Jim Bussler says he wants to represent Southwest Michigan in the U.S. House, not corporations or special interests.
The registered nurse from Dowagiac says he doesn't want to become a politician, but wants to focus on issues that matter to people in Southwest Michigan. Bussler told WMUK's Gordon Evans and Kalamazoo Gazette reporter Yvonne Zipp that special interests have too much power in Washington. He says that has led to higher deficits, crony capitalism and greater income inequality. A summary of issues:
Bussler says the biggest issue for him is "legalizing freedom" in the 6th district. When asked how freedom isn't legal, Bussler gives examples such as government regulations on the types of light bulbs that can be sold and the enhanced powers under the Patriot Act.
The EPA announced this week a plan to reduce emissions by 2030. Bussler opposes the change. He says it will cause energy costs to go up. The Republican challenger says people who are wondering how they will pay their bills will be squeezed hard by the new regulations.
Bussler says the current political system is a "corporate dog and pony show." The Congressional challenger says he disagrees with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. He says corporations are not people, although Bussler says individuals should be able to spend whatever they want on political campaigns.
Campaign for Congress
Upton has a huge fundraising advantage two months before the primary. Bussler acknowledges that he will be outspent. But the challenger from Dowagiac says it's important to give the voters a choice. Bussler says his volunteers have worked hard to get the campaign's message out. When asked what type of Republican he is, Bussler says he likes some things about former Presidential candidate Ron Paul, but he doesn't consider himself a "Ron Paul" candidate.
When asked about same-sex marriage, Bussler says he personally believes that holy matrimony is between one man and one woman. But he says the government should get out of marriage altogether. Bussler, who says he just passed his 26th wedding anniversary, says the government shouldn't concern itself with marriage.
Bussler says ending the war on drugs would save the federal government billions of dollars. So he favors decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. The registered nurse says the government focus has been on illicit drugs, but Bussler says there should be more focus on deaths caused by prescription drugs.
Other issues were discussed and can be heard in the longer web version of the interview.
What type of Republican
Upton calls himself "a governing Republican" and says many members of his party vote "no" on almost every bill. Bussler says the government has been spending too much time "putting band aids on problems." He says monetary policy is at the root of many problems. Bussler says if elected, he would work on more comprehensive solutions.
Bussler says corporations get preferential treatment from the government. He says the TARP legislation is one example of tilting the field in the favor of large corporations.
Going to War
When asked about authorizing force, Bussler says if the United States is attacked, it must fight back. But he says preemptive war against people "you think might hurt you in the future" breeds instability around the world.