Bob Musselwhite thinks he has the ideas and experience to become the next elected Representative in Arizona Congressional District Eight.
District Eight, an area that includes parts of Western and Northern Phoenix (Peoria, Litchfield Park, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Youngtown, El Mirage, parts of Goodyear and Glendale, and New River), made the news in the last election cycle with the candidacy of Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.
With Tipirneni now competing for the Congressional District Six nomination, two Democrats, Michael Muscato and Bob Musselwhite, are competing for the honor to retire ultra-conservative Debbie Lesko from the House of Representatives.
If nominated and elected, Bob Musselwhite, who also ran for the Democratic Congressional Nomination in 2018, would bring over 40 years of experience in the public sector in three states.
Mr, Musselwhite has been:
- A Pilot and Pilot Instructor who flew for over four years with Lufthansa German Airlines teaching future airline pilots to fly.
- A County Administrator in Upshur County, West Virginia where he secured funding, on a bipartisan basis to build new infrastructure such as a school recreational center, extension of water and sewer lines , a renovated county detention facility, a new regional library, the acquisition of land for a local airport, preparations for a dam to control floodwaters and water supply for the county and establishment of a unified emergency dispatch center.
- As Town Administrator in Biltmore Forest, North Carolina he reformed & reoriented the town’s personnel to achieve the work they were hired to do established benefits, established zoning, and replaced sewer lines serving about half of the town, also updated billing and office procedures.
- A City Manager in Litchfield Park, Arizona he was called upon to avoid looming bankruptcy for the city brought on by placing practically all city services under a contract. He successfully reorganized the city’s forces and began a tradition of running the city “in the black” that continues to this day. He stabilized the brand new city government with the backing of the Mayor and City Council. He served in this position for nine years.
- He served on the Litchfield Park City Council for four years.
- A History teacher at Apollo High School in the Glendale Union High School District. He is currently in his 14th year in the district.
Mr. Musselwhite’s wife Caroline is also committed to public service. She is a Speech Pathologist and has worked with children with “severe disabilities.” She has authored several books and articles on speech pathology and has headed several professional development workshops across the country.
They are both proud parents and grandparents.
Musselwhite sat down and discussed his views and ideas at Lolas Café (home of the sea salt chocolate chip cookies)
The questions and responses are below.
1) Please explain the reason you have chosen to run for the United States House of Representatives.
“My father came back from WWII in Europe with a medal and attached to the medal was a commendation containing the word Valor. That made him an official war hero. He also came home with a severe case of posttraumatic stress disorder. (PTSD) He never was able to kick it and he died when he was 49.”
“My father in law came home from WWII having served in the Pacific blinded, and maimed from a bomb that went off in his face. He never saw his wife or his two daughters. The two men and their wives sacrificed to preserve our Constitutional Republic and its promise of a chance for every individual, the equality of all people before the law and the idea that no person is going to be left behind.”
“My generation cannot let that form of government that so many have sacrificed to create and preserve slip through our fingers because it is inconvenient to stand up and be counted.”
- Please explain what are at least two qualifications for the House that makes you a better candidate than Debbie Lesko.
- “I understand that a public office is not a business, that the stock in trade is not mine to sell but belongs to the people.”
- “ I spent 24 years in local government in three states where the problems that government should be solving for people are clear and apparent. I have spent an additional 14 years in public schools dealing with the social problems that exist in our community.”
- “I know that the answers we need as a nation are not going to come from looking upon a public office as a personal business where votes are cast based on special interests that contribute money for their own gain.”
- What are the three major issues you will center your campaign on?
- “Re-establishing a functional Congress
- Protecting Social Security, a system that works.
- Re-establishing affordable quality health care for all Americans
- Re-establishing fiscal responsibility to protect the buying power of all those that have savings accounts and investments.
- Protecting the Mission of Luke Air Force Base.
- Protecting our water supply which means dealing with climate change.”
- With regards to health care, please describe your proposal.
“People are dying because they are not getting health care.”
“I believe that the power of market competition should be reintroduced. The nation’s annual health bill amounts to 3.4 trillion dollars a year or nearly 18% of our Gross Domestic Product. That is twice the bill that is being paid by other industrialized countries. It is $10,000, for every man, woman, and child in the country and it is a tremendous drag on business both large and small. If we tax people as we do with Medicare the bill will be $10,000. for each man, woman, and child in this country. There are many steps that could be taken to get the costs of medical care and medicine under control.”
“The first immediate step should be to establish a public non-profit option with ethics that are similar to Medicare for individuals, businesses, and organizations such as municipalities and school district to buy into for health insurance for their employees.”
“This public option would be for those under the age of 65. The tremendous amounts of money including that going to uses such as profits would migrate over to the less expensive system who purpose would be to pay medical bills and not to avoid them for larger dividends.”
“Medicare should be improved so that those 65 and older do not become second-class when it comes to medical care.”
Mr. Musslwhite also believes insurance portability, especially for women, should be permanently ensured and memorialized in statute.
- In your opinion, should the federal minimum wage go up to $15.00 an hour or be adjusted depending on the region of the country you live in?
“It should be adjusted routinely based on the average income of a region. This average income should be determined by the impartial finding of the federal government working with state government and not based on the statistics supplied by special interest groups. It should be a fair representation of what is actually going on.”
- Do you support the Green New Deal or another proposal (like those from Governor Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, or the advocates behind the Green Real Deal)?
“I support common-sense logical efforts that will slow/stop/reverse global temperature rises without disrupting our economy. I also note that 20% of the problem is being caused by the United States. That means that we must work with other countries to address 80% of the problem.”
“Every challenge presents an opportunity. We must develop these opportunities as mankind has done since we established the first government in Mesopotamia to control water to avoid flooding and convert the control of that water to irrigation to grow crops.”
“I also note that at one time in the United States the primary means of lighting homes were whale oil.”
- What is your view on the moves towards clean election and election security reform contained in HR 1?
“As a city council member in Arizona, I had to report my financial dealings and refrain from voting if I had a financial conflict of interest. We also run clean elections in Arizona. I see no reason why we cannot do this nationally.”
“I have worked with elections officials at the County and Municipal level and know-how seriously they take the truth that comes from a vote. American voting must be the business of America. Foreign special interests by definition are not in the interest of our country and our people. I support efforts strongly to maintain the integrity of our vote and so hearing the true voice of our people.”
- In the aftermath of the tragic mass shootings, what are at least two gun control solutions that you support?
“The Declaration of Independence, one of our founding documents states clearly that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed”.
“As a City Manager when recommending to the Mayor and City Council a speed limit to establish on a city street we would first measure what the average speed was on the street that the public was already observing. The underlying idea was that if the general public was not in agreement with the speed limit than the limit we established would not be enforceable, absent a police state.”
“When the average speed was determined and set as a speed limit the police would then enforce the law on those that did not follow the norm.”
“We are in the same situation with firearms. The answer lies in putting the attention of law enforcement on those that operate outside the norms. I think that 99.9% of the people in our country understand the norms when it comes to firearms and that is simply that those who are responsible have a right to be armed, those that are not responsible do not have a right to be armed. In my opinion, this is the exact same problem the founders were addressing with the Second Amendment. If you know the history of the early republic you will understand why I say that.”
“The first step would be universal background checks. This will require an address in several weaknesses in the existing “no sell” list and who has access to the use of the list. Universal background checks will be effective if we address those areas. A serious revamping of the existing system is necessary.”
“Some people are convinced that the military-style assault rifle is the culprit that should be eliminated from public possession. It is not the assault rifle that does the damage it is the very high-velocity assault rifle style ammunition that does the damage. This ammunition is designed to be unstable in flight so that when it contacts something it tumbles. The result is that it creates massive wounds that do not go in a straight line inside the human body. The Geneva Convention eliminated the use of certain rounds in warfare. The 5.56 Nato round and Russian rounds get around the Geneva Convention by meeting the letter of the law but not the spirit. The use of this inhumane round by our government has come back to haunt us.”
“Very high-velocity military assault-style rifle ammunition meant to tumble on impact needs to be regulated just as we do other forms of ammunition because of its danger to the public.”
9) Four part question:
- Please describe at least two ways you would strengthen all of the nation’s borders.
- “There is no substitute for putting people on the ground at the borders and giving them the resources to humanely deal with people as they attempt to flee their situations.”
* “There is a push and a pull to the United States. We need to determine what the push is and deal with it. Human beings have been willing to move to where life is better since prehistory. That is how this whole planet has become occupied with human beings. It is nothing new. It is likely to occur more as the plan continues to heat up.”
2. Do you feel illegal border crossings should be decriminalized and please give one reason?
“No. The border is a very complicated issue.”
“We pay taxes in our country to improve and protect the life we hold in common as Americans. That investment in the future in such things as education would be unfair to Americans if people can flow into the country to take advantage of those investments they have had no part in making in the first place. So in that sense, we should not decriminalize illegal border crossings.”
“What is illegal and harmful to our country and what might be illegal now and not harmful but helpful, should be examined. For example, is it illegal for families and friends on the other side of the border to visit? Should it be illegal for people who want to work here and return home? My sense is that we need their help. Our largest trading partner in Arizona is Mexico. Canada supplies us with most of our steel.”
3. Please describe two ways you would promote legal immigration.
“I think our system is set up pretty well right now to promote legal immigration. It is those that do not or cannot abide by the system that is causing the distress.”
“We should take the pressure off of people to come here illegally. That would involve taking a look at conditions where they are being pushed from and working to eliminate that push.”
“We need to make certain that the people who employ people are employing who are correctly documented.”
“We need to eliminate the profitability of crossing the border with illegal substances. For example, marijuana regulation should be left to each state and the federal government should get out of that business to be able to more fully concentrate on other more harmful substances.”
4. Please describe two ideas you have on what should be done with dreamers and otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants that have been in the country for several years.
“I am with Ronald Reagan on the dreamers. We have invested too much in these young people to let them go back and make their contribution somewhere else. The most talented in any population are the ones that will get up and move to a new way of life somewhere else. The United States is an example of a country that is full of such people. Those who have existed in the shadows should be given work visas or other documentation that recognizes their life here. That would all be determined on a case by case basis.”
“We should not make the mistake again Reagan made that set up such uncertainty for so many people that we have today. We needed better control over the border then and we need to humanely control it today.”
10) Do you think President Trump should be impeached and please give two reasons for your response?
“Mr. Trump is a bomb-thrower. He is not a problem solver. He places a great burden on our Republic and on our unity as a people. He believes in money, but not in the moto on each of our coins. E. Pluribus Unum, (from many one) I do not believe he is personally comfortable or inclined as the leader of a free people in a Republican form of government. I do not believe he understands how our form of government came to be, and why there are so many safeguards to tyranny.”
“He is comfortable with the kind of tyranny he exercised without being questioned during a lifetime in private industry as an owner as the CEO of a corporation. The government is not a business. It amounts to far more than how many dollars can be gained. It is not a personal possession.”
“He was elected, I believe fairly, under the system that we have used to elect presidents since the adoption of the Constitution. He is a bad match for us but he was elected.”
“The impeachment of a President will be an opportunity to put more poison in the water of the Republic that we will not recover from for years and years.”
“Until I see that he had clearly violated the Constitution by privately gaining money from a foreign power the federal government or a state in exchange for the influence we have delegated to him or has violated our laws I would not vote to impeach. When I see any of this occur I will change my opinion.”
- Is there anything you would like the readers to know about you or your candidacy that the above questions did not fully convey?
“I believe that we have the finest form of government ever devised by mankind. But no form of government will succeed for the people if those running it reduce its ideals to how much they can personally gain from being in office.”
“People should not be in government to serve themselves. They should be in government to serve the country and its people. I have done that for over forty years. I think the track record is there. I think I understand what it should be all about. I also believe that any leader has to be able to understand history and why we are and where we are.”
“My slogan is Experience, Integrity, and Common Sense. I invite everyone reading this to go to my website bobmusselwhiteforcongress.com and read my positions on the various issues that were not covered here. If they are independents or democrats I invite them to sign my petitions by following the link to the Secretary of State’s office so that I can get on the ballot, and if possible a small donation would be helpful.”
“This system allowed me to make it. If it had not been for the New Deal my family would have starved to death. so said my grandfather who was a sharecropper in Eastern North Carolina. My mother backed up his opinion”
“I thank you for taking the time to listen to my opinions.”
Democrats, Independents, and mainstream Republicans in Arizona Congressional District Eight are very fortunate to have two mainstream progressive candidates to consider for Congress in 2020.
One of them is Bob Musselwhite.