Chesterton Tribune



Six Republicans vie for US House 1st District nomination

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In the primary election on Tuesday, May 8, Jeremy D. Belko, Roseann P. Ivanovich, David Dopp, Mark Leyva, John Meyer, and Nicholas Pappas will vie for the Republican nomination for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Chesterton Tribune invited all six to participate in a brief candidate questionnaire. Leyva did not return the questionnaire. The Tribune set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.

Editor’s note: Not all candidates provided photos.

(1) Age, place of residence, occupation.

Belko: 35, Merrillville, truck driver for Schneider National.

Ivanovich: 57, Porter County, attorney.

Dopp: 61, Valparaiso, ArcelorMittal division manager.

Meyer: 71, Ogden Dunes, attorney.

Pappas: 70, Crown Point, veterinarian.

(2) What specifically national priorities would you pursue, if elected to Congress? (100 words)

Belko: The fundamental issue I see is the national debt. No longer can we ignore this albatross and hope that one day it will be dealt with. The debt is now larger than the entire American economy and tax increases alone will not be enough to reverse the trend. We must make difficult choices now and everything must be on the table, including the sacred cows of Medicare and Social Security. The government must be shrunk back into the box that the Constitution intended it to be in and restore the rest of the powers to the States.

Dopp: Safety and security of NWI residents and the USA is a priority. We must keep adequate funding, resources, and technology development available while promoting proactivity in the organizations responsible to protect all of us.

Reducing the size of government through pulling back intrusive, costly regulations and funding initiatives that benefit special interests without being in the best interest of residents. Projects that leave immense debt service legacies must be stopped and replaced by those benefiting the people paying.

Implement term limits quashing the Washington attitude of “doing what they want” regardless of the impact on the people. Bring government back home!

Ivanovich: I will work to bring the federal tax dollars we pay back to our district in the form of improved highways and infrastructure. The expressways and major roads linking the expressways to our communities endure heavy truck travel. As a major conduit for commerce throughout the Midwest, we deserve the federal contributions to support the maintenance and rebuilding of our declining infrastructure. I will encourage business growth in the district through fresh ideas, tax incentives, and targeted job training. I am concerned about how tax dollars are being spent in Congress and I will demand more transparency.

Meyer: I will make it one of my primary goals to advance legislation that will help nurture American innovation and make the U.S. more competitive in the global market. I will create an agenda focused on job creation, leveling the playing field for clean-energy technology, expanding the impact of the research and development tax credit, and measures focused on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. I will also move to remove the cap on H-1B visas, which allow companies to employ non-immigrant graduate level workers in specialty occupations requiring technical expertise in fields like IT, engineering, science, or medicine.

Pappas: If elected, I would pursue a conservative agenda and reform our extraordinarily broken entitlement programs. I would make every effort I could to take care of all truly indigent citizens. But few people realize that the food stamp program started as a $10 million experiment during the Johnson Administration. It has evolved into a $100 BILLION per year Goliath!! 95 percent fraud!! Succinctly, my political mantra is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Must I remind people over 60,000 high paying steelworking jobs have been lost in the last 33 years!!

(3) Given the ongoing disintegration of the center, as voters move increasingly hard right or left, what future do you see for bipartisanship, comity, and civility in American politics? (100 words)

Belko: Bipartisanship has come to mean that conservatives cave in to the more left wing Democrats. Unfortunately the left never really gives all that much. The true far right, anarcho-capitalists and hardcore libertarians, cannot compromise their principles with the true far left, advocates of totalitarian socialism and communism. The middle has found its way shifted to the left since the more far left has infiltrated government. I would be a voice more to the further right than the middle, but not at the extreme and I hope that would be enough to begin the moderation of the center again.

Dopp: We can reach bipartisan agreement on superficial issues like naming a post office or getting the Dunes into the NPS, but can we get there on real socio-economic issues? The USA is the world’s longest lived constitutional republic. Our nation’s identity’s been under attack since its providential beginnings in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The movement to change our nation to democratic socialism has been a undercurrent for about 100 years. Currently we’re at a crossroads. Until we return to our roots and reduce the size and intrusiveness of government, bipartisanship will be an arduous, tedious task.

Ivanovich: As a private practice attorney and business owner, I know how to negotiate between parties and work with people for the greater good. I thrive in adversarial settings and am skilled at calming the rhetoric. While I lean right on some issues, there are also some where I am more toward center. I use the skills I have developed as an attorney to listen to people, communicate their concerns, and persuade others to look at new viewpoints. Now, more than ever, we need people in Congress who know how to reach across the aisle.

Meyer: I have practiced law for over 45 years, both as a federal prosecutor in Chicago and then as a private attorney specializing in complex litigation. My law firm has represented major corporations, substantial government entities (including the FDIC and the City of Chicago). I have tried over 100 jury trials and argued more than 50 appeals in the Court of Appeals. Further, I have successfully negotiated settlements in thousands of additional matters. If elected, I will bring these collaborative skills to bear and strive to achieve a consensus among my peers in Congress in hopes of ending the persisting gridlock.

Pappas: Sadly, the days of the Ev and Charlie Show, Hubert H. Humphrey politics of love or people like former Speaker McCormack who saw good in everyone are over. When 100 percent of every caucus votes as their leadership dictates, I’m afraid we may as well have a parliamentary form of government where a vote of no confidence leads to an election in six weeks. There are too many miscreants holding seats for 40-50 years!! I believe in the citizen-politician as the Founding Fathers so brilliantly thought of.



Posted 4/19/2018





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