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2010-01-21

Traylor announces for 21st Congressional District

By Judith Pannebaker

Cedar Park’s Eddie Traylor seemed surprisingly optimistic about his chances of winning the United States 21st Congressional District seat as an Independent candidate. He announced his intention to run on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

On an abbreviated whistle-stop tour, the prospective candidate stopped by the office of the Bandera County Courier office on Wednesday, Jan. 13, to introduce himself and discuss his cogent and straightforward platforms.

“I am running as an Independent because our national economic situation has become bigger than our political party issues,” he said. “In our country, a groundswell, demanding fiscal responsibility from the federal government, grows steadily every day.”

Traylor, a former Northwest Airlines pilot and retired lieutenant colonel from the United States Air Force, puts great store on financial responsibility.

“We have to reform Congress structurally and using economics seems to be the best way to do it,” he said.

Transferring all members of Congress to the standard 20-year federal retirement program would be an easy good place to start, Traylor felt. Under current rules, even a one-term Congressman is eligible to collect a sizable federal pension.

According to www.ntu.org, the Congressional plan’s benefits are calculated more generously than those offered to most other government workers with a higher accrual rate. Additionally, lawmakers are able to retire earlier, with benefits, than other federal workers - as early as age 50.

Members of Congress elected in 1984 and after pay 1.3 percent towards the pension and 6.2 percent to Social Security. Since this only compensates for about one fifth of the typical lifetime benefit, American taxpayers must subsidize the rest.

Another of Traylor’s platforms includes applying laws to everyone. For example, he pointed out that members of Congress would not be subject to provisions in the proposed healthcare bill should it pass - “which, I hope, it doesn’t,” Traylor added.

He also believes citizens and taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability. If elected, Traylor vowed to create a website that would allow voters access to information about activities and spending related to the 21st Congressional District.

“All members of Congress must be required to read bills before they vote on them,” Traylor also declared. According to Traylor, the excessive verbiage in all bills indicates how out-of-touch elected officials are with their constituents.

“The Constitution and Bill of Rights are easier to read and more understandable than most bills being enacted by Congress,” he said.

Traylor also advocates imposing term limits on elected officials - for Congressman, three terms, and two terms for Senators, “If elected, I pledge never to serve more than three terms and, if I break my pledge, you can shoot me,” he quipped.

A small business owner and admitted fiscal conservative, Traylor noted that anxiety over the current economic problems is increasing daily across the nation.

“This anxiety, fueled by our federal government, increases each time our government raises taxes - and multiplies when our government becomes less responsive to its citizenry. More than ever, we need strong leadership in our government.”

Traylor continued, “I have nothing against the other candidates. I just want to get my points across and I welcome those who would like to jump aboard and join me.”

As an Independent, Traylor’s “politicking” on his own dime - without a retinue. To get on the ballot in November, he must collect 500 signatures of registered voters who did not cast ballots in the March 2 primary.

“I’ll start my circulating my petitions immediately after the primary and I have 30 days to collect the signatures,” Traylor said. “I don’t see that as much of a problem.”

Traylor plans to launch a website about his candidacy soon.