Monday, March 15, 2010

My Interview with Martin D. Baker - Republican for MO 1st District

Wow! Lacy has got himself some competition this year. Once again I fell out of my chair when I found out that there is another candidate running against Lacy Clay. That candidate is one Martin D. Baker. After I picked myself off of the floor, I took at look at his campaign website. After reviewing it, I shot Martin an email and he agreed to an interview.

The following is an interview I did with Martin over the course of a couple of days. This is strictly an interview. I am not giving my opinion or am I commenting on anything that Martin has to say. I think it is only fair to let Martin speak his points without comment by me or anyone else. While some questions may have been rearranged for better reading, these are all his answers.

Q. Why are you running for the seat currently occupied by Lacy Clay for the 1st District of Missouri?
A. To give real representation back to the people of this district who are longing for a representative that does care.

Q. Lacy Clay claims that he represents the people of the first district. You obviously feel that is not the case. How would you go about ensuring you represent the district?
A. True Representative Access. I remember reading how a few months ago a constituent of Cong. Clay approached him at the airport and the manner in which the person was brushed off was not something that would ever happen with me. The seat does not belong to any one man or party it belongs to the people and the person who is holding that seat is accountable to the people it belongs to. I'd gladly meet with my constituents in and out of the district, id answer concerns personally as often as occasions would permit and Id have town hall forums whether congress is in session or in recess.

Q. I have heard a lot of people say that Lacy Clay does not make himself available to his constituents. This is not the first election cycle I have heard this. Why do you think he continues to get re-elected with this type of attitude and how can you change people's minds?
A. He gets re-elected because its like the Eddie Murphy movie the Distinguished Gentleman- Its the Name they know- without any serious threat to his re-election he goes through the motions shows up at the right events and coasts to another two year term. He's the old shoes you keep in your closet, they need to be replaced, but they are so familiar you keep them anyway. What I plan to do to change people's mind is to show them is now a better option.

Q. What differentiates you from Lacy Clay in your beliefs and stances?
A. I believe that my website shows where Congressman Clay and I are different but I feel the greatest disparity in belief is what we feel the role of government is....I advocate less governmental intrusion and my opponent does not.

Q. You have run for Congress before in 2008 against Emanuel Cleaver. What did you learn in that contest that applies to your running today?
A. I learned even in a Primary loss that you don't deviate from your beliefs and values and no matter the outcome hold your head high.

Q. In an election where being a political insider could be considered a detriment, are you afraid that your past political endeavors will work against you?
A. I feel my experience as a consultant does not jade me like the "insiders" are because it helps me understand the process to better serve my constituents.

Q. I have interviewed 2 other candidates for Lacy Clay's current seat. One is a Democrat and one is a Republican. There are also 2 Libertarians running. Why do you think so many people are trying to unseat Congressman Clay?
A. It is apparent on all angles of the political spectrum that Congressman Clay has lost the confidence of his constituency.

Q. What do you offer that your competition does not?
A. Fresh ideas, enthusiasm and commitment to the District and my home state.

Q. What are you going to do, specifically, to benefit the First District?
A. Serve the district through actually finding the true needs of the district, coordinating with our local leaders and our state leaders and implementing policies and ideas that will help the district as a whole and not just in certain more privileged areas. I will visit with constituents every recess and hear their needs personally not through staffers. we will have frequent town hall meetings for them to air their grievances.

Q. Are there any committees that you would especially want to participate in, should you be elected?
A. Small Business, Homeland Security, Budget, Appropriations, and Armed Services

Q. Why those committees?
A. Each of those committees affect our district in ways for example, the backbone of this district is the small businesses such as the mom and pop stores on Page, Homeland Security is affected by the crimes committed by the numerous undocumented (illegal) residents we have here, Budget and Appropriations go without saying and obviously with our close proximity to Boeing who supplies our Armed Services.

Q. It is interesting that you bring up Boeing. They have contributed a lot of money to Clay over the years through their PAC. In addition, their workers are union workers and publicly, then tend to back Democrats. How will you win over their support?
A. Its always tough when you have that obstacle but you venture anyway. Reality is that the unions support Democrats in droves, but the true matter is that most workers don't have a say in where their union money goes but on a personal level they are conservative people who are strong on national security so we wont focus heavily on the unions themselves but on its individual members. When we focus on its members instead of its figurehead leaders we once again give the focus back to the people.

Q. Illegal aliens are just as big a problem here in St. Louis as they are in other areas. Some groups call for amnesty, others call for deportation and still others call for some variation of the two. In your opinion, how do we handle this problem?
A. Illegal immigration is a national security issue, no two ways about it. There are people who practically on a daily basis go through the proper channels to gain entry and citizenship to our country at great personal and emotional strain, while others just get lucky when there is a hole in a fence or a guard looking the other way. That is unacceptable to me. Its a sad state of affairs to know we have more people investigating tax fraud then we do defending our borders from illegal incursions. We need simply put to lock down our borders. If a person wants to go the process follow the rules and regulations to gain citizenship then they would have no problem returning to their country of origin and going through those proper channels. If they don't we need to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and return them. Not only that, we need to prosecute those who continue to employ them because its a cheaper alternative than hiring a citizen. I was told a story of a woman who had ancestors take the proverbial "slow boat" to get to our shores but had all necessary documentation ready upon entry. That is a person who wants to be here to take part in the American Dream and work for it. We cannot and should not under any circumstances reward anyone who came here under illegal or false pretenses such as overstaying a Visa.

Q. Reading your website, one of your issues struck me. You believe in removing earnings tax and replacing it with a national sales tax. Missouri is attempting to do this now. Mike Huckabee ran as president on this issue too. Do you think it will gain any attraction?
A. I certainly hope so. When Americans look at their paychecks and see more money they are inclined to utilize it to actually stimulate the economy. The time has come to give the people that option.

Q. What did you learn working with Sherman Thompson Parker?
A. I could write a book on the lessons i learned from Sherman. He is one of my political heroes who taught me that you don't give up no matter how daunting the task might look. His greatest phrase to me was a simple one...principles over politics.

Q. The president gave himself a solid B+ when asked to give himself a grade. How would you grade him and why?
A. Does the President grade on a curve? I would have to give the president an F on the premise that he has forced legislation down the throats of America without truly asking them through their Senators and Representatives. He has not acquitted himself well on the international stage with his Apology Tour, which erodes international confidence in America, and he has spent away the future of America, without a plan for repaying it.

Q. What is your background? Tell my readers more about you?
A. I was born and raised in the Southeast Missouri city of Sikeston. I attended BYU-Idaho and the University of Missouri-Columbia. At Mizzou I served as a student senator for my residence hall floor. I left school to venture into the world of politics as a volunteer consultant and in the process became a parent for the first time. I'm a proud father of three daughters and one son. I am proud of the background that I got being raised by my grandmother who taught me the basic values and my father and stepmother who taught me the principles of hard work and I believe I can use all that serve the District with Honor and Pride.

Q. The St. Louis Post Dispatch appears to do what it can to protect St. Louis Democrats like Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan. How are you going to get your name and positions out there?
A. I would hope that in seeing the groundswell of angst that has been built up against our incumbents that the PD would look to see who the people are supporting but if they don't, that's fine, they can make themselves seem they are the hired shill of the establishment and we will take out message and name out to the "streets" the old fashioned way, by being out there. I will soon be in neighborhoods in the District knocking on doors introducing myself and answering questions and concerns.

Q. Have you approached or are there any plans for you to debate Lacy Clay? If so, when?
A. I haven't approached Congressman Clay however I plan on doing so even before the primary and also inviting my opponents both from my party and our libertarian and democrat sides.

Q. In one sentence or less, what is your platform?
A. My platform is all about the people of our District-Missouri First.

As you can see, Martin has some very interesting points. Please check out his web page and reach out to him via his website, on Facebook at Martin D Baker for US Congress or twitter at @Baker4Congress.

I hope you found this as informative as I did. Please comment your thoughts on here and let Martin know what you think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great interview. You did a great job. I have a lot of good competition for sure!!
Candice Britton