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Interview with Jay Williams – South Dakota Democratic Candidate for Senate


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1.Can you elaborate more on your ‘dog in the manger’ analogy specifically in regards to the letter to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”?

“Well actually my dog in the manger analogy is really about in general the republican structuralism, the ugh dog in the manger is ugh preventing the horse from eating until actually he destroys both of them and that’s kind of what the Republicans are going in congress their obstructing everything that Obama’s trying to do to the definite of the United States here we are trying to negotiate an agreement with the Iranians to try and stop them from getting nuclear weapons and the Republicans are trying to stop that from happening by writing the letter . . . John Thune signed on with 47 other republican senators to a letter to the Iranian government saying don’t negotiate with the United States. . . that’s you know if we hadn’t negotiated everyone said Iran would have a nuclear weapon within a year of course the negotiations were successful and for at least ten years they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon and i believe that after ten years of trading with us Iran will become our friends and they won’t have any interest in nuclear weapons, but had we not done that and . . . had the Republicans been successful we would have either seen Iran get a nuclear weapon or we would have been looking at an invasion and a bunch of dead Americans . . . so the dog in the manger is somebody stopping things from happening for no good for themselves or anybody else”

2.In 2012 91% of incumbent members of the senate who sought reelection were successful do you think having a term limit would allow for more modern change in the legislature?

“I am actually not for term limits certainly not at the national level.  Of course at the national level term limits would require a constitutional amendment so thats unlikely that that can happen, but you know term limits really should be done by the people if the people are unhappy with their legislators or are unhappy with the way congress is going people should vote for other people now the problem is as you pointed out that that is not what they tend to do now despite of the fact that this year congress has a near historical approval ratings nearly everyone is unhappy with congress but they vote their own guy back now like in my case you know John Thune has very high name recognition throughout the state now I maybe have sixty percent of the state know who I am while he probably has ninety eight percent of the people know who he is so it’s very hard for a guy like me who is not a career politician to break in but it actually is what the problem is is the career politicians now will term limits fix that I’m not so sure they would they really haven’t done it in South Dakota and in South Dakota we have term limits for the house and for the legislature and what they tend to do is for the house and for the senate what they tend to do is when their term limit is up for the house they run for the senate and when their term limit is up for the senate they run for the house so it hasn’t really worked in South Dakota the only term limit we really have is for president and that’s because the Republicans hated FDR so it would take a constitutional amendment  at the federal level and I don’t see that happening for congress.”

3. Last election cycle your opponent ran unopposed which is fairly unusual, what made you run this election cycle?

“Well last election cycle I really wasn’t in a position to run I was very disappointed in the Democrats not running anyone against him, but this election cycle I’ve really been so unhappy with the dysfunctional congress and their tendency not to do anything and in the case of John Thune participating in a government shutdown in 2013 voting against the farm bill in 2013 writing that letter to the Iranians and laughing most recently not even considering a president obama supreme court nominee I mean he could have considered it and said no, but they didn’t even do their constitutionally mandated duty I’ve been so unhappy with that kind of behavior that I just had to step in and . . .  I think that I bring in a new kind of idea to the senate I mean I’m not a career politician I’m a businessman a veteran a Vietnam veteran I’m a peace corps veteran. . . I’ve worked in the high tech industry I’ve a masters degree in computer science I’ve run a business for the last thirty years here in Yankton I’ve participated community activities I’m not a career politician and I think. . . the problem is with congress is the career politicians so I am running to give people of South Dakota a choice a choice they didn’t get six years ago. . . by the way and i think that if the people of South Dakota can hear my message and learn about me I think there’s a good chance I will be elected.”

4. Dakota Pipelines which have been opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe goes through four states of which include South Dakota, the installment of the pipeline will create thousands of jobs, but the smallest leak could ruin the tribal water supply what are your thoughts on this?

“I am absolutely opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline and I was opposed to the Keystone Xl Pipeline that was supposed to go through western South Dakota I am opposed to fossil fuel infrastructure I think that. . .  one of the biggest issues facing the United States and indeed facing the entire world is what’s happening to our climate and what’s happening to our climate is a direct result of man’s use of fossil fuel. . . and we need to as a people of the United States and a participant of the world of people we need to move as quickly as we can from fossil fuels to clean energy and transferring fuels via pipeline is a bad idea you know John Thune and not only him but the oil companies and this all comes from the oil companies they say oh transferring these fossil fuels by pipeline is by far the safest way to do it and you know the people who say that are those who have a vested interest in that and the actual truth of the matter is not that they’re safe it’s that their secret that they bury these pipelines underneath the ground and we don’t find out about the leaks until it comes bubbling up to the ground just consider if one of these pipelines breaks underneath the Missouri River it might be years before we realize it and there might have been irreparable damage done to our water supply by the time we find out about it so. . .  I’m opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline not only because it violates Native American rights and sacred grounds it’s just a bad idea in general to do fossil fuel infrastructure . . . if we’re gonna do infrastructure it needs to be the kind of infrastructure that will lead us away from fossil fuels to clean energy for instance in South Dakota we have a huge potential for wind energy but we can’t transfer that wind energy all over the country because we don’t have the electric grid to do that and building that electric grid is a kin to building the interstate highway system it’s a huge public works project, but. . .  the Republicans the dysfunctional Republicans in congress are opposed to letting anything happen so we need to change that because it’s vital to us and to our country and to our world so absolutely I am opposed to that.”

5. What do you believe are the core issues that separate you from your opponent John Thune?

“I think that really the core issues are the obstructionism the dysfunction that’s going on congress you know from the time Obama was elected and actually took office in 2009 there were there were two meetings of republican legislators in which they determined that they would not go along with anything that president obama prooposed you know there’s not a honeymoon period or anything like that they were against everything and john thune as a member of the leadership and the republican senate is a part of that obstructionism he’s a that’s the first things that is the difference between he and I is he’s, more loyalty is more  to his party and his donors than it is to the people of South Dakota I am a man my own man I’m not a democratic party doesn’t run me doesn’t tell me what to do who tells me what to do are the people around the state and I don’t have high donors I have just ordinary people giving me small amounts of money so I am not beholding to donors or a political party so that is the first major thing that separates us, John Thune is a career politician who is more loyal to his party and to his high donors than he is to the people of South Dakota and we differ on climate change which is another example he believes that man may have some part in the warming of our atmosphere, but he’s not sure how much he does not see it as a vital project that we need to be working on immediately, and you know he also believes that we should repeal the affordable care act the affordable care act is well the affordable care act is our nation’s first national healthcare policy we’ve been trying to get that since 1948 finally we have a health care policy in place and what does that health care policy do the first thing that policy does is it defines what health insurance does it use to be that you use to not be able to get health insurance if you had a preexisting condition like asthma or any other number of health issues you couldn’t even get insurance, and secondly if you had your insurance and let’s say you got really sick you’d run up against what you’d call lifetime limits so they could drop you from your insurance once they paid a little bit and there you were without insurance when you thought you had insurance now children can stay on their parents health insurance plans until their 26 there is twenty things that the affordable care act that defines things that all insurances have to do and now because of the affordable care act you know what that is secondly it is insured fifteen million americans fifteen million americans who did not have insurance before and that’s a really big thing  you know john thune wants to repeal the affordable care act not fix it not make it better but to repeal the affordable care act and you know that you know my high school band instructor said the biggest room in the world is room for improvement and the affordable care act certainly can be improved and there’s a lot that needs to be improved about it but repealing it and not improving it is getting away with it and that’s the Republican way of doing things they want to do away with social programs and cut taxes and both both of those things are bad for our country and abd for the economy I believe in social security I thin kthat social security is a program it’s a new deal program from Roosevelt in the thirties and it’s having a little problems with funding now some people say that in seventy five years there will be no money tin the social security trust fund and that will only happen if we don’t take a real simple step right now the payroll tax that use to pay for social security is cap a a hundred and  twenty thousand dollars if we just do away with that cap so the people making more than one hundred and twenty thousand dollars continue to pay social security that fund stop social security forever you know what john thune wants to do he wants to leave the cap in place and he wants to increase the age in which young people will get social security and like me John Thune has never worked as a manual laborer you know I’ll tell you somebody who has been swinging a hammer for all his life or laying bricks or a number of hard manual labor jobs by the time the sixty two their backs are eighty five years old and they can’t afford to wait an extra five or ten years to get on social security and that idea of raising the age of social security is a way with doing away with it and the republicans they don’t believe in social programs and that’s. . .  a major issues differences between John Thune and me and John Thune likes to call me the most liberal democrat he’s ever met but in the ninetys I was a republican and i am socially liberal i believe in affordable care act and I believe in social security and I believe in helping people out who need help I’m a big believer in. . . hat but I’m the most fiscally conservative I’m certainly way way more fiscally conservative than John Thune ever thought of me because I believe that we pay for what we agree to pay to pay for and we have a budget in place for things we are supposed to pay for and we are not paying for them so how do we pay for them we raise taxes John Thune says with a bogus argument that if he cuts taxes that somehow that it will increase economic growth will increase revenue growth in the economic government that is false that is not true since 1940 the treasury department has been keeping records of tax cuts and every time we have a tax cut the federal revenue goes down and deficits go up and thats as you would expect it to be it’s just not a true statement for Republicans to say that those are major differences we have and there are many more as well I think that those two are a whole litany of them the economy the Affordable Care Act how we think things should be done in the Middle East and of course there is Donald Trump John Thune is going to vote for Donald Trump who he knows to be a sexual predator who he knows to be an unfit guy and he’s going to vote for him now what does that say about John Thune’s loyalty to the United States of America he knows he’s an unfit guy he’s already said he should set aside and yet he’s going to vote for him he doesn’t have to vote for Hillary Clinton I understand that he has policy differences with Hillary Clinton, but . . .  to vote for an unfit guy is un-American you know John Kasich you know the Governor of Ohio he wrote in John Mccain’s name he wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump and John Thune is more loyal to his party than he is to our country so there are major differences between the two of us.”

6.Is there anything you would like to add?

I hope that the people will go out and vote November eighth and that they’ll vote for me i know that our congress is not doing it’s job and it’s pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is going to be elected president it’s just a question of how big of a win she’s going to have and if the more democratic senators she has the better because the Republican senators John Mccain has already said that there not even going to vote for a supreme court nominee it’s a terrible ordeal the Republican party needs a reset as I said I was a Republican back in the nineties and the Republican party in 1956 Eisenhower’s platform had plans for providing asylum for refugees people paid equal work regardless of gender the unemployment benefit system making it easier to join unions the Republican party today has gone from the party of Lincoln to in 1964 when the civil rights legislation passed when the south use to be called the solid south because it was the Solid Democratic South and. . .  I remember governor George Wallace of Alabama standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent integration of the University of Alabama so they were racist down there and once the civil rights legislation passed the racists all became republicans and the Republicans who should have rejected them as they should have let them come in because they saw them as votes . . .and the logical progression finally I had to leave the republican party because I saw that there was progressing more and more to the right being controlled by these right wing tea party racist guys who are bigoted racist and the Republican Party has allowed them to come in even when they knew they were wrong when Donald Trump brought up the birth thing saying that President Obama wasn’t a legitimate President the Republican party didn’t stand up and say that’s just crazy we know that’s not true and they didn’t reject him and now here he is there nominee now there having a big reset and not the Republican party is really being controlled by the fanatical and really the guys who hate people and. . .  Trump is pumping up this hate and I think this hate is really dangerous for the United States I really want to make this point the Republican Party use to be a great party it needs a big reset and I hope I can be part of that and I certainly hope that South Dakota can be part of that by not voting for Donald Trump.”

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