I just had a neat opportunity to get to know Sam Meas over breakfast and coffee at the Owl Diner. Mr. Meas is a Haverhill-based Republican who is running for a seat here in the 5th Congressional District election in 2010.
We spoke about a wide range of policy topics, to include: his detailed plan for a forgiveness period for undocumented immigrants, which would be followed by heightened border security/restrictions as well as tougher laws against employers of undocumented immigrants and crackdowns against visa overstays; his plan to create stronger incentives for prospective nurses and doctors to work for VA hospitals (it's basically a modified, civilianized ROTC-type program); party identity and the dangers created by a lack of viable opposition; and the need for greater political participation from within the Khmer community.
As an unenrolled voter, I want to emphasize that at no point did Mr. Meas blame either party for any of the nation or the state's ills; however, he is very passionate about the problem created by a one-party system in which party leaders and insiders decide who will run for offices, and then the voters lack real power to determine the outcome.
Mr. Meas, the first Cambodian-American Congressional candidate in U.S. history, also spoke about his twin goals of "education and engagement" for segments of the population that are currently not represented in local government.
This link will take you to his website, which will soon be revamped to include more detailed policy information.