News and notes from Missouri and Arkansas politics
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Q&A with Michael Wardell, Republican for Congress
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: That's a pretty loud voice you're going to have to have. There's a lot of noise that's being done in Washington. What we have to do is we have to start making ourselves a lot more accessible to foreign markets. I'm going to drift a little bit and I'll come back. Just being normal isn't not going to work here. We've got to do things a little bit out of the box. We've got to start looking for jobs elsewhere. We've got to start doing things differently here. I plan on doing that from the get-go.
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 is arguably the key point here. We've got 10 percent unemployment, 17% under-employment. The thing of it is we've got a situation here in the Ozarks - we've got great products; we've got great manufacturing but nobody is capitalizing on the foreign markets. We can export to Japan. We can export to Brazil and into China. Their economies are very vibrant right now. Ours isn't. Ours is struggling. One of the things I bring to the table is the ability to communicate and open those lines of communication to those venues overseas.
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: I don't think anyone's ever going to be able to cut through any of that. The House is a very,very partisan House. It's designed that way. I think civility, I think a little bit of personal diplomacy. We're not going to agree on 100 percent of the things we're going to talk about. There's probably 80 percent of the things we're going to disagree on. But there's 20 percent of the things we can agree on and those things should be talked about so we can move forward to help the people of southwest Missouri.
Q: What makes you the right person for this job?
A: Like I said about my jobs plan, everyone else is talking about cutting taxes and I couldn't agree more with it. But let's be frank: we'd have to win the House. We're going to have to take hold of the Senate. We're going to have to win the White House back before we're ever going to get any kind of tax cut legislation through the legislature. The president's not going to sign anything. My plan of trying to build exports and export our products and bring jobs into the district can work whether we're in the minority or we're in the majority. If we're in the majority, cutting taxes is going to help. But right now everyone else is talking tax cuts. I'm talking about opening roads to China, to Europe and to South America so we can begin bringing jobs back here.
Learn more about Michael Wardell's campaign athis website.