Donna McAleer (D) – Congressional District 1
Donna McAleer (Democrat)
Congressional District 1
1. Please describe how your background prepares you to serve in the office you seek and why you have chosen to campaign for that office.
When I was 17, I made the decision to serve our country. I graduated from West Point and was commissioned an officer in the Army and served in Germany. For me it was a simple decision, I believe in our country, the freedoms we share, and the opportunities afforded to us all. I am dedicated to preserving those freedoms and opportunities. The ideals of integrity, service, and commitment to a mission guide me to run for office.
I serve on the Defense Advisory Council for Women in the Service. This DOD appointment has put me in contact with legislators establishing relationships with Washington decision makers — to work with them, not against them.
Having led a division of a global technology company and created jobs, turned around the People’s Health Clinic, served on non-profit boards, and volunteering at my daughter’s elementary school—Jeremy Ranch, I understand the importance of community and how it shapes us. I have had to make a payroll, create a balance sheet and purchase health insurance. I have had to work with people to deliver results that help the community. Given the gridlock in Congress, we need people who know how to work together and deliver results.
2. The Park City and Summit County economies have performed solidly during the current two-year congressional term. Please discuss your reasoning for the performance of the local economy and identify one policy you will pursue during the next congressional term to ensure further economic expansion in the community.
Quality of life and our natural setting feed Park City and Summit County’s economic health. They are the top two reasons people come here.
Our awesome natural environment, easy access to a thriving metropolitan city and international airport, and historic small town character all contribute to making Park City a desirable place to live, work, play and vacation. These factors fuel our economy.
The Mountain Accord public process that seeks to make long-term decisions regarding the future of transportation, environment, recreation, and the economy related to the central Wasatch Mountains and surrounding communities is critical.
Our long-term economic health is dependant on the preservation and stewardship of our iconic landscape, the continued diversification of our local economy with our changing climate by attracting multi-seasonal businesses that create local jobs with livable wages and align well with community priorities.
I support all these efforts, and will to make them top priorities.
3. Please discuss your opinion of the benefits and drawbacks of the Affordable Care Act. Please describe one item you would like added to the health care law and one that you would like removed.
I believe that we must fix the ACA. Our personal health care is not a market-
based system, when you are sick you have to care for yourself. There is no "market value" on our lives. Therefore I believe every American deserves access to affordable health care regardless of preexisting conditions. It’s important that today’s youth can stay on their parents programs until they start their careers and it’s important that all Americans, regardless of which state they live in have access to quality care.
Utah is one of the nation’s top two states that produce medical devices, and the ACA’s medical device tax unfairly burdens this significant industry in Utah. As we work to fix the ACA’s flaws, it’s paramount that we empower local families, businesses, and community leaders to do what’s best for Utah.
4. The situation in Iraq has deteriorated in recent months, more than a decade after the U.S.-led invasion of the country. What dangers do you foresee for the United States in Iraq and what role should the U.S. have in Iraq as the government there struggles to maintain control?
"The Islamic State presents a problem to be managed not a war to be won." Marine Lieutenant General (ret.) Bernard E. Trainor
The rush for military action, once again, has not been thought through with comprehensive Congressional debate. Congress took a quick vote on funding and then left. $500 million alone is not going to fix this problem, but if it is part of a comprehensive strategy, it is a good first step.
A comprehensive strategy must include political reform in Iraq and a political strategy in Syria, and involvement of our allies in the region.
I am concerned about the lack of forethought about military action. What are our objectives? Who are our allies? What are we trying to achieve that other avenues of action would not more successfully address the unstable and combustible situation in the Middle East? Over a decade of war and we are still quagmired.
5. Many Americans see partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., as one of the inhibitors to progress in the country, pointing to the government shutdown as an example. Please discuss the problems created by the partisan nature of Washington and describe one effort you pledge to make to cooperate with the other side of the aisle.
The 112th and 113th Congresses have been the worst performing Congresses in history. Less than 14% of voters approve of the job Congress is doing.
Voting to shut down the government last fall was wrong. It was a political stunt that hurt our state and county, costing Utah $30 million and furloughing 40,000 workers. It closed our National Parks. Congressman Bishop helped manipulate the rules to keep the shutdown going and voted against the bipartisan compromise that would have ended it.
As your representative, I will WORK for you and be accountable to you. I will work with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to get our government working again and deliver results. West Point taught me to be a problem solver to achieve the mission. Today’s Congress has repeatedly failed in its mission. So, do you want someone who is going to work to solve problems or a guardian of gridlock?
6. The tourism-heavy economy of Park City has for years relied at some level on foreign workers, both those in the United States legally and those in the country illegally. Please discuss your preferred immigration reform package. In your answer, please address the idea of amnesty for those already in the United States illegally.
The subject of immigration reform has produced much rhetoric and a shocking symbol of our failure as a nation founded by immigrants to rationally address the issue and modernize our system. There is an equally important practical reason for immigration reform: our economic health. In today’s global economy a nation’s best and strongest asset is its people.
Our immigration system is broke and inaction by Congress is unacceptable. We
need to secure our borders and deal with the undocumented immigrants that are already here. We cannot simply apply band-aids to our system.
The Utah Compact established Utah as an immigration leader and should serve as a national model. Most undocumented workers are hard workers who contribute to our economy. They are here for the most noble of reasons: to seek a better quality of life for their families. Their path to residence and citizenship should be simple, straightforward and direct.
7. Please identify one of President Obama’s policies you support and one that you oppose. Please explain the reasoning behind your support and opposition.
The plan to reduce carbon emission from coal-fired plants by 30% by 2030 is the most significant carbon related action to date. It is both ambitious and thoughtful recognizing that states are at different stages in their progress to reducing pollutants in the air.
When we look at energy production in the western states, Utah ranks #1 with 95% of its energy derived from fossil fuel. Despite strong public support for renewable energy, Utah ranks last among western states for renewable energy production.
Bad air is not good for anyone or any economy.
Air pollution has the same types of health affects as cigarette smoke.
Air pollution hurts our economy by driving away tourists and new business, and making it more difficult to recruit talented new employees. Air pollution reduces real estate values. Salt Lake County recently ranked seventh on a list of most polluted housing markets in the country.
8. Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
Today’s Congress has demonstrated it’s the problem. I am campaigning to be part of the solution: tomorrow’s Congress that will end gridlock that has plagued Washington and continues to delay decisions that affect us ALL.
I learned at 17 that it’s the mission that matters. Today’s Congress has lost focus on its mission: governing our country and delivering results.
We need leaders who know how to accomplish the mission.
I want people flocking to this state because we have the strongest schools in the nation. Schools that are funded appropriately where teachers can work with students to develop intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. A state where companies are relocating to because of the skill and knowledge of workers and generating new state revenues. Where Utah is home to the two best cities in the Nation for pay equity for women, not the worst two. A state whose air quality is on the front page of every newspaper for being the cleanest in the Nation.
"Not Left. Not Right. Forward" is my commitment that I will work with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to get things done, not pull political stunts. I am focused on the mission of governance and delivering results.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.