John Laesch is campaigning for Congress in the 14th District of Illinois.
Laesch, a former military intelligence analyst, previously ran for the 14th District seat in 2006 but was defeated by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Hastert has since announced his retirement and does not plan to run for Congress in 2008.
“You’ll hear me talk consistently about the importance of three things,” Laesch said. “Those things are the war in Iraq, the importance of health care and the economy.”
Laesch has one eye firmly fixed on international affairs.
“One of the biggest reasons why I’m running is the war in Iraq; there’s no real plan to get out or to win the peace,” Laesch said. “The primary reason we’re involved is because of oil, only to occupy. Bush wants his friends to monopolize the region, that’s his goal.”
The lack of military experience in today’s political leaders is something Laesch, who served in the Middle East, sees as an advantage for himself.
“Basically, we’ve got a bunch of lawyers making decisions they know nothing about,” Laesch said. “We need someone in there who knows the situation and the region we’re dealing with.”
Laesch has a personal tie to the current war in Iraq.
“My brother received his orders to go to Iraq in 2005 and was there for the end of 2005 and most of 2006,” Laesch said. “When he went overseas, that’s when I decided I was running.”
“I want to get every American soldier and private contractor out of Iraq,” Laesch said. “We could do that in two to three months successfully. The problem is, Congress doesn’t have the power to do this directly. But I can vote to cut the war funding and basically twist the president’s arm behind his back, forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to.”
Laesch also emphasizes health care and economy, hoping to bring better coverage and more jobs to citizens.
“We’ve got families working two to three jobs just to get by sometimes. They can’t afford to pay health insurance,” Laesch said. “What I’m working toward is a single-payer national health care plan, which essentially means people will get medication and coverage for free. Basically, everyone would have open medicare from birth to death, instead of only having access to it once they are 65.”
Laesch has outlined an environmentally conscious plan which will create new jobs.
“I would adopt a new environmental energy policy, involving the production of hybrid cars, a high-speed continental railroad and environmental home remodeling,” Laesch said. “All three of these things will create jobs.”
“The trade deficit is ridiculous – something like $702 billion, it’s a problem that has to be addressed. We need to fix the trade imbalance, so we’re producing things in America again,” Laesch said.