Debate: Massie to turn down health care; Webb-Edgington calls Obama 'dreadful' on Iran; Schumm touts regionalism

04/26/2012 06:37 PM

Thomas Massie, the Lewis County judge-executive, offered a new promise to turn down congressional benefits at Wednesday night’s 4th Congressional District Republican debate at Oldham County High School.

Massie already has taken a page from presidential candidate and U.S. Congressman Ron Paul’s book by pledging to reject a federal pension, if Massie is elected. However, Massie wouldn’t be able to do that because paying into the Federal Employees Retirement System is mandatory for members of Congress.

On Wednesday, Massie added health insurance to the list of benefits he would turn down. Take a look:

This wouldn’t be a first in Congress. Upon their election in 2010, Republicans Bobby Schilling of Illinois and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania turned down federal health benefits, according to the Atlantic.

Massie later said he wants to “fix the damage done by career politicians” and made it clear he didn’t mean just those of the opposite party.

Walt Schumm, one of two candidates from Oldham County, tailored his main message Wednesday night to his fellow residents of the Louisville suburbs.

With three candidates, including two of the front-runners, hailing from the most populous counties in Northern Kentucky, Schumm is clearly seeking to connect with the more than 22,800 registered Republicans in Oldham County, 10,800 from Shelby County and the new voters in eastern Jefferson County and northern Spencer County added to the 4th during the redistricting process.

State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Fort Wright continued to burnish her tough-talk image, particularly in response to a question on foreign policy. She called President Barack Obama’s administration “dreadful” on foreign affairs specifically for not being tough enough toward Iran.

On immigration, Webb-Edgington insisted she would oppose any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore largely stuck to his campaign script. He said reducing spending was a key priority but he said Congress must do so by protecting Medicare and Social Security for seniors.

Not all the candidates believe Medicare and Social Security are worth saving in any form. Tom Wurtz, a Fort Mitchell business consultant, says government shouldn’t be responsible for any health coverage or retirement assistance.

Marcus Carey, a lawyer from Owen County, said the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and called it a “power grab” by the government.

Brian Oerther, a teacher who lives in Oldham County, expanded on something he said on April 3 at the Oldham County Tea Party meeting. At the time he said he couldn’t decide between pushing for a flat tax or the fair tax. So at last night’s debate, he proposed the “Oerther Flat-Fair Tax,” although he didn’t explain what it is.

- CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this article did not make it clear that Massie could not turn down a congressional pension if elected.

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