Hugh Chauvin is a construction manager in the energy industry with over 25 years of international experience. In addition, he served in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant.
Hugh is running for Congress to provide responsible leadership for the 6th Congressional District. We currently have crises of confidence in the Democratic Party and a crisis of courage among Republicans to stand up and stop the unchecked growth of government, the continued imposition of regulations that strangle economic growth and the unparalleled spending of future generation's money at a rate that will bankrupt this great nation.
I have been a registered Republican since I was old enough to vote, however, I never fully agreed with all of their platform planks. Their stand on several issues are inconsistent with a free society. The Democrats, over the past few years, seem to be cheerleaders for socialism.
What in your life or work experience made you decide to get into politics?
After 35 years managing major construction and maintenance projects around the world and interacting with people from various countries, you gain a unique perspective on American politics. I’m sure a lot of people go into politics for very noble or altruistic reasons. My reason is very simple: I am mad as hell at the direction our government is taking this country. Whether I win or lose this election, I will be able to tell my friends and family that I tried to make a difference.
Joe Barton is the incumbent Republican for this district. What votes or choices has he made that you disagree with?
I disagree with the Energy Act of 2005 authored by Mr. Barton that laid the foundation for the Solyndra loan guarantees. I do not believe that as a member and former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee that he has demonstrated leadership in developing a viable energy strategy to effectively utilize all American resources. I also find it disturbing that he has been a ‘no show’ for voting in congress 1016 times during his 27 year career in government. This is an average of 37 times a year.
How have his choices harmed Texas and the nation?
Inaction and a failure to provide leadership in times of crisis do not instill confidence. Doing nothing may not seem harmful on the surface, but rising energy costs, government spending that borders on obscene coupled with a Federal Reserve Bank that seems to be out of control and devaluing our currency require action, initiative and courage which Mr. Barton seems unwilling or unable to provide.
How would you work to reduce energy costs?
Currently, 60 cents of the cost of a gallon of gasoline can be traced to market speculation and a national average of 40 cents per gallon is state, local and federal tax. Reducing the tax by 50% and reigning in speculators would reduce energy costs immediately. Long term, we need to increase domestic drilling, allow new refineries to be built, figure out why South Africa has been able to produce gasoline, plastics, diesel fuel, etc. from their abundant coal reserves for nearly 70 years while we have ignored our own coal reserves. The Energy Act of 2005 has a provision to build 6 new nuclear power plants. Where are the permits for these nukes? When they be built?
Our kids’ test scores have remained flat while education costs have tripled. What do you see as the solution for education in Texas?
In discussions with parents in this district, it may be that the tests are part of the problem. Our current education system is a reflection of a 19th century agrarian society where kids had to take off to help with spring planting, fall harvest, etc. We need a sea change in our thinking about how our education system needs to adapt to 21st century needs. As with other programs mentioned, government management does not seem to provide many answers to the problems. I have a list of suggestions, but too little space in this questionnaire to address all of them.
What should Congress do to help lower healthcare costs?
A large part of healthcare costs can be directly attributed to Medicaid and Medicare. Government management has been less than impressive with Amtrak, the USPS, Social Security and of course the aforementioned programs. This is a very complex issue that would require careful review and input from healthcare providers, the public and the insurance industry. One quick fix would be to deduct the cost of foreign nationals’ emergency room care provided at no cost to them from the foreign aid we provide to their home country.
What do you think is the root cause of the violence along the Texas border?
Illegal drug trade and trafficking in economic refugees who enter the U.S. illegally seeking employment. Violence along the border with Mexico is nothing new. Border violence is an ongoing problem at least 125 years old that the government has ignored since our entry into WWI. The only president in modern times to address this issue was Eisenhower in the 1950’s.
What would you do to decrease the violence?
This 8 word question is extremely complex. There is no short answer. Decreasing violence requires commitment of the federal government to enforce our laws. It requires a major discussion in the United States among congress, community leaders, law enforcement and the foreign governments on the path forward concerning attitudes about the drug trade, how to deal with economic refugees and the corruption in the U.S. and other nations that fuels this problem. Empowering Border States to assist with law enforcement instead of filing lawsuits against them to deal with this issue that the Federal Government has refused to do would be a positive step.
What are your thoughts on immigration?
The Federal government has either failed to enforce existing immigration laws or they selectively enforce them. Twice in the past 35 years the administration has granted amnesty to people who were living or working in the U.S. illegally in hopes that this would solve the problem. Clearly, amnesty only encouraged more illegal immigration. To those who call for immigration reform, I would counter by saying we won’t know if we need to reform our immigration laws until we actually enforce them to see how and if they work.
Would you have voted in favor of Barack Obama’s bombing of Libya?
Knowing the current cost, would you have voted for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan?No. I spent nearly 25 years working in the Middle East, including a year in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. I so not think anyone in our government has a clue about the ties between religion and politics in Islamic countries the Middle East.
The U.S., with 6% of the world’s population, is responsible for more than 45% of the world’s military spending. Do you think this is justified?
Do you own a gun? Why, or why not?
Yes. I own handguns and long guns for personal protection and home defense.
What unique life experiences have you had that you believe make you a good candidate?
I have been a construction and maintenance manager in the energy industry for over 35 years. Most of that time I worked internationally in Russia, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Managing complex projects and bringing them in on time and on budget while working with international workforces consisting of 20 or more nationalities and maintaining order on the job site while being sensitive to local customs, laws and religious issues is a political football match.
What promises, if any, would you be willing to make to the voters in your district?
I intend to have a short synopsis on my Congressional website of all pending bills for my constituents to review and provide feedback in order for me to vote on legislation in a manner that reflects on the wishes of the majority of the District 6 voters.I can assure them that in true representative government their opinion is more important than mine is.
How should the U.S. attempt to guide Islamic countries toward democracy?
Islam is both a religion and a political system. The Quran clearly spells out all aspects of interaction between Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims. Whether we like it or not, Democracy and Islam are not compatible and forcing democracy on Muslim countries will result in the chaos we currently see in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Bahrain, Syria, etc. Our State Department is out of touch with reality concerning Muslim countries.
How would you reduce government spending?
There are several cabinet level agencies that are not accountable to the electorate that seem to be a law unto themselves. I would put them all under congressional oversight and force accountability. The recent $825,000 junket to Las Vegas by the GSA is only the tip of the iceberg. Giving Brazil $2 billion to develop their oil industry and promising to be their best customer was another outrageous give away by this administration. I wonder if the president knows that Brazil has fueled all of their cars with alcohol based fuel for over 40 years?
What would you do concerning energy policy and the energy department?
With a $2 billion dollar a month budget and 90,000 employees one would think they would have a comprehensive energy policy and strategy after 35 years. I’d fire the lot of them and bring in real energy experts, not folks who think that rainbows and pond scum are the next great energy source. They totally ignore coal, which can be converted into gasoline, jet fuel and plastics, refuse to drill domestically where the oil is actually located, ignore geothermal energy and shuffle nuclear energy to the back burner. We have a provision in the Energy Act of 2005, penned by Joe Barton to build 6 new nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, it takes over 30 years, on average to get through the morass of bureaucracy and constantly changing rules regarding nuclear construction.
What does the U.S. need to do about foreign aid spending?
One of my pet peeves is that whenever the government is in a financial crisis, which seems to be all the time, they threaten senior citizens with roll back of Medicare and social security benefits. We need to zero out foreign aid to all countries and review what we give away and make sure these expenditures are necessary and actually helping people. We give Haiti $350 million a year and they are still living in tents with little or no drinking water, massive unemployment and a totally unresponsive government. We give Jordan $350 million a year to leave Israel alone. Better we should give Israel $150 million to tell Jordan to leave them alone and save $200 million in the process.
Learn more at http://HughChauvin.com
Category: Meet the Candidates