Republican Anna Little is running in New Jersey’s sixth congressional district against Democratic incumbent Frank Pallone. If that sounds familiar, it is. Little waged a campaign against Pallone in 2010 but fell short. She told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider she has a good chance to defeat Pallone this time around. She also discussed the Tea Party movement, health care reform and turning the state from blue to red.
Little said she made history during her run for Congress in 2010. “We came the closest in 24 years to defeating Frank Pallone,” she said. “We think we’ve got a great foundation and we want to pick up where we left off.”
She said Pallone isn’t listening to his constituents and that’s why she’s had success. Her main campaign issues are jobs, the economy and taxes, though she said she will also be discussing health care reform. “Our constituents do not want that health care law and they’ve asked Pallone not to vote for it,” Little said. “He’s voting for it.”
New Jersey has tended to be liberal, but Little said she believes the grassroots level tends to be more conservative. “We believe strongly that we’re really red at the grassroots and as people rise up and begin to stir the pot by knocking on doors that those at the grassroots level are going to rise to the level of elected or appointed officials and we’re certainly going to bleed through up through the top,” she said. “So we’re at the least purple and could very well end up being a red state when we’re done.”
While Little said health care needs to be changed in the U.S., she doesn’t agree with the current health care reform efforts. “The system is employer driven primarily. The providers are the employers. So when you have a bad economy and people are losing their jobs, they do have a problem getting health care insurance,” she said. “It’s not the access to health care that’s the problem. It’s the insurance policies that are difficult to obtain.”
Little said she is a free market proponent and believes if insurance companies were allowed to tailor their policies more to the demands of policyholders it would be beneficial. She said while she’s not always against regulation, she believes over-regulation exists. “I think by reducing the over-regulation we can get to a balance where the industry or the economy can actually balance and function fairly well,” she said.
Members of the Tea Party have supported Little in the past. She said she thinks the Tea Party is “wonderful,” although she stressed she is running as a Republican in November. “I don’t think the mainstream media gives the Tea Party a fair shake. Tea is an acronym — taxed enough already. I think almost every American citizen feels like they’re overtaxed and that taxes are in the way of feeding their family,” Little said. “And I know that employers and job providers feel that taxes are the reason that they’re not offering jobs right now. So I think that it’s really a terrific movement.”
Little said, “I do believe when the grassroots rise up and they participate fully in their government, we get the pure operation of a representative democracy, which is the form of government that we have. Without the participation of the average citizen in that form of government, it doesn’t function properly.”
She said she believes by rising up, those involved in grassroots movements are doing their jobs as citizens. “I think our founding fathers would be proud of that,” she said. “I think they fought to give us that opportunity and I think that the United States Constitution requires it.”