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Clayton election: U.S. Congress, District 5

John Lewis (D)

Lewis is the incumbent and has represented Georgia's 5th congressional district since 1987.

What's your view of the Supreme Court's decision on the new health-care law? How will you stand in the inevitable fight over it the next Congress will face?

“I believe that health care is a right and not a privilege. No one’s quality of health care should depend on the amount of money in that person’s bank account or the zip code where they live. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the new health-care law is a great victory for the American people and the state of Georgia. I will fight to make sure all our citizens have quality health care.”

What other issues currently facing Congress are most important to the 5th District, and how do you plan to address them if elected?

“We must do all we can to get our brothers and sisters back to work. I believe that we must protect our seniors who have given us so much. We must continue to fight to make sure that we know what is in the water we drink and the air we breathe.”

Why are you best qualified to represent the 5th District in Congress?

“As the Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic House Caucus and the fifth most senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I have brought home hundreds of millions of dollars for roads, transit, and infrastructure projects. As your representative, I will continue to fight for federal dollars to help our economy and put people back to work.”

Michael Johnson (D)

Johnson is an Atlanta attorney with experience in private practice, as a prosecutor and as a Fulton County judge.

What’s your view of the Supreme Court’s decision on the new healthcare law? How will you stand in the inevitable fight, regarding the healthcare law, in the next Congress?

“I support the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act. I believe the Act is a step in the right direction in terms of ensuring that all Americans will have access to affordable and adequate health care. I will stand with those members of Congress working to preserve and defend the Affordable Health Care Act. Rather than attempting to appeal the law, members of Congress should work to promote legislation that offers solutions to some of the Act’s more complex challenges.”

What other issues currently facing Congress are most important to the 5th District, and how do you plan to address them if elected?

“Economic recovery and unemployment are other significant issues facing Congress that are also important to the 5th District. Obviously, unemployment throughout our country continues to be a top issue, which should be addressed in several ways. First, we need to invest in rebuilding our country’s infrastructure. Second, we need to more aggressively invest in healthcare, the 'Green' industry and biotechnology. Third, we need to do a better job of investing in our children and young adults. Providing better, early education programs and expanded vocational/technical programs will ensure that our children are capable of competing on a global scale.

Another important issue is the need to address the federal deficit while balancing the need for investment initiatives essential to moving our country forward. While the efficient use of tax dollars must be a priority, securing our fair share of federal funds to invest in the 5th district must also be a major point of emphasis. Over the last several years, Georgia’s 5th district representative has lagged woefully behind other congressional representatives in Georgia, in terms of securing federal funds. We have not received our fair share vital to helping our district continue to compete as a major, business friendly region. As a result, we have had to bear additional financial burdens that could have been offset by federal funds.”

Why are you best qualified to represent the 5th District in Congress?

“I am best qualified to represent the 5th district for several reasons. First, having served as a lawyer and judge, I will bring a unique skill set as our next congressman. As a judge, on a daily basis I listened to the parties, maintained an even disposition, acted decisively and made the tough decisions. Moreover, I interpreted and determined the constitutionality of laws, thus I also developed a keen understanding of our legislative process. Further, as a practicing lawyer for nearly twenty years, I learned the art of persuasive dialog and how to engage and work with people, particularly those that held views different from my own. I also have legislative experience, having served as chair of the City of Atlanta’s Board of Ethics. Equally important, I will enter Congress free of political baggage and untethered by past political alliances; I will work to rise above partisan politics and put our citizens first.”

Howard Stopeck (R)

Stopeck is an Atlanta attorney.

What's your view of the Supreme Court's decision on the new health-care law? How will you stand in the inevitable fight over it the next Congress will face?

“I don’t believe the middle-income family that pays the Obamacare premium, thinking it’s good for them, understands the extent to which they will be economically punished, especially in these hard times. I don’t think they understand how their premiums will be affected when people only take out the insurance when they have a medical problem? Whoever wants Obamacare could have it, pay for it out the noise and have inferior healthcare. Then, when all of the insurance companies stop selling healthcare coverage, Obama will get what he wants … socialized medicine like Canada and Europe, if that’s what you want.”

What other issues currently facing Congress are most important to the 5th District, and how do you plan to address them if elected?

“Businesses are closing all around us. The rich don’t pay fair share. Middle-class struggles with meeting their expenses and $1 million earners pay same rate as middle-class. People now pay $1.91 trillion federal taxes. I designed the Transparent Tax, an equitable, efficient, simple, revenue neutral tax to fund government and our current social programs, that lowers that to $1.65 trillion, a 13% tax cut, or $.26 trillion increased disposable income, by a 16% flat tax after a $25,000 household exemption, eliminate FICA and retains the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Transparent Tax ends discrimination favoritism, increases consumption, increases production, US firms will stay here, foreign firms will come here, increases collected revenue, pays down our debt, cares for the poor more than merely keeping them alive, reduces poverty, abolishes tax-incentive-loopholes large conglomerates pay out to Congressmen, ends oil depreciation allowances, farm and milk supports, tax schemes, shelters and loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Then we’ll have the transparency to compare revenue with spending side by side versus the evil of our tax code that prevents light to pass through. We can’t decide how much government we want until we see that the money government spends is coming out of our pockets and it’s not other people’s money.”

Why are you best qualified to represent the 5th District in Congress?

“Cong. John Lewis complains that the rich don’t pay their fair share, the rich pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries and the middle class don’t get a break. Whereas that’s true, he offers no solution, just complaints. He’s done nothing to help the poor other than keeping them alive, which isn’t enough, nor does it comply with God’s Commandment to care for the poor, or the moral equivalent. The Transparent Tax is the first step to lifting the poor from the dust and I’ll show you the statistical evidence and lot’s more than complaints.”