The IJN’s Boulder correspondent, Stacey Farb, interviews the Republican candidate for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in November’s election.
Describe the state of the US economy. What went wrong?
The coordinated effort to lower the discount rate the rate banks charge each other internationally was a good move from the Bush administration, but it did little to calm fears on the market. The worst thing for any economy is pessimism or concern for the fundamentals. While we are the great manufacturing engine in the world, it is concerning if people cant obtain credit and the housing crisis continues to put strain on the financial markets.
I disagree that Congress would come to the American people saying they need these monies, but then putting $100 million of pork in it. That really is so unconscionable. [Legislators] on both sides could have pulled the bill, gotten rid of the pork and still passed it. Im furious with Congress.
Q. Is Colorado adequately prepared to deal with a severe economic downturn?
A. Colorado is situated to lead the next economic boom. A contributing factor in this downturn is the high cost of energy tripling price over three years.
Colorado has tremendous natural resources, but we need to continue to subsidize them and do research and make them a bigger portion of the energy component. Colorado is world renowned for energy and environmental leadership. Ive worked with new technologies in my career that reduce the environmental impact on drilling. We can increase our production of natural resources in a responsible way. And those are good union paying jobs in Colorado.
Aerospace is also important in Colorado. Im an aerospace engineer and head the electronics for the James Webb Telescope, so I understand what that industry means to the economy.
Q. What impact do you hope to have on the future of energy usage?
A. I worked my entire career in advanced energy conversion systems. Americans are not as energy efficient as we can be. I invented new technologies that could double or triple efficiency.
I would bring much needed technical expertise to Congress. Right now, decisions are made on political emotions rather than scientific facts. Were putting our money in the wrong areas of renewable energy. For instance, ethanol is a waste of taxpayer dollars and contributes to higher food costs.
Q. What is your position on Israel vis a vis Iran, the US involvement in the situation?
We cannot have direct talks with Iran. My grandparents emigrated from Lebanon at the turn of the century. My brother is a Christian missionary in Lebanon. My family has seen the direct result of Hezbollah terrorism funded through Iran. They destabilize weak governments and institute puppet regimes, which is why we need to see the job through in Iraq, and which is why we need to recognize the threat of Hezbollah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. Hamas destabilizes the Palestinian Authority through funds from Iran, then lobs missiles at Israel. We cannot allow that.
Q. Should America reconsider its relationship to Israel?
A. Its our most important relationship in the Middle East. Being of Middle East descent, I understand that. Israel needs to remain strong and free and secure.
Q. Would you move the US embassy to Jerusalem?
A. Yes, because its the head of the Israeli state.
Q. What does the Republican party offer the Jewish community?
A. It offers unfettered, undeniable support. It puzzles me why Jewish people in the US are more Democrat than Republican. Some of the rhetoric of the Democrat party does not favor a strong Israel or continued support for Israel. Our national security and the security of the region depends on it. It goes to voting traditions in the US rather than whats happening in Israel. A lot of the Jewish population lives in inner cities and those tend to be more liberal and Democratic. The Republican party is more aligned with Jews and the preservation of Israel.