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W.Va. House 13 candidate: Michael Ihle (R)

Sep. 22, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

PARTY: Republican

HOME CITY: Ravenswood, W.Va.

HOME COUNTY: Jackson

E-MAIL ADDRESS: mihle9@gmail.com

WEBSITE: ihleforhouse.com

PERSONAL STATEMENT: West Virginia is usually first in all the bad categories and last in all the good ones. Now, more than ever, we must elect leaders who will fight the status quo. In my time as Ravenswood’s mayor, I have done that. As the only candidate in the race with local government experience, I have heightened awareness to the challenges facing our cities. I practice citizen empowerment to help improve my community. So, I believe in restoring personal liberty and getting state government off the backs of our cities and people. We need less government and more liberty to unleash capitalism.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:

AGE: 27

EDUCATION: Ravenswood High School 2003, Purdue University

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION (INCLUDE SPECIFIC YEARS SERVED): Mayor of Ravenswood, 2012-Present; licensed health insurance agent

OTHER WORK HISTORY: grocery store clerk, Census supervisor

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Regional Vice President, West Virginia Jaycees; board member, West Virginia Municipal League; board member, West Virginia Republican Liberty Caucus; board member, Jackson County Republican Executive Committee; board member, various governmental boards (Sanitary Board, Water Board, Building Safety Committee, Jackson County Teen Court, Jackson County Development Authority, Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council)

FAMILY: Jim Ihle (father, Ravenswood); Alphia Ihle (mother, Brownstown, IN); Ed and Linda Ihle (half-uncle/aunt, Letart, WV)

QUESTIONS

1. Are you satisfied that the Legislature has done enough to protect West Virginians from chemical spills? Please explain.

Given the urgency of the water crisis, the Legislature accomplished what it could within the session already underway. A single water intake for hundreds of thousands proved dangerous. This issue should be addressed. The crisis proved that when government regulates too much overall, it does poorly at its legitimate functions, such as protecting public goods like our water supply.

2. What steps would you recommend to improve West Virginia’s economy?

Nullify ObamaCare. Fight the EPA. Simplify the tax code. Stop using tax credits to centrally plan the economy, picking winners and losers. Repeal those regulations which hurt the economy. Secure private property rights. Eliminate state status as a “judicial hellhole” by enacting liability reform. Reduce incentives for the poor to not work. Increase liberty. Decrease government.

3. Do you think more needs to be done to ensure high school graduates are competent? Explain.

Yes. Too often, government programs steer high school graduates to college, even though that is not the best fit for them all. This has resulted in a shortage of competent skilled labor in the marketplace, while many college graduates are out of work. Government should stop artificially distorting the marketplace in this way.

4. How do you propose keeping more students in school and reducing the truancy rate?

State government should recognize that homeschooling is a legitimate school choice and foster an environment that welcomes this. Children belong to parents; they are not state property. Public schools should deemphasize obscure standards and instead focus on teaching practical life skills and subjects. That way, students at dropout age can recognize potential return value in their education.

5. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?

Most every teacher joins the profession because he cares about students. Thus, state government should focus on students, not special interests. Teachers should be rewarded for student achievement. It is no coincidence that as federal government control increased, educational achievement decreased. One-size-fits-all approaches like Common Core and No Child Left Behind are failed, expensive policies that should be abandoned.

6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?

Yes. Too often, government programs steer high school graduates to college, even though that is not the best fit for them all. This has resulted in a shortage of competent skilled labor in the marketplace, while many college graduates are out of work. Government should stop artificially distorting the marketplace in this way.

7. What more should the state do to battle the prescription drug crisis?

The fact the prescription drug crisis exists is proof that requiring prescriptions for over-the-counter medications will not solve the drug problem. It is no coincidence that states with the worst drug abuse climates also have the worst economic climates. Jump-start West Virginia’s economy and our drug problem will improve with it.

8. Are there more steps the state should take to reduce obesity?

Yes, state government is morbidly obese. It needs life-saving surgery. Anyhow, if a person wants to make poor food choices, he has that right. No one else should be forced to pay for those. This requires state nullification of ObamaCare, an obese monster itself. Reform the food stamp program to stop the purchase of junk food with our tax dollars.

9. How could the state help small businesses grow in West Virginia?

Nullify ObamaCare. Fight the EPA. Simplify the tax code. Stop using tax credits to centrally plan the economy, picking winners and losers. Repeal those regulations which hurt the economy. Secure private property rights. Eliminate state status as a “judicial hellhole” by enacting liability reform. Reduce incentives for the poor to not work. Increase liberty. Decrease government.

10. Do you think the state should do more to reduce the size of the prison population?

Yes, the big business of prisons is part of the big government problem. West Virginia should look to Texas, who has closed prisons and has a plummeting crime rate. Criminals should have to pay victim restitution, take responsibility for their actions. We should cut down the criminal justice bureaucracy, preserve family involvement, and reserve lengthy prison terms for violent crimes.

11. What measures do you support that would improve the lives of West Virginians, especially children, who are living in poverty?

No reply yet.

12. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?

No reply yet.

13. Do you support the West Virginia Department of Education’s Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, West Virginia’s plan to implement Common Core? Explain.

No. Common Core is a federal takeover of education. It is bad for parents, teachers, taxpayers, and especially students. It violates privacy, resembles the failed No Child Left Behind, and is unconstitutional. In short, this approach takes authority away from teachers, empowers government, treats every student as if they’re all the same, and is thus a waste of money.

14. What needs to be done now to diversify the economy of West Virginia?

Members of the Legislature need to eat a slice of "humble pie" and realize they are not the engine that fuels our economy; they only slow it down. Simply get government out of the way and our economy will diversify itself.

15. What solutions would you offer to deal with drug abuse problems in West Virginia?

There is no single "cure-all." However, the best social program is a job. The reforms that will improve our state's economy will also improve our state's drug problem. Our state must also transition from punishing everyone to punishing the pushers and treating users.

16. How would you address the problems of barriers to employment and other services experienced by those in successful long-term recovery from addictions?

As mayor of Ravenswood, I just had 81 people apply for one job opening. It is obvious that people from all backgrounds desperately need good jobs, including those in recovery. The reforms that strengthen our state's entire economy will put more people to work and thus create more job opportunities for everyone, including those in recovery.

17. Do you support West Virginia asking the USDA to allow the state to say SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase non-nutritive soft drinks? Please explain why or why not.

Yes, I support this. As someone who worked years in a grocery store, I observed this problem myself. Ending this waste will mean more resources are available for those who truly need them.

18. West Virginia has the highest rate of smoking among pregnant women. We also have one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country. Do you support increasing the West Virginia state tax on tobacco products to coincide with the national average?

No; tax increases are a lazy and ineffective policy solution. This would simply take more money out of the pockets of pregnant women, leaving them with even less to provide for their children.

 

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