20100412 Merrill Cook US Senate candidate

We met at the Spaghetti Factory. The room started with about 30 and filled up to about 50. It was a good chance to hear what his focus was going to be on in this race.
4/12/2010 11:57:31 AM Introductions Merrill Cook This deal with the bailout was all wrong.
4/12/2010 11:57:52 AM Question What would you have suggested at that time?
4/12/2010 11:58:04 AM Answer Merrill Cook I would have finished with ‘settling it up.’ Let the companies figure it out because they would have made an answer. It would have been hard, the market would have fallen more, but it would be on the right path.
This is much more sustainable. Whether we are taxing banking, finance or spending, the Washington speak is broken. TARP is an imbalanced way of doing spending. The bailouts continue and the taxpayer keeps getting to stand behind things.
I would take an approach where a little more rubber meets the road directly so we have to deal with it. Congress is there for Wall Street not Main Street. We do not build the economy this way. We are getting to a worthless dollar.
I am running because there should be some Constitutional and financial sense brought there. I talked to Shelby and he was outraged with Bennetts behavior. If you are upset with him, think about who can replace him.
I do these gatherings not just to talk to you, but to learn from you. My service in the Congress was always to try and listen. You get in to trouble when you think you know it all and aren’t ready to learn.
I am talking about these finance things becaue fundamentally we do not have control of how our money is being spent. These things have been a long time on my mind. I spent 4 years on the banking committee in Congress before and want to fix this.
I like to start these sessions with a prayer and pledge.
This is my wife Camille who is the strength of this campaign.
I would like to start off with finding out what you want me to talk about. So let’s go around the room.
4/12/2010 12:09:38 PM Introductions “Grant Peterson: I like your ideas, but address Merrill Cook persona.
Jolene Fisher: Why you versus the others.
??: Less government
Bob ?: Trade and immigration
Jake ? (lehi): How were you able to lead last so fast last time?
Chris Miller: What will you do during the first year to counteract Health Care?
Tony Robbin: Contrast with Eagar, Bridgewater and Lee.
Bill ?: Land grab
??: Sales Tax
??: Tax relief sunset.
??: Deception and the war.
Tom Walt: How to fix as one person
Emily Ellswoth: Here to listen.
Don Olson: What has to be done to repeal Care? Revive the economy.
Peg ?: Opt out states, what happens?
Jackie: Your views on audting the fed. Free trade / deficit. What makes you different that Bennett.
Linda Housekeeper: Here to support Merrill Cook.
Carl ?: Understand you and your stance.
Van ?: Why audit and what will you find?
??: Want to know the difference.
Richard Shipp: States rights and 70% of lands owned by national.
Jim ?: Immigration, fair trade, tax spending, health care, 16 and 17th amendment.
Leo : Just answers the ones before.
??: health care.
Lee ?: Immigration
??: All the above.
Lauralyn Ebertine: PG 14. Same and how you distinguish.”
4/12/2010 12:16:35 PM Answer Merrill Cook I am running because I have a real concern about what has been happening over the past 10 years. The bailouts, over reach of the government and bad policy. There are perverse incentives for the economy provided by the government that hit health care, immigration and the Federal Reserve.
When I signed on to that with Ron Paul when I was in the House sitting next to him, we could only get 13 signatures. When people say they have audited it, they are just giving a Balance sheet. They are meaningless. Jefferson said that if we ever turn the money supply over to a private bank, the American people will lose the independence of the country.
In 1913 we took control away from Congress and created the Federal Reserve. They have accelerated their control over all things financial and economic with no accountability to Congress. They listen to their small member of Board of Governors. That is who is in control of the economy. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke are even more powerful than the President. When the President can’t get it through Congress he goes straight to the Reserve when he wants something.
When we talk about money supply, it was 7.5 trillion and is now over 10 trillion. All because of the Reserve.
I am also running because of immigration not being under control. There are perverse incentives that suggest that businesses have to do something illegal to compete.
10 years ago the government wanted to push home buying and home ownership even though people couldn’t afford it. We had implied credit with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and they accepted bad mortgages to move the sales of homes up. When Ron Paul and I tried to stop it they didn’t listen. Fast forward and we have the housing bubble and collapse. We have lost 10 million jobs because you can not sustain an economy on fluff. There must be integrity and strength to the money supply. We went off the Gold standard years ago. When Nixon took us off bullion internationally we lost control.
We are looking at high interest rates returning. They are hoping to keep Obama in power through money manipulation. When we start buying again problems will happen.
I am on the Ufire group when it comes to illegal immigration. We appreciate Utah passing a bill that will help in the verification. If someone is here illegally we don’t think they should get benefits. Instate tuition, drivers licenses and other benefits. We have tuition credits for illegal aliens versus other American citizens. I think we need to insist on following the Federal law and we should enforce it.
I am against the anchor baby law, based on the 14th amendment. I believe that we need a law to change that. It is another magnet that is causing illegal immigration. I am for legal immigration and the door should work more efficiently and better.

Health care is something that I will fight to fix. We would try and repeal but it would be vetoed. I will work night and day. Instead of repealing we can stop funding it. We have the right to not give it money. It is only a non-constitutional mandate from Federal level. I will support the states moving against it.
I believe the alternative is to stop the states from creating a monopoly. They are not letting health care cross state lines. If a company can sell across lines it will help. We need to move towards more free enterprise.
Tort reform is something that we need to put in place. We need reasonable caps on what is out there. Lawyers control Washington.
I believe that the next generation should have Health Savings Accounts. You have insurance for catastrophic events but then have savings for the next generation.
62%+ of entire budget is spending on entitlements. Private accounts can be the solution for the rising generation with Social Security. Paul Ryan knows more about controlling entitlements than anyone else. We sponsored the accounts for the new generation. This is the best answer. I am not for taking away Social Security from those who have invested over this time.
4/12/2010 12:38:01 PM Question How do you cut back on over utilization of medical care?
4/12/2010 12:38:26 PM Answer Merrill Cook The perverse incentive is that people don’t look at their health care purchases in the same way as they look at other purchases. They just go, not based on quality or price. That multiplied by 100 million people is out of control. This is not a market solution, it is a government run problem.
If you were using HSAs for your normal costs you would bring cost competition back in to the picture. The Supply/Demand curve would then be in force. If people are trying to use their own money they are more careful. If they are able to keep the money they don’t spend they are more careful. We need to push back for the rising generation so that we can get control of the spending.
Paul Ryan’s plan is the best coming out of Congress. I would be with him again. I would be with Coburn as well. He is a doctor. While we are on health care we would introduce legislation to repeal Obama cares bill. I don’t know if we can get it to the floor. We have at least a 2 year row to hoe because we can’t overpower the veto.
We want the courts to prove that it is a total violation of the 10th Amendment.
4/12/2010 12:44:23 PM Question What would you do to support the States?
4/12/2010 12:44:33 PM Answer Merrill Cook I would let the states know that I support them. Somebody said that they should opt out. The law doesn’t let you. The Bennett proposal had an opt out clause, that was all that was better. This is a control plan, not Health Care. It is also a huge tax increase.
4/12/2010 12:45:59 PM Question What are your views on foreign policy and views on wars.
4/12/2010 12:46:13 PM Answer Merrill Cook We should return to the Constitution. Congress should declare, not the President or courts. Resolutions are not a declaration of war. WWII was the last time that we actually declared war. I have a ton of respect for General Gates, Patreaus, and McCrystal. These are great men who are trying to fix the problem. We have to face where we are at. I want the leaders to stay who are there. I don’t want the plan to fail that is in place now. I wouldn’t want to be there but an eight year war is because we did not get in to it with a clear declaration. I hope that Patreaus can help us fix it. We have to fix where we are right. I don’t want us to be hurt by too fast a withdrawal.
4/12/2010 12:49:17 PM Question I just got back from DC and a meeting about Iran. They were very unhappy about Obama there in Georgetown. Obama has really failed with engagement before war.
4/12/2010 12:50:10 PM Answer Merrill Cook I agree that the steps are Engagement, Sanction, and War. Republicans and Democrats have made mistakes in this area. The threat from Iran is real and it is nuclear. We have to take them deadly seriously and need to watch and be careful before someone gets hurt.
Mistakes have been made by both administrations. I would hate to see us get to a war situation. I am more worried about Iran than North Korea.
I have been in on confidential discussions in the house. I am worried about missiles from North Korea.
4/12/2010 12:52:16 PM Question War on terror versus war on Iraq?
4/12/2010 12:52:29 PM Answer Merrill Cook Terror is awful as a tactic. It is ambiguous. What was the first airplane that was terrorised? It was 1919. It has been with us a long time. They have been with us a long time. IEDs are even more. We need more business men in Congress who know about IEDs and I work on explosives.
You can’t declare war on Terror since it is not a country.
The no fly zones we should have kept up with. We may need to do something with Iran. They have a regime that has stated their intention. We cannot say that we are at war with the whole world.
I don’t agree with the Patriot act that treats Americans like enemies. We shouldn’t have so much surveillance here but it should be there. If we give up our rights under the Constitution we have nothing. We can’t have that.
4/12/2010 12:56:14 PM Question What about the family? In the time I spent in the Middle East I noticed they were worried about our corrupting messages on the family.
4/12/2010 12:57:19 PM Answer Merrill Cook We need to return to our basic unit of the family. We need to defend marriage and strengthen families. They have a point when they see some of the awful family situations here. Abortions to the tune of 2-3 million per year.
We should not give up our freedoms but we should live as responsible human beings.
The perverse incentives are things like social welfare systems and ‘family is okay but lets redefine it.’ We need to push things in a direction where we can create a society that we like that has Agency and things that work.
4/12/2010 12:59:15 PM Question How come you lost your Congress seat?
4/12/2010 12:59:25 PM Answer Merrill Cook I had the most conservative and constitutionally based position. If I were to point to one thing that is not self-serving but honest, I would say that beginning in the 1970s companies wanted to change our trade with China. Don’t believe that I am against trade, but I don’t believe in trade bills that destroy our country. I stood up against the China trade deal and was alone in the Intermountain west. I was told that I would not get campaign money. I met with Tom DeLay and he told me that I would vote for the bill because they wanted campaign funds for the Republicans. He told me that I would not get money. I voted No. I didn’t have the money to compete against 3 million and Jim Matheson.
I was a good Congressmen. I said a swear word once and repented for it. Elder Maxwell gave me a call and wanted to visit and I knew what he would want to talk about. I never tell this story in Salt Lake County. He gave me a blessing for the curbing of tongues. There was only one other person who heard the word.
I loved my work there but wouldn’t trade any of it for my vote on Preferred Trade status bill with China.
4/12/2010 1:06:37 PM Question Were you the only one who swore?
4/12/2010 1:06:48 PM Answer Merrill Cook I am sure that I wasn’t. I don’t talk that way.
4/12/2010 1:07:15 PM Question I personally like you but you are standing in front of a speeding train. Can this thing be turned around or just slowed down?
4/12/2010 1:07:43 PM Answer Merrill Cook I believe that it can be turned around like the Energizer optimistic bunny. I am different than the other challenger. It would be irresponsible to keep the same people there. I spent four years back there and am not a rookie. You don’t have to just hope how I am going to vote. I will be right there with DeMint and Coburn. They are the best. They need me with them and we can stop the train. We need the support of the American people. If the voters go off and keep the Democrats in power then we will have the same problem.
I was part of the Contract of America. We brought in control of money and surpluses. New York was turned around by some key financial measures. We can do this with the right policy.
I would also say that I was ‘in Washington but not of Washington.’ I want to fight for what we did before.
4/12/2010 1:11:37 PM Question Does your seniority carry over?
4/12/2010 1:11:49 PM Answer Merrill Cook Any service you have gives you an advantage. Ron Paul went in with me and had been in before and got a boost. The seniority system is a bad system. I will say that Shelby is the leader of the banking committee because he is capable.
4/12/2010 1:13:44 PM Question How about the polls throughout the state.
4/12/2010 1:13:56 PM Answer Merrill Cook I am doing well in Salt Lake County because they know me. Here is a place where I have to catch up. The polls are all over the map. From what we are getting Senator Bennett may not be going in to a primary.
Jason Chaffetz was 4% before the Convention to 59% at Convention. Much will be decided on May 8. Camille and I are spending a lot of time contacting.
4/12/2010 1:15:46 PM Question There are a lot of good choices. We want change and the others haven’t been there before. I have had so much attention paid to me. What is their learning curve?
4/12/2010 1:16:22 PM Answer Merrill Cook I think the issues for economic problems are something I know. I know the Constitution as well as Mike Lee. I am a smart person and am focused on the Constitution. I can hit the ground running very quickly.
There is a learning curve but you know that I have stood strong and stalwart under pressure. When the siren called with money and votes I stood strong. Others may not because you don’t know.
Orrin Hatch went back strong with Term Limits and tax but people get to you out there. I was never the favorite party member. I didn’t have to buckle under because that is not what I do.
I disagree with how free enterprise meshes with the Government. I share the concerns that Cherilyn Eagar pushes about China. I don’t follow her AFL/CIO line though.
Bennett is correct that the challengers would give the money to Obama if they stopped earmarking. In the Conference room they reconcile like mad with earmarks. That is when no one else is looking at what they are doing.
In the past I said that I would fight for Utahs fair share for I15 money. I was told that I would have to get my money, by Newt Gingrich, in conference. All you have to do is call 2 people and you can get it. I wanted to get the money the right way though. It took me three months and several staffers so that we could present the plan to the entire Congress with complete data and everything else so that we could show that we had missed out on our fair share because of conference money. I was ranked second or third most effective out of 35. It was worth all the work and it was open.
My opponents have stated that they won’t take earmarks. It is music to Obama’s ears. The slush funds were 1% and are now 10%. We need earmarks for the solid rocket motors programs.
4/12/2010 1:26:23 PM Question You say that Bennett is able to get in the meetings, would you be able to?
4/12/2010 1:26:41 PM Answer Merrill Cook There is right and wrong and then there is dead wrong and dead right. I would not want to get in on those meetings. I want to be smart enough to be able to make a difference in the State directed spending bills. I want to stop the Conference sessions. So that we can get more control.
I said I would not vote for bills that would take us in to deficit. I did what I said and had a good team to work with. The Contract made a huge change. I got I15 done the right way and we got surpluses. We were going to pay down our deficit, that was then.
4/12/2010 1:28:59 PM Question This will be my last question. I worked for Bennett when I was 20 in 2001. I noticed when I was there around all those people. At Convention I will not just vote on what candidates are saying. I am voting for a Statesman and would like your answer.
4/12/2010 1:30:33 PM Answer Merrill Cook I hope that I could measure up. It is the right thing that you are looking for.
4/12/2010 1:30:54 PM Question One other thing we haven’t talked about is China?
4/12/2010 1:31:51 PM Answer Merrill Cook They own us and they are not people that will be ‘nice.’ They would love to enslave America. The Chinese people are wonderful but their leaders want control and what they can take. China never did buy the mortgage derivatives. They bought the Treasury bills and bonds because they didn’t buy the other financial institutions. They bought American debt that would obligate America to them. One way or another they will get their pay back. We have mishandled this.
The only way to get this fixed is through free enterprise to bring down the obligations. I am worried about our economy and the lost jobs.
China will demand the money and we have become second rate. We will become like Argentina. We need financial people back there. From the Federal Reserve to the trade policies it is broken.
I will stand by my votes. Bennett has also been honorable.
4/12/2010 1:37:01 PM Question Second amendment is a concern. Hitler took guns from the people.
4/12/2010 1:37:30 PM Answer Merrill Cook One of the pictures on my brochure is of myself and Charlton Heston. I love the man. He was the number one target for the Democrats. Heston called me to ask if I wanted help when I was running a very competitive race and he helped me out.
Obama is moving the opposite way. We have not resolved this.
4/12/2010 1:39:53 PM Question “The Patriot” is a book I was reading and it says that two things are a problem. Political correctness and profiling.
4/12/2010 1:40:21 PM Answer Merrill Cook I agree with that.

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