Patch sent questionnaires to the candidates running in the 53rd Congressional District. Nick Popaditch is an Iraqi War veteran who will face off against incumbent Susan Davis in Tuesday's primary election.
Patch: I’m retiring in 10 years, but I see little chance of Social Security lasting my lifetime. Why should I vote for you?
Popaditch: I understand the difference between an entitlement and a promise. Social Security is a promise from the federal government. Individuals who paid into this system should not be penalized for governmental mismanagement of revenue. I will stand firm against cuts to Social Security, regardless of the party who initiates them. To do less would be dishonorable and unacceptable from the United States of America.
Sustainability must be addressed, however moving forward. I believe this to be simpler than a complete restructuring. It sounds as though I am about 10 years younger than you. One simple fix would be for individuals that are around my age and younger to have their retirement eligibility age raised by 1 or 2 years.
This issue highlights the need for a balanced federal budget, a cornerstone of my campaign. The reason Social Security is facing sustainability problems is dishonesty in budgeting. Is there a lock-box? Have funds been appropriated from American citizens for the purpose of funding Social Security and spent in other areas? If a private sector corporation accounted in such a manner, they would face prosecution. It is time our Congress provided the American people the honest transparency of a balanced federal budget.
Patch: I’m 81, and my grandchildren are joining the Navy. I fear another needless war will take them away. Why should I vote for you?
Popaditch: As a war Veteran myself, I certainly understand the magnitude of sending our nation’s men and women to war. I have also seen the disaster caused when Congress avoids their Constitutional responsibility of voting whether or not to declare war before troops are sent.
See also: Nick Popaditch campaign biography video
The federal government has three separate and equal branches. When Congress does not vote on a war declaration, they have relinquished authority and power to the executive branch. This removes the American people’s voice, undermines the legitimacy of the cause, and increases the possibility of misuse of our courageous men and women who serve.
I understand that the covert and fluid nature of the War on Terror will require executive branch use of troops in small targeted engagements that Congressional approval prior would be counter-productive. In such cases, the Congress owes the Nation they represent a thorough review following.
Finally, the best way to ensure your Grandchildren are not committed to needless wars is to project strength to our enemies. The reality is that our enemies do not respect weakness. In fact, they are emboldened by it. Last summer’s debt ceiling increase (brought about by the lack of a balanced federal budget) was struck on the backs of our all-volunteer military. A 10% reduction in our troop strength was the price paid for Congress to continue to irresponsibly spend (they still do not have a budget and will soon seek more credit). This has resulted in the brave men and women who have fought this war now having their numbers cut by 10% while continuing to be asked to do more.
Our nation’s enemies are bullies; they prey on the weak and the vulnerable. A properly funded military prevents both circumstances. I have lead Marines in war. I have witnessed the courage of our men and women firsthand on the battlefield. I will demand the same courage from my peers in Congress, if elected.
Patch: I’m 35 and see nothing happening in Sacramento or Washington to solve my problems. All I see are the extreme wings of both parties blaming each other and getting nothing done. Why should I vote for you?
Popaditch: I am going to Washington DC to represent the constituency of California’s 53rd Congressional District. As a retired Marine, I understand service and fidelity. If given the honor of representing you, I will serve the Nation and you first. My loyalty will reside with you alone. No political party, special interest, or donor group will come ahead of those I represent.
The US House of Representatives is the people’s house. As your Congressman, I will base my votes upon the following criteria: Is it the will of the people I represent and is it Constitutional, moral, and ethical? Legislation that meets ALL those criteria will gain not only my support, but also my full effort to bring others onboard. Furthermore, those in opposition will be challenged to openly present their case to the American people. Finally, I will not bend to political pressure to deviate from my fidelity to those I represent.
I am Republican because I believe in more personal freedom, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, one set of civil rights for all, and private sector growth to achieve economic prosperity. I am not Republican due to some allegiance to Republican Party politicians. If elected, I am accountable to the people, not a political party.