By Howard Foster –
I had an conversation with Senatorial candidate James Marter on what I consider to be the major domestic issues: immigration and public sector unions. I’m pleased to report he’s intelligent, well-informed and far better from my perspective than incumbent Mark Kirk.
On the all-important and current question of immigration Marter, a software developer from far west suburban Oswego, wants big changes. He’d like to see the level of legal immigration cut by 90% from the current level of a million per year. He rejects the notion that the U.S. has a shortage of workers. He believes Senator Kirk’s vote for the 2013 immigration reform bill, which has caused headaches for Marco Rubio in the presidential race, means he is siding with business and against American workers.
Such a drastic curtailment in the number of immigrants and H-1b visas, which allow American companies to import foreign technology workers, would reduce the number of people seeking jobs and thereby translate into higher wages for American workers. This is the polar opposite of the “establishment” Republican point of view. Or to put it in plain English, the big donor class wants to flood the country with exploitable foreign workers, particularly from the third world.
Perhaps this is why Marter is receiving so little corporate support. Senator Kirk has the Republican-leaning corporate interests on his donor list. Marter by contrast, mentions Numbers USA’s immigration-restrictionist point of view favorably rather than the Chamber of Commerce’s pro-immigration perspective.
Marter faults the Obama administration for the lack of enforcement of immigration law. He would move the Border Patrol agents from the interior to the border and take their concerns about how to do their job better seriously. He also believes employers should be audited in order to determine if they are employing illegal immigrants.
But he has no details such as how many agents we need to actually enforce the law against hiring illegals. If we did enforce the law as Marter wants, companies employing huge numbers of illegals, like Cargill, the beef processor in Beardstown, Illinois, would get on the phone to Washington and demand special treatment.
I asked Marter what he would say to the C.E.O. of that company. He said he would tell the executive that the law applies to all employers. Republicans politicians are very solicitious of business. I’d be ready to canonize any U.S. Senator who would actually say that.
On the subject of public sector unionization, I found Marter’s answers weak. He is opposed to compulsory unionism, a worthy position. But he did not know that federal employees’ right to unionize can be taken away by an act of Congress. They did not have this right before President Kennedy gave it to them. Why not abolish it? And why not take away that right here in Illinois for state employees, as Gov. Rauner wants to do?
Finally, I asked Marter if Sen. Kirk should make his medical records public. This is not a trivial point after his massive stroke. Marter says absolutely not, that politicians should have a “right to privacy” which includes their personal medical histories. He thinks voters who want to know if the Senator is physically and mentally up to his job must judge for themselves based on his rare public appearances.
In writing this piece, I visited You Tube and searched for “Mark Kirk interview.” Only one item appeared from the last year, with an Iranian reporter. It’s incredible that the Senator is not giving televised interviews with Illinois news outlets. I get the impression he is hiding something about his manner or speech. Perhaps he believes he can wage a statewide re-election campaign by attack ads. Illinois being Illinois, that will not succeed.
If Marter cannot force Kirk to a televised debate, he has little chance of defeating him. This is a Catch-22 situation. Without more money, the Senator will not feel he has to debate. And without the debate the money will be difficult to raise.
Marter believes he can pull a Donald Trump, that is get ample free media to soar in the polls. His answers to me are not Trump-like. And his website http://www.marter4senate.us/sub/, is the most amateurish one I have seen by an Illinois statewide candidate. He will need a lot of money very quickly to pull off an upset.