(EDITOR’S NOTE: Republican candidate Curt Nisly was emailed the same list of questions as the other candidates, on two separate occasions, but never responded. Should he submit his responses, they will be added to this post.
Furthermore, this is not an endorsement of any particular candidate. We are merely offering the candidates a forum to inform the voting public about themselves and how they might serve District 22.)
With the position of District 22 Representative being voted on in just a few months, we sent each candidate a couple of basic questions asking about their platform and what they plan to do if voted into office.
What has been the response to your platform?
David Kolbe (D) – My platform is centrist. I believe that the best way to produce and manage functional legislation requires cooperation and compromise from both parties. I believe my political philosophy permits me to represent the interests of the widest array of constituents. The primary concern of conservatives relate to liberty and the primary concern of progressives relate to justice. I do not believe that these two aspirations are mutually exclusive. The conclusion of our pledge of allegiance provides: “liberty and justice for all.” Thus, my appeal is to moderates in both parties as well as independents. Of course, some Republicans are center right and some Democrats are center left, but both points of view are compatible with functional democracy when legislators focus on common-sense problem solving.
I characterize our movement as “New Democrats.”
The response has been favorable. A number of Republicans have voiced support for our public policy approach. My fellow Democrats are supportive inasmuch as my political philosophy is reflective of Indiana Democrats and quite similar to the approach taken by our party during the Clinton years. In order for our campaign to succeed Republicans, Democrats, and Independents of like mind need to turn out to vote which is why we have embraced the campaign motto: YOUR VOTE COUNTS.
Michael Stinfer (I) – The response to my platform was received well in all of the House District 22 (HD 22) communities. My team and I believe I connected well due to the fact that they know I am one of their own. I was born and raised in Warsaw, Kosciusko County. I’m the kid who delivered their newspaper, the teenager who washed their cars at the local car wash and also washed their dishes when we had Digs diner. I was their student they would keep encouraging to do better and then their Marine who volunteered to go fight for their freedoms and beliefs with honor. God willing, I survived, and was blessed enough to graduate from Grace College.
Are there any particular issues you’d like to stress as part of your campaign?
David Kolbe (D) – I am stressing a number of important issues and there is not enough space to address them all so I will select several for the purposes of my response.
Campaigns are essentially big job interviews with some added spark. But a flashy campaign is not necessarily a good prediction of sound legislative service. I am focused on trying to learn the job as I campaign. The 2015 session is the bi-annual budget session. Under the Indiana Constitution our budget must be balanced, which I think is a good thing. But it involves a lot of hard work to accomplish. I am very interested in fighting hard to ensure that our District receives our fair share of dollars and services back. Budget sessions also have to do with finding proper sources of revenue to pay for our services. These revenues are called taxes. I want to be sure that we have a fair allocation of taxes to businesses, individuals, and the variety of consumers in our state. In other words, taking in and spending money is very important to the job, especially in the 2015 session.
In connection with our budget, I am very concerned about properly investing in our infrastructures, including our transportation needs. Bridges and roads are crumbling and need our immediate attention. We need to continue developing our recreational infrastructures like greenways and bikeways. We need to continue to develop our cyber-infrastructures including expanding fiber access to our communities.
I believe we need to work hard to insure that Indiana schools improve academically. Schools in our district are excellent and serve as an example for the rest of the state, and we can and will do even better.
I believe we need to make college education affordable for young people, especially those coming from the middle class. These kids and their families are getting hit the hardest, graduating from college with mountains of debt. This must be addressed or our state will continue to experience lower college graduation rates. And for those who do graduate from college, we must continue to make Indiana a place where they can and want to work and live or we will continue to experience “brain drain”, that is, our brightest and best moving to other states.
We need to focus on job retraining for those who have displaced from employment for a variety of reasons.
We need to focus on ways to generate good jobs and reinvigorate the middle class which is rapidly diminishing.
We need to continue to provide better services to our veterans and our seniors and provide opportunities for our seniors to remain relevant to society.
As one can see, there is insufficient space to address all the issues we face in defining a government focused on the common good.
Michael Stinfer (I) – My vision for HD 22 and Indiana is to continue setting the example as we are and remain a top State in the Nation. I will focus on Veterans Issues, Business Growth and Diversity, Education, Agriculture, and Healthcare/Heath and Wellness. I will submit my summer schedule soon.
I would like to address one more thing that I will hold close to my heart. While I am a conservative, lets make one thing clear: This is not a Democrat seat or a Republican seat. This is your seat. The people’s seat. I answer to no one other than God and you the voters of HD 22. I don’t want the state legislature to end up like Washington. If you look at what’s going on in Washington … NOTHING AT ALL is happening.
If elected, what would be your first move?
David Kolbe (D) – I will first thank my family, friends, campaign team, and voters for the confidence they have shown in me. I will then congratulate my opponents for their effort and the courage they displayed in running for office. Kathy and I then hope to take a few days off by going to one of our favorite places in the world: northwest lower Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Upon our return I will endeavor to meet with leaders of the House to learn more clearly how I can best serve in the House of Representatives. I also hope to meet with our local legislators, Representatives and Senators, to learn what I can from their experience. I also want to be ready to let the legislative leaders know what committees I feel I can offer the best services, understanding that those leaders make the assignments in a manner they believe most appropriate. In other words, I want to be as prepared as possible to represent the best interests of the District
Michael Stinfer (I) – I look forward to representing HD 22 just as I have in my community and military service. We, as one team, will go to Indianapolis and we will always lead from the front, setting the example with honor, courage, and commitment.