16) Bob Menendez, D-N.J. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: In 2006, Bob Menendez was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jon Corzine, who resigned upon being elected governor of New Jersey. Menendez won the 2006 U.S. Senate election. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2006. Menendez has supported abortion, affirmative action in government contracts, gun control, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, the death penalty, increased federal funding for health coverage and public schooling.
He has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, bailout/stimulus, making federal death penalty appeals more difficult, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, factoring global warming into federal project planning, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, pay raise for Congress, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps, applying habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees, reauthorizing the Patriot Act, federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities,” allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security, increasing tax rates for people earning more than $1 million and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Menendez has voted “no” on the following issues: constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, banning gay adoptions in D.C., banning the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, protecting the middle class from a national energy tax, authorizing construction of new oil refineries, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, requiring a photo ID to vote in federal elections, building a fence along the Mexican border, reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and permanently repealing the “death tax.”
Joe Kyrillos began serving New Jersey’s 13th Legislative District in 1988 when he was elected to the General Assembly. After two terms there, he was elected to the state Senate, where he has served since 1993. Kyrillos was the New Jersey chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, he served as chairman of Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign and was a member of his transition team.
Kyrillos also works as senior managing director of Colliers International, a commercial real-estate firm with offices in New York and Parsippany. He’s an adviser to Newport Capital Group.
Kyrillos earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and a master’s degree from the Boston University School of Public Communication.
Project Vote Smart has listed his key votes on a variety of issues.
A software sales executive and former substitute teacher, Larry Donahue believes Washington must balance the federal budget and end the “irresponsible and inconscionable practice of spending money we do not have because Congress is to incompetent to manage the finances of this country.” He estimates that the government spends at least $3 on programs for special-interest groups, waste, fraud, duplicated services and mismanagement for every $1 spent for the good of the public.
Concerning national health care, Donahue said Congress let big campaign donors and lobbyists who profit from health-care-run-wild with price increases. “While Americans suffered under the burden of enormous health care costs, special interest thrived, thanks to their bought-and-paid-for Republican and Democrat members of Congress,” he explained. In passing Obamacare, Donahue believes Congress didn’t respond to the fundamental problem of unaffordable health care costs; rather, it shifted the cost burden and left health care costs high “because special-interest groups who own the United States Congress and who actually wrote substantial portions of the recently passed health care reform legislation demanded that their prices and enormous profits continue to rise.”
Donahue believes all earmarks should be eliminated, because they “are nothing more than an unabashed payoff to campaign donors.”
He also believes members of Congress should resign their positions if they run for president, rather than traveling across the country campaigning while in office. He proposes a four-year term for members of Congress so they can spend more time working for taxpayers and less time campaigning for re-election.
Gwen Diakos studied telecommunications and network management at Devry University. She later studied linguistics and American sign language interpreting at the University of Southern Maine. After college, she worked as a civilian employee for the U.S. Army.
“I have witnessed fiscally responsible taxpayer dollars spent in support of our armed forces, bridging relationships with foreign countries,” she said. “Representation of our country to other nations is of great importance.”
However, Diakos said she also witnessed wasteful spending and inappropriate use of taxpayer funds:
“I saw how the government spends our money,” she said, “and watching the wretched spending habits, I vowed to myself to one day represent the hard earners, the taxpayer, who makes all spending possible.”
As senator, Diakos promises “transparency” and a commitment to put an end to partisan politics. She pledges to confront wasteful government spending to “bring power back to the dollar and restore the American dream.” Diakos is pro-life and states on her campaign website: “Our country was founded on the principle that all Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that unborn Americans have the right to live, just as all Americans do.”
Diakos also believes in what she calls “marriage equality” for homosexuals: “Our country was founded on the principle that all Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To that end, I believe that the gay community should have the right to marry, upholding our forefathers’ declarations.”
As senator, Jeff Boss promises to work to lower property taxes, provide free college educations, make lobbying Congress illegal, secure voting machines, provide “amnesty” to all illegal aliens, secure the borders with 50,000 U.S. troops, end the wars, use revenue bonds to build low-income housing for 15 percent of the population in every major city, support unions, legalize sports betting, lower car insurance 30 percent, bring slot machines to the Meadowlands and heavily fund stem-cell, AIDS and autism research.
Boss also claims he witnessed the National Security Agency arrange the 9/11 attacks.
17) Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Kirsten Gillibrand is an attorney who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by New York Gov. David Paterson in 2009. She also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009. She supports federal abortion funding, homosexual marriage, judicial activism, gun control and blocking the NAFTA Superhighway and a North American Union.
Gillibrand has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, bailouts/stimulus, expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, raising Congress’ pay, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, restoring habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Gillibrand has voted “no” on the following issues: restricting U.N. funding for population control policies and protecting the middle class from a national energy tax.
Born in Greece in a small agricultural village, George Maragos immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1958, where Maragos graduated first in his class as valedictorian in high school and was a star athlete in baseball, football, soccer and hockey. Maragos graduated from McGill University and went to work for Bell Canada/Bell Northern Research. He became one of the youngest managers in the global technology organization.
In 1978, Maragos was recruited by Booz Allen and Hamilton, a consulting firm in New York, to work on U.S. military defense command and control systems. He was promoted to associate and managed information technology solutions for multinational commercial clients.
In 1981, Maragos began working for Chase Manhattan Bank, building the institution’s international data and money transfer network. He became vice president and earned a master of business administration from Pace University in New York.
Maragos became a naturalized American citizen in 1985. In 1986, he was recruited by Citibank, where he served as vice president and director of North American Treasury and Telecommunications Systems. Three years later, he founded SDS Financial Technologies and served as president for the next 20 years. He was elected Nassau County Comptroller in 2009.
Maragos believes restoring economic growth and creating well-paying private sector jobs must be the government’s top priority. He said the tax code must be reformed to be simpler and fairer, free of all subsidies and loopholes, but with strong incentives to manufacture in the U.S. He notes that the U.S. must make a national commitment to achieve energy independence in 10 years and become a global leader in renewable energy. Meanwhile, he said, Washington must learn fiscal responsibility. Maragos supports a balanced-budget amendment and elimination of earmarks. Most importantly, he says Washington must take action now to reduce the deficit, eliminate wasteful spending and reform entitlements. He believes Medicare and Social Security must be protected.
Maragos is also a proponent of bringing the troops home now, supporting Israel in the ongoing Middle East conflicts and repealing Obamacare. He believes abortion should be limited to cases where the mother’s life is in danger, or when there has been rape or incest, and that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Ithaca, N.Y., Scott Noren is a second-generation American with a predominantly Ukrainian-Jewish background.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed dental school training at Loyola University. After a one-year dental residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, a one-year oral surgery externship at Louisiana State University and an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., Noren served on active duty in the U.S. Army for six years.
After serving in the Army, Noren did two oral surgery associateships and then purchased an oral surgery practice in Ithaca, N.Y.
His campaign website states, “Dr. Noren is socially, aggressively liberal on many issues. Being fiscally responsible means paying for progressive agendas that improve lives and paying for them with cuts to the military budget, for instance.”
Noren believes the minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour and that Medicare and Medicaid are in need of drastic fiscal and delivery overhauls. He proposes immediate relief from high monthly premium costs by federal mandate and drastic regulation of the health insurance industry.
Noren’s website describes him as “pro-gun,” but he “does believe in limited gun control measures and better enforcement of existing laws.” He advocates immediately ammending the Bush-era tax cuts to apply to those making less than $500,000 a year. He is also pro-abortion and states that he would vote for national legislation allowing homosexuals to marry and support decriminalization of marijuana. He proposes a ban on fracking and considers himself a “friend of the Occupy movement.”
18) Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Sherrod Brown has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007. He led the Democratic effort to block the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. He is a strong advocate of homosexual “rights” and opposed an amendment to Ohio’s constitution that banned same-sex marriage. Brown supports gun control and opposes the Patriot Act, calling it “unpatriotic.”
Brown has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, bailout/stimulus, replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, keeping a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers program, deterring foreign arms transfers to China, pay raise for Congress, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities,” building a fence along the Mexican border, increasing tax rates on people making more than $1 million and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Brown has voted “no” on the following issues: Iraq war budgetary supplement, Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children, restricting U.N. funding for population-control policies, prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion, banning federal grants for organizations that perform abortions, making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime, banning partial-birth abortion, making the Patriot Act permanent, constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions, providing benefits to homosexual partners of federal employees, school vouchers, banning the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, protecting the middle class from a national energy tax, permitting new oil refineries, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, reforming the U.N. by restricting U.S. funding, implementing CAFTA, requiring a photo ID for voting in federal elections, restricting frivolous lawsuits, extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps, raising death and estate tax exemptions and repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax.
A high-school football coach and pilot for a cargo airline, Rusty Bliss worked with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels through the 1990s. He has never held public office, but he believes elected officials must adhere to the Founding Fathers’ principles and the U.S. Constitution. Bliss has worked for the 2000 McCain primary campaign, the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign, the 2006 Mike DeWine U.S. Senate campaign and the 2008 McCain presidential campaign. In 2005, Bliss served as a pilot for Sens. Mike DeWine and George Voinovich.
Bliss maintains an active relationship with state tea party and 9/12 organizations. He believes in smaller federal government, a strong and effective military and keeping America’s leadership role in aviation and space technology and exploration. Bliss describes himself as “100 percent pro-gun” and believes Obamacare must be repealed and taxes lowered on hard-working Americans. He is pro-life and also argues that America must work to develop nuclear, coal, oil, solar, wind, electric, Helium-3 and other new forms of energy to establish energy independence.
Bliss also suggests possible elimination of the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve, which, he said, has “done enough damage.”
Donna Glisman, a “rust-belt” baby boomer who grew up in Detroit during the heydey of the automotive industry, appeared as a spokesperson for the Big Three auto companies at their events. She has organized private, civic and charitable events, including work on political campaigns.
In the 1980s, she moved to Ohio and opened a hotel and restaurant on an island known as Put In Bay. Glisman has also worked as a realtor and spent time working the assembly line for Chrysler.
Glisman believes tax reform and new regulatory policies will allow entrepreneurs to start and operate businesses in American and even relocate businesses here. She advocates lower taxes and opposes government-mandated health insurance and gun control.
Eric LaMont Gregory
A world-class clinical physiologist, Eric Lamont Gregory spent three years in Israel during his undergraduate studies, which led him into a distinguished international career. In the 1980s, he served as a consultant to the maternal and newborn care unit of the World Health Organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his master’s degree from Oxford University and served as a clinical physiologist in the care of critically ill preterm babies at the John Radcliffe Hospital in England. Gregory collaborated in research with other European hospitals and universities in Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. He was one of the leading researchers in WHO’s global effort to reduce neonatal (first 30 days) deaths in the developing world.
Gregory developed the innumerate thermometer, which reads a person’s temperature by using a color code in addition to numbers. Since there are many people in the world who cannot read numbers, and monitoring a baby’s temperature is crucial to their wellbeing and life-saving interventions, Gregory’s thermometer helped address the problem.
Gregory worked for the National Health Service of England and served as an expert on the health effects of airborne pollutants and solid fuel use for the United Nations Environment Program headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been the subject of documentaries concerning his work at Oxford University and his work in medicine and post-war and post-disaster reconstruction initiatives. The BBC documented his efforts following the Rwandan genocide crisis. He also worked on a humanitarian mission during the Bosnia war. He is author of the soon-to-be-released book, “An End to War.”
Gregory advocates opening foreign markets to products made in the U.S. He stated, “Free trade must be based on our ability to enter the markets of others, not just our being open to good from other nations.”
He supports limited government and Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that the law should restrain men from injuring one another but leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits. Gregory also supports strong public morality, stating, “When we cease to be one nation under God, we will become just another nation gone under.” He is an advocate for parents’ rights, the Second Amendment, tightened border security, school choice and a fair tax. Gregory opposes taxpayer funding of abortion and failed social-support programs.
A practicing orthopedic surgeon, Michael Pryce enlisted in the U.S. Navy following high school. He trained aboard the USS Sabine at Mayport Naval Station in Florida and began professional training in naval intelligence at Corry Field in Pensacola, Fla. Afterward, he was sent to the U.S. Army post in Bremerhaven, Germany. He also served at a U.S. Air Force base in San Vito, Italy. He finished his tour at the Naval Security Group Station in Cheltenham, Md., and was honorably discharged in 1971.
Pryce studied at Kent State University and had planned to begin a career in radio and television broadcasting. He transfered to the University of Akron and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in natural science. He was then appointed to the Bowman Gray School of Medicine if Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., where he graduated with a medical degree.
Pryce held an internship at Akron City Hospital and underwent orthopedic training at Akron General Medical Center and the Akron Children’s Hospital. He began a private practice or orthopedic and hand surgery.
During his career, Pryce was appointed to two presidential roundtables, one under President Ronald Reagan’s administration and another under President George H.W. Bush’s administration. He received a U.S. patent for a footwear device that treats flat feet. He began the Marathon Shoe Company, which was acquired by the New Balance Corporation. Pryce is a published author of numerous medical articles.
In addition to his medical career, Pryce dabbles in woodworking, computers and amateur radio. According to his website, he is an instrument-rated private pilot with 1,700 hours logged and owns a 1967 Piper Cherokee Arrow, a four-seat aircraft. Pryce is author of “Anathema! America’s War on Medicine,” a book that describes the unraveling of the American health-care system and provides a straightforward plan to fix it.
Pryce provides a “Ten Reasons Why You Don’t Want Obamacare” list on his campaign website. As senator, he promises to introduce a constitutional amendment that will clearly state, “No bill can be signed into law that has any amendment, earmark, attachment or other alteration that does not have something to do with the original intent of the law.” He notes, “This will stop Pelosi’s multi-million dollar alcohol treatment center in defense bills and bridges to nowhere in Alaska, all paid for, in part, by Ohio money. When this bill is introduced, you will see who is serious about cutting back spending and who is feeding lip service to their constituents on the campaign trail.”
Pryce favors a consumption tax that will eliminate the progressive income tax and all other forms of federal taxation on U.S citizens. He calls the IRS a “fire breathing monster that threatens to destroy this country.”
Bob Casey Jr.
19) Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Bob Casey has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007. He previously served as Pennsylvania treasurer, and Pennsylvania auditor general. Casey has expressed support for Israel, the Second Amendment, overturning Roe v. Wade, increased funding for public education (opposes school vouchers), the death penalty and more federal funding for health coverage.
Casey has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, bailout/stimulus, restricting U.N. funding for population control policies, prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion, protecting the middle class from a national energy tax, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, factoring global warming into federal project planning, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities.”
Casey has voted “no” on the following issues: barring federal grants to organizations that perform abortions, expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and raising estate and death tax exemptions.
Tim Burns prides himself on being a businessman – not a politician. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and started a pharmacy software company in his basement with little more than his savings in 1992. Burns’ company blossomed into a leader in the pharmacy software industry with more than 400 employees before it was acquired by a public company.
In his spare time, Burns has volunteered his time to help local flood victims, assisted with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and directed a youth camp for special-needs children. He sits on the board of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America and received the 2010 Jefferson Award for community service for his work with special-needs children.
Burns spoke at a local tea-party rally in 2009, an event that sparked his desire to run for Congress. In a district with only 29 percent Republican voters, Burns raised more than $2 million and lost the election by only 1 percent.
Burns said he wants to bring his business experience to the U.S. Senate “at a time when our country needs patriots with experience balancing budgets, making payroll, staying out of debt and creating jobs.”
In his 2010 race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Burns said he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming and would fight to repeal Obamacare. He was supportive of the tea-party movement and said America should increase its border security and make it harder for illegals to obtain taxpayer-funded services, jobs and benefits.
A nurse and owner of a home care and staffing health-care service, Laureen Cummings helped form a tea-party coalition in Lackawanna County. According to her campaign website, Cummings:
- will work to put the government back into the hands of We the People
- will not sit idly by and watch some progressive movement destroy the country
- will not sit idly by and watch them take away her freedom, her children and grandchildren’s freedom or your freedom
- will fight with every fiber in her to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution so all citizens will continue to be free
Cummings believes that “any financial hardship that is brought upon the American people as a direct result of a politician’s policy, an agency’s rules, or a Supreme Court justice ruling must be considered prosecutorial misconduct.” She believes oil drilling should be allowed both on and offshore and that the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished – along with the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the FCC and “any other nonessential agency that can be taken care of at state and local level.”
Cummings advocates repeal of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She supports Israel and bringing U.S. troops home from the Middle East. Finally, Cummings believes the Fair Tax is “the best solution to provide immediate economic relief/job creation, real transparency and an end to political corruption.”
John Kensinger is a registered pharmacist who believes Obamacare must be repealed. “This bill has a provision for rationing of our health care by reducing benefits, increasing premiums or establishing waiting lists,” he said. “Rationed health care is not what Americans deserve.”
Kensinger proposes that Congress immediately pass a bill to freeze government spending to the annual rate of inflation. He also suggests an adjustment to the corporate tax code to expand exports and a 5 perecent reduction of the tax burden on families and businesses so there is money available for economic expansion and job creation.
He supports a prescription drug bill for older Americans and 12-year term limits in Congress. Kensinger opposes all federal funding of abortion both in the U.S. and abroad, Cap-and-Trade energy taxes, health-care and fuel taxes and wasteful government programs.
John Marc Scaringi graduated from Georgetown University and began working as a small-business manager in Pittsburgh.
John Marc Scaringi
According to his campaign website, “In the early ’90s, Marc watched with great concern the leftward, big government direction the government was heading under Bill Clinton and the Democratic Congress and chose to join the fight to get the country back on track by volunteering on Rick Santorum’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. Santorum beat the odds, defeating an incumbent senator, becoming part of the Republican revolution of 1994. Santorum asked Marc to join his Washington, D.C., staff, and Marc assisted the senator in pushing for such initiatives as a balanced-budget amendment and welfare reform.”
In 1996, Scaringi helped lead Mike Fisher’s successful campaign to become attorney general of Pennsylvania. Fisher appointed Scaringi to a senior staff position within his administration. While he worked in the attorney general’s office, Scaringi attended law school at night at Widener University and earned his law degree in 2001.
After graduating from law school, Scaringi left politics and went to work as a small-town lawyer in Perry County. In 2005, he and his wife opened their own full-service law firm in Harrisburg, which has grown to three locations, employing 17 people.
Scaringi believes Washington must immediately cut federal spending, start paying down the national debt and pass a balanced-budget amendment. Also, he said the pro-growth policies are needed for the nation’s small businesses, starting with cutting taxes, eliminating burdensome regulations and repealing Obamacare.
Scaringi supports the individual right to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment, a term-limit amendment and Marcellus Shale extraction in Pennsylvania. He is pro-life, from conception to the moment of natural death.
Until recently, former tea-party leader and Republican Tom Smith was a registered Democrat. In 2010, he served as an Armstrong County Democratic committeeman. Smith told PoliticsPA.com that his registration as a Democrat was a carryover from the past, when many members of western Pennsylvania’s working class were Democrats.
Smith still lives on the farm in Armstrong County where he grew up. After high school, he postponed college to help his family tend that farm and supplemented his income with a bus-driving job. After he married and started his family, Smith worked in a local surface coal mine. In 1989, he entered the coal business himself and mortgaged everything he had to build a better life for his family. Smith built a series of companies during tough economic times and, when he sold those companies in 2010, they were mining more than 1 million tons of coal and employed nearly 100 people.
On his campaign website, Smith explains that jobs are created by the free market, not politicians in Washington. He opposes tax increases and promises to fight to keep taxes down and reform the tax code, making it simple and fair.
Smith believes “the nation needs an energy policy that brings all options to the table to reduce costs and reduce our dependence on foreign sources. The Marcellus Shale, American oil and clean coal are tremendous opportunities to bring the cost of energy down and create jobs.”
Smith promises to vote for repeal of Obamacare and oppose any attempt to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. He supports term limits and opposes amnesty for illegal aliens.
Col. John Vernon and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney
An avid distance runner, scuba diver and cyclist, John Vernon served as a military officer in the U.S. Army for more than 32 years, retiring at the rank of colonel. He also served as a Department of Defense civilian employee.
As a boy, Vernon learned that life on a farm required hard work, dedication and long hours. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard and later enrolled in the senior ROTC program at Rutgers University.
Vernon served in North Carolina, Italy, Georgia, New York, Bosnia, Japan and Iraq. Following his return from his second combat tour, Vernon was selected by the Army to serve as inspector general of the Maryland Army and Air National Guard, a position he held until he retired in 2009. During his Army career, Vernon was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, eight meritorious service medals, two Army commendation medals, four Army achievement medals, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the State of Maryland Distinguished Service Cross.
Vernon earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Louisiana State University.
As a U.S. senator, Vernon pledges to “ensure that America remains strong, a leading and formidable world power and a leader in combating terrorism. He insists that America must stop selling its debt to foreign countries as a way to fund its overspending habits. To strengthen businesses and get the economy moving, Vernon advocates removal of burdensome regulations. He supports a balanced-budget amendment, elimination of costly and ineffective government agencies, reduction of taxes on both businesses and individuals and replacement of the tax system with a program that’s “both flatter and more fair to all citizens.”
On energy, Vernon supports restructuring of the U.S. Department of Energy and opening up oil drilling operations in Alaska, the Continental Shelf and the Midwest. He also argues that Pennsylvania has enormous energy opportunities with the Marcellus Shale Program and natural gas.
On education, Vernon believes authority must be returned to the states to dictate curricula, provide oversight, allocate resources, facilitate innovation and implement cost-effective measures.
Vernon’s campaign website states:
It has been known for ages that families with strong values produce self-reliant, principled citizens who truly “ask not” what their country can do for them, but rather strive to become productive, hard-working countrymen. My vision is to revive the core values of service, respect, integrity, and hard work in all our families so that our children grow up with a proper sense of discipline, self-reliance and duty to God and country. Strong families buld a strong nation.
David Christian is his dress uniform.
One of the most decorated officers in the Vietnam War, David Christian saw his share of challenges when he was abandoned by his father, who left his mother, an aide to Gen. MacArthur during World War II, to raise four children on her own. His mother, Dorothy Christian, worked hard to feed her children, even as she was forced to rely on public assistance to do so.
She inspired Christian to join the service. At the tender age of 17, Christian enlisted in the airborne/infantry of the U.S. Army with his mother’s permission. He advanced from private E-1 to sergeant E-5 in an astounding eight months. He was accepted to Officers Candidate School and was promoted to become one of the youngest captains in U.S. Army history at the age of 18.
As a young soldier in Vietnam, he took on many roles in the military, serving in both conventional and unconventional warfare in his airborne unit, in a special-forces unit, with the 75th Rangers’ Long Range Recon Patrol and in the First Infantry Division as a combat recon platoon leader. His actions on the battlefield earned him two nominations for the Medal of Honor. Christian also earned the Distinguished Service Cross, two silver stars, the bronze star, the Air Medal for 25 combat assaults into “hot” landing zones, two Vietnamese Crosses for Gallantry and a Combat Infantry Badge.
David Christian with President Ronald Reagan
In Vietnam, Christian took a machine-gun hit across the chest, was stabbed, burned by napalm on more than 40 percent of his body and suffered serious shrapnel injuries from an improvised explosive device that left his right hand paralyzed. After years of physical rehabilitation, Christian learned to walk with a cane and finally began training for a marathon. While running was difficult, Christian fought through the pain and completed the 26+ mile course of the Skylon International Marathon, clocking in at 4 hours and 36 minutes.
Christian graduated from Villanova University and attended law school at Rutgers University. He was elected national commander of the Legion of Valor in 1978 and now holds a lifetime board of director’s position. Christian was a founding vice president of the Council of Vietnam Veterans and founder of the United Vietnam Veterans Organization.
During President Ronald Reagan’s administration, Christian served as assistant state director of the U.S. Department of Labor-Veterans Employment. He was a Fox News military analyst from 2002-2003.
On his campaign website, Christian explains: “New jobs and prosperity will never return to this country unless the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington untie the hands of job creators from the cobwebs of red tape and pessimism. … America doesn’t need politicians who will apologize for her. America doesn’t need yet another predictable speech. And right now, the last thing America needs is another cheerleader for President Obama in the U.S. Senate. … America needs leaders.”
Entrepreneur Steve Welch earned a mechanical engineering degree from Penn State University. In 2001, he started Mitos, a company that developed several patents that transformed the biological drug and vaccine inustries. After he sold Mitos, Welch co-founded DreamIt Ventures, a business accelerator model featured in Forbes, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal as a model for launching technology companies. The company is successfully running programs in Philadelphia and New York. Welch founded education technology company KinderTown in 2011.
Welch registered as a Democrat in 2006 and said he voted for President Obama in the 2008 primary. He switched to Republican in 2009 and claims to have voted for McCain in the general election. He briefly ran for Congress in 2010 but later withdrew.
To get the economy back on track and creating jobs, Welch proposes: 1) cut and cap spending and balance the budget, 2) simplify the tax code and reduce rates, 3) eliminate job-killing regulations, 4) provide an energy policy that leads to energy independence and 5) repeal Obamacare.
Welch believes government should leave families alone and allow them to choose their own schools for their children, choose their own doctors without government interference and start businesses without undue government burdens. He is pro-life and opposes taxpayer funding of abortions. Welch supports term limits in Congress, school choice and the Second Amendment right to bear arms and believes marriage is between one man and one woman.
20) Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Sheldon Whitehouse has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007. He previously served as U.S. attorney and state attorney general for Rhode Island. Whitehouse has expressed support for gun control, abortion and increased federal funding for health coverage.
He has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, bailout/stimulus, homosexual marriage, $25 billion in funding to renovate elementary schools, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, factoring global warming into federal project planning, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, raising Congress’ pay, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps, habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror, continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities” and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Whitehouse has voted “no” on the following issues: restricting U.N. funding for population control policies, prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion, barring federal grants to organizations that perform abortions, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, protecting the middle class from a national energy tax, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, requiring a photo ID to vote in federal elections, raising the estate and death tax exemptions and repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Eight grandfathers ago, Barry Hinckley’s forebear, Col. James Barrett, commanded the Minutemen of Concord and fired one of the first shots at the advancing British across the North Bridge.
Hinckley is a lifelong New Englander from a family of boat builders. He has 20 years of entrepreneurial experience. His company, Bullhorn Software, employs 150 people and earns more than $25 million in revenue. Hinckley was named one of Boston’s “40 under 40” successful businessmen and was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009.
He believes the government must get out of the way of job creators, balance the federal budget, repeal and replace the tax code with a Fair Tax and declare war on its debts and deficit. He promises to fight for repeal of Obamacare, replacing it with interstate insurance option and competition, small business health-care pooling and real tort reform. Hinckley supports term limits and promises to limit his own political career in the Senate to two terms.
Hinkley also supports significant limits on international welfare, protection of the Social Security Trust Fund, applying Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to the federal government, making every law applicable to members of Congress and enforcing a plain English law standard so every law will be written in terms that an average high-school graduate can comprehend.
According to Hinckley’s plan, Mideast oil-producing companies should pay a fee to the U.S. military for keeping the Persian Gulf open for the oil business. He also proposes an overhaul of the Transportation Security Administration, making interstate travel faster and easier for Americans. Hinckley advocates repeal of congressional pensions and exclusive health-care plans, which he would replace with plans that are available to the rest of Americans. Hinckley promises to run his Senate office as a service center, including a hotline guaranteeing constituents a call back within two days. He supports school choice and the Second Amendment right to bear arms and opposes Cap and Trade.
On the issue of abortion, Hinkley explains, “I believe that values are lived, not legislated. If I were the father of an unborn child, I would urge my partner to NOT terminate the pregnancy under any circumstance. However, I respect and support a woman’s right to make this choice for herself and I support existing Rhode Island law on this issue.”
21) Bernie Sanders, Indep.-Vt. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Bernie Sanders has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007.
He has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, stimulus/bailout, expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, forbidding human cloning for reproduction, replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, factoring global warming into federal project planning, moratorium on offshore oil drilling, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, raising Congress’ pay, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities,” increasing the tax rate for people earning more than $1 million and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Sanders has voted “no” on the following issues: restricting U.N. funding for population control policies, prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion, banning federal grants to organizations that perform abortions, making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime, banning partial-birth abortion, constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, making the Patriot Act permanent, banning gay adoptions in D.C., ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions, banning the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, protecting the middle class from a national energy tax, permitting new oil refineries, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, reforming the U.N. by restricting U.S. funding, requiring a photo ID to vote in federal elections, banning physician-assisted suicide, extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps, building a fence along the Mexican border, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and raising the death and estate tax exemption.
Independent (U.S. Marijuana Party):
Cris Ericson of the U.S. Marijuana Party appears to be a supporter of the “Occupy” protest movement. Her campaign website states, “Occupy the 2012 political race and vote for a poor candidate.” Her website offers no biographical information and no information about her positions on popular political issues.
22) Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Maria Cantwell has served in the U.S. Senate since 2001. She previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. Cantwell has expressed support for Roe v. Wade, stricter sentencing for hate crimes, more federal funding for health coverage and same-sex domestic partner benefits. She opposes the death penalty, school vouchers, an absolute right to gun ownership, Social Security privatization and organized prayer in public schools.
Cantwell has voted “yes” on the following issues: Obamacare, stimulus/bailouts, expanding embryonic stem cell research, adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes, protecting middle class from a national energy tax, removing oil and gas exploration subsidies, factoring global warming into federal project planning, banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers, pay raise for Congress, expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, reauthorizing the Patriot Act, habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees, continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities,” allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security and instituting national service as a new social invention.
Cantwell has voted “no” on the following issues: restricting U.N. funding for population control policies, prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion, barring federal grants to organizations that perform abortions, notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions, criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime, banning partial birth abortions, constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land, requiring a photo ID to vote in federal elections, building a fence along the Mexican border, increasing the tax rate for people earning more than $1 million, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and permanently repealing the “death tax.”
Michael Baumgartner (second from right) works overseas
By the age of 35, Michael Baumgartner had visited more than 70 countries. In 1994, he was one of 10 high-school students in the nation awarded a Kerr Scholarship from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, NCUSAR, to spend a summer studying culture and politics in Jordan and Syria. In 1999, NCUSAR awarded him a Kuwait Study Scholarship.
Baumgartner graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and minors in math and French. While in college, he worked as a forestry sciences aide, helping conduct fire ecosystem research with the U.S. Forest Service. After graduating, he spent one year volunteering with a group of Jesuit priests in Beira, Mozambique, helping to teach university students, run social programs for children and assist the Jesuits in their work with the mentally ill.
Baumgartner earned a master of public administration in international development from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He also taught economics at Harvard College as a teaching fellow. After Sept. 11, 2001, he was motivated to use his economics training in the Middle East, so he began working as an economic development adviser in the Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai. From 2005-2006, he advised several Saudi business groups before retrurning to the U.S. to consult mining company Hecla on challenges facing its gold mine in Venezuela.
From May 2007 to June 2008, he worked as an economics officer in the Office of Joint Strategic Planning & Assessment at the U.S. embassy in Iraq. In 2009, he worked as an embedded U.S. adviser on a State Department-funded program supporting an Afghanistan counternarcotics team in the southern province of Helmand, home to more than 60 percent of the world’s ilicit opium and a hotbed of Taliban insurgents. He has advised the U.S. military on economics and the Middle East.
Baumgartner won a 2010 campaign for Washington state Senate against a well-funded incumbent in the most expensive state legislative political election in Washington history.
Baumgartner supports a balanced budget and believes Obamacare must be replaced with a system that allows more competition and flexibility for states. He called Social Security and Medicare “vital programs to ensure every American has a measure of comfort in their retirement years,” noting that we must ensure that we do not betray promises made to our parents and grandparents while reforming these programs. Baumgartner said it is time to end the wars and adopt smarter foreign policy.
23) Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. – seeking re-election
About the incumbent: Joe Manchin has served in the U.S. Senate since 2010, when he won a special election in November to fill the seat of the late Robert Byrd. He previously served as West Virginia governor from 2005 to 2010.
Manchin has expressed support for gun rights and banning open homosexuals in the military. He has voted “yes” on the following issues: constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps.
There are no challengers to Joe Manchin’s bid at this time.
24) Jon Kyl, R-Az. – retiring
As fifth-generation Arizonan, Wil Cardon excelled as an all-state wide receiver on the football team at Mountain View High School in Mesa. Brigham Young University recruited him, and he later transferred and graduated from Stanford University. Cardon earned a master of business administration from Harvard Business School. After graduation, he returned to Arizona to take over the family business, The Cardon Group, founded in 1934 by Cardon’s grandfather. Cardon has spent the last 15 years there, “diversifying the business, creating jobs, investing in products and properties and helping start-up companies succeed.”
Cardon is also involved in several charitable organizations, including the Banner Health Foundation in Phoenix. Banner Health recently renamed its children’s hospital The Cardon Children’s Medical Center after Cardon helped to provide 248 pediatric beds and six operating rooms.
Cardon’s prescription for creating jobs and fostering economic growth includes lower taxes, less regulation, opening foreign markets to U.S. products, banning earmarks and “free markets where government ensures a level playing field for all industries and where career politicians get out of the way so job creators can do what they do best: create jobs.”
He believes Washington has “failed miserably” when it comes to U.S. border security. “While the federal government refuses to protect our borders, Arizona taxpayers continue to pay the price in the form of increased crime and drugs in our communities,” he said. “To have real, lasting immigration reforms, we must secure our borders and have an immigration system that makes sense. When elected, I will work with our local sheriffs and law enforcement agencies to ensure that fighting illegal immigration and securing our border is a top priority.” Cardon said he is a strong supporter of legal immigration, but that it must be done through proper channels, and not through amnesty.
Cardon also supports reduction of the size of government, making it more efficient and less expensive for taxpayers. He called Obamacare unconstitutional and said it must be immediately repealed. He said he is a “strongly pro-life” social conservative who believes in traditional marriage and opposes all efforts to redefine it. Cardon said he is in favor of the Marriage Protection Act.
Jeff Flake –
A U.S. representative from Arizona since 2001, Jeff Flake has been known to his district as an outspoken critic of earmarks. Robert Novak once described him as “an insistent reformer” and said the Republican Party “deplores Flake for discussing the GOP affinity for pork in public.”
In 2004, President George W. Bush unveiled an immigration policy proposal based on Flake’s bill promoting a guest worker visa to allow immigrants to work legally in the U.S. During a Cato Institute policy forum, Flake said, “It’s simply not feasible to seal the border. … [E]ven if we could seal the border, at least 40 percent of those who are here illegally first entered the country illegally. … Our bill is based on the notion that you match willing employers with willing workers.”
Flake voted for renewal of the Patriot Act and for repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which banned openly homosexual members from service.
The Arizona Republican pledged during his first campaign for Congress in 2000 that if elected, he would serve only three terms. But he later backed away from that promise, saying, “It was a mistake to limit my own terms” and that the movement to limit congressional terms “just petered out.”
Flake is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduating from high school, he served as a Mormon missionary to Zimbabwe and South Africa in the 1980s.
Bryan Hackbarth, former mayor of Youngtown, Az., owns and operates a cleaning contracting business with his wife. According to his campaign website, he is concerned that the nation’s lending institutions are “preventing small businesses from being allowed to compete fairly in the marketplace.”
Hackbarth, who said he is married to a legal immigrant, is also a proponent of secure borders.
“Yes, it took awhile – nine years – but in March of 2008, my wife proudly became a United States citizen,” he wrote. “The rules and laws are there to protect our citizens and future citizens by ensuring that they not only know the laws of the land and their rights as members of this great country, but have demonstrated their dedication to it. Citizenship is a privilege and one we should treat with care.”
As for Obama’s health plan, Hackbarth stated: “Obamacare is not good for this country, and we are seeing major issues with it already. It needs to be completely repealed. … I believe competition across state lines should be made available on these health care plans so that every citizen can find the best and most affordable plan for their family.”
Hackbarth, a Christian, said he believes qualifications “are not enough to make a man worthy to be elected to the Senate.”
“He can see that we are falling away from what our country was founded on,” his website states. “The values and morals we once followed and believed in are no longer the guiding principles of our country. Bryan is determined, if elected, to work to bring them back.”
Hackbarth supports Social Security reform and tax credits to keep businesses in the U.S.
Once a worker on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where he was employed by a private specialist firm, Doug McKee earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Connecticut State University. He traded his Wall Street suit for work boots and moved to Arizona in 1991, where he began a career in the construction industry.
In 1994, McKee launched Grand Canyon Development, a general contracting firm that builds custom riverfront homes along the banks of the Colorado River. He has spent 30 years in the private sector.
As senator, McKee promises to:
- vote yes for a balanced-budget amendment
- vote no on raising the debt ceiling until spending is under control and a plan to reduce debt is securely in place
- propose legislation that dedicates funds specifically for paying down the principle of our national debt without raising taxes
- vote no on funding pet projects
- propose legislation similar to the Enumerated Powers Act that would require Congress to cite the provisions in the Constitution that give it the power to pass legislation
On immigration policy, Mckee opposes amnesty programs and argues, “[F]or every good person that is given amnesty, there [is] a handful of drug dealers and human traffickers who will be given entrance into our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces at the same time. We all talk about the wars that we fight overseas and the loss of life and quality of life as a result of those wars, but we rarely recognize the fact that we have a ‘war’ right here at home as well. In this ‘war at home,’ the number of American lives that are lost or destroyed far exceeds the casualties of both current wars overseas combined.”
McKee recommends completing the fence, adding manpower along the wall to ensure the border isn’t breached, encouraging the state to take a leading role in enforcing existing laws that prohibit businesses from hiring illegals and make it more difficult for illegals to access educational, social welfare and medical programs. He also advocates streamlining the current naturalization process, developing programs through which the military can train along the U.S. borders, establishing a colunteer civilian air patrol to report suspicious activity to authorities and supporting efforts of immigration officers by providing them with infrared technologies so they can detect people being smuggled across borders.
On energy, McKee opposes Cap and Trade and supports tapping reserves available on the North American continent and Outer Continental Shelf, drilling and mining responsibly for reserves and reopening an industry that will promote jobs and lower the costs of energy and fuels.
Mckee is a supporter of the Second Amendment. He promises to vote to repeal Obamacare and vote no on any legislation that attempts to nationalize health care. He proposes limits for medical lawsuit payouts, tort reform, allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, raising limits on health savings accounts, eliminating Medicare/Medicaid fraud and fighting to keep Medicare/Medicaid alive and accessible for future generations. On education, McKee supports school choice; the ability to hire, pay and fire teachers based on performance; and returning powers of education to state and local levels. He also advocates decreasing high-end corporate tax rates to return jobs to America and eliminating capital gains taxes and the estate tax. McKee promises to vote against legislation that would raise taxes in Americans.
Ian Gilyeat harvesting pineapples
A former maintenance worker at a shopping mall and seasonal laborer who planted pineapples in Hawaii for Dole Corporation, Ian Gilyeat attended Brigham Young University and now heads a management consulting firm and advises Arizona businesses. He has managed operations in the U.S., Canada, England and Japan.
Gilyeat said he believes America must return to basic principles of limited government, individual freedom and self-reliance. He supports overhauling the tax code, a flat tax, stopping Cap and Trade, strengthening the dollar by stopping the Treasury presses and limiting new debt issues, balancing the budget, cutting government programs and permanently eliminating capital gains and death taxes.
On health care, Gilyeat opposes: Obamacare as it was passed, a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, a “public option” and government-funded or government-subsidized abortion. He believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned; however, he supports a woman’s right to abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. “I defend her ability and right to make this decision even though I could never recommend abortion as a solution to pregnancy,” he explained.
On immigration policy, Gilyeat supports securing the border, streamlining the immigration process, a guest worker program that doesn’t guarantee citizenship and eliminating so-called “birthright citizenship.”
“As an Independent candidate, I seek common ground without compromising principles,” Gilyeat wrote on his campaign website. “This approach to government will break down traditional party politics and grease the skids toward good government – government that is limited, practical and adheres to the first line of that great constitutional document. My allegiance is to the principles and values found in the Constitution.”