This post is part of a continuing feature of independent candidate’s responses to roundtable questions posed by Independent Voters of America. Independent Voters of America has been reaching out to independent and third party candidates across the country to gather their opinions and insights on issues of interest to our community.
It’s still the economy, stupid! Independent candidates around the country are just as concerned about America’s economic recovery as the rest of us. What solutions do independent candidates suggest? One sentiment echoed by many candidates during our survey was the deep seated need to reform our governmental institutions and reduce partisan gridlock – without a functional Congress and Federal Government, how can anyone expect to get anything done?
Today’s candidate contributors to the discussion are:
Angus King - Candidate for Senate in Maine
Bill Bloomfield - Candidate for Congress in California’s 33rd District
Cesar Henao - Candidate for Congress in Florida’s 21st District
Tisha Casida - Candidate for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd District.
Ian Gilyeat - Candidate for Senate in Arizona
The question posed to the candidates was:
In your opinion, what are the top campaign issues during this election cycle?
Angus King: The top issues are jobs and the economy, national debt, healthcare, and energy. However, none of these issues can be adequately addressed unless Congress works. Everywhere I go, the one issue everyone talks about is how Congress isn’t working. I recently had a reporter ask me why I was focusing on Congressional gridlock instead of policy, to which I answered that getting Congress working again IS policy. None of the other issues at hand can be overcome without a legislature that can collaborate to achieve effective compromise.
That said, there are many important issues facing Maine and the Country: we must accelerate our technological progress, especially with rural broadband; we must expand markets for our heritage industries, like fishing, forestry, and agriculture; we have to turn the tide of nameless, faceless money trying to control our elections; our Nation must develop a “Made-in-America” energy policy, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; we must reduce onerous regulatory burdens on our business while continuing to safeguard our environment. There are many issues that are very important to me, and this is only a partial list.
Bill Bloomfield: My top issue is reforming Congress so it works again for the American voters and taxpayers, not just the special interests. This is vital, because absent reform, I fear that our country is on its way toward becoming the next Greece. This is about putting country ahead of politics.
Cesar Henao:The economy and job creation is the most pressing issue – Healthcare, Social Security and Medicare are also important. However, the gridlock in Washington is a source for many of the problems we face as a nation today. I promise to serve the people as a statesman and serve the people’s interests, whatever they may be.
Tisha Casida: Anything and everything that affects the economy, the ability to start a business or stay in business, and everything that affects the property rights and wealth of the people in my district. Most issues that we discuss all go back to individual rights, property rights, and wealth creation – what the three branches of government’s roles are – and where we can be more effective with Congress and its enumerated powers.
We have a lot of people in my district who have had nearly 40% of their net worth wiped out by bad decisions from both big government and crony capitalism (oftentimes made possible by big government) – we must have a federal government that is effectively performing its job and we must stop the unconstitutional intrusion of federal agencies that erode the natural rights of the individual and that create bureaucracy, red tape, and other barriers into the economy (in order to create wealth and to protect wealth).
Ian Gilyeat: The “sound bite” answers everyone wants to hear are these; The economy, including job creation; Deficit spending and the national debt; Entitlement spending, etc… However, these problems are simply symptoms of the root cause. The issue is this: we have poor representation by a body of self-serving elected officials. If we want to work on the root of the problems the singular top issue of our day is to throw out the career politicians and elect people of high moral character with enough back-bone to stand on correct principle – those principles outlined in the Constitution – even when it works against their own self-interested positions. This is called sacrificing to do what’s right, instead of lining your own pockets first.