Per­due trum­pets his busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence to fo­cus on econ­omy

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

Tout­ing his busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence and dis­miss­ing his op­po­nent as a “ca­reer politi­cian,” Repub­li­can U.S. Se­nate can­di­date David Per­due told the News he’s bet­ter equipped to help the econ­omy in Rock­dale and the en­tire coun­try.

A for­mer CEO of Dol­lar Gen­eral and Ree­bok, Per­due is com­pet­ing with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston in the July 22 runoff for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion in this fall’s Se­nate race. The win­ner will face Demo­crat Michelle Nunn and Lib­er­tar­ian Amanda Swaf­ford in the fi­nal elec­tion.

“What pulled me into this race is, I be­lieve we have a full-blown eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial cri­sis,” said Per­due, who has never run for of­fice be­fore. “The prob­lem is, in the United States Se­nate, there are only about 20 people with real busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m [run­ning] against the poster child of a ca­reer politi­cian.”

His two main agen­das as se­na­tor would be in­sti­tut­ing Con­gres­sional term lim­its and tack­ling the na­tional “debt cri­sis.”

“The Found­ing Fa­thers never imag­ined the rise of ca­reer politi­cians,” Per­due said, say­ing the lack of term lim­its gives lob­by­ists and spe­cial in­ter­ests too much in­flu­ence over leg­is­la­tors. “It re­ally does dis­tort the pri­or­i­ties and sense of ur­gency.”

As for the na­tional debt, he fo­cuses on “re­duc­ing spend­ing and get­ting the econ­omy go­ing.” He claimed there are 480 “re­dun­dant federal agencies” that are “low-hang­ing fruit” to cut spend­ing on.

“Let’s take the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion as an ex­am­ple,” Per­due said. It spends over $70 bil­lion a year, he said, “and yet the re­sults we’re see­ing are not ac­cept­able. And this is not par­ti­san. We’re talk­ing about both sides here.”

As a busi­ness­man, he said, he views the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion as a cor­po­rate di­vi­sion that is un­der­per­form­ing and should be “de­funded” and fixed. More ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing de­ci­sions should be made at the lo­cal level, he said.

Like out­go­ing Sen. Saxby Cham­b­liss, Per­due is a sup­port of the “FairTax,” a pro­posal to re­place federal in­come and pay­roll taxes with a large flat sales tax on all goods and ser­vices. Ad­mit­ting he knew lit­tle about the FairTax be­fore the race, Per­due said he now be­lieves it would help in­dus­tries in places such as Rock­dale.

The cur­rent tax code “has cre­ated an un­level play­ing field for our man­u­fac­tur­ers,” he said. “We have the high­est cor­po­rate tax rate in the world…It puts our man­u­fac­tur­ers at a great dis­ad­van­tage. I be­lieve [the FairTax] can make a huge dif­fer­ence in our econ­omy.”

Per­due’s plat­form in­cludes strong sup­port for gun own­er­ship rights. But he de­clined to com­ment on Rock­dale’s on­go­ing Sec­ond Amend­ment con­tro­versy over a new state law al­low­ing guns to be car­ried into un­se­cured govern­ment build­ings.

“I’m a purist” on the Sec­ond Amend­ment, he said, not­ing the Found­ing Fa­thers placed gun rights im­me­di­ately af­ter the free­doms of speech and re­li­gion in the Bill of Rights. “I’m go­ing to go up [to Wash­ing­ton] and fight for that.”

“I’m proud to be from a state that has passed one of the most com­pre­hen­sive gun bills in the coun­try,” he said, re­fer­ring to Ge­or­gia’s re­cent new gun laws. But he re­peat­edly de­clined to com­ment specif­i­cally about the guns in govern­ment build­ings part of that pack­age, call­ing it a “state is­sue” that it would be “ir­re­spon­si­ble” for a federal of­fice-seeker to com­ment on.

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