Right Pundits had the good fortune of interviewing Congresswoman-elect Sandy Adams of Florida, who is a member of the large incoming GOP Freshman Class of 2011. She is one of eight interviews Rightpundits.com has conducted so far in our interview series of new congressmen and women most responsible for the historic Republican election sweep in 2010.
Ms. Adams already had an impressive biography even before her landslide win over Democratic incumbent Suzanne Kosmas who previously held Florida’s 24th congressional district. Her background includes a stint serving our nation’s armed forces in the Air Force and later a law enforcement investigator (think CSI, people) in Orange County, Florida. More recently she has served for eight years in the Florida House of Representatives. She creamed Kosmas with 60% of the vote.
The following is my interview with Congresswoman-elect Sandy Adams on December 17th, 2010.
1. What issues in the campaign do you think connected most with the voters in your district?
Wherever I traveled in the district the top concern voiced by voters was the lack of a focus by the current Congress on creating jobs and improving the economy. They saw a focus on passing a new cap and trade national energy tax, a government takeover of health care, massive spending bills, and trillion dollar bailouts of Wall Street. What they did not see were common sense policies that put certainty into the economy, kept taxes low, and helped provide the private sector the tools necessary to hire new employees and get the economy back on track. The new Republican majority will focus on those issues and follow through on the clear wishes of the American public.
2. What 2 or 3 specific goals are you most interested in seeing accomplished this term?
I would like to join my Republican colleagues in repealing and replacing the government takeover of health care, enacting tax policies that help the private sector create jobs and turn the economy around, and look at ways to help return human space flight to the top of NASA’s agenda for the future.
3. How hopeful are you that the new Republican majority will be able to accomplish these goals?
The new Republican majority has already taken positive steps toward keeping the promises made on the campaign trail and in the Pledge to America. Whether it is reducing the size of Congress, cutting our own office budgets, or changing the way that business in conducted in Washington, so far they have kept their word. But follow through will be very important to those voters who went to the voting booth on November 2nd looking for fundamental change. They will keep our feet to the fire, and I welcome that challenge. Because as I always say, representative is not a title, it’s a job description.
4. What committees are you most interested in working on? Why?
I am hopeful to serve on the Judiciary and Science and Technology Committees. As a former Sheriff’s Deputy, my professional background is in criminal justice and law enforcement issues – issues in line with the Judiciary Committee’s mandate. I also have the honor to represent Kennedy Space Center and the related industries that are found on the Space Coast of Florida. As such, the Science and Technology Committee is one of the most important to fight for the needs of the men and women employed by NASA and the related private companies in the region.
[Editor's Update - subsequent to this interview, Congresswoman-elect Adams was recommended by GOP leadership for the Judiciary and Science & Technology committees, just as she wanted.]
5. Has anything about the political culture in Washington DC surprised you yet?
I had hoped that the stories about the partisanship in Congress today would not be true, but so far I have to say that they are in fact as bad as they seem. In Tallahassee members of both parties were able to get along and socialize after the work day was complete. I have not seen much of that yet in Washington, D.C. I hope that I am able to change that by reaching across the aisle to make friendships with other Members to improve the culture of Washington and improve the collegiality of the House.
6. Nationally, does the GOP’s historic victory in the 2010 mid-terms give it a “mandate” from the voters, and if so what is that mandate?
While voters clearly rejected the agenda of the Democratic Congress last month, they did not enthusiastically embrace the agenda of the Republican Party. I think most of us realize that we will need to earn the public’s trust through our words and actions in the House. I plan on conducting myself with the highest ethical standard possible, do what I say and say what I do, and encourage my colleagues to listen to their constituents and fight for their wishes to the best of their ability. If we can do that we will be well on the way to improving Congress’ reputation and restoring some of that lost trust of the American people.
7. How difficult will it be for the Republican House majority to work with the Democratic Senate majority and President Obama to accomplish national priorities?
As we have already seen with the introduction of a tax bill that was worked on with Leader McConnell, political realities will dictate that President Obama will have to work with the other side if he wants to get anything done for the American people. My hope is that Republicans will engage in honest compromise, without trading away our principles for political expediency. If we stand on principle and fight for what we believe in, the American public will be behind us and we will be able to accomplish a lot that will benefit our friends and neighbors.
9. Anything more you want to share with the readers of Rightpundits.com?
I would hope that your readers continue to be involved in the political process and follow the new Republican House as we seek to find ways to help the private sector create jobs and grow the economy. If we aren’t following through on our agenda with strong conservative principles, please let us know. But I would also ask that you stand with us when we take actions that will help turn our country around and that strengthen individual liberties and freedom.
Thank you for your time, Congresswoman Adams, and good luck in Washington DC.
You can read our entire interview series which is growing weekly here.