Who is 42nd congressional district candidate Lee McGroarty?

On Saturday, March 13th, after the local Rush Limbaugh fan club breakfast at the Casta Del Sol golf course, I sat down with Inland Empire businessman Lee McGroarty to discuss his campaign for Congress in the 42nd CD.  This is part one of two. The second report will cover foreign policy and immigration issues and close with some general questions.

Mr. McGroarty and I previously met when he came to Mission Viejo during the final days of the Mayor MacLean recall and most recently at a SOC 912 meeting in San Juan Capistrano.

The 42th Congressional District of CA has a population of 640,000. The District includes all of Brea, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, La Habra, La Habra Heights, Mission Viejo, RSM and parts of Anaheim, Placentia, Rowland Heights and Whittier.

Demographics of the District report the population made up of roughly 24% Latino, 18% Asian, 3% black and the balance white.
 (R) Gary Miller is the current 42th CD incumbent.

Lee. As you enter the 42th CD GOP Primary fray you will need to defeat 6 term incumbent Gary Miller and challenger Philip Liberatore, a La Mirada CPA.

Please answer the following random questions that were not discussed with you prior to interview:

LG What prompted you to enter this Congressional race to unseat Gary Miller?

LM I voted for congressman Miller many times. And I’ve said before in different group meetings and speeches that my business and my background is investments, finance, and retirement plans. I own a company called Retire America.I’m a little bit different than most financial advisors. I don’t like averages over time as to how an investment has performed. I look at how well you’re investment did in a good year or a bad year. When I look at Congressman Miller I evaluate him in that way. And in 2008, when it mattered most, when the economy literally came apart at the seems, our economy went off the cliff.

Where was our congressman? How did he vote on the most important legislation of my generation? Which was really the Bailouts. The first one being the housing bailout a $300 billion Bill sponsored by Barney Frank. I found out that congressman Miller was the only Republican in the state of California to vote for that Bailout.

That led to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being Bailed out. Than came the Tort bailouts.

What was fascinating was reading a quote from Congressman Miller that 150:1 ratio of calls coming into his office begging him “do not to vote for this bill” and than saying this is the hardest vote I have ever done. But the people in my district, calling in, just don’t understand the complexities of what is going on. And that right there said to me that he just doesn’t get it.

This is a very affluent district. A very conservative district. It’s made up of many business owners. Small, medium and large. You can’t have a situation where a congressman says you just don’t understand the complexities. They built California.

Congressman Miller, in my opinion, understood the political realities. Democrats can’t win in this District. It’s to conservative a district. In the last 4 elections, in the Republican primaries, he had zero challengers. So he figured well it’s 2008, by the time 2010 comes around I will get reelected. By the time 2010 comes around he will be challenged. Whether its myself or Liberatore or anyone else, he will be challenged.

LG What are your biggest concerns for our Country?

LM Again. Our spending. Our government is not paying attention to the people. The movement of the Tea Parties and the Conservative Parties and things like that is calling Americans saying enough is enough if parties are not going to listen to us. We’re going to take our country back. The problem is I don’t think people know how to take our country back The way to do that is in the primaries. Get the people out who put us in this mess. Start with people in your own party. We must control our debt.
Debt does not create opportunity

LG Perhaps the biggest challenge today is unemployment. What suggestions can you propose to put Americans back to work?

LM Well I’ve talked quite a bit about three main issues. Areas I would focus in right away. The first one is corporate taxes. In the free world the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Where president Obama doesn’t think we’ve been taxed enough. I would look at slashing corporate taxes as much as 50%. What that would do is automatically say to business there is an environment to take risk.

The second thing I would do is There is an area where we can put capital out there I would focus on capital gains and dividend income. Where president Obama is trying to raise Capital Gains to 15 or 20% I would slash them down to 5 or 7.5%.
President Obama is trying to get back to the good old days of president Clinton.

There are trillions and trillions of dollars sitting in money market funds around the world getting zero percent or very little. That money is not going to build capital. You could get that money back into the capital markets of the US. Do it through incentives by lowering the tax rate. You will see that money flood in the capital markets will provide that capital and businesses will get that capital and will explode.

You won’t have to worry about banks at that point. You’ll have the capital markets be able to provide that capital.
LG With your background in financial services, should our Federal tax system be revised. And if so, what changes would you promote?

LM There is only one. That would be a complete overhaul and that would be to get a Fair Tax System. My focus would be to target a Fair Tax system. I met with the Fair Tax organization. My concern to them was how do you transition from a progressive tax system to a Fair Tax system?  They have some wonderful ideas that I am studying now.

LG Should Sec. of Treasury Timothy Geithner be investigated for his role at the New York Fed. in connection to AIG nondisclosure?

LM Yes. Absolutely I have no problem answering that question. There are sweetheart deals that were made with Wall Street, particularly with AIG. I would say actually with Goldman Sachs as well.

Geithner should have recused himself for Treasurer nominee because he had his hands in the cookie jar. He is the one who made the sweetheart deals.

Once the government put that money out there, there should have been strict restrictions from Congress to make sure
that we got the money back and there was no sweetheart deal. Goldman Sachs got paid off because of debt that AIG owed Goldman Sachs. Part of that bailout was to pay off Goldman Sachs. You have to ask yourself why. Paulson and Geithner were in that together and frankly the concern I have is the Federal Reserve.

LG President Obama may not extend the phase out of the “death tax.” HR4145, the Death Tax Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families and Small Business, while repealed for 2010 it will be reinstated next year. Would you vote to block that reinstatement?

LM There should be no estate tax. We’ve earned that money and paid taxes on that money now for small businesses like farmers who have all their capital tied up into that business now, all of a sudden, families and beneficiaries have to sell off.
To fund the government, to pay the government makes no sense whatsoever. This is not only a regressive tax, it’s a criminal tax.

LG What is your position on the universal health care plan currently being promoted by president Obama?

LM Obamacare needs to be scrapped. However we must focus in on the issues with health care. I met with the president of the Chamber of Commerce in our district. He asked me about health care, and I said when I see my clients–corporations I do business with, tell me that they may have to cut out their 401K matching because health care in going up another 20%. At some point, businesses have to say at what point when does it become too costly for us to provide this benefit.
Health care Is something we have to address. I like some of the stances the Republican Party has put out such as crossing state lines but I think the biggest one is malpractice–focus on the term malpractice rather than Tort reform because most people have no idea what a Tort is. Start talking plainly to people. Get doctors and patients back to where they make decisions rather than insurance companies or the government. Frankly the insurance companies have their own issues.

I have a lot of faith in doctors. They are small business people. They wake up every day and when all of a sudden they look and say it’s not worth it to go to work today because I’m going to be sued today when I just want to do my job. We have to focus in on health care, but not this health care.

LG What changes, if any, would you propose relating to our Homeland Security?

LM For one I would like to see our Homeland Security scrapped. I think it’s too big. It’s a monstrosity. Consolidate organizations. No one knows what’s going on.

The second thing is that the US must stop apologizing for itself and for its position in the world whether we like it or not. We are the leader in the world. Despised by certain people yet we are the first person they call for help.

We must stop apologizing. We must keep our position around the world as strong as possible. That means making sure we back up our military and give them the tools to do the job

LG As a donor state would you lobby for Grant funds/ear marks? And if so, what would be your top three priorities for said funds?

LM No on earmarks. I look at many issues as being state driven. If the people of the state of California feel that’s a necessity they will push their politicians locally and at the state level. I will not be focusing in on local issues.

LG What role should government have in our education system?

LM Speaking on the Federal side None. The Dept of Educ needs to be done away with. In the Constitution it was the states controlling education. They were the ones that put forth education. It’s not the Federal government.

I understand standards like Head Start and No Child Left Behind. It must be brought back to the state and local level. They understand their kids and their community. Education will flourish–and you have to look at the unions. It will be difficult to change anything, especially here in CA

LG Do you support a voucher system?

LM I would, from the standpoint we pay tax dollars into a system that money goes to. An education system that is not effective. We don’t need to throw money into an ineffective system so we should be able to take that money out and put it into a new system, especially in inner cities.

I went to Catholic school in Phil. Not because I was Catholic. The local public schools were in shambles.
Someone asked me the other day you know we are going to expand from 20 to 30 kids in the classroom. I don’t know how the kids will learn? When I went to school there were 50 kids in the classroom. We had a nun that made sure than none of us were out of line. Where did we go from teachers not being able to control a classroom.

LG As your children attend public schools what’s your position on Charter schools?

LM I’m a supporter of charter schools. If that’s the will of the people for that particular community, it must be community based. Again. If that’s the direction they want to go I’ll leave it up to the communities.

LG Do you support the Second Amendment?

LM Absolutely

LG What’s your position on government “takings” of private property for private use when the owner does not wish to sell?

LM Its Unconstitutional Eminent Domain was never intended to take away from the private sector

LG How do you feel about off-shore drilling?

LM Off-shore drilling is not only an energy issue, it is a national security issue. We have the resources right here in the US. We must use our own resources. I am completely in favor of it.

LG Do you support expanding our nuclear energy to meet future energy needs?

LM Absolutely. Nuclear is clean technology. It will actually, I think, satisfy the environmentalists as well as open opportunities for new technology going into the future. I think nuclear is that key.

LG Do you support or oppose Prop 8 that is now being debated in the courts?

LM I am against gay marriage. Make sure that gay marriage does not become the law in CA and spreading around the rest of the country like wildfire. People need to stand up. This is a country based upon on traditional values and gay marriage is not a traditional value.

LG What is your position on abortion?

LM I am pro-life but I take a little bit different tact. I look at the baby in the womb as something that we have to look at. Again, as a traditionalist I looked at what we must protect, that individual and the exceptions for rape incest and welfare of the mother. Though it’s nice to carve out certain exceptions but there shouldn’t be exceptions. I’m not a fanatic when it comes to this. If we’re going to protect life, than let’s protect life, let’s not come up with exceptions because it makes us feel good.

LG What should be done with all of the terrorists now being held in Gitmo?

LM We are to keep Guantanamo Bay open and again we must not apologize for it being there.

LG One major policy currently off the radar screens of late is the “Employee Free Choice Act” also known as “card-check.” This legislation would impact private-ballot elections. As a member of Congress, how would you vote on that proposed legislation?

LM I would vehemently oppose anything to where it takes the will of the people out of the world of voting. That’s a private matter that should not be forced upon anyone

LG As we have a major water shortage in CA what are your thoughts on protecting delta smelt by compliance with the endangered species act that has created a dust bowl in Central, CA?

LM I am very concerned that the whole idea of trying to keep our economy clean has now been pushed to an Agenda. I think that’s why Republicans get a bad name. Every Republican I know cares about our environment. Cares about skies being clean, water being clean, but when you have interests of little fish pushed over people there is something wrong with that picture. I do believe its a state and local issue. The Federal government can override it with the Endangered Species Act but president Obama will not do that. So I actually support Devin Nunes and his Bill in congress now to force the hand of the EPA and I would put in a nice word for Congressman Miller. He is co-sponsor of that Bill and I support it.

LG What’s your thoughts about “global warming?”

LM its an issue that’s not an issue. Global warming is, whether its global warming or global cooling, is a cyclical trend over history and man made phenomena that’s being called global warming is just a pipe dream. It’s a focus to almost put us into One World Order and we are not to be subject to that.

Gilbert notes: 1. All of the above are actual comments from Lee that I recorded and transcribed. I have not paraphrased any of his answers. Hopefully I have not made any errors in the candidates responses.

2. Part two, dealing with Foreign Policy, Immigration and Misc. questions to be posted as time permits.

Feel free to check out Candidate McGroarty ‘s web site: www.mcgroartyforcongress.com

About Larry Gilbert