Recently I had the opportunity to interview U.S. Senate candidate Ron Crumpton about his upcoming election. Mr. Crumpton is challenging the incumbent Senator Richard Shelby this November. Shelby has been in the U.S. Senate for what feels like an eternity and it’s time for a fresh face to represent Alabama up in Washington. From what I have learned about him, I am beyond excited about the possibility of Ron Crumpton being the person to bring about that change.
Thanks for being here today. I know you are a busy man so I’ll keep this short. First off, what made you get involved in politics and why do you want to be in the U.S. Senate?
I was just tired of seeing people who do not represent my values walk into federal office unopposed year after year. We need a senator that will represent the interest Alabamians. Senator Shelby has not done that. We live in a state where 45% of single parents are living in poverty, 390,000 children are receiving food stamps, and we rank 49th in education, but Shelby doesn’t sponsor any legislation aimed at reducing poverty or improving education.
If you look at his sponsored legislation, you will find out two things.
First, he sponsors the fewest number of bills of any senator in Washington. He co-sponsors the fewest number of bills and he has the fewest co-sponsors for his bills.
Second, the legislation he does sponsor is designed to make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer. He sponsors legislation that would remove regulations on the Wall Street Banks and put our economy at risk, and he sponsors a flat tax that would reduce the tax burden on the rich by balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class.
If our next senator does anything aimed at helping the people of Alabama, it will be more than Senator Shelby has done.
Everything you’ve said about Shelby is spot on. But at the same time, he is one of the longest serving members of the U.S. State Senate and this is a solidly red state. He joined the upper chamber in 1987 at the same time as John McCain and Harry Reid. My question to you is, how do you take on someone that is so well-established in the Washington machine in a state that is as red as Alabama?
Well, we don’t feel that is an advantage. He hasn’t had a real challenge since he beat Jeremiah Denton for the seat in 1986. Therefore, he has a long questionable record that he has not had to answer for. It gives us a lot of ammunition.
Agreed. Let’s look at you now. Some people may not be familiar with you yet, but as the election gets closer I’m sure they are starting to do some research. When they do, they’ll see that on your website you lay out your plans and positions on a large swath of issues. If you’re elected, what is the first issue that you are taking on?
Education is the silver bullet in America. The starting point for everything that we as Alabamians want to see for our state and our nation is in the education of our children.
My first bill would be aimed at equality in education.
Many students in Alabama and across the nation go to school in buildings that are falling apart, yet state and local expenditures on school construction are deteriorating, and federal school construction has fallen to $10 billion per year. That is about half the amount spent before the recession, which was not enough to fix the problem.
According to many experts, it will cost tax payers $300 billion just to bring our schools up to an acceptable level. That does not include the new facilities that will be necessary to meet the needs of our growing school age population.
My first bill would generate $65 billion per year, for the next ten years, to repair our current schools and build new schools before falling back to $30 billion a year for maintenance and to provide for future growth.
The word technology is defined as the machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge, especially in industry. The purpose of our schools is to teach our children to be successful in the future, but it is very hard to train our children in the technology of the future, using the technology of the past.
Students are working on computers that in many cases are more than 10 years old, and there are too many schools that do not have effective wireless access.
How many American businesses could effectively operate in the modern era without computers and wireless internet access? Can our children learn the mastery of the most simple business tools without access and training? Can our children be as successful without these skills?
The answer is no, and that is why my first bill would also call for an investment of $25 billion a year over the next 10 years, before falling to $15 billion to maintain that new technology and purchase of additional technology as our school age population expands.
As an educator myself, this is personally what I am most excited about with your candidacy. I’ve worked in an under-funded school and I can tell you, those kids are at a big disadvantage compared to others and that is no fault of their own. Another big issue that is plaguing Washington is a lack of working across the aisle. What issues do you think you can work on to get bipartisan support on?
The secret to that is in the hands of the American people. We have to stop voting against our own best interests. If someone is running as an obstructionist, like Richard Shelby, they are probably not the solution.
We need Senators that can reach across the aisle. I have always shown that I am willing to work with anyone on an issue to issue basis, provided that we agree on the issue. I may be fighting them on one issue while working with them on another, and that is the way it should be. We need Senators that fight for or against issues, and not against individuals or the opposing party.
To wrap up, I’ll let you sell yourself to our readers. What message do you want to leave with them who may be considering voting for you?
People just need to look at what each candidate plans to do. Dick Shelby has no plan to improve the lives of the people of Alabama.
Instead he seeks to initiate a flat tax, which would mean a huge tax break for the uber rich while raising taxes on everyone else; and he seeks to remove regulations placed on the big banks, which were put in place to protect the economy after the banking disaster.
My plan for the economy will repair, replace, and expand our schools, roads, bridges, and airports, lift millions out of poverty, reduce costs to the justice system, end too big to fail, make college more affordable, end tax-breaks for sending jobs overseas, rebuild our social safety net, create 2.1 million jobs and provide an average tax break of $300 to more than 78 million American families.
Even though Alabama is one of the poorest states in the country, Dick Shelby does not sponsor any legislation aimed at reducing poverty or improving education.
It is time for the people of Alabama to have a choice. It is time for new leadership, new direction and new results in Washington DC, and that is why I am running for the United States Senate.
Thanks for reading everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about Mr. Crumpton then you can visit his website here, or his Facebook page here. If possible, make sure you make a donation as well. Remember, that while it is certainly important to help keep a Democrat in the White House, it is probably even more important to win back a majority in the Senate! Let’s make sure that we get one step closer by electing Ron Crumpton this November!