The race to succeed departing Representative Vito Fossella is wide open, and a number of major-party candidates are interviewing with the Independence Party in an effort to gain an advantage over the rest of the field. One of them, Richmond County Young Republicans vice president Rich Hoffman, forwarded me his response to a questionnaire that the I.P. asked all congressional candidates to fill out.
Hoffman, it seems, it going with blunt honesty to win them over. A few examples, cut-and-pasted from what he sent:
Have you read the Independence Party Platform (http://ipny.org/platform.html)? If so, are there any substantial areas with which you especially agree or disagree?
Currently, New Yorkers have the right to reform the city charter through Initiative and Referendum. Would you support an amendment to the constitution that would allow Americans to directly propose and vote on legislation through initiative and referendum?
Absolutely not, such an amendment would fundamentally alter the nature of the government created by the constitution. The United States Constitution created the Federal government as a democratically elected Republic, where legislative decisions are made by duly elected representatives. The wisdom of this system, at least in theory, is that it creates a barrier between the passions of people and the law. This change is far to radical for me. I am a strict Constitutionalist and such a change, in my opinion would strike at the very heart of the great system our founders created. What we instead must do is go back to following the Constitution instead of allowing the government to violate every word on the page day after day.
Please state your view on the war in Iraq? Do you favor withdrawing troops, maintaining a military presence or some other solution? What was your position when the conflict began?
What if anything would you do to ease ballot access restrictions for candidates seeking office to federal offices like Congress, U.S. Senate and President?
At this time I have not given serious enough though or research on the issue to give a useful and worthwhile answer.
What if any changes should be made to the nation’s campaign finance laws?
I believe corporate and special interest donations should be severally restricted but individual donations should have no cap.