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 4

Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Candidate picture

    William R. "Bill" Adkins (Dem) Attorney

  • David Lewis (I)

  • Candidate picture

    Thomas Massie (Rep) Engineer, Farmer, Judge Executive

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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 60
Address PO Box 127
City Williamstown
State KY
ZIP Code 41097
Campaign Phone (859) 414-6004
Family Wife, Betty; 7 children; 1 grandchild
Education/Degrees Cumberland College, BS, 1996 Northern Kentucky University, Juris Doctor, Law, 1999
Political Experience None
Military Experience None
Community Involvement Bill continues to be active in his community and supportive of his children’s schools and activities, serving as a board member or officer in various organizations.
Endorsements Kentucky State AFL-CIO Northern Kentucky Labor Council Greater Louisville Labor Council IBEW United Auto Workers Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Kentucky Professional Firefighters Covington Firefighters Local 38 Kentucky Education Association Pipefitters, Plumbers & Sprinklerfitters Local 392 Ironworkers Union Local #44 United Food & Commercial Workers Local 75 IUE/CWA Local 761 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen International Union of Operating Engineers United Mine Workers Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 248 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Teamsters Local 1199 The Women’s Network Alliance for Retired Americans Kentucky Hemp Initiative Better Schools Kentucky
Campaign Message "Protecting Medicare and the Middle Class" and "Putting Kentuckians Back To Work"
Like you, I’m fed up with what’s happening in Washington. I am fed up with a Congress that doesn’t do its job. Times have been hard for all of us and we need leaders who understand the importance of good jobs and access to quality education and healthcare. Billion dollar corporations have a voice in Washington, but do you? Who is standing up for hard working Kentuckians? Who is making sure our tax system is fair and just for all Americans? I will not be a typical Washington politician. My life has been about hard work, sacrifice and concern for neighbors. Our middle class is the backbone of Kentucky and I will be the strong voice and a fighter for the middle class in Washington.
Protecting Seniors by keeping Medicare and Social Security solvent is a chief priority. I will work to boost the economy in the 4th District. I will defend, support and work to re-build the Middle Class. I have a vision for children that includes accessible high quality education and health care and stopping the gridlock in Congress. WE need to create a tax structure that is fair to all. I support investments in infrastructure, education and training to develop a skilled and ready work force.
We should make extreme efforts to avoid these cuts and reach every possible compromise. We need to reach across the aisle to maintain middle class tax cuts and repeal tax cuts given to the extremely wealthy. We must not balance the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.
This nation should never default on its obligations. I support raising the debt ceiling when deemed necessary. We need overall comprehensive fiscal reform; cutting spending and raising revenue.
I support the Affordable Health Care Act and believe that everyone must be insured. It is important to recognize that this is far from perfect now, but we must be willing to give this a chance. I fully understand that there will be areas that will need to be corrected over time and I do everything possible to see that those issues are addressed as they arise. I believe that when the Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented in 2014, healthcare costs will come down, new jobs will be created and everyone will have access to quality healthcare.
We cannot tax our way out of debt, nor should we balance our budget on the backs of seniors and the poor. The best thing we can do to increase revenue so as to meet our needs while paying down our debt is to get serious about investing in our nation and create a tax structure that is fair to all. We must develop a plan that calls for shared sacrifice, where a waitress isn’t paying a greater percentage of her income in taxes than a multi-millionaire. Families earning less than $250,000 in taxable income need the certainty that their taxes will not increase while many are making do with less and struggling to keep up with rising health care costs and lower wages. Congress should extend the tax cuts for the middle class now and work towards a more fair system for higher wage earners and corporations.
Nothing is completely off the table where cuts are concerned. We need to examine the defense budget closely and do so as to not weaken our nation. We should stop forcing programs upon the military that they neither want or need.
I believe we must continue the fight against terrorism around the globe, but it’s past time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. That mission’s goals were long ago lost in the fog of war and the cost far outweighs any benefit. Afghanistan is a prime illustration why I believe we should stop sending foreign aid to countries that do not support America.
An investment made in a child's early years provides a high rate of success and reduces the likelihood of a person's dependency on government assistance for food and housing later in life. Strategies for sustainable programming include economic partnerships between the federal, state and local government, private business, private institutions and the public. Another way to combat poverty is to strengthen middle class families by providing them with better jobs and better wages. More investments in facilities for training and education in technology, medical fields, manufacturing and trades is necessary to develop a skilled and ready workforce. There are opportunities for good jobs throughout the 4th District, but we must provide our citizens the training for skills they need to take advantage of those opportunities.
Yes, I believe that climate change is progressing more actively than we originally thought. The United States should be the leader in global initiatives to address this expanding problem. The issue of climate change is not a political one, but rather one based on science and should be addressed through programs that support green energy and green technology.
City Batavia
State OH
ZIP Code 45103
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Age 45
City Florence
State KY
ZIP Code 41022
Campaign Phone (859) 283-2012
Family Married for 19 years to Rhonda Massie Four children ages 16, 14, 12, and 8
Education/Degrees Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1993 B.S. Electrical Engineering, with a concentration in economics. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1996 M.S. Mechanical Engineering
Political Experience Lewis County Judge Executive 2011 - present
Endorsements U.S. Senator Rand Paul, National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Kentucky Right to Life, National Right to Life, Louisville TEA Party, Club for Growth, Young Americans for Liberty, Congressman Ron Paul
Campaign Message Congress is broken. We need leaders with private sector experience who are problem solvers. Big government is the problem, not the solution.
I am an engineer and an inventor, not a career government employee or career politician. As an entrepreneur I created jobs by starting a company. I understand the economic consequences of bad tax policy and over regulation. I will work to reduce the size of government. As your congressman and public servant, I pledge not to take a congressional pension or participate in the congressional health care program.
1. Restoring fiscal responsibility to federal government by cutting spending and balancing the budget. 2. Reforming our tax code so as not to punish entrepreneurs and job creators. 3. Reducing regulatory barriers that are stifling our economy. 4. Respecting our individual liberties protected by our constitution.
The most viable alternative is Senator Rand Paul's budget plan which reduces most non-military, discretionary spending to 2008 levels. If no alternative plan is adopted, the automatic cuts should take place. For the sake of our country and for the sake of our children, Congress must act now to address the deficit.
I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless we can simultaneously pass a budget plan which balances the federal budget within a reasonable time frame.
I oppose ObamaCare because it does nothing to reduce cost or improve the quality of health care. Patients, families, and doctors should make personal health care decisions, not a board of fifteen bureaucrats in Washington DC.
Taxes are too high and too complicated. My wife and I have three engineering degrees from MIT and we can’t do our own taxes! As the founder of a company, I understand how the tax code throttles the development of new businesses. Our tax system needs to promote economic growth, not punish it. I will support legislation to achieve a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that is helpful, not harmful, to domestic job creation and economic recovery.
National Defense is the most essential function of the federal government enumerated in the United States Constitution. We must defend our national security interests. The exclusive power of our Congress to declare war is a constitutional mandate. I’ll fight to ensure Congress works within constitutional restraints to protect life, liberty, property, and the sovereignty of the United States of America. Our military needs to be adequately funded to ensure national security and commitment to our veterans, but no government program is immune to waste, and no spending program is sacred.
I support a balanced budget plan that reduces foreign aid. In some circumstances, it may be in our national interest to temporarily provide foreign aid to allies in need. One Bill, One Vote, One Country is an appropriate policy. Foreign aid provided to a specific country should be subject to an up-or-down vote on its own merits, not bundled in an aid bill for multiple countries. We should never provide foreign aid to countries hostile to us or our allies.
Social programs should be block-granted back to the states and states should make decisions on how and where that money should be spent. If those that are most in need of the programs are to be served, then waste fraud and abuse must be eliminated. This is best achieved by local (state) oversight and control of these programs.
Global warming has not been conclusively linked to human activity. Federal bureaucracies should have no authority to regulate carbon dioxide.