ST. GEORGE – Organizer of the Dixie Republican Forum and St. George attorney Larry Meyers is driving to Utah’s Lieutenant Governor’s Office Wednesday to file for candidacy for Utah’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District. In doing so, Meyers will be challenging incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Launching his campaign today, Meyers’ three-pronged platform directly targets his soon-to-be opponent.
“I’m very disappointed with Chris Stewart’s voting record in Congress,” Meyers said, “so I decided to challenge him on limited government, immigration and individual rights – personal liberty issues.”
Stewart did not stand with Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, Meyers said, but instead supported Speaker John Boehner in voting for more spending and more debt.
Meyers favors limiting the size of government and cutting taxes. On social issues, he aims to protect citizens’ liberties, including religious freedom, privacy, and the right to bear arms.
“I’m strongly pro-life,” he said, “I favor traditional marriage.”
Looking at the Republican Party, the divide Meyers sees in the party is between what he called “the more establishment-type Republicans, what one used to call Rockefeller Republicans, and Tea Party Republicans.” The establishment-type Republicans tend to support bigger government and therefore go along with government spending but are more moderate on social issues, he said, while the Tea Party Republicans generally go for less government spending and lower taxes.
On that political ambit, Meyers aligns more with Tea Party-Libertarian Republicans on the economics. And while he regards Reagan well for many reasons, he said no politician is perfect and criticized Reagan’s approach to illegal immigration.
“Do I idolize Ronald Reagan? He supported the amnesty bill.”
Meyers’ opposition to any type of amnesty for illegal immigration is a point on which he and Stewart differ.
“Stewart wants to give them legal status and let them stay,” Meyers said, “I think they should come here legally and get in line along with everyone else.”
Illegal immigration is one of the issues most relevant to Southern Utah, Meyers said, pointing to the building boom that saw a lot of illegal aliens come to Southern Utah to work in the construction industries and other related service industries.
“I think we should enforce our law and secure our borders.”
Limited government, spending
Advocating for limited government and limited spending, Meyers again criticized his opponent’s voting record. “He voted in favor of more government spending; he voted for the FARM bill that included a massive funding of the food stamp program,” Meyers said, “he voted for the Paul Ryan budget which was a compromise that increased spending and fees – all the conservatives opposed that and they proposed to balance the budget in four years.”
He said he would have opposed the Paul Ryan budget.
At the local level, Meyers discouraged receiving federal funds although allows for some programs, such as federal funding of roads and highways, as constitutionally appropriate. Accessing federal funding, though, is often seen as a gift, he said, when in fact those funds are a loan.
“I think as much as possible local government needs to not take federal funds,” Meyers said, “we’re borrowing money on the federal level that we don’t have that we can’t afford to repay. It comes at a cost and we’re going to have to pay the piper .”
Individuals, local government, and even state government need to get off federal money, he said.
“It’s hard for individuals, it’s hard for cities, hard for counties because they need the money but in the end it’s not real money because it’s borrowed,” Meyers said. “We’re so far in debt that every year we’re borrowing billions every year,” he said, speaking of the national debt.
In that much of the land in Utah is “owned by the U.S. government,” Meyers said in his position statement that he would seek the return of those public lands to the state and to private ownership as well as supporting many uses of those lands, including mining, drilling, ranching and recreation.
“I will oppose radical environmental schemes to limit Utah’s access to water (such as draining Lake Powell),” he said, “and to lock up Utah lands as wilderness or national monuments.”
On liberty issues, legislation that Meyers said he sees as one of the worst is a military bill that allows for indefinite detention of American citizens. If the president designates someone as an enemy combatant, a terrorist, Meyers said, a citizen can be held without the right to a trial.
“If you’re a citizen and you spoke out against the government and are designated … ,” he said, “you should have all those constitutional rights.”
In a position statement posted on his Facebook, Meyers said: “America was founded on the self-evident truth that all people are endowed by God with the rights to life, liberty, and property. The proper role of government is to protect these rights, so the people can govern themselves ….”
He also supports the right to bear arms, religious freedom and values. He opposes the ACLU and the so-called homosexual agenda. He supports the right to life and overturning Roe v. Wade. He supports public prayer, public displays of faith in God, and the right of religious people to participate in government. He opposes the NSA spying in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Property rights are privacy rights, Meyers said. Although not the purview of a U.S. congressman, he said he supports the lawsuit brought by St. George attorney Aaron Prisbrey on behalf of residents who claim their constitutional rights were violated by the City of St. George’s code enforcement division.
“I personally support the lawsuit that Aaron has,” he said. “I disagree with illegal searches. I think the city should not be conducting unconstitutional searches.”
About Larry Meyers
Meyers is a former prosecuting attorney for Washington County and the City of St. George City, is a cum laude graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. He has been a leading conservative activist, helping organize the Southern Utah Coalition for Life, the Citizens Council on Illegal Immigration, and the Dixie Republican Forum. Meyers has also been a long-time Republican Party volunteer, having served as a precinct officer, county, state, and national delegate, county party officer, and state central committee member.
“I’m not going to be a ‘bring home the bacon’ kind of congressman,” Meyers said, “I think we all have to tighten our belts, get the budget balanced, get rid of unconstitutional programs.”
Note: Invitation to Rep. Chris Stewart to respond to this report has been extended, and will be reported separately as received.
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