Monday, October 22, 2012

Q&A With House District 33 Candidate David Vogel (D-Hull)

1. Short Bio about yourself.

I am a retired biophysicist who split his work teaching and doing research at medical schools into two parts because I got interested in what goes wrong with math eduction in the public schools and spent 15 years teaching for less money and prestige to see what I could do about it before returning to research.

2 Why are you a Democrat;( Progressive, Moderate or Conservative?)

Some people think life is hard and we need to work together to make the best of it. Others think life is hard and they'd better be ready to scrap for everything they can get for themselves. I'm in the first group

3 Why are you running for the Georgia State House?

I understand that the rate at which wealth is being transferred from the middle class and the modestly rich to the extremely rich is increasing exponentially. (It's all over for the poorest 10% who owned 3% of the national wealth in 1900.) We are not far from a day when almost every American spends his or her entire adult life in debt to a financial aristocracy. We don't notice this happening already because we focus on our debt instead of their wealth, but when a new college graduate starts his life $50,000 in debt, that debt is someone else's wealth. Every time someone refinances a house, extending the payout time, that's wealth headed for the top. Companies such as Two Harbors Investment Corp. are turning all those subprime loans into gold by turning homes into rental properties. One place to start is with tax policies more like those of the 1950's. Republican tax policies from the 1950's would be a good start because in those days we all understood the consequences of letting all the country's wealth float to the top.

4 What’s the most pressing issue facing the state. Your House District?

Jobs and jobs.

5 What is something you think the current Legislature has done well?

It has created special courts for drug offenders and the mental ill that should lead to more treatment and less incarceration.

6 What is something you think the current Legislature hasn’t done well?

The effort to create a State board that could authorize charter schools that have been denied charters by local school boards.

7 What is the number one issue you would address as a State Rep?

Because no one in this state has paid any attention to Citizens United, I will attempt to get the Georgia legislature to join the seven other state legislatures that have passed resolutions calling on Congress to start the legal process of amending the U.S. Constitution to allow citizens, through their legislators, to control the role of money in politics.

8 Hailing from rural Georgia. In your opinion what must the Democratic Party of Georgia must do to win the hearts & minds of Rural Georgians who have drfited to the GOP over the last decade?

My chief interest in restarting the Democratic Party in my part of Georgia, where it has been legally dead, has been to put together a program to educate rural Georgians - first about tax policy and their own financial interests because that underlies a lot of other issues. I think that can only be done by getting volunteers to talk directly to voter's, canvassing door-to-door. I have developed a script that seems to be effective at doing just that.

9 Why should constituents vote for you on Election Day.  What makes you a better choice than your opponent?
My opponent thinks the sales tax is the best tax because it treats everyone the same. He also thinks it's ethical to take campaign contributions from Waste Management Inc. while his constituents are fighting against the construction of an incinerator in their county.

10 Comment (anything you would like to add)

I have a life long record of socially responsible work. I've started several large programs for both children and the elderly. I've raised money for organizations such as the National Center for Science Education. I once studied the ballot access laws of all 50 states before organizing a team lawyers who won 29 out of 29 suits aimed at overturning excessively restrictive parts of those laws. 

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