One on one with Tom White

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October 23rd, 2010

Tom White, D, is challenging incumbent Lee Terry for the 2nd district seat (Photo courtesy Nebraska Legislature)

Watch the full interview here

Omaha, NE – The race for Nebraska’s 2nd District seat has been a heated battle this election season. Democrat Tom White is challenging Republican incumbent Congressman Lee Terry, who is seeking his seventh term in the U.S. House. As part of our ongoing Election 2010 coverage, KVNO News Director Robyn Wisch sat down with White for a one-on-one discussion. Congressman Terry declined to participate in the program. The full interview aired on NET Television; here’s a preview of the conversation.

Tom White has represented the Benson neighborhood in Omaha as a state senator since 2006. Before that, he worked as an attorney, since graduating from Creighton Law School in 1983. Federal spending and taxes have been central issues in the campaign between White and Congressman Lee Terry, who has represented Omaha in Congress since 1998.

RW: “With the deficit over a trillion dollars and the national debt multiple trillions of dollars, what revenue increases would you support to tackle that problem as well as spending cuts?”

TW: “Well, let’s talk about tax loopholes. A big difference with Congressman Terry and myself came on big tax breaks that’s given to companies that close American factories and then ship the equipment and the jobs overseas. We just had one earlier this week… the last incandescent light bulb factory in the country GE ran, they’re closing it because they have to switch to compact, fluorescent discs. But they’re not going to put that work back in that factory; they’re going to ship it to China. Well, companies get tax breaks for that. I find that absolutely unacceptable. It hurts us in two ways. One is we lose the revenue from taxes that those workers would pay, and we’re also losing revenue from what that company should pay. So those are the things where Mr. Terry and I are very different. I don’t like special interest tax breaks… I want those ended, and I want our tax code to reward honest work, but to also tell companies that they have a duty to make sure good jobs are available to the American people and not just ship them overseas.”

RW: “Let’s talk about jobs, in some of the poorest in Omaha, there’s up to 17% unemployment…”

TW: “I’m painfully aware of that. That’s part of my district.”

RW: “Would you support another stimulus package to send jobs to those kinds of areas?”

TW: “I would definitely support anything that effectively gets jobs. We have an opportunity.  We have the big sewer project… that is a $3 billion, if they bring it in on budget, which is always questionable, but a $3 billion public works project, one of the biggest since the Interstate. There’s no question in my mind that we need to look for young men and women who have not had a chance to get in the job market. Those jobs are tough, they’re dirty, sometimes they’re going to be dangerous, but they pay a living wage, they have insurance benefits so they can have a life. We need to make sure that real opportunities are available to people who have been shut out of the job market, either because of their family history or where they live.”

NET Television aired the full interview on Oct 22nd, and Oct. 23rd. Watch the full interview here

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