Candidate Full Name: Paula Bradshaw
Office: U.S. Congress, IL 12rd District
Party: Green Party
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Do you support abolishing earmarks? If not, why?
Abolition is too extreme. Congress should play a role in directing how some federal program funds are spent, rather than leave it all up to an executive branch. Earmarks are not inherently bad; the problem is ensuring that appropriations serve the public good and not self-interest. The process of earmarking has been substantially reformed. Members of Congress must post all their requests on their websites and must certify that neither they nor their spouse has financial interest in the earmark request. If earmarks continue, I will promise to use any in my district for environmentally sound purposes, with an emphasis on projects that will provide continuous employment, rather than just temporary jobs. And I will follow the law by posting all earmarks online.
2. Does the country need immigration reform? If so, what are your plans?
Yes, we need immigration reform designed to keep our population at a sustainable level. We should put an outright ban on allowing death squad leaders, deposed dictators and other undesirable people to immigrate. Doctors and engineers should be allowed to immigrate only if no American citizens are available. Meatpackers, construction workers, housekeepers and farmworkers should be paid a living wage, and any business which chooses to hire undocumented workers to save on wages should be fined. Repealing NAFTA would lessen the attack on Mexico's farmers and workers, which led to 8 million Mexican-born people to come to the US after 1995. I oppose any police state interventions. I oppose racial profiling and measures authorizing officials or officers to demand ID papers of residents.
3. Can the budget deficit be controlled only by spending cuts or does the federal government need to raise more revenue? If you favor more revenue, should there be a general tax hike?
Actually, the most important step we can take to control the deficit and restore economic health is through monetary reform. In the interim, we need to cut spending on wars, "defense" spending that is not actually for defense, Homeland Security spending that is not actually for homeland security, and handouts to Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and the prison-industrial complex. We need to raise revenue by restoring a genuinely progressive income tax (repealing not just the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy but the Reagan tax cuts for the wealthy), raising the capital gains tax and adding a financial speculation tax.
4. Do you favor President Obama's planned 2014 military withdrawal from Afghanistan? Why or why not?
I favor withdrawing from Afghanistan as soon as transportation can be arranged, not waiting until 2014 to end an illegal and immoral occupation. I oppose any interference with sovereign nations, and how they choose to manage their own affairs. It is a shame that Carter and Reagan gave so much money and so many weapons to the fundamentalist Muslims that have made life so miserable for people (and especially women) in Afghanistan. It's time to stop the U.S. attack on the people of Afghanistan.
5. Do you believe there is global warming? If so, is any of it man made and can we do anything about it?
My belief is informed by the overwhelming majority consensus of climate scientists. Global warming is an empirical fact. This year the U.S. has broken multiple heat records, and wildfires, droughts and heat have devastated vast areas of our country. Scientists tell us that climate change is manmade, caused by burning fossil fuels, releasing millions of years of stored carbon into our atmosphere. We must immediately decrease fossil fuel burning, and put people to work building a carbon-free, nuclear-free economy. It can be done, but only the Green Party and its candidates offer a comprehensive program and platform for addressing this catastrophe that is already in progress.
6. How will you balance your personal views and beliefs with those of your constituents and the need to compromise for legislation to pass?
If elected, I will take the people's mandate to Washington, D.C. I will know that the people of Southern Illinois would rather invest in programs of social uplift, instead of weapons of mass destruction, and destruction of our air, water and soil for private profit. It is vague to speak of compromise for legislation. Which legislation? What compromise? It depends on the specifics. Legislators have to compromise on certain provisions within bills all the time; otherwise nothing would ever get passed. I would never compromise on my core principles and values. I would never sell out my constituents for lobbyist gifts or campaign donations, if that is what the question is intended to ask.