Congressional candidates discuss Iraq war, education |

Congressional candidates discuss Iraq war, education

Six candidates running for the 4th Congressional District seat discussed a variety of issues at a recent debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Here is a summary of their remarks on the topics of the Iraw war and education:

Was the invasion of Iraq constitutional, and should it require a declaration of war to continue?

Doug Ose, Republican: The Sept. 11 attacks came from an organization, “from a religion.” The congressional resolution granting presidential authority to invade was to forestall, prevent and avenge deaths in the Twin Towers. “There was no declaration of war because there was no country to declare war upon.”

Tom McClintock, GOP candidate: “Al Qaeda was aided and abetted by Afghanistan to attack the U.S. It was a mistake to not clearly define the war’s aims and back it with full force.”

Charlie Brown, Democrat: From his experience overseeing spy planes in the region in the years before the invasion, he concludes there was no imminent danger from Iraq. “Congress dodged its responsibilities by passing a resolution granting the president the right to invade.”

Ted Terbolizard, GOP candidate: The war is unconstitutional and he would have voted against the invasion. “We don’t have a clear objective in the war. The American army is providing statehood to Iraq, but the country pays no revenue.”

John Wolfgram, Democrat: “No, there was no imminence of danger. A debate in Congress would have shown a clear and present danger did not exist. Congress has abdicated its authority to other departments and agencies.”

Suzanne Jones, Republican: Money supporting U.S. enemies in Iraq comes from many countries, including Saudi Arabia. “I believe what we were told.” The country should discuss how to solve the problems and eventually bring troops home.

What would you do for education, and what do you think of the federal No Child Left Behind program?

Brown: He is a credentialed teacher. A one-size-fits-all program won’t work. Schools need to offer more vocational training. Congress needs to make permanent arrangements to fund rural schools that have lost money due to declining timber sales.

McClintock: NCLB is a radical intrusion into the classroom that harms the educational process. Local communities should have free rein to run the public schools; let teachers decide their teaching methods. A thriving timber industry would restore schools’ tax base.

Ose: The best education is done at the local level. The Objective of NCLB was to set standards for accountability, and set funding accordingly. He voted to extend funding to schools that lost timber sales revenue.

Terbolizard: Opposed to NCLB as a form of government control in the schools. Students call schools “government propaganda camps.” We need competition in education.

Jones: She works in the legal department of a school district. “NCLB has turned into a disaster. Do away with it.”

Wolfgram: “We need diversity of ideas in schools, not government propaganda. A voucher system would improve education.”

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