More From My Interview With U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor

As promised, here are a few more quotes and bits of information from my interview with the U.S. Representative Gene Taylor (D, MS-4). The original Radionian article based on my interviews with Rep. Taylor and his potential opponent, Joe Tegerdine, can be read here.


Early in the fifteen minute interview, conducted on April 22, 2010, I made the mistake of framing a question in way that referred to Taylor as a “very moderate Democrat.” Before I could finish my question, he was quick to jump in and correct me, saying affirmatively “A very conservative Democrat.” Far from considering himself a liberal, Taylor is proud to call himself a conservative.

As I wrote in the article, he was quick to dismiss criticism of his Conservative credentials. He has been criticized multiple time for voting to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. When I asked him about this, he responded “That’s an election that took place in San Francisco.” Now, it is true that Nancy Pelosi was elected to Congress in San Francisco. However, it was in D.C. where Congress, including Taylor, voted to make her the Speaker. Looking back, I think he may have simply misunderstood my question.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Congressman Taylor’s website indicates that he “supports the current ban on gays in the military.” On his website, he says that “to introduce openly gay men and women without serious regard for the consequences could severely damage the security and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”

I asked him if his mind had changed at all on the issue. I also asked if he would reconsider his position should any evidence arise that showed that gays in the military did not present a threat to the security and morale of our armed forces.

“Even amongst the senior officers there was very strong disagreement. I remain opposed to it.”

Federal Involvement in Education:

I had a pretty long conversation with Joe Tegerdine on education, but due to the time constraints of my conversation with Representative Taylor, he had to be more concise. He referenced his time in the Mississippi state legislature, and pointed out that he had dealt with education before. So how much federal involvement should there be?

“State should shoulder as much responsibility as possible.”

Taxes and the Debt

Though he did not directly say whether or not he would favor raising taxes to pay off the national debt, what he did say indicates that he probably would. He said that there will have to be some changes and that “any program worth doing is worth paying for right now. Otherwise, we shouldn’t be doing it.”


As I mentioned in the article, Taylor favor repeal of the healthcare bill but believes that the provision on pre-existing conditions is worthwhile. He related that he understands the difficulty someone with a pre-existing conditions faces when attempting to get insurance, referencing a family member who suffers from lyme disease.

“I’m the father of the father of a 21 year old who had a pre-existing condition.”

I suppose that “father of the father of” was a clever way of avoiding using the term “grandfather.”

Congressman Taylor did make a joke at my expense as I was beginning my final question. “I have just one more question,” I said. “Do they teach you that in journalism school?” he asked, laughing. He told me that phrasing the final question in such a way was an old journalism trick, and that I am far too young to already know it. I suppose he was expecting it to be my “GOTCHA!” question. Luckily for him, I was only asking what advice he had for college students.

Unfortunately, that’s about all the extra material I have for the interview with Representative Taylor. I enjoyed speaking to him, even though I do disagree with some of his positions.


1 Response to “More From My Interview With U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor”

  1. 1 David M May 14, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    What is wrong with being a grandpa?

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