The Daily News asked candidates for statewide office in the Aug. 16 Alaska primary and special U.S. House elections to answer a series of issue and biographical questions to help voters understand their positions. Some questions were suggested by readers. Read all the responses here.
Randy Purham • Party: Republican • Occupation: Retired military • Age: 42 • Residence: Anchorage • rpurham4us.com
Relevant experience or prior offices held
Military, Leadership in volunteer organizations
Why are you running for office?
To bring qualified and better representation to Alaska.
Name two big problems or challenges currently facing Alaska and how you plan to address them if elected.
The Jones’ Act (Merchant Marine Act) and ANILCA Act. Both economically hurt Alaskans and I seek to modify and/or abolish both.
Do you believe Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election? If you believe there was fraud, where and how do you think it took place?
No. Ballot harvesting with ineligible and illegal voters, fraudulent vote counts, tampered voting machines, and “Mules” collecting ballots and stuffing ballot boxes. (Prove me wrong!)
Supporters of former President Donald Trump violently attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020. Do you believe President Trump should be held responsible for the events of Jan. 6?
There were not just supporters of President Trump. There were planted ANTIFA members and radical left-wing supporters there as well. No person should or can be held accountable of the actions of another person. We are all individual sovereign people with our own will to do what is right or wrong.
Do you think Congress should pass legislation to limit or protect abortion access?
Congressional members should take the pulse and listen to their respective constituency and vote on matters according to the consensus of the population they represent. From there the cards shall fall where they shall. However, being that I am pro-life, I cannot condone the efforts of abortion rights that seek to terminate a child’s life because of a matter of “choice”.
What specific actions, if any, should the U.S. government take to curb gun violence?
The Second Amendment is quite clear. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. However, it is the responsibility of not only citizens of this country, but individual communities to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to ensure that weapons of any form do not fall into the hands of people with malicious intent. We don’t have discussions about knife violence, alcohol related violence, car violence, or gang violence, but the focus is always central to gun violence. Place the ownership where it belongs and that is the individual or their accomplices.
How do you think new resource development projects in Alaska should be balanced with the interests of environmental protection and climate change mitigation?
First and foremost, technological advances made should be utilized and procured to help resource development be safe and manageable for both the industry and the environment. There has been little evidence that shows that resource extrapolation is the reason for climate change. Climate change is the due process course in which over time the environment changes for evolutionary purposes. Ice age is a great example.
How will you promote putting aside partisan politics to address complex issues in Congress?
Addressing complex issues a Representative is very simple. You are the voice of the people you Represent. In the case of mixed consensus on issues, you find common ground, and reasonable solutions that all sides can agree upon and push those “planks”.
Do you believe the federal government is well positioned to continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other future pandemics that may emerge?
Not at all. Let local governments dictate the management of these issues as best suited for their respective communities.
Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in sports according to the gender with which they identify?
No. Create a league for Transgender athletes to compete in these respective sports separate from that of which cis-gender populations compete in. It is an unfair advantage to Women (XX) to compete with Men (XY) in certain things, just as vice versa, because they identify as the opposite. Would a reasonable person allow a girl to compete in a boxing match against a male? Realistically NO ONE would.
The federal infrastructure bill, which was voted for by all members of Alaska’s congressional delegation, stands to bring millions in federal funding to projects in Alaska. How would you ensure Alaska maximizes the benefits of this bill?
The federal infrastructure bill would need to be dissected to identify exactly how and where allocations would go specifically for Alaska, given the unique terrain and currently present infrastructure in existence, millions of dollars would be literally a few dollars based on the needed improvements and upgrades needed to actually benefit Alaska. The better question would be how can the federal government help Alaska grow within the sector of infrastructure development to be competitive with other emerging states and countries?
What should the federal government be doing to curb inflation and strengthen the U.S. economy?
First, a reduction in overseas spending (Ukraine) would be a great start. Reduce and eventually eliminate the reliance on other competing nations (China, Russia, Middle Eastern Countries) for energy resources, and subsidize presently existing industries in the US to produce what is needed for self-sustainability of the US population. Then create programs to encourage further developments and growth of the existing programs for rapid expansion into foreign trade markets.
What should be done, if anything, to change federal immigration policies?
For starters, enforce the existing laws. Then create 90-day amnesty programs in highly affected states to identify illegal immigrants to get them appropriately registered and begin the vetting process for citizenship. Those who do not meet the criteria or otherwise considered undesirable citizens should then be processed for deportation.
What is the country’s biggest national security threat?
The country’s biggest national security threat is the reliance on other countries for natural resources, and to police their nations. As a sovereign nation with the abundance of natural resources for self-sustainment, we should minimally import from other countries for these commodities such as oil as the stark example. A reduction in the global police force (military operations) will prove to be an advantage for the United States in the event that response to global threats is actually necessary by keeping forces in the US versus utilizing and wasting logistical resources in other countries for the same “what if” scenarios. See Afghanistan and Iraq as an example.
Where do you want Alaska and the U.S. to be five years from now in regard to emissions reductions and adaptation to the effects of climate change?
Investment and development of STEM programs and growth in present practices to reduce harm to the environment would prove to be useful in advancing emission reduction endeavors. In the same token, concerted efforts to challenge other high emission producing countries to do the same will spur economic competition for faster and greater results.
What other important issue would you like to discuss?
It is important to recognize that with the myriad of challenges and social issues we face as citizens from diverse backgrounds and experiences, that we need representation that understands these dynamics and will effort to address, resolve, and push solutions to accommodate everyone involved in these various facets of life. Partisan ideologies are great for faddish media moments, but at the end of the day, we all have common goals in life - prosperity for our family and future generations, and these are the things we should aspire to work together towards building upon. Conversations should be encouraged, and everyone should have the opportunity to listen, speak, and provide solutions. If each person thinks they have the RIGHT answer to all the questions that is posed to our society, then they all should be in office somewhere affecting those changes and ideas. Until that idea comes to fruition, choose the right people for the right job. Lead or get out of the way!