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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Republican Senate Candidate Joel Dykstra on KELO Forum

KELO held a forum tonight for the U.S. Senate candidates, Republican Joel Dykstra and incumbent Democrat Senator Tim Johnson.

Senator Tim Johnson was invited and had stated he would be there, but at the last minute claimed he had to be in Washington for a banking committee meeting. However, that meeting isn't until Thursday.

KELO anchor Angela Kennecke asked Dykstra about how he has dealt with the unusual challenges Senator Johnson's health problems have presented this campaign season. Dykstra said that Senator Johnson made a decision that he's well enough to serve, and by that same token he should be up to doing what it takes to campaign.

(Unfortunately, the Johnson campaign has been "dodge," "duck" and "stonewall.")

Asked about what could be done to help the average South Dakotan, given the current economic climate, Dykstra said we needed to keep down the kind of taxes proposed by Barack Obama and keep the engine of our economy unencumbered. He said the "grow up theory" of economics means people taking responsibility for their own lives, including starting their own businesses and ending up employing others.

Dykstra said he wanted to work with people who are fiscally conservative regardless of their party affiliation, and that he may not always agree with George W. Bush or John McCain. He said keeping spending down and being fiscally responsible is more important.

On foreign policy and the war on terrorism, he said we should and will focus more on Afghanistan in the future. He said the surge in Iraq has worked and has put us in a place where it is internationally recognized that America can be counted on. Dykstra said if we had left Iraq last year as many Democrats wanted, our credibility would have been hurt. He said we must ensure we leave behind a stable nation that can stand on it's own two feet.

Dykstra said Afghanistan is a different country with different dynamics, and different approaches would be required to finish the job there. He said the infrastructure requirements will be greater there to leave the country in a stable place.

On social security, Dykstra said that whatever is done to save Social Security, those who are reaching retirement age now, plus veterans, need to receive what they've been promised. For future generations, however, changes will be needed. Many people are looking at private savings accounts to fill the gap.

On health insurance, Dykstra said he had lived in England and Italy during his previous employment under government health care systems, and saw first hand that they do not work. He said competition is key to reforming our system. Dykstra said we know government health care doesn't work, but private market solutions can fix our system with more competition, multi-state options, and getting people into existing programs.

When asked about the abortion ban, Dykstra said he has always been very strongly pro-life. He said his daughter is an example of someone who could have been aborted, yet her life has immeasurable value. He said we need to get back to the place where the states are making these decisions themselves.

Dykstra said when looking at an unborn life, we're looking at someone who has a heartbeat and brainwaves at only a few weeks development.

It was a good interview and as always Dykstra proved ready with clear, articulate answers.

It's too bad Senator Johnson chose not to be there as well.


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