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PoliticsIamA Jeff Dahlke, an Independent running for Congress in Wisconsin. AMA!

Sep 10th 2016 by dahlke4congress • 19 Questions • 173 Points

Hello Reddit! I’m Jeff Dahlke, an Independent candidate running against “Wisconsin’s Worst Congressman” in District 6. I’m not a career politician or a lawyer, and my campaign has been largely self-funded and supported by small individual contributions and gestures of support. I grew up on a farm, have been a union member and worked my way up in construction into supervisory positions. I am now in a global role, in which I have traveled all over the world working on large construction projects. District 6 has a combination of agricultural and industrial areas, and I have a background with both--plus global and leadership experience. Our current Congress is filled with lawyers and career politicians, party puppets and people who no longer represent the interests of their constituency. I believe that Congress needs More Boots, Less Suits—more people willing to dig in and get their hands dirty, with expertise and demonstrated success in the districts they support. My website: www.jeffdahlkeforcongress.com

Please visit and like my Facebook page to follow the campaign: www.faceboook.com/jeffdahlke4congress

You can make a donation here: http://www.jeffdahlkeforcongress.com/donate.html

My proof is here: http://imgur.com/a/aF4kI

Ask me anything!

  • EDIT: Thank you for all the questions. I'm done for today but will check back tomorrow to get to any additional questions. If you support what I'm trying to do, please consider a donation and help us break up the two party system.
Q:

You said you're not a 'politician or a lawyer' whats wrong with being a lawyer? Especially since you're running as a law maker

A:

37% of the House of Representatives are attorneys, but they make up less than one half of one percent of the U.S. population. That is not representative. We need more people with specific expertise from industry, farming, and manufacturing who understand the issues. As it is now, most of our laws are written by lobbyists anyway, so we actually have a shortage of expertise in Congress.


Q:

Where are you on guns? Are there any gun-rights or gun-control policies that you would support or advocate for?

A:

I am pro 2nd Amendment. We have enough laws on this. The agencies need to better communicate with each other so nothing falls through the cracks on background checks. But, if a bad person wants to get a gun, they are going to get a gun, and no regulation is going to stop that. I was just at a gun shop recently where the owner told me a story about someone who was on hold for his background check, which means that in 3 days if you don't hear back, they can be sold the gun. The person came back in a week, and was able to purchase the gun. Later he heard not just once, but MULTIPLE TIMES, from an agent who was asking for the sale record to be faxed over, which he did repeatedly. This speaks to the ineffectiveness of the agencies involved.


Q:

What makes your political opponent "Wisconsin's worst Congressman"?

A:

Those weren't my words--that's what he's been called in the media. He seems to have a complete lack of ability to get things done, or even attempt to get things done. He was hand delivered a bill, already written, called The Social Security Protection Act, and he did nothing with it. I was approached by one of his constituents to help with this when I am in office. Another example is the Pension Protection Act, which he has told the organizers he wants no part of--that it's a "union issue." I'm engaged in a group to help these folks, as well. But there are lots of examples--these are just two from people I've spoken with out at events.


Q:

What is your stance on the legalization of weed? Will you fight if elected to end this devestating law? Also Im from the southside of Milwaukee. I cant vote for you but thank you for doing what you are doing.

A:

Marijuana needs to be rescheduled at a minimum, if not completely decriminalized. Ask 3 people, and one of them will be able to get a hold of it in 3 calls. We also know that there are medical applications for marijuana, and Big Pharma have opposed legalization for that reason. I will fight for legalization when I am in office, and to help the millions of people whose careers and lives have been ruined because of small marijuana convictions. And thank you for your support. I appreciate it.


Q:

Thank you so much for that. I have bipolar and anxiety. All of my meds are slowly killing me by damaging my liver. If I could instead use CB oil to relax at night so I can sleep it could add decades to my life. I could watch my daughter grow up. Also Im thinking of running for office at some point. Im thinking of running indy as well. Is there anything you wish you knew when you first started running?

A:

We definitely need more Independent and third party candidates. I can't say that there's anything specific I wish I had known, necessarily, but we are documenting everything we do in this process, what worked, what didn't, etc. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook page and we can probably help you out when the time comes.


Q:

What is your opinion on civil asset forfeiture, warrantless use of stingray devices by police, the entirety of the NSA spying program, and the use of ticket quotas by police depts, to generate revenue?

A:

In general, if nothing illegal is occurring, the government and law enforcement should stay out of the way and out of your business. If the people decide that they believe some kind of government surveillance is necessary for our nation, then we should have that discussion as a country not in a back room or behind closed doors. We also comprehensive criminal justice reform to deal not just with ticket quotas, but with things like institutional racism and what are increasingly becoming debtors prisons. And we need to get rid of for-profit prisons, period.


Q:

Which position would you take as a part of this national discussion? Do you believe that the NSA's collection of metadata is necessary for protection? A violation of our privacy?

A:

Bulk collection of metadata without cause or warrant isn't justified. If there is a cause, then it should be presented before an adversarial court system to authorize a warrant. I see secretly spying on Americans as an invasion of their privacy, but now that the information is out there everyone needs to make their voice heard on this, and law enforcement needs to make the case for why they believe it is necessary to the American people.


Q:

What are your thoughts on Trump? Ugh

A:

My thoughts are that when Trump stays on script and acts presidential, he actually seems like a serious candidate. When he goes off the deep end like he does, it calls everything into question. It's like he's 2 different candidates, and that's why I still haven't decided who I'm voting for to be the next President.


Q:

Really? Just a nickel? Mistress Hillary gives me a whole quarter per post!

A:

This is the same kind of partisan bickering that is part of the problem. The parties and the MSM want everyone to focus on issues that divide us, not on the areas where we have consensus as a nation.


Q:

What do you think about unions and Act 10 ?

A:

I've been a union member for most of my career, and collective bargaining is a wonderful thing. It's true what they say--there's strength in numbers. But just like Congress needs to get its house in order, so do unions. If someone is in a position too long, it can lead to corruption...so maybe union reps should have term limits also.


Q:

would you support legislation aimed at ending the two party system. Specifically, would you support a ranked voting system, where voters are allowed to indicate 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices, etc., (and those candidates who receive the lowest percentage of the vote (1st choices) are eliminated and their votes are distributed to the voters' second choices until reaches 50%)? It's not likely to happen, because it'd require a constitutional amendment. But it'd be nice to get more people talking about it.

A:

I like the idea of people being able to vote based on their hopes rather than their fears. However, ranked choice voting would require a large voter education program, and the reality is that many Americans still don’t understand the Electoral College or the system that we have currently. My belief is that the main problem in politics and policy is the money that controls our so called “representatives” and that by fixing that, a lot of other things will fall into place.


Q:

What made you decide to run for office?

A:

I have two young grandchildren, and I'm concerned about them growing up in the world the way it has become. I could not in good conscience sit by and do nothing. This country deserves better, and I know I can do better than what we already have--career politicians whose only goal seems to be blocking all action from the other side. We have important things to accomplish in this country, and I want to be a part of the solution.


Q:

What has been the most difficult obstacles to overcome in getting your campaign off the ground?

A:

Getting through the bureaucratic overkill--things like 300 pages of instructions to fill out a 3 page form. But the bigger answer is getting people to engage--it's too easy to do nothing or sit on Facebook, but FB "Likes" aren't enough. People need to get involved, get engaged, and do more.


Q:

Whats your plan to bring more jobs and employment opportunities to wisconsin and to keep manufacturers from leaveing the state to go elsewhere? ( most notably in the northwoods north of hwy8)

A:

We need to re-examine and fix the disastrous trade policies that have encouraged manufacturers to go elsewhere. We also need to make sure that when they do decide to leave the country, they pay a penalty on bringing their products back into the country. If they will save $400 million dollars by leaving the country, they will STILL pay $400 million to bring their products back. If we lower our state taxes for businesses, we should be able to bring back some because right now we are among the highest tax rates in the nation. But the bigger problem is American workers competing with foreign workers who are paid almost nothing, and that has to be fixed in our trade deals.


Q:

What are your thoughts on business regulations? In general, do you think we have to many or too few? Are there any laws specifically that you would like to get rid of, like Dodd Frank or the ACA perhaps? Any departments or agencies that you'd like to see an end to? Any new regulations, departments, or agencies you'd like to see signed into law?

A:

I don't have all of the answers on everything, and you need to have all of the right people in the room to fully answer this question--including small businesses owners who tell me all the time that we have too many regulations. I am in favor of breaking up the big banks. We need to reinstate Glass-Steagall to restore some confidence in our financial system, and get rid of “too big to fail.” Beyond whatever fines companies have paid for their illegal activities, there were many people involved who were never criminally charged. The “fall guys” in many cases were much lower level employees, who were not steering the wheel of these large organizations. The CEO’s and CFO’s must be held personally accountable moving forward, or we will have more of the same . . . and in fact, we already do. There is a lot of discussion of existing bubbles out there, in subprime auto lending, in real estate (again), and in student loans/education. We can’t put the long term future of Americans on the line for the short term profits of large corporations and their highly paid executives. I think we can probably get rid of the Department of Education and return local control of education to communities. The government is too big the way it is, and we don't need to increase the size or power.


Q:

What are your thoughts on the federal budget? Would you like to see it balanced (or at least reduce the deficit)? If so, howso? Do you raise taxes on the rich (or on everyone), cut spending, or both? Would you consider cutting the military budget?

A:

I would like to see the federal budget balanced and to pay off some of the deficit. We need to close all the loopholes on corporations and individual loopholes, and simplify the tax code. I support a graduated flat tax, that would also allow us to shrink the size of the IRS. We need to take a new look at every agency and get rid of waste, fraud and abuse. Before talk of cutting the military budget, how about we first figure out where all the money is going?

That said, the military should be paid no less than the median household income. Upon exit from the military, veterans need to have the option to go anywhere for healthcare if the VA is unable to serve them within 24 hours…and no one who is suicidal should EVER be turned away. Many worry that this will weaken the VA, but I believe that it will allow the VA to focus more on the types of care it uniquely provides, and to become a center of excellence when it comes to that kind of care. I’m speaking not only of traumatic injuries, but also with the mental health issues that plague many of those who return from deployment. For all the veterans who’ve had long wait times and bad VA experiences, there are many who have had great care there and do not want to be treated elsewhere. We need to accept and honor those choices for the people who have served our country. The military also has serious accounting problems. With the announcements of TRILLIONS of dollars missing from the Pentagon, and what appears to be zero repercussions or accountability, it leaves the appearance that our leaders can’t even balance a checkbook. Who in America would be allowed to keep taking money out of an overdrawn account? We will need to retrain and likely purge some of the leadership that have allowed for these “accounting failures” and begin to hold the Pentagon accountable for these things. In truth, the whole way we fund our military is flawed—with one agency believing it should automatically get funding equal to another, just because. When I am out in the community talking to people, I hear stories about these things, and about how contracts go through the bidding process only to be “renegotiated” after the fact, adding tons of money with little justification. Our oversight function has failed, and the Pentagon needs to go on notice that it no longer has a blank checkbook and leaders will be held accountable.


Q:

Thank you for the long and detailed answer, especially when it comes to veterans and the military! I have a follow-up though. Have you given any thought to what percentage tax rates you'd support? Significantly lower than we have now? About the same? Would you raise the tax rate for anyone, other than just closing loopholes?

A:

I do have a more detailed tax plan, which I would want to discuss with economic experts when I'm in Congress, but it would include tax increases for people who make over $500k.


Q:

What Pokemon go team are you on?

A:

I am not on any Pokémon Go team as I do not have time.


Q:

What's your party affiliation?

A:

I am an Independent, and am not affiliated with any party.