After I posted my interview with Ellen Corbett, one of my readers, "Westerner," asked if I would be interviewing the Republican candidate too. I hadn't thought about it because voter registration in the 15th Congressional District is almost 50% Democrat. I assumed that a Republican wouldn't have a chance of being elected.
I shouldn't make such assumptions without at least giving the Republican candidate an opportunity to speak for himself. So I emailed Hugh Bussell last night and left a phone message this morning. He returned my email and suggested we meet at 4 pm at Specialty's in Stoneridge Mall.
I researched Mr. Bussell on his campaign website and in an article about the candidates in the Livermore Independent.
Mr. Bussell has a degree in physics from U.C. Berkeley and earned his teaching credential from San Francisco State University. He is "Content Development Manager - Integrations" at Workday in Pleasanton and taught High School Math and Science at two public schools in the area.
I asked Mr. Busselll why he is running for Congress, since he is not a typical politician or a lawyer. "Do we need more professional politicians or send more lawyers to Washington?" he asked rhetorically. "Eric (Swalwell) is a prisoner of sound bites and ideas. He's not a deep thinker." Ellen Corbett is a professional politician.
"Congress needs more diversity of thought, having a different voice on important issues like the Affordable Care Act." He is opposed to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which he believes does not work. He would vote to replace it. He mentioned a plan like the one Federal Employees get might be better.
Instead of depending on Government to do everything, Bussell would like the private sector take on more. "I'm trying to be a realist about economics and business. Government subsidies are not the way to go. Government should be more like a referee and protect people with fair laws and not get in the way of our economy. Politicians put their thumb on the scale and favor one company or industry over another, getting in the way of job creation."
He cited the new California law requiring cell phone manufacturers to add a "kill switch" to all new phones in case they are stolen. He considers this an unnecessary intrusion into commerce. If cell phone buyers want phones with kill switches, companies will make them. Let the market determine what buyers want or need.
The Tri-Valley cities, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore used to travel as a group to Washington, D.C. to ask our Representative for money. I recalled that when Republican Richard Pombo was our Congressman, he worked with Senator Diane Feinstein to bring grant money for improvements to water systems and distribution of the recycled water from the Dublin San Ramon Services District.
Bussell said that rather than have tax money go to Washington, D.C., and get some back, it would be better to keep more of our tax dollars here. "I will work to cut money going to Washington DC and keep it in local government."
He wants Republican voters to know that because of new "top two" primary, voters might not get a choice between a Democrat and Republican in the fall. "If you want a Republican candidate on the November ballot, it is critical that you vote in the primary by sending in your mail ballot, or coming out to the polls on June 3rd. . . . Without your vote in the primary, you could end up with a choice between two Democrats in the Fall."