Mike Koolidge: 2022 candidate for U.S. House 14th District
Office sought: U.S. House 14th District
Occupation: Former syndicated radio host, self employed
Previous offices held: None, other than GOP Precinct Committeeman for 10+ years
What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?
We all need to get on the same page as far as what our country's problems are, and stop with the political spin games of "inflation is transitory" and "the economy is actually doing fine." The American people know these things are not true. Prices everywhere are skyrocketing, our federal government is spending recklessly as if we're not already $30 trillion in debt, and we essentially have an open, porous southern border. Parents are worried about what their kids are being taught in school, just as much as what they're *not* being taught, and communities of all sizes are rightly worried about crime. Not a single one of these issues should be political or left/right. They are real, and we need to unite to address each and every one of them, together.
What is your position on changing voter access?
The right to vote is sacred, and all Americans deserve free and fair elections that all legal voters have complete and equal access to and confidence in. We must make it impossible to commit even one act of fraudulent voting, let alone "widespread" voter fraud. The most obvious answer is universal Voter-ID -- which consistently over 70% of all Americans agree with in polling -- and completely transparent post-election vote tallying. While states control the voting process as per the U.S. Constitution, the federal government should do everything it can to encourage states to make sure the election process is secure and fair, everywhere.
Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?
2020 is long over, Joe Biden has been a decidedly unpopular president thus far, and we should all endeavor to make it so that disagreement about future election results is minimal. The best way to do that is by strengthening laws that focus on voting integrity. It is now 2022 and we can only look forward and do everything we can to improve our election process and give all Americans confidence in the results. It's been encouraging of late that some members of the media are finally acknowledging the massive malpractice that occurred in their industry with the squashing of a consequential story right before the 2020 election. The NY Times deserves credit for admitting recently that The NY Post 2020 story about Joe Biden's potential malfeasance revealed on his son's computer was indeed real and verified and should have been reported by more news outlets at the time. More widespread coverage at the time could have changed the outcome by as much as 5 points. But what's done is done.
What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?
We all have a right to freely express ourselves in the United States, about anything, always. It is enshrined in the very first amendment to the Constitution, and not just our freedom of speech, but our freedom to peaceably assemble. The vast majority of the protesters on the Mall that day did just that: they assembled, peacefully. Individuals who went inside unauthorized areas of the Capitol building and chose violence against their neighbors and police officers should be held accountable and processed through our legal justice system as any lawbreaker should. All US citizens are beholden to the law and are entitled to all the rights afforded to them by the legal system regardless of their political beliefs.
What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?
As the only veteran running in this race, I understand that America's interests must always be at the forefront of all foreign policy decisions. All decisions about our military's involvement overseas need to be made calmly and judiciously, and Washington needs to be reminded that the only branch of government that can declare war is Congress. Whether it be Russia, China, or terrorism in the Middle East, we must always support democracy and oppose tyranny, and ideally, we can do so without putting American lives at risk.
Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
The private sector deserves credit for working so quickly to develop green solutions, and the government should do everything within reason to support the private sector as it works towards energy resilience. What we cannot afford to do is introduce more taxes and greenwashed regulations which would be an additional burden on working families and small businesses. While it's imperative to look for more efficient solutions for the future, America has the capability to be energy independent through our many energy resources, which would lower gas and energy prices and put the U.S. in a position to lead rather than react. I will hold the Biden Administration accountable to environmental extremists who think the answer is to ditch oil and gas and invest solely in wind and solar. We need to kickstart projects that will put us back on top like the Keystone Pipeline, and we need the government to get out of the way of domestic energy exploration.
Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act was not the final and ultimate solution to fix the American healthcare system. We're still seeing families struggle with insurance premiums and healthcare costs. I want to see the government ease regulations that limit customer choice and drive-up costs in the healthcare market. We can also focus on bipartisan solutions to drive down the cost of prescriptions. We cannot afford to remove the private sector from the equation, because that would undoubtedly lower the quality of care.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?
Unlike many politicians currently in power and/or running for office, I have actually been to and toured the U.S.-Mexico border within the last 12 months with U.S. Border patrol agents. Finishing the wall and stopping illegal immigration must be a paramount priority. I fully support legal immigration and all who want to come to this great country by going through the established legal process to pursue the American Dream. But allowing illegal immigrants to come into our country and in many cases receive better treatment than legal immigrants only encourages more illegal immigration. The Biden administration is not only ignoring the crisis at the border, they are about to make it worse by lifting Title 42 next month, which will by some estimates double the numbers of people flowing through the southern border daily. The smartest thing we did in the last five years to protect our border was the Remain in Mexico policy which Biden tried to get rid of, but the Supreme Court upheld.