OF THE JOURNAL STAR
PEORIA HEIGHTS — Government needs a clean break from corruption and bitter partisanship and needs to be refreshed with new leaders championing fundamental conservative principles in Congress, said state Rep. Aaron Schock.
"I seek to become a member of Congress to resolutely deal with the pressing challenges right in front of us today," Schock said. "But I also intend to be a congressman focused on fulfilling a vision of where our nation ought to be to avoid catastrophic problems that are on the path ahead if we fail to act now."
Schock lauded the recent military surge in Iraq, but labeled the post-invasion period "poorly managed," arguing more troop strength was needed.
He also noted a difference between security issues and political problems, which he said cannot be solved with military force.
"We need a commensurate political surge, but our vital national security requires unconditional victory and we have to be resolute enough to see it through," Schock said, adding the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran towers over problems in Iraq.
If elected, Schock said he would propose a bill to provide U.S. aid to "freedom fighters" inside Iran until the country stops its nuclear arms program and stops funding Hezbollah in the Middle East. Facilitating the people’s overthrow of the Iranian regime as in the Soviet Union, Ethiopia and Nicaragua, would be done without the need for U.S. troops, Schock said.
He called foreign relations outdated and said more communication is needed with the people of other nations, not necessarily government leaders. "Governments come and go, but the people and their views endure," Schock said.
Until the U.S. transitions to mass-produced sustainable energy such as solar and hydrogen power, ensuring an adequate and independent energy supply must be accomplished through other sources including nuclear power, domestic oil and gas drilling offshore, and wind, hydroelectric and clean coal power plants, Schock said.
If elected, he said he would sponsor a bill to eliminate federal taxes on alternative, renewable energy production.
He also said federal medical malpractice reform, class action lawsuit revisions and tort reform for businesses are needed to rein in unnecessary lawsuits. For economic growth, low marginal tax rates are imperative.
"The lowest possible taxes on work, saving, investment, entrepreneurial risk, achievement, success and excellence are necessary for optimal economic growth," Schock said. "Simultaneously, we cannot confuse compassion with unnecessary subsidizing of idleness, dependency, debt, welfare and mediocrity."
More than 100 people attended Saturday’s theatrical rally at Peoria Heights Village Hall that also featured more than a dozen officials who support Schock. He held a similar event in Springfield.
Schock is seeking the GOP nomination in the Feb. 5 primary against challengers Jim McConoughey, CEO of the Heartland Partnership, and John Morris, vice president for development for WTVP-TV, Channel 47.
Schock, R-Peoria, outlined his positions on the Iraq war, foreign relations, immigration, education, the economy and energy Saturday during his official announcement that he’s seeking the Republican nomination for the 18th Congressional District seat. He also outlined a few bills he would propose on those issues.
BY KAREN McDONALD