Last Tuesday night, the night after Labor Day, was the first opportunity I had to sit side by side with each of my 8th Congressional candidate opponents. It was the Arlington Civic Federation’s candidate forum. There will be many more in October but I knew this first one would set the tone.
The next forum I am scheduled to participate in is hosted by the Korean Coalition for Political Participation (KCPP) on Saturday, October 6th at 6pm. It will be held at Luther Jackson Middle School 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042.
Until then I thought to use today’s blog posting to share answers to some of the more frequently asked questions of our campaign.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why are you running as an Independent?
I’m running as an Independent because we don’t need any more partisanship in the U.S House of Representatives; what we need is more common sense citizenship. Having no party affiliation provides me the opportunity to represent you directly. It will allow me to work with each of my legislative colleagues without the negotiation impediment of party. I will not have a party “machine” directing my votes over the two year term. Your direct involvement in subsequent elections – even getting me on the ballot – keeps me accountable while in office, for the 2014 election and onward.
How are you going to get anything done as a freshman Independent Congressman?
This is one of my favorite questions because it assumes we’ve won. Winning means so much. Before I start work on January 3rd, the country – and the rest of the politicians – will take note of what you did. There will likely be just as much news about our election outcome as there is for the Presidential election. Our win will stiffen the spines of my new colleagues in the U.S. House. Each will reason, “Since his community supported him, maybe I can vote my conscience rather than just my party platform.” Your courage will resonate around the country. It is with your mandate that I’ll get our phone calls answered and build the relationships with the other representatives to get work done.
What exactly do you want to “get done” in Congress?
I want to tackle the structural challenges of our economy and our debt. I want to take responsibility for our big problems. With nearly $16 trillion in short term debt and $60 trillion in long term debt obligations, we cannot just cut our way to balancing our budget and repaying our debt. I support taking some actions in the short term to buffer our economy – like continued tax relief in 2013 – that we may not take in the long term to reduce our debt. During 2013 I intend to leverage my background in accounting and finance to work with other legislators on comprehensive tax and regulatory reform. For long term debt reduction, I will work with the Government Accountability Office’s 2011 report to detail an organized plan for reducing the 81 areas of government program duplication and overlap. To help grow the economy I support making revisions to the Dodd-Frank Act to facilitate the recovery of the housing industry and protect the independence of small banks that do the lending to small businesses. I want to be a part of crunching the numbers to balance our federal budget while serving on the Budget Committee or working with those who do. All of this work will be a down payment towards reducing the doubt and worry restricting our economy’s growth. As a result of a more positive economic environment, I expect hiring to improve along with wages and overall quality of economic life.
How will you protect federal workers?
Government employees are my neighbors and friends. One of the first things I will work to do is ensure that government workers are relieved from doubt associated with the “pay freeze” currently in effect until April 2013. I will also work with legislators to prevent another sequester that arbitrarily threatens federal jobs. Part of that means working with other legislators to pass a federal budget. Working with the budget committee and everyone in our Virginia Congressional delegation to broker compromise will be my number one goal in office. During my first term I will also sponsor or co-sponsor legislation that spreads the adoption of telecommuting policy government wide, especially within the Department of Defense. The US Patent and Trademark Office currently leads the government in telecommuting policy use with 68% of their workers telecommuting. First responders may not be able to participate but within many of our federal agencies, we can telecommute more. Doing so will improve quality of life and reduce the costs associated with leasing, owning and managing federal office space.
You likely have many more questions. Feel free to pose them in the comments section below. I’ll respond directly in the next blog posting. I look forward to shaking your hand at one of the next official appearances on my campaign schedule or just stop me around the neighborhood.