Please tell us about your family:
I have been married 18 years to Rebecca J. Labrador, and we have 5 children - Michael (17); Katerina (15); Josh (13); Diego (10); and Rafael (7).
How long have you lived in the district you wish to serve?
I have lived in the Treasure Valley (Boise and Eagle) since 1996.
What other elected positions have you held or run for?
I’ve served for four years in the Idaho State of House of Representatives. I have also been a Precinct Committeeman for the Republican Party.
Have you served in the military?
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges? If so, please provide information about them. Traffic citations are not applicable.
Are your local taxes paid up? If not, what do you owe and why haven’t they been paid?
Do you have any liens on property that you own? Please explain the situation if you do.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
Well, I’m proud of the hard work that went into graduating from college and law school, and becoming a good attorney. I also believe that I have done a great job serving my community in the Idaho Legislature. But my life’s greatest treasure is my family, and my greatest accomplishment is my relationship with my wife.
What organizations do you belong to?
I am a member of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs. I have also been active in the Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout and volunteer), and have served in many leadership positions in my church.
Are you involved in any community causes or activities? If so, what are they and why are you involved?
I have been active in the fight to lower taxes and control government spending for the last 12 years. I am also very active in my church.
Why should you be elected?
I believe the strongest asset I’ll bring to the next Congress is my work in the Idaho Legislature. We faced many of the same issues now haunting Congress – but arrived at better solutions. We fought back a drive to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. We balanced our budget. We increased protections for preborn children and the elderly.
I have already done work on health care by sponsoring the Idaho Health Care Freedom Act, which prepare me for the battle in Washington to return power to the states and local communities.
What are the weaknesses of your opponent?
There’s no doubt that Mr. Ward has a record of service to his nation through the military. It is a record we should all honor.
However, it is not an adequate preparation for the legislative and political battles which will face Idaho’s next congressman. Those kinds of fights require a different skill set, a testing of a different sort. America does not have the time to wait while Mr. Ward goes through basic training. The deadly threat to liberty launched by Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama must be addressed immediately.
How can the U.S. move forward in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without leaving massive debt to our children and grandchildren to pay for them?
No one wants to be enmeshed in these two nations forever. But forceful patience is required. We need to approach this process much like the United States did after World War II. America remains the hope, the light, of the world, and we must finish the job which so many have sacrificed to begin.
Do you have any reason to believe we will have U.S. troops out of Afghanistan within the next ten years? Why?
While only having access to public documents and media, I am fairly optimistic about the progress we are making. My hope is that we can drastically reduce in our involvement in Afghanistan well before ten years’ time. As younger Afghanis experience the blessing of freedom and new opportunity, they will naturally evolve into a strong new generation of leaders for this impoverished nation. However, Obama's decision to announce his troop withdrawal plans was dangerous to our troops. We must let the military commanders do their job without announcing our plans and strategy to our enemies. As long as we are engaged in this war, we must ensure that every resource and tool is used to achieve success and end the conflict quickly.
Should companies that sell investments they know will fail be prosecuted for fraud?
How can our financial system be reformed to prevent the collapse of 2008?
There are many experienced economists who believe that the heart of our financial instability was rooted in the lending policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We need increased accountability and transparency from these powerful entities, particularly since American taxpayers have invested tens of billions to keep them afloat. We need to reconsider the practice that allows these quasi-government agencies from engaging in dangerous loan practices.
What specific public programs will you cut in order to balance the federal budget?
The obvious place to start is ObamaCare. My highest priority will be to block funding for this whole effort to federalize health care. We need to look at the Department of Education and other agencies that continue to duplicate efforts that are best left to the states.
Do you believe health care is a fundamental human right or like other commodities that only those who can afford to pay for have a right to? Please explain.
I do not believe health care is a right. America and Idaho have made great strides toward creating a system whereby even the poorest of families have access to health care. But raising it to the level of a “human right”, where everyone else is expected to pay for whatever health care options someone might want, is simply not constitutional or affordable.
While we are a compassionate people, we are also a nation which has traditionally insisted upon personal responsibility. It is undeniable that America has produced the best health care system in the world by blending these principles.
ObamaCare threatens to destroy that system and undermine care for all Americans. That’s why I sponsored the Idaho Health Care Freedom Act. Congress should immediately repeal the Democrat's health scare bill and reform the health care system.
True health care reform will include the ability to shop for insurance across state lines and establish cooperatives to enable groups of people to purchase insurance at a reduced rate. We must also address waste and fraud in the Medicare system. Finally, the bill must also include real tort reform and address unnecessary tests and procedures that raise health care costs.
Should the federal government adopt more strict regulations to prevent off-shore drilling oil spills? Why?
Probably not. What is clear is that the federal government failed to prepare for this disaster. I have seen press reports indicating that FEMA was told back in 1994 to purchase equipment which would allow for the quick burn-off of oil slicks while still miles from coastlines. Yet they ignored their own study. Their response has been appalling.
Finally, we must become energy independent and stop depending on foreign oil. That means increasing the production of fossil fuels by allowing more drilling and exploration. In addition, Congress must change the environmental regulatory process to develop renewable energy sources. Idaho could lead the way because it has the technology and knowledge base to become the nuclear and renewable energy capital of the world.
Would you support all states adopting the new Arizona immigration law? Why?
That is up to each individual state. I do not believe that the Arizona law by itself, even if adopted by all states, will solve the immigration problem. While the actions of Arizona are quite understandable, they are unworkable, and will eventually prove to be unsuccessful.
It is time to stop the rhetoric on this issue from both sides. The federal government – that is, Congress – must step-up and defend this nation’s sovereignty. We must secure the border and implement rational immigration reform now. This reform should include the following:
First, simply enforce the immigration laws that are already in the books. Second, we must provide our immigration officers the resources needed to secure our borders and enforce immigration laws. This must include using the military at our borders. Third, we must create a legal immigration system that is less cumbersome and bureaucratic. This includes a guest worker program that is simple to use and reliable.