Joseph Severino: 2022 candidate for the 10th Congressional District
Office sought: 10th Congressional District
City: Lake Forest
Occupation: Investor/entrepreneur at SevStar Investments
Previous offices held: None
Q: What is your reaction to the results so far presented by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and what should Congress do next as a result of them?
A: There is a valid reason to understand the facts around January 6th so that we can prevent such events from happening again. Citizens however, should be allowed to express their disagreement with an election peacefully without resorting to violence. However, the committee has become politicized. In addition, the Committee has refused to investigate why the Capitol was so badly prepared -- and why both Nancy Pelosi and the DC mayor ignored warnings of potential violence and refused to adequately protect the Capitol. Another issue that Congress should explore is how it happened that Brad Schneider's staffer faked being an FBI agent and brought a gun to the rallies and had badge access to the Capitol building. . The Committee should cease the TV extravaganzas and concentrate on ensuring that the Capitol is adequately protected.
Q: What is America's role in foreign affairs, particularly related to two separate crises: Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.
A: Ukraine and Israel are democracies that deserve US support. The US should support Ukraine against Russian aggression -- appeasement never works. Regarding Israel, Americans and Israelis are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. I am one hundred percent pro Israel as distinct from my opponent who has sent out different emails to his constituents. To those he thought were Jewish he sent a pro Israel message but to those he though were pro Palestinian he sent a different message. Regarding the Palestinians they continue to be led by terrorist organizations such as Hamas which continues to have the goal of driving the Israelis into the sea and a corrupt Palestinian Authority. Peace efforts can only move forward if the Palestinians adopt a more reasonable government. US policy should build on the Abraham Accords negotiated by the last administration which has brought Israel and other Arab states together.
Q: Mass shootings at schools and public gatherings are generally a uniquely American phenomenon. What should Congress do to address the problem?
A: Congress should provide funds so that schools can be adequately protected. We should eliminate gun free
zones as most mass shooting occur in gun free zones. We should address mental health issues which seem to be increasing among our population. . Politicians should not exploit the emotional impact of school shootings in an attempt to disarm the law abiding citizens or limit second amendment rights. I am open to red flag laws that keep guns out the hands of those who should clearly not possess them.
Q: The Supreme Court has made it clear it considers abortion a states' rights issue and has suggested it may rule similarly on same-sex marriage and other social issues. What should the response be from Congress? How do you define whether such issues should be governed by federal authority or state authority?
A: I disagree with the premise of your question. The Dobbs decision specifically was limited to abortion. It specifically said it would not extend to other social issues. This is a red herring promoted by radicals. The whole point the Supreme Court made was that this is a State issue. Congress should keep out of it. The Constitution defines what is a Federal issue versus what is a State issue. That's why we have local police departments and not National police departments. The people of each state through their elective representatives can make decisions for themselves particularly on issues that are not governed by the Constitution.
Q: Are you concerned about the impact of all the recent federal spending on inflation, and what is the role of Congress in managing the economy? If you favor spending cuts, where specifically would you want to see spending reduced?
A: Its obvious that federal spending over heated the economy and contributed to run away inflation while we're on the brink off recession. Congress role is two fold. Where appropriate provide a social safety net -- and social programs. Equally importantly reduce regulations and constraints that stand in the way of private enterprise growing the economy. It is a strong and growing economy that generates the funds to provide for social programs. Congress needs to focus on growing the economic pie rather than solely on redistributing the pie. It is the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sectors that allowed the US to develop the world's greatest economy and the highest standard of living. Whatever you think of business people, it is the Musks, Zuckerberg, Bezos, and millions of smaller entrepreneurs that create businesses and jobs. Congress should foster that. Regarding spending there is always fat that can be taken out of the budget and poured back into the local communities.
Q: Are you confident that elections and voting access are free and fair in America? If not, why not and what should be done?
A: I have a simple answer. There should be IDs or real signature verification. Where can you go or what can
you buy without showing ID. Right now a considerable portion of the public does not have confidence in the elections. ID requirements would be a simple common sense step in the right direction. I don't really see why any politicians oppose it. It could bring unity around our elections.
Q: Whether your party is in the majority or the minority, what is the key to being a successful congressman and what are the characteristics about you that would make you successful?
A: Listening to everyone, showing respect for different views, show leadership and demonstrate courage to make tough decisions. Managing a district is a business and although empathy should be exhibited, ultimately it's my job to bring our District voice to Washington and ensure that it's heard. Currently our district is being forced to hear the Washington, voice. This needs to change and it's exactly what I intent to do.