Richard Carmona on Government Reform
Carmona defended earmarks, arguing that "all earmarks are not pork," adding that "there are necessities that the federal government can provide"--pointing to investments in infrastructure as necessities that small businesses simply can't handle on their own. But Flake, who has been criticized for failing to bring federal funding to his district, said that Carmona's view was similar to Obama's.
"Here's this philosophy again, that all jobs have to be created by the federal government. That's why Dr. Carmona is comfortable in the Democratic Party, because that's the attitude of the Obama administration--that unless the federal government somehow creates it, it didn't exist," Flake said.
A: I like it. The more transparency and nonpartisanship that we can bring to government I think is good.
Q: It's designed, in part, to address gridlock. Will it work?
A: I hope it works because the more we return democracy to really what it should be--that is candidates getting on their soapbox, speaking their values, convincing people they're the right person--and what's more important is the values you bring and the party you belong to, and I think this type of initiative helps to move it along... What we do know now is that partisan politics is paralyzing us.
Q: You've used the term "vicious" to describe Washington politics a couple of years ago. Is it any better today?
A: I would say that it's probably worse, and it's more polar. That's not what democracy should be. Democracy really should be a spirited exchange of ideas, make your case--it's the ultimate debate club.
It is past the time we put important restrictions in place to keep career politicians--or their favored special interest friends--from profiting from their offices.
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Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L)
DE:Carper(D) vs.Wade(R) vs.Pires(I)
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.
MD:Cardin(D) vs.Bongino(R) vs.Sobhani(I)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)