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10 Questions For U.S. Senate Candidate Charlie Condon (UPDATED 4-17-04)
Jimmy Moore
April 17, 2004

South Carolina GOPUSA Exclusive reprinted here by permission.

Each of the candidates running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate on June 8th will be answering the following ten questions in a series of published interviews.

We have already heard from Charleston real estate developer Thomas Ravenel, 4th District Congressman Jim DeMint, construction and development businesswoman Orly Benny Davis, and former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley.

The fifth candidate featured in this series of exclusive interviews with the U.S. Senate candidates is former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon.

Candidate: Charlie Condon Marital Status: Married to his wife, Emily, and has 4 children Age: 50 Career Achievement: Elected in 1980 the Solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, becoming at the time the youngest solicitor ever elected in South Carolina. Political Experience: Elected Attorney General of South Carolina in 1994, becoming the first Republican Attorney General elected in the state since Reconstruction and served until January 2003. Ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002.

10 Questions For Charlie Condon

SC GOPUSA: Tell Republican voters in South Carolina why they should vote for you instead of the other excellent candidates running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.

CONDON: During this campaign, I have worked to present a detailed account of the substantive basis of my candidacy, as well as my experience as a former Attorney General of the State of South Carolina. In doing so, I hope that I have succeeded in communicating the following core policy agenda, which I offer as the basis on which primary voters should render their decision.

The great challenges confronting the United States are the war on terror and achieving robust and sustained levels of economic prosperity. I believe that these issues are inseparable: America will only be prosperous if our freedoms are secure, and waging a victorious war on terror requires the resources generated by a growing and dynamic economy.

I ask for the support of all South Carolinians who are seeking a U.S. Senator completely committed to these priorities and equipped with the experience to address them.

SC GOPUSA: What do you consider your strongest personal asset?

CONDON: I will leave to others the task of judging my strengths. I have always attempted to act in my public and private life with compassion for others, especially for the victims of violent crime whom I met during my time as Attorney General. Along with compassion, I strive to maintain a strong devotion to important principles.

SC GOPUSA: What qualities make up the ideal U.S. Senator?

CONDON: Integrity and courage are the essential qualities of human character. These traits, combined with a passion for finding and understanding the truth, make for the ideal U.S. Senator.

SC GOPUSA: A recent report by the trustees of both Social Security and Medicare shockingly revealed these programs will completely run out of funds in 15 years. What options will you support to fix or replace these programs if you are elected to serve in the U.S. Senate?

CONDON: Currently, entitlement programs are set at a rate of growth at 5.6% per year. To begin addressing the looming crisis of entitlement spending, Congress should approve reduction in this rate of growth from 5.6% to 4.6% per year. This seemingly small step would save approximately $918 billion over the next ten years.

The purpose of this one percent reduction is to save money, while at the same time pursuing massive reforms of entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. In addition, we must also revisit the prescription drug bill passed by Congress last year as well as create personal investment accounts for the Social Security system.

We cannot wait for the enactment of broader reforms to begin controlling the yearly increases in entitlement programs that we are currently facing.

SC GOPUSA: On the issue of President George W. Bush's temporary worker program, do you agree with the president's decision to allow illegal aliens access to American jobs?

CONDON: The primary duty of our federal government is to provide for the security of its citizens. A country can in no way be secure without secure borders. I firmly support legal immigration into our great country. We must, however, take a strong approach against illegal immigration given the safety concerns in a post-9/11 America. We must work hard to enforce the immigration laws we currently have in place and, if needed, enact and enforce new ones.

SC GOPUSA: Undoubtedly, the issue of homeland security will continue to dominate our foreign policy for many years to come. What actions will you take as a U.S. Senator regarding the ongoing war on terrorism?

CONDON: On September 11, 2001 our world changed. President Bush correctly recognized that change and saw the need to fight our wars in new way, preemptively. I applaud President Bush in his efforts to fight global terrorism and for rightfully recognizing the need to seek out the terrorists wherever they may be, both domestically and abroad. If elected, I will utilize my experience and background in helping President Bush in this long fought, essential war.

SC GOPUSA: Senate Democrats have literally hijacked the judicial nomination process ever since Bush became president in 2000. Assuming the Republican Party does not pick up enough seats to overcome the threat of a filibuster from the Democrats, what will you do to stop the obstructionism?

CONDON: Currently, we have a significant number of activist federal judges who feel it's their job to make laws rather than interpret them. These judges are trying to do such things as take "under God" out of the pledge of allegiance. If elected, I will fight hard to help President Bush confirm the nominations of truly conservative judges to the federal bench.

While it is important to simply work hard to elect more Republicans to the U.S. Senate, I also feel that a rule change is necessary. I would support changing the power of "advise and consent" to a simple majority rather than a super majority in the Senate.

SC GOPUSA: Demonstrate to voters who may believe the Bush tax cuts are only "for the rich" and have cost American jobs how they will see real tax relief and steady job growth if you are elected to the U.S. Senate.

CONDON: President Bush's tax cuts have been essential in jumpstarting America's economy. Tax cuts stimulate the economy by allowing more people to invest, buy homes, and generate economic activity.

This, in turn, produces job growth. As the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina, I would work wholeheartedly to make President Bush's tax cuts permanent.

SC GOPUSA: If you are one of the top two candidates after the June 11th primary, who will you be facing in the runoff election and why?

CONDON: I will leave the predictions and punditry to others. The real question facing Republican primary voters is, "What candidate will make the best U.S. Senator and wage the campaign most likely to defeat Democrat Inez Tenenbaum?" Based on my positions and experience, I hope Republicans will determine that I am that candidate.

SC GOPUSA: Imagine this is your final opportunity to speak to Republican voters before they cast their ballots in the Republican primary. What do you want them to remember about you more than anything else?

CONDON: Our nation confronts the colossal challenge of securing our safety and security against the enormous threat posed by global terrorism and the tyrannical regimes that support terrorism. To achieve this goal, we will need to enlist every aspect of American power, especially the engine of economic growth that has produced the most prosperity society in human history. As you make your decision, consider which candidate will approach this task with the greatest commitment, experience, and energy, and know that, should I receive the honor of serving you in the U.S. Senate, I will do everything I can to ensure that the next century in an American century of peace, prosperity, and freedom.

For more info on Charlie Condon, visit his web site at www.condonforsenate.com..

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