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Danny Dalton: Your Vote 2012 Candidate Profile
09/18/2012   Reported By: Tom Porter

One of the lesser-known candidates running for the U.S. Senate this November is independent Danny Dalton. The 56-year-old Bath resident is a political newcomer, and runs a family manufacturing business. But much of Dalton's working life has been spent in public service: 18 years in the military followed by 12 years working as a drug agent for the DEA, both at home and overseas in Latin America and Pakistan. Dalton also worked for three years as a private contractor in Iraq, helping track down terrorists and developing intelligence sources.

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Dalton (left) says his decision to enter politics was prompted by what he witnessed as a DEA agent and as a government contractor: "Gross mismanagement of your most important resource, which is your manpower."

He says America's wars against terror and drugs have been hindered by poor communication and lack of focus, leading to several missed opportunities to apprehend key targets. At the heart of the problem, says Dalton, is the fact that agencies like the DEA and the FBI are motivated by political considerations and are often reluctant to work together.

He says he tried to get that message out, but wasn't satisfied. "So in the summer of 2011, I decided that as much as I try to get this information out through different avenues, the only other way I could do it would be to address it pro-actively by running for United States Senate," he says.

Dalton says another priority would be to overhaul of the tax system, which he says is full of holes. According to his Web site, he says loopholes and other tax breaks in 2011 added up to $1.1 trillion -- almost as much as was taken in individual and corporate income tax.

His solution is to do away with corporate income tax and replace it with a single value-added tax on products, a system employed by more than 150 countries. "The reason that this is an important tax is because it allows our global, multi-national corporations to be competitive," he says.

Dalton says his tax reform agenda, along with a plan to cut wasteful spending, would provide the basis for tackling many of the financial problems facing the government at the moment, from reducing the federal deficit to fixing the projected Social Security shortfall.

"Again, it goes back to having a sound tax program -- tax reform -- that's flexible and adjustable, and that's what a sales tax allows us to do."

Dalton supports the broad aims of the president's Affordable Care Act, but feels the so-called individual mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

On energy policy, Dalton is in favor of developing domestic energy sources for domestic use, the overall aim being to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. He says he's open-minded as to whether climate change is man-made, but accepts that it's happening and must be dealt with through the implementation of clean energy policies.

On foreign policy, Dalton is a hawk and is critical of what he sees as missed opportunities to take decisive action in Afghanistan and Iran.

On social issues he could be described as a conservative / libertarian. He's against abortion but as senator would uphold existing laws. He believes civil unions to be the best solution for gay and straight couples, to ensure they have the same legal rights.

"I feel for the gay population that they want to have the same type of protections married couples have regarding finances and I think a civil union addresses that," he says.

"I was very, very impressed with Danny--I think he's one of the most honest people I've met," says former policeman Walter Reil, who runs a motel in Brunswick. Reil says he was drawn to Dalton partly by his pledge to not accept any campaign donations.

"And I've never heard of a politician that wouldn't take money, so he had a good head start there as far as I was concerned," Reil says.

Dalton's pledge not to accept money is a statement against special interest groups and lobbyists, and the influence Dalton says they can have on elected officials. But this strategy could also put him at a disadvantage, says UMaine political science professor Mark Brewer.

Lesser-known candidates such as Dalton, he says, do have the potential to attract enough votes to make an impact at the polls, but "in order to do that, first of all you have to have people know that you're running, and second of all, you need to have people know what your positions are. And I don't know that either of those is the case right now for Dalton, and if he doesn't have the money to run ads I don't how know he's going to change either of those facts on the ground."

Dalton will answer questions from our listeners Oct. 10 as a live guest on Maine Calling, as part of our Your Vote 2012 campaign coverage.

Photo courtesy Danny Dalton.




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