Three seek to unseat Ryan in 1st Congressional District race

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Voters in the 1st Congressional District will see four choices on the ballot Tuesday. They no doubt will be most familiar with the well-funded, world-famous Republican incumbent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Ryan faces challenges from Democrat Ryan Solen and two others, Liberterian Jason Lebeck and Spencer Zimmerman, who calls himself a Trump Conservative.

Solen places the national debt among his top priorities, along with a single-payer system for universal health care.

Lebeck embraces the Libertarian principles of free markets, less spending and less government intrusion in people’s lives. He said Ryan puts party over conservative principles, citing Ryan’s vote for the government bailout of the auto industry in 2008.

Ryan easily won the Republican primary against a pro-Donald Trump candidate who attacked from the right. Zimmerman seems to think along similar lines.

Zimmerman says his top priority is term limits for members of Congress. Ryan has held the 1st District seat for nine terms.

Zimmerman also calls for a new investigation into several foreign governments’ roles in the 9/11 attacks.

Ryan has spent most of this year creating a Republican agenda for the next Congress and working to elect Republicans to the House.


Q: What is your approach to illegal immigration?

Lebeck: He would make legal immigration easier and would reduce or eliminate welfare programs that could be a draw for illegal immigrants.

He would welcome those that seek to work and live under the U.S. Constitution.

Lebeck says a wall on the border would solve nothing and be a waste of tax dollars.

“I do not believe we should sink funds into removing people from this country illegally. If an illegal immigrant commits a violent crime, we should send them to their country of origin.”

Ryan: Before everything, Americans must be confident that the border is secure and that existing laws are being enforced. “There are a variety of technologies and ways to do this, and we should be talking with border-state governors and law enforcement agencies about what works best. …

“We also need to enforce the laws as they are already written, including stopping individuals from illegally overstaying their visas. Only when we have a comprehensive approach to controlling who enters our country can we move forward with a much-needed debate about how to update our immigration laws so they work best for the American economy.”

Solen: Laws that are already on the books should be enforced. A border wall should not be built.

As for expelling those here illegally, “Every situation is not the same and shouldn’t be evaluated as such. Expelling a whole population is not the answer.”

Zimmerman: “The United States needs to halt illegal immigration and secure our nation by building a wall along our southern border, making Mexico pay for it, and permanently deporting illegal aliens.”


Q: Are you willing to compromise to get some but not all of what you want on tax code reform, welfare reform and fixing the Affordable Care Act?

Lebeck: “I am willing to work with others on legislation which shrinks the size and scope of the federal government and which upholds our citizens’ rights.”

Ryan: “I’ve shown over the years how to pass legislation on a bipartisan basis without compromising my principles. I’ve proposed ideas to reform the federal government’s poverty-fighting programs that both parties should be able to support. …

“I’m hopeful that common ground exists to address the flaws in our tax code. Tax reform is critical to growing our economy … but we can’t have the federal government take more from hard-working taxpayers. Rather, we need to make our tax code fairer, simpler and more competitive so families and employers see the benefit.”

Solen: “I am committed to bipartisanship and will work with all parties to come to reasonable legislation to improve these major issues. Tax reform is a top priority; making it simpler and removing loopholes that allow the 1 percent to pay fewer taxes is important for a stronger future for all Americans.”

Zimmerman:He would negotiate, but: “If compromise means making the kind of concessions on core values as Paul Ryan has, then no.”

Q: What should we do about climate change?

Lebeck: I believe climate change occurs and has since the Earth began. Mankind is probably contributing to this, but I believe the magnitude of this effect is in doubt.

“I believe mankind should be good stewards of the Earth, but I do not believe the U.S. government should implement legislation because of it. When the government is involved, it picks winners and losers, subsidizing companies that produce solar or wind power, or those that manufacture electric cars, etc.”

Ryan: “The federal government has a key role to play in protecting our natural resources, and I believe that being good stewards of the environment can go hand-in-hand with economic growth. What we don’t need is a more intrusive Environmental Protection Agency or a cap-and-trade system that pushes additional costs onto consumers and job creators while failing to address climate change. …

“Any solution will require other countries, such as China and India, to take substantive steps to address pollution in their countries.”

Solen: Climate change is a real, scientifically proven threat to the world’s future. It is already a major issue and should be treated as such.

“As a world leader, it is America’s responsibility to invest in newer, cleaner technologies. Doing so will not only improve the environment but will create an industry of new jobs.”

Zimmerman: “Climate change is unavoidable, as evidenced by the numerous ice ages throughout history. I do foresee the possibility of global warming caused by a nuclear exchange due to the weak leadership of a Clinton administration.”

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