Live chat with congressional candidate Kurt Haskell
2:28
Brian Wheeler: 
Good afternoon! Congressional candidate Kurt Haskell is in our Jackson office, and he will be taking questions for the next hour. Feel free to ask yours.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:28 Brian Wheeler
2:29
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
Kurt, can you tell people why you believe you would be a better representative for the 7th Congressional District than Rep. Tim Walberg has been?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:29 Bob Wheaton
2:30
Brian Wheeler: 
Bob Wheaton is the Jackson Citizen Patriot's political reporter, by the way. He'll be taking part in our conversation.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:30 Brian Wheeler
2:32
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I am not a politician. I have no ties to corrupt politics. I am an honest person running with one purpose in mind, to represent the people of this district. I do not represent corporations or special interests. I do not play party politics. I believe in having an open and honest government. I will fight for the rights of the middle class.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:32 Kurt Haskell
2:32
[Comment From Shannon HamiltonShannon Hamilton: ] 
What is your stance on healthcare reform?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:32 Shannon Hamilton
2:35
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I would like to take a wait and see approach on the Affordable Care Act and make changes to it, if necessary. I am against repeal of it at this time. I believe everyone should be entitled to affordable health care.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:35 Kurt Haskell
2:35
[Comment From Jim McCordJim McCord: ] 
Why did you say that dogs and asteroids are a greater threat to America's national security than terrorism? Lassie didn't blow up the Twin Towers on 9/11.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:35 Jim McCord
2:37
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
Your chance of dying in a terroist attack is 1 in 20 million. Your chances of dying through other means are much greater.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:37 Kurt Haskell
2:37
[Comment From CatsMeowCatsMeow: ] 
As I understand it part of your law practice specializes in "tax law". I would be interested to hear your take on the refusal of Mitt Romney to release his tax returns. Should this be a red flag for voters?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:37 CatsMeow
2:39
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I am a former IRS attorney. I no longer practice tax law. I have no strong opinion on this issue. I believe in transparency in government, but some things should be left private. Whether this should be a red flag or note is something that must be determined by each individual voter.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:39 Kurt Haskell
2:39
[Comment From ElleElle: ] 
Please tell us your thoughts on NDAA and if it should be kept in place.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:39 Elle
2:40
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
NDAA is an acronym for the National Defenses Authorization Act.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:40 Bob Wheaton
2:41
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) is clearly an Unconstitutional law. It allows for the indefinite detention of Americans without a trial. It should never have been voted into law and should be immediately repealed. Of course, Mr. Walberg voted for it.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:41 Kurt Haskell
2:41
[Comment From Matt JonesMatt Jones: ] 
I've read that you believe that the United States government was complicit with the Christmas bomber in December 2009. Why do you feel this way and can you explain your reasoning for that?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:41 Matt Jones
2:41
[Comment From Bryan CoziaraBryan Coziara: ] 
Kurt it is my understanding that you sincerely believe that the US government played a role in 9/11? Are you serious?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:41 Bryan Coziara
2:42
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I have not made any comments on 9-11. That is political rhetoric.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:42 Kurt Haskell
2:45
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I was an eyewitness and a victim in the underwear bomber attack on Christmas Day 2009. What I witnesses did not correspond with what the government released through the media. This led me to conduct my own thorough investigation, which lasted for 2000 hours over a two year period. My conclusion is backed up through the evidence I accumulated through such investigation. This was a sting operation that went to far and risked the lives of 289 peopled, one of them mine. If you watch the youtube video of Patrick Kennedy's testimony before Congress, you will see he admits to most of this.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:45 Kurt Haskell
2:46
Brian Wheeler: 
The following is a follow-up to one of Mr. Haskell's earlier responses....
Friday November 2, 2012 2:46 Brian Wheeler
2:46
[Comment From Jim McCordJim McCord: ] 
So our chances of dying via asteroid are higher? 3,000 Americans died on 9/11. How many died during the last asteroid strike?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:46 Jim McCord
2:47
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
Look up the statistics. Statistics dont lie.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:47 Kurt Haskell
2:47
[Comment From DanielleDanielle: ] 
Social security and Medicare/Medicaid are very important to the people of this state. How do you vary from your opponent on this issue?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:47 Danielle
2:49
Brian Wheeler: 
While Mr. Haskell is working on his response, I thought I'd mention that we have other reader questions that we still intend to ask. If you have asked a question and don't see it yet, we appreciate your patience.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:49 Brian Wheeler
2:51
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I would protect social security and medicare. My opponent has already voled to end Medicare and would like to cut/privatize Social Security.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:51 Kurt Haskell
2:51
[Comment From ScottScott: ] 
Kurt, I know you have indicated that student loan debts are a huge burden on our young people, how do you think you can help ease that burden?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:51 Scott
2:54
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
Student loans will be the next crisis area in this country. There needs to either be a method to allow for the discharge of such student loan debt through bankruptcy (as we had pre-1997) or a debt forgiveness program. I would recommend that if student loans are paid timely for a ten year period, then the balance should be forgiven. It is unconscionable that student loan debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:54 Kurt Haskell
2:54
[Comment From CatsMeowCatsMeow: ] 
The Republicans say they are not running a war on women...Do you agree or are they on the move to take us back to pre-1950 status?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:54 CatsMeow
2:55
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
Here is the Patrick Kennedy testimony regarding the "Underwear Bomber" that Mr. Haskell mentioned earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN_33ojupTc
Friday November 2, 2012 2:55 Bob Wheaton
2:56
[Comment From CatsMeowCatsMeow: ] 
Thank you Bob...
Friday November 2, 2012 2:56 CatsMeow
2:56
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I don't like to blame enitre parties for things that I don't approve of. However, I am concerned that women's issues seem to be more and more under attack all of the time. I can't believe banning birth control is even being discussed. The politicians that are proposing such laws are definitely out of touch. As well as other anti-women laws.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:56 Kurt Haskell
2:57
[Comment From Jaxon1234Jaxon1234: ] 
Do you support letting younger workers move to a more market-based approach to their Social Security?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:57 Jaxon1234
2:58
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
Here is a link to an article about the Medicare issue that Mr. Haskell mentioned: http://blog.mlive.com/jackson-politics/2011/04/post_93.html
Friday November 2, 2012 2:58 Bob Wheaton
2:58
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
No, the market is too risky at this time and is largely being propped up by quantitative easing. If you end quantitative easing and the market plummets, so would your social security dollars. Even experts are having a hard time making money in the market right now.
Friday November 2, 2012 2:58 Kurt Haskell
2:59
[Comment From OscarOscar: ] 
Do you plan on always voting the party line? Or are you willing to step across the aisle and work with other people from other parties if you think it will help your District?
Friday November 2, 2012 2:59 Oscar
3:01
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I have no interest in party politics. I would represent the people of the district only. Whatever issues the state and national party would be pushing is largely irrelevant to me. I have never held elective office, and therefore, have no real agenda to push party politics. I will work across the aisle.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:01 Kurt Haskell
3:01
[Comment From Allen C.Allen C.: ] 
Why did you announce earlier this year that you were permanently going to move out of the United States?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:01 Allen C.
3:03
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I am VERY unhappy with our federally elected officials. My unhappiness has made me previously consider leaving the United States. I have instead decided to attempt to make a difference and change the politcal landscape of this country.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:03 Kurt Haskell
3:04
[Comment From MarkMark: ] 
Do you support public education? Or do you support a voucher system where individuals can choose their own means of education?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:04 Mark
3:05
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I support the public education system and I do not support the voucher system.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:05 Kurt Haskell
3:05
[Comment From CatsMeowCatsMeow: ] 
What is the biggest lie about you that Tim Walberg has tried to muddy the waters with?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:05 CatsMeow
3:07
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
LOL. How much time do we have? I would say that him saying that I want to spend tax dollars to stop asteroids, tornadoes, dogs, etc. The part about dogs really irritates me as I have 3 dogs and am the biggest animal lover that you will ever meet.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:07 Kurt Haskell
3:07
[Comment From JasonJason: ] 
What committees are you interested in serving on to help the District if you get into office?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:07 Jason
3:08
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
That is a good question: 1) Agriculture, Ways and Means and Homeland Security sound interesting to me.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:08 Kurt Haskell
3:08
[Comment From WalterWalter: ] 
I see Rep. Walberg has taken a lot of donations from corporations and special interest groups. Have you, or will you, take money from those kind of places? Why or why not?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:08 Walter
3:10
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
He is a bought and paid for politician. I am not. I represent the people of the district. My campaign has largely been financed by individual donors and myself. I have no interest in being a bought and paid for politician, even if it costs me the election (or future elections).
Friday November 2, 2012 3:10 Kurt Haskell
3:11
[Comment From Bryan CoziaraBryan Coziara: ] 
How do you explain wanting to cut Defense spending by 50%? http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/08/democrats_kurt_haskell_ruben_m_1.html
Friday November 2, 2012 3:11 Bryan Coziara
3:12
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
So if you are elected, will you turn away special-interest donations for a reelection campaign?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:12 Bob Wheaton
3:14
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
The U.S. spends 50% of the world wide defense budget. The country that spends the next highest amount, China, spends 6%. I am merely proposing cuts to the level of defense spending during the Clinton Adminstration. We were fine then. The amount being spent on defense is not proportional to the threat. Those dollars should be better spent other places. I would rather create jobs then detonate bombs. The U.S. has gained next to nothing from its recent middle east involvement. I believe in a more isolationist foreign policy.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:14 Kurt Haskell
3:16
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I will turn away all donations from special interests seeking support for items that don't benefit the interests of the people of the 7th district.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:16 Kurt Haskell
3:16
[Comment From JerryJerry: ] 
What are the biggest negatives about Mr. Walberg and why should voters not choose him on Tuesday?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:16 Jerry
3:19
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
Mr. Walberg is a partisan obstructionist. His views are too extreme for the moderate nature of the district. He is very conservative and does not compromise at all. He is exactly what is wrong with Washington. He blames all of the problems of the country on Democrats and fails to even consider his own contribution to the problems of the U.S. He has not once voted for the interest of the middle class, but is instead, a bought and paid for career politician that represent Wall St., the large banks, corporations and the ultra wealthy. He wants to end social security and medicare...............
Friday November 2, 2012 3:19 Kurt Haskell
3:19
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
How do you feel about your chances on Tuesday, given that Rep. Walberg has the advantages of incumbency, name recognition and much more campaign money?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:19 Bob Wheaton
3:23
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I am definitely the underdog, but I have a legitimate chance to win. Remember, this is a new district with 1/3 of the voters being new to the district. Mr. Walberg is not known to the 1/3 of new voters (Monroe County), which come from my home county. Mr. Walberg is known to the other 2/3 of voters, but many despise him and he never gains any new supporters due to his extreme views. He has more campaign money than I do, but he has chosen to spend it largely on himself and his employees and not on his campaign. We will find out Tuesday night!
Friday November 2, 2012 3:23 Kurt Haskell
3:23
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I don't believe being an incumbent is an advantage any more.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:23 Kurt Haskell
3:24
[Comment From MichaelMichael: ] 
Do you have further political goals other than Congressman?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:24 Michael
3:25
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
Michael, we will see how this turns out. If it turns out well, I win Tuesday and become wildly popular, then who knows. If I lose on Tuesday, I likely won't run for public office again.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:25 Kurt Haskell
3:25
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
Kurt, Any closing thoughts you'd like to share?
Friday November 2, 2012 3:25 Bob Wheaton
3:30
[Comment From Kurt HaskellKurt Haskell: ] 
I often hear from people that we just need someone honest and new in Washington. I am that candidate. I have no ties to corrupt politics or special interests and only minimal ties to the Democratic Party. My views are modearte and I represent the people and their best interest only. I have no desire to be a career politician, but only seek to implement positive change in this country. My oppoenet is a bought and paid for career politician/obstructionist that refuses to reach across the aisle. I will reach across the aisle to seek compromise instead of spewing political rhetoric.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:30 Kurt Haskell
3:30
[Comment From Bob WheatonBob Wheaton: ] 
Our time is almost up. Thanks to everyone for asking questions and to Kurt Haskell for being here to answer them.
Friday November 2, 2012 3:30 Bob Wheaton
3:32
[Comment From CatsMeowCatsMeow: ] 
Very Good....Thank You MLIVE !
Friday November 2, 2012 3:32 CatsMeow
 
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