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May 5, 2008

Virginia 8th District GOP Primary: An Interview with Mark Ellmore


The race for the Virginia 8th District congressional seat has seen two candidates vying for the Republican nomination and the opportunity to unseat nine-term Democratic Congressman Jim Moran. This week, I interview one of the candidates, Mark Ellmore. My interview with his opponent, Amit Singh, was published last Monday. The primary is on June 10.


Paul Ibrahim (P.I.): Mr. Ellmore, thank you for doing this interview. Can you, in one sentence, explain why you are running for Congress?


Mark Ellmore (M.E.): I am running for Congress because our community is in desperate need for new invigorated leadership, and I feel I am the best candidate to fulfill the needs of our constituency.


P.I.: What would you say is the single biggest disservice Congressman Jim Moran has done the Virginia 8th District, and how would you undo it?


M.E.: His inflammatory comments regarding our military efforts, the president and various ethnic groups in our community. Mr. Moran’s display of character in the House of Representatives has not been beneficial to his constituents and demonstrates the need for a new congressman to represent our people.


P.I.: Would Amit Singh, your opponent, be a suitable replacement for Congressman Jim Moran? Would you support him if he is nominated?


M.E.: I do not feel that Mr. Singh would be suitable as he has no connections to the community. He just recently entered the race with no prior experience serving the community. Mr. Singh does not have the real-life professional experience to understand and respond to the needs of the constituents as I do. Yes, I will always support our party’s nominee.


P.I.: This race has been described as “Ron Paul v. Mike Huckabee,” a reference to your similarities to Governor Huckabee and Amit Singh’s to Representative Paul. Do you take that as a compliment? Why or why not?


M.E.: I admire Dr. Paul and Governor Huckabee. I have met Dr. Paul and appreciate his message and I am a supporter of individual liberties. I have learned a great deal from Gov. Huckabee and feel that his strengths are to be admired as well. Both are wonderful servants of the people that I can only hope to one day be as successful they are.


P.I.: Your web site used to state that you support “expanding” Medicare and health care, but no longer does so. Have you changed your mind, and if not, what do you mean by “expanding?”


M.E.: My solution to health care remains the same. I do not support the SCHIP in its current form and oppose socialized health care. I do support reforming Medicare and limiting frivolous law suits that spike insurance costs.


P.I.: What parts of SCHIP in its current form do you disagree with?


M.E.: I believe that SCHIP in its current form does not fulfill its intended purpose. The language of the bill made the program available to more than just the poorest children who need our assistance the most.


P.I.: Can you expand on how you would want to reform Medicare?


M.E.: I support reform for the health care system in general. The first and most important thing is to keep our seniors and other citizens that already rely on health care safe while conducting business in the most efficient and productive way possible. We also need to protect our doctors from frivolous lawsuits that drive up insurance costs.


P.I.: There have been some questions about your stance on border security. Would you support building a wall along the border, a virtual fence or a combination of both?


M.E.: I have always been an ardent supporter of constructing a fence along the border. A border fence is the most practical solution and a good start at solving the illegal immigration crisis.


P.I.: OK, let’s move on to economics. What do you believe is the proper role of government during financial crises? What should the criteria for bailouts be, if any?


M.E.: I believe the roles should be limited. Only in cases of emergency like we have just experienced, or during the oil crisis in the late ’70s, or the S&L crisis of the early ’90s. Had the government not intervened in some cases it could have had catastrophic consequences. I do not want the government controlling or regulating every aspect of our economic lives and inhibiting our free market.


P.I.: Would you support a government bailout of either the homeowners or bankers involved in the mortgage crisis?


M.E.: In general, I do not support the bailout of bankers and homeowners. There are extenuating circumstances like the S&L crisis in the early ’90s where in limited ways I would support this type of assistance.


P.I.: Do you believe there should be a minimum wage?


M.E.: Yes.


P.I.: Amit Singh has signed the Citizens Against Government Waste’s “Earmark Reform Pledge.” Will do you do the same? If not, why not?


M.E.: Prior to his signing the CAGW pledge, I announced that I had been invited to the

Americans for Tax Reform meeting and signed the pledge of no new taxes. I stand for earmark reform as well.  


P.I.: What is your position on school choice?


M.E.: I support individual choice for schools. Parents know what is best for their family.


P.I.: We’ll conclude with a Virginia question. You have endorsed the Tysons Tunnel, while Amit Singh has said that the underground option would cost much more than elevated rail. What are the reasons for your position?


M.E.: The Tysons Tunnel project is the only solution that will adequately meet the needs of the future. The tunnel has the overwhelming support of the Northern Virginia business community.


P.I.: Thank you, Mr. Ellmore.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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