Excerpts from interview with U.S. Senate candidate

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    NewsNet Services

    Editor’s note: On Friday, Aug. 25, NewsNet interviewed Scott Howell, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator against incumbent Orrin Hatch.

    The following is a selection of excerpts from that interview, including Howell’s statements about being a Democrat in Utah and important issues in the campaign.”

    On being a Democrat in Utah

    “Is it a bad thing to be a Democrat? In reality, it is not. It is at the head of Democracy to have a healthy two party system, because what it breeds is competition. And when you have competition, you become a better private provider, you become a better consumer … so I’ve often said forget the stigma of a Democrat of a Republican, but think about the more important thing of open debate and open forum where you have competition.”

    Howell on Abortion

    “My position on abortion really has to do with how I feel, and what my faith has led me to believe.

    “The pro-choice people call me pro-life, and the pro-life people call me pro-choice. … The reason the pro-choice people call me pro-life is because I don’t agree with abortion anytime, anywhere, anyplace, for any reason.

    “The reason that the pro-life people call me pro-choice is because I think in the case of rape, incest, health and life of the mother, that that ought to be a viable option.

    “My own personal feeling is, I know so many people who want to adopt babies, that I’ve always said that should be the No. 1, first alternative.”

    Howell on politics

    “I really believe more than politics or parties, I believe in people; and you have to vote for your conscience, your constituents, and the constitution. That’s where I come up with what I vote for.”

    Howell on public policy

    “I’ve always looked at public policy as doing the right things for the right reasons at the right time. Not being political, not trying to get people to vote for me, but to find out what I can do to help. That’s the great power about public policy.

    “Most of my constituents are not far left or far right, they want a third way. They want this moderation. If I can help them without having to change the whole system or go back and eradicate the government, that is what they want.

    “On the scale, I would say that I’m right in the middle. There are some issues that I’m probably far to the right, some issues that I’m somewhat to the left, but overall, I would say that my spectrum, my genre would be right in the middle.”

    Howell on education

    “Short of ecclesiastical doctrine, the best thing we can do for the next generation … is give them a quality education.”

    “I am an adamant believer that quality education gives you an opportunity to compete in a global society.

    “Now I will tell you this: I work for IBM. I’ve been there 23 years. We need the best and brightest kids that we can find, and unfortunately, America is not producing what we need. We are turning a lot to India and other countries who have great math/science skills.

    “We have the opportunity to continue to be the technology leaders of the world. But I’ll tell you, if we don’t jump on this and make sure that our kids have an opportunity to learn and to have all the skills, we won’t be the preeminent, dominant country in the world.

    “That’s something that I worry about a lot. And it all starts in preschool and in lifelong learning skills.”

    Howell on health care

    “Universal Access is this: not socialized medicine, but giving the opportunity to all Americans to buy affordable health care plans that give them the most basic of coverage, so when there is an emergency, that they have paid into it and they have some coverage.

    “Now this plan that I support calls for HMOs, physicians, insurance companies and government to come together under a single policy that everyone can buy, that affordable under your income.

    “Socialized medicine does not work, because it doesn’t call for responsibility on the behalf of the person. They think they all get it free, and that’s not right. That’s not an incentive; that’s not capitalism. So what we’re saying is that the access to quality health care is the key to success.

    “I would never support socialized medicine. I just don’t believe it.”

    Howell on the campaign

    “We’re in this race to win. This vote will be very critical to the citizens of the state of Utah. What they will have to decide is if they are going to vote for the past or they are going to vote for the future.

    “You either vote for the past or vote for the future, and that’s as simple as it is. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent.

    “My opponent has done great things. I mean, in 24 years you would hope he would do great things. But I truly believe that it is time to release him with a vote of thanks.”

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