The Examiner

Challenger Day Ready to Tackle Big Challenges for 17th C.D. District

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Chris Day
Chris Day

This year’s race for the 17th Congressional District seat may be Chris Day’s first candidacy for public office, but he’s no political neophyte.

Last fall he managed the successful race waged by his father, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, and was planning to do the same for a would-be candidate who was set to take on longtime Rep. Nita Lowey this November.

However, that candidate dropped out early this year and the district’s Republicans turned to Day to represent the party. The 29-year-old Yale graduate and former U.S Army Infantry officer, who served two months in Iraq and a year in Afghanistan, was ready to focus on his five-year-old son and career at a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in Israeli tech startups.

But when presented with the opportunity to run, Day jumped in. He said the lack of compromise on Capitol Hill that sees a polarization between Democrats and Republicans has prevented the country from addressing its most serious problems.

“I felt the challenges we are facing as a country are enormous and I’m not really seeing people being focused on them and trying to bring people together and tackle it,” said Day, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. “My concerns are that (my son) and kids of his generation are not going to have the opportunity that I had so I decided to run.”

Issues that have been ignored are real solutions for the economy, which hasn’t responded well since the Great Recession despite gains on Wall Street; corporate taxation that doesn’t benefit individuals or businesses; a broken immigration policy; and foreign policy that is “rudderless.”

Regarding the economy, Day wants to see a simplification of the corporate tax       code and to close the loopholes that sees Fortune 500 companies typically pay about 12 percent taxes on company profits while small businesses are paying close to 35 percent.

Day said his plan would call for companies that meet certain criteria for employee pay, executive compensation and outsourced and overseas production receive a 13 percent tax rate. Those companies that don’t meet the standards would continue to pay the current 35 percent rate.

By providing companies with an incentive to pay better salaries and limiting outsourcing to foreign countries, that would address income inequality and get more people off federal programs such as food stamps.

“It will pull people up with their salaries and using the market to do it,” Day said. “It also helps create jobs in America.”

He supports term limits and a balanced budget amendment, calling the national debt an economic and national security threat.

Day is a supporter of Gen. Martin Dempsey’s recommendation to put 15,000 troops into Iraq to head off the growing threat from ISIS. He criticized the administration and Lowey for its slow action to provide support to its growing threat in Iraq.

“You can’t expect the American infantry, much less the Iraqi infantry, to hold their own without any airpower against a motivated, intensive fighting force,” Day said. “It just doesn’t work that way in combat.”

Despite Lowey’s pro-Israel history, Day criticized her and the administration for cutting off commercial flights to Tel Aviv but not to and from nations impacted by the Ebola virus, which should have been done already.

The lack of urgency in Washington manifests itself in the immigration debate. Day said that the absence of a coherent immigration policy–both legal and illegal–and the inability to secure the country’s borders and ports is a matter of human safety and national security.

The country must continue to explore alternative and renewable energy sources, including replacement of the energy generated by Indian Point nuclear power plant. However, Day took issue with Lowey’s contention that the United States is now more energy independent, saying it depends far too much on foreign oil.

He also took the congresswoman to task for her inability to secure funding–not just loans–to help finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction. While she does bring money back to the district, Day pointed out that she had no legislation passed in 2013.

Day pledged to work with pragmatists on both sides of the aisle and be willing to compromise, but wouldn’t kowtow to Speaker John Boehner or the Tea Party.

“If you think America is going in the wrong direction, if you think we need a new way of getting things done, and focus on pragmatic issues and focus on 21st century approaches instead of a 20th century approach to things, new ideas, fresh ideas, independent ideas working across the aisle, then vote for me instead,” Day said.

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