4th District Congressional Candidates Differ Over Role of Government

Oct 14, 2014

Candidates for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Senate challenger Tom Cotton presented starkly different governing philosophies at a debate Tuesday hosted by AETN. The rural 4th district contains much of south and west Arkansas and stretches far into the northwest part of the state.

In closing remarks, Republican State Representative Bruce Westerman identified removing unwanted federal laws as a fundamental theme at the center of his beliefs.

“What I’ve heard loud and clear from my constituents is that they’re tired of the hassles from the federal government. They want less hassles and more freedom to live their lives,” said Westerman.

While Westerman articulated government as a problem for development Democrat James Lee Witt, appointed director of FEMA by former President Bill Clinton, said the struggling 4th district would benefit from the government backing programs such as workforce training.

“9.4 percent unemployment, poverty rate the highest in the state of Arkansas. We have to get our young people out of high school into trade jobs…I think we can do this,” said Witt.

Libertarian Ken Hamilton, who utilized religious imagery throughout the debate, closed by assailing the value of the dollar. Hamilton called for the dollar to be tied to gold and re-appropriated the refrain of William Jennings Bryan's famous 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech.

“How much longer will you continue to allow the federal reserve banking cartel and the Republican and Democratic enablers in Washington to crucify you upon a cross of fiat paper currency?” asked Hamilton.

AETN is hosting debates for a range of statewide offices this week.