Personal Interview with Livingston Resident and Congressional Candidate, Mark Dunec

Credits: Photo courtesy of Mark Dunec
Mark Dunec with Essex County Freeholder Pat Sebold Credits: Photo courtesy of Mark Dunec

LIVINGSTON, NJ - I, Cheryl O’Brien, recently interviewed Livingston Resident Mark Dunec who is running for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. Dunec (Democrat) has an MBA in Finance and works on Wall Street as a professional problem-solver.

Q: I see from your campaign that you are focusing on small business growth. What do you plan to do to help out the small businesses, and how will this improve the U.S. economy?

A: The three steps necessary for the growth of the economy are to eliminate corporate taxation, mandate earnings distributions, and tax that at 40 percent. It is all about job growth and getting people back to work. One thing the Democratic Party is missing is a numbers person. My goal is to work in the House Budget committee as I am the Democratic numbers person and that is what our country needs.

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Q: How is lower corporate taxation going to improve our national deficit?

A: Lowering or eliminating corporate taxation will bring manufacturing back to the U.S., pose an incentive to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and if there is no corporate tax there is nothing to manipulate.


Q: What projects are you focusing on to improve transportation?

A: I believe public-private partnerships are the answer. Our overall infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, and this is an area where public-private partnerships can be used. The Federal and State government pays, and the programs are run by the private sector.


Q: What is your stance on health care? Do you support public-private partnerships in this area?

A: Health care is a right, not a privilege. I am calling for a single-payer system, paid for by the government and run by a private company. On a fiscal level, all administrative costs will be cut by a minimum of 20 percent. This will stimulate the economy through entrepreneurship and innovation. Our creative thinkers will not start a small business because they don’t have health insurance and cannot afford it. Currently, we are paying the most and not getting a good return on our investment. I also believe in personal responsibility coupled with the single payer system. People need to live healthy lifestyles.


Q: Are any changes going to be made to education-related funding, and will this be at the local or state level? Also, are you calling for public schools or charter schools?

A: I am running at the Federal level and am calling to bring back federal funding to the district and state. I am for early childhood education and funding for children with special needs. I am 100 percent for the public school system. Teachers should not be the first line of defense, the conversation and example starts at home. There needs to be a partnership between family, community and educators.


Q: I see from your campaign that you propose the National Community Service Plan. Can you provide more details on this?

A: I propose this plan for students out of high school to volunteer their time to the government and community for a year or two and then receive help for schooling from the government. This will be an opportunity for students to grow, develop a leadership skill set and work with different people.

Q: What other social and economic issues are you focusing on in your campaign?

A: I am running to make a difference. Gay’s rights, women’s rights, and minority’s rights – that is why I am a democrat. We need to have equality and human decency. I support affirmative action for veterans. I propose a plan to provide employers with an incentive to hire veterans by reducing the employer FICA tax from 6.2 percent to 5 percent for two years for every new veteran hire.

I also propose a two-tiered minimum wage: one for high school and college students, an apprentice wage, and one for everybody else. This is how we will get people out of poverty. Regarding immigration reform, I support granting undocumented workers who have been in this country for a reasonable length of time permanent residency for life, and allow their children the path to citizenship. I also propose pegging the student loan interest rate to the Federal Reserve rate.


Q: I see from your campaign that you support green energy. How can people promote a move towards this?

A: Recycle and compost as much as possible. We need to be disciplined in terms of recycling and make it as easy as possible so people will do it. I am against fracking. We have one earth; we need to keep it as clean as possible.


Q: What qualities do you possess that make you a desirable candidate?

A: I have the education, skill set, experience and personal character to solve problems and figure out solutions to our country’s problems. I am here to talk about options and have a discussion as a nation. I am for a collaborative approach. I think critically, and I believe our problems are solvable.


For more information on Dunec’s campaign, click here.

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