by Joe Daues, KSPR News
Q: As a brand new Congressman, how do you plan to make southwest Missouri’s voice heard in a body of 435 people?
A: I think you need to go in with a common sense attitude. I’m running as a business person and I think you need to take common sense values to D.C. Our founding fathers envisioned citizen legislators, not legislator legislators. So I look at it like I’m going in there with a different perspective than people who’ve risen through the ranks of politics. So I think that’s the best way to approach it: just Ozarks common sense values.
Q: What’s the most important issue facing the Ozarks and the nation? How do you intend to address it as a Congressman?
A: Jobs. We have to get people back to work. And spending, which kind of runs part and parcel. We’re over-regulating, overtaxating, overlitigating business. Seven out of 10 people work for a small business. The government doesn’t create jobs. The course we’ve been on over the last year or so is that we think the government is going to create jobs with all this stimulus and shovel-ready projects and go-to-work for the government. That doesn’t work, Joe. We need to get people working for small businesses and let small businesses be able to thrive.
Q: How do you plan to cut through the bitterness and rancor of Capitol Hill so it’s not more of the same old debate?
A: You go in with an outsider’s (inaudible). You don’t go in as a Republican or Democrat. You go in as a person, as a citizen of the United States, as a citizen of the 7th district. You take a citizen’s attitude up there. You don’t take a politician’s attitude. The healthcare bill they just voted on sometime ago? 60 Democrats didn’t see any reason to vote against it. 40 Republicans didn’t see any reason to vote for it. That kind of thinking has to stop. We need to work together and you need to send people up there that don’t care about going back. I think that’s where we get the rancor and the vileness and the fighting. All they care about is getting re-elected so they can get back up there for another year. They want to go along with their party’s upper echelon. I don’t think that’s what we need to do. I think we need to be concerned about doing what’s right for the people of the 7th district and the United States, not what’s right for the party.
Q: What makes you the right person for this job?
A: I’m a citizen. I’ll be a citizen legislator. I’ve never run for office before in my life. I’ve run a small business for 30 years. Started out went off to auction school 30 years ago. Asked Mom & Dad to help me. Built that business. Built a real estate company up. I signed the front of a check for over 30 years. I think that’s important. I’ve worked. I know what regulations and taxation do to small businesses. And again, small businesses are the backbone of this country. I want to go up there and be your eyes and ears in Washington. I don’t want to go up there for the title or the power, the prestige. I want to do what’s right: stay a few years and come home.
Learn more about Billy Long's campaign at his website.