Joseph Puente 

The independent candidate challenges Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

click to enlarge Joseph Puente
  • Joseph Puente
Joe Puente is an independent candidate running for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Republican Jason Chaffetz and Democrat Karen Hyer. His campaign’s major goals include the implementation of publicly funded elections, ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, ending corporate welfare—especially farm subsidies—and crafting trade policies that create American jobs.

What are the responsibilities of government toward veterans? Has Congress succeeded or failed in ensuring these obligations are met?
The U.S. Congress, and the government as a whole, has fallen quite short of meeting its obligations to our active-duty military and our veterans over the years. There are active-duty enlisted personnel, married with children, who still qualify for food stamps. Supporting our troops doesn’t just mean supporting those who still wear the uniform. We need to give them every advantage when they take off the uniform and come home.

Would you have voted for or against the health-care bill in March?
I personally would not have voted for it, but I’m not losing any sleep over the fact that it passed. As flawed as it is, it does contain elements that are going to help people.

Someone like my opponent will probably run on a platform that includes promising to repeal the health-care bill. There’s no way it would have a veto-proof majority, and it will die on the president’s desk.

What is the best way for Congress to promote economic recovery?
We should start cutting the corporate income tax, but instead of doing it across the board, we implement it in such a way that companies that hire domestically are given the tax breaks.

It blows my mind that Republicans have no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars they don’t have to destroy the infrastructure of another country, but when it comes to spending that same amount to rebuild the infrastructure of their own country, somehow that crosses a moral line.

If elected, would you sleep on a cot, sleeping bag, bed of nails, or what?
I don’t go in for gimmicks. The incumbent likes to brag on his Website about the fact that he saves $1,500 a month by sleeping on his cot. For a man who makes almost $150,000 a year for saying “No” most of the time, he could do more good for the local economy in the District of Columbia by getting a studio apartment and doing a little shopping when he’s in town.

Note: Brandon Burt will be posting the unabridged answers to all of the questions asked of Puente on the Salt Blog throughout the week.

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