6th Congressional candidates field campaign questions


To the surprise of both sides of the aisle, Democratic Congressman Norm Dicks announced his retirement this year after more than three decades in office. The result are seven candidates vying for the open seat in the 6th Congressional District. These are the candidates and their take on local issues. Ballots go out on Thursday.

David (IKE) Eichner

Occupation: CEO & Principal Consultant (ICAN Software Corporation…business software consulting and software development)

Political Party: Republican

Examples of Civic Involvement: I serve within my congregation as an elder and worship leader. I serve on the board of directors for several not-for-profit organizations. I’ve been involved in prison/jail ministries and feeding the homeless.

Four words to describe your personality: Kind. Patient. Determination. Servant.

Website: www.WeLikeIKE.org

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

I would vote against this legislation as I see no enumerated power in the Constitution that would allow for the federal government to grab up more land and restrict more property rights from the states and the citizens within the states.

Currently, multiple bridges, culverts and roads in Olympic National Park’s buffer zones are being removed using public funds while other forest and public roads in the buffer zones are neglected for lack of funding. The Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012 would accelerate this trend. The Wild Olympics plan is an incremental taking of public and private lands and rivers by artificially designating them as “wild and scenic rivers” or “wilderness.” By doing so, it ensures there will be no roads and no chainsaws — and therefore almost no access. We need the economic growth that comes from responsible use of the land and water resources. We need forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfires and timber harvests to support our schools, roads and government. Creating a larger United Nations “biosphere” is a lower priority than encouraging the growth of industry and jobs for American citizens within the 6th Congressional District.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

Remove federally-created obstacles to timber management and mining of rare earth metals. We now know that the Spotted Owl was not threatened by our timber industries, but rather that another species of owl was the reason for the disappearance of the Spotted Owl. Irresponsible actions by federal agencies that threaten our God-given inalienable rights to life, liberty and property need to result in defunding or dismantling of said agencies or departments by the Congress in order to push back against executive branch overreach. Since the 10th Amendment reserves all other powers (not specifically enumerated in the Constitution) to the states and the citizens within those states, I propose that we dismantle the Department of Interior and return ownership of federal land holdings back to the states and the citizens therein. The states should be allowed to determine how the natural resources within their borders are utilized for the best interests of their citizens.

Additionally, we know that entrepreneurial investment occurs in environments of economic freedom so we need to reduce excessive over-regulation and lower tax rates across the board. Private sector investment results in new companies and new jobs and also results in higher tax revenues as Gross Domestic Product grows. Congress can directly reduce regulations by legislation and Congress can also reverse the explosion of additional regulations being propagated by the executive branch without any legislation from Congress by defunding those activities and those agencies. Historically, environments of lower tax rates and reduced government regulation have always resulted in more companies, more jobs, and more growth in GDP.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

My diverse set of skills and backgrounds including military, engineering, aquaculture, municipal government, accounting and technology would allow me to communicate more effectively with a broader group of legislators (as well as to the nation as a whole). We need statesmen in Congress rather than politicians who possess a broad set of skills and experience as well as many years of life experience. As a former nuclear-trained submarine officer who is now a licensed CPA and Project Manager helping businesses utilize technology more effectively, I would be able to bring some business intelligence to Congress and help to “balance the books.”

Bill Driscoll

Occupation: Marine Corp Major & Businessman

Political Party: Republican

Examples of Civic Involvement: Bill and his wife Lisa are active in a variety of community organizations, including the Broadway Center, the Children’s Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Asia Pacific Cultural Center.

Four words to describe your personality: Calm, Dedicated, Curious, Patriotic

Website: http://www.electbilldriscoll.com/

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

I will vote “no” on the Wild Olympic proposal. Closing off federal lands to economic and recreational use would be devastating to our local economy and school funding. I favor better management of federal lands to ensure a sustainable harvest, closer to what we know Washington State’s public lands are providing. I do not believe that recreation can replace the family wage jobs that have suffered because of the mismanagement of federal lands. Remembering that state lands are subject to very high environmental standards, I know we can have both a vibrant natural environment and rational harvest levels.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

First, the better management of federal lands. As explained previously, increasing harvests to even the level allowed on Washington State trust lands would increase the flow of timber and pulp to our local industry. Even a “normal” level of harvest would transform our local economy. Second, curbing thoughtless regulations from the federal government will allow small businesses in particular to grow. When you look at the jobs that are being created in the Harbor, you see small business. Merely removing the road blocks to success, more often than not imposed through regulations, will quietly — but very effectively — help grow local jobs. Third, promoting trade. One of the success stories in Grays Harbor is the Port; we must expand on this. China is Washington State’s chief trading partner. They buy our goods. We’re one of the few places in America that doesn’t run a trade deficit. My experience selling Washington State goods to Asia will make me an effective leader in Congress for jobs.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

I believe that politicians have failed to solve our state’s problems and our nation’s problems. We need a new era of leadership that reaches beyond the highly partisan battles back in D.C. and delivers real solutions. I also believe that the most pressing problem — the budget — can only be solved through bi-partisanship. In my view, the politician class simply cannot bring themselves to set aside the brinksmanship and hostility that’s created these problems. I volunteered for combat as a Marine because I saw a very difficult challenge facing America in Iraq and Afghanistan. My decision to run for Congress is based on the same belief in standing up to meet a challenge — this time it’s the national debt. As one person I chose to make a difference as a Marine and a citizen soldier who volunteered during a time of national need. I believe that as a Congressman, who volunteers to be a non-politician citizen Congressman, I can also make a difference.

Jesse Young

Occupation: Business Technology Consultant

Political Party: Republican

Examples of Civic Involvement: Jesse Young is active in his church, participating in prison ministry services, been President of his homeowners’ association, is a Navy League member, and actively supports YWAM’s Adoption Ministry, through whom he and his wife adopted a child from Ethiopia.

Four words to describe your personality: Loyal, Competitive, Decisive, Generous

Website: jesseyoungforcongress.com

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

I’d vote NO. I have been opposed to the Wild Olympics proposal for over a year, and remain so even with the modifications made before the legislation was introduced. It’s clear the intent is not to correct a current problem, but to preempt future use options based on the assumption that future decisions will inherently be detrimental in nature. Is it really the best environmental policy to lock up our land — on a false premise that our communities cannot be trusted — and then tell the rest of the world what to do with its land? Certainly not. If we are truly concerned about the environment then it is our duty to show the rest of the world how to do it. We’ve always led by example, and now is no time to stop. We can honor our land without putting it off limits to the people. This proposal will cost the 6th District good timber jobs.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

Grays Harbor County is ripe with potential for job growth and is ideally situated to take advantage of the emerging Pacific Rim trade economy. It is also positioned to play a key role in the energy arena. We just need the right leaders who will work to unshackle our businesses and the Port from over-burdensome regulations. Many are unaware that the deep water port in Aberdeen is the closest on the West Coast to all Pacific trade routes and can play a leading role in exporting raw material and bulk goods. Not only will this bring foreign dollars to our shores, but also good, blue collar, family-wage jobs to the Harbor. It’s a shame that the EPA is thwarting private efforts to invest in our community to build out the third terminal at the Port. This is costing us jobs, and ironically, harming our environment while claiming to protect it. Did you know that by exporting our clean coal to China we can help reduce their harmful output by 50 percent? Surely, we can find a way to transport coal (or other resources) that will not be detrimental to our air or water. Additionally, the 6th District’s natural resources go beyond timber. The recent announcement of exploration for natural gas near Montesano is a prime example. We also have potential for oil, metals and minerals in our district. I believe that we can leverage these while at the same time showing the rest of the world how to protect the environment in this age of technology. To do so will not only be honorable to our land, but also profitable for our families, small businesses and economy. There is no reason that Grays Harbor shouldn’t be leading the state in economic growth. We’re unique; I will work tirelessly to help us fulfill our potential.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

I’m a firm believer in servant leadership. I will lend my broad and unique global business experience in industries such as finance, health care, technology, aerospace and energy to help others accomplish their goals. When one serves, one has an opportunity to be effective. When one becomes effective, one has an opportunity to lead. Through qualified experience and servant leadership I’ll be an effective Congressman for both the 6th District and our nation as a whole. This doesn’t mean compromising my principles, but by finding common ground and helping others achieve their objectives, I will advance the cause of the 6th District. My campaign has been about eliminating the “R” vs. “D” rhetoric which has led to the problems we currently face. I truly believe we must look for solutions, not opportunities to mud-sling or point fingers.

Occupation: Attorney

Political Party: Republican

Examples of Civic Involvement: I have served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Kitsap County and as an assistant deputy prosecuting attorney for Pierce County. I have also run for Congress in the 6th District in the past, including in 2010.

Four words to describe your personality: Intelligent, light-hearted, persistent and optimistic.

Website: www.dougcloud.com

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

I would vote against the Wild Olympics proposal. It is a collection of many different land-use issues that amount to a wish list by environmentalists. It also is being pushed through Congress by a lame duck Congressman who desires a legacy for himself. The proposed Wild Olympics Act will cost this area jobs and will negatively affect the long-term economic health of Grays Harbor. The proposal will limit human access and use of large tracts of land on the Olympic Peninsula.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

We need to allow more timber harvesting so that local lumber and timber industries can operate at a higher capacity and hire more people. The timber industry must be allowed to thrive in order for high-paying industrial jobs to exist in our community. At both the state and national level, we must allow businesses to be successful and expand by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens they face. Our state and federal leaders must also immediately quit driving established businesses, like Boeing, out of our state. Our state, national and local economies will rise or fall together, so it is important that the economy destroying policies of our federal government be changed. Our federal government deficit must be reduced and ultimately eliminated. Bail-outs and legislative favors to the politically well connected must cease.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

The partisan divide has been created and perpetuated by the long established incumbents who have occupied Congress for far too long. As these people leave Congress, the opportunity for real change will occur. As one of a large group of recently elected or newly elected Congressmen and Congresswomen, I will have a great opportunity to move this country beyond the stale politics of the past.

Stephan Andrew Brodhead

Occupation: Boeing Manufacturing Engineer, Small Business Owner/Mechanic Import Auto works, Real Estate Investor, Worldwide Aviator, Air Force Reserve Flight Engineer, Aircraft Technician. Served on Active Duty, Air National Guard and Reserves 1978 to 2006

Political Party: Republican

Examples of Civic Involvement: I invested my own hard earned capital into the Fern Hill Historic Business District. I bought the land, designed the building, drew the drawings, built the building, and conducted a successful small business for 8 years before being activated for Iraq.

Four words to describe your personality: Energetic, honest, tenacious, and humor

Website: www.BrodheadforCongress.info

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

I would vote yes for the Norm Dicks Compromise of the Wild Olympics proposal!

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

Several debilitating realities are converging on Grays Harbor at once; such as, the rise of the Internet and a paperless society, the housing market collapse, globalization, international currency manipulation, perpetual war, deficits, gridlock, and stagnating regulation. As a small business owner and worldwide aviator, out of habit, I am constantly thinking of ways to make money in the private sector. I remember the 2000 election, Y2K, the dangling chad fiasco, dot com bust, 911, and how the printed Yellow Page advertising became worthless. Traditional media and marketing avenues have become less effective. Starting this year, 3.6 million “baby boomers” will retire each year for the next 20 years. This is 300,000 retirements a month or 10,000 a day for the next 20 years. Within a decade or two, one quarter of America’s population will be over 65 years old and living on full-ride entitlements at a ratio of 2.8 workers to 1 recipient. America is utterly unprepared for this demographic tsunami. I could talk about the Stalin 5 year plans or the China 30 year devalued currency plan, but I will simply launch into content.

What is Gray’s Harbor’s economic niche? Many countries have adopted educational and economic niches. India capitalized on high tech. Some countries create scientists, while many create doctors. Each successful niche market must take a bottom up approach, and not a federal top down approach. First and foremost, we must adopt charter schools and ensure 100 percent high school graduation rates. We must eliminate the Federal Department of Education and replace it with “federal block grants!” We must improve vocational training. Next, we must mentor and prepare our children for the coming demographic tsunami. There will be copious jobs in healthcare, healthcare Internet technology, geriatrics, nutrition, assisted living, adult living, travel, recreation, and every manner of industry as it relates to an aging population. Grays Harbor could export highly trained and prepared health care workers instead of logs to China.

Another thought: Ban plastic bags in Washington State.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

In 1664, my great plus Grandfather Captain Daniel Brodhead (second in command of the Nichols expedition) disembarked “Man-O-Wars” along with 500 British troops and took New Amsterdam. They renamed it New York. In 1776, we stood with George Washington at Valley Forge. In 1812, we again fought the British. In 1847, we fought for “Manifest Destiny” alongside Franklin Pierce. In the 1850s, we passed legislation that created the Washington Territory, the Oregon Territory, and the transcontinental railroad and telegraph. We debated the Kansas Nebraska Act, the Wilmot proviso, and the Missouri Compromise. We stood with Abraham Lincoln on emancipation. I served from 1978 to 2006 as an aircraft technician and flight engineer in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves I was deployed worldwide 7 to 10 days a month, every month for 16 years in support of our national interest. I was activated for Iraq for 18 months and hauled wounded soldiers. I have a historical imperative and a big mouth. I will support our “Arsenal of Democracy.”

Derek Kilmer

Occupation: Vice President of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County. Prior to that, I was a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. I served one term in the state House and am currently serving my second term in the state Senate representing a district spanning from Bremerton to the Narrows Bridge.

Political Party: Democrat

Examples of Civic Involvement: As a legislator, I’ve been named Department of Veterans’ Affairs “Legislator of the Year,” three-time Washington Economic Development Association “LEADER Award” recipient, and Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs’ “Legislator of the Year,” and recognized by the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Board Member, Peninsula Schools Education Foundation; Board Member, Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce; Former Trustee, Tacoma Community College; Former Vice-Chair, Communities in Schools of Peninsula; Member, Navy League; Member, Puget Sound Naval Bases Association; Member, Rotary; and more.

Four words to describe your personality: Committed, Optimistic, Thoughtful, Energetic

Website:www.derekkilmer.com

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

This is a false choice. As our next congressman, I am going to shape this proposal. I grew up in Port Angeles — a town whose lifeblood was the timber industry. As the local economy suffered, I watched as my friends’ parents lost their jobs. This experience motivated me to pursue a career in economic development to help communities and the families in them get back on their feet. It’s the reason I’m running for office.

The last thing I would vote for is a bill that would harm the hard-working families who rely on the forest products industry. I also appreciate the role managed forests play in acting as carbon sinks and providing habitat for the wildlife that provides hunting and fishing opportunities, and promotes tourism.

I was concerned with the initial version of the Wild Olympics proposal. The revised proposal is fundamentally different, now impacting less than one percent of the harvestable timber base, taking important steps to safeguard jobs and private property rights, while protecting our streams and clean water, and fostering salmon recovery and growth in the shellfish industry. The proposal is heading in the right direction, though I want to see it coupled with an increased commitment to meeting the timber harvest levels promised in the Northwest Forest Plan, which can play an integral part in reviving the fortunes of our natural resources industries. The federal government needs to keep its word.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

I don’t want our top export to be our kids. I’ve built a track record of promoting job growth as an economic development professional and as a legislator.

Professionally, I’ve worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company, helping businesses operate in a more effective and efficient manner, and as the Vice President of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, where I focus on growing and retaining local jobs. I’ll bring to Congress over a decade of real-world business experience working with employers to create the family-wage jobs our communities need.

There’s no silver bullet for job creation, but there is silver buckshot. Congress should:

Help small businesses that are the backbone of our economy

• Fight for tax relief for small businesses and middle class families

• Support our natural resources industries;

• Cut red-tape and streamline regulations so employers don’t feel like they’re shooting at moving targets;

• Help Entrepreneurs access capital;

• Have tax and trade policies that encourage “Made in the USA” and ensure our competitors play by the rules

Invest in People

• Expand opportunities for vocational training and resources for the middle class to afford college

• Help service members transition into civilian employment

Build infrastructure for the 21st Century

• Make smart investments in roads, sewers, and main street revitalization that support private sector job growth

• Leverage opportunities at the Port of Grays Harbor

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

We need to get Americans working again. We need to get Congress working again, too. Neither party should define success as making the other side look like failures.

I am the only candidate in this race with a record of working across the aisle to find solutions to the problems that Congress has been unable to solve. I passed a bipartisan jobs bill. I worked with a bipartisan coalition to balance the budget. I led the bipartisan reform effort to reduce government debt and eliminate waste.

It’s one thing for candidates to talk about bipartisanship – it’s another thing to actually have a record of being bipartisan.

I’m proud to be endorsed by Congressman Norm Dicks, Lynn Kessler, the mayors of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, and Westport, and hundreds of business and civic leaders across the political spectrum because they know I’ll work hard — not to move us left or right, but to move us forward.

Eric G. Arentz Jr.

Occupation:No information submitted.

Political Party: Independent

Examples of Civic Involvement: No elected experience. I am currently writing two books. One on National Energy policy and the other on the political breakdown our country is currently experiencing. I graduated from American River College in General Education.

Four words to describe your personality: No information submitted.

Website: No information submitted.

Editor’s Note: Arentz did not respond to multiple attempts to get him to fill out this Q&A. He did provide some answers to the state’s official online voter’s guide.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. If you were forced to cast a vote on this legislation today, how would you vote and why?

No information submitted.

Grays Harbor County has had double digit unemployment since 2008 and is consistently one of the highest in the state. What specific, new ideas do you have to help spur job growth in this rural area?

No information submitted.

Why do you believe your one voice can make a difference among such a partisan divide in Washington, D.C.?

Taken from the state’s online voter’s guide: At this point, voting for either a Democrat or a Republican is not going to fix the breakdown in Washington. Ask yourself, has it previously? It is not too late to fix what ails this country. There are vast untapped resources among our population. We are still a wealthy Nation even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. If we are going to change Congress, and thereby the direction of the Nation, than we need to elect Independent voices that are not part of either political machine.