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Jim McDermott answers questions about issues in the 2014 election for U.S. House

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published October 14, 2014

Jim McDermott - Libertarian

Office: U.S. House. Other candidates: Forrest Dunbar (D), Don Young (R).

1. Why are you running for office?

To ensure a world where my grand kids can grow up and live as free individuals in a free market society and free of perpetual wars.

2. Alaska has the highest rate of welfare recipients among all 50 states. What steps would you take to reduce that figure?

Economics 101 "Supply & Demand" ensuring a healthy economy via our Alaska wealth of natural resources ensuring responsible harvesting will lead to many good paying jobs. With a high supply of jobs then there will be a high demand for labor leading to a win-win for Alaskans.

3. Alaskans often criticize federal overreach; at the same time, the federal government is as important as oil to the economy, supporting about one-third of the state's jobs and pumping billions of dollars annually into Alaska. Would you advocate more or less federal spending in Alaska? What programs would you reduce or increase to achieve your goal?

I would entice the federal government to outsource many of its responsibilities to private Alaska businesses to start with. I would try to turn over much of the BLM federally controlled land back to Alaska and significantly reduce the number of BLM agents. I would support a flat tax system and reduce the size & significance of the IRS. Then on day two I would get really busy.

4. What are three bills you will introduce or three efforts you will undertake -- or some combination -- to improve the state's economy?

1. Reduce the size of the federal government footprint on Alaska.

2. I will fight to eliminate a regulation that has hindered the growth of small businesses in our country called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404.

3. A nation with an entrepreneurial culture is far better than a nation infested with crony capitalism.

5. What are three bills you will introduce or three efforts you will undertake -- or some combination -- to address social issues in Alaska such as the high rates of suicide, sexual abuse and domestic violence?

1. Alaskans, let's elect this qualified and professional team (Jim & Janet) who will work to ensure a first rate quality VA medical team to work with our Alaskan military veterans.

2. Not imprison many of our non-violent wrong doers like animals.

3. National Association of Social Workers (NASW) believes the response to drug-related arrests is best dealt with from a public health–disease management approach as opposed to a strictly criminal justice response.

6. What authority should Alaska Native tribes and villages have over civil and criminal justice matters, and what rights should they have to regulate hunting and fishing on native land?

Where was Don Young concerning this vote for the federal Violence Against Women Act, 2013? Why did Don Young have a "No Vote" on this very important issue? No individual should have to experience physical and/or emotional abuse. I am surprised that Alaskan Native communities were not included in this Act.

7. What is your assessment of President Obama's foreign policy? What do you think is the United States' role in the world?

No answer

8. Would you take steps to change or repeal the Affordable Care Act? What would the changes be? If you favor repeal, what would you replace it with?

I would allow medical insurance companies the freedom to operate across all 50 US States and throughout all of our US Territories. Let's end the nanny state culture and let's usher in the entrepreneurial culture back into vogue throughout this great country.

9. Should the United States have "boots on the ground" in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq? If not, what are the circumstances under which we should consider such action? And what other action should the U.S. take against Sunni militants in the Middle East?

The U.S. War Hawks (Career Politicians) who are always screaming for more war and once again they are getting their wish. "We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service." ~ Libertarian Party Platform

10. What role do human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases play in climate change?

In my life time a group of special interest types have predicted a new ice age, then global warming, and now climate change. Of course the weather changes and any 7-year-old growing up in Alaska could observe weather change by simply waiting 15 minutes. Now, I support being good caretakers of our environment but if anyone believes that this current group in D.C. who can't even balance a budget can be in charge of the weather... well, then they must be a little gullible.

11. What legislation currently in Congress comes closest to the policy you would advocate for dealing with climate change?

The one that gets government out of the way of our scientists and entrepreneurs and allows them to employ creative and innovate ways to tackle tough issues.

12. Coastal erosion is a serious issue in a number of rural Alaska villages, with discussions about relocating some communities. Do you believe this is appropriate or realistic? Explain.

Well, it seems to be common sense to ensure that our Alaska communities in need of help are moved far enough away from the dangers caused by coastal erosion. There's nothing we Alaskans can't do and if there was a need for help and government didn't block/obstruct the citizen's way then our citizens would rally to help our brothers and sisters in need.

13. How important a priority is reducing the federal deficit? Explain.

When I get to D.C. I will challenge my colleagues to strive for excellence concerning sound financial management practices. I will demand that we budget wisely in an earnest attempt to not spend more than we take in. I have a financial vision for a national positive cash flow built on equity via sagacious management. Yes, I'm suggesting fiscal responsibility from our D.C. representatives.

14. If you had to give the current Congress a letter grade, A through F, what grade would you give and why?

"F" I believe that instead of allowing government to direct taxpayers money (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) towards crony capitalist projects that our tax dollars would be better used towards the development of a stronger U.S. economic system that has outlawed crony capitalism.

15. Should the U.S. tax code be simplified? Is it fair?

You will find my name standing up to eliminate the IRS and replace it with a flat tax system. Fair? When we have career politicians who use the IRS as a tool to intimidate Americans, no, it's not fair.

16. Name a specific federal environmental regulation you'd like to see rolled back, and why.

Being able to freely and responsibly allow local decision makers within our Alaskan communities to determine policies versus having some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. directing our way of life and who thinks Alaska is near the Oregon coast.

17. Name a federal environmental regulation that you think provides important protections for Alaskans.

Dang, this has turned into your secret agenda questioning versus a well rounded interview. I think a regulation requiring the media to drop their biases and force unbiased reporting on environmental issues might be a good place to start.


Age: 57

Occupation: University Instructor

Current employer: University of Alaska, Fairbanks 2008-Present

Employment history:



UAF Term Instructor


FAIRBANKS, AK MAR. 2006— NOV. 2007

Small Business Development Center Director



College Instructor



Student Advisor



University Instructor



Recruiter & Student Educational Advisor









Master Sergeant (Honorable Discharge)

Previous public offices held: N/A

Previous unsuccessful runs for office: 2012 U.S. House of Representatives

Postsecondary education: M.S. in Business Organizational Management, Concentration: IT – University of La Verne, California (2001)

B.S. in Occupational Education, Concentration: Business Administration – Wayland Baptist University, Texas (1999)


1975—1998: Inventory Management Specialist

Rank Achieved: Master Sergeant (Honorable Discharge)

Medals Received: 4 Air Force Commendation Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, 7 Good Conduct Medals, National Defense, Overseas Short Tour, M16 Marksman, etc...

Spouse's name: Janet

Children: James, Toby, Brian, Dave, Bridget, Suzanne, Amy