Since Sean was the second to respond, so he gets his answers published today:
1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was first interested in volunteering for someone else’s campaign, but I did not find any Independent candidates in the District. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I could dedicate enough time and recruit enough volunteers to launch my own campaign.
I grew up in the area. I graduated from Holmdel High School, and I went on to attend James Madison University in Virginia. After graduation, I moved to Ireland where I lived for approximately ten years. I was involved in postgraduate studies, college lecturing and Irish agriculture. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Sociology at University College Dublin, and a PhD in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. I was also involved in the running of a family farm, which I was able to integrate into the European Union’s Rural Environmental Protection Scheme. I moved back to New Jersey last year.
2. As you meet residents throughout your district what seems to be the greatest concerns they are expressing and how do you plan to address them?
Property tax is a major concern. This needs to be addressed by implementing the necessary laws to reduce the very costly corruption problem in the state, and by cutting through the entrenched waste that taxpayers have to fund each year.
3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?
I want to put forward many of the “common sense” bills that many people want implemented. Both parties have refused to do this, and it’s time we get an Independent candidate in the Assembly to force the parties to take action or to admit they simply will not. If they take no action, then the voters will know who to vote out in the next elections.
4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?
If District 13 does not help to protect the Jersey Shore, who will? We need to oppose the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals proposed off the Jersey coastline. The Democratic candidates also oppose them, but Sam Thompson supports them, and Amy Handlin has stated that she “is still looking into them”.
5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?
I would draw upon my experience in Irish politics to suggest alternatives to certain practices that exist in government here. I also aim to incorporate insights from my own studies (environmental sociology) to policies that I would like to suggest here in New Jersey.
6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?
We need to break down the superfluous hierarchies found in areas that range from education to policing. This is critical. We need to abandon the placement of high-ranking officials in every area of government in every small town in New Jersey.
7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?
The number one priority is cutting back various agencies of state government. This must be done first, as New Jersey simply cannot afford any more growth of state government. After this is done, we can examine areas that might need further aid.
8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature ?
I am not involved in a political party that has had other members brought to prison for corrupt politics. Both Democrats and Republicans have. My campaign has received no donation of over $250 from anyone other than myself. I therefore answer only to my supporters, which lets me sleep well every night.
9. Why do you identify yourself as an Independent as opposed to a Republican or Democrat?
I’m an Independent because I feel that both parties haven’t done enough, and I feel the current electoral system is undemocratic. Both established parties benefit from their duopoly, and this needs to be attacked at its very base.
10. Is there anything that is important to you that I hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?
-We need to cut salaries and benefits for this position. It is a part-time job that pays $48,000 a year with benefits. I’d slash the benefits and reduce the pay to $35,000 a year.
-We need mandatory minimum sentences for corrupt politicians and we need term limits.
-We need to review all of the undemocratic policies and structures that both Republicans and Democrats enforce that keep smaller parties and Independents out of office.