By William Lewis
In the new 6th Congressional District in Queens, which is replacing U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) district, conservative City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) is running against state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who won the Queens Democratic Party primary.
Halloran won his race for the Council in 2009 by a significant margin. In terms of current issues at the federal level, he believes small businesses have been overtaxed and over-regulated. He indicated that small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy.
Halloran pointed out that our total workforce must be put back to work. He mentioned that 10 percent of our city workforce is unemployed. He believes this has to change soon.
When asked what would be the first bill he would sponsor if is elected to Congress, his answer was that he would submit a balanced budget amendment, which would require the federal government to spend only what it takes in and eliminate deficit spending.
Halloran in summary believes that if job opportunities do not become available, this will negatively affect other aspects of our nation, including crime. He said the recent attention to the growing violent crime problem shows that more resources should be made available to our local police in addition to federal and interstate anti-crime laws being followed.
For instance, Halloran supports the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk procedure.
“I believe that stop-and-frisk has saved thousands of lives and stopped countless crimes,” he said.
With criminal elements carrying an increasing number of weapons in the streets, he believes it is essential that police have this procedure available in their constant effort to provide effective public safety.
Halloran thinks his campaign is going well up to this point. In all the campaign responses he has received, he has gotten a positive attitude from the voters he has spoken to.
When I asked what committees he would like to serve on in the House of Representatives, he indicated he would like to serve on the Homeland Security, Banking and Foreign Affairs committees. Preserving the safety of our nation would be a high priority to Halloran both at home and abroad.
In foreign policy, Halloran believes the United States should support Israel. He indicated it is a stable democracy in the Middle East and that it has been our ally since its inception. Halloran indicated we have a moral obligation to stand by it, since the Israelis face constant terrorist attacks.
Pertaining to the war in Afghanistan, Halloran believes our present government has not developed a suppression strategy of the enemy combating our military forces, nor has there been an exit strategy developed in such a way as to turn most of the military operation over to the Afghan government. Halloran contends more attention should be given to this important foreign policy matter.
As we look at the 6th District, it is far different from what was the 5th District, represented by Ackerman, who held the seat for so many years and ran as the incumbent, constantly being re-elected, usually by large margins.
Today the 6th District is an open seat with neither candidate having the advantage of incumbency. Although the Democrats have the advantage of a much higher party enrollment in the district, as indicated in previous columns party votes can be split among various candidates, as happened last year in the 9th District, when now Rep. Robert Turner (R-Middle Village) won an upset victory over Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) in a special election in a district in parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
This congressional race will be closely watched.