Jamie Wheeler to run for Hastings' seat in Congress

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 28, 2014 

Jamie Wheeler on Friday became the sixth Republican to toss a proverbial hat in the ring to run for Rep. Doc Hastings' seat in Congress.

Wheeler, 48, a caregiver from Kennewick, ran against Hastings in 2012 but was defeated in the primary.

She is active in the Mid-Columbia Tea Party and said she believes in small government, small business and the restoration of the Constitution as written, she said.

"There's no place in the Constitution (until the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913) that says anything about an income tax. There's only a limited amount of things the government is supposed to be doing, income tax isn't one," Wheeler said.

One cause she's particularly passionate about is the FairTax movement, which she has been involved with regionally and nationally since 2006, she said.

"There's a FairTax bill, HR 25, before Congress right now that would get rid of our current income tax system, replacing it with a national consumption tax on all new products and services," she said.

"It's been in there since 1999 and has never passed because of a lack of co-sponsors. I want to give HR 25 a voice and educate Americans on it," she said.

A consumption tax would be a flat rate for all, rich and poor, with no loopholes, Wheeler said.

"Have you ever heard of a drug dealer or a prostitute paying income taxes? No, but they buy things, lots of things. With a consumption tax they'd contribute too," she said.

She also supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. She said she thinks it's unfunded and suspects it may become a fourth withholding tax on paychecks along with Social Security, Medicare and the income taxes.

Wheeler would also like to see funds cut off for the federal Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, saying they are not serving the public efficiently.

She would fight for gun rights and would like to see gun safety taught in schools, she said.

As in 2012, Wheeler is deliberately capping contributions to her campaign at $4,000 to avoid the federal reporting requirement that comes with receiving $5,000 or more in contributions, she said.

"What I'd really like to have is 800 people donate $5, that's my goal," she said.

Wheeler said much of her campaign will be conducted through social media and through grass roots support.

The primary is Aug. 5. Washington has a "top two" primary system in which the top two vote-getters go to a run-off in the general election in November, regardless of party affiliation.

w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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