Know Your Candidates: (I) Marc Koller, running for Congress in Oregon's 3rd district
Marc Koller is an Independent Party of Oregon candidate running for Congress in Oregon's 3rd district. Oregon's 3rd is currently represented by Democrat Earl Blumenauer.
To watch KATU's one-on-one interview with Mr. Koller, click play above.
Learn more about Marc Koller at his campaign's website marckoller4congress.com
We're asking candidates to complete a questionnaire with the same questions as the on-camera interview, plus some additional questions about themselves and their positions. Here are Mr. Koller's answers as he provided them to us.
WHO IS MARC KOLLER?
I am a retired corporate executive who has spent the past two years meeting with groups and individuals in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties to understand what needs to be done to improve the lives of our citizens. I am here to listen and to serve.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?
I am running because the people of this district need and deserve to have a representative in the U.S. Congress that is committed to fight for their needs and not just to defend the Party line.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT VOTE FOR YOU?
I have not taken a penny from corporations, PACS or special interest groups. I owe no one, and am the only candidate who will fight for the progressive agenda that the vast majority of our citizens want.
WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE JOB?
I have worked for everything I have gotten in my life. I put myself through college working nights at the Post Office. I come from a middle class family with two working parents. I raised a family, built my first house and understand the value of hard work. I have also been an educator and corporate executive. I spent almost 10 years working with government agencies in the DC area as the President of a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. I know how the government works.
WHAT'S THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE FACING YOUR DISTRICT RIGHT NOW, AND HOW WOULD YOU SOLVE IT?
Aside from the lack of medical and mental health services, the number one issue is the growing cost of housing and the resulting rise of houselessness. One area of grave concern is seniors living on fixed income where increases in rent have caused them to decide between food, medicine or staying in their home. I am planning to introduce a bill in Congress that would limit rent increases for people living primarily on Social Security or Disability to the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). This will at least help the most vulnerable to stay in their existing homes.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
I am not controlled by the party leadership. I am not a millionaire who has taken millions in campaign contributions from Corporations and PACs. I come to this election with a progressive mission, to fight for universal healthcare, for free college tuition to all state funded colleges, to revitalize vocational and technical education to create the clean energy jobs of the future, and to preserve and expand social security.
MR. KOLLER'S POSITION ON SOME MEASURES ON THE 2018 OREGON BALLOT:
- REMOVING OREGON'S SANCTUARY STATE STATUS:
This provision must remain intact to prevent the discrimination and racial profiling of members of our society that are being promoted by our current President.
- THE PROPOSED CONSTITUIONAL BAN ON STATE FUNDING OF ABORTIONS:
I agree with the statement from the coalition, named “No Cuts to Care. “The individuals behind this proposed measure are out of step with Oregon voters, who strongly believe each of us should have access to the full range of reproductive health care,”
- THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL BAN ON GROCERY TAXES:
Although most people would agree that taxing basic necessities like milk and eggs would hurt the most vulnerable, I think it’s very important that we talk about how this is very misleading. If passed the measure could extend far beyond the grocery aisles into restaurant booths, theater seats and Oregon’s can and bottle redemption centers. It could affect an assessment on hospital revenues voters enshrined in January and could even impact how much the state can collect to repair roads and highways. We have never taxed basic food and as such this is an unnecessary and potentially disastrous amendment that should be opposed.
DO YOU THINK MEMEBERS OF CONGRESS ARE LIVING UP TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES RIGHT NOW?
Absolutely NOT. The vast majority of Americans want Healthcare to be provided as a human right. We need to get the insurance companies out of control of our healthcare. We hear occasional statements of support but nothing is being done. We have a congress that has given the President Billions of dollars to expand his unnecessary, hateful and wastful wall. The Congress just gave the President millions of dollars to hold a military parade to glorify his ego and perpetuate his fascist leanings. We have a congress that is controlled by billionaires, lobbyists and large corporations. This is not the congress that we the people need.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO HELP INCREASE BIPARTISANSHIP IN CONGRESS?
By electing Independent voices in Congress, we can exert real power to change the process. I have committed to become a member of the Progressive Caucus, this is a group that will have the power to sway votes, as the two major parties line up to follow the commands of their party leadership
WHAT CONCERNS YOU THE MOST ABOUT THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE?
The complete control that the two parties have on their elected members makes it impossible to pass any meaningful legislation. This control prevents any limits on the expansion of our military, it prevents passage of any meaningful environmental legislation, it prevents universal healthcare from becoming a reality and it stops any legislation that preserves social security, Medicare and Medicaid.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST IN POLITICS?
WHAT QUESTION DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD ASK YOU, AND WHY?
Why should I vote for you? We have a loyal Democrat, isn’t that all we need? The answer is powerful. By electing a committed progressive over an “unbeatable Democrat”, It would make it undeniable that the progressive voices of the people are more important than simply voting for a D or a R.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Make sure you put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN OREGON?
Forest Park. A wonderful place in a wonderful city.
IN THE CIVIL WAR FOOTBALL GAME, WHO DO YOU ROOT FOR?
I’m a Beaver Fan.