Mar 7, 2016
Wisconsin's Myron Buchholz, Primary Challenger for Congress, Hits TPP, Special Interests, Assualt on Local Control
Spoke with the Myron Buchholz (D-Eau Claire) campaign shortly after Buchholz announced his primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse).
Kind's district includes many rural areas from which residents draw their drinking water from aquifers, and Buchholz blasted politicians who deplete and attack protection of aquifers.
Buchholz also hit Kind's championing of the American jobs-exporting Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP).
Buchholz' said special interests funding Kind inspired Buchholz to run as well.
Below is a follow-up interview with Myron Buchholz.
Question - In light of the Flint tragedy, the proliferation of industrialized agriculture against the small farmer, and the present danger to Wisconsin's fresh water bodies such as the Mississippi, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan (for starters), imperiled by state policy, what would you as a member of Congress work for to protect water, the lifeblood of humanity? What can we do federally?
Buchholz - First we must recognize the extent that the corporate model will go to extract whatever they can until the resource has been depleted. I believe the most obvious example of this is 'Mountain Top Removal.' Any government that allows a mining company to blow the top off of a mountain for one days’ worth of electricity will clearly allow any corporation to deplete any resource till it is gone. The Great Lakes Compact was a major step towards protecting our precious water resources, but as recent events make clear, just because there is an agreement does not mean that it will never be challenged. High capacity wells are another challenge to our water resources. It is one thing to connect a 150HP tractor to a well, and completely another to connect an 800HP tractor. There must be reasonable limits placed on any extraction regardless of the resource. For far too long industry has been able to use 'economic development' as a justification for doing whatever, and it is time to draw some lines. In congress, I will advocate for limits and public control of resources and enforce existing law. It appears Congress has completely forgotten the lessons that caused passage of the EPA and our first clean air and water laws in the 70’s. We must revisit them before the corporations suck us dry.
Question - The Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP), for most folks is D.C. inside baseball. However, without a doubt the consequences of TPP are exporting jobs and industry, and eviscerating the rights of U.S. citizens by selling out our environmental, labor and consumer rights to transnational corporations with no allegiance to America. Your opponent, Rep. Ron Kind, is all for the fast-tracked TPP which likely will not get a vote before the 2016 election. You are against the TPP, a special interest, massive investor rights agreement that shuts out people. Does this description seem fair and accurate?
Buchholz - The TPP is NAFTA on steroids. Stopping it is the main reason I decided to take on Mr. Kind. We already have examples of how these agreements remove local control and are undemocratic in nature. The corporate model is based on greed, and we have learned that their greed knows no bounds. Therefore, giving corporations more control than they already have absolutely scares the hell out of me. Examples abound, but the removal of Country of Origin Labeling on meat should be enough to shock the electorate into stopping the power grab. It seems patently ridiculous that I can know where my shirt is made, but not where my hamburger comes from.
Question - What has gone wrong with American politicians of both parties? Did selling out the people to special interests suddenly displace working for the people whom elected representatives are supposed to protect? What's your narrative on this on what has happened to America?
Buchholz - Why is it that a candidate for almost any office is judged by how much money can be raised to campaign? I have come to the conclusion that a candidate should be judged by how cheaply and efficiently one can run a campaign, not on how much money one can throw at the election industry that has grown large during my lifetime. I get solicitations on almost a daily basis from companies who want to sell services. How can we expect Congress to efficiently manage money when campaigns, especially incumbents, exist on an almost unlimited budget? The average work year for Congress in recent years is 115 days. That leaves way too much time to fundraise. We need have public financing of elections if there is going to be any hope of getting back to a citizen legislature. I propose that no congressional candidate should be able to spend twice the congressional income on any election. For the US Congress, that is still $348,000! The only occupation in America where one spends millions getting a job that pays $174,000 is the US Congress. Those millions come mainly from those with deep pockets who expect something in return. Of course, overturning 'Citizens United' would help a little, but we had a terrible problem before that misguided Supreme Court ruling. I also realize that our present congress will never vote to limit fundraising, so any change will have to come through the amendment process.