John Mertens, Independent Party candidate for U.S. Senate:

I’m John Mertens, I’m running for US Senate as an Independent in Connecticut. I’m a professor of engineering at Trinity College, I’ve been here for 20 years. I have also taught public policy and environmental science courses. I am running because my entire life I’ve been unhappy with the lack of problem solving in public policy and in government.

You need to define the problems, define the goals, and then use a quantitative benefit / cost analysis of the possible solution. 

If I  were elected, in the first 100 days, I would have coffee or dinner or lunch with every Senator and talk to them about issues and solutions, you know. We’re all Americans, we all want to fix our economy, we all want to build a better future for our children.

There’s a very simple piece of legislation that would have prevented the mortgage crises and will prevent future mortgage crisis’s.

You require all lenders to own 30% of every loan they make for the lifetime of the loan.

That’s what I do – I talk to experts, people who know more than I do, in some cases are much smarter than I am who have figured out what we should do.  And we need to get our policy makers to do the same thing.

If you cut taxes for somebody who is making a million dollars a year, it’s not really going to affect their spending. But if you give a family that is making $50,000 a year an extra 6% of their income, it’s going to make a difference in their spending. So Flip The FICA would change the FICA tax temporarily to zero on incomes below $100,000 and institute the FICA tax on income that people make above $100,000.

I did not like the stimulus package. I though thought it was bad, mostly bad, stimulus. I supported about 25% of what was in that law. You can go on my website and get into great detail about why I supported parts of it and why I thought the rest of it was not good bang for the buck.

We’re in big trouble in Connecticut. We’re facing a 3 and a half billion dollar shortfall. It’s going to have huge long term negative impacts, on education, from laying off teachers… Every area of public service. So I would support stimulus in the form of direct aid to the states to help them through this bad time.

And we have a website – is completely open to people posting content, having conversation with me and others. We’re trying to invite people back to the democratic process and give them a voice in the process, so this is something that is going to live on beyond November.

Corporate ownership of our government, the money in politics, boils my blood. When special interests donate hundreds of millions of dollars to the political campaigns of Republicans and Democrats and then their lobbyists write the legislation that gets introduced to Congress – that pisses me off.