A candidate for U.S. representative spoke in favor of a $30 an hour minimum wage at the League of Women Voters online forum July 18.
Rebecca Parson, a Democrat, made that statement at the debate. She is one of five candidates challenging the incumbent, Derek Kilmer, also a Democrat.
Chris Binns and Todd Bloom, both Republicans, joined Parson at the debate. Kilmer, Elizabeth Kreiselmaier and Tom Triggs did not participate.
Parson decided to run against Kilmer in the same party because the country is moving too slowly on the climate crisis. She said she is the only candidate supporting the Green New Deal. She also supports Medicare for all and is taking no corporate money.
Binn is running because “leadership is not protecting us.” An agenda is being pushed on citizens, and “The American culture hangs in the balance.”
Bloom is running because of rising inflation and the stock market’s huge decline, which has cost Americans trillions of dollars. “The incumbent is too in line with the president, who is failing.”
As for dealing with inflation, Bloom said the U.S. needs to use all of its fuel resources. He said alternative sources need to be developed, but until they can be successful “we can’t cut off known resources.”
Parson said government can provide the answers by banning price gouging. She also supports a national jobs program with full-time jobs paying living wages.
Binn said a balanced budget is needed, driving down spending. He said the U.S. needs to get back to producing energy so it can be self-sufficient.
Regarding health care, Parson said Medicare for all would provide it no matter what your income. She would like a similar program at the state level.
Binn wants government mostly out of it, except for a safety net for those most in need. He said patients need more power, not medical bureaucrats. Government involvement drives up costs and causes the quality to decline, he added.
Bloom said he is unique in the race in that he’s been part of the Veterans Administration health care system. “The complaints you’ve heard (about) are legitimate,” he said. “The single-payer system, you’re not going to like it.”
As for abortions, Bloom said he is pro-life. However, he said it is a state issue. He said it’s a difficult, personal decision that the feds don’t need to be involved in.
Parson said she is pro-choice. “As a woman my rights aren’t up for debate.”
Binn said the federal law was unconstitutional so it’s “good and proper” that the power now goes back to the states.
Parson is against public money going to private schools because that would weaken the public system and all kids should have equal education.
Binn and Bloom said there are benefits to school vouchers because the public system is failing. Those parents also pay taxes so if they want their kids to go to a different school that tax money should be re-directed.
“Public schools are a disaster,” Binn said. Bloom added that would “put pressure on public schools to up their game.”
Regarding LGBTQ rights, Binn and Bloom said they already are protected by the Constitution and Civil Rights Act. “They have the same rights as any of us,” Binn said, adding what they do in “privacy is their own business.” Bloom agreed, but added there needs to be fairness in women’s competitions.
Parson said as a gay woman not enough is being done; discrimination continues in the areas of housing and health care, for example.
As for climate change, Parson again mentioned the Green New Deal and jobs programs. Binn said the country needs a “sane approach” to the environment—to be clean and economically feasible. Bloom said it makes no sense to address the problem in a vaccuum, allowing emitters like India and China a free pass. Doing it ourselves would have no affect on the world’s climate, he added.
As for gun violence, Bloom said if more is done with mental health number would drop significantly, especially with suicides.
Parson wants the age to buy a gun to go up to 21, and have safety training for all licensed owners. She wants a longer waiting period and universal background checks.
Binn agreed it’s ore of a mental health issue. As for problems with gangs, he said police need to be able to do their jobs.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer faces five challengers in the Primary Election Aug. 2.
They are: Chris Binns, Todd Bloom, Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, Tom Triggs and Rebecca Parson.
The following information on all the candidates came from the Voter’s Pamphlet.
Parson is a small-business owner with a master’s degree from John Hopkins. She is on the Tacoma Commission on Disabilities. Volunteer work includes being an advocate for foster children, and co-founder of Tacoma Housing Now.
She says no one should be homeless, hungry, in poverty or without health care. She wants to protect and expand Social Security and Medicare. She does not take corporate money. She supports free college and trade school. To pay for it she wants to redirect subsidies from the 1% to the 99%.
Triggs, an Independent, wants to reform health care for veterans and install an Agent Orange Memorial. He also wants to secure the southern border with a fence. Born in Bremerton, he graduated from West Bremerton High School and attended Olympic College. He was co-founder and first president of Kitsap County’s Vietnam Veterans of America.
Binn graduated from Bainbridge High School and was in the Marines. He said the incumbent, Kilmer, voted for an agenda that fueled inflation, increased regulations and usurped state’s rights. “Together we will regain sane governance. Let’s stop the madness,” he says.
He supports driving down the price of fuel and building electricity-producing plants to meet increasing demand. He encourages states to enforce laws and punish criminals, building jails and mental institutions as appropriate. He favors securing the border and deporting illegal immigrants after due process.
Kilmer, a Democrat, has had the job since 2013. He’s on the Appropriations Committee and chairs the committee trying to modernize Congress and co-chairs the Bipartisan Working Group. He graduated from Port Angeles High School, Princeton and Oxford.
He says he has voted to lower gas prices, reduce dependence on China, boost manufacturing in America, make prescription drugs more affordable, expand Social Security, allow abortions, protect voting rights, ban Congress from buying stocks, clean up Puget Sound, lower housing costs, reduce homelessness, fund police and support local business.
Bloom is a small-business owner and former Navy officer. He’s worked with national-global public and private companies. He has a master’s in business administration from Tulane. Community service includes work as an arbitrator.
He is concerned about public safety and national security. He plans to restore faith in the justice system. He will work for strong economic growth and provide for the national defense to keep America safe. He offers fresh leadership and real-world experience, he says.
Kreiselmaier, a Republican, has a doctorate from the University of Oregon in special education, management and counseling psychology. She has written and directed federal grants in education. She has taught university and development courses and has been an educational consultant. Community service includes chairing many professional boards and task forces.
She says Congress isn’t doing its job as crime and homelessness are up, public safety threatened, businesses suffering and inflation the highest in 40 years. She wants to work to fix all those things, along with lowering taxes, preserving freedoms and reclaiming parental authority over their children’s education. She vows to “Get things done right, and get the right things done.”