John Hosta is running in the Democratic primaries against six other candidatesLauren Underwood, Daniel Roldan-Johnson, Matthew Brolley, George Weber, Victor Swanson and Jim Walz ( who ran in the 2016 general election against incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren ). Hosta is a business owner and previously worked as an account executive with Merrill Lynch.
Windy City Times: Why did you decide to run?
John Hosta: Initially, it was because my business was directly affected by U.S. trade policies. I lost a considerable amount of business and Randy Hultgren ignored what was happening and embraced trade policies which have directly lead to our record national and personal debt. Recently however, now that I have gone deeper into politics I realize the corruption that takes place in areas like energy create serious environmental problems, healthcare that needlessly elevates costs and banking schemes that costs taxpayers billions. I am also concerned about our liberties, freedoms and privacy being stripped away and the lack of separation of powers since the Trump administration took over.
WCT: How would you approach the job differently than what the incumbent has done in the past? Will you hold regular town halls in the district?
JH: I will hold regular town halls throughout the district. The best ideas come from the council of many and communication with your constituents is key. I would not rubber stamp corporate agendas like Hultgren does.
WCT: There are six other candidates. What makes you stand out among them?
JH: If we are going to be progressive and move forward in social, economic, energy, health and liberty issues; we must continuously challenge and introduce new political concepts. That is what I will bring to this office. We simply cannot afford to regurgitate the same policies which have not swayed public support. If a politician cannot be innovative in thought then they will only compromise.
WCT: How will your experience as a business owner inform how you approach policy decisions?
JH: The best ideas come from the people around you and that became apparent early on as a business owner. I have learned that people with varying backgrounds offer perspectives that need to be discovered. Success comes from new viewpoints and having diverse voices. I also know how to budget which is very important as a legislator who has the power to vote on the national budget and tax bills.
WCT: Where do you fall on the spectrum politically? Would you say you are more of a centrist or to the far left or somewhere in-between?
JH: A centrist which is rare for a politician and realistically this is where most voters are. Many people might view me a bit to the right, but that is without understanding my views on all the issues.
WCT: What are the most important issues facing the country and how would you address them if elected?
JH: We have a vulnerable banking and currency structure. This vulnerability places our economy, the country and ultimately even our sovereignty at risk. We need a Federal Reserve that is owned, as it once was, by the people and a competitive banking environment which means breaking up big banks and not allowing them to merge into monopolies. Banks have risked our money with Wall Street ventures and real estate schemes that have already cost tax payers billions. If I was part of a joint effort to deprivatize the Federal Reserve, I would view it as an euphoric achievement.
Other important issues are net neutrality, agency power reduction, increased congressional oversight on agencies and funding toward unbiased energy and health research.
WCT: What grade level should civics be introduced and built upon in subsequent years?
JH: Decisions like this should be done on the local level.
WCT: Have you had any interactions with the LGBTQ community? If so, what were they?
JH: I have worked alongside interior designers who are gay and had great experiences with them. I have also employed transgender people over the years and they have always been my best employees. They are hard working, caring, compassionate and generous but, unfortunately, they are misunderstood by many.
WCT: What do you see are the most important issues or obstacles facing the LGBTQ community and how would you address them?
JH: One is mitigating posturing in political policies which support groups whose ideology brazenly attack the liberties, freedoms and basic human rights of the LGBTQ community. It is vital that these things are not compromised because when one minority group is attacked, it is only a matter of time before other groups are attacked.
WCT: If elected, will you co-sponsor the Equality Act?
WCT: What is your opinion on the SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop case?
JH: Early writings support that gay marriage or, more accurately, gay unions are considered an exercise of religion. Therefore, because the gay couple is exercising their religious rights and the cake shop is open for business to the public, the gay couple's rights were violated. I would like to add that the Christian position in this case is based on poor theology and should be openly criticized.
WCT: Where do you stand on transgender people in the military including providing full medical services for those troops?
JH: All people should be provide full medical services I do support transgender people serving openly in the military.
WCT: Will you join the LGBT Equality Caucus? What other caucuses are you looking to join?
JH: Sure. I am still researching the other caucuses.
WCT: Do you support strengthening the ACA with our current system in place or moving to a publicly funded system ( Medicare for All ) that eliminates private insurance companies?
JH: I support strengthening the ACA with our current system in place. Moving to a publicly funded system is not a realistic approach yet. The health care construct is monopolized and manipulated and our high health care costs is the evidence of that. Legislation needs to be put in place to de-monopolize pharmaceuticals, reintroduce unbiased health research, restructure community hospitals and have savings incentive plans linked with cost exposure.
WCT: What is your position on immigration writ large and DACA and the Dreamers more specifically?
JH: I support the DACA program because it is consistent with our country's values. These are children that we have raised and although it is inconsistent with our laws, our principles dictate that they must be given a path to citizenship which is what the DREAM Act does. I do support border security and vetting of individuals to insure that those wishing to live here embrace the liberties, freedoms, basic rights and separation of church ( religion ) and state that we enjoy here.
WCT: Where do you stand on the ERA and women's reproductive choice? What about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements?
JH: I support the ERA. I do not support late term abortion or government funded abortions but I do support free contraception to limit the number of pregnancies. Generally speaking, I am a prolife candidate. This is a difficult position to hold as a Democrat, however, on a positive note, this is one of the reasons that if I do win the nomination, I can unseat Hultgren.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are way overdue to expose a major social problem that has always been brushed under the carpet.
WCT: You have a whole section on your campaign site about socialism. Explain your stance on socialism and why you thought it was an important thing to highlight.
JH: There is a growing acceptance of socialism but it will not solve the economic problems in our society. Socialism ultimately is simply another form of totalitarianism which, unfortunately, is what we are realistically struggling against in the U.S. My frustration is that our mulling over standard approaches to solving our economic totalitarianism is attempting to embrace, what I would call, trickle down policy. Socialism is an unrealistic approach to our current tyranny and will not be beneficial for our economy because we will be swapping one group of dictators for another. The key to making real change is stop electing politicians who spout off standard, ineffective, untested, thoughtless, plastic solutions to our problems.
For more information, visit www.johnjhosta.com/ .