The primary is Tuesday, June 3rd, and that's not a moment too soon. Voters in North Alabama need some relief from the ads, commercials, and pronouncements from the Republican
traveling freak show Congressional candidates.
Last night, a little after 8pm, we get a call from an “Unknown name Unknown number.” It turned out to be an invite to congressional candidate Cheryl Baswell Gutherie's (CBG) campaign conference call!
I tuned in and learned, well, not much other than CBG doesn't support “universal health care,” is absolutely fixated on immigration and oh, appears to blame Senate and Congressional Republicans for our energy problems now.
It's an interesting statement, coming from someone who hopes to join that club, but hey, it's primary season! She also assured voters that she's against abortion, except in cases where the mother is in “an emergency death situation.” An interesting term the candidate didn't bother to define.
As soon as I realized what the call was, I opened a Word document and got a rough transcript of the call. Some of CBG's statements were so
bizarre interesting and unusual though, that I took special care to get them exactly. If it's in quotation marks, it's an exact quote from the candidate.
I missed the first few questions, but got set up just in time for this gem:
From Gail in Hazel Green:
“What is your view on this idiotic global warming?”
My position on global “warning” is that we need to focus on terrorism, national security, illegal immigration. “Immigration causes increases in TB, leprosy, malaria,” and other diseases. It also causes terrorist smuggling rings. We have other problems like handling our veterans Global warming is “not a critical issue our nation is facing today.”
Yes, Cheryl, the globe is “warning” us, but you aren't listening. Guess she doesn't have a beach house.
From Bill in Hartselle:
Is on Social security: worked 49 years and get $1400/month. Bud Cramer will get 55k/year. Don't we need to abolish ss security for everybody on congressional retirement plan?
That's an interesting concept. Need to change SS for younger groups just getting employed. Have the money put under our name and administered by our govt. Won't be used for other purposes or for anybody else's retirement.
Well yes, the govt. did such good oversight on savings and loans in the 80's and mortgage bankers recently, that I can certainly see how turning over our social security retirement balances over to goverment-administered mutual funds, etc. would be a
completely asinine great idea.
Note that between each question, this smooth-voiced announcer/moderator reminded us that we were listening to: “Cheryl Baswell Guthrie: Conservative (much emphasis on that) Republican candidate for Congress!”
From Cliff in Athens:
Works in public education, been in it for 24 years, livelihood and passion. Best natural resource in NA is our children. NCLB, we realize that every child learns at a different pace and every child is different, has limitations. At some point have to realize that we can't go at this same pace for everyone, that each kid gets equal learning opportunities. Look at high-growth areas in NA, and how can we handle the educational challenges?
Wow. Finally, a reasonable question. Of course, CBG quickly made mincemeat of it.
My mom was school teacher for special ed. NCLB Act is creating huge administrative burden on teachers. Too much tiime on paperwork. Special needs kids are in general classes where they can't get attention.
We need more participation & less admin burden on teachers. Send kids back to special ed wher they can get the education they need and let other kids focus on learning at their level.
We have approx. 9-10% fed money being utilized in Alabama schools. Small % is a problem in state education because fed govt funds at state level and places admin burden on teachers. We need state laws to take it off.
The first time she said this, I was completely confused. State laws to “take off” the federal burden? WTF? But, she came back to that point later, and I'm pretty sure that she meant the state should refuse Federal money. Just how she plans to make up 10% less in the education budget was never explained.
From Jerry from Dutton:
Question on jobs in country ans NA lost to NAFTA. What's your opinion?
Need to keep open trade. Overseas trade brings greater opportunity and helps export companies.
We are shipping jobs overseas, need to focus on keeping them, but realize that some good came out of NAFTA. It increased our exports and generated revenue and generated private sector employment. We need to look at what it can do for us and not be dependent on foreign countries.
I couldn't make much sense of this answer. It seemed that she likes NAFTA because it makes corporations money, but didn't want to say so because workers vote, not corporations.
From Lee in HSV:
Be specific on how you'll reduce govt spending and cut waste.
CBG answered – if you can call it that. We were treated to our second anti-immigrant rant of the evening:
We need to quit using fed $ to support illegal immigrants (II). 27% of federal prison population is II. We need to send them back.
I support 2001 & 03 tax cuts that will expire. The give a double tax credit for kids and remove the death tax penalty – that a critical area that will expire if govt doesn't implement on permanent basis. (think Cheryl's expecting an inheritance?)
We have to quit spending lot of US dollars on special interest groups and need to focus on our own citizens – employers with tax credits to pass back to private sector.
Also repeal the AMT – costing middle class.
So, according to CBG, we can solve the problem of the budget deficit by kicking all the illegal immigrants out of the countr – and federal prisions where she seems to think they live high off the hog) and cut taxes.
hmmm… must be some of Karl Rove's “the math” or is it “voodoo economics?”
From David in Scottsboro:
Been Republican all my life, I'm 61, voted for Cramer. When you get to dc, will you forget you're a conservative?
CBG answered, noting in passing that she's been a citizen all her life:
NO! I've been Republican since high school. First HS paper on Ford. Been conervative voter & citizen all my life. Came from small town will never forget who I am.
My father died from Alzheimer's and my mother was a school teacher. I'll stay true to people.
Twice a month, I'll speak on radio to keep people informed. Don't rely on CNN, ABC, and Fox for news! (well, I agree with her on that last one). I told Dale Jackon I'll be on once/month. This is my area, where I grew up, when God takes me away, where I'll be when I die.
From Charles in Huntsville:
Are you familiar with HR 25? Position?
FYI… this is the so-called “Fair Tax” bill.
CBG answered, again showing her immigration fixation:
Fair tax issue, is a great conservative concept, but problem is that when Republicans were strong in the House & Senate, they didn't pass it. Concern is that it's great concept, and we need tax reform, but it needs tweaking. Would support tax reform; won't happen soon. Not realistic.
We should focus on not using tax dollars for illegal immigrants.
Note how she studiously avoids mentioning that Republicans weren't just “strong,” they controlled both houses of Congress!
From Fefe in Decatur: (that may not have been her name, but she didn't say it clearly)
There are lots of questions, what to ask, how do I pick? Would you pull troops out of iraq?
CBG was clear on this one…
“NO! The War in Iraq and Afghanistan is the frontline war on terrorism.” Keep troops there, begin pulling back gradually. Have to win war on Iraq & terrorism. Increase equipment and training for Iraqi govt. Gradually move our sons, daughters, moms, dads, out, but but must win war in Iraq & terrorism.
At that point, I hit the *3 to indicate I had a question – namely that did she realize that terrorists followed us to Iraq and not the other way around? But they never got to me.
2nd question from FeFe… a woman who needs to learn about issues before she opposes them.
You say you're against one kind of stem stell research. I but don't agree with any stem cell research. What do you mean when you mention adult stem cell research?
Adult stem cell has been proven to be very strong in finding cures for diseases. We can use it to treat 70 different types of disorders and diseases. I don't support embroynic stem cell research because it leads to “cloning and bad moral situations which I don't support.”
Guess letting people die from Parkinson's and other diseases that may be treated through stem cell research isn't a “bad moral situation” to CBR.
It was at this point that the call began to devolve into a giant Kool Aid drinkfest.
From Marge in hsv:
I'm Interested in what your stand on abortion is.
I'm 100% pro-life. The only exception is maybe rape (maybe???? ya think???) or placing mother in a emergency death situation (as opposed to all those non-emergency death situations out there).
I can't believe that we don't have harmony in us on partial abortion. Can't believe it. It violated the values & Christian beliefs which I absolutely stand on.
I must have missed where Jesus opined that it's ok to make a woman bear her rapist's child or deny her medical care in an “emergency death situation.”
From Rick in section:
Could you explain the fuel situation to us? It's tearing us down and making it hard. Does govt have any plans to fix it? Also comment on cost of college – book costs $400, tuition is high too.
“First start with high cost of fuel. When we had a strong GOP House and Senate, there was a proposal to drill in our own United States and use our own resources. Because we didn’t get those bills passed, we're in this situation now. We need to tap into natural resources that God blessed us with to support our standard of living.“
We need more refineries: Exxon and Shell want but can't build them. We need to be sensitive to the envvironment, but need checks and balances.
College costs: look at Alabama from an educational standpoint: 9-10% of funding comea from fed govt. and the remainder from state and local. “We need to start taking away US govt access to our system.” We allowed the US govt to come in and “administrate our system and place burdens on teachers”. We do have an Alabama program for colleges. Good state program & lots of parents aren't aware. Look at legislation to look at state college funding.
Cheryl, what were those darn Republicans doing with their majority? Instead of wasting time soliciting pages for sex and hanging out in men's rooms, and – oh – neglecting any kind of oversight over the Executive branch, maybe they should have been addressing actual problems in this country!
From JD in Florence:
Wondering about deficit that we're running up and how to fix our economy.
CBG replies – again with the illegal immigrants!!
I'm recommending several aspects: make 2001 & 03 tax cuts permanent. Stop using US federal $ to support illegal immigrants. We're supporting inmates with housing and clothing. “We also have 13 million II of which large a portion are on welfare.”
“We need to stop supporting 3rd world countries with our money and get our own energy sources. Then, we're not dependent on 3rd world countries and can reduce deficit.”
I have to quote Raymond's dad here: “HOLY CRAP!” Does she really believe this garbage she's spouting? Scarily, I think she does.
From Diane in Trinity”
What kind of energy bill you'd put forward. Where do you stand on nuclear power?
CBG replies that, once again those darn DC Republicans screwed up!
I believe it's going to be imperative to stop being dependent on 3rd world countries. We shoud tap into own resources – “as I told other viewers who were listening.” (This woman has a gift of gab obviously borrowed from GWB)
We had opposition 10 yrs ago with a Democratic president – didn't get it passed. We need a strong GOP party to get drilling, refinires, solar, windmill, nuclear. Don’t rely on 3rd world countries; keep our national sovereignty.
But, but, but….why didn't those “strong” Republicans pass it when they had both houses of Congress AND a republican president, Cheryl?
From Bill in Huntsville: this was a very interesting question from a man obviously worried about health care costs and access. But, oddly, he was cut off in the middle of the question. Wonder why????
Question on health care – we have 16% or so uninsured and twice that many who think they have it but don't when they need it. We pay more than other nations but get substandard care….. his voice stops in mid sentence, then starts back…. candidate who's lost his license for mistreating patients. What's your position on…. blacks out again.
CBG (who should someday be consigned to the Hell of trying to buy an individual insurance policy in Alabama) coldheartedly replies:
“I don't support universal health care as one Democratic constituient supports.” (huh? yet another Gooberism)
“I would make quality of care even lower.” (Look out! She's threatening us, boys!)
I do support tax credits for individuals to purchase insurance and they'd carry it if they were employed or not. Could have additional insurance and if lost job, they's have it from tax credits.
Not UHC, using tax credit dollars. Increase quality of care. We've found UHC in Canda and quality of care isn't good. Canadians trying to cross lines and get health care here.
Portable insurance, supplemental to medicare.
And if you thought that answer was bad, you ain't see nothing yet! In the last question of the night, Cheryl drops to a new low. Even for Alabama politics. Even for Republicans.
From Lavonne in Decatur
First on term limits: we have “old goat' Democrat who should have retired long ago he's gone so far left. What you do think about term limits?
Second, “can we pass a law about illegal citizens having babies and babies becoming citizens?”
Term limits: I agree, when I was on TV I said I believe in term limits; Right now house has 2 yr and reelection. Not long enough, but doesn't need to be 20 years. Critical to have tl – not too short to get control and influence. Stay too long, forget who your community is.
About the babies: not in support of that. If you come across country line illegally, “any action you do from that is illegal. Baby born of illegal immigrants should not be a citizen. It a form of amnesty.”
We must continue to move forward to increase surveillance systems and focus on moving forward with voluntary exit program. We should remove II who get welfare and rely on prison system.
“People should get legal and earn benefits that all of us who have been here have worked so hard to earn.”
HELLO??? Earth to Cheryl!
This idea that we have to “work” to earn our freedoms and Constitutional rights is truly scary. According to the Constitution, anyone born here is a citizen with the rights of a citizen. If we change that, how else do we change the definition of a citizen?
Someone who looks like you? Someone who's Christian? Someone who thinks like you? God forbid….
And what's this idea that II rely on the prison system for support? It's just crazy and mean-spirited.
Although I don't want her as my representative, she does seem very representative of the hard-right wing of the Republican party where money trumps everything, govt. has a place in everyone's bedroom, but better stay out of the schools and wallets.
I had to go take a shower after that phone call.