A Spokane consultant said Wednesday he wants to win a seat in Congress to use the office as a bully pulpit for local change.
Don McCloskey, a certified mediator, former therapist and psychologist, is the third Democrat making plans to challenge Rep. George Nethercutt, a Republican freshman, this fall.
If he wins, McCloskey said he would use his seat as one of Eastern Washington’s two congressmen to resolve local conflicts on the economy, the environment and other issues.
“The bully pulpit aspect of the job is as important a part as writing legislation or repealing legislation,” McCloskey said. “People can hardly turn you down if you invite them to work stuff out.”
McCloskey, 58, currently works as a trainer for a group that offers seminars in gender diversity training. He also works with the COPS police station in the West Central area to help resolve neighborhood disputes.
He says he sees Congress as a chance to settle conflicts, not create them.
McCloskey says he supports balancing the federal budget, and he believes it can be done within seven years.
He would look for cuts in the military budget, particularly for offensive rather than defensive weapons, while sparing social programs.
McCloskey supports the Endangered Species Act - up to a point. “I can’t see myself necessarily defending a certain kind of moth. We have to be able to say we can live without certain species.”
But he says the federal government must be more selective in its timber policy.
“A lot of people still think they have a right to jobs, no matter what, and that resources are unlimited. There have to be some limits.”
Before starting his career as a mediator, McCloskey was a psychologist at Lakeland Village and a social service director for Head Start.
McCloskey is married with two adult children.
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