having more competitive elections." To have more competitive elections, there needs to be campaign finance reform, and the way congressional districts are drawn needs to be fixed so that congressional elections are more competitive between the two parties, he said. In addition, Pennsylvania's ballot access law should be changed to make it easier for more independent candidates to run for Congress, Troiano said.

- Scott Brion said he doesn't support term limits. "Tom Marino's proposal on term limits is six terms (for the House). So what he is effectively saying is that we should only have competitive elections every 12 years. I think we should make elections competitive, so that voters have an opportunity to understand and elect the best candidate every time. So I think that means campaign finance reform (is needed). I would support campaign finance reform as a much better alternative to term limits," Brion said.

2. What is your view on global warming? Do you think global warming caused by humans is a real phenomenon?

- Marino said: "I can't sit here and say that what man has done over our total existence hasn't had a negative impact on the environment. Human beings have an impact on the environment, but not to the level that the extreme left is saying, as far as global warming."

Marino said there have been a series of predictions about changes in the environment that did not pan out. "First, in the 1950s, it was that we were going to have a worldwide glacial freeze, That didn't occur. And then it was acid rain. And the acid rain was going to eat everything away, and so, nothing was going to be left, none of the forests or anything. And then that (prediction) didn't work. And then it went into global warming, and the past couple of summers we haven't had the heat we normally have, so that wasn't a good term. So now, it's 'climate change,'" Marino said.

"We can stop burning every type of fossil fuel that we have. We can stop burning coal and oil and gas and wood and anything else we can torch, but if China, Pakistan and India do not burn fossil fuels anywhere near as efficiently as we do, us not burning those fuels is not going to have a significant impact on the environment; that's been clearly established," Marino said.

- Brion said: "I think the science on this is pretty compelling. I think that scientists, people who really know, they all agree that is the case (that global warming caused by humans is a real phenomenon)." The United States needs to develop a comprehensive energy policy which would address the country's national security, economic, and environmental objectives, and which would include steps that would address global warming, Brion said. While the United States needs to take advantage of low-cost domestic natural gas and oil, which helps the economy, the country should also rely more on wind and solar energy, Brion said. "We really need to invest heavily in (energy) efficiency. We can be so much more efficient. Let's use less energy to maintain our lifestyle," Brion said.

And because wind and solar can only meet a portion of America's energy needs, there needs to be more research and development to create new sources of energy that will not exacerbate global warming, Brion said.

- Troiano said: "There is a good amount of science to show that human activity is having an impact on changes in our climate in ways that could be very detrimental to our environment and our way of life. And I think we need to take the threat of climate change seriously."

"I think we need, in the short term, to take advantage of the domestic energy resources we have to get us independent and to help grow our economy, but over the long term, transition to an economy based on renewable and alternative energy." Troiano said.

"I think the federal government should stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry," Troiano said.

"We should put a greater emphasis on cleaner or low-carbon sources of fuel, like natural gas and nuclear power," Troiano said. "These are two plentiful sources of domestic energy we have that are much cleaner than, say, coal."

The country should also implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax on industry, which would be a modest tax on their carbon emissions that would be phased in very gradually, Troiano said. The tax would be revenue-neutral, because any revenue that the tax generated would be used to lower taxes on saving, investing or on workers, Troiano said. To prevent the United States from being at a competitive disadvantage with China and India and other countries, the tax could be imposed on imports from countries that don't have a similar carbon tax, and could be removed from exports to countries that don't have such as tax, Troiano said.

3. What is your view on abortion?

- Marino said: "I am pro-life. However, in situations of incest, rape or if the mother's life is in jeopardy, then that's a decision a woman has to make (as far as whether to have an abortion). But primarily I am against abortion. My children are adopted."

- Troiano said: "I have a personal view, which is that I think we should always uphold the sanctity of human life. So the question is: To what extent do you use public policy to impose that view on others? As a member of the House, I would support maintaining current law with regard to access to safe and legal procedures for women (abortion). I am not an advocate for changing the law through Congress. The Supreme Court has recognized a Constitutional right for women to have a safe and legal access to abortion. This is mainly a Supreme Court decision that governs the matter."

- Brion said: "I am pro-choice."

However, Brion also said: "If elected to Congress, no one will work harder than I will to prevent abortions."

Brion explained that as a congressman, he would promote education for family planning, and would support access to contraceptives. He said he would also support measures to assist females who would be in a financially difficult situation if they chose to give birth instead of having an abortion, such as raising the minimum wage and perhaps starting a special job training program for single, unwed mothers.