Cheryl Baswell Guthrie
From OpenCongress Wiki
Cheryl Baswell Guthrie is the Conservative Republican candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 5th Congressional District (map) of Alabama. She is seeking the Republican nomination to replace Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.). The primary will take place on June 3, 2008.
I will protect and work for additional funding for Redstone Commands and NASA facilities in the district. They are not only integral to the district’s economy and families, but Redstone Arsenal and its commands are tremendously important on the frontlines of the War on Terror while saving the lives of American servicemen and women. Full funding of Redstone Commands will also facilitate bringing in more small businesses to the region, improving our economy and providing additional jobs. When I get to Congress, I will seek a seat on the Armed Services, Appropriations and Science Committees in order to ensure that North Alabama’s interests are properly represented by someone that understands how important NASA and the Redstone Commands are to this area. I will fight to bring even more commands to Redstone, and work with the Alabama Congressional delegation and Armed Services member Senator Jeff Sessions to make Redstone even more prominent in our national defense program.
One of my top goals when I go to Washington, D.C. is to make Huntsville once again the space exploration capital of the world. I will push for increased spending for NASA projects, like the Constellation Program aimed at manned missions to the Moon and to Mars. The bi-product of these missions is the technology and products that will make America more competitive in the global economy. I fully support long-term NASA projects, including manned missions, exploration of Jupiter’s outer moons, and extra-solar exploration, and will work to ensure that North Alabama is at the forefront of development for those missions.
Americans are sick and tired of Washington-as-usual policies, which is why I will work to make all aspects of the earmark process transparent and accountable. Congress in 2006 tried to enact $239 million of your money to pay for a bridge in Alaska for a town of 50 people to an uninhabited island. A transparent system would quickly put an end to wasteful projects like this and thousands of others reckless lawmakers try to hide from public scrutiny. I will also support a task force charged with finding and eliminating programs that are obsolete and an unneeded burden on US taxpayers. As a small business owner, I understand that we need to make government live within its means, which means putting an end to out-of-control spending and balancing the budget. I support a constitutional amendment that requires the budget to be balanced every year.
We need to work toward solutions that can be implemented that will provide immediate tax relief for small businesses and America’s middle and lower-class families: I will make tax cuts for low and middle income families a top priority. I will cut spending and balance the federal budget, reducing the tax burden on all Americans. I will make the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts permanent. I will eliminate the “death tax.” I will permanently repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). I will support tax cuts for small businesses. I will push for tax credits for research and development that small businesses conduct. This will not only strengthen our economy and create new, better paying jobs, it will also make the United States more competitive in the global market where Japan and China lead the race in developing new technology and products. I will work to change current energy policies to allow for exploration of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska. I will also push to allow the building of new oil refineries. These changes should bring about significant changes in gas prices. More supply of crude oil and the refining of more gas will help drive down and control prices for the years to come.
War in Iraq
Mistakes were made, both in planning the war and implementing it, resulting in a dangerous destabilization of the country and the region. However, this does not abdicate our responsibility to protect our country from those who have only one goal in mind—the destruction of the U.S. I do NOT support a timetable for withdrawal, but a gradual and continuous reduction of US troops as we accelerate the training and equipping of the Iraqi armed forces and police, holding the new Iraqi government accountable for their performance. When it comes time to reduce American involvement, it must be done responsibly and carefully, so we are not faced with a situation where we have to send troops back over there, or worse, fight terrorists over here. We have to let the Generals give us direction in the war. It is not Congress’ place to decide war strategies or tactics. That puts our brave sons and daughters at risk. We must fully fund war time operations to continue to modernize our weapons, secure armor and equipment that ensure the safety of our troops, and provide better compensation for our soldiers. Just because a person or group of people may not agree with the war doesn’t mean that we should put our brave sons and daughters at risk by cutting the defense budget.
Care for Veterans
As the wife of a twenty-year service member, I understand the pressures that military families face both during and after their service to the country. The treatment of our veterans in this country is shameful, and it will be one of my top priorities to change this. We must improve and expand VA health facilities so that we can immediately address every soldier’s health and mental issues upon their return home. We have to build more VA health facilities throughout the nation so that veterans in need don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to get the help they deserve and need. We need to work to improve the post combat compensation programs to help our brave servicemen and women better deal with the financial challenges they face when they arrive home. We need to provide incentives for many soldiers to stay in service, as they possess institutional knowledge, situational awareness and critical expertise necessary to help protect the US from other dangers.
We face two problems with Illegal immigration- securing our borders and dealing with illegal immigrants who are already in the country. I will be proactive in finding a solution to securing our borders. The following is my vision to immediately secure our borders, ensuring that illegal immigrants and terrorists can’t enter the United States: Expand the Zero Tolerance Prosecution Program that guarantees that illegal entrants will be prosecuted and will serve jail time. The trial of this program has already been proven a success in parts of Arizona where it has caused a 68% decrease in attempted entries. Authorize the placement of additional National Guard troops on the border to temporarily assist in patrolling and security efforts until we can recruit and train thousand of new border agents. Initiate a program that tracks visitors and guest workers that overstay their visas, so we can deport them immediately. Complete 700 miles of southern border fencing Congress authorized two years ago. Expand the use of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to boost the coverage of US border patrols. We also have to deal with illegal immigrants already in the US, easing the burden that illegal immigrants place on the US economy, and to reduce the risks illegal aliens pose to the safety and health of our families, as open borders make it easy for drugs, infectious diseases and criminals to enter the US. The following is my vision to immediate address illegal immigrants who are already here: End the policy of giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Prohibit the distribution of government benefits to illegal aliens. Require high school graduates to read and speak English proficiently before graduating from high school. Enact the Criminal Alien Removal Program that would immediately deport all illegal aliens currently in US prisons and jails, as well as illegal aliens that are monitored by law enforcement through probation programs. Fully 27% of US federal prison population is comprised of non-citizens. Begin fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants - allowing Border Patrol, and state and local law enforcement to enforce this law. Suspend the business licenses of businesses that are repeat violators. Begin a Voluntary Exit Program that will provide transportation for any illegal alien to the border. When faced with no job, no welfare and no opportunities, thousands will leave the United States and we need to be proactive in getting them out of the country as soon as possible.
I will be the first to fight for an individual’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership is not only a proud tradition and important for hunting, sporting, and protecting or families, but I understand that protecting the right to own a gun is the ultimate guarantee of liberty. I will also fight against government mandated gun safety mechanisms, like mandatory gun locks. The best way to deter crime is to strictly enforce the laws that are already enacted, not to add even more restrictions on our Second Amendment rights that do nothing to prevent criminals who don’t care about the laws to continue accessing and using guns.
I am proud to be 100% pro-life and will work to promote pro-life legislation in Congress. I will also work to prevent judges and courts from making decisions like Roe v. Wade that made abortions legal and easily accessible. We have to restrict abortions and provide reasonable and effective alternatives. I will introduce legislation that would allow for faster and easier adoptions for qualified families. A fast-track adoption program would also promote states to operate programs that educate women about the process and incentivize the adoption of children that would otherwise be aborted. The fast-track adoption program is a loving and merciful alternative to abortion.
I strongly believe that marriage is defined as one man and one woman and I will fight to keep that definition true and meaningful. Liberal judges and courts are in the process of destroying the very definition of marriage. These are the same courts that helped make abortions legal and easily accessible by using cases like Roe v. Wade to legislate from the bench. They have no right to make decisions like that. This country is built on Christian principles, and I will work to promote Christian values while fighting against the ruin that moral-less judges can lead our country to if left unchecked.
As a lawyer, I see first-hand the waste of taxpayer’s money in our judicial system. We need to enact several common-sense reforms that reduce the taxpayer’s burden, like the “loser pays” provision that requires a losing plaintiff to cover the legal costs of the defendant, reducing the amount of frivolous and baseless lawsuits.
The federal government should be less involved in educating our children for various reasons. First and foremost, our schools should be controlled locally by the people are best positioned to assess and meet the needs of our children. Our schools and children should not be exploited as vehicles for liberal social experiments and the compulsory indoctrination of secular values on issues such as sex education. For the 2006-2007 school year the federal portion of K-12 funding for public schools is 8.9 percent and 9.9 percent for Alabama. In exchange for this relatively small share of K-12 education funding the federal government provides to our schools, it turns around and places demanding administrative burdens and encourages mandates upon our local schools. Parents and children should have the option to pursue educational alternatives that meet the individual needs of their families. These options should include the right to home school children or to enroll their children in private schools at their discretion. It is, however, my strong belief that if families receive funds or tax breaks to provide their children with educational alternatives to public education, the government should not use the situation as a tool to undermine the autonomy or values of private institutions or groups.
The federal government has a responsibility to oversee and assure quality and integrity of health care while pursuing policies that keep costs low. It is for these reasons that we require FDA approval of drugs and medical procedures and regulate the insurance industry. The government also has the responsibility to address the looming Medicare funding crisis. Over the next 75 years Medicare expenditures will balloon from 3.2 percent of GDP in 2007 to 10.8 percent of GDP as baby boomers retire. Congress and the President should pursue tax deductions or to provide immediate relief to health care consumers and reduce the number of uninsured. Consumers can also see savings if we change insurance regulations to allow insurance policies to be portable and by allowing individuals and groups to band together to purchase coverage.
Our current energy crisis stems from over regulation by the federal government. To get control of our crisis, we must do the following: Make energy exploration a top priority. Open the remote, wilderness area in Alaska called ANWR for new oil exploration. Open the Gulf of Mexico for new oil explorations. Change regulations so that more oil refineries can be built. Allow more nuclear plants to be built. Allow for more ethanol production, but incentivize farmers to continue to grow corn and wheat for food so that we never have to choose between fuel and food.
Cheryl Baswell Guthrie grew up in Huntsville and has raised her family and built her small business here. Cheryl’s desire to serve the residents of North Alabama run deep. Her grandfather, Edward deGraffenried , represented Alabama in the United States Congress. Her father, Avery Baswell, Jr., served in Huntsville as an engineer in missile defense for over twenty years. Her mother, Grace deGraffenried Baswell taught in the Huntsville Public School System for more than twenty years.
Cheryl attended Mountain Gap Elementary School and graduated from Grissom High School in 1978. She holds a degree in Finance from Lindwood College in St. Charles, Missouri and law degree with Magna Cum Laude Honors from South Texas College of Law. She returned to Huntsville from law school to build several successful businesses and to serve the community that was her childhood home.
Cheryl’s family and faith play central roles in her life. Cheryl is married to Retired U.S. Coast Guard Officer Rusty Guthrie, and has one son, Rylan Guthrie, who is a college student at Mercer University seeking an engineering degree. She and her family are active members of Willowbrook Baptist Church in Huntsville.
The Huntsville Times says, “Republican Cheryl Baswell Guthrie has worked tirelessly to help local faith groups...” Cheryl volunteers with nearly a dozen Christian and non-profit organizations in the region, including founding “Passion in Action,” a group that pairs local senior citizens with children in need of mentoring in addition to helping Christian organizations get access to grants and scholarships. She also has worked with local several Northwest Huntsville churches to establish senior centers.
Cheryl has a keen insight into the needs and pressures of the small business world. Aside from owning several small businesses, Cheryl has extensive experience in a number of industries, including finance, real estate, health care, new business development, and law. She currently practices law in Huntsville, and also serves as Director for nearly a dozen profit and nonprofit corporations.
Cheryl will work to serve on the Armed Services Committee and pursue a seat on Appropriations.
More background data
Articles and resources
Decatur Daily endorses Cheryl Baswell Guthrie http://decaturdaily.com/stories/11422.html
- 2008 U.S. congressional elections
- Portal:Alabama and the U.S. Congress
- 2008 Race Tracker page on Alabama’s 5th Congressional District
- Cheryl Baswell Guthrie for Congress website
- Decatur Daily website