Friday, May 26, 2006

Diamond gives a reaction to recent remarks from Swann on issues

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann discussed a wide range of subjects during a 90-minute interview Friday with The Associated Press. Russ Diamond, Independent for Governor, gives his answers too.


Swann favors the death penalty and considers it a deterrent to crime.

I oppose the death penalty, as we cannot assign any power to government we do not possess as individuals. The Constitutional flow of power - from the Creator to individuals to government - establishes this.


Swann supports a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

I support traditional marriage but I believe churches are the best institutions to oversee it. Government needs to impose less upon our lives, not more. This issue is not about "marriage," per se, but about insurance, survivorship, and other rights of private contract.


A gun owner himself, Swann said gun violence is best curbed by enforcing current laws and changing the mindset of those who would use guns to settle disputes. Mindsets are changed by providing better economic opportunities, he said.

I believe Article 1, section 21 of the PA Constitution is quite clear: the right to bear arms "shall not be questioned." And yes, we can reduce pressures that lead to gun violence by promoting economic prosperity. But the way to do that is for goverment to get out of the way, so businesses will invest in our communities.


Although Swann doesn't support slot-machine gambling in Pennsylvania, he said it would be "a waste of my time and energy" to try to repeal something already passed by the Legislature.

A waste of your time and energy? Remember the pay raise? Passed in the same unconstitutional manner as Act 71 of 2004 (slots)? Regardless of whether we support gambling or not, this bill was wrong at the beginning and has been wrong every step of the way since then. If you oppose it, fight to repeal it! I will.


He would sign a bill outlawing abortions except under limited circumstances if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. He agrees with current restrictions in Pennsylvania law.

I am opposed to abortion but the majority of Pennsylvanians are not prepeared to completely outlaw it. I'm running for Governor, not king. If Rowe v. Wade is overturned, the legislature would need to act to change the law. Meanwhile, what we need to work on preventing is unwanted pregnancies.


Over the next four to seven years, Swann would reduce the corporate net income tax from 9.99 percent to 5.99 percent; roll back the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 2.8 percent; and phase out the inheritance tax. He wants to replace the state's property-tax system with a new one that would base assessments on the selling
price of real estate.

I'm left wondering what areas of the budget he'll be cutting to do that. I will work to abolish property taxes, once and for all. We must also curb government growth - which only diminishes the standard of living for individual Pennsylvanians - so we CAN lower taxes. Let's start with the oversized novelty checks and America's most
expensive legislature.


Swann is neutral on the question of whether Pennsylvania should increase its minimum wage above the federal level. He said he wants more information on the effects of such a move before taking a position. The state House of Representatives last month approved a $2-an-hour increase, to $7.15 an hour, by July 1, 2007; the Senate is
considering the measure.

I believe raising the minimum wage at the state level enables the federal government's perchant for creating inflation through deficit spending. It would also cause a ripple effect throughout the economy. We don't need more inflation, we need to build a new Pennsylvania where labor is naturally well-paid because it is in high demand.


While noting that "smoking is not against the law," Swann said he would support a ban on smoking in the workplace. That does not extend to restaurants and bars, where Swann said the decision should be made by the owners.

We agree on this one, but let's make one thing perfectly clear: This is a property issue. Prohibiting smoking in public buildings is reasonable, contributes to the public good and limits the public's liability. But restaraunts and bars are private property - and the owners of that property have the right to decide.

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