Hare solid on issues
The D/A is doing a series of pieces where they interview prospective candidates to be selected to step in and run in Lane Evans' stead. Today's interview was with long-time Evans aide Phil Hare, and he touched on a variety of issues.
The Rock Island Arsenal and a new I-74 bridge would remain important priorities for Mr. Hare. He would continue to help attract private business to the Arsenal and believes the arrival of the 1st Army headquarters, under the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations, could be a boost for the facility.Hare appears to be in step with Evans' positions, ones which I personally agree with for the most part. I'm particularly encouraged by his interest in getting out of Iraq and his wanting to end Bush's disasterous multi-trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America. (though I think it should be targeted towards people with $1 million plus incomes rather than $200,000. There's trillions lost just from tax cuts to the top 1 percent of incomes in the country and the ridiculous "estate tax" repeal alone, more than enough to fund universal health care.)
"I want to stay vigilant on the Arsenal," he said. "I want to be a cheerleader for the Arsenal."
He disagrees with previous trade agreements like NAFTA, saying they have hurt U.S. workers. He said he was furious with Maytag's decision to abandon Galesburg for a plant in Mexico.
"Negotiated agreements should include looking out for workers," Mr. Hare said. "We should provide tax breaks to corporations that stay here."
If selected as the Democrats' nominee and he wins the election, Mr. Hare said he would dedicate a member of his staff to economic development in the district.
"You need someone to put their ear to the ground and get a feel for what is going on," he said.
He wouldn't meet with just business people, but also teachers and others who could inform him on issues throughout the district. He said the first term would be one spent learning, referring to himself as "a quick learner."
"You learn by sitting down with people," Mr. Hare said.
Working closely with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Barack Obama also would be a key component in helping the district, he said, by tracking to get money for local projects through the House and the Senate.
Mr. Hare thinks No Child Left Behind is underfunded and said Head Start programs need more money. He called the current health-care system "a complete mess."
He said a national health-care plan could be paid for through repealing the tax cuts for people earning more than $200,000, tax cuts President George W. Bush wants to make permanent. He also suggested some type of tort reform to protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits.
He supports the McCain-Kennedy bill in the Senate, which offers amnesty to some illegal immigrants while increasing funding for border security.
Mr. Hare said he is "in sync" with Rep. Evans on most issues, but his views vary slightly on some others. He is pro-choice, but opposes partial-birth abortion except if the life or health of the mother is endangered. He also favors parental notification for minors seeking abortions.
He also thinks a timetable should be created to withdraw troops from Iraq.
"The Iraqis have to be put on the spot to defend their country sooner rather than later," he said.
NAFTA and CAFTA certainly need some work, but a candidate can't get much accomplished by just demanding protectionism anymore. The economic landscape has shifted so vastly that it will take a lot of creativity and work in other areas of society before the middle class and labor regain what they've lost over the past few decades, if ever. The onus rests on corporate behavior and investment, and as far as government can influence that, it should, though actually accomplishing it in the face of the Republicans (and Democrats) handing coporations nearly unlimited power will be difficult at best.
And more than lip service should be given to national health care. It would be a difficult transition, but programs on the state level have proven successful and could be expanded to the federal level, and Hare is correct in saying that the country could certainly afford it if it is done right and the reverse Robin Hood policies of this administration are stopped or curtailed.
His views on gun control were not mentioned.
Based on this interview, what are your impressions or feelings about Phil Hare as our candidate for congress?
NOTE: The QC Times posts a letter to the editor in support of Hare. It begins with the unfortunate statement, "Phil Hare is going to be the Democratic congressman from the 17th, because Lane wanted him to be the next congressman.", and goes on from there. That's a pretty rickety reason someone should be or will be selected. Doesn't that sell Hare short? It makes those who will be making the choice sound like mindless lemmings.