2010 Election Guide: Jon Oleson , Independent

Conor Shine

How will you address the federal budget deficit?
Well, the federal budget deficit unfortunately has occurred for a variety of reasons.
ItâÄôs water over the dam to some extent, but as we move forward we need to be looking at all programs.
IâÄôm a fan of narrow budgeting, meaning that we would look at each program on an annual basis, and if itâÄôs not doing what it should, we need to correct it.
We also need to be improving the revenue side.
How would you work with members of the other parties to reduce the gridlock in Congress?
Well, actually, thatâÄôs a specialty area of mine.
I learned from adolescence the importance of finding ways to work with people âÄî understanding their personality types and that kind of thing âÄî and I have a conflict management business, so I find that I work very well with all kinds of people.
Would you support a second stimulus bill?
I donâÄôt know that we need a second stimulus bill. If so, it needs to make sure that we have a good return on investment for taxpayers.
What should federal immigration reform look like?
I think the main issue âÄî IâÄôm not real familiar with the current details of immigration law âÄî I think itâÄôs been more a problem of enforcement and it needs to be fair.
We need to hang on to the ideals that established this country of accepting people [and] acknowledge that we have a lot of immigrants who have contributed throughout our history, including currently.
I mean, we have CEOs who are fairly recent immigrants and so forth; it needs to be fair and not politicized as it has become.
The DonâÄôt Ask, DonâÄôt Tell policy was recently overturned by a federal judge. Do you agree with that ruling, and what would you do for gay rights on the national level?
I kind of understand President Barack ObamaâÄôs plan to have it done legislatively âÄî it makes it a broader support base and hopefully
the discussion will be non-politicized.
But the reality is we need to treat all citizens fairly and everyone has rights.
The general principle is right; [itâÄôs] how we do it. ItâÄôs unfortunate that itâÄôs gone back and forth in the courts because some people have been really hurt by that.
Do you support the health care legislation passed last session, and should there be further federal action on health care?
The health care law unfortunately was partisan because of the way Congress is acting right now and it would have benefitted
[from] having input from both parties that was thoughtful, and [from] working with accurate facts and so forth.
But the fact of the matter is itâÄôs been decades overdue. Nixon actually had a proposal going back during his presidency that was relatively similar to what we ended up getting.
We need to fix it âÄî I do not support revoking it. We need to especially work on the cost side to reduce costs, but it needs [to] be more than a governmental effort. It needs to be industry sitting down at the table and looking each other honestly in the face and saying what they can do to improve the situation.
Do you support cap and trade legislation?
I donâÄôt know about that particular vehicle. The fact of the matter is despite all the posturing and partisan
bickering about it, I think that itâÄôs really clear that we need to do something about global warming and we need to get away from petroleum-and carbon-based fuels.
WeâÄôve known that for a long time and the entrepreneurial spirit is really coming forward with some good ideas.
We need to support them whether itâÄôs wind energy, solar, wave energy, a whole host of them, and we need to protect, frankly, the people who come up with those ideas so that the large corporations donâÄôt either gobble them up or in other ways block their efforts.
Do you agree with the Supreme CourtâÄôs Citizens United decision? Why or why not?
Very frankly, I havenâÄôt studied the details of why they voted the way they did, but the Supreme Court unfortunately has become
way more politicized then it was intended when set-up by the framers âĦ
So in this particular case, I think itâÄôs potentially very scary the power that large corporations, multinationals, have at this point already and then to be given free rein on getting involved in the political process and weâÄôre seeing battles as a result of that ruling here in Minnesota and elsewhere about whether or not the sources of the money need to be made available.
What it ends up meaning is that weâÄôre getting closer to a point where a very small number of people can control the United States without being elected, without full disclosure and that kind of thing.
I think itâÄôs a scary direction, and as a Congressman, I would certainly investigate how laws need to be shaped to protect the average American person.