Ponder spoke with The Log via phone from
A full transcript of his conversation with The Log is below. It has been edited for clarity.
DESTIN LOG: A big concern for people in this area is the BP oil spill money, 75 percent of which is supposed to go to eight
It's the desire of all of the representatives of
DL: What is your impression of the new House Speaker Rep.
MP: Because I'm new, I'm not coming in working under a previous speaker. So some of the changes he's making, I'm actually very in favor of. He wants a very transparent and open state government, which I like a lot. He wants to hold our ethical standards extremely high, which I'm a big fan of as well. And he wants us to keep the lobbyists at arms length of the legislature, so that they don't have as much influence, which I think is great. He's putting into motion a lot of things which, as an incoming representative, I'm a big fan of. Therefore, I'm very optimistic that we're going to achieve some great things under this speaker.
DL: What committees are you hoping to be on?
MP: I'll be applying for eight or nine, knowing that I'm only going to be put on about five. My number one, high priority is Commerce Committee ... because it's a catch-all committee surrounding business, tourism and infrastructure. My second priority is the Tourism, Infrastructure and Appropriations Subcommittee. The third priority is ... there's a subcommittee called Local, Federal and Veteran Affairs. I've always made the military one of my top focuses, so I think I could serve well on that subcommittee. There's also one that's a Natural Resources Subcommittee. I'm also looking at the Banking and Insurance Subcommittee and Postsecondary Education Subcommittee.
DL: What is going to be your biggest priority in
MP: Everything that I ran under, I am willing to fight for now. Number one is to secure the BP oil spill money, and in doing so, working together as a regional front to have a strong voice in
Although the BP oil spill money is my top priority, as
The other priority is military. We need to continue to work with and honor the military as much as possible, and that's why I want to go into the Military Affairs Subcommittee. We get to submit six bills, and right now I'm working on two bills just for military.
My other priorities are continuing to work with the education and business communities on jobs, and partnering with our education system, both at the K-12 as well as local
At the end of the day, I'm really there to stand for the values of
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