Pictured are Bruce McKee of Wilmington; Highland County Press Publisher Rory Ryan; and U.S. Senate candidate Eric LaMont Gregory. (HCP photo by Brandy Chandler)
U.S. Senate candidate Eric LaMont Gregory discusses campaign issues
The Highland County Press
Eric LaMont Gregory, an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, was in Hillsboro June 25 to discuss issues related to the campaign.
Gregory, 61, is one of several candidates seeking to garner votes against the two perceived front-runners, former Congress Rob Portman, a Terrace Park Republican, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Cleveland Democrat.
Gregory, a Middletown native and a 1988 graduate of Oxford University in England, has an extensive international career in the fields of health, environmental protection, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction and stability. He met with The Highland County Press on Friday afternoon.
Gregory talked about long-range planning and the necessity for leaders with vision to see "10 or 20 years into the future." Gregory favors a flat tax of 11 percent, across the board, on all income.
People at the top income levels and at the bottom income levels avoid taxes, Gregory said. "That leaves those in the middle.'
Rather than have different levels of taxes in every municipality, Gregory proposes an 11-percent flat tax. He also proposes reforming Social Security, the nation's health care systems and introducing new thinking in many areas of public service, including police and firefighting protection.
Gregory also proposes a minimum of two years of community service for all high school graduates who do not enroll in college, enlist in the military, or begin an apprenticeship. "I don't want to leave the future of every child up to whether or not our system is working at the time they enter it."
When asked if he thought an independent candidate could compete with the "big dogs like Portman and Fisher," Gregory said. "I used to be a 'big dog' myself. I think this Ohio will support an independent."
Gregory says on his website, www.theoxfordscientist.com, "It is as though America has wakened from a long and troubled sleep. The age-old wisdom that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ went unheeded. We woke to find our civil liberties eroded, our savings dwindled, our jobs less secure, our homes under threat, the future of our children less assured, the cost of health care exorbitant, and our food supply less safe.
"We slept because we believed that our nation was in safe hands. We slept because we believed that the government was placing too many obstacles in the way of the affairs of honest businesses. We woke to find our financial markets trading unregulated monetary instruments that to this day the unraveling of which remains a daunting task. In a free society, the people have no one to blame for the circumstances in which they find themselves — other than themselves."
"I am dedicated to giving every generation of Americans an opportunity to leave a legacy to this country from their own efforts,"Gregory said. "Therefore, I will work to institute a system of two-years of community service for all high school graduates without firm plans for their future. Those graduates who do not enter college, join the military or enter into a work-study or apprenticeship program, will be given an opportunity to learn and gain skills in service to this nation. Upon completion of two years of community service, each participant shall be entitled to educational benefits equal to that granted to those who choose to serve this country in uniform. If, the American people desire that all citizens who can work; do work, then it must be the goal of this nation to assure that there is work for all Americans."
According to his website, in addition to living in Ohio and England, Gregory has lived in the Middle East and traveled extensively, working with several U.S. administrations. He served as a consultant to the Maternal and Newborn Care Unit of the World Health Organization. From there he went on to the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine, Green College, Oxford University, where he received his master's degree in 1988. He served as a clinical physiologist in the care of critically ill preterm babies in the Department of Pediatrics at the John Radcliffe Hospital. He collaborated in research with other European hospitals and universities in Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.
He was one of the lead researchers in a global effort by the WHO to reduce neonatal mortality in the developing world, and this work involved him in studies in the Far East, Central and South Asia, Africa, Europe and throughout the Americas.
Gregory is the author of a soon to be released book "An End to War," which concerns strategies to end a host of current conflicts as well as the post-war and post-disaster role of the military as a way of addressing the dual dilemmas of post-conflict reconstruction and establishing stability.