RDB: Terri, Welcome. Thanks for doing this interview.
Proud: Thank you. I’m glad to be here.
RDB: What considerations factored into your decision to run against Nancy Young Wright?
Proud: There were quite a few actually. One of the biggest issues for me was the health care bill. When President Obama started to present the health care bill and I knew what it all entailed, having a friend in Canada, having a friend who recently came over here to become a citizen, him and his wife from Ireland, living in a socialist government and knowing what their health care system was, I didn’t want to see that here in our country.
I learned that Nancy Young Wright was going around doing coffee events trying to get people to support the health care bill. That concerned me because I didn’t want to see our country go down that road. The more I began to investigate her voting record and understanding the platform she stood on, it concerned me because that type of mentality is a progressive-socialist mentality and I didn’t want to see our State turn into that. That’s one of the major decisions as to why I’m running: we need to return to what our founding fathers intended for each individual – our right to choose – that’s part of freedom and liberty
RDB: Since immigration seems to be in the forefront of topics today, what is your position on SB 1070?
Proud: I love it (laughter). Absolutely love it. I think we should have done this years ago.
RDB: According to Project Vote Smart, since 2008, there have been six house and Senate bills concerning immigration. On five of the bills, your opponent voted against passage. In each instance, the bill passed. In the sixth, most recent bill, SB 1070, Nancy Young Wright didn’t even bother to show up to vote. It seems, with 70% of Arizonans in favor of this law that Nancy Wright is on the wrong side of the immigration issue. Your view?
Proud: My view is you’re absolutely correct. She is on the wrong side. As a legislator, there are times when we need to do what’s best for the constituents and not have our own personal views in there. When we have illegal immigration that is costing our State billions of dollars and we are in the deficit we are in, you would think as a State Legislator that we would sit down and say ‘we need to start looking at what’s best for our State fiscally.
We have immigrants coming over here illegally, costing tax payers billions of dollars. We have illegal immigrants working and receiving State benefits, and we have Phoenix legislators up there saying, “oh, but that’s okay”. It’s not okay. If people are breaking the law, we need to stop that. I think it gives a false message to our kids that it’s ok to break our laws. If people are breaking the law, they need to be punished. They need to do things the right way.
I don’t have a problem with legal immigration. If immigrants want to come over here, do it the right way. I don’t have a problem with the worker program that they want to implement but I do have a problem with people coming over here and not taking the proper steps and proper channels to enter our country legally.
RDB: As Dennis Miller once said, “I don’t mind them coming over, just sign the guest book on the way in.”
RDB: Rasmussen Polling shows 63% of the American people want to repeal Obamacare. To that end, approximately 15 to 18 states have joined in a lawsuit against the United States government. Recently, Arizona SB 1001 was passed authorizing the Governor to Challenge the federal Health Care bill, since the State’s Attorney general, a progressive-socialist Democrat, refused to do so. Your opponent, Nancy Wright, voted against SB 1001, which passed by overwhelming margins. It seems that in addition to immigration, your opponent, Nancy Wright, is on the wrong side of the health care issue. Would you agree?
Proud: I would absolutely agree. Again, here it is, she’s not listening to the majority of the people. Again, this is what’s happening with this socialist mentality. Politicians at the federal government don’t want to listen to the majority of the people. We have that same mentality in our State.
RDB: How would you have voted on SB 1001 and for what reasons?
Proud: How would I have voted on it (laughter)? I would have said one word: YES. (laughter) Absolutely. We’ve got to have freedom, here, in our country. I look at Greece today, at Greece’s financial problems, all caused by a socialist mentality.
Ronald Reagan said, in his “Time for Choosing” speech: “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that; it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.” President Obama’s 16,000 additional IRS agents for his health care law have nothing to do with health care; it has everything to do with force and coercion.
This is what I see happening. This is all about controlling people. The health care law isn’t about providing health care to people. We have a health care system in our country. To replace the one we currently have is unwarranted. Why not just improve what we already have? There are other avenues for health care. So, this is not about health care.
Back in the 70’s when they were starting this welfare program, Ronald Reagan, in his speech, “A Time for Choosing,” said we have accepted the purpose of Social Security but:
“. . . we’re against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those people who depend on them for a livelihood. They’ve called it “insurance” to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified it was a welfare program. They only use the term “insurance” to sell it to the people.”
I have another quote, this one from Representative John Dingell, D-MI, who spilled the beans when he admitted, “Let me remind you this (Americans allegedly dying because of lack of universal health care) has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.” To control the people . . . the admission is stunning.
RDB: Nancy Young Wright is a member of the Arizona House Education Committee. She voted against HB 2713 that prohibited a public educational institution from discriminating against students or parents on the basis of a religious viewpoint or expression. She voted against HB 2001 that granted tax credits for school tuition organizations that sponsor disabled or displaced students who wish to enroll in private schools. She also voted against HB 2281 that banned ethnic study curriculums that advocated the overthrow of the United States Government, that promoted resentment against a race or class of people and that were racially divisive. All these bills passed. What do you think are the most critical education issues facing Arizona today?
Proud: For someone, and when I say someone I mean Nancy Young Wright, to stand on a platform of education and say she is pro-education, Then you see her record of voting against bills like these. This is the type of individual we need to vote out of office. We need our representatives to be honest, to let us know where you stand, to be true to where you stand and do what you say you’re going to do.
I was at a Legislative update at the Northwest YMCA a few months ago. I heard Nancy Young Wright talk about the separation of Church and State and why religion shouldn’t be in public education. Here’s my take on the issue: Thomas Jefferson wrote the words “Separation of Church and State” in a personal letter not a legal document. It wasn’t separation of God and State; that’s why you see God on our money, on our coins, and on our Supreme Court walls. The real issue is the prevention of government from establishing a State religion and forcing individuals to tithe that State established religion. Freedom of Religion ensures that individuals may worship the God of their choice in the church, synagogue or mosque of their choice. In my opinion, history is being falsified and taught to our children so that truth will not be known. Knowing our true History means knowing the truth
Education is a huge problem that we’re facing right now in the State of Arizona. My sense of what’s going on in our educational system is that we are feeding our kids information but we’re not educating them. We’re feeding them information but starving them of knowledge. I think if we get back to the simple concepts of reading, writing, arithmetic and true history you’re going to find that our kids are going to be educated and have a sense of purpose. We have temporally lost that.
The progressive-socialist Democrats think we need to socialize our kids more, that they need to learn more about social issues like – sex education. There was a bill they tried to pass where they wanted to teach age appropriate sex education to kindergarteners. This is the priority of the Democrats up in the House. Let’s teach our kids, kindergarteners, sex education, age appropriate, but they don’t want to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. When we have kids that are in schools for six hours a day for twelve years and they can’t pass an AIMS test, a test we have to “dumb down,” an AIMS test . . . we have problems. We know we’re not educating our kids. It’s not about more money. It doesn’t matter how much money the schools have, if they don’t get to the basic core of what education is our kids are not going to be educated.
RDB: The current teacher certification process is cumbersome, time-consuming, and does not ensure selection of competent teachers. Seniors do a lot of volunteering and, for the most part, are well-educated. Would you favor a program of having qualified seniors teaching at local schools on a volunteer basis without having to undergo the current certification process?
Proud: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have many people who are very qualified to teach our children properly. I think that’s been proven with homeschooling.
RDB: Staying with the education topic, a lot of people believe education to be the next big civil rights issue. In Washington, D.C., the Bush Administration sponsored a scholarship program for 1,700 low income students who were predominately black. The program was successful and the students were doing much better in private schools. However, President Obama signed a Democrat sponsored bill canceling the scholarship program at the behest of the teachers’ unions. What is your position on using public funds to place students in poorly performing public schools into high achievement private schools, magnet schools and even secular schools sponsored by religious groups? To put it another way, if President Obama can place his kids in private schools because these schools are better than some public schools, why can’t the children of low-income parents access the same schools and receive a quality education?
Proud: Every child learns differently. That’s why some children do better in charter schools, some children do better in public schools, and some children do better in private schools. Is it a parent choice? Absolutely. Every child learns differently.
It is the parents who are also paying with their tax dollars, and parents should be able to choose whatever school they want. It’s about parental choice.
My opponent voted against a bill to strengthen parental rights. The bill, SB 1309 ensured that in our state law parents have the right “to direct the upbringing and education of their child.” It also required that children not be taught sex-related curriculum in public schools without parental consent. It just confirmed even more that she wants to take away our freedoms and liberties as parents, as a people, and that is unacceptable to me.
We, as parents, know what’s best for our kids. We have that right to make these choices as to where we want our children to go. You would think someone who stands so strongly on educational issues would want children to be educated in the best environment that is best suited for that child. Again, this is another example of the socialist mentality of “I know what’s best for you, not you.”
RDB: With regard to gun issues, it is quite clear Nancy Wright is a big time progressive-socialist. Project Vote Smart records Wright as voting against any liberalization of Arizona gun laws even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Second Amendment applies at an individual level. What is your position on the “right to bear arms?”
Proud: I was the Arizona State Coordinator for the Second Amendment March. Someone once stated that a society that is without arms is a vulnerable society. I become involved with the gun issue when Obama was first elected because I knew he was anti-gun. In a gunless society, women are the first to be victimized. That’s just a fact. Nancy Young Wright voted against that. I have two daughters and I want them to have that right, to carry a gun. I’m a huge advocate.
RDB: Let’s talk about the State budget. The legislature has been cutting spending and the budget. Recently, voters approved a temporary sales tax increase of one percent that is expected to bring in close to $1 billion a year. Future cuts are necessary. As an Arizona State Representative, what areas of our budget would you look at for reductions in spending?
Proud: There are two areas. Number one is the Department of Economic Security. According to the Goldwater Institute, we currently spend over $85 million in the Department of Economic Security for people who are not working. They get a government check, they have kids, and DES was supposed to actively help these people look for a job. DES has not. People come in, they apply for these programs and they sign them up. They qualify them. Off they go.
I personally would like to see a change, a total reform, in the welfare program, and for it to look like this: DES is a temp agency. It’s a working temp agency. When we have help wanted signs in MacDonalds and we have these help wanted signs in all these other places, and you look in the newspaper and you see janitorial help wanted and we’re spending over a $85 million because people don’t want to work, we have a problem.
I think what I would like to see, again, is DES become a temp agency. If you’re receiving a government check, you’d better be actively looking for a job. They need to show that they are actively looking for a job because when you’re unemployed, your job for 35 or 40 hours a week is to look for a job. Period. If you cannot provide any type of documentation or proof that you were out looking for a job, you don’t get a check. Period.
We need to eliminate this “we’re going to support you attitude” because we don’t teach that to our own kids. We teach our kids, if you want something you need to work for it. You need to earn that. That’s how we teach our kids. What are we telling our kids today when we’re say, ‘okay, you know what, you don’t have to work. You just go fill out a form saying you can’t find work and we’ll give you a check and we’ll support you.’ It’s a spoiled mentality. It’s a lazy mentality. That’s one of the things I would like to do, to totally reform how DES works.
Benjamin Franklin once observed, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. . .”
Look at where we are today with 50% of the American public not paying any taxes and Obama promising the largesse of our treasury to these people. It’s frightening.
RDB: How would you have voted on the one percent temporary tax increase?
Proud: I voted against it and I’ll tell you why. I downloaded this list this morning. It’s a list of ballot propositions going back to 1912. Four or five years ago we did a tax increase again for education programs. It was a .6% tax increase that we voted on for 20 years because this was going to help educate our children. Then there was another bill in here where it allocated the tobacco taxes to go towards education. When we have over half our budget going to education and they still need more money, money is not the problem. It’s just a band-aid. The core issue is what we are teaching our kids.
RDB: It has been proven time and again that government stimulus packages do not create private sector jobs and are a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. What specific policy initiatives do you favor for private sector job creation?
Proud: I think the government just needs to get out of the way. Let the people create jobs. We have a lot of restrictions. Here, just in Pima County, I know people who have tried to open up a business, who have opened up a business, and the red tape they have to go through is ridiculous. By the time half of them are half way into it they’re just ready to say forget it. But they can’t. They’ve invested too much time; they’ve invested too much money.
The process of starting a business here is ridiculous. There’s so much red tape in it. It’s getting to a point where we need to start looking at why we are this way? Why are we in so much red tape? Is it about just money? Is it about accumulating more money? We need to become more business friendly and let people open up their businesses easily.
RDB: There are reports that average federal government salary and benefits exceed average private sector salary and benefits by a significant factor. This may be true for Arizona too. We all know this relationship is not sustainable. Would you favor a policy that stated average public sector salary plus benefits cannot exceed X percent of average private sector salary plus benefits?
RDB: As a follow-up, would you, when elected, would you favor Arizona State government would complete an annual or periodic survey comparing public sector compensation and benefits with the private sector in order to prevent an imbalance like the one at the federal level?
Proud: Yes. Yes, I would. Absolutely.
RDB: Regarding your opponent, Nancy Wright, the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers rated her a 6 out of 100 points on budget and spending; the Goldwater Institute gave her an F for her progressive-socialist politics; The Center for Arizona Policy gave Wright a 7 out of 100 on family and children issues; and the National Rifle Association gave her a F on gun rights. What other weaknesses do you see in your opponent?
Proud: (Laughing) The fact that she got an F from the Goldwater Institute when she is co-hosting a conservative Goldwater film (more laughter) the other night. And she wouldn’t identify herself as the progressive –socialist Democrat she is. That baffles me.
Yes, she has a lot of weaknesses. The fact . . . this mentality we have in the federal government, this socialist mentality, we have this same concept in our State. That’s why State races are so important. Number one, we live here. I don’t plan on moving. We can have a conservative federal government and still have a very liberal State. That’s kind of where we’re headed right now. We have a socialist mentality in the federal government and we have people who are sitting in the Arizona House who have that same mentality. We need to get our State back to a conservative basis, back to conservative values, and if you don’t plan on moving, you need to get involved in these State races. This is where it’s going to affect the majority of the people.
RDB: Terri, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Is there anything else you would like our SaddleBrooke residents to know about you or your positions?
Proud: Yes. If there is a position that somebody wants to know where I stand on, I actively encourage people to contact me. I get phone calls randomly . . . people wanting to know . . . especially when Proposition 100 was on the ballot . . . quite a few people asked me how I was going to stand on that issue.
I stand strong on my issues. I don’t apologize for where I stand. If I don’t agree with a certain thing I would definitely say so. I would encourage anybody to give me a call and ask me where I stood on a particular issue, if I haven’t covered it or they haven’t seen it on my web site.
RDB: Thank you very much for doing this interview.
Proud: Thank you.