In the general
election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky
will defend his 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
against Libertarian challenger Donna Dunn. The Chesterton Tribune
invited both to respond to a candidate questionnaire.
set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit responses
(1) For Visclosky:
Age, place of residence, terms in office: 67, Merrillville, 16 terms.
For Dunn: Age,
place of residence, occupation: 52, Hammond, chief yardmaster at CSX
Intermodal Terminals Inc.
(2) For Visclosky:
Describe your achievements in office (75 words). I am humbled and
honored to serve the people of Northwest Indiana in the United States House
of Representatives. I am proud to call Northwest Indiana home and advocate
on behalf of Northwest Indiana in Congress. I have worked throughout my
career to create jobs and build a regional economy in Northwest Indiana, and
I will continue to work to that end every day.
For Dunn: Describe
your qualifications for office (75 words). I meet all of the
constitutional requirements. I was born and raised in the region. I live the
life that most people in this region live. I have had to struggle with
paying my own bills and meeting my personal budget. I was blessed with good
leaders and mentors. I have never compromised my principles or ethics and
Iím not about to start now.
(3) For Visclosky:
Why are you seeking re-election? (75 words) I am seeking re-election in
order to continue to do my utmost every day to create a better Northwest
Indiana for everyone currently living and working in our region and for
future generations of residents.
For Dunn: Why are
you seeking election to this office? (75 words) Iím tired of seeing the
same thing from Congress. It seems that it doesnít matter who gets elected,
itís not the nation it once was. We need to start abiding by our
Constitution again. I am running to give the average person a voice in
Washington. I believe in the power of the people. They are the power that
fuels our nation.
yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe yourself a better
candidate (100 words).
have a proven record of working with local leaders and other members of
Congress, of both political parties, for a better future for Northwest
Indiana. Through cooperation, we have invested in our future by supporting
the recapitalization and expansion of the South Shore Rail Line, the
development of the Gary airport, the improvement of access to our lakefront,
the promotion of our institutions of higher learning, and the advancement of
our steel and manufacturing industries. I will continue to work with local,
state, and federal officials, and local organizations and businesses, to
grow our regional economy.
Dunn: Iím a
Marine veteran and a union member. I am passionate about my country. I love
Northwest Indiana and Iím proud to be from the region. I am willing to make
the hard choices, and willing to put my personal wants aside to do what is
right for the region and our country. I can work with both parties to get
things done, not just talk. I am not beholden to any corporations. I answer
only to the voters of the first district. I believe we need to get rid of
some of our existing laws not make new ones.
(5) What are your
priorities for Northwest Indiana? (100 words)
believe we are on the cusp of a new era of development and prosperity in
Northwest Indiana. We have made progress, but we must continue to build upon
this momentum. We must continue to defend American steelworkers and usher in
new manufacturing and technology industries into our regional economy. We
must continue to invest in our economic and transportation infrastructure.
We must continue to improve access to our lakeshore. We must continue to
fight to keep our nation safe.
Chicago lead problem: Must be corrected and any other contaminated areas in
the region identified and fixed as soon as possible. We canít afford to wait
30 years to ensure our citizensí safety.
extension: I will do whateverís necessary to ensure our children and
grandchildren arenít burdened with this debt. The people should have decided
if they want their hard-earned dollars spent on nine miles of track at $85
million a mile.
Steel: Stop illegal
dumping. If a ship has illegal steel or hasnít paid the tariff it must not
be allowed to dock.
(6) What are your
views on immigration policy, both with respect to this countryís common
border with Mexico and to the international refugee crisis? (100 words)
support addressing immigration policy in a comprehensive fashion that
improves our national security by strengthening border protections, limits
wage competition by holding employers who hire undocumented workers
accountable, and promotes public safety by bringing those immigrants already
contributing to our communities out of the shadows through an earned path to
citizenship. I also strongly support efforts to properly vet all individuals
admitted to our country for security reasons. I believe protecting our
national security and helping to resettle refugees are not mutually
exclusive, and simply refusing to assist the worldís most vulnerable victims
is inconsistent with our countryís values.
Dunn: We need
to make it easier to legally come to this country. It should not take
upwards of seven years to become a citizen. A free and prosperous society
has no fear of anyone entering it. We must eliminate the incentives that
attract the wrong kind of people to America, by closing down the welfare
state, so that the only people coming in are those who want to work. It is
unconstitutional to have a religious test for refugees. However, our people
must come first. We must stop bombing other countries, which is creating
more and more refugees.
technology and robotics are eliminating skilled jobs and closing
brick-and-mortar institutions. What do you see as the role of the federal
government in the age of driverless cars, digital learning, web-based
retail, and--ultimately--artificial intelligence? (100 words)
believe the federal government has an essential role to prepare our children
to thrive in the 21st century economy. We can do this through the adequate
funding of federal neonatal health, early education, and technical and
vocational programs. We must also do all that we can to limit tuition costs
in order to alleviate the financial burden on students wishing to better
themselves through higher education institutions. The federal government
also has a role to ensure that the civil liberties of all Americans are not
unintentionally taken advantage of due to the development of these new
technologies and industries.
Dunn: I don't
believe the federal government has any role when it comes to technology. We
need government to get out of the way. Since President Obama quit funding
the Space Shuttle Program, private corporations have picked up the ball.
These companies compete to launch satellites and make rockets reusable. I
can only imagine how much farther along our technology would be if the
government wasn't involved. When we pass a law and transform a scientific,
medical, financial, or educational matter into a political issue, it creates
a boondoggle to be divided up by politicians to please their most
(8) What do you
consider to be the single greatest threat to the security and prosperity of
this country and what can Congress do to meet it? (100 words)
the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I
believe that we cannot have a strong national defense without a strong
national economy. We must maintain a strong economy by investing in our
transportation and economic infrastructure, by passing federal funding and
budget legislation in a timely fashion, and by supporting a robust and
vibrant manufacturing base in order to ensure that we meet the production
needs of our military.
Dunn: We must
stop bombing and trying to perform regime change in other countries. If we
are attacked then Congress must stop abdicating power to the president and
declare war itself. We must have a plan for victory, using the complete
American military might. The Constitution authorizes the federal government
to defend us from enemies, not run around the world creating enemies.
Whenever thereís trouble in the world, war is the first resort of political
scoundrels, but the last resort of a free people. But make no mistake, if we
are attacked we will not only defend ourselves but attack back.