This article continues a series of articles where we ask five questions of candidates running for federal office in the 2020 election cycle in Alabama.
John Castorani has an extremely diverse background. He is a lifelong resident of Alabama’s First Congressional District, leaving only for his service in the United States Intelligence Community from 2011 to 2019. John grew up with his single mother and sister in Fairhope, Alabama. The exposure to the many various cultures, languages, ethnicity and beliefs from his time spent abroad has enabled him to achieve success in all aspects of his life. From his time in the military to his operations in the Intelligence Community and his life, John truly gets along with all people.
With your experience in the military and intelligence, if elected to the House of Representatives you may be asked to vote on authorization of use of force. What benchmarks and questions will you ask yourself that will have to be answered when determining if you will vote to authorize you to force or not?
This question is far to difficult to answer in a short because there are so many factors that go into authorizing Use of Force. I understand that with my background it would be easy to assume that I would be eager to authorize force if I am elected. However, this could not be further from the truth, I bring a very unique skillset to a congressional race in that I am an expert when it comes to using all forms of intelligence in order to target individuals or locations, whether it’s examining FISA derived Signals Intelligence, a clandestine source network that is highly compartmentalized or satellite collected imagery; I have experience with all of those, something the other candidates do not have. I would examine the intelligence presented and because of my unique background, Alabama’s First Congressional District and the entire country should rest assured that I will make the appropriate choice in order to keep us all safe at both home and abroad and this is something no other candidate here in Southwest Alabama can claim.
Deficit spending continues to increase in Washington. So much so that our debt now equals or exceeds 100% of the GDP of the United States. What areas of the budget do you believe we can cut to reduce spending, and what spending cuts or revenue increases would you advocate for if elected to the House of Representatives?
Another great question, David. Unfortunately, we are soon to be at a crossroads as a nation, where we can no longer sustain our entitlements, yet Congress can’t easily cut entitlements either in sake of curbing our debt and passing an actual budget. We are currently climbing the $20 Trillion ladder with such ease and grace it should make most Americans sick. I think the reasonable thing to do is to examine removing the cap on Social Security, which right now in 2020 is $137,700 – what this means is after you earn $137,700 in a calendar year you no longer pay into social security for the remainder of that calendar year. I was one of the individuals who earned over the social security cap because of how often I deployed. However, I personally know that I will not ever rely on Social Security for my retirement and it would be within the greater good of the nation if we at the very least raise the cap but also educate Americans that Social Security should not be their only retirement asset, educate them on IRAs, money market savings accounts, etc.
If elected to the House of Representatives, you will probably have to work to help solve the emerging health care crisis in this country. What ideas can you bring to the table to help Make health care more affordable and increase access to the healthcare system?
This is something that I am extremely passionate about, my campaign and I have proposals for a Tricare reform, Tricare is the primary health coverage for service members serving our wonderful country. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for rolling our armed services into the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) which already has over 9 million Federal Employees in their portal, adding around 2 million more service members and their families who mind you are typically healthy would help drive prices down for our public servants and service members. Furthermore, adding in the service members would allow them to participate in Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) which can be transferred with the service member after separating from service, I along with experts at the Heritage Foundation believe this would allow for a taxpayer friendly solution to the long list of problems at the VA. Moreover, if we make health insurance more competitive, I firmly believe we can curb the prices. Why is it that when you live in Alabama you can only have Alabama Blue Cross and Blue Shield? Alabama is one of five states with only one health insurance provider, it’s essentially a monopoly thanks to the Affordable Care Act. However, the Affordable Care Act gets one thing right and that is the pre-existing conditions, I will not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a competent replacement that continues mandating coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Mobile’s sister City relationship with Havana Cuba is severely limited by the United States embargo on Cuba. Do you support continuing the embargo or not? Why or why not?
Cuba was a haven for Soviet aggressors during the cold war and subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis. Since then Cuba has routinely allowed our adversaries haven and the ability to collect intelligence on our country over the last six decades. I would need to look at the intelligence and form a more educated answer to this, but it does seem a bit archaic, Alabama loves to be archaic, so I am sympathetic to that.
Do you support the impeachment of President Donald Trump and the process used so far to do so?
I support the impeachment of President Trump only because it makes the Democrats look far more desperate the party, especially after winning back the house in 2018, I expected more from an elite political party in our country. However, the justification for an impeachment is actually there, the President did some things that could be viewed as less-than-appealing but we’re now establishing the precedent that our President’s conversations with other world leaders , which are typically conducted in confidence are now no longer confident. This terrifies me deeply. Another issue that I take to this is President Trump should have taken the invite with his legal counsel to the House of Representatives hearings and President Trump should have the ability to call witnesses during a Senate trial, both sides should have that ability. I for one do not think that we will ever see a fair trial, from either political party. This is hyper partisan politicking at its finest, one side proclaims it’s a which-hunt while the other side comes out with new information weekly proclaiming that “this is the big one now, they’re done for”. In reality, it make us look like a country led by petulant children who didn’t get access to their trust fund on their sixteenth birthday – My advice, please turn off the news and quit giving both parties what they truly want, division. I want unity and real change from Congress, the type of change that sets us up for success like passing a new trade deal when it hits your desk and not a few months later, but I digress, this is why I ran for Congress; America needs fresh blood without party allegiance, someone who is a patriot that puts countrymen before party.