2012 Courier-Journal e-Voter Guide

Kentucky and Indiana candidates running for election in 2012 share -- in their own words -- their biographical information and positions on key issues.

Questions? Contact Metro Editor Mike Trautmann or Assistant Metro Editor Mark Schaver at voterguide@courier-journal.com.

US Representative District 3

Choose two candidates from below to compare.
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    Robert L. DeVore Jr. (I) UPS Lead on Docks

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    Brooks Wicker (Rep) CPA/Financial Advisor/Business Owner

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    John A. Yarmuth (Dem) Member of Congress

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Biographical Information

Why are you the most qualified candidate for this office?

If elected, what would be your chief priorities?

As part of the debt-ceiling deal last year, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts over 10 years – half from defense programs and half from most domestic programs - will begin Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress acts. Should the automatic cuts be allowed to take place? If not, what is the alternative?

Do you support raising the debt ceiling when it is deemed necessary? If not, how do you avoid kicking off severe financial consequences?

Do you support or oppose the healthcare reform law that was recently upheld by the Supreme Court? Why?

Is the U.S. tax system fair? What loopholes or tax breaks would you end? What taxes would you increase?

Defense spending has increased 114 percent over the last 13 years. Should it be cut, and to what level?

Do you believe the United States military is over-committed overseas? What role should American allies play in guaranteeing their national security?

What role does the federal government have in combating poverty?

Do you believe the planet is warming and that the government should play a role in addressing the problem?

Age 61
City Louisville
State KY
ZIP Code 40291
Campaign Phone (502) 619-8877
Family wife Donna D DeVore married 32 years Daughters - Maria D. Cooper & Ashley DeVore
Education/Degrees 90 college credit hours
Political Experience Whitley City Site based decision making Counsel 1 year McCreary County School board 6 years State Senate 16th district candidate against David Williams primary 2006 Republican Candidate against Ann Northup and Chris Thieneman primary 2008
Military Experience 24 year Navy retired First Class Petty Officer served on the USS Mahan DDG42 Charleston SC, VR46 Support squadron Atlanta GA.
Community Involvement (FRA) Fleet Reserve Association Derby Branch 177 2nd Vice President President Son & Daughter of the Sub Vets & their wives of WWII (FRA) Scholarship Essay Contest Chairman
Endorsements Most of my UPS friends verbally support me
Campaign Message I am the real middle-class representative who knows how most of the folks in Louisville feel about traditional politics and most voters in Louisville want someone they can trust to get policy's that are pro small business, pro individual opportunity and pro American.
I am the real middle class American representative who works hard for his family and has a caring heart for his community. Many citizens in Louisville, Kentucky as well as myself are fed up with traditional politics. Democrats talk about expanding government services while Republicans talk about cutting taxes for the middle class. However, they running around the political tree with no pin-point solutions. I want to see more money in our middle class pockets to expand our opportunities. I am not here to change the American way life. I want all of us to focus on back to basics so our Children can get the best eduction. We may only accomplish this goal through individual responsibility and community involvement. We should learn from American History and hold on to our God given blessings and strive for Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
1. Expand the middle class by offering incentives to increase individual responsibility. Expanding the middle class will double the size of our tax revenue base. 2. Government fiscal responsibility, true transparency. 3. To maintain a strong and exceptional Military. 4. Paying down on State and National debt. 5. To Stream line the immigration system. 6. To help find ways for more affordable and accessible Healthcare. 7. To help improve our educational system.
No, however, I do believe our programs should be evaluated for success, progress, production, to only provide what is the most beneficial. I do believe their should be some cuts in the domestic programs. We have many programs that are over-extended and many which overlap which cause duplication. We should streamline many programs as well as abolish others.

The middle class should participate by encouraging the poor to increase their financial responsibility, stability in holding a job and being a positive contributor for their family. By strengthening the lower class, I believe we will have fewer dependents on our government hand-out programs. I believe by providing an incentive for the middle class and by educating the poor it will lead to the expansion of the middle class pool and double the size of our revenue tax base, Social Security and Medicare . This opportunity can decrease the expenses on most domestic programs. Evaluate each domestic program for it's purpose in serving the American citizens.I do not believe we should cut our military defense programs. However, we should be wise with our resources and not be wasteful so our country may be the strong force as in the past.
I do not support raising the debt ceiling. My question is why can we not live within our own fiscal budget? Many American families live within their yearly budgets and have cut their monthly expenses. Raising the debt is also a moral issue Why are we placing the heavy burden on the next generations.
I absolutely oppose the "proposed" health care reform law. I oppose all mandates from the Government which will force you and I to buy a "one suit fits all" approach to health care. Why should any person who cannot afford, or chooses not to purchase health care be fined by the government. What happen to freedom and liberty when you and I are forced to buy a government health care product that does not meet the needs of themselves or their family. What happened to individual choice, individual responsibility. Americans know their families needs and should choose what is best for themselves.
No, I would eliminate both state and Federal income tax system and replace it with a simple and fair consumption tax. A) Poor: groceries (tax free) he or she should get a 8% discount on all consumable and non consumable products. The poor must participate by paying taxes and take responsibility as a U.S. citizen and as a consumer in the free market. (B) Middle Class: groceries (tax free) should pay 22% tax on consumable and non consumable products with a 10% rebate on all taxes and/or charitable donations for current year. The middle class should participate by encouraging the poor to increase their financial responsibility and stability in keeping a job. This opportunity create more a positive contributors to their family. In turn, I believe we will have fewer dependents on our government hand-out programs. I also believe providing a rebate for the middle class and educating the poor will lead to the expansion of the middle class pool and double the size of our revenue tax base.

The individual will be able to keep all other salaries including overtime pay and other bonuses tax free. This opportunity will broaden his or her financial options. Rebates should be focused on strengthening the individual’s opportunities in providing quality health care, education, etc. for the individual and their family. All rebates should be tax free. Charitable giving should be promoted to help strengthen our community and build a better tomorrow.
Defense spending on the whole should not be cut. The administration system should be stream-lined to assist our military in processing and managing their daily lives. Medical expenses should be increased. It is a priority to maintain quality health care for our military veterans. This includes stream-lining the process in areas of agent orange, asbestos, and leg, arm and other body part replacement and mental complications. Health care coverage is the least we, as Americans, should do for our veteran hero's.
Yes, The United States Military should be used overseas if and only when it is proven necessary for the safety and interest of our country. Then the United States can spread the cause for liberty and freedom through out the world. Otherwise, we should be cautious about having any loyalty to any foreign country. We should strive for peace through strength with our allies. Hold steadfast to our national interests. We should be able to Keep our enemies at bay and we need to strengthen our international policy with peace through a strong military and strong U.S.economy . This noble purpose will to assist in improving the quality of life for all individuals.
The Federal government should encourage individual responsibility versus permanent dependency. Encourage community empowerment by helping the poor and needy. It is the States responsibility to improve the low quality of eduction, provide resources to prevent obesity, and give businesses the empowerment to be successful. The Federal government should over see States management of services and resources and enforce individual rights for all individuals. Poverty is a state of mind and all individuals who are equipped can be successful when given the right social and economic tools. There are some of our citizens who do not have the same physical or mental tools to provide quality of life for themselves. Their families should be able to get assistance from their community. This will focus on love thy neighbor as thy-self. By adapting this basic concept, families will lower the rate of poverty in the United States and around the World.
I do not believe this is a critical problem. However, if their is a need for concern or action, I believe that private industry would be best vehicle to research and consider the matter. We should instead focus on the individual citizens of the United States. We should be concerned for each other and protect, defend, and empower and embrace our rights as United State Citizens.
Age 58
Address P.O. Box 6449
City Louisville
State Kentucky
ZIP Code 40206
Campaign Phone (502) 712-2130
Family Wife - Lynda H. Wicker, Son - Sam Wicker (age 19)
Education/Degrees Bachelor's in Science in Accounting at the University of Kentucky
Political Experience Congressional candidate in 2010 Republican primary
Community Involvement Brooks served as founder and president of Lyon County Jaycees, and a member of the Lyndon Jaycees. He has coached several youth sports teams through the YMCA and is a member of the East Louisville Rotary Club and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Jefferson County Republican Party for the past 2 years. The Wickers attend and are active with the Christ United Methodist Church.
Campaign Message After six years, John Yarmuth must be held accountable for his record. In my 30-year career in finance, I've never seen our economy in worse shape. We need to return fiscal responsibility to Washington. I'm Brooks Wicker, and I'm running for Congress to clean up the mess John Yarmuth and other DC politicians have made.
This election is all about economic growth and job creation. I have 31 years of experience dealing with economic, tax, financial and business issues, working with clients to create new businesses and new jobs, and to grow existing businesses. With the federal government unable to practice fiscal sanity, never has it been more important to put people in decision-making positions that understand the complexities of our economy, the tax code and what it will take to get things working again.

I have a five-point road map to find real solutions to our economic problems. Using tax reform, legislative reform and just plain common sense, we can address the root problems we face and improve the economy right away.

I know exactly what it will take to get things done. After all, it’s been my life for 31 years.
One, tax reform. I am a CPA and I know first-hand that our tax code is needlessly complex. There are steps we can take immediately to streamline the system, such as broadening the tax base, doing away with favored streams of income so that everyone is paying taxes on the same income and lowering rates which will provide economic stimulus.

Two, to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act is costing jobs here in Louisville already, and it has not even fully taken effect yet. It also represents the largest tax increase in the history of the United States. It has to go. We can address the existing problems with the system without destroying it in the process.

Three, energy. We must have an energy policy that maximizes the use of the resources we have right here at home and minimizes our dependence on foreign oil producers.

Finally, education. It is past time to acknowledge that the model of education policy being dictated by Washington does not work and cannot work. Encourage competition and innovation. Education is at the foundation of economic prosperity.
The automatic cuts should not be allowed to take place. This is just another way for career politicians to avoid responsibility for making tough choices that need to be made.

Instead, we need to go back to the 2008 budget and adjust it for inflation. Any increase from that spending level must then be justified. Most people do not understand that we continue to spend the 2009 Obama stimulus amount each year. Not only did we spend the approximately $860 billion original stimulus, but it’s actually increased each year. This funding must be severed from the spending resolutions. With annual increases, that would make a huge down payment on the $1.2 trillion in cuts that are required to avoid the automatic triggers.
If we follow my debt proposal, we will not need to increase the debt ceiling and will not be at risk of suffering the same severe financial consequences as a result. I do not support raising the debt ceiling.
I oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The current health care system is far from perfect, but the legislation passed to fix it has only made it worse. The author of the bill has said to expect 20-30% increases in cost as a result of the bill. North Carolina's college system will be forced to pass along the higher costs of covering students to the students themselves, solely due to the new law. The Supreme Court rightly ruled that ObamaCare is a massive tax. I have proposed a $2,500 tax deduction for individuals who maintain health care coverage, with a $2,500 deduction for each dependent. A family of four would received $12,500 in tax deductions to offset the cost of health care. This is a market-based solution that will work.
Our tax code is far too complicated. Broadening the tax base will help, as will lowering rates. Let American-based corporations bring home the trillions of dollars they have earned overseas, and already paid taxes on, with no tax liability so that they can put those dollars to work in our economy, thereby infusing badly needed capital into the private sector, creating jobs, and increasing investment. Something is much better than nothing.

We should also end the double taxation of dividends.

I would not increase any taxes. Rather we need to stabilize taxes at the current level or reform the tax code by broadening the tax base and decreasing the rates. With either approach it is essential that we stabilize taxes as well as freeze and actually roll back implementation or regulations to provide certainty and predictability in the economy and markets. This will fuel growth in the economy and create jobs. Once the economy is on sound footing and the tax code is reformed, American will again be the best place in the world to do business.
Like domestic spending generally, defense spending should be cut where there is wasteful spending. The nation’s armed forces are tired, and they are overworked. Cutting back on troops and spending as a way to make ends meet isn’t appropriate. Cut waste. But if there are cuts to be made, they should not be at the expense of caring properly for America’s fighting men and women and their families. There should also be no automatic spending increases in either defense spending or domestic spending. All spending increases should be justified moving forward.
The purpose of our military is to provide for our national security, and where our national interests overseas are concerned, the U.S. military has a strong role to play. However, America’s allies should be responsible as the first line of defense for their own security. We must be ready to support them in that effort, especially in cases where our help can be the difference between success and failure, but we must support them, not provide their security for them at our, and our soldiers’, cost.
The federal government’s sole role in combating poverty should be in creating an environment where our economy can thrive and grow. Capitalism is the greatest system for providing a pathway out of poverty that has ever existed in the world. I believe that government intrusion in the market place and our pockets is holding us back from a more robust economy where everyone has a greater opportunity to prosper, the poorer among us included.

Government can help make higher education more affordable as a means of combating poverty. There could also be incentives for the formation of stable families and the perpetuation of the family unit. Studies show that children raised in a two-parent home perform better in school, are less likely to commit crimes and are ultimately more successful in life. Encouraging a strong home life has benefits that far exceed those of handouts and welfare.
Our planet goes through cycles where temperatures fluctuate higher and lower. Recent studies show that the earth is actually in a cooling phase.

As an avid outdoorsman, the status of our environment is very important to me. I do think that the government can encourage environmental stewardship, but it should not attempt to regulate commerce and energy production by making it more expensive. Instead, reward those who practice good stewardship under existing laws. At the end of the day, it will be market-driven investment that provides the ultimate solution to a cleaner, safer environment.
Age 68
City Harrods Creek
State KY
ZIP Code 40027
Campaign Phone (502) 891-8914
Family Wife, Cathy. Son, Aaron.
Political Experience Third District Representative, 2006-Present
When I first ran for Congress, national observers pointed to Louisville's diverse, independent character as a microcosm for America. And as our nation has grown more divided, Louisville remains independent, moved not by partisanship but by how things affect our families and neighbors.

In Louisville, we stand for veterans who have stood and fought for us. That’s why I'm proud to have secured $75 million for a new VA Hospital, helped enact a new GI Bill guaranteeing veterans a college education, and supported the largest funding increase in veterans' health care ever.

In Washington, unbelievably, women's health, safety and economic security have become political debates, instead of legislative priorities. I'll continue to stand with women. I've fought to fund cervical, ovarian, and breast cancers prevention, expand the Violence Against Women Act, and guarantee women equal pay for equal work.

In Louisville, we believe seniors have earned the right to live a secure, peaceful retirement. That's why we lowered prescription drug costs, strengthened Social Security, and preserved the Medicare guarantee.

Four years ago, we faced an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression. Today, our community and country are growing. The stock market has doubled, we're adding jobs, and GE has brought hundreds of jobs back to Louisville with incentives I helped secure in the last Congress. At Louisville's Ford Assembly plant - about to become the largest in North America - a new Escape rolls off the line every 44 seconds, supporting more than 3,000 new jobs. I was proud to help secure federal funding to retool that plant.

Louisville is no longer our nation's microcosm — we're the example. I hope you will help me continue to lead by that example.
One of my top priorities has always been to promote policies that help working families, strengthen the middle class, and ensure that the U.S. remains the global innovation leader. The House should approve the Senate-passed legislation to extend tax breaks for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners. We could send this to the President’s desk tomorrow.

To help build a strong middle class, Congress must invest in infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing, and job-training programs. I am a proud supporter of Workforce Investment Act programs that provide funding for KentuckianaWorks’ job training and employment services. These programs have been critical in preparing our workforce for today’s jobs and those of the future. We must also continue to support federal programs that increase access to capital for small business owners and help create an environment for economic growth.

In the previous two Congresses, I was proud to support historic investments in veterans’ health care, education, and job training programs. With more than one million veterans returning from overseas in the next five years, we must expand our efforts to ensure they receive the medical care they need, the education they deserve, and the career opportunities they have more than earned.

I will also keep working to reverse the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for special-interest influence on elections and in Washington.
No. Massive across-the-board cuts to federal spending will imperil our economic recovery at a time when we need to be investing in job-creating areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, and energy innovation. And even with those cuts, we would not address reducing our deficit in a serious way.

We have both a spending problem and a revenue problem. That is why I support a targeted approach to deficit reduction that balances responsible cuts in spending and new revenue – including reinstating the Clinton-era tax rates on the nation’s top earners, which would reduce the deficit by nearly $1 trillion.

When you strip away the politics, we all understand that the only way to get our debt under control is to both cut spending and raise new revenue. But the House Republican leadership has so far been unwilling to compromise to reach a balanced deal. I am hopeful that, after this election, Congress will put politics aside and do the job the American people sent us there to do.
I support measures to keep the federal government from defaulting on its obligations. The debt ceiling crisis at the end of 2011 was politically induced, it wreaked havoc in the market, and it eroded confidence in the U.S. economy. We should not play politics with the full faith and credit of the United States of America.
Yes. The Affordable Care Act lowers costs, strengthens care, and – once fully implemented – will guarantee all Americans access to quality, affordable coverage while creating nearly 6 million new jobs in the health care sector. It is already saving seniors hundreds of dollars in prescription drug costs while offering free preventive services such as cancer screenings and routine vaccinations.

Children can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition – a protection that will be extended to all Americans in 2014. More than 3 million young people have been able to obtain insurance through their parents’ plan. And hundreds of thousands of small businesses have used tax credits provided under the law to offer coverage for 2 million workers.

During my time in Congress, an overwhelming majority of Louisvillians have told me they want guaranteed access to health care, lower premium costs, and more choice in the insurance market. The Affordable Care Act accomplishes each of these goals. Casting my vote in favor of the law was my proudest moment in Congress - only surpassed when I met a young woman from Louisville just a few weeks ago. She faced a life-threatening medical emergency and would not have sought the care that saved her life had she not been insured under her parent's health care plan - which the Affordable Care Act made possible.
Our tax system unfairly benefits the extremely wealthy, and the result has been a profound increase in income inequality over the past decade that has stifled job growth, squeezed the middle class, and deepened our national debt. I strongly support a balanced tax structure that at least asks the same of the wealthy as it does working families, and I have advocated ending tax cuts, subsidies, and special-interest loopholes for industries that don’t need them - like oil and gas companies, and large agribusinesses.

We need to end tax breaks that help corporations that ship our jobs overseas. In their place, we should create tax credits or other incentives for companies that bring jobs back and invest here. In addition, corporations shouldn’t be able to avoid paying the taxes they owe in the U.S. by opening up a P.O. Box in Bermuda. That is why I support closing loopholes that some corporations exploit to set up offshore tax havens.
We must cut wasteful defense spending while ensuring that our men and women in uniform always have the equipment and support they need. I do not support the automatic cuts to defense spending. We can make targeted reductions without jeopardizing national security and foreign operations, and the Pentagon agrees. Through the Base Realignment and Closure process – which has bipartisan support in Congress – we can reduce military installations overseas and streamline our military. For example, the U.S. maintains nearly 200 installations in Germany and more than 100 in Japan. Many of our facilities are expensive relics of the Cold War and are no longer necessary to national security.

Our national security is bound to our economic prosperity, and when we trade one for the other, we put both at risk.
Our continued operations in Afghanistan have imposed huge financial costs on taxpayers already saddled with trillions of dollars of government debt. We have spent more than $551 billion there so far and continue to spend nearly $7 billion every month on combat operations alone in Afghanistan.

The cost of the war in Afghanistan is not limited to taxpayer dollars but also includes the tremendous sacrifices of the men and women of our military, who have done everything we have asked of them during this decade-long war – the longest in U.S. history. With Osama bin Laden dead and Al Qaeda largely driven from Afghanistan, it is time to transfer security responsibilities to the Afghani government, drastically reduce our military footprint in the region, and bring our troops home to their families. By doing so, we will save billions of dollars that will help rebuild our own economy, reduce the deficit, and invest in America’s future.
During my time in Congress, I have supported legislation to provide all Americans with access to education, affordable health care, and the basic necessities of living. I have secured federal funding to expand job-training programs in Louisville, and I believe it is our moral obligation to continue funding these essential commitments to our citizens.

Combating poverty can also help grow our economy. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – which House Republicans severely cut in this year’s budget – helped four million Americans ascend from poverty in 2010, while every dollar spent on food assistance under the program generated $1.73 of spending in the economy.

I also support the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is one of the most successful programs in lifting working families out of poverty. Most EITC recipients receive the credit for two years or less. Many of them quickly move up the income ladder and begin paying taxes back into the system. In fact, most EITC recipients pay more in taxes over time than they initially received from the EITC program.
Yes. I believe our country must have a more balanced energy policy that maximizes our domestic energy resources – including clean and renewable energy sources – and promotes conservation. For the sake of our national security, we cannot afford to rely on foreign sources of energy. And for the sake of our environment, we cannot afford to rely solely on resources that contribute to global warming.

That is why I have supported legislation that makes historic investments in new energy-efficient technologies, reduces emissions, and moves us toward a greater state of energy independence. This legislation provided Ford with a $5.9 billion loan to retool its Louisville plants, hire hundreds of workers, and build fuel-efficient cars and trucks.