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Where We Vote: John Mertens
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

"Apathy is not allowed."


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49:03 minutes (23.55 MB)
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John Mertens says he’s running for senate because “apathy is not allowed.”  Mertens is a tenured professor of Engineering at Trinity College. He says he’s got no interest in being a career politician, but that the two party system in American politics is broken. Mertens is chair of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, a party now populated by Lieberman’s most outspoken critics. He’ll run on the Connecticut for Liebmerman party ticket, but he’s also seeking endorsements from the Greens, the Libertarians, and the Independents. Not a Democrat or Rebublican, Mertens says he’s a “problem solver.”

Today, Where We Live, We continue our “Where We Vote” series today, if you’ve got questions for senate candidate John Mertens, you can join the conversation!  Leave your questions and comments below.

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John Mertens

On today's "Where We Live" segment, Senatorial Candidate Dr John Mertens was the show's guest.  While Dr Mertens made some great points in his quest for the U.S. Senate Seat, his performance on the radio clearly demonstrated that he has a way to go to achieve what is needed to be a U.S. Senator.

First of all, Dr Mertens was all over the place in his answers to John Dankosky's questions.  Before Dr Mertens could complete one answer, he was bringing up another subject and then another subject, and then another one.  It was hard to listen to the show and he made the listener want a definitive answer to just one question.  The indicators are that Dr Mertens may suffer from Adult ADD.

Secondly, Dr Mertens has not studied the functions and operations of the U.S. Senate very well.  He made a comment regarding Senator Bayh having resigned from the Senate.  Senator Bayh announced on February 15, 2010 that he would not seek "reelection" later this year.  There is a big difference between resignation and not running for reelection.  Dr Mertens should have had his facts straight.

Thirdly, he made a comment during the broadcast that being a Senator is not his "Dream Job."  We as citizens should not elect anyone who does not have the drive and the determination to serve in the job.  It is hard, demanding, and requires long hours.  If this is not his dream job, then why should we consider electing him? 

And lastly, Dr Mertens indicated that there are times when you need to jump on the desk to get people's attention.  Jumping on the desk is not leadership.  Leadership is convincing people to do something that they normally would not do.  Leadership is seeking compromise.  Getting someone's attention just because I am a Senator does not work.  We have already seen this from our current Senators.

Again, I am sure that Dr Mertens has some great qualities, but he lacks the ability to clearly articulate it and he does not comprehend what it means to be a leader.

Bill, you are being very

Bill, you are being very (unfairly) selective in what you have chosen to extract from what Mr. Mertens had to say. For example, he was responding to a caller who was strongly criticizing republicans when he said that name calling is not a good idea, and that while sometimes one needs to jump up and down (no mention of a desk), other times one must educate members of a committee and build a coalition. Also, when he said being a senator was not his dream job, it was because he said he knew he would find the job frustrating, but he would work incredibly hard for us, the people, every day. Sounds good to me. Most senators seem to love being a fat cat, privileged senator. I don't want politicians who think being in congress as a dream job, I want them to be public servants.

In regards to your first question, I heard him say "Yes" or "I do" in immediate response to many controversial questions. I found his frankness refreshing.

Corporations as persons

One of the last callers on this morning's show with John Mertens made the point that the Supreme Court never said in the 1886 case of Santa Clara Country v. Union Pacific Railroad that corporations are persons within the meaning of the constitution.  Here's what the court said:

The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I would be interested in hearing what distinction the caller was making.