Lewis Rich - 2010 Election Candidate Questionnaire
Candidate for Bonner County Commissioner, District 3
River Journal questionnaire for 2010 election candidates
Candidate Name: Lewis ( Lewie) Rich
Position running for: Commissioner district #3
Incumbent? (Yes/No): Yes
Political Party Affiliation: Republican
- What special skills and/or experience do you have that enables you to do this job? I am currently your Bonner County Commissioner and have learned a great deal about this job over the first two years of training and subsequently doing the job for the last two years. I am very fiscally conservative and have demonstrated this in the budgetary process over the last three years. I also have history in Bonner County as a successful small business man for 27+ years. I have also been a Commissioner for Northside Fire District.
- Do you believe that money impedes the political process? Please explain, and share any ideas you might have regarding any issues this raises. Yes I do. It seems to me that far too often the finances are the main controlling factor especially over the last few years. I would definitely support campaign finance reform and full disclosure of all campaign finances from every source both foreign and domestic.
- What specific actions would you take, if elected, to make government at your level more transparent to the voter? I have been a proponent of many new things to provide more transparency. The most disappointing issue is apathy of the public in attending informational meetings, which are very often scheduled in the evening to accommodate the public, which costs additional more money for staff compensation etc. I have constantly advocated, and we, as a board have, had far more public hearings than the law requires.
- Are there any positions taken by your affiliated political party that you would personally feel uncomfortable endorsing? I believe the party platform to be sound, however many constituents have there own interpretations which I do have difficulty with. I believe that open mindedness is a good characteristic, but some of the stated platform principals are very clearly defined and well stated.
- Can you explain how to balance the people’s need for services with their desire for lower taxes? Can you give specific examples of budgets you would cut or increase, and your reasons why? Please share any alternatives you may have to the current taxing situation. (For example, someone might prefer an income tax be repealed and replaced with a sales tax, or vice versa.) That sometimes is a difficult equation to balance; I do believe that most taxes are against the Federal Constitution. However the abuses have been carried along for so long didn’t happen over night and are not going to get remedy quickly. Any new service has to be funded, and the only quote unquote, user fees which need to be solely dedicated to the purpose they were collected for. Fuel taxes dedicated to roads and bridges. Social Security Tax, who’s funds have been taken for other purposes, is a clear demonstration improper use of this fund and there many more.
- Do you support removing the requirement of political affiliation (declaring as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc…) from any of our local elected positions, as Montana has done? I have always held the view that the only clear differences are conservatives and liberals. I have known and voted for many in my lifetime who did not clearly define themselves with any political party name. The quality of the candidate has never been defined by a political party name
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