The IJN’s Boulder correspondant, Stacey Farb, interviews the Democrat candidate for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in November’s election.
Describe the state of the US economy. What went wrong?
I think that we face a catastrophic collapse of our financial system and we need to take immediate action. This is a national and international crisis. The finances of the world are linked together, as evident by recent headlines of global market collapses.
One thing Im concerned with in particular is the bailout. I dont think we can afford to borrow $700 billion and add it to our national debt. I will aggressively pursue ways to get our money back and hold accountable those who gave themselves bonuses based on faulty accounting.
We need to shore up our financial system; a Wall Street collapse affects mainstream America in many ways. We need to make sure the people have trust in the integrity of the banking system and that our banks are solvent.
Q. Is Colorado adequately prepared to deal with a severe economic downturn?
A: Colorado faces the same issues that other states face. The Colorado fundamentals continue to be less affected than in some areas. In my district in Adams County, we have a huge number of foreclosures so we havent been untouched.
We have to be aware of the potential for increased unemployment unless we take action now. My plan is to create an effective regulatory structure around derivatives to prevent this kind of catastrophic event from occurring again.
We need to hold accountable executives who gave themselves bonuses based on short-sighted and faulty misstated profits.
We need to find a way to improve our EB 5 visa program to allow for more investment of foreign capital in housing securities, and to make sure the taxpayers get paid back for the money thats put forward in the bailout.
Q. What impact do you hope to have on the future of energy usage?
A. I think our critical challenge is to end reliance on fossil fuels by moving to a renewable energy economy.
Our reliance on fossil fuels damaged our economy and the national security of both the US and Israel in that oil revenue is the main source of income for Saudi Arabia and Iran. Without it, their defense apparatus and in some cases the education of terrorists would be weakened, allowing us to have a stronger security outlook. So its a critical imperative to invest in solar and wind and renewable energy and move away from fossil fuels as quickly as we can.
Q. What is your position on Israel vis a vis Iran, and US involvement in the situation?
A: The specter of Iran developing nuclear weapons is a scary one. America needs to continue to engage other countries to make sure Iran is deterred. I would be against an American attack on Iran; I think that would shore up support for [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If America would attack, that would only enhance his credibility as a leader in Iran.
Q. Should America reconsider its relationship to Israel?
A. The US has a very close relationship to Israel. We dont see eye to eye on everything, but they have a critical role to play in a lasting peace in the region and the war on terror. America should continue to support Israel as a democracy in the Middle East.
Q. Would you move the US embassy to Jerusalem?
A. Yes, I do support moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
Q. What does the Democratic party offer the Jewish community?
A. I think that the majority of the Jewish community votes Democratic because we have the values of responsibility to others. As a people redeemed from slavery, we have enjoyed a great time of freedom and opportunity in this country and we have a responsibility to see that others have that opportunity, too.
I think Barack Obama and Joe Biden recognize this and I look forward to working on these issues with them.