In the general
election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, incumbent U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, will
face a challenge from Republican Mark Leyva. The Chesterton Tribune
invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires. The Tribune set
word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.
(1) For Visclosky:
Age, place of residence, term of office: 69; Gary; 17th term.
For Leyva: Age,
place of residence, occupation: 59; Highland; carpenter and former
(2) Visclosky: Why
are you seeking re-election to this office? (75 words) I am seeking
re-election in order to continue to fight hard on behalf of all residents
and work to build a more prosperous regional economy and a more fair and
tolerant society. As the Ranking Member of the House Defense Appropriations
Subcommittee, I also will continue to work to keep our nation safe and
For Leyva: Why are
you seeking election to this office? (75 words) Reduce size of
government to keep more of our freedoms our forefathers created, stated very
clearly under our U.S. Constitution.
(3) For Visclosky:
Describe your achievements in office (100 words). I have worked
throughout my career to create jobs and build a strong regional economy, and
I will continue to work to that end. We have made great progress to support
American steelworkers, and I will act with all urgency to fight back against
unfair trading practices and to encourage new technology and manufacturing
industries in our region. We have also fostered investments in our economic
and transportation infrastructure, and I will continue to use every day to
maximize the value of these investments to retain and attract new people and
economic activity to our region.
For Leyva: If
elected, what specifically local priorities would you pursue? (100
words). Make tax cuts permanent past 2025 so you keep more of your
yourself from your opponent and indicate in particular why you believe
yourself to be a better candidate (100 words).
have a proven record of working with local leaders and other members of
Congress, of both political parties, for a better future for Northwest
Indiana. Through cooperation, we have invested in our future by supporting
the recapitalization and expansion of the South Shore Rail Line, the
development of the Gary airport, the improvement of access to our lakefront,
the promotion of our institutions of higher learning, and the advancement of
our steel and manufacturing industries. I will continue to work with local,
state, and federal officials, and local organizations and businesses, to
grow our regional economy.
Leyva: I am a
Constitutional Conservative that believes in capitalism and smaller
government and more individual freedoms by keeping more of your paychecks.
Our congressman believes in socialism and big government, repealing the tax
cut, and taking more of your paychecks.
(5) For Visclosky:
What are the key, specifically national issues in this race? (100
words) Iím very concerned about the tone and rhetoric of the national
political debate, and believe we must work to create a truly more fair and
tolerant society, where every individual has access to a good-paying job.
All must be equal under the law regardless of their station in life. Each
person must be respected regardless of race, country of origin, gender, age,
sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. The labor of each person must be
treated with dignity. Workers should be paid fairly and have access to a
safe work environment, a secure retirement, and quality affordable health
For Leyva: What are
the key issues in this race? (100 words) Make tax cuts permanent. Fund
and build the wall. Repeal Obamacare.
evidence indicates that the economic effects of President Trumpís tariffs on
Chinese products--beginning with those imposed on Chinese steel and
aluminum--and then Chinaís retaliatory tariffs on American goods are
beginning to be felt by small businesses, including farmers, and may soon be
felt more widely by American consumers. Did you support Trumpís initial
tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, knowing that they could provoke
China, and does the prospect of an escalating trade war concern you? (75
supported the Pres-identís initial investigation and appreciate the
affirmative action. These tariffs are necessary because the American
manufacturing industry has been decimated for years by illegal trade. The
government has a responsibility to help those negatively impacted by tariffs
and I will continue to advocate for fairness in trade and labor in order to
ensure good-paying jobs, long-term stability, and economic prosperity for
do-mestic manufacturers, crafters, and all American workers and industries.
Leyva: Yes I
agree with President Trumpís tariffs on Chinese products. Trump is the first
president trying to create a fair trade playing field. We as a
country will win the tariff battle. China is in financial trouble and cannot
win this tariff battle.
(7) For Visclosky:
If the Democrats re-take Congress in November and begin impeachment
proceedings against President Trump, would you vote to impeach? Why or why
not? (75 words) I believe any impeachment effort should be withheld
until the current investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is
completed or other evidence yields that proceedings should be initiated. In
the interim, Congress should conduct appropriate oversight of the executive
branch and work together to resolve differences and solve problems.
For Leyva: The
Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act--which permanently reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21
percent and temporarily lowered individual married joint filer rates--will
increase the projected national deficit by $1.9 trillion over the 2018-28
period. Did you support passage of the act, understanding its possible
effect on the deficit, and would you vote to make the individual and married
joint filer tax cuts permanent? (75 words). This question is two
entirely different questions that I will explain. First, cutting tax rates
creates an increase of tax revenues 100 percent of the time; that is a fact.
How you check is by looking at the U.S. Treasury Department receipts; this
is a plain FACT. (The only reason there is projected national deficit is
because both Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to reduce budget
(8) What do you
view as the single greatest threat to this nationís security and what steps
can Congress take to mitigate it? (75 words)
the Ranking Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I
remain very concerned about the postures and actions of Russia, China, North
Korea, Iran, and the growth and reach of terrorist organizations. Through my
role on the Subcommittee, I will continue to work to ensure that our
military is strong and that our strategy complements and fosters the
essential diplomatic, cultural, economic, and technological perspectives
necessary to formulate and reach our desired results.
borders is our single greatest issue. We are the only country with open
borders and weak border enforcement that costs our taxpayers tremendous
amounts of money that could be better spent on our veterans. Just enforcing
all the current laws on the books would save us money and increase our
national security levels.