I conducted an interview with Mr. Scott McAdams, the Democratic Party Senate nominee who is also the current Mayor of Sitka, at his Anchorage campaign headquarters office on October 6, 2010 after he delivered a major speech on Social Security. Prior to my interview during his speech he was surrounded by seniors who were filled with passion and excitement about his campaign. Some of the highlights of his speech included signing a pledge on Social Security for Alaska's Seniors; he made a sharp contrasts that distinguished his campaign aside from his two main political rivals in November's mid-term election, the GOP candidate and Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller, and U.S. Senator and write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski.
Mr. McAdams also mentioned that one out of five Alaska seniors relied on Social Security as their main source of income and they used it to pay their rents, utilities and other basic needs. He acknowledges the challenges America is facing like financial troubles and a $13 trillion deficit. However, he questioned the ideas of people he said are clamoring for the balancing of the Federal budget on the back of seniors and kids while providing tax cuts and tax breaks for corporations, multinational companies and multimillionaires. He said among other things that he will fight against efforts to raise the Social Security age for participation. After his speech he took some questions, and was also interviewed by Fox News Seattle affiliate for Special Report with Bret Baier.
Forty-five minutes later, I was ushered into his office by one of his aides to interview him.
Below is the transcript.
Ademola Bello: "Why do you think Alaska should elect you as a Senator over your opponents Mr. Joe Miller the Republican Candidate and write-in Candidate Lisa Murkowski.?"
Scott McAdams: "Sure, well I believe that my campaign is the only campaign right now that is really focusing on Alaska and Alaska communities. One of the things that most Alaska recognize is that Joe Miller and his extreme Tea Party views don't aligned with Alaska values. I think as we make our case for the rest of this campaign, what folks have also come to recognize is that while Senator Murkowski is working to run as a liberal in this race she has voted against every measure aim to moving forward in the twenty first century over the last two years. She has voted against the Democratic Party ninety percent of the time. And so I think you know my experience at the local level being a local community guy somebody who for the last eight years has advocated for infrastructure both human and physical before State and national audience prepares me well to be the appropriator sitting on the other side of the table who will understand the language of local communities when the next generation of Mayor comes to my office to advocate for their towns."
Ademola Bello: "What are your plans to improve Alaska's economy, create jobs and also to expand economic opportunities in rural Alaska.?"
Scott McAdams: "Sure, well the core fundamentals of any healthy economy are reliable transportation, affordable energy, dependable public work's infrastructure, and educated work force. Alaska is a young State we need to continue to make the case for Federal investment in our State, for infrastructure development in our State so that we can build an economy. Today in Alaska there are hundred and fifty stand alone electrical utilities many of which are diesel fired for generation. It is hard to build an economy when you are paying ten times or fifteen times of the energy cost that other communities pay in other parts of the country. So I think we need to continue develop Alaska infrastructure. We need to have strong schools. We need to have reliable and affordable energy. We need to improve our State transportation system. We need to invest in broadband so that there is connectivity, so that folks have access to the world. So those are the things I will fight for as Alaska next Senator to build our economy."
Ademola Bello: "Why do you oppose initiative to privatize Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.?"
Scott McAdams: "I do not support the privatization of Social Security because I don't believe that we should turn the fund over to Wall Street. You know we have seen what happens on Wall Street with the rise and fall of market. I don't believe that people should be able to speculate-bankers and traders should be able to speculate with the future of seniors."
Ademola Bello: "Since you are an advocate for kids, what are your plans to help improve the Education System in Alaska once you get to Washington?"
Scott McAdams: "When I become a United States Senator, I will pursue a seat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. It is something I have a high interest in. You know, I think as we re-authorize "The No Child Left Behind" bill we need to be very thoughtful of the input and impact local communities have on the development of a child. I think that this race to teach and incorporate the core national curriculum is the wrong direction. I think that it pulls resources currently being used for enrichments for Arts and athletics and focuses them on too narrow a range of topics. So my position has been and will continue to be that the best schools are locally governing and locally controlled schools, where parents, teachers and communities are able to determine what is important for their kids to learn. Standards are great for highways for bridges but in the development of human being are way far more complex.
Ademola Bello: "What are your positions on Charter Schools.?"
Scott McAdams: "Charter Schools? You know certainly it's innovations in the framework of public education are interesting. We do have data that shows that charter schools and regular public schools performed very similarly. You know whatever we can do to continue to get parents engaged and to continue to recruit and re-train the high quality teachers, and to make sure that our kids are prepared for the twenty first century is what I support. Thank you. Take care."