The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for U.S. House running in the special primary election to answer a series of questions. Read all of their responses here.
MIKE MILLIGAN, Democrat from Kodiak
What in your background qualifies you to represent Alaskans in Congress?
I’ve been elected to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly three times and I was a charter member of the Cook Inlet Regional Advisory Council, authorized by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Why are you running for U.S. Congress in Alaska?
I’m running to provide differing perspectives to Alaska’s challenges. Developing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a big mistake that will not only hurt our reputation but ultimately hurt the long-term viability of our oil industry. A surrender of ANWR development should only come with compensation, as this would most likely qualify as a “taking.” I count five entities that would need to be made whole from such a “taking,” with the state of Alaska being one.
What would be your top priority if elected to Congress?
My top priority is to begin negotiations for corridors to be owned by the state of Alaska. These should be well planned for the possibility of two opportunities in the coming future: the statehood of Puerto Rico, championed by Don Young for decades, and the possibility of Alaskan entities surrendering development potential in ANWR for just compensation.
What is your position on abortion?
I believe that a woman is the best person to make the decisions regarding her own body. I remember the pre-Roe v. Wade days, and I think any attempt to go back is a huge mistake. We have examples of government pro-birth policies from communist Romania decades ago that are still causing social problems there. Just let the woman decide. Regardless of your position, Americans should have guaranteed maternity leave.
If legislation came before the U.S. House that would guarantee the same abortion rights nationwide as the Roe v. Wade decision, how would you vote?
If you support abortion rights, what limitations, if any, do you think should be placed on those rights, such as waiting periods or a specific point in a pregnancy where abortion should no longer be legal?
I’m skeptical of limitations. This debate gravitates to late term abortions, and I have to ask: Who is getting them? These are incredibly difficult decisions, a pregnancy may have already had celebrations, couples may have to decide between the death of a mother weighed against a baby that won’t live. No one is getting a late-term abortion for convenience. Again, should the government be making this decision? No. Society should be doing more to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Would you support a bill, if it came before the House, to expand the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Why or why not?
Republicans have been trying to expand the 9th Circuit Court for decades. So court expansion has been around. I’m concerned that Supreme Court candidates may have lied under oath. Anyway, this usually plays out in the Senate as they approve appointees. This may be just too much on the plate for the public right now. Many of us also want to see if Republican bluster over the Supreme Court leak will continue, if it turns out that the legal draft was made public by a conservative law clerk.
What do you think should be done by the federal government to address mass shootings?
The entire Second Amendment requires a well-regulated militia. The Supreme Court is set to put guns back on the streets of New York — bad idea. I was hoping that the NRA would’ve breathed a sigh of humility following their close encounter with Russian spy Maria Butina. Oh well. I dropped my NRA membership years ago. I belong to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Feds won’t be able to do much until the NRA plays a smaller role — until then, maybe we can track violent video games and connect that to gun purchases. Our constitutional right to self-protection can be combined with a right to not be murdered.
Do you support gun control legislation? If so, what kind of measures would you support? If not, why not?
I support reasonable gun legislation, which is apparently out of reach due to a minority of Americans that believe mass shootings are a reasonable “price of freedom.” A clear majority of Americans favor background checks for all gun transfers. Many of these mass shooters are males under the age of 25 that don’t have girlfriends. Police wear body armor even though it won’t stop a .50 caliber round — does that mean they shouldn’t wear body armor until it is able to stop a .50 caliber round? Unless you are guarding a meth lab, you really don’t need a weapon of war. Lose weight and get a girlfriend instead.