Welcome to Ask Merlin, the place where you can ask me, Merlin Froyd, questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Here is a list of the most popular questions I get asked. If you have other questions not listed here, don't hesitate to fill out the form and submit your question. Have fun, be creative, and be prepared for a response!
- Are you running as a Republican or Democrat in the primary?
- Do you support mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food and food ingredients?
- How Will You help?
- Hi Merlin! I'd like to know where you stand on human trafficking - prevention, punishment for offenders, and after care for victims. This is a HUGE problem in California that is often overlooked and understaffed, not to mention misunderstood. What do you plan to do about it?
- It has been pointed out that Americans often want more and more government services, but don't want to pay more in taxes. Of course, more government services almost always results in higher taxes. How would you address the public's want for more services but lower taxes?
- Many Latino voters have typically voted for Democrats because they have believed that the Democratic party was more pro-immigrant and friendlier to Latinos. As a compassionate conservative candidate, how would you respond to that?
- The 29th District is primarily made up of registered Democrats who have re-elected Howard Berman (a Democrat) every two years for almost 30 years. What compelling reasons can you give to voters to stop re-electing Democrats and cross party lines to vote for you? Why should a Democrat vote for a Republican?
- What are the 1 or 2 issues you feel strongly about, that are causing you to run for office?
- What Are Your Hobbies?
- What does the House of Representatives Do?
- What happens if You win?
- What is a District?
- What is your position on Foreign aid to Israel and Iran Sanctions?
- What is your solution to end freeway gridlock? What do think of the carpool lane? Monorails?
- Where do you stand on education and the governments role in it?
- Why Are You running?
- Why do You love the 29th District?
1. Are you running as a Republican or Democrat in the primary?
Thank you for your question Harry. I am running as a Republican to represent the 29th Congressional District of California.
Asked By: Harry, Sherman Oaks, CA
2. Do you support mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food and food ingredients?
Growing up in rural Minnesota, my family’s eggs and vegetables all came from our own farm. Thus, I have a natural, personal preference for organic food over GMO-based food. With that being said, I do see how GMO has hurt (battles between small vs. corporate farms, cases of animal mistreatment) and benefited (healthier crops, longer shelf life) the food industry. I have already noticed that some food companies are labeling their food with a “Non GM” type label and hope that the trend continues. I do question requiring another label for food that has been made with GMOs. This may cause a counter response, nullifying our aim, because food manufacturing companies may start, after being required to post such a label, advertising the benefits of GMOs in their products, thereby affecting public perception in a way that consumers further accept and approve of GMOs in food. Often times, laws are passed in Washington D.C. with good intentions and yet yield negative results. I think this would be one of them. On food labels, all ingredients that make up a product are already listed, such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, etc. Unfortunately, these labels go largely unread or disregarded by the general population. It is the American consumer’s responsibility to select what is most beneficial for oneself personally, while the government needs to protect us from theft, fraud, and direct harm from others. In this case, I think the government has fulfilled their requirements by inspecting these companies’ places of operation; applying strict and positive regulations on the manufacture, storage, and transportation of products; and requiring companies to list ingredients and nutrition information on all products. It is now our individual responsibility as consumers to weigh the harm, cost, and benefits of any particular product and determine what is best for our own health. As we begin affecting consumption through natural and healthy choices, as well as educating others, we can and will make a difference in what is being produced.
I will do my best to personally promote farming, manufacturing, and labeling of non-GMO ingredients and admire the efforts of others who do the same.
Asked By: Amy, Sherman Oaks, CA
3. How Will You help?
I will fight to lower taxes, so you and your family can save money for that new car, send your kids to school, go on family vacations, and save for your future. I will voice your concerns to our government, and work hard to make sure the money you pay to taxes benefits our community in the 29th District. I will also push for public education reforn that will allow teachers increased freedom in the classroom to adjust their teaching style to each individual class maximizing results.
4. Hi Merlin! I'd like to know where you stand on human trafficking - prevention, punishment for offenders, and after care for victims. This is a HUGE problem in California that is often overlooked and understaffed, not to mention misunderstood. What do you plan to do about it?
Sarah, thank you for asking this question. Human trafficking is something very few Californians and other Americans know exists. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry worldwide. It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually, and an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 victims worldwide each year. One of the first steps to fight this problem would be to help people realize it exists. There are great organizations that are already doing this, but the government can take a more active role in educating the public. Airports are important as airplanes have become the new underground railroad for trafficking people into our country. I would like to see signs in airports that bring attention to the problem and direct people to services that can educate/protect/prevent people facing this epidemic. We must also move swiftly to severely penalize anyone or any employer that exploits human beings in ways connected with trafficking, not just with fines and taxes but also possible jail time. Doing nothing violates our human responsibility to look out for our neighbor and protect the weak. It is not acceptable in this great country of ours to have people living in it under modern day slavery.
Asked By: Sarah, Los Angeles CA
5. It has been pointed out that Americans often want more and more government services, but don't want to pay more in taxes. Of course, more government services almost always results in higher taxes. How would you address the public's want for more services but lower taxes?
Ok, this is a tough one. I can understand and have at times felt myself that I need more government services. It is often easy to jump to the conclusion that if the government takes care of things, those things will be easier and better. However this is often not the case, which has been proven throughout history. Government programs such as the post office are facing hardships while the private sector companies like Fedex are doing just fine. MediCal and Social Security are other examples of programs that are facing tough times. I don't know if it's neccessary to pay more taxes; my assumption is that there is enough coming in to pay for what most Americans expect from the government. It's just that these taxes are being abused by going to special interest needs, wasteful programs that no longer benefit, etc. Before making any decision in regards to taxes I think the American people deserve to see an audit of spending in our government. Once that is done we can see what's needed in regards to more services, lower taxes, etc.
Asked By: Jon, Valley Glen, CA
6. Many Latino voters have typically voted for Democrats because they have believed that the Democratic party was more pro-immigrant and friendlier to Latinos. As a compassionate conservative candidate, how would you respond to that?
The Latino vote in my district is very important to win any election from state to local to federal. Though in recent years the Latino vote has often times sided with the Democrat party, we must remember that the Latino vote had a huge effect in getting President Bush elected in 2000. I don't think the Latino voters are limited to one party. As I continue to meet with voters in the district it becomes clear we all want the best for our families, friends, and community. I hope that neither party is less friendlier to immigrants, and will continue to work to make the process of becoming an American effective, graceful, and safe. Our country was founded on immigration, and I am overjoyed to see how proud future citizens are of their new home.
Asked By: Jon, Valley Glen, CA
7. The 29th District is primarily made up of registered Democrats who have re-elected Howard Berman (a Democrat) every two years for almost 30 years. What compelling reasons can you give to voters to stop re-electing Democrats and cross party lines to vote for you? Why should a Democrat vote for a Republican?
Thanks Jon for asking a great question! You are correct in saying that Howard Berman's been in office for almost 30 years; he began his career as a congressman in 1983. I've met many registered Democrats who not only have taken time to speak with me but also have said they will vote for me. I've been an active member of a small business that has been helping people in our district for several years now. This allows me to bring to the table a very fresh perspective to Washington of what many voters in the district are feeling with unemployment, property foreclosures, difficult financial times, etc. With my business experience as well as the things many voters have told me I can see ways that the government can be run more efficiently, effectively, and without needing to raise any fees and taxes to the public.
Asked By: Jon, Valley Glen, CA
8. What are the 1 or 2 issues you feel strongly about, that are causing you to run for office?
Hello Alan, thank you for asking this question. I really believe a strong economy will fix a lot of the problems we are having in our country. As more people get back to work we will see a rise of those insured, a lower foreclosure rate, programs funded again, etc. So very early on in the campaign the rallying cry for my campaign has been jobs, jobs, jobs. This is a large area covering such issues as the tax burden on small businesses to losing industries to other countries and all that's in between. Thank you for asking the question!
Asked By: - Alan, Cambridge, MA
9. What Are Your Hobbies?
Good question! I like to sit down and play the piano every once in awhile. I enjoy gospel, jazz, and movie soundtracks. Recently I was playing some Vince Guaraldi.
10. What does the House of Representatives Do?
Together, the House of Representatives and Senate make up our United States Congress. The House of Representatives initiates spending bills and has exclusive authority to impeach officials and choose the President in an electoral college deadlock. I will do my best to vote for bills that are fiscally conservative and vote against bills that increase wasteful spending.
11. What happens if You win?
Praise God, take my parents out to a nice dinner, and start planning a move to Washington D.C.
Asked By: Luke Gschwend, Glendale, CA
12. What is a District?
A territorial division of a state; entitled to elect one member to the United States House of Representatives to represent the people in that area. I’m running for the 29th Congressional District.
13. What is your position on Foreign aid to Israel and Iran Sanctions?
Thank you Barry for your question.
Since World War II, Israel has received the largest amount of foreign aid from the United States. It is estimated that since 1985 the United States has granted $3 billion in grants annually to Israel. Currently Egypt, Pakistan, and Jordan follow closely behind Israel as recipients of foreign aid. This is a large amount of money. We must look closely into our relations with Israel to understand such a sum. We have maintained a strong tie with Israel due to shared strategic goals, values, and historic ties dating back to when the United States had involvement with the creation of Israel in 1948. Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East and we have taken an active role in helping with peace talks and offering protection when it has been needed. Israel has been growing strong financially and now is considered on par with other industrialized nations. Some day such a large amount of U.S. aid money will not be needed by Israel, although I could not now set a timetable for its eventual end. That said, with the current increased tension in the Middle East, I see the importance of staying in partnership with Israel and supporting them in case of future times of need.
In regards to restrictions/sanctions on Iran: No one wants war, and levying sanctions is a peaceful way to put pressure on Iran's leaders to drop their nuclear plans. I do believe, however, that such pressure will only go so far. If there will ever be a real change in Iran's relationships with the rest of the world, it will require the citizens of Iran to stand up and take an active role.
Asked By: Barry, Valley Village, CA
14. What is your solution to end freeway gridlock? What do think of the carpool lane? Monorails?
A poor public transportation system throughout the city of Los Angeles is the greatest contributor to freeway gridlock. Whereas freeways are meant to provide commutes without traffic interference, this is not the case in Los Angeles, where traffic jams have become as common as celebrities going in and out of rehab. It is believed by some that adding a HOV lane (carpool) would help alleviate traffic by encouraging people to carpool. However, from what I’ve noticed in Los Angeles, very few take advantage of such a lane, leaving the majority of the population with one fewer lane to choose from. Furthermore, such a lane does not grant California drivers equal access to the publicly-funded roadway.
My opponent worked hard to get a carpool lane extended on the 405 FWY, and I can appreciate his attempt to alleviate the frustration many have; however, I believe the extra lane could have been utilized differently with better results for improving traffic conditions and giving drivers of private vehicles equal access to roadways. Instead of designating the lane as a carpool lane, we can dedicate it to buses only, such as LA Metro vehicles, LADOT Dash buses, and FlyAway shuttles. By doing so, the city would be able to increase the frequency of buses in and out of the valley and other highly congested areas, greatly improving the likelihood that people will make use of public transportation, due to its increased convenience and efficiency. Other states and countries have been exploring alternative options, such as the construction of monorails or alternate types of track transportation, in lieu of or in combination with the HOV lanes. This is a more costly option and would most likely take up more space, but is an option nonetheless and could go a long way toward improving LA’s transportation infrastructure.
I believe that the best way to end freeway gridlock is for the local cities and communities to expand their public transportation systems with better routes, more options, and shorter time intervals between pickups. This, along with the aid of bus lanes or monorail systems, would help decrease the gridlock we all experience. I do not believe that merely the addition of extra HOV lanes is the best option.
Asked By: Robert, Los Angeles, CA
15. Where do you stand on education and the governments role in it?
Great question Lisa! Thank you for asking it. I was raised in a public school (Bemidji School District) and had the great joy of being taught by some of the best teachers out there. It is my K-12 education that helped me develop into the person I am today. Our schools (Home, Public, and Charter) need to have our full backing. I am using the word "backing" instead of "influence." I was lucky to be in a small area of Minnesota where politics seemed so far away from the day to day running of our school, however many are not. One of our problems in our school districts today is that politics, government, opportunists have become the true decision makers in regards to our children's education. Instead of making decisions just in regards to infrastructure and funding, now subject matter is being influenced by Washington insiders (school outsiders). I would like to see government take a big step out of the day to day running of the schools and put that responsibility back into the hands of teachers, good teachers, the teachers who still have the number one goal of teaching a child. So to sum it up, Government's role in schools should be a small one.
Asked By: Lisa - North Hollywood
16. Why Are You running?
I see my friends unemployed, neighbors forced out of their homes, associates losing their businesses, people fleeing our state, and many losing faith and I can no longer stand back. We can do better as a country. And I'm going to work hard to help our families and communities. I want to help you! It's going to be tough, but as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
17. Why do You love the 29th District?
I've been working in the 29th District since 2003. I love that I can drive a few blocks and go for a hike, sit in a park, go shopping, and get great food! I love the culture, the history, and the people. I have had the great joy of meeting people who have called this area home for years, and I’m blessed to see their joy when they describe their memories and hopes for this great area. It's my home!
|The Gross National Debt|
With Fiscal responsibility the numbers go the opposite way.
See what Merlin has to say about Government Spending and the Economy.