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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Sher Zieve
Bio: Sher Zieve
Date:  September 1, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Interview with MA Congressional Candidate Rick Barton

The following is an email interview, which I conducted with conservative Massachusetts 6th Congressional District Candidate Rick Barton. Barton is running against incumbent Rep. John Tierney and the powerful Massachusetts liberal Democrat machine. However, Barton’s credentials are solid.

Included in his Bio is service to the US as a Navy pilot, which included Mission Commander, Patrol Plane Commander, Instructor Pilot and NATOPS Pilot. Barton also grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from Needham Senior High School in June 1971 and from Boston University in January 1980. He is a member of multiple Massachusetts’ civic, political and service organizations, including Manchester Republican Town Committee, Life Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, the Club for Growth, National Federation of Independent Business, American Legion Post 113 Manchester, MA, Naval Aviation Foundation and the Military Officers Association of America. Barton is also a proponent of strong Border Security.

Sher: “How would you characterize your opponent’s views, in comparison to yours?”

Rick: “I would characterize my opponent’s view as virtually opposite of mine. He is a member of the Congressional progressive Caucus and as such, stands to the extreme left of his own party. I believe that the responsibilities and duties of the federal government lie in the following six principles:

• “Is it the governments business?

“Washington should only concern itself with those things that cannot be handled at the state, community, or individual level. Federal action must remain within the limits of constitutional authority.

• “Does this measure promote self-reliance?

“Programs should help individuals stand on their own. The objective of any government program should be equality of opportunity. Too many government programs punish individual initiative and condemn their clients to permanent dependence.

• “Is it responsible?

“Programs must be able to stand on their own and withstand the scrutiny of citizens and legislators. Our federal government has become so bloated from pork and wasteful spending it has trouble getting off the couch to act in times of genuine need.

• “Does it make us more prosperous?

“Excessive government regulation, high taxes, and trade barriers all stifle our economic freedom and national prosperity.

• “Does it make us safer?

“Government policy should protect our country and make for a better future. Washington must take seriously the perils we face at home and abroad. They must commit to the kind of strength, courage, and resolution demonstrated by President Ronald Reagan in leading us to victory in the Cold War.

• “Does it unify us?

“The government should serve to bind us together with our shared national values, not exaggerate our differences and undermine our national identity, principles and purpose. Government policies and programs must encourage patriotism, American values, a common language, a unified national identity, and a level playing field, without fear or favor.”

Sher: “Which of the issues do you view as differing the most, between you and your opponent?”

Rick: “Border security and immigration reform. I favor the House version which places border security as the immediate necessity, enforces our existing immigration laws, and looks at immigration reform as a long-term goal after the borders are secure. My opponent favors the Senate version which includes the amnesty provisions, which according to the Heritage Foundation, increases the number of immigrants from south of the border by an estimated 120 million over the next 20 years.

“National defense. My opponent believes that the United Nations should be the body that determines how we react to threats to our national security. He believes that more public disclosure of intelligence operation is required for oversight purposes. Prior to September 11, 2001 he routinely voted to cut the defense and intelligence budgets. Since September 11, 2001, he has routinely voted against defense, intelligence and homeland security appropriations. As a former Naval Aviator, I support maintaining an adequately funded military, intelligence community, and homeland security department at all times. Having entered military service at the end of the Carter administration, I have seen firsthand the foolhardy mindset of under funding our military and intelligence communities when we are enjoying times of relative peace.

“Taxes. He is a big government tax and spend liberal who has never embraced a tax cut, and refuses to acknowledge the demonstrated economic benefits of lower taxes. I feel that there is room for a great deal more tax reform and back scrapping the IRS and implementing a national sales tax as proposed by H.R. 25 The Fair Tax. I also believe that my own party must return to the Ronald Reagan fiscal discipline necessary to ensure a sound economic future.

“Social Security. He says there is no crisis, I believe we must make the reforms that are required if Social Security is to remain viable. I strongly favor the reforms that have been put forth by the Cato Institute.”

Sher: “Do you consider yourself a moderate or a conservative Republican?”

Rick: “I consider myself a conservative on nearly all issues. The one issue that some may say that I lean towards a moderate position is the pro-life issue. When addressing this I try to address all of the pro-life issues from abortion to euthanasia. The following may be helpful for you to understand my position:

“I am providing you with background information about me that I hope will let you understand my position on abortion. My mother was a first generation Italian-American who became pregnant with me while in her junior year of high school. She had a compassionate family that gave her the support she needed to deal with the situation. Had she not been provided with this support and had abortion on demand been available then, perhaps I would not be corresponding with you now. I am pro life, but I realize that there may be situations such as rape, incest, or the physical condition of the mother that may lead some to consider abortion. In dealing with rape or incest, I would hope that adoption would be the first option chosen by the mother. I also believe that throughout history it has been shown that you cannot legislate morality or common sense; parents and families must nurture those qualities. Any legislation that would expand access further, provide for late term abortions, or remove parental notification for minors seeking an abortion, would not receive my support. As parents, we have the duty of teaching personal responsibility and accountability to our children. Too often today this duty is passed to some form of government entity that seeks to impose its philosophy on these parental duties.

“The following questions were put to me by an individual who had asked me to be more specific about my position on abortion and other related issues. My answer follows each question. The notes with the questions were those of the person posing the question.

1) “Would you vote for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade allowing the states to prohibit abortions? Would you allow them to do so as they see fit or would you insist on some exemptions?

Note: before Roe v Wade abortion was legal in many states for many reasons. In all states that I am aware of, abortion was legal if necessary to save the life of the mother. With current technology, an abortion is not necessary to save the life of the mother. However, there are medical procedures -- not abortion – that have a side effect of threatening the life of the mother, such as some chemotherapy. In such cases it is not necessary to perform an abortion to save the mother’s life but an abortion would occur as a secondary, unintended result of medical treatment. This is not surgical abortion.

“No. I believe that an exemption for rape, incest, or a physical condition that may cause the death of the mother should be included.

2) “When you say that you will allow abortions depending upon "the medical condition of the mother", what do you mean? Do you support Doe v. Bolton's definition of "health" which is expansive and includes "familial" and "financial" health? Who should determine that the health is under threat, the abortionist or a neutral third party?

“Conditions that presents a life-threatening situation to the mother if continuing the pregnancy. I do not support the Doe v. Bolton definition. The attending physician and patient should make the determination.

3) “Regarding rape and incest, who would determine that rape and incest occurred? Would you require, as some laws have, that the rape and incest be reported to the authorities?

“Note: Medicaid pays for abortions in the cases of rape and incest. The Clinton administration struck down any requirement that those crimes be reported to the police before the procedure is paid for.

“I can accept the legal definitions, however I feel that victims of rape and incest, especially involving young victims, may not always immediately report these incidents because of social stigma.

4) “Do you support the Hyde Amendment, restricting federal funding of abortions?


5) “Do you support the Mexico City Policy of Ronald Reagan, which prohibits funding of overseas and international organizations that advocate for legal abortion?


6) "Do you oppose cloning in all its forms, as Pres. Bush did in his recent State of the Union? Do you oppose so-called "Clone and kill bills", which would allow cloning but only if the embryos are destroyed before growing into a fetus or an infant? This is often done to harvest the stem cells.

Note: Adult stem cells are the only stem cells demonstrated to cure any disease. Despite much talk, embryonic stem cells have not done so.

"Yes. Yes. I am not opposed to harvesting stem cells from embryos that may be discarded by fertility clinics after invitro fertilization procedures, if offered by the donors.

7) "When does life begin? What is your definition of a human being?

Does that include all stages of human life including embryonic?

I believe it begins at conception.

8) "Do you think that doctors should kill their patients if the patients request it? Do you think that they should just help their patients, for instance by subscribing legal drugs, but let the patients kill themselves? What about patients too incompetent to kill themselves?

I do not support assisted suicide in any form

9) "Do you think that food and water are "medical treatments" and can be, and should be, denied to those in a "persistent vegetative state"?

Unless the patient had expressed in a living will that no extraordinary means should be used to maintain them in a condition from which there is no chance of recovery, as I have for myself, nutrition and water should be continued to be provided as they are necessities of life not medical treatments.

10) Do you support the death penalty?


Sher: “What do you believe is the most important and salient issue facing Americans today and how do you plan to assist in solving it?”

Rick: “I believe it is border security and immigration reform. You have my position in a previous question. I believe this issue has so many far-reaching implications on the future of our nation that it cannot be ignored or delayed. National security, the economic future of our nation, and the very core of our identity as the USA are all at stake.

Sher: “If elected, how do you plan to assist your district in ways your opponent has not?”

Rick: “I will continue to work on tax reforms and other pro growth policies that foster the development of small business opportunities. Here, as in many other parts of our nation health care costs that employers must bear must be addressed. My opponent has voted against associated health plans and other measures that lower the cost of health care coverage for employers. He is an advocate for universal health care, and yet he stands against measures such as malpractice reform, health savings accounts, and many other measures that would lower the cost of health care and transform the health care industry into the 21st century.

“He prefers to attempt to modify a system that is antiquated, grossly bureaucratic, and is akin to placing a band aid on a hemorrhaging patient. I will also work towards eliminating wasteful spending and pork barrel politics that are draining our resources. If we can rid our government of these wasteful policies, then fully funding proven successful programs such as No Child Left Behind and reducing the deficit will be achievable.”

Sher: “Thank you, Rick. I appreciate both your time and your comprehensive manner in addressing and answering my questions.”

Rick’s website:

Sher Zieve

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Biography - Sher Zieve

Sher Zieve is a long-time syndicated columnist who generally writes columns of a politically Conservative and Constitutional nature. She also interviews notable people with an interesting and/or newsworthy story to tell. These include politicians, writers, activists and others in the news. Her work has been and continues to be carried by both national and international publications. Sher appears regularly on national talk shows.

Read other commentaries by Sher Zieve.

Copyright © 2006 by Sher Zieve
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