On June 4 the St. Cloud Times reported that Stephen Thompson, a Republican from Lino Lakes, filed to challenge Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Republican primary this year. Here's our MPP interview with Mr. Thompson, conducted via email yesterday.
Question 1: If you defeat Michele Bachmann, win the nomination, and go to Washington to represent the Sixth District--what's "action item number one" for you?
THOMPSON: "Action Items Number Ones" are a detriment to the Constitutional process. I can just imagine coming together as a Congressional body with a lot of head-strong fellow Congress persons who just won their perspective elections believing that they have an individual agenda or a mandate. It is those with one-agenda tracked minds that are very difficult to work with and will immediately throw us into undue financial burden, civil war, culture battles or foreign war.
History has proven that causing undue sudden changes, without good substantive balanced discussion will cause us issues and there will be victims. For me, "Action Item Number One" philosophy goes against Conservative principle of knowing what the issues are, what the barriers exists, letting the voice of the people be heard and then knowing what the impact is and having the wisdom on how to act. This is supposed to be how our Constitution and Bill of Rights works; they encourage debate and we want to come to an agreement such that others may not suffer.
Related to this issue: I don't want to be viewed as Pollyanna here, I know for a fact that Washington is no place for people that campaign on a principle of "just getting along with others." Getting along in Washington never happened and never will happen. Representatives in Washington are there to represent the values and principles that they campaign on and then lead.
Now having said all of this... broadly I will aim for competitive health care, restoring our civil liberties, getting government out of the way and watching the checkbook. My aims and issues are documented on my website at http://thompsonforcongress.org. Please take a look. I don't want to be in office and have constituents say: I didn't know Stephen stood for that; For me this would be failure.
At the end of my political career I don't want to claim that my personal earmark, possibly my namesake earmark, was the ultimate Goal of my public career. Especially when throughout that career, everyone else's earmarks I have been declaring as disgraceful. For the purposes of Congress, I want people I represent to know who I am and know what I stand for.
Question 2: In the St. Cloud Times article, you're quoted as saying that you're "so sick and tired of defending Michele." Michele's the darling of conservative and libertarian voters in the Sixth District. What Bachmann positions are indefensible?
THOMPSON: Obvious indefensible embarrassments are the gaffes, her exploitation of other candidate gaffes and her internal conflicts expressed in a public sphere.
Obvious conflicts such as the inability to choose:
- who she wants to represent: Rush Limbaugh, the IRS or the people of the 6th district
- to face competition in the district that she lives in and confuse the political process by running in another district
- whether or not she wants to belong to the Tea party or the Republican Party. Only then to evolve into a Constitutional Conservative...
- whether or not she is truly a financial conservative or someone that drives our nation deep into debt and her campaign (like the presidential one)
- what country she wants a citizen of, whether or not she wants to belong to the conservatives or the socialists
But these are the obvious issues. Others in their political and website efforts have done a far better job than I could ever do. I just don't want to defend these any longer.
As her competitor, I really want to focus on her compromised conservative position and her voting record on violating our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Her voting record on financial and social issues has been acceptable, but the record on civil liberties is inexcusable and for the security of all of us, we cannot simply look the other way.
Question 3: Will you continue your run even if Bachmann wins the endorsement at the GOP event? (We know that she probably will.) Is your stand on principle so sincere that you'll continue to campaign--even without the GOP endorsement?
The informal endorsement from Minnesota GOP state headquarters happened immediately following the re-districting announcement and the moment she declared her ground, the 6th district of Minnesota of the United States.
The Republican Congressional District 6 formal endorsement has already happened too. Both Republican blessings happened without a contest.
For one reason or another, I simply was not able to enter the contest. And I can accept that. She is the Republican "Rock-Star." She was willing to stand up for her beliefs in the Presidential campaign and has THE NAME recognition.
How does one compete with a Rock-star? The Rock-star is supposed to represent us. Even if nobody listens, we have to hold them accountable and simply stand there on our foundational beliefs.
I believe she doesn't represent me, as a citizen or as a Republican. For my own integrity I have to get her attention and I have to do what I can with the rights I still have. If running against her is one of those rights - I'll use it.
I just want to be a man of truth (at least strive for truth) and those that represent me to strive for this too. Further, I know for a fact that there are other citizens willing to take that position too.
Question 4: On your campaign web page, you seem to identify with a positions of presidential candidate Ron Paul. In late May, Ron Paul supporters organized and implemented a successful takeover of the Republican Minnesota delegate slots--and they will go to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. (Michele Bachmann also won a delegate slot. In the past, Bachmann has attempted an outreach to the Paulites in the Republican Party, attending Paul's "Liberty Seminars" in Washington.) So what the heck is going on with Ron Paul supporters in terms of Michele Bachmann--and developing a broader Minnesota political strategy? They can't hope to win the presidential nomination for Paul or control of the Minnesota Republican Party--what's their short term objective this year?
THOMPSON: It's undeniable that there are a lot of similarities with Ron Paul's beliefs and mine. I also share a lot of Michele Bachmann's beliefs.
As a leader, Ron Paul's effort in calling out the lost in our civil liberties is what leadership is all about. He has done this very effectively. If he simply shares the civil liberty question, stands with principle against violations and then simply disappears from the political landscape, I believe he would consider himself successful.
Even though I count on Ron Paul's analysis on civil liberties as being accurate, I have to claim to be my own person here. I am a Security Analyst designing security systems for the government and for corporations. For the past 15 years or so, I have designed several physical security systems with computers that have served several thousand users protecting several thousands of people. I have been in the basement on security issues and I believe I have a pretty good grasp of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I simply want to make sure that we don't choke our freedoms in the name of security - it's unsecure. Ron Paul's understanding on these issues coincides with my understanding.
As for fighting for a particular office, the Presidency or Congressional, I believe that I also coincide with Ron Paul - these are tactical and strategic. But the concern over on overspending, violations of civil liberties and violations of Health Care choices are much bigger than this. Ron Paul and I and countless other citizens are not going away. Within the political boundaries, we will simply occupy the political space and stand up for what we believe in.
Regards, Stephen Thompson
LINK to Thompson campaign website: