By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia is seeking his 11th term in the United States Congress. There are three candidates challenging him in the Republican Party Primary on March 13th. One of the four Republican candidates, Tea Party Activist Al Mickle sat down with the ‘Alabama Political Reporter.’
Mr. Mickle said, “Look the incumbent had $900,000” in his reelection fund. Most of his donors were from out of state. My question about the super PAC is: “what do they want.” “Nobody does this without expecting something.” Mr. Mickle said that Congress should look at the super PAC situation and pass some sort of campaign finance reform.
Mr. Mickle said, “It is going to be tough” for the House to pass a budget if the Senate will not cooperate. “The Senate is doing a dismal job.” The Senate has gone almost three years without a budget. “I can not imagine anybody in the real world operating without a budget.” “Not passing a budget is almost impeachable.”
Mr. Mickle said Congress can do many things about energy policy to help lower gas prices including: “stop trying to regulate every business in the world.” “Over regulation is killing us.” “Decreasing dependence on foreign oil was the reason for the Department of Energy and it has been a complete failure.” Mr. Mickle said the Keystone XL pipeline needs be built. “Not building Keystone was absolutely a slap in the face of the American people.” We need more drilling for domestic oil and need to develop more nuclear energy. “Congress needs to stay out of the way of the economy and keep the President out of the way.”
The ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ asked: The President has recently proposed a defense budget that halves the size of the Army and Marine Corps. There is a new suggestion that we may unilaterally get rid of up to 80% of our existing nuclear warhead inventory. Are the President’s proposed cuts going too deep? Mr. Mickle replied, “Absolutely. There are two major functions of the federal government: regulate interstate commerce and defend the country.” “The Cuts are Ludicrous.” Mickle said that nobody else is getting rid of their nuclear weapons. Russia and China still have their nuclear weapons and North Korea and Iran are getting them. Mr. Mickle said he favored some defense cuts cutting redundancy but did not favor reducing our military capabilities.
On the growing $15.4 trillion national debt, Mr. Mickle said, “If you look at what Obama is proposing: tax rates of 20% of GDP, that is not even feasible.” “We have got to do what families have to do.” “We have got to make serious spending cuts.” Mr. Mickle said that President Obama’s budget is “just a fallacy.” It “only works in fantasyland.” There are several federal departments that are redundant or not effective. He listed the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and Department of Education as unnecessary federal departments. “There are 50 state departments of education. A federal department of education is unnecessary.” “$ Billions can be saved.” Mr. Mickle said, “Our priority needs to be getting rid of the federal (budget) deficit.” “We can get back to at least $0 and stop adding to the debt.”
Mickle admitted that it is possible that he could get lost in the shuffle if Bachus spends $1 million and Beason $800,000 on negative attack ads, but that he believes in the voters in the state of Alabama. “We all grew up believing in making the world better for our kids that is becoming more difficult today.” “The voters understand that my two opponents are professional politicians.” “Who are they running for the people or for the PACs and the Super PACs?”
Mr. Mickle said that he understand “what he (Rep. Bachus) did was not illegal, but he was betting against the Americans you don’t bet against your country people like that.” Mr. Mickle said that career politicians are the problem. “The people have to get involved.”
Mr. Mickle said that he would absolutely support term limits. “I would like to see no more than 6 or 8 years in the house.” Mr. Mickle said that the most a person should be allowed to serve in the Congress is 12 years between the House of Representatives and the Senate combined. The President has term limits, the Congress should too.
“I am uniquely qualified to represent the people.” “I learned my leadership in Somalia and in Kuwait (during the First Gulf War). I am the average Alabama person.”
We asked Al Mickle if he felt the Northern Beltway was a project he that supported? Mr.Mickle said, “There comes a point at which we have to use common sense. Don’t go into debt to build more roads.”
On the subject of using a position in Congress to help grow UAB, Mickle said, “UAB is a state issue.” “We have to get Congress out of the business of micro-managing the country.” “We need to get back to being these United States not THE United States.”
Mr. Mickle said that EPA’s controversial new regulations on greenhouse gases are a mistake. “Congress needs to wake up.” “CO2 is a byproduct of respiration.” “CO2 is breathed in by plants.” “Alphabet soup agencies like EPA have no Congressional oversight.” “Every one of those federal agencies should be accountable to Congress. Most federal agencies are operating outside of the law.”
The ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ asked if he had thought about how Congress would deal with President Obama if the unpopular President is reelected and the Republicans only have a 1 or 2 vote majority in the Senate? Mr. Mickel said that it might be necessary to force a federal shutdown if necessary. “Congress needs to stop funding agencies or departments” to get control of the situation.
Mr. Mickle also said that he supported Rep. Ron Paul’s (R) from Texas, idea that Congress should demand an audit of the Federal Reserve. Mr. Mickle said, “Monetary policy is killing us.”
Al Mickle said that Congress should start by cutting Congressional pay and that if elected he would keep Rep. Bachus’s personal policy by refusing the recent Congressional pay raise.
Al Mickle is running against incumbent Congressman Spencer Bachus for Alabama’s 6th Congressional District. Also running in the March 13th Republican Primary are Alabama State Senator Scott Beason from Gardendale and Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge. The winner of the Republican Primary will have a Democratic Party opponent in the November 6th General Election. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Penny Huggins Bailey from Leeds is running against Birmingham attorney William “Bill” Barnes in the Democratic Party Primary. Leeds resident Terri Reagin is circulating petitions to get on the November 6th ballot as an independent.
Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District is composed of all or parts of Bibb, Blount, Coosa, Jefferson, Chilton, and Shelby Counties.
To learn more about Al Mickle’s campaign for the U.S. Congress