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Election 2000 Q&A

Candidates Respond
Idaho Mountain Express - November 1, 2000

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives Second District (Idaho)

Q. What is you stance on breaching the four lower Snake River dams in an attempt to help salmon populations make a comeback, and, regardless of your stance on breaching, where do you predict salmon populations will be 20 years from now?

Donovan Bramwell(Libertarian) Age 47
Those dams represent a blatant exmple of big government at its worst, spending taxypayer dollars to benefit a few narrow special interests, while ignoring the legitimate claims of those who hold a stake in the salmon. People who advocate further study do so dishonestly, for financial or political reasons. Breach the dams! Mitigate economic consequences to Lewiston, etc. Leave the concrete structures of the dams in place, as monuments to the arrogance of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Mike Simpson(Republican) Age 50
Until we have exhausted all efforts at mitigation such as habitat improvement, predator control, bypass, etc., we should not chose an irreversible course such as dam breaching that may provide speculative benefits when we know there will be definite economic losses. As for salmon numbers, I believe that we're seeing strong returns this year in part due to more favorable ocean conditions. With more favorable ocean conditions and continued work at mitigation strategies we should see stronger, healthier runs.

Craig Williams(Democrat) Age 50
We should implement dam breaching now. In the meantime I want the federal government to provide the mitigation funds they promised when the dams were built. This means building an interstate highway and upgrading rail facilities between Lewiston and Pasco, and finalizing the law to protect Idaho's agricultural water when the dams finally come down. Failure on our part now will result in the spring Chinook falling below recovery levels in the next 20 years, with other species following.

Q. What is the most important issue facing Idaho that needs attention in Congress? How will you act on this issue?

Donovan Bramwell(Libertarian) Age 47
Saving the salmon, breaching the dams. Consider: The federal courts will deploy the Endangered Species Act to lock up and shut down central Idaho (no fishing, floating, camping, logging, ranching, mining) and to confiscate eastern Idaho's irrigation water -- while the dams are the real problem. This outcome will be the fault of the Idaho politicians who insist on keeping the dams in place. Only Congress can authorize breaching. I will be a passionate advocate for Idaho's salmon.

Mike Simpson(Republican) Age 50
Congress must address the upcoming fiscal crisis in the Social Security system. We must keep the promises we've made to Idaon and our nation's senior citizens -- no senior citizen will lose one dollar of benefit -- but we must face the fact that the system will be broke when younger workers retire if we don't have the political courage to make some changes to the system. I support allowing younger workers to control a portion of their own retirement accounts.

Craig Williams(Democrat) Age 50
Your parents and grandparents helped create Idaho's prosperity. But many retired just as the economic boom started and are now living on fixed incomes. The Republican plan will exclude them from the wealth they helped create, giving it instead to the richest one percent. Let's use our prosperity to save social security, pay off the national debt, provide seniors with voluntary affordable health care and prescription drug programs and increase the coverage of CHIP to include every child in Idaho.

Related Pages on this site:
Repeating the Truth about Salmon & Dams
Remove Dams to Restore Idaho's Salmon
Killing the Salmon: Only the Government

Candidates Respond
Election 2000 Q&A
Idaho Mountain Express November 1, 2000

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