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Second District Congressional candidate Dan Dolan (left) listens while candidate John Archer (right) answers the forum question posed by moderator Iowa State Auditor David Vaudt.

Samantha Pidde/Clinton Herald
Herald Staff Writer

Almost 200 people gathered in Goose Lake to hear Second District Congressional Candidates Dan Dolan and John Archer debate.

The Millennium Ballroom, 169 O’brien St., Goose Lake, was filled with area republicans for the Clinton County Republican 37th Annual Spring Event. The event began at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, with a buffet dinner beginning at 6 p.m. As dinner started to end, after 7 p.m., a candidate debate began, moderated by Iowa State Auditor David Vaudt.

During this forum, both candidates were basically in agreement on some of the issues. Both candidates agreed on the necessity of term limits in Congress. Archer and Dolan both felt that career politicians are not what the country needs. However, they both expressed that self-imposed limits, which may be too short, can allow bureaucrats to run the game.

Archer said ultimately, it is the electorate who sets the term limit.

“If we are not doing our jobs, you have the ability to not re-elect us,” Archer said.

Archer and Dolan support Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan. Archer said it is a step in the right direction. When asked for their take on farm subsidies, they focused on ensuring catastrophic loss insurance is always there as a safety net.

“Farmers don’t want subsidies. Farmers want to survive on their own,” Archer said.

Dolan and Archer each agreed that on the matter of illegal immigration, the first priority is securing the nation’s borders. They also each agreed that migrant workers are needed. Archer said if all the illegal immigrants in this country were sent back, it could cripple agriculture. He did feel that any illegal immigrants breaking laws should be sent back.

“If they have assimilated into this country, I don’t see how we in good conscious can tell those individuals that have been here for 20 or 30 years with children that are here illegally, that because you’re here illegally you now have to leave this country,” Archer said.

Dolan felt the federal government’s role in education should be limited. He is excited by Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan for education. Archer took it one step further and said the federal government has no role in education. Having served on the Pleasant Valley school board for 2 ½ years, Archer said he knows the needs of the children better than a bureaucrat in Des Moines or Washington, D.C.

Both candidates agreed that tax rates should be lowered for individuals and corporations. Archer said he would lower the rate to zero for repatriated funds to allow corporations to invest in America, southwest Iowa and Clinton and to create more revenue. Dolan, however, felt dropping it to zero was a little too much. He would go somewhere more in the middle, with more incentives possible if jobs were created in this country. He said that to him, the tax problems are not as big as the current spending problems.

Dolan and Archer had different priorities on regulatory reform for small businesses and agriculture. Dolan said access to capital is what is destroying the ability of small businesses and farmers to create jobs. Archer would start with Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency regulation. He feels they should work with businesses and farmers to teach them the best practices, before punishing them right away. Both candidates agreed that the government’s healthcare law should be overturned.

The candidates also had ideas for projects for the district. Archer expressed a need for better roads and bridges in Iowa. Dolan dreams of creating a port of entry in Clinton for economic development.

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