Name: Joe Wilson
Political party: Republican
Years living in area: 41
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Family: Roxanne Wilson, wife; four sons; six grandchildren
Education: Graduated from the High School of Charleston; received undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University in 1969 and completed law degree at the University of South Carolina in 1972
Current occupation/employer: U.S. House of Representatives, since 2001
Previous employment: Founding partner of the West Columbia law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas. Practiced for 25 years. Located in the West Columbia area for 41 years.
Military history: 31-year veteran of the Army National Guard; served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1972-1975 and also in the S.C. Army National Guard. In the summer of 2003, retired as a colonel, having served as a staff judge advocate assigned to the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade.
Volunteer history: Served as a member and former president or chairman of the Cayce-West Columbia Rotary Club, Sheriff's Department Law Enforcement Advisory Council, Reserve Officers Association, Lexington County Historical Society, County Community and Resource Development Committee, American Heart Association, Mid-Carolina Mental Health Association, and NationsBank Lexington Advisory Board. Member of the Columbia College Board of Visitors and Coker College Board of Trustees.
Public elected offices: Elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1984 and reelected four times.
Any unsuccessful political campaigns: 1976 Republican nominee for state Senate; 49.5 percent in Lexington, Aiken, Edgefield, Bamberg and Barnwell counties
Other political and government experience: Before being elected to Congress in 2001, served 17 years, with perfect attendance, in the state Senate. Elected Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Ranking member of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee; appointed by the Republican leader to the highly influential Republican Policy Committee and works as an assistant Republican whip. S.C. Development Board, 1975-1980; third vice chairman for Youth, S.C. Republican Party, 1970; Lexington County Registration and Elections Commission vice chairman, 1971; in 1981 and 1982, during the Reagan Administration, served as deputy general counsel for former Gov. Jim Edwards at the U.S. Department of Energy; town judge for Pine Ridge (1976) and Springdale (1978).
Endorsements received: National Federation of Independent Business; Council for Citizens Against Government Waste "Taxpayer Hero;" U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Rifle Association; American Conservative Union; National Right to Life
House of Representatives disclosure statement: Go to http://clerk.house.gov/public_disc/financial-pdfs/2010/8147611.pdf
Campaign money raised: $4,074,221 through June 30, according to Federal Election Commission
Campaign contribution information: Go to http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_detail/H2SC02059
1. Why should people vote for you?
The simple answer is my proven dedication to creating jobs and curbing spending. For 16 straight months, unemployment has been above 9 percent nationally and even higher here in South Carolina. Our great state needs a leader who will fight, not support, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's incoming tax hikes and job-killing regulations. South Carolinians also deserve a leader who will fight to repeal this government health care takeover instead of supporting its unaffordable trillion dollar price tag.
2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them?
Job creation. Creating jobs right here in South Carolina is my top priority. Political rhetoric will not put people back to work and it is time lawmakers started giving small businesses incentives to hire more employees and started giving American families more of their own money back, with which they can invest and spend. I believe that low taxes, worker training, right-to-work protections and less regulatory red tape will attract and retain business as I work with the National Federation of Independent Business
Stop Washington's spending spree. Washington's rate of spending is completely unsustainable, and we must stop this out-of-control spending spree. I propose cutting discretionary spending by 20 percent; reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the two mortgage giants that taxpayers are on the hook for to save $30 billion; prohibiting the hiring of 14,500 new IRS agents to enforce the government health care bill to save $5 billion to $10 billion over 10 years; eliminating the new non-reformed welfare program to save $2.5 billion a year; auditing the so-called "stimulus" spending bill.
Repeal and replace the government health care takeover. For the better part of a year, the American people have made it clear that they want something more affordable and attractive than this government takeover of health care. Congress can repeal and replace this bill - but that will take real change in 2010. I propose replacing it with a more affordable, patient-centered solution that expands access and continues to cover pre-existing conditions; My Siding With America's Patients (SWAP) Act that does just that.
3. What other issues do you see as important?
Supporting our military, military families and veterans, and ensuring that our brave men and women in uniform have the support they need to succeed in their missions is critical. As a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, I sit on the committee responsible for authorizing the necessary personnel, funding, equipment and end-strength for our armed forces. I will always fight to make sure our soldiers have the equipment and funding they need.
4. What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
When first elected to office, I promised to be accessible and accountable. Transparency in government is crucial. If Congress is proposing spending more of your hard-earned tax dollars, then you should know exactly what they are spending it on. I have supported the idea that all spending related bills should be posted online in plenty of time for the public and press to review. We should also make it mandatory for any bills, spending related or not. Bottom line is that you should see bills before Congress votes. I have also proposed legislation to audit the so-called stimulus bill to bring some accountability to this massive giveaway of taxpayer dollars.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give details.
A 2010 complaint filed anonymously surrounding a trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
7. Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
I'm a family man who couldn't be more proud of four sons who all serve in the military. When I was young, I was inspired by my father's service as a member of the Flying Tigers in World War II, to which I remain in awe. Our family attends the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, and when I'm not sounding the alarm about the need to create jobs here in South Carolina, I enjoy spending time with my family, doing yard work or enjoying the environment.