Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Interview with Robyn Hamlin - Republican for MO 1st District

Thanks to Darin over at Reboot Congress, I was made aware of the candidacy of Robyn Hamlin. After I picked myself off of the floor, realizing that Lacy Clay now has more competition, I took at look at her campaign website. After reviewing it, I shot Robyn an email and she quickly agreed to an interview.

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

Q. Why are you running for the seat currently occupied by Lacy Clay for the 1st District of Missouri?
A. To get Lacy clay out of office because he does not do that much for our area. We need real representation here and I do not think we are getting it.

Think of it this way. The country is like a business. When there is a big business and it effects big parts of the country you have to have people look out for those parts. We do not have a representative looking out for us

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. I would be accessible to the constituents. For instance this summer, when on break, did he have any town halls. No, he made a statement in the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he was going to forgo town-hall meetings and see the work on highway 40. That is what overlords do. We do not want an overlord we want a representative.

Q. What differentiates you from Lacy Clay in your beliefs and stances?
A. Well, there are a lot of things. I have got a list of them I've published on a meetup group website. I have posted everything that Lacy Clay has voted on where I believe he voted incorrectly or I would have voted differently( LINK HERE).

We just need to replace Lacy Clay. Lacy Clay even voted to not allow churches to provide welfare services to his constituents. It seems he does not even want churches to help people locally. If a church wants to help people, why should they not be allowed to.

Q. While you have been politically active, you are not a Washington or even a St. Louis political insider. What makes you qualified for this position?
A. No, Lacy Clay is not even a St. Louisian. He was raised and schooled in DC. He moved here later on and he has it (his house seat) because his father had it and because of name recognition.

Q. So you think your being an outsider is a good thing?
A. Yes, I don't owe any political favors.

Q. You mentioned Clay's father. In Missouri we have seen political dynasties on both the right and the left with the Clays, Carnahans and Blunts. What do you think of political dynasties?
A. I do not believe in any political dynasties and they don't serve to represent the people ver well. This is not England with a monarchy. We are supposed to have representatives not hierarchies.

Q. What are you going to do, specifically, to benefit the First District?
A. I am going to work with our state reps and senators to represent Missouri. Missouri is a sovereign state. How can anyone go to DC and report they represent the district when they do not talk to Missouri legislatures to see what the state needs or doesn't want from the federal government. That is the job of a representative.

Q. So you are going to be the lobbyist on behalf of the state?
A. Exactly

Q. Are there any committees that you would especially want to participate in, should you be elected?
A. I would love to be on the ethics committee, the education committee. The water committee is another one.

Q. Why those?
A. There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of. We have a lot of things going on in our water rights. This committee is working on a lot of things that are farmed out. We have agencies like the EPA who creates rules that are not laws

We do not have any representation anymore. Slowly our representatives do not represent us anymore.

Q. Reading your website, it reads like some of your positions are things we have heard from the St. Louis Tea Party; is that what you are running under or as a part of?
A. No, I think a lot of people don't realize that these are people that have the same values getting together to express their frustration. This is not a political party. This is more of a movement to put our county back on track to following the rules.

Q. The president gave him self a solid B+, what do you give him.
A. Maybe, if he was looking at another constitution.

It is really difficult to have someone who has never run a business or anything trying to tell people how to run something. It is like people who have never raised kids trying to tell you how to raise children. Much like children, being the president does not come with instructions, but the president should know how to run something.

Q. The president was a community organizer, isn't community organizing like running a business.
A. You can organize anything you want but it is not the same as running a business. There is a lot to running a business like obtaining permits, documentation and finances. A business owner knows and understands how things like owning stock can effect your finances and the way you claim your taxes. A community organizer does not do any of that. A community organize gets people together.

Q. You work in the insurance industry and have been a single mother raising a child. In your opinion, how do we fix healthcare.
A. The government needs to quit mandating benefits and getting in the way of people who contract with businesses. I can contract with someone or a business to provide certain services to me. The government then comes along and mandates the contract that I made with someone but now be changed and they must provide more services. Now I have to pay for services that I did not contract for and that effect the costs. Their heart may be in the right place, but I do not think they look at the long term repercussions when they do something.

If they really wanted to do something to promote the general welfare of the country the insurance companies would be allowed to sell a basic plan that would cover routine accidents and illnesses in addition to the comprehensive plans they sell now. On the basic plans if they were offered with no pre-existing conditions but a requirement that people must keep the plan at least a year and offer a $250 to $500 deductibe, then have 80% co-insurance, a maxium out of pocket of $1000, and a maximum calendar year benefit of $25,000 to $50,000 many people who currently don't have coverage would jump at a chance to buy a contract like that, but can't because the government gets involved and mandates so many benefits.

The average person does not go to the hospital every year. Congress should allow companies to sell something that promotes the general welfare (not put the county on welfare) and can handle day to day issues. A common sense policy like this would cover appendectomies, bronchitis, broken bones, colds, maternity, and thinks like that. There are many people who would still buy the more comprehensive plans as an individual or have more comprehensive employment based benefits.

Q. Are they kowtowing to special interest groups?
A. Yes

Q. What is the one thing you want to accomplish should you be elected?
A. Boy, there are a couple things I would like to accomplish in my first term. One is to raise awareness on why we need to audit the Federal Reserve and to make the definition of undocumented what it really means, illegal. Congress does not seem to understand the definition of illegal and undocumented. Many of the undocumented workers are not undocumented, they are illegal aliens and it needs to be discussed in those terms. If the are illegal and we know it, why do we allow them to stay?

Q. Why audit Federal Reserve?
A. To find out how many generations have been pledged to pay interest on loans. To find out who and how we are indebted to, whatever countries and private banks. The federal reserve is a private bank that our country basically hired to keep the value of our money stable. Have they done this or has the value of our money been devalued?

Q. Reviewing your website, I see a lot of mentions regarding rights and taxes. In addition, I see you mention the founding fathers a lot. A lot of people do not believe the founding fathers are relevant any more. In your opinion, what do the founding fathers have to do with our government today?
A. Our constitution was setup for the sole purpose of keeping the people free and protecting our liberties. It has passed the test of time. There are many other papers that are older than our constitution. Those papers, like the Bible, are not considered outdated. The constitution and the Bill of Rights are not outdated.

The founding fathers listed some things that the federal government should not encroach on. Being taxed without representation is a major item. How many times are there taxes and fees in the name of the Federal Government that we or our representatives have never voted on. We have gotten so far away from what the founders came up with that it is going to take major work to get it back. It is kind of like trust, it is easy to lose trust, but you have to work hard to get it back.

Q. You work in the Insurance industry, are you afraid that your opponent or opponents will make this an issue, especially considering the healthcare issues now?
A. If they did, it wouldn’t hurt because I am the one on the front line explaining to customers and small businesses why their premiums went up because a new mandate was passed.

I have this example on my website. Let’s say you just bought new tires for your car and it cost you over $800. You decide to purchase tire insurance that would replace all your tires if you have a flat. The premium is $5 per month. A group of people then discover that it does not cover hub caps and they become very angry. They complain to their congressmen who then decide to issue a mandate stating that all companies that offer tire insurance must now cover hub caps. You get your next bill in the mail and your premium has gone from $5 to $7.00. You never wanted hub cap coverage but now have no choice and are forced to pay for it.

Q. As readers of my blog know, Lacy has a cozy relationship with the Rent To Own industry. I see you are a member of the Rental Property Owners Association. Is that the same thing?
A. No it is not. It is an organization for landlords and renters to know when legislation is passed. It is important to know if there is a new regulation that effects the way you rent property. The EPA has came out with a new regulation that can keep you from fixing something like a broken window, it is important to know this. If a tenant were to break a window, I could get in trouble for replacing it without being certified by the EPA. This organization keeps us informed of those types of situations.

Q. You are also a member of Get Out Of Our House. They want to "evict" all of the current career House members. Are there any members of the House that you think are doing a good job and if so why?
A. I have been a watcher of that group. There are a few members that are doing a good job. Most of them though, do not represent their states. You see, a majority of them go to DC and forget the reason they go there. Normally, when you get a new job, you get a rule book that tells you what you can and can't do. You follow those rules and get to keep your job. When they go to DC they get this rule book too, it is called the Constitution. The problem is, over time, they just quit following it.

I feel bad for states that have made bad budget decisions, but should the federal government bail out those states? Should Missouri taxpayers bail out those states that make bad decisions? No! The federal government is supposed to proved common currency, protect our borders and keep states from fighting with one another.

Q. What is your background? Tell my readers more about you?
A. I was born in North St. Louis City and lived in several parts of the St. Louis area. I attended Lutheran grade schools in St. Louis City and Florissant and public schools for middle and high school. I attended high school in Alton Illinois where I was active in sports (lettered in varsity volleyball), student council, and graduated in the top 10% of my class. I Was a member of FBLA club (Future Business Leaders of America), Junior Achievement, and Girl Scouts.

Over the course of several years I worked for three different insurance agencies and learned the good and the bad of the industry. While holding down two separate jobs, I started a commercial cleaning business with money I had saved. This business was quite successful.

Eventually, I started my own insurance agency and gave up the profitable cleaning business because I felt more people could be helped by putting all my efforts into the insurance business. When there is a claim or enrollment problem, I put in countless hours fighting for my clients’ rights and I don't get paid extra for this. I am persistent and get the job done.

I love animals, enjoy gardening and home improvement projects. Using money I had saved, not borrowed, that evolved into investing in a few small houses and fixing them up so I could rent them out to people who needed a home.

I raised my son as a unwed mother. My son's father and I get along, we just are not a couple. I am devoted to my family, my district, my country and my God. This is why I involved myself in politics. I got involved with politics in my early twenty’s as a precinct coordinator. I want my country back as it should be and I want career politicians out of Congress.

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. Well, I have a pretty good strategy to do that. I am going to try my best to get coverage with them. That is all I can do. If they cover all of the candidates in a non partisan fashion that would be excellent. If not, there is nothing I can do about that. I will continue to move forward.

Q. Have you approached or are there any plans for you to debate Lacy Clay? If so, when?
A. I would love to, but I doubt he will. We will see if the opportunity will present itself.

Q. In one sentence or less, what is your platform?
A. Protect our liberties and speak for the state of Missouri

As you can see, Robyn has some very interesting points. Please check out her web page and reach out to her via her website or twitter at @Hamlin4Congress.

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


BirdsAreWild said...

Robyn's website is www.HamlinForCongress.com

You can also follow her on facebook. Just do a search for Hamlin For Congress

P. said...

What is the net flow of wealth under governmental control in this district? Is it "out" in the form of taxes and fees, or is it "in" in the form of payments, entitlements, and subsidies?

Anonymous said...

Great interview. May one of us take Lacy Clay out of Congress!
Candice Britton for U.S. Congress District 1.

BirdsAreWild said...

In answer to P's question I have to say that I don't have the exact answer but I will definitively look into it more. We have a lot of entitlements in our district and we are losing more of our people who pay into the system on a daily basis. There are many forms of entitlement programs. Instead of so many entitlement plans that reward for not working we need to create an environment where people are not punished for starting small businesses.