U.S. Rep. 10th District (Dem)

This district covers Montgomery and Greene counties and part of Fayette County

All candidates were asked to answer these questions:

Question 1: How will you deal with the continuing costs of military actions and the costs of domestic needs?

Question 2: What are the most important issues in this race?

David Esrati

Website: www.electesrati.com

Bio: Small business owner, Veteran, activist, Marketing degree from WSU. Active in politics since he bought his home in 1986. Rehabbed 5 buildings and has been a driving force in the South Park neighborhood renaissance. DBJ 40 under 40

Answer 1: Simply: pull all conventional forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Don’t start a new war with Iran. Begin charging South Korea, Japan, all of NATO for our defensive services- or pull our military from foreign soil. Stop hiring civilian contractors to do the military’s job- paying a contractor 4x what we pay our troops for doing the same job, with questionable legal protection is criminal. Our future is in special operations, which need increased funding. The F35, a 12 carrier fleet and a huge nuclear stockpile are unnecessary. War is now asymmetrical; we need to adapt.

Answer 2: Campaign finance reform is critical. We’re running auctions instead of elections selling favors to the high dollar donors. Yet the public had to bailout the massive failures of Wall Street Wizards and the false prophet CEOs. It’s criminal that Jeff Immelt of GE sits on the presidents council, yet GE pays less in corporate taxes than it spends on lobbying. There is only one way to create jobs, have the federal government stop doing business with companies that pay their CEOs more than 35x what they pay their average US worker, at least until unemployment is below 5%.

Ryan Steele

Bio: I’m 28 and I currently deliver pizzas. I recently earned a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Wright State University, majoring in Religious Studies, with a minor in Philosophy. My wife Laura and I have been married for almost two years.

Answer 1: It is my belief that the U.S. can reduce its military spending and still remain the world’s strongest military force. The focus of our military spending should be on the soldiers and on veteran benefits. We must also avoid getting involved in unnecessary military actions. Domestically, “entitlement” programs must be protected from both those trying to end the programs, and from those who abuse them; but ensuring that people don’t starve, freeze, or die of curable diseases should always be our top priorities. A new tax structure, such as the “Fair Tax,” will likely be necessary to fund future spending.

Answer 2: There is one issue in this country which I believe trumps all other issues; gridlock. Currently, Congress won’t confirm Presidential nominees; it won’t compromise to produce legislation to help hurting people; and it can’t go four months without almost shutting down the government. But they did manage to decide that pizza is a vegetable; bravo Congress. Incidentally, as a pizza delivery guy, I can assure you that pizza isn’t a vegetable. The 10th district needs to send someone to Washington with a mandate to break up the gridlock. Until this happens, none of our other problems will ever get solved.

Olivia Freeman

Bio: Born to a military family, I served stateside during Viet Nam.  A Wright State Alum,  I’ve traveled to Eastern Europe and Africa to promote education.  Using my marketing and workforce development skills, I help small businesses grow. 

Answer 1:  The people must be better informed in world affairs before voting on involvement and without giving our hand away, be kept in the loop. Cut the military to a “surgical staff” which is supported by civilian contractors will increase competitiveness and transparency. Demographic analysis indicates we have enough money to pay for SS and Medicare, et al. The “fire sale” of 2008 was a money laundering scheme transferring ownership and profits to foreign corporations. We must close that gate, then increase global market penetration. Let’s bring manufacturing into the 21st century and provide everything, everywhere and bring “our” money home.

Answer 2: People need a  “workhorse” not a show horse.  I encourage rural and urban intra-district monetary circulation. I created:  9 Square which funds community programming by granstmanship training  to   2-3 people from every organization to fulfill their missions. The new Ohio Science Alliance will  prepare folks for 21st Century preeminence so everyone gets workforce training, utilizing our science centers and simulation technologies. Weekend Business Bootcamps will start hundreds of new businesses and put thousands of people to work in these vacant buildings across the district and hopefully spawn new industries as well.    

And I have the experience to make it happen.

Mack Van Allen

Website: www.vanallenforcongress.com

Bio: I am married with children and have lived in the Miami Valley for my adult life. A retired high school government teacher, I hold two degrees from Miami University and a MS in Economics from the University of Missouri.

Answer 1: As for the military, I will strongly advocate for programs currently housed at Wright-Patterson AFB. These programs are essential for our 21st Century military obligations and are indispensable to the economic vitality of the Miami Valley. Domestically, I support social programs that expand opportunity. I also believe a society is judged by how it cares for those least capable. With funding tight, these are two areas that should be prioritized. Future funding considerations must occur within the context of their overall fiscal impact. To impose discipline on the appropriation’s process, I would support a pay as you go approach.

Answer 2: The most important issue is the debt we have amassed and the promises we have made. Negotiations must commence immediately. All stakeholders must have a place at the table in these negotiations and be willing to compromise. All possible approaches must be considered, including program adjustments and elimination, as well as revenue enhancements. And above all, the strident, self-serving tone that has possessed Congress over the past year needs to cease when doing the people’s business. Resolving this fiscal issue will create an atmosphere of certainty, and spark the resurgence of vigorous economic growth and dynamic job creation.

Thomas F. McMasters

Website: http://McMasters4congress.com

Bio: Husband and proud father of five. Retired AF officer, C-141 navigator, AF Academy Prep School Instructor, X-45 Pilot, Research Scientist, and Test and Evaluation manager. Masters of Arts in Teaching (mathematics) and BS in Physics. Adjunct Faculty member Sinclair Community College.

Answer 1: The preferred method of reducing the costs of military action is to not engage in one unnecessarily. You can tell from my summer of 2003 web post “Thank God for Senator Robert Byrd” I knew even then the invasion of Iraq was a bad decision. I’ll take that same superior judgment to Congress.

One of the many avenues for reducing the cost of government is to change the mindset of commanders and department heads that lead them to spend to budget. Budgets must take inflation into account. Expenditures should reflect value. Change the mindset and save 10% this year.

Answer 2: The single most important issue in this race is to maximize the number of informed voters. To regain our stride toward national prosperity we must put our financial house in order. This is a complicated equation of the right taxes, smart regulations and a national commitment that demands we invest brain power to implement the best solution. Four months before Petraeus became commander in Iraq, I outlined the premise of our involvement with the “Iraqi Awakening”. In 2009 I proposed the President’s latest housing solution. To ensure our highest standard of living, voters should be knowledgeable when choosing a candidate.

Sharen Swartz Neuhardt

Website: www.neuhardtforcongress.com Bio: Life-long Ohioan, daughter of a Dayton policeman, granddaughter of a city firefighter. Grew up in Northwest Dayton, attended Dayton public schools, graduated from Northwestern University and Georgetown law school, and returned to Dayton to practice business law at Thompson Hine LLP.

Answer 1: The federal government needs to get its house in order. We need to raise revenues by growing our economy and by reforming our income tax system. We need to cut our national debt. If we spend everyone’s tax dollars more wisely and efficiently, there is no reason why we can’t have a strong defense and attend to our domestic needs as well. Our troops and tax dollars should be committed to military actions only as a last resort and only when the objectives are well-defined.

Answer 2: This race will be about jobs, restoring our economic security, and protecting and strengthening Miami Valley workers and families. We also need new voices to break the stalemate in Washington, and this election gives voters the opportunity to replace their current representatives who have been putting politics ahead of country. We deserve much more from our representatives in Congress than what we’ve been getting.

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