The Wave Questionaire


Karen M. Hartley-Nagle
2006 Independent Democratic “Fusion” Candidate for U.S. Congress

Family, education, background, organizations involved with.  2006 Independent and Democratic Congressional "Fusion" Candidate Karen M. Hartley-Nagle, a resident of Dover, Delaware, was born August 18, 1962 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Hartley-Nagle is a single mother of one son and three daughters; 16, 10, 9 and 7.  She attended Moore College of Art, Delaware Technical and Community College and Wilmington College for; art and design, human services and elementary education.  She is Executive Director of The Nagle Foundation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting children’s rights and decreasing child abuse, neglect and family violence in society.  Her political experience includes a run for Delaware State Senate, District 17 as an Independent Party of Delaware's Candidate in 2004.  Ms. Hartley-Nagle is active nationally and in our statewide community.  She is frequently at Legislative Hall lobbying on behalf of children and families. She is known for her strong stance against child molestation and working for legislation such as Jessica's Law, open government and accountability issues, enforcement of the Freedom of Information Act, Family Court  reform and environmental issues.  She is a board member of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, taking a leave of absence from the board of Common Cause to run for office and a member of the Dover Century Club, attends a local non-denominational church and has participated in and promotes the Study Circle on Racism and Race Relations.  Ms. Hartley-Nagle works together with other groups to promote open citizen public forums for important issues and led a lawsuit against the State featuring open government where for the first time in Delaware history the press was permitted to bring video cameras into the Chancery Court.  Ms. Hartley-Nagle participated in the national PBS documentary “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories, was presented with an award for her national work at the Third Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference in New York and was featured in a recently published e-book by the California National Organization for Woman.

If elected, how much time would you have to devote to your position?  I will be devoting as much of my  time as is humanly possible representing the people of the state of Delaware.  I consider serving as your U.S. House Representative in Washington an honor and a privilege and YOU deserve my  full time, attention and commitment to representing your interests not special interests.  I am a candidate that is young, energetic, caring, focused and passionate about the issues that affect and are important to the people.  I have found that politics is frustrating, imperfect, and often full of short-sightedness.  Yet, democracy and becoming involved is still our best hope for solving our problems together.  It’s also immensely rewarding.  Oftentimes, when people see the bad in the press they forget about how much fun it is to do public service.  Enjoying what you do is important and I have asked myself, “How would I like to feel about my life when I’m 80?” I will know that I did something that left the world better for my children and grandchildren, and gave more people the chance to have a life that they enjoyed.  Serving you in Congress is the most rewarding thing I can do and I am asking you for your vote and support.  Together, we will make a positive difference.


What's the greatest challenge you see in Congress?  The greatest challenge facing Congress is arriving in Washington on time using Amtrak and then working in a bipartisan effort for ethics reform and open and accountable government to confront the culture of corruption that exists in Washington. This culture allows lobbyists and special interests to buy access to our elected representatives. This crooked system places more value on getting re-elected than it does on serving the interests of the people.  The culture of corruption threatens the very essence of our democracy and affects Congress' ability to address important problems such as the lack of affordable health insurance, a comprehensive immigration policy and the skyrocketing cost of energy prices.  Until we reform Washington and change that culture, Congress will continue to evade working in the people’s best interest.   When elected, I intend to lead an effort to address corruption in office and change the way the peoples business is conducted.  We already know that ethics reform is essential and has taken a backseat for now.  We need to police Congress more closely and work to create an Inspector General's office, which can monitor the activities of members of Congress and their staffs, publicly post Congressional travel, and prosecute ethical and campaign finance violations.

What are your thoughts on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? What would you do if elected?  We face a longer and costlier conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan (and possibly in greater Central Asia) at the expense of domestic economic development, education, health, environment, infrastructure and quality of life if an orderly withdrawal is not achieved.  Iraq is on the brink of civil war. The situation in Afghanistan is especially dangerous as it depends upon the continued cooperation of Pakistan and the Northern Alliance, subject to sudden change. Iraq had nothing to do with the 2001 attacks and the war has been a costly distraction from the worldwide effort to combat Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.  The lives of our military people should not be recklessly squandered in pursuit of flawed foreign policy.  I support a phased pullout from Iraq within 12-18 months, the pursuance of diplomatic measures vs. increased force and amplified involvement of the United Nations.

There are multiple debates over the War on Terror. What is your point of view on this battle?  The “War on Terror" exists in complex political, economic, psychological and cultural dimensions beyond conventional military factors. The American people should not be blinded by fear and need to be especially careful in protecting their constitutional liberties, freedoms and rights in the face of government over-reaction and mismanagement.  False information and WMD that never existed have cast a shadow on the trustworthiness of the current administration.  President Bush has sprinkled speeches with factually questionable statements adding to credibility problems for the White House.  Moreover, in discussing new rules proposed for trying terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison, Bush recently said that “the United States does not torture.” Nevertheless, the CIA has approved tactics such as, “water-boarding,” in which interrogators simulate drowning.  Many military and international lawyers consider this tactic outside legal boundaries.  Also, military trials have been denied that would provide the kind of defendant rights that many military lawyers say are essential to due process, such as ensuring a defendant's right to know the evidence against him.  Denial of  such access sets a bad precedent for US military personnel if captured and tried abroad.  That being said, there is no doubt that there are those that wish us harm, there is a growing Islamist terrorist threat from cells worldwide and the people are the prize.  However, by remaining in Iraq without a target pullout date, we are inadvertently confirming claims made by our enemies that we seek to occupy Muslim lands, as we have in Iraq.  That ideology is spreading and undermining our efforts on the “war on terror” and our credibility within the international community. 

What is your vision of Homeland Security and how would you achieve it?  The sudden creation of massive bureaucracy has complicated our efforts to defend ourselves. Proper streamlining and coordination could have been more efficiently achieved by establishing appropriate inter-agency cooperation through the National Security Council and by national networking and expansion of local Sheriff's and police departments in cooperation with proper federal and state agencies.  National crime rates are rising again, local security is inadequate and federal funding is decreasing.  Homeland security efforts that do not keep us safe in our neighborhoods and homes have no real meaning to most citizens.  Building a firm foundation for people to be safe at home will ensure the homeland support we will require to continue to keep us safe from global threats.  I will also work to achieve greater security at home by fostering more opportunities for trade with those nations that we deem to be a threat.  Ordinary people working with other people and building bonds to mutually profit is the greatest deterrent to war in the world. 

Is there a need for Border Protection? What, if anything, should be done to secure the US borders?  There is a critical need for increased border protection with operational control of both the northern border with Canada, the southern border with Mexico and the nation’s ports of entry. First we will need more federal agents to patrol the borders, secure the ports of entry for people and cargo and to enforce immigration laws.  Next, we will need to fully fund HR 6061; the building of the 700 miles of two-layer fences along our southwest border.  The U.S. - Mexican border fence that passed the House and calls for the use of high tech tools to prevent illegal crossings including drone aircraft and cameras.  From its inception this legislation makes a political shell game out of the proposed physical and virtual fence intended to secure our borders for without funding – now you have it – now you don’t.  Next, we need to apply the latest technology to detect tunnels that are being used by smugglers, drug dealers, for human trafficking and to stop the possibility of a cell of al-Qaeda from emerging in the midst of one of our own cities with a nuclear weapon, or a biological agent.  Finally, we need to enforce the immigration laws and reform the catch and release program currently in use.

What are your views on illegal immigration? How would you work on this issue?  There is a need for a comprehensive immigration reform plan that takes in the human and economic factors as well as enforcing the rule of law.  First and foremost, we must strengthen our borders.  I'll work to support an increase in patrol agents on the border and invest in technologies that can make our border enforcement more efficient.  Next, we should streamline the process for people looking to immigrate legally and enforce the law regarding employers hiring illegal immigrants.  Finally, we need to reevaluate and reform NAFTA and directly target monies for Mexican small business owners and farmers.  Most illegal Mexican workers are crossing the border in a desperate attempt to ensure the survival of their families, something any one of us would do if we were presented with the same circumstances.   Investing in the Mexican people and assisting them in thriving in their homeland is essential and a less costly alternative than stepped up costs for taxpayers such as; deportation, our judicial and prison system, education, increased health and welfare costs.  The current economic costs, hardships and consequences of depressed wages and job loss for American workers as a result of illegal immigration can be reversed if the rule of law is enforced.

What are your thoughts on Energy Independence? How would you address it?  Current federal energy policy is dominated by conventional oil, coal and nuclear lobbies. We must find the political will to free the American Genius from all artificial constraints, protect the rights of inventors and invest in a wide array of sustainable alternative energy technologies, despite special interest groups in the name of long-term national security. Oil companies have given more than $190 million to members of Congress since 1990, guaranteeing an energy policy that serves the oil industry over the public interest. Until representatives stop taking oil money, progress on global warming and clean energy alternatives will be easier said than done.  Renewable and alternative energy sources, like biofuels, hybrids, solar, wind, hydrogen, tidal and wave power are ready today, but Congress's addiction to oil money is holding us back. The best way to move towards energy independence is to end oil inspired corruption in Washington. 

Healthcare is a concern for many. What can be done to address the needs for the under insured and the uninsured?  Universal health coverage is the future and best practices from other countries can be implemented.  Americans deserve quality and preventative health care.  In the wealthiest nation on earth, it is a moral outrage that approximately 46 million Americans lack health insurance and many more are underinsured.  In Delaware, The Division of Delaware Health and Social Services have cut children's Medicaid so that a child over the age of three is no longer eligible to receive services, a serious blow to single mothers and poor families.  Our elderly are feeling the impact of the “doughnut holes” in the Bush Medicare Plan.  After a patient reaches $2,250 in claims, they must start paying the entire amount until reaching $5,000.  The elderly are finding themselves responsible for the entire cost of their medicine once they reach the claim limit and there are just as many that cannot afford the cost of co-pays.  Needless deaths among the elderly and disabled are the final result.  Corporations like Chrysler and General Motors are attempting to negotiate away the rights of workers for health care.  Manufacturers like GM estimate that health care adds between $1100 to $1500 to the price of each vehicle produced in the U.S. creating strong incentives to outsource jobs to other countries.  While not affecting the rich, more of the working poor and middle class are under or uninsured and already burdening the taxpayers – let’s streamline healthcare, add preventive care that will reduce more costly health problems later on and reap the many benefits of a healthier and more productive workforce.

Beach replenishment is a major concern of coastal residents. What is your plan for maintaining the coast?  Existing beach replenishment programs are subject to accelerated sea level rise. This implies adaptive changes in management methods including, but not limited to: increased dune heights, sandbar formation and development of alternative coastal stabilization technologies beyond traditional and including sand dredging methods.  We must also reevaluate the situation in the back bays and reconsider our flood control policies statewide.