Meet the Candidates: Paul Gosar
The Yuma Sun is spotlighting the candidates for each contested political office ahead of the Aug. 28 primary election. Paul Gosar is running for the Congressional District 4 Republican spot.
Name: Dr. Paul Gosar
Hometown: Prescott, Ariz.
Office running for: U.S. House of Representatives, 4th Congressional District
Political experience: I was first elected in November 2010 to Congress.
Family: Wife, Maude. Three children: Elly, Gaston and Isabelle.
Please describe your platform. My philosophy is straightforward: I believe in limited government and that maximum amount of personal liberty and freedom is fundamental to a free and prosperous society. I believe our founders drafted our Constitution with the same philosophy. I will continue to work to cut spending, cut the size of government, cut regulations, and allow private business to flourish to create jobs. My record supports my platform. I made promises in 2010, and I kept them.
If elected, what is your first priority? Getting America working again. We need to reform government to eliminate job regulations on private industry. By streamlining unnecessary regulations and streamlining government processes, I was able to pass a bill that will bring 3,700 new jobs to Arizona, working with our cattle industry for a responsible forest management program that will bring 1,000 private sector jobs to manage and protect our forests, and I drafted language that was approved, which ultimately saved 1200 jobs near the Grand Canyon. But we also have to reform other areas of government. We need to reform the tax code and implement real reforms. We need a flatter, fairer tax. I will also continue cutting federal spending so we can balance the budget, get out of debt, and reduce the size and scope of the federal government.
What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? I am a workhorse, not a show pony, and I care about the people I serve. In 18 months in office, as a freshman, I became one of the most accomplished members of Congress from the freshman class. I work hard every day to find solutions, but it is not just about me, it is about those I serve. One bill I passed will open up the largest copper mine in North America, facilitating the creation of 3,700 jobs and generating over $1 billion per year in economic activity in Arizona. I am working with the cattle industry to protect our grazing lands and our national forests. I am working with our farming community to protect our water rights and remove unnecessary regulations that stifle production. As your representative, I will continue to reach out to the local communities and fight for them in Washington. I do not grandstand, pontificate and walk away in a huff when I do not get my way. Also, I do not lie about my opponent's record.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts? We need to reform the Freedom of Information Act on a federal level. It had good intentions, but it needs to be beefed up and real deadlines have to be imposed, with real penalties against foot-dragging bureaucrats who like to hide records, emails and documents from public review. I have seen this first hand in my work on Operation Fast and Furious. The Department of Justice refuses to produce records in a timely manner, it redacts and hides information when it does produce records, and in general it takes every opportunity to hide the truth from the public. No government agency should treat the taxpayers with this disdain and disrespect. The people should see any record, email or document that does not involve national security. I have been recognized as one of the top watch dogs on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee because I demand transparency and accountability from all branches of government.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans? The biggest challenge facing Yuma is the biggest challenge facing our country: the economy. We need to get back to basics and get government out of the way of private job creators. In addition, making sure the robust agriculture sector, the Yuma Proving Ground and the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station are supported in Congress. My record shows my strong advocacy on behalf of the agriculture industry. Additionally, my votes have supported a strong national defense and increased resources for the border patrol to ensure Mexican drug cartels, traffickers and smugglers do not infiltrate Yuma and harm citizens.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that? I am fighting hard to get government out of the way of small business by eliminating unnecessary regulations that stifle job growth. Congress must also prioritize federal resources appropriately. The federal government is spending money on far too many programs that far exceed what the Constitution intended. We must lower spending but continue to ensure we are providing the necessary resources for what is truly needed and constitutionally appropriate: border security, national security and infrastructure.
How would you rate how the current officeholder is doing, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), and why? As I travel throughout Yuma, I consistently hear “this is the first time we have hosted a member of the U.S. House of Representatives here.” That is not a statement you are ever going to hear about me. In my first term, I have driven my car to near-death traveling my 56,000-square-mile district every weekend. I feel it is my duty to meet with the people on the ground that are directly impacted by federal policies. I would give the current representative for Yuma a 1. Solutions to our nation's problem come from our districts, not Washington, D.C.
What is one of your strengths? I very much like to listen to the people. A lot of times politicians think they have all the answers. I believe the good people in this country have good ideas and need to be heard. So I have an open-door policy and I enjoy meeting with as many people as the day permits, and I truly listen to their concerns. Then, I get to work helping them.
Weaknesses? Time management. I keep a very booked schedule. The distance between events in District 4 is large and I try to talk to as many people as possible, so it is very difficult to accomplish as much as I would like in a short period of time.
What is one thing that you want voters to know? The truth. The lies from my opponent are a new low. Know the truth about me and my record. I was sworn in on January 2011, and since then I hit the ground running. It has been established that I am one of the most successful new Congressmen in the entire record freshman class of 2010. I meet with the people, their local elected officials, business leaders, workers, and everyone in between. When problems are brought to me I work on a solution and then, once I determine the best way to help, I focus on that goal and won't let go, like a pitbull on a bone. That is why I have gotten bills passed, amendments to bills passed, hearings held, and all the while focused on my overall goals of reducing the size of government. I am a conservative who has voted to cut more than $2.3 trillion dollars in spending cuts, I co-sponsored and voted to support a balanced budget to our Constitution, and I fight for increased personal liberty and freedom every day. I trust in God and I abide by our U.S. Constitution when casting my votes.