WZZM 13 Voter Guide: Representative for the Second Congressional District

As part of our election coverage this year, WZZM 13 surveyed politicians running for elections in our viewing areas. This survey covers the candidates running for Representative in Congress for the Second Congressional District. 

Candidate: Erwin J. Haas 

Party: Libertarian

Why are you running for this position?
I'd like to forestall our insane international policies that attempt to create perpetual peace through perpetual war, especially with Russia and China; these can slide into nuclear confrontations.
Also, get us out of the Mideast where our armed interventions create hatreds and the terror that comes back our shores.
Also, we need to balance the budget by eliminating whole departments of government, geting rid of unproductive regulations, simplifying tax collection with a Fair Tax and improving the incentive for the individual to excel by abolishing the IRS

What measures do you support/propose to improve our education system for both students and for school districts?
Public schools are a state affair. I actually favor getting rid of the Dept. of Education both to cut waste and because having a uniform education policy brings a deadening uniformity to thinking, destroys differences that lead to disagreements, lively discussion, creativity and the possibility of finding better education solutions through trial and error among the states.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents economically?
The Fair Tax in a national sales tax that is levied on all products (the prebate spares the poor.) It replaces all taxes in the USA.
1) It would eliminate the corporate tax that causes US companies to offshore.
2) Goods manufactured in the USA have embedded in them the retirement and income tax costs of US workers making them at least 20% more expensive than junk made in China or Mexico. The Fair Tax eliminates tax costs in goods manufactured here.  It burdens all imports as well as US made goods with their fair shore of the costs of our government when they are sold, a neat way to even the playing field.

What are your top 3 priority issues and, if elected, what actions would you take regarding these issues?
1) Right-size our military commitments and costs. Our Army has lost almost every one of it's wars (including my war) during the last 70 years and did nothing to stop terrorist attacks in the USA. 2) Completely get rid of the corrupt and inefficient IRS by constitutional amendment if necessary. Replace it with the fair tax-basically a national sales tax. This plan has a "prebate" that pays the tax for the poor and encourages saving. 3) Balance the budget and pay down the national debt by eliminating 4 departments of government; energy, commerce, education and HUD. None of these add to the economy but do add plenty of harmful regulations.
One speaks out, lobbies other legislators, and especially votes for these important issues.

What actions or policies do you support regarding Michigan energy, and the preservation of our land and water?
These are state issues, and Michigan boosters are best served if the federal government ignores them. The Feds will only create the rigid programs that are designed to benefit California, or Texas and are not at all suitable for our needs. As it is, our state DEQ is the biggest enemy that those of us who love Michigan's environment have. We know what they accomplished in Flint, I mean, besides the criminal investigations of some of their higherups.
I serve as a city commissioner in Kentwood. The DEQ wants us to force all new developments after next year to retain all the rainfall on that property; there can be no drainage into the creeks and rivers. Kentwood is mostly clay and there is poor drainage so our development may well stop. Also, keeping the water on site will raise the water table, make for wet basements, mold growth, rotting wood allergic complications, "sick" houses and neighborhoods. Termites and cockroaches all need dampness. The DEQ is another example of a top down command society, a mere flea compared to the federal warhogs.

Anything else you'd like voters to know:
Kentwood's second ward city commissioner since 2013, retired physician, served in the Central Highlands of Vietnam for a year as a flight surgeon,  MBA from Grand Valley where I taught marketing, writer and blogger, formerly held licenses to sell real estate, stocks and bonds.... See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdkRTcDd0GE

Candidate: Ronald E. Graeser

Party: US Taxpayers Party

Why are you running for this position?
I am running in order to repeal the many unconstitutional federal laws.

What measures do you support/propose to improve our education system for both students and for school districts?
I will try to repeal government laws affecting our precollege achools and school districts. I will try to abolish the Education Department.  School control with revert to the parents and, if they like, to the states.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents economically?
Enforce immigration laws; Reduce federal taxes on individuals and corporations; Withdraw from or at least renegotiate trade treaties that give advantages to foreign companies which are not afforded to our own U.S. companies.

What are your top 3 priority issues and, if elected, what actions would you take regarding these issues?
Repeal unconstitutional federal laws; Lower federal individual and corporate taxes including abolishing the IRS; Disengage from all the foreign wars and foreign aid in which we are involved.

What actions or policies do you support regarding Michigan energy, and the preservation of our land and water?
I am running for a federal office and will limit my attention to national and interstate concerns.  I leave these actions to the care of the state legislators.

Anything else you'd like voters to know:
I will do all I can to restore protection of all innocent human life.  Citizens should be left to live their own lives within moral guidelines as they see fit.  The federal government should have hardly any impact on their lives.

Candidate: Matthew Brady

Party: Green 

Why are you running for this position? There will be more people voting Green this year than ever before. In the past 18 November elections, on average 48% of registered Michigander voters, did not vote. I am running to give you, at least one person, to vote for. We can not not vote anymore. We need to push the people’s agenda as hard as we can to get as much as we can, so we need to keep voting against the broken system. Our government should be restored to a true democracy of the people. All of us are different but I’m a genuine working class candidate who wants to bring our priorities to Capitol Hill. I am stepping up, because I cannot sit quietly while a government that is totally out of touch with the people continues to cater to the wealthy donor class. Please do yourself and your family a favor and vote Green this November 8th.

What measures do you support/propose to improve our education system for both students and for school districts?
I support Jill Stein's plan to increase federal funding of public schools and to protect our public school systems from privatization.  She is also calling for our government to recognize poverty as the key obstacle to learning.I personally spent k-12 at a class DD public school.  It was so small and underfunded, that my high school did not have a football team.  I  graduated with honors and received a scholarship to community college.  Even though I worked hard for what I achieved, I was also very lucky.  I know a lot of people in poverty who have not been able to live up to their potential and I want their children to better opportunities.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents economically?
The working-class needs fiscal stimulus desperately. I support the Green Party's Platform, which calls for a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour, indexed to inflation. I am most excited about Jill Stein's Green New Deal. It would create 20 million fine paying commendable jobs. We need a lot of workers to create and install the products that will transform our energy infrastructure. I believe we must repeal NAFTA and I oppose the TPP. We need to focus on creating good jobs for the working class in the United States.

What are your top 3 priority issues and, if elected, what actions would you take regarding these issues?
Promoting and protecting voter rights, reforming election financing, and ending big money corruption in our government.  Before we can address our countless problems, we must first, restore and reinforce our government for and by the People.  Congress should pass the Voter Empowerment ACT (H.R. 12) to make registration easier and protect our voting rights. I will also support legislation for ranked-choice-voting. Ranked-choice-voting would prevent a lesser of two evils scenario in elections. I would work to overturn Citizens United by pushing for a Constitutional Amendment to end corporate personhood. The Amendment should also stipulate that all elections are publicly financed. Secret money contributions in our elections are bribes, despite their legality. Bribing elected officials/candidates should be illegal.

What actions or policies do you support regarding Michigan energy, and the preservation of our land and water?
Jill Stein's Green New Deal will transition us to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. This is absolutely necessary to overcome the climate change catastrophe on our horizon. This is ultimately the most important issue for today's children. I do not say, "We need to protect the environment," I say, "We need to begin the real work to overcome climate change to protect today's children." Big oil does not need subsidies; they need to be taxed and regulated harshly. We need to end fracking and our dependence on foreign oil.  This is even more significant in Michigan, because our fresh water is our greatest natural resource.  We need to eliminate oil pipelines and fracking before they ruin more of our fresh water.

Anything else you'd like voters to know:
Never stop pushing the People's agenda.  All of our problems stem from the corruption of our government officials.  Voting Green is an easy and fundamental step towards our common goal, but there is so much more that each of us can do.  Please research how you can step up and do your part to make this change.  Remember it is a common goal, and to be most effective, we need unity.

Candidate: Bill Huizenga (Incumbent) 

Party: Republican 

Why are you running for this position?
I originally ran, and continue to run, for office because I want my children to have even greater opportunities than I had growing up. As a policy maker, one of my primary goals is to make sure the federal government focuses on creating a pro-growth environment that allows the private sector and the free-market economy to flourish.

What measures do you support/propose to improve our education system for both students and for school districts? I believe that it is important for our students to have a well-rounded education, and this includes history, civics, economics and history, but these decisions are best decided by local school administrators and local school board members and not by the federal government. In order to improve our education system, we need to roll back the federal government’s control over education by prohibiting the federal government from coercing any state to adopt Common Core.  We need to grant states the flexibility they need to spend more of their own money on priorities that will best help students achieve academic excellence. Additionally, we need to support local efforts to measure teacher effectiveness, and engage parents in their child's education, all while strengthening opportunities for students to achieve.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents economically?
A smart government creates a climate in which entrepreneurs can innovate and small business owners can grow. That’s how new jobs with family-supporting wages are created. There are so many things Washington can do to help small business owners, but recently Washington has taken the opposite approach and doubled down on their effort to target West Michigan jobs. For example, due to conflicting regulations being issued by Washington bureaucrats, we nearly lost 500 manufacturing jobs in Muskegon. In the northern part of the Second District, the EPA attempted to eliminate hundreds of jobs in Ludington by trying to regulate the historic S.S. Badger out of business. In fact, another 650 Michigan footwear manufacturing jobs almost disappeared because yet another bureaucrat in Washington decided to change a definition. It is my number one priority to stop Washington red tape from putting hardworking Michiganders out of work.  We can keep West Michigan's economy growing by making sure small businesses and the jobs they create stay right here where they belong.

What are your top 3 priority issues and, if elected, what actions would you take regarding these issues? Turning the economy around and creating jobs is my top priority. I will continue to support bills that roll back excessive red tape, avoid impending tax hikes on both the American people and small businesses, and fight against unsustainable spending. I was elected to Congress based on three key principles: create jobs, stop spending, and protect life.  These principles still define my role in Congress. I have continually supported serious budgets that put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal course.  Washington's addiction to spending must be cured.  I will continue to pursue reforms that eliminate wasteful spending and make meaningful changes to get our nation's fiscal house in order. I believe in protecting the sanctity of life. During my time in Congress, I have introduced and supported policies that prohibit U.S. taxpayer resources from funding abortions both in the U.S. and abroad.  Additionally, I am an ardent and vocal supporter of efforts to increase adoption both domestically and internationally.  I will continue to fight and be a strong advocate for the rights of all children.

What actions or policies do you support regarding Michigan energy, and the preservation of our land and water? Like many in West Michigan, my family and I enjoy spending as much time as possible on and in Lake Michigan. In Congress, I am fighting to preserve and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem. One of the most successful programs aimed at cleaning up the Great Lakes is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Since its inception in 2009, GLRI funds have been used to support nearly 3,000 restoration projects to improve water quality, protect and restore native habitats, fight invasive species, prevent beach closings, and clean up toxic hotspots.We must continue to work together to ensure Michigan’s incredible natural wonders are preserved for future generations.

Anything else you'd like voters to know:
I was born in Zeeland, Michigan, and spent my whole life here in West Michigan. As a small business owner and a former Realtor, I know that it is the private sector that creates jobs. My experiences in the public sector as a District Director for former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a State Representative and a Congressman have given me the experience to implement real solutions that remove government barriers and help all Americans succeed. Most importantly, I am a husband and a father of five wonderful children.

Democrat candidate, Dennis Murphy, did not respond to this survey. 

 

 

(© 2016 WZZM)


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