Whalen talks about fixing the problems on the reservations
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To improve conditions, Whalen said, reservations must decrease the percent of employment supplied by the government and increase the percent supplied by private businesses. He said Republican leaders are more likely to make that happen.
Whalen touched briefly on his background, saying he was born in Pine Ridge but moved away with his family when he was a child. As an adult, he served in the National Guard, worked in the private sector and then began to make life changes when he became a born-again Christian in 1995. He moved back to Pine Ridge in 1999 and earned a degree from Oglala Lakota College. In recent years, he has actively campaigned for several Republican candidates.
“I’m living proof that you can leave that 90 percent unemployment, the poorest areas in the entire United States, and make something of yourself,” Whalen said. “I’m the person not supposed to be standing here in front of you saying I’m running for the United States House of Representatives, but I’m here.”
Whalen listed numerous conservative causes as the basis of his campaign, saying he is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, protective of the right to bear arms and in favor of making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent. He also spoke about his family.
“I think it’s very appropriate to let you know that I’m married and I love my family and that my campaign is based on family values,” he said.