Election 2012

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U.S. Representative, Congressional District No. 10

The News Tribune Editorial Board's EndorsementNEWS COVERAGE:Heck, Muri differ on budget cuts, climate change and other issues
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Candidate picture

    Sue Gunn (O) Geologist and environmental policy specialist/activist

  • Candidate picture

    Denny Heck (Dem) Small Business Owner

  • Candidate picture

    Richard (Dick) Muri (Rep) Pierce County Councilman

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Biographical Information

Should Congress repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and make same-sex marriage legal under federal law? Why or why not?

The national debt is now more than $15 trillion. What steps do you support to deal with ongoing deficits and this cumulative debt? What tax increases, closed tax breaks and spending cuts figure into your calculation?

Should there be a limit on multiple combat deployments for members of the U.S. Armed Services? What, if any, reforms should be made regarding treatment of soldiers diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury?

Do you favor a "cap-and-trade" system that would regulate the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change? If so, why? If not, do you favor some alternative for addressing the problem?

Personal Statement

Party (if other) Progressive Independent
Campaign Phone (360) 918-6630
Age 68
Incumbent? (Y/N) N
Occupation Isotope geochemisty/geologist - 10 years. Environmental policy specialist/activist - emphasis on federal appropriations - 15 years. Retired last summer.
City/Community of Residence Olympia, WA
Education B.A. with honors in Political Science, minor in Women Studies from the University of Maryland. M.S. in Geology from San Diego State University. Ph.D. in Isotope Geochemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Civic/Political Experience For the last 15 years I have worked as a legislative activist - 10 years in Washington, D.C., and the balance in Olympia, WA. As the Director of Budget and Appropriations for The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC, I was responsible for improving the funding levels and protections for America's public lands in the annual Interior Appropriations bill. I drafted legislation, ran amendments, testified before Congress and worked with various Administrations to protect wild places, fish, streams and trees. I led efforts within the environmental community to remove or diminish the impact of anti-environmental legislation or administrative policy attached to the Interior bill. I coordinated an effort that reinstated funding for the state-side portion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund along with funding for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program. In 2006, I became the Washington State Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a national group that aided state and federal whistle-blowers. Subsequently, I moved to the Center for Environmental Law and Policy as their Government Affairs Director. While at PEER I ran legislation to expand whistle-blower protection in Washington state and at CELP worked on legislation to create a groundwater monitoring program within the Department of Ecology. Late in 2007, I became the Restoration Campaign Director for Wildlands CPR. As the campaign coordinator for the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative, I mobilized recreation and conservation groups, several state agencies, and tribes to educate Congress about the need to address the problems derived from the vast network of logging roads on streams and fish. As a result, in 2008 Congress created the Legacy Roads and Trails Initiative, resulting in $225 million in appropriations over four years.
DOMA should be repealed immediately. It has been found unconstitutional by five different federal judges. The legislation allows the federal government to discriminate against those individuals in a same-sex marriage by depriving spouses of rights and benefits given to marriage partners under federal law. An example of the how conservative the Democratic Party has become since the Clinton era.
Cut military spending, allow Bush tax cuts to expire, create a progressive income tax, reform the corporate tax code, and eliminate corporate subsidies. Cut weapons R&D, weapons procurement and conventional force size; tax billionaires at 49% and millionaires between 45 and 48%; tax capital gains at 35%, tax foreign revenue generated by American corporations, and eliminate petroleum subsides.
Multiple combat deployments are a symptom of a larger problem: our engagement in endless war. We need to move away from a military policy that requires full-spectrum dominance and a sustained presence on foreign soil. We must provided sufficient treatment of PSTD/TBI. If needed, allow soldiers to get treatment in the private sector by letting them select a Medicare coverage option instead.
The “cap-and-trade” system is insufficient to stop or reduce rising carbon emissions and ward off the devastating impacts of climate change. This is an emergency and we need a serious solution that will produce a rapid response. I support former head of NOAA, James Hansen's carbon tax proposal to produce an immediate 6% annual reduction in CO2, with the income paid back as a dividend to citizens.
I’m devoted to improving and protecting the common good, the common person and the commons. I can see a future that brings greater harmony between people and nature. I will work strategically to reach out to diverse groups and work in coalitions to help build a healthy, economically stable and environmentally sound nation. It’s time we stop looking for leaders and become leaders. Join me.
Party (if other) Democratic
Campaign Phone (360) 915-9005
Age 64
Incumbent? (Y/N) No
Occupation Small Business Owner
City/Community of Residence Olympia
Education B.A. - The Evergreen State College
Civic/Political Experience Elected to five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives; Chief of Staff to Governor Booth Gardner; Co-Founder of TVW, Washington State's version of C-SPAN
Endorsements Congressman Norm Dicks, Congressman Adam Smith, Washington State Democratic Party, Pierce County Democratic Party, Thurston County Democratic Party, Mason County Democratic Party
Congress should repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I support marriage equality and will vote for Referendum 74. I also support each church’s constitutional right to determine their own marriage policy, but all families deserve to be treated the same under the law.
We need a balanced, long-term approach to solve our very real debt problem; the deficit cannot be closed overnight. We need to make sure those hurt most by the recession are not the ones who bear the burden of spending cuts caused by it. The Bush tax breaks on those making more than $250,000 a year should expire and we should close tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas.
Future planning of military operations needs to be more mindful of the burdens multiple combat deployments place on military families. Our health care system needs to evolve to adequately meet the increased cases of PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. The 2010 Veterans Health Services Act was a step in the right direction on these issues; we need to make sure it is fully implemented and funded.
Climate change is real and we need global action to reverse it. I favor tax incentives that encourage homeowners and businesses to retrofit structures in ways that will reduce carbon output. I believe we need to do more to grow clean energy industries such as wind and solar power. These industries are an opportunity to both reduce our national carbon output and to create new manufacturing jobs.
I’m running for Congress because Washington, D.C., isn’t doing enough to help strengthen the middle class and those working to get into it, especially when it comes to job creation. I've spent the last decade growing small businesses and creating hundreds of Washington state jobs. I know what steps Congress can take to bring unemployment down and I'll work everyday in Congress to help create jobs.
Party (if other) Republican
Campaign Phone (253) 582-0254
Age 62
Incumbent? (Y/N) No
Occupation Pierce Couny Councilman
City/Community of Residence Steilacoom, WA
Education Masters in Public Administration, Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA BS in Environmental Health, University of Massachusetts
Civic/Political Experience Steilacoom Historical School District #1 Board of Directors 1997-2004 Pierce County Councilman 2003-present
Endorsements Combat Veterans for Congress, Human Life PAC, Lakewood Police Independent Guild, Pierce County Corrections Guild, Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Club, Washington State Farm Bureau, Gun Owners Action League Sid Morrison, former Congressmen (WA-4); Burt L. Talcott, former Congressmen (CA-12) and (CA-16); Randi Becker, Washington State Senator 2nd Legislative District; Jim McCune, Washington State Representative 2nd Legislative District; JT Wilcox, Washington State Representative 2nd Legislative District; Dave Morell, former Washington State Representative 25th District; Hans Zeiger, Washington State Representative 25th Legislative District; Gigi Talcott, former Washington State Representative 28th District; Katrina Asay, Washington State Representative 30th District; Jan Shabro, former Washington State Representative 31st District
No; the Defense of Marriage Act gives states the opportunity to develop laws regarding marriage without a national policy that protects traditional marriage standards. Creating laws regarding marriage is clearly a function of the state, not an enumerated power of Congress, and DOMA respects that differentiation.
To deal with these national deficits, I would utilize both block grant education dollars within states and school districts as well as block grant Medicaid funds to states. I would take the extra caution of reducing all federal aid to cities, counties, and states by 50%.
Limits on the number of deployments should be at the discretion of the military services. I am troubled by the recent PTSD diagnoses at Madigan. As a combat veteran, I recognize the critical nature of correctly diagnosing post-combat illnesses.
No; our economy will evolve on its own by establishing more sustainable energy as the price of imported fossil fuels continue to rise. We need a legitimate “all of the above” energy policy.
My 9 years on the Pierce County Council are an indication of my principled conservative values. I work to collaborate with others while looking for results-based outcomes.