Live Blog: David Dillon, Independence Party 3rd CD Candidate
12:00 p.m. In the fourth of a series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, Independence Party 3rd Congressional District candidate David Dillon is giving a speech entitled, “The Congressional Role in Creating the Next Long Term Economic Boom.”
12:05 p.m. Dillon grew up in a DFL household – his father ran for the DFL nomination for mayor of Minneapolis back in 1957. He says his family always talked about politics. After studying economics, Dillon says he began to have problems with the Democratic Party (spending issues, the role of teacher’s unions in stifling innovations in education etc.). Dillon then switched to become a Republican. After several years, Dillon says he gradually believed that the Republicans, too, “were wrong.” Republicans have not delivered simpler, more efficient government like they have promised (e.g. the U.S. tax code). He adds, “Tom Delay Republicans are wingnuts.” He cannot go to the Republican party with his fundamental conservative economic views, and the Party’s platform on social issues, and ask for their endorsement.
12:10 p.m. As a result, Dillon found a home in the Independence Party. According to SurveyUSA’s October 6-7 poll of 634 likely voters in the 3rd Congressional District, Dillon is polling at 8 percent.
12:16 p.m. Dillon says he considered running as a DFL, and he was also asked to run as a Republican. Dillon says he would not have won either party’s endorsement, so it would have taken about 1 million dollars to drive enough voters to the polls to outweigh the core party loyalists who would vote for the nominee no matter what. Additionally, Dillion states he liked the freedom of running outside of the GOP and DFL parties.
12:19 p.m. Dillon believes the federal government has borred money “for dumb stuff” and created a debt that is tantamount to ‘child abuse’ for our children.
12:21 p.m. On the issue of health care, Dillon says having a system with 50 sets of state regulations adds a big layer of costs, preventing competition that can be the death knell for some small businesses. Dillon says there also needs to be tort reform to lower costs, but the Democrats have created a ‘sacred cow’ working to the benefit of trail lawyers.
12:26 p.m. For Dillon, “moral issues trump economic issues,” and, as a result, he believes the employer-based health care system is “broken to the point where it is immoral.”
12:31 p.m. Dillon adds that defense spending is the sacred cow of the Republicans. Dillon believes we need a new military strategy in the post-Cold War age. Dilllon says the $711 billion the U.S. spends on the military is based on our economic strength – we are not an economic power because of our military power.
12:36 p.m. On the issue of education, Dillon is not a fan of No Child Left Behind. More broadly, Dillon does not believe Washington D.C. understands what states need in how to educate their children.
12:40 p.m. On the issue of illegal immigration and border security, Dillon does not support securing the border first. He says we do not need a fence to stop illegal immigration – he states the technology exists for tamper proof green cards, and that should be the focus.
12:43 p.m. Dillon says the financial crisis is mostly about home mortgages, on the order of 95 percent (not hedge funds etc.). Dillon says it (encouraging home ownership) was a result of “good goals taken to an extreme.” In 2004, Dillon says the government was warned that this crisis would happen. Dillon says the U.S. government should not take on a permanent role in taking on these home mortgages, but the government must regulate Fannie Mae etc. (“Not re-regulate – as they were never really regulated.”).
12:51 p.m. Dillon says the original Congressional bill in September on the financial bailout was “irresponsible,” but he does support the bill that passed in early October.
12:53 p.m. Dillon says, “The hangover is coming – stop drinking! There is going to be an economic recession.” Dillon says we need to stop all this government spending – Dillon was against the first stimulus check from earlier this year, and is also opposed to the stimulus check being considered in Congress now.
12:56 p.m. In answering an audience members question, Dillon says he both supports tax simplification and “throwing out all six thousand plus bloody pages.” Dillon says it is fine for upper income individuals (including himself) to pay more taxes, but not businesses. He supports the reduction of corporate taxes, as, he says, these result in hidden taxes (price increases) that are passed on to the consumer (“only individuals pay taxes”).
1:08 p.m. Dillon is a support of free trade generally, but believes the federal government has a role in mitigating the effect of this on target populations of workers that are adversely affected by such trade agreements.
1:11 p.m. Dillon says the root source cause of many problems in the U.S. is party politics – which “should be added to the asheap of history.” “If you don’t suffer the wingnuts easily, the Independence Party is for you,” he concludes.
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