Monday, December 9, 2013
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Benjamin Pollard has a photo of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, for whom he holds great respect, in his office.
Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
ASK A QUESTION
BENJAMIN POLLARD will answer your questions live at pressherald.com today at noon.
OCCUPATION: Owner of Pollard Builders, a general contractor
EDUCATION: 1995 graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in international relations; 2004 graduate of Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a master's degree in environmental management
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None
ON THE ISSUES
• Do you support President Obama’s health care law? No
• Do you support a balanced budget amendment? No
• Would you support a tax increase for the wealthy? Yes
• Would you vote to extend the nation’s debt limit? Yes
• Do you support legalizing gay marriage? Yes
• Do you support legal access to abortion? No, except in limited circumstances
• What should Congress be doing to create jobs and improve the economy? “Congress should expand opportunities for service in the armed forces, the Peace Corps and a domestic civilian service corps. Regulations and tax policies affecting entrepreneurs must be dramatically streamlined and simplified to promote growth in the private sector. Congress should create policies to promote sustainable industries such as renewable energy, organic agriculture and environmentally friendly construction, and invest in infrastructure, particularly a nationwide rail network.”
Expanding the Peace Corps and incentivizing energy-efficient construction are parts of Pollard's plan to reinvigorate the economy. He believes in herbal medicine, yoga and acupuncture as ways to improve the health of Americans, which would lower the cost of care.
He also wants to see a nationwide railway.
Pollard supports strengthening the national defense, and hopes to join the Navy himself.
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder has disqualified him in the past, but Pollard believes he was misdiagnosed and is working on enlisting. Ideally, he says, he would be serving overseas while also serving in the Senate, which he believes would give him, or any other politician, a better perspective on what's happening in the Middle East.
It would also keep him out of Washington, where Pollard isn't all that comfortable.
For a summer during college, he served an internship with the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment.
"There was something about the feel of the place," he said. He didn't like it.
"It's more out of a sense of civic responsibility than a desire to be part of that scene," Pollard said of his reason for running.
He believes he has the right knowledge, beliefs and demeanor to cross party lines and bring an end to the division in Congress.
Recalling the conversation that prompted Pollard to run, his friend, Macleod, describes him as the rare type of person who listens to people when they talk.
"The person you conjure up when you read the news and you think, 'Who? Who could fix all this?'" Macleod said. "He's the guy you think of."
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: