Spirited Debate Generates Interest In 4th District Congressional Race

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

It may be the most hotly contested race in the 2010 vote in Kansas. The two men vying to replace Todd Tiahrt in Congress squared off at Wichita State University in their first debate Thursday.

Republican Mike Pompeo is coming off one of the nastiest primary elections in recent history. Democrat Raj Goyle, meanwhile, went on the offensive to raise questions about Pompeo's leadership as a business executive.

To the chants of supporters on both sides, the candidates quickly got down to business. The first question was about protecting local jobs.

"In Washington DC, my function is to make sure that risk takers and entrepreneurs will invest right here in Kansas," Pompeo said. "It's to put federal policies that say to business that you are welcome. You are welcome to grow. You are welcome to create jobs and be the engine of prosperity that's made this nation the greatest nation in the history of the world."

But Goyle took issue and criticized Pompeo's leadership as CEO of Thayer Aerospace in Wichita.

"My opponent has said that nothing can be done about sending these jobs overseas," Goyle said. "He's engaged in the practice himself and he's actually said that he fundamentally thinks that it's not his job to bring these jobs back to Kansas."

The questioning then turned to Wall Street fraud and federal bailouts.

"It's about respecting your tax dollars," Goyle explained. "I think it's an absolute outrage that both parties, over the last ten years, deregulated the banks and then we let reckless CEO's and Wall Street banks crash our economy and break the rules. Rather than penalize them, we gave them bailouts and bonuses."

Pompeo agreed, saying the banking crisis was a direct result of horrible federal policy.

"We created a system where we had incentives for people to make loans to folks they shouldn't be making loans to, Pompeo said. "We created incentives for folks to take loans that, in their better judgment, might not have taken them."

Turning to tax cuts, both Goyle and Pompeo again agreed that the timing is not right to end Bush-era tax cuts.

"If the objective is to grow the economy, the last thing you want to do in the worst recession in the last 60 years is raise taxes on anyone," said Pompeo.

Goyle then railed on Pompeo for supporting the idea of a fair tax.

"I do not support proposals like my opponent does of this so-called fair tax that will actually do anything but be fair," said Goyle. "It will raise your taxes based on an ideological party perspective."

The general election is November 2.

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