A sly disposition matched with hubris; mixing talk of nuclear energy technology with stop and frisk. Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) is the sort of guy who can arrest your attention by crossing oceans of topics, and he wants to take that ubiquity to Congress in a run for the open 6th Congressional seat.
To say Halloran’s reputation precedes him is an understatement. The councilman has had public run-ins with every major power broker at the City level and a whole host of agency and community figureheads who have managed to draw his ire. He brings the same principled hubris to his Congressional candidacy. Halloran is a bit more casual about it.
“I have consistently been a voice for reform and transparency,” he said in an interview at the Queens Chronicle’s office.
Halloran was first elected to the City Council in 2009, after now-state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) departure. His pre-political career includes stints as an NYPD officer, prosecutor and defense attorney.
The councilman considers his tenure in office a success so far, pointing to being ranked No. 1 in the council for constituent services every year since he was elected. Halloran has also brought back more discretionary funds than his predecessor, which he lists openly online as a nod toward his penchant for transparency. He also championed various causes that go part and parcel with being a councilman (ie: the Auburndale rezoning).
But making sure out-of-character houses aren’t built on a neighborhood block is a far cry from tackling a capitol that has, according to many, become a morass of legislative obstruction.
Halloran’s answer? A four-point good government plan made up of consitutional amendments, which would require passage by two-thirds of both the House and Senate before as well as approval by three-quarters of all states.
His proposal boils down to tackling the deficit, setting term limits, enacting campaign finance reform and declaring an official language.
The balanced budget portion would call for spending to equal revenue within five years, wiping out the much-ballyhooed deficit.
His plan would set term limits for all members of Congress — four six-year terms for the Senate, and four four-year terms for the House. Halloran has pledged he will not serve more than four terms if he goes to Congress, to set an example.
“This way, you’re not running for office the second you walk into office,” he said. “The more you’re in politics, the more corrupt you are. I don’t care if you’re the best person on the planet. You make deals, the line becomes blurry.”
For campaign finance reform, Halloran hopes to limit campaign contributions in monetary and material form to the current $2,500 amount for individuals.
Possibly the most contentious proposal — making English the official U.S. language — is posited as a common sense measure that will streamline the way government interacts with its citizens, especially at the voting booth, while uniting the country.
“There is no other nation in the world that lets you vote in more than one language,” Halloran said. “I want a melting pot and not a mosaic.”
The councilman also has a three-tiered tax plan: 5 percent for everyone earning up to $50,000; 10 percent for anyone making between $50,000 and $500,000; and 15 percent for the rest. All write-off’s would be eliminated save education and mortgage deductions.
Halloran’s plan also calls for lowering the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent while eliminating all deductions that aren’t geared towards capital expenditures for U.S. operations and employee increases.
It should be noted Halloran has refused to sign Grover Norquist’s pledge to never increase taxes.
Halloran also showed a steadfast “originalist” streak when decrying the Supreme Court’s recent Obamacare ruling, which verified the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul. The Constitution and founding documents should be the sole source of guidance for the Supreme Court, Halloran asserted.
“The Declaration of Independence […] means something when it says we have certain inalienable rights,” he said when talking about his legal philosophy. “It seems to me that we’ve often forgotten that these aren’t rights given to me by a government; they’re rights that existed by my condition as a human being.”
Halloran, always adverse to labels, is a steadfast hawk on foreign policy matters. Iran has a nuclear weapon? “Give the green light to Israel to do whatever it wants,” he said, and warn Iran’s regime there is a price to pay for crossing the line.
“Flatten it and turn it into a parking lot,” he said.