Martin Kaltenbach, the Republican candidate for Michigan’s 15th Congressional District ran unopposed in the primary election. But in the general congressional election, Kaltenbach will challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. John Dingell, whose 46-year tenure in Congress began when he replaced his deceased father in 1955.
Dingell, a Democrat from Dearborn and a Georgetown University alum, worked as a Wayne County assistant prosecutor prior to his election to Congress. Kaltenbach, also from Dearborn, is a University alum and works as a real estate investor and appraiser.
Dingell said he supports Pell Grants, student loans, business integrity, pharmaceutical benefits and protecting wildlife.
One of Dingell’s main accomplishments while in Congress was the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988. It was implemented in the ImClone scandal, which involved domesticity mogul Martha Stewart.
Kaltenbach said the ImClone scandal is indicative of structural problems within economic policies.
“The ImClone scandal is symptomatic of lots of things that go on in new companies, but aren’t seen in older companies,” Kaltenbach said. “Newer companies get caught up in the pursuit of profits and profiting shareholders and as a result these companies have become corrosive.”
Kaltenbach said he believes that the solution to the problem of corruption within large companies is obvious and he said deregulation is the remedy to a poor economy.
“The SEC has to be strengthened, as it is obvious that it is lax,” he said. “What is needed is the maintenance of a policy of lower taxes and less regulation by the government until the economy picks up.”
Dingell said the implications of prominent scandals in the securities market are far-reaching.
“If people don’t trust the securities market then they won’t invest. Jobs will vanish and the economy will take a down turn,” he said.
As a World War II veteran and one of the few Democratic supporters of former President George Bush’s Gulf War initiative, Dingell is noticeable as one of the most outspoken members of Congress against Bush’s authorization of the use of military force against Iraq.
In a recent statement, Dingell urged the U.S. government to proceed into the Iraq conflict with the utmost trepidation and the utmost discretion.
The proposed resolution is a proposition offered by the president to remove highly destructive weaponry from the possession of Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
“The president has chosen the wrong course. He has given us a request for a blank check,” Dingell said. “There has been inadequate or no discussion with our allies and friends.”
Instead, he encourages the United States to seek the counsel of the United Nations. “It is my view that the game here is to win. And we best win by using the resources of the United Nations and the following of the whole world as we assemble a coalition to disarm or dispose of Saddam Hussein,” Dingell said.
Kaltenbach said he supports regime change in Iraq. “The only thing that the resolution is lacking is commitment,” he said.
“Hussein should be treated as a wayward child who, once removed, will make Iraq a better place to live in.”
Kaltenbach also said Americans should realize that the Iraq resolution is the unmistakable solution to the conflict.
“The resolution is necessary and should have been done a long time ago,” he said. “In 1988 Democrats were unanimous on the point, but nothing can be done about it.”
Libertarian Gregory Stempfle is also running for the seat.