John Hartman is the independent candidate running for the 13th Congressional district. (Photo courtesy of John Hartman)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - The third candidate seeking the 13th Congressional seat is John Hartman, an independent from Edwardsville.
Hartman works as a chief financial officer of a technology company in St. Louis. He earned a BS in Business Administration from Washington University and worked at BF Goodrich, the Pacific Stock Exchange, Watergate and worked part-time as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Rep. Albert Bustamante (D-TX).
Hartman is divorced with no children. He said the heart of being an independent is having the confidence to make up your own mind and being objective. You can read more about Hartman at hartman2012.com. Below is where Hartman stands on some of the issues facing the 13th district.
Hartman said the deficit is the biggest issue facing the country, and he doesn't support Congressional earmarks of any kind.
"We have a tremendous problem with our deficit. We'll be much worse off if we don't get our deficit under control. So, I would not support earmarks. If something cannot pass the vote of the members of Congress, as the way the budget is supposed to be passed then it shouldn't be allowed," Hartman said.
Congress has had a ban on earmarks for a couple of years.
Hartman said he supports President Obama's plan and he wants to see the 32 million Americans who will now get health insurance, keep it.
"We know from studies that if you don't have health insurance you live your life sicker and you die younger. So, we can't go back on that," Hartman said. "The hard work to do is going to make our system more efficient. The Institute of Medicine tells us that we're spending $750 billion a year on healthcare that doesn't do anything to improve the health of the patient. Those costs are the income for a lot of Americans and they are going to fight changes to it, but that's where the hard work is going to be done."
Hartman said the first thing he'd like to see in Congress is the passage of the Simpson Bowles Act, the bipartisan budget cutting group.
"We already have 40 senators that agree. So, there already is agreement. For those members, and there are members that want to work together, I would join them and work as hard as I can to bring others on to deal with our budget deficit," Hartman said.
The average unemployment rate for the 13th district in August was about 9 percent. Hartman again stressed cutting the budget in order to spur job growth.
"Beyond that the role of government is to provide an efficient transportation system, and it has always been that way. Abraham Lincoln was a large advocate of improved transportation to make the economy more efficient," Hartman said. "And, public schools have a large role in creating problem-solvers that can adapt to the changing challenges to the growing economy."
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com