A Third Candidate in the Race for NJ-5
Patricia Alessandrini is running as the Green Party candidate for Congress against incumbent Republican, Scott Garrett and Democratic challenger, Adam Gussen. I sent her 15 questions, and she supplied me with her answers. In a traditional setting I would have followed up a couple of her answers with additional questions but the format didn’t allow for it.
I hope you find this information helpful…
Me: What are the most critical issues that need to be addressed by Congress?
Patricia: The most critical issues are jobs, ending the unnecessary war in Afghanistan, reform of federal income taxes.
Me: Traditionally third-party candidates don’t perform well in Federal elections. Why is your candidacy for Congress different?
Patricia: My candidacy is geared to engage the public in real participation in the political process. In fact, to enable the public to realize their own power to effect the changes they want.
Me: What are the specific issues and challenges unique to the 5th District that you believe need to be addressed in Washington, DC?
Patricia: The specific issues are jobs, home foreclosures, education reform and wages.
Me: Is it possible to put people back to work while at the same time reducing our Federal deficit?
Patricia: Yes, a federal program to employ millions of the unemployed as stated on my website. newmenu.org/votepatricia. The federal deficit can be reduced by taxing those families earning $250,000 or more as is also stated on my website in detail and reducing the military budget by 35% by 2013.
Me: Is it possible for a candidate to get his or her message out to the voters in the district without raising and spending over a million dollars?
Patricia: In order for a candidate to get his/her message out to the public real campaign reform is needed; public funding such as the example in the state of Maine.
Me: In 2010, The Green Party Candidate – Ed Fanning got just 1.2% of the vote. What specific things do you plan to do to improve on that percentage?
Patricia: Ed Fanning ran an excellent campaign without corporate donations and a large number of volunteers. It is my hope that the constituents in district 5 will be courageous and thoughtful in voting for me as I will put their interests before any corporate interests.
Me: How far does The United States need to go in support of one of their closest allies; Israel? If Israel invades Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons how should we respond?
Patricia: One of my issues is for the U.S. to support only states not in violation of international law. It is very unlikely that Israel would invade Iran unilaterally therefore the question is moot.
Me: Do you agree with the President’s timeline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan? If not, what should be our plan for that region of the world?
Patricia: The subject of withdrawal from Afghanistan is addressed on my website. I believe that financial aide to NGO’s to promote education, healthcare and in general a program to empower the democratic forces that have been alienated. There must be oversight as studies have indicated that funds are often not used for the good of the people intended. This U.S. policy may be a start of reparations to the people of Afghanistan and the region.
Me: It seems as if the Green Party emerged as the party for disenchanted progressives who were once members of the Democratic Party. On the right, the Tea Party seems to have splintered off from the Republican Party in a similar fashion though for diametrically opposed political reasons. Why have the Republicans been more successful at bringing the Tea Party into their tent than the Democratic Party has been with the Green Party?
Patricia: The Green Party is substantially different from the Democratic Party as can easily be seen in our 10 Key Values. A quick read of these values would readily indicate why the Democratic Party would never bring the Green Party “into their tent”. *Please see 10 Key Values: National Green Party!
Me: Scott Garrett supporters are no more likely to vote for a Green Party candidate than a Democratic challenger. If Adam Gussen’s positions were more progressive would you have felt the need to run in 2012?
Patricia: Adam Gussen is a Democrat and he adheres to that platform, therefore I would still run in 2012.
Me: Is your campaign seeking to register new voters who are likely to support your ideas or are you instead trying to appeal to voters disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Adam Gussen or both?
Patricia: I want to register voters regardless of party affiliation as I feel strongly that voting is not only a privilege but an important venue to express one’s opinion.
Me: What is your opinion of the Affordable Care Act?
Patricia: The Affordable Care Act has some positive aspects but it is also a “gift” to the health insurance companies. The Green Party advocates “Medicare For All”. This policy would save billions of tax payers dollars and cover everyone from birth to death. The administration costs of Medicare average 3% while private insurance companies average 10 to 15%.
Me: Will it improve health care in this country?
Patricia: The Affordable Care Act will somewhat improve healthcare for some in this country.
Me: What checks – if any would you support on our financial institutions to prevent another “Great Recession?”
Patricia: Restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act for starters.
Me: Do you believe the Republican Party is waging a war on women? If so, what would you say to women who tell you they’re going to be voting for Scott Garrett?
Patricia: I don’t believe all members of the Republican Party are waging a war on woman. It is individual politicians that are sexist or biased in regard to woman.