Coburn speaks to Cimarron County voters

by Mike Barnes, correspondent

Tom Coburn, the Republican candidate for the US Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Don Nichols, addressed and took questions from about forty citizens Wednesday morning at the PTSI building. Coburn was joined by Congressman Gus Blackwell and Senator Owen Laughlin. Coburn defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys and corporation commissioner Bob Anthony in the primary, and will face Democrat Brad Carson in November.

Dr. Coburn is a general practitioner from Muskogee who claims to have delivered over four thousand babies. He is fifty-six years old and has beaten cancer twice. He served in a medical mission in Iraq during the first Gulf war. He proudly declared his non-partisanship and points out that he was elected to three terms as a conservative Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in a district that is 82 percent Democratic.

The candidate spoke on a number of issues and autographed copies of his book “A Breach of Trust”. Coburn said his main concern is the debt being passed on to our children and grandchildren, especially in the areas of social security and Medicare.

He said, “The only people who think we can't balance the budget are in Washington and are career politicians”.

Coburn is known, and sometimes criticized, for refusing special funding for so-called “pork” projects for his district. He referred to one such offer of ten million dollars as a “bribe” for his vote.

He also addressed the need to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Solutions he mentioned were more domestic exploration, expanded nuclear power programs, and expanded renewable energy sources.

He said he supports the appointment of Porter Goss as CIA director. —He supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. —He would have reluctantly supported the Patriot Act, even though he has some “serious concerns” with some sections of it. He said any bill that restricts our liberties should require a two-thirds vote of Congress instead of a simple majority. —He does not support an amnesty program for illegal aliens, but does support a guest worker program, and spoke at some length about the illegal immigrant and border problems. He said we have the technology to secure our borders if we would employ it. He said we must establish English as our “common language”.

He discussed how he favors free trade, but said the international trade agreements we have are not really free due to the manipulation of artificial valuations of currency by our trade partners to make foreign goods cheaper.—Coburn stated his support for agriculture and said his family was in the cattle business. His steady theme of government waste extended also to agriculture programs in top-heavy administration and excessive bureaucracy. He said “Ag is our second greatest export after interest payments to other countries on loans we have from them. He said he thought the Ten Commandants should be displayed in government buildings. He advocates fewer government regulations. He said the United Nations will not even enforce it's own rules and has no courage. According to staffer Matt Ball, Coburn is “the staunchest pro-lifer there is” and his opponent's claims about Coburn supporting abortion are “ludicrous”. Coburn said he thinks Senator Inhofe's transportation bill will pass this year in spite of the standoff with the White House over the amount of funding and that the Port to Plains project will be funded. He recommended several books on government to the audience.

Coburn used several catch phrases during his talk like “policy above politics”, and “real conservative, not just in name only”, and “we shouldn't give up freedoms for security”. He said he's a strong supporter of term limits, and will serve no more than two terms if elected.

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