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Texas District 25 candidates agree: Balance federal budget

By Gabe Semenza
Oct. 10, 2010 at 5:10 a.m.

Donna Campbell

Meet the candidates

Name: Lloyd Doggett

Age: 64

City of residence: Austin

Occupation: Incumbent congressman

Party affiliation: Democrat

Name: Jim Stutsman

Age: 66

City of residence: Austin

Occupation: Small business owner

Party affiliation: Libertarian

Name: Donna Campbell

Age: 56

City of residence: Columbus

Occupation: Emergency department medical director

Party affiliation: Republican

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in District 25 all say the election's top issue is budget discipline.

Each offers a different view about how to manage massive federal debt.

Lloyd Doggett, the incumbent Democrat, said he prefers "pay-as-you-go" rules. Donna Campbell, a Republican challenger, said the U.S. government must stop spending now. Jim Stutsman, a Libertarian challenger, agrees spending must stop, but said the two-party system only encourages it.

Texas District 25 extends in Central Texas from Lavaca County to Austin in Travis County.

Doggett, a congressman since 1995 and a lifelong Austinite, said strong "pay-as-you-go" rules will enforce budget discipline.

"I voted consistently against the big bank bailouts, whether proposed by President Bush or Obama," Doggett said. "When you are counting on something - a home, job or retirement plan - we should not let big government interfere. But government should be on your side when other powerful forces, like Wall Street banks or insurance monopolies, threaten your family."

Doggett said he opposes eliminating federal aid to education, repealing new regulation of Wall Street banks and credit card companies, and privatizing Social Security and Medicare. He authored a "More Education" tax cut to help ensure financial barriers do not prevent students from securing an education.

"I've voted to cut small business taxes while raising revenue by cracking-down on multinational corporate tax gimmicks that ship American jobs overseas," he said. "I have been endorsed by the VFW PAC and teachers groups, recognized by Farmer's Union, and my continued efforts to strengthen Medicare were honored by AARP."

Republican challenger Donna Campbell, a Columbus doctor and hospital emergency department director, said federal spending must stop.

"We need to do a head-to-toe inventory of where the money is going, just like you look at your home budget," Campbell said. "Where is the money going? We need tax cuts and policy that promote growth of private business. Then, the tax base increases because there is job creation."

Campbell said she is running on a platform of citizen representation.

"I'm running for a cause, not a career," she said. "We need to get government out of the way so that private businesses can do what they do best - which is produce. My opponent supports a nanny state - giveaways and advancement of entitlement programs. This election is not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about the restoration of our country."

Jim Stutsman, the Libertarian candidate from Austin, said Doggett and Campbell - or at least their parties - compound the problems.

"These clowns need to be representing the people, not the party. We need to wake people up to the abuse that the two-party system has put upon us, and bring attention to the fact this country is broke," Stutsman said. "I have watched for 60-plus years as our government got in my church, my business, my bedroom, my town - everywhere I go. I'm a pretty angry grandpa."

Stutsman calls himself a genuine outsider. He said Republicans and Democrats spend money based on party agendas, a habit he'd avoid.

"Rest easy. If you vote for me, you'll know how I vote before I ever get there," he said. "I'll vote 'No' if it grows the budget, grows the bureaucracy, raises taxes or if you and I don't personally get a chance to read the bill. I'll keep my word. I am not a party hack."

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