COMPARE & CONTRAST: Minnesota Daily CD4 candidate guide

(This is a transcript of the recent Voters Guide published October 26 by the Minnesota Daily. The 4th CD guide was prepared by JESSIE VAN BERKEL. You can read my position, then an accurate discussion of the positions of my opponents in COMPARE & CONTRAST.)

Please note that the truncated format of the Daily guide omitted some of my important explanations, and I have added those below in brackets [].

How will you address the federal budget deficit?

Carlson: "[If I were just going to give bullet points, I would say] Reprioritize the budget, work for racial equality so you get more people participating in the economy and education, with better outcomes. Restore families and traditional values to drive population growth to replace people in the workplace and also support people in retirement ... [I've signed the Contract with America, so we would definitely] repeal ‘Obamacare’ and also repeal some of the unused stimulus money [...like the $45 mil that's going to go to build the light-rail train to tear up University Avenue and kill businesses and jobs. I would also be cutting departments and agencies and returning their functions, revenue and power to the states.]

"Finally, increase revenue by driving private-sector job growth and economic growth."

To COMPARE & CONTRAST with my opponents' Betty McCollum and Teresa Collett positions on the federal deficit click here: http://bit.ly/9mpR2P

How would you work with members of the other party to reduce the gridlock in Congress?

Carlson: "[Basically I'm running with the Independence Party, and I'm also appealing for Tea Party votes. And also if you look at my rap video that I just put out there and also I've melded it in with a music video, I'm talking about the Unity Party, and the American Community Party. And what that means is that we're all part of the American community, so I'm basically trying to save our future. and I know that the Democrats want to do that, and I also know that Obama wants to do that, and I know that the Republicans will do that too.] I’ve got a lot of experience at the University of Minnesota, in politics there, and I also work with people from all sides. I am Mr. Inclusive. I listen to what everybody has to say, I find out what we need to do, what the problem is and how we have to solve it and move things forward [and break the gridlock. It isn't that I'm just going to symbolically work across the aisle, now basically there are no aisles. You know there's two independents out there already, and they have a lot of pull, people you know like Liebermann, and so what that let's you do is work with both sides. So there would be no problem. Actually, we need more Independence Party people out there to work across the aisle with both Democrats and Republicans.]"

To COMPARE & CONTRAST with my opponents' Betty McCollum and Teresa Collett positions on breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington click here: http://bit.ly/cQJg46

Would you support a second stimulus bill?

Carlson: "I don’t think Keynesian economics has worked. If you look at all the other countries in the world, they’re going in the opposite direction, they’re cutting back, they’re getting back to economic efficiency — you look at Germany, you look at England. [of course Germany's got that strong economy] What we need to do is really drive economic growth from the ground up. Now, definitely, I would not support any stimulus efforts." I mean, obviously the Congress spends money, and those things that it spends money for are important, and they help to drive economic growth throughout the country in many cases. Now if you mismanage that or you just overdo it, you start to choke off the private sector. So we would have to review any kind of spending bill. First of all, I would cut earmarks, and just try to work out a national plan with the whole Congress. I know that's very difficult and you only got two years, but I think that's the central function of the Congress. So then we would target the priority needs under the Constitution of the various states for any money that was going back to the states and local government. And then we would want to make sure it didn't step on private sector activity like this Central Corridor project does. You know, you're just spending money to spend money and then you're killing jobs and businesses at the local level. So I would want to review all of that. I would probably shy away from calling it a 'stimulus bill.' I don't think that's been good, and I really don't think we would want a stimulus bill, but we do want to drive economic growth, but not with Keynesian economics.]"

To COMPARE & CONTRAST with my opponents' Betty McCollum and Teresa Collett positions on a second stimulus bill click here: http://bit.ly/dqKU4Y

What should federal immigration reform look like?

Carlson: "I would divide it into two sectors, and it would be not be legal and illegal [and when people say to me 'what part of illegal don't you understand, I say I don't understand why there's a treaty, that created that border and gave rights to Mexicans and Americans and we don't follow it. How can we break a treaty and push one state's statute? Now, I note that if you go from California to Texas to New Mexico, they don't have the same problem that Arizona does, because they've got good relations with Mexican cities and they don't basically have a vast border that is just run back and forth across. They basically got a retirement/tourism business in Arizona, so it's very different. I agree with Holder, I agree that [S.B. 1070] is unconstitutional, I support pre-emptive legislation to pre-empt S.B. 1070 and anything like it]--it would be Mexican and non-Mexican …[because if you look at that border, it was created by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and you can study about that in Chicano Studies at the University. That's where I learned it from. And that gave good neighbor relations between Mexico and the United States. And it gave the northern Mexicans, who we did not declare war on, we were not at war with them, we declared war on southern Mexico after southern Mexico declared war on northern Mexico for declaring independence. It gives them the rights to have language and cultural rights. So] what I would purpose for that is an international border zone. ... We would put factories there, build jobs at the border [and] bring jobs back from China and Asia. For the rest of the people I think those programs are working pretty good. [I definitely would never try to say the 14th Amendment would not allow people who were born here to be citizens. That's not the way it's ever been applied to...there were people who came over as indentured servants and their children were allowed to be citizens, I just don't think that there's any merit to taking peoples' citizenship away. So I would try to have business and political leadership in the Mexican border region, to build it up to be a strength for the U.S. economy for the long term."

The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was recently overturned by a federal judge. Do you agree with that ruling, and what would you do for gay rights on the national level?

Carlson: "[When I was at the University, I founded a party called the Human Rights Party, and that was named because our party, one of the issues that we addressed was a certain ordinance that was being passed in St. Paul that would actually have really harassed and intimidated gay people, and so I actually campaigned in St. Paul against that, but for the Human Rights Party. And so I am very much against taking away any fundamental rights because of that, the kinds of things that are covered by the Civil Rights Act. Now as far as Don't Ask, Don't Tell] I agree with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I would definitely not want to repeal it. I think it’s improper that a federal judge tries to order the military around …[I have been in the military and as a matter of fact I did know a lot of gay people there. I think all of them were on their way out, because they basically said they were gay at that time because they didn't want to be in the military. But you don't discriminate against people in the military because they're gay. But, on the other hand, if your drill sergeant is going to come over to you and introduce himself as your gay friend or even your gay drill sergeant, that's wrong.

"You have to focus on the mission, which is to defend America and your specific mission ...and it's no more appropriate for gays to be proselytizing there than it would be for straights in those situations to be trying to openly tell people that they shouldn't be gay. In other words, it's coming back the other way.] So I think it’s very, very bad for the military.

"However, I’m fully supportive of civil rights for everybody. I would not take any of those away because of somebody’s sexual preference."

Do you support the health care legislation passed last session, and should there be further federal action on health care?

"We need further action on health care. Now what Betty McCollum wants is the single payer public option. She's already introduced on July 21 with 120 other Democratic Members of the House of Representatives H.R. 5808, a bill to establish the public option in ObamaCare. The question is, what is it really going to look like when the smoke is cleared? And can we minimize the damage from what's been passed already. About the time that we started to talk about national health care reform, I was working at the American Cancer Society, I was working directly with navigators, and in some limited cases with actual cancer patients, but the navigators were working with cancer patients. And I was getting resources to help people affected by cancer throughout the four-state area, so I have a very acute awareness of the real catastrophic problems that we face in this country. ObamaCare does not address those problems, in fact what it does is it basically endangers our entire health care system. So] I am very much against it, but I am in favor of a targeted approach which reduces racial health disparities [and I worked in that area, in which you would see that some races were hit much harder with certain kinds of cancer, for instance black women getting certain kinds of very aggressive breast cancer, because the screening programs did not get to them, and early diagnosis and treatment didn't get to them before it was far too advanced, and this was discovered by a doctor in Harlem who actually created navigators that we have all over the country right now and to we need to reduce health disparities, we need to target catastrophic illness like cancer, like heart disease, like lung disease, diabetes and all of these very serious illnesses and we can make a big impact in reducing health care costs if we do things like that. So this is about saving lives, not just saving money.... I also agree that they should allow insurance companies to try to pool together states so they can get large enough populations so they can compete in the marketplace ...We've already seen, as I'm sure you've heard health care costs go up, I've seen Obama meeting with the health care insurers, please, don't blame your cost increases on ObamaCare. But when they do, it seems very cogent.

"We definitely need further action, but it's not to establish the public option as Betty McCollum wants to do. What we need to do is to go back and have a targeted approach that saves lives, and does not just change coverage. And we need to target killer diseases like cancer, heart disease, and I've worked in the American Cancer Society, so I know the urgency of this, and I want it. But I want something that's efficient and builds on the world's best health care system that we had. We can target racial health disparities, that's affecting black people, American Indian people, people that are immigrants from other countries that have different kinds of cancer. We can reduce racial disparities to reduce mortality, and incidents, and greatly save costs. And that's what I want to do.]

"I want to selectively defund ‘Obamacare,’ I’m the only person in the country who’s put this forward. I want to fund some that are going to save lives right now — but I want to do that in return for [President Barack] Obama agreeing not to veto a repeal, [which is very important, because it's going to be found to be unconstitutional, because of the mandate.]

Do you support cap and trade legislation?

Carlson:"[No. What it does, it does put a lot of jobs at risk,] it’s going to put industries at risk, as even [Teresa] Collett says, you’ve got to have a global approach to it, not just a one-country. Basically, what it does, it manipulates market forces that we don’t understand. [It makes as much sense as ObamaCare. Both of them are playing with the private markets, instead of directly addressing the issue."

"What we need to do is make the world energy-independent in stages and in international cooperation by redesigning the consumption and production of energy and marketing those better practices to consumers throughout the world."

How will you address the federal budget deficit?Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision? Why or why not?

"I do agree with that, [yes, and the reason that I agree with it is I do believe that it's speech, and I thought before the Supreme Court found that, that they would find that] ... I don’t think we should play with people’s rights to express themselves during an election. I also notice that the unions are spending a lot of money and from what I gather it’s very similar to what the corporations are doing. Secondly, the corporations have important things to say to us that we need to understand. [If there are problems with campaign financing, I would blame the media. Because the media are the ones who solicit these sound-bytes and they don't do a good enough job. And I've been a former editor, for seven years, so I know that it can be done. I've covered elections, and you can do a good job. But what you need to do is be willing to cover the policy issues and don't sit there and say that your readers will be bored if you put the policy stuff in, just put it in. And then elections would be great."