An Interview with New York City Councilman Dan Halloran
By: Fern Sidman
Attempting to wage a campaign for a congressional seat as a Republican and Libertarian in a solid blue state can be a daunting challenge for anyone, but it appears that an intrepid GOP star is on the horizon for voters in the newly districted 6th congressional district in Queens. Enter Dan Halloran, a 40-year old resident of Northeast Queens who was elected to represent the residents of College Point, Auburndale-Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston and Little Neck in 2009 as a member of the New York City Council in the 19th district.
Having been raised in a “traditional Irish household,” opting to enter the political arena came quite naturally to Halloran. Since the 1800s his family has dedicated themselves to public service and Halloran represents the fifth generation of those who continue to do so. He is especially proud of the fact that many in his family have been New York City police officers and firefighters.
After earning his law degree from St. John’s University, Halloran worked as a prosecutor in several District Attorneys’ offices before entering private practice as a lawyer in a firm with offices in Queens and Long Island. He has been of counsel to the New York City Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (PBA), worked on the Felony Panel of the 18B Assigned Counsel Plan of New York City and is a Court Designated Referee in the Queens Supreme Court.
Never one to demure from expressing his views on the hot button issues of this year’s election season, Mr. Halloran takes issue with the Obama administration on a variety of fronts. Pertaining to President Obama’s Middle Eastern foreign policy trajectory, Halloran does not equivocate as he vocalizes his staunch opposition. “I am both gravely concerned and incensed that our president has repeatedly apologized for the role of the United States in terms of the relationship with Muslim countries. He behaves as if we are responsible for the animus that the Arab world has for the US and the entire Western world,” declares Halloran.
“President Obama supported the “Arab Spring”; was instrumental in the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and was directly involved along with NATO forces to in the downfall of Libya’s Gaddafi. It is clear to me that we’re now paying the price as we’ve witnessed the insidious rise of Islamic radicalism in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This point really hit home when on September 11th of this year, the world stood in shock and horror as the results of the heinous murder of Ambassador Stevens and other courageous Americans in Benghazi flashed before us on our television screens,” he ruefully observed.
On a personal note, Halloran adds, “I lost my cousin, FDNY Lt. Vincent Halloran, in the Towers on 9/11. Like all New Yorkers, I will never forget. When I am in Congress, I will prioritize our national defense.”
Commenting on the rapidly declining state of affairs between Israel and the United States, Halloran is quick to point out that President Obama’s recent refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the escalating Iranian nuclear arms program is just the tip of the iceberg. “The fact that President Obama was too busy campaigning and appearing on talk shows and couldn’t make enough time to meet with the Israeli prime minister to discuss placing “red lines” on the Iranian nuclear enrichment program speaks volumes.”
Halloran says that this subject “deserves the highest degree of gravitas as a nuclear powered Iran imperils not only Israel but the US as well.” While maintaining that US military intervention “is always a final option,” he insists that “it must remain on the table.” He adds that, “By not agreeing to meet with Mr. Netanyahu, the President is extending his tacit approval to Iran to keep those centrifuges spinning.”
Rallying behind the traditionally strong bonds between the US and Israel, Halloran says. “Israel is the closest friend and the most loyal ally that the United States has. It is a true beacon of freedom and is a shining paradigm of our shared democratic values. Placing daylight between our two countries, as President Obama has, displays a callous indifference to our national security,” intoned Halloran.
Clearly troubled by the trajectory the Obama administration has taken on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Halloran says, “President Obama has consistently attempted to define the terms of peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on the suicidal 1967 borders. He continues to spew forth the patently false and ridiculous notion that 350,000 Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria are the obstacle to peace in that region.”
He insists that “this kind of mendacity must be challenged in Congress” and promises his constituents that if elected to congress, he “would be on the floor of the House of Representatives telling the President that rather than compelling Israel to cease building legitimate housing units for their citizens in East Jerusalem, he should be pressuring the Palestinians to publicly recognize Israel as the one and only Jewish state. Rather than sending economic aid to the Hamas led Palestinian Authority in what is called the West Bank and Gaza, the President should be moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and should declare to the world that the US gives full recognition to Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish state.”
As domestic issues continue to dominate the agenda in this year’s election season, Halloran shares the despair and mistrust that resonate amongst middle class Americans. “For the last 43 months, the unemployment rate has been over 8 percent and that is totally unacceptable. We’re in the grips of the greatest job crisis since the Great Depression. And President Obama and the Democrats have failed miserably at creating jobs and getting our economy back on its feet.” Halloran adds that, “One-third of the automobile industry jobs are being shipped overseas. Property values are still down while bureaucratic red tape, massive government regulations, taxes and fines continue to increase. I’m a former small business owner and I know that small businesses are the engine that drives our economy.”
Halloran says that the small business owner is being strangled by taxes on the federal, state and local levels and their plight is growing increasingly worse as they are being backed against the wall with the impending exorbitant costs of ObamaCare, which will force them to cut jobs. “I know what it takes to get people back to work,” says Halloran. “We need to cut taxes on middle-class people and we need to flatten out the tax code and implement a tier structure. We must dramatically reduce federal regulations that make it so difficult to start a business and make payroll. In Washington, I will fight for the small business owners and job creators by cutting taxes and fees, balancing our budget and promoting the pro-growth policies that made America the world’s leading economy.”
Halloran also takes on the conundrum of healthcare reform as he says, “Despite the ruling of the US Supreme Court, I still believe that ObamaCare is unconstitutional as it violates the commerce clause of the constitution. It is a stunning expanse of government into the most personal life decisions made by Americans and a step toward socialized medicine.”
With palpable emotion in his voice, Halloran says, “Medicare is being raided to the tune of 716 billion dollars. While comprehensive healthcare reform is needed, we don’t need to declare war on our seniors by taking this money from Medicare to pay for the out of control spending that ObamaCare will demand. Just bear in mind that in order to pay for his healthcare plan, the President has raised taxes by $500 billion on middle-class families.”
As a firm believer that Americans need “freedom in their choice of health providers,” Halloran says that the free market will ensure that costs are kept down while research and development can flourish. “Our health care system isn’t perfect,” says Halloran but it is “the envy of the world.”
Sounding a clarion call on the “growing dependence on government,” Halloran says that government’s role as a safety net should continue for those who are in need, but it should never be interpreted as a replacement for economic stability, American ingenuity and hard work.”