CANDIDATE FORUM - The 94th Congressional District Race Between Tim Kelly & Vince Mosca

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    icon Oct 09, 2014
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The 94th Congressional District encompasses part of Saginaw County, including the city of Frankenmuth along with the townships of Blumfield, Frankenmuth, Albee, Taymouth, Birch Run, St. Charles, Swan Creek, Thomas, Saginaw & Tittabawassee.  Current State Representative Tim Kelly was first elected to serve this district in the Michigan House of Representatives two years ago and in the November 4th general election will face-off against Democratic challenger Vince Mosca.

Kelly is currently vice chair of the House Oversight Committee and also served on the Commerce, Financial Services, Regulatory Reform, and Tax Policy committees. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Denver and moved to Saginaw from Indiana in 1995 when Governor John Engler asked him to be his Education Policy Advisor. He also served as the chairman of the Saginaw County Republican Party from 2006 to 2010 and served as a Saginaw County Commissioner for two years prior to his election to the Michigan House in 2012.

Vince Mosca was born in 1968 and has served as a High School teacher at the Saginaw County Transition Academy. He’s a 1987 graduate of Douglas MacArther High School and earned his Associate in Arts Degree from Delta College in 1969, with a B.A. in English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1991 and earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership at Central Michigan University.

Although Mosca did not respond to our questionnaire, he did answer  similar questions that we posed back when he ran against Republican Ken Horn for this district seat several years ago. We are re-printing them here so that readers have a sense of Mosca’s position on these issues.

Review: Please explain how your education and ability to effectively negotiate within the political arena distinguishes you from your opponent in terms of your ability to effectively serve as our  State Representative.

Kelly: I have been involved, in one form or another, in politics and government since 1988.  I believe my longevity in this activity attests to my acumen and ability to gets things done.

Review:  As of August 2014, Michigan’s unemployment rate of 7.4% ranks our state as the sixth highest in the country, tied with California & Tennessee, which is an improvement from a decade ago when we were at the top of the list. Yet economists agree the main reason Michigan’s unemployment rate is falling is because the labor force is shrinking fast, with a 4.6% loss of workforce since the recovery began in mid-2009.  What specific policies would you advance that would improve this situation within our state & region?

Kelly: While MI’s unemployment has improved, we are still a long way from optimum levels of both employment and wages.  We need to continue to make MI a place of opportunity and growth, through continued tax reform and deregulation.  To grow the labor pool, we need to better educate our children, provide better training of our workforce, and provide incentives to work rather than stay at home.

Review:  Michigan’s fresh water is one of its most important resources, linked to tourism which is one of Michigan’s pivotal economic drivers, yet is increasingly becoming threatened from radioactive disposal sites slated for development from Canada, along with the accelerated pace of hydraulic fracturing throughout the state, which has an established track record of contaminating ground water with hazardous chemicals currently exempt from identification & restriction under the Halliburton loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act.   Michigan is also accepting contaminated fracking waste from states that have banned its storage & disposal. As of June 2014, a total of 418 actions passed against fracking have occurred in the United States. Do you support banning the storage of this waste in Michigan and/or legislation that would impose a moratorium or ban on hydraulic fracturing?

Mosca: Water supplies have been disrupted.  The corporations doing the fracturing have concealed chemicals and these have been known to be harmful.  This process is hurting aquifiers and the water supply.  And who knows how much damage is being done?  This needs to be regulated much more closely.  So, of course, I favor a moratorium.  I also support companies paying for the regulating being done by state inspectors.  It seems to me that the Encana Corporation, like so many U.S. corporations, has been too busy stuffing money in its pockets.

Kelly: I do not support a moratorium or ban on hydraulic fracturing, nor am I opposed to the safe handling and storage of waste associated with such practices if it provides jobs and economic opportunities for MI residents.  

Review:  What specific legislation have you authored that you are most proud of and what current legislation are you advancing that will impact & improve our state & region?

Kelly: The bills I author or support invariably attempt to strengthen MI’s economic and job opportunities so that more of our citizens can make their own choices to so that their lives and those of their children can be enriched.

Review: The deteriorating infrastructure throughout our state, especially with roads & bridges, is a pivotal concern this election year.  Congress adjourned last session without addressing this issue of how to best budget & fund these repairs, so what approaches  do you feel are the best way to deal with this issue?

Kelly: The MI House passed legislation last spring that would have raised an additional $500 million for road construction and repairs.  This legislation still awaits action in the MI Senate. Over the last two budget cycles, we have appropriated over $500 million in additional road funds to address MI ailing infrastructure.  I will continue to work on finding a permanent solution to funding our roads and bridges.

Review:  Are you supportive of a woman’s right to obtain an abortion?  

Kelly: I am Pro-Life.

Review:  How would you best summarize your political philosophy in terms of how it distinguishes you from your opponent?

Kelly: I am a capitalist who supports innovation and free-market reforms that support job growth, encourages personal responsibility and expands opportunities for all.

Review: What are the personal qualities and your position on key issues such as the economy, our environment, and health care, that you feel cause you to stand out from your opponent?

Mosca: Michigan needs to stabilize its income to meet revenue needs. One way to put people back to work is by encouraging investment in green jobs and alternative energy sources. Green industries appear to be the wave of the future, and Michigan needs to become a leader in this developing industry.  It would also be nice if the federal government would step up and help our state’s people and its economy by increasing tariffs on foreign automobiles. Because of unfair trade policies, it is very hard to sell an American car overseas, but quite easy to get foreign cars into the United States. As for the environment, we must protect the Great Lakes, which comprise our state’s greatest treasure for their water supply and fishing and recreation.

Review: Would you make any changes in the state tax structure or state budget to prevent our annual budget crisis of recent years?

Mosca:  Voters have to approve a graduated income tax.  The legislature is prohibited from doing so by the state constitution.  I whole-heartedly support raising state income taxes on the wealthiest Michigan residents.  There are also corporate tax loopholes that need to be closed.

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