By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Republican US Senate candidate Dom Gentile spoke with The Alabama Political Reporter (APR) about a variety of policy issues likely to come before the Senate.
APR : the VA scandal exposed the fact that most Federal employees can not be fired, even for incompetence. Should that change?
Gentile: Absolutely. 100 percent. They should have to follow the same rules and standards as an employee of a non-unionized company.
APR: Should veterans be allowed to receive their health care from doctors and hospitals outside of the Veterans Healthcare system?
Gentile: Absolutely they should be given a health care coverage card that is good at any medical facility or doctor’s office anywhere in the country and even outside of the country.
APR: If the Assad government in Syria uses chemical weapons against civilians should the US send in American troops to overthrow the Assad regime?
Gentile: If a chemical weapons attack were made by Assad and it was confirmed then he would support whatever military response that the President thought appropriate. It would be the President’s decision however whether that meant toppling Assad or not.
APR: The President has discussed spending a $trillion on infrastructure needs. The National Budget deficit is $567 billion. Do you support the President’s infrastructure plan even if it means increasing the debt?
Gentile: I support the President’s infrastructure plan and I support paying for it by gutting government waste, including much of the IRS by going to a flat tax.
Gentile: I favor the infrastructure plan even if it means temporarily raising the deficit while reforms are being made.
APR: Would you support an amendment to the US Constitution declaring that life begins at conception and banning abortion across the United States?
APR: Do you support a bill demanding that all 50 states honor the concealed carry permits of every other state? Reciprocity?
APR: Russian armed forces occupied Sevastopol and the Crimea and have supported pro-Russia militias across much of Eastern Ukraine. Russian intelligence agencies have also been accused of hacking DNC computers and attempting to influence the 2016 US election. Do you support expanding sanctions against Russia?
Gentile: Yes. Russia has proven that they are a menace and proven that they are not to be trusted. They did try to interfere in our election and I support the strongest possible sanctions against Russia.
APR: Do you support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords on the climate?
Gentile: Yes. I favor the US being a leader on the environment, but the Paris Accords were a bad deal.
Gentile: I spent a lot of time in China and in Beijing. You can look out of your hotel room and not be able to be able to see the next hotel for the smog and pollution. Right now China and India are the biggest polluters in the world and the Paris Accord did not require them to do anything about it for several years. I favor improving the environment for the next generation but I do not feel that the Paris Accord was a good deal for the United States.
APR: If North Korea were to successfully launch a nuclear warhead at the United States, would you support the US retaliating with our own nuclear counter strike?
Gentile: Yes, you would have no choice if they hit the US with a nuclear weapon. The time to strike is actually when they put a nuclear weapon on a launch pad.
APR: Would you support raising taxes on upper income earners if it were part of a broader package to reform the tax code and end the budget deficit?
Gentile: No. My plan is to have an across the board flat tax of 20 percent, except for families making less than $30,000 where the tax burden would approach zero.” I also favor lowering the corporate tax rate and allowing companies to repatriate their offshore profits. If we allowed that money to come back into the United States, it would provide an economic boom.
APR: You have supported allowing the state’s to legalize medical marijuana. Is there a danger of having 50 states with fifty different drug policies?
Gentile: Yes, there is a danger. The FDA and DEA should reclassify medical marijuana. Currently it is a class one drug. I think medical marijuana should be legal in all the states. The states should decide how to distribute it, whether through pharmacies or other means.
I recently talked with a friend whose son has cerebral palsy. The boy said that after taking medical marijuana for the first time I was able to touch the wall and I could scratch the itch on my knee. Can you imagine not being able to move your arm to scratch yourself. The medical benefits of legalizing medical marijuana are many and the downsides are almost none.
APR: If the people of Puerto Rico vote to apply for statehood in their current referendum, would you support of oppose making the island territory of 3.4 million people a state?
Gentile: I would oppose it. The only reason they are proposing this now is the financial mess that they are in, and they want the US to bail them out for all the debts they are in. I would only consider Puerto Rican statehood in the future once they dealt with their economic mess.
APR: The F35 fighter has failed to achieve some of the cost and performance objectives set by the Pentagon. Should we cut short the ambitious orders for the new aircraft and instead order less costly F16s, A10s, and F/A-18s?
Gentile: No we should not. We should continue to push the technological envelope and should not revert to outdated technology. We should let the military work through its issues with its venders. The US military should always have the best equipment and technology in the world.
The special major party primaries are on August 15, The Special General Election is on December 12.