Presidential Candidate Thaddeus McCotter has a command of the issues facing America today and has a Mark Twain quality to be able to condense those issues.

I told him, those of us in the worldwide Irish community, as well as his fellow Americans, would like to hear from him. We would like to let him air his solutions to some of the pressing issues that face us. So I was able to spend some time with this multifaceted Irish American, five term Congressman from the Detroit suburbs.

First off I asked the Congressman how his presidential campaign was going. He said recent Quinippiac polls showed him tied with many of the other GOP candidates in the field as we head into the Reagan Ranch debates. He is from Detroit and knows he has to work hard and persevere. He is determined to get his message out there and feels what he has to offer will catch fire with the American public.

We also discussed the perception that many Irish Americans were seen as liberal Democrats in this day and age. He replied, he grew up with his Irish Catholic Father and the traditions of John F. Kennedy, who espoused conservative free market values and was a hawkish defender of America. Even Bobby Kennedy back then had many conservative views. Of course Ronald Reagan was a conservative Republican.

My comment about this: As President Reagan said, I didn't leave the Democrat party, the Democrat party left me. It seems today's party is not our Fathers party....Would JFK be a member of today's Democrat Party?

The perception of many Americans today is that our voting system is being assaulted by illegal/ fraudulent votes. Does the Congressman think there is a problem and does he think there should be federal rules standardizing our systems and securing them? Mr. McCotter said there IS a problem, but the big hammer of the federal government should not be used to cure it. It seems the states are stepping in and starting to clean it up, as can be witnessed with the discovery of 12,000 non citizen voters on Colorado's voter rolls and several states initiating new voter requirements.

I replied that still doesn't fix the problem now and individual state elections have repercussions for the rest of the country. He said it wouldn't be wise to have the big govt. step in and standardize things, you wouldn't know what you would end up with and it could be changed to suit whichever party is in power. For instance you could get a party in power who would think it is perfectly fine to have illegals on the voter rolls. Better to keep it a state issue. Besides Congress already has the right to challenge the veracity of a members election.

Then we touched upon the thorny issue of illegal immigration. The Congressman said it wouldn't be fair to grant these people legal status when there are others who are following the rules and working their way through the system to become legal citizens. He would build fences and close off the borders now. He is a strong proponent of the E-Verify system and believes non citizens should ONLY be allowed the most basic of emergency medical services and not be afforded our social welfare net. But he wanted to affirm that it is not the illegal immigrants fault that they come to America, it is the fault of the powerful special interests who attract them here to exploit them.

The Operation Fast & Furious gun running scandal that has seen the murder of a U.S. federal officer and hundreds of Mexican citizens: He feels this was an operation gone horribly wrong, run by out of control bureaucrats who are being found out now and should be demoted/fired. He does not feel it goes all of the way up the food chain of the Justice Department.

With all of the drug cartel violence on our border that is reaching into our country and our prisons are full of drug offenders. Isn't it time we consider decriminalizing the use of drugs? No. We should not allow the use of drugs to be mainstreamed, otherwise we would have a breakdown of the fabric in our society which would take away incentives. Not a good idea.

I asked him if his Presidential aspirations didn't materialize this election, would he consider moving to California to become a Congressman? Preferably the district that sits on San Francisco Bay? He laughed and said he prefers the lakes of Michigan, because there are no sharks in them. Furthermore, as long as California has Congressman Devan Nunez in office, they will be well represented.

So Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, we wish you luck. May the wind be at your back for your Presidential aspirations. We'll be keeping a close eye on your progress as the campaign evolves. I hope the rest of America can get to know you as we are starting to and realize you have good common sense views on what is best for our country.

Notes: Rep. McCotter will be back on the Capitol Hill as Congress is back in session on Wed. Sept 7th, then off to New Hampshire for events Sept 9&10 th