AR Interviews: Mr. Ozzie deFaria, Candidate for Congress, Florida’s 20th District

Two days from now, a brand new election year will begin.  Sunday brings 2012, and by the end of this next year we may very well know whether America as we know it will survive, or whether the Mayans could have been correct after all.

Three-and-a-half years have passed–and, including the day-to-day campaigning leading up to the 2008 general election, perhaps even a full year more than that–since a great and still-growing number of everyday, common sense Americans were gradually jolted awake to what might be aptly called the “terraforming” by globalist forces of their once-proud country.  Certainly, those globalist forces are mostly represented in America by the Democratic Party, but there are plenty of fingers to be pointed at the Republican Party as well, since a significant number of the allegedly right-leaning congressional members seem to have thrown in their lots alongside the entrenched, big-government Leftist representatives a long time ago.

Of those entrenched, big-government Leftists at the heart of the Obama administration’s attempts to change America, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is about as close to the center of power as any Washington insider can possibly be. The current head of the Democratic National Committee, her views and statements have on most occasions left the vast majority of mainstream Americans–to say nothing of the people she purports to represent in South Florida–scratching their heads in bewilderment.

In her many appearances before the camera, Wasserman-Schultz has provided any and all people who disagree with her, in addition to people potentially running against her, a veritable plethora of soundbites and evidence that clearly illuminate not only her seeming inability to grasp the most basic of issues but also her true agenda as well.

 

Consequently, as the past several years have unfolded and the representatives of the modern Democratic party–Wasserman-Schultz among them–have willingly uncloaked themselves and their plans for America, our country has begun to more and more eerily resemble the revolutionary fervor of its founding during the latter part of the 18th century. In many ways, whether we liked it or not, we have been participants in the pages of future history books.

One of the fortunate consequences of this unfortunate, turbulent time in America has been a great American awakening.  Thanks to the conduct and agenda of lawmakers like Wasserman-Schultz, millions of Americans have now taken the time to re-acquaint themselves with their country’s history and founding principles, much of which have seemingly been compromised over the course of the past half-century by an exponentially disintegrating (figuratively and literally) public school system in addition to a system of higher education that, for all intents and purposes, fell to the forces of the far academic left in this country somewhere during the course of the past several generations.

Consequently, the actual history of America–most importantly, its founding on the basis of actual “freedom”–seems to have been systematically watered down and re-written to certain degrees or, in many cases, simply not taught at all. In fact, given the nature of the “Occupy” protests seen across our fifty states over the past few months, it could be argued that nearly an entire generation of young people have been surreptitiously taught that communism is something to be romanticized rather than avoided at all costs.

In our nation’s public schools, after all, students rarely if at all learn of the horrors and genocides exacted and executed at the hands and by the will of socialist governments the world over, nor do young people seem to realize that the only people who benefit from such a regime are the very few powerful government and pseudo-government officials. A field trip to Cuba, or perhaps North Korea, would no doubt open some eyes.

The Tea Party movement, itself a byproduct of a three-plus-year-long governmental high-gear shift toward omnipresence, has played an instrumental role in the American people’s attempt to re-assert control over their own country, and it is a testament to two (amongst many) factors in particular: first, people are now beginning to consider and examine what “freedom” actually means beyond what they’ve always taken for granted, many for the first time in their lives; and second, many of these average, everyday citizens are so fed up with what’s happening and so alarmed by the country’s future prospects that they’re putting their own lives on hold, risking quite a bit both financially and in personal reputation, and are running for high offices themselves.

Ironically enough, that is what America is all about — when something needs to be done, people take care of it on their own.

More and more Americans are now beginning to understand that freedom is much, much more than having the right to choose to walk down the street or to what restaurant you’ll venture on a Saturday night, that freedom is about having the natural, human right to do with your life whatever you wish–to try to live in the lap of luxury or to be content with the depths of squalor–so long as you do not impede on the right of another right to make the same decisions. This naturally leads to different degrees of competition and success — some end up with more of the latter than others, but we all have the same right to try to succeed. It may not always seem fair and equitable, but it’s the best system there is.

With regard to the aforementioned everyday people entering public life in an attempt to begin to undo at least some of the damage that’s been done to our country, those same people who are now risking the anonymity and safety of their privacy and family and the comforts of a successful life earned through years of hard work, one of them is Mr. Ozzie deFaria of Weston, Florida, who hopes to successfully unseat Wasserman-Schultz in Florida’s 20th district.

Mr. deFaria’s biography speaks precisely to both the type of people who are emerging in an attempt to restore first principles and the type of people that America desperately, desperately needs. His story is one of immigration, family and values rooted in understanding the importance of family and the life lessons that come from strong parents. An incredibly successful businessman, problem-solver, and strong voice in his community, Ozzie eventually came to the conclusion that the time for talk was done; it was now time for the people to do something about our country’s problems, a country in which his parents taught him that all dreams are possible with hard work.

Graciously, Ozzie spent a little time with America’s Right.  ________________________________________________________________

America’s Right: Mr. deFaria, thanks for taking some time for America’s Right. I suppose we should start with the most general and most obvious – tell us about yourself and your reasons for making the decision to run for Congress.

Ozzie deFaria: First, my thanks to America’s Right for your time. My reasons for making the decision to run clearly go back to my background and who I am. I am so fortunate to have lived a real, true American dream, and I have my parents to thank for all the sacrifices they have made. My parents came to the United States in 1960. They came from the Cape Verde Islands, which at the time was a very poor colony of Portugal located off the Western coast of Africa. It became an independent country in 1975.

My parents moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where there was a growing Cape Verdean community.  However, my parents came with no money and no labor skills; my father spoke no English, and my Mom very little English. My Dad had a fourth-grade education, and my Mom had only finished the tenth grade. My parents truly believed that the U.S. was the land of opportunity regardless of one’s background. They wanted to start a family and knew that there was no future in Cape Verde.

I was born in 1963, the second of six children. My parents were relentless in their insistence on hard work and education as the keys to success. My father worked in the same factory in Boston from 1960 until he retired in 2001. My mother worked every odd job around — factory work, janitor, cleaning homes, usually all at night or on the graveyard shift. I started cleaning a canteen truck after school when I was 14 and then worked five summers in the factory with my father. I saved all of my money, took loans and worked on the grounds crew to put myself through the University of Maine. In 1985, I became the first college graduate in my family.

AR: How has America gotten here? Why are we essentially doing nothing but borrowing other people’s money to keep our economy afloat and moving?

OD: I will discuss how we got here but, more importantly, I want to talk about what we need to do in order to get out of this mess and to get America thriving economically once again. There is plenty of blame to go around: Democrats, Republicans, Presidents, Congress, state legislators, business, and American citizens. We must all accept some degree of the blame, because we allowed it to happen.

As a government and as a people we stopped living within our means. Under today’s Obama administration–and allow me to say that I am not solely pointing fingers at them, but that is right here and now what we need to address–we are taking in $2.1 trillion in revenues and spending in excess of $3.5 trillion. Our national debt has grown beyond an unfathomable $15 trillion. Everyday Americans cannot relate to these figures, and our government leaders seem to put their heads in the sand.

These numbers are comparable to an American family with a financial profile that includes an annual income of $60,000, annual expenses of $105,000, and a mortgage of $450,000. How in the world does a common-sense person extricate himself from that mess without declaring bankruptcy and walking away from his home?

When we confronted the crisis of the need to raise the debt ceiling this past summer, many Democrats claimed that raising the debt ceiling was standard operating procedure and that Republicans were politicizing the situation in their refusals to acquiesce. That, in my opinion, was a joke; we need to stop accepting the status quo as the “right thing to do.” An even bigger joke is the solution upon which both branches of Congress agreed: an increase to the debt ceiling with a joint House and Senate committee to find budget cuts. We all knew that the Super Committee would fail, and it did. No surprise there.

It is disheartening that we cannot pass common-sense solutions like a Balanced Budget Amendment. I have been a businessman for over 25 years. A balanced budget is not a luxury; it is survival. We are not sending strong leaders to Washington. We need to look at the backgrounds of those running for office and not just listen to ten-second soundbites. Much like a business owner poring over job applications, we need to actually look at the resumes and send disciplined leaders with high character, regardless of party affiliation. Our representatives in Congress are focused on being re-elected rather than making the difficult decisions that will result in America’s financial strength.

AR: As America has always been a predominantly Christian nation, the vast majority of Americans have no problem with “safety nets,” those limited entitlement programs that offer a person a “hand up” during difficult times but do not become lifetime “handouts.” To what extent should entitlement reform be a part of reigning in federal spending?

OD: Our nation has been built on Judeo-Christian values. We need to remember that this country provides for equal opportunity but does not and should not promise equal achievement. The class warfare promoted by the Obama administration is dividing our citizens. Unless we get our financial house in order quickly, the American way of life is in danger. That is not intended as a scare tactic; it is a reality.

Entitlement spending must be reformed in a humane way, and it can be. Business leaders face tough financial decisions every year, and successful business leaders address these issues. Providing taxpaying citizens more input into their social security savings, reducing unemployment benefits to incentivize Americans to work, private market solutions to our health care problems rather than a government takeover – these are all vital to our nation’s financial health.

AR: Is there any real hope that the federal tax code will be re-structured to something like a flat or fair tax?

OD: Absolutely, but we need to once again look at who we send to Washington. Both a fair or a flat tax have different merits. I am a practical businessman. I believe that the first step we should take is to throw out the current 80,000-page tax code. I would propose three tax rates of approximately 8 percent, 14 percent and 21 percent. Deductions would be limited to child deduction and mortgage interest. We need to make it simple. Although there is a great deal of merit to a fair tax–including bringing the underground economy into the tax pool–I cannot see it being approved.

My younger sister is a tax accountant, and she thinks that I’m trying to put her out of work. I’m not trying to put her out of work; I just want her to find a new line of work.

AR: Is there any real hope that America will one day–even ten years or more in the future–pay off all of its creditors?

OD: Absolutely, yes. I still am very bullish on America. With all of our warts, we are still the greatest country in the world. I believe in the spirit of America and our work ethic. We have hit a major speed bump and have somewhat lost our way. America was a disaster under Jimmy Carter — high inflation, high unemployment, low morale. We found a charismatic leader in Ronald Reagan. We will be back. We need to grow our tax base–not our taxes–and we need to reduce spending. We have too many Americans riding in the wagon, some by choice and some not, and not enough Americans pulling the wagon.

ARI think that it’s fair to say that nearly every conservative in America views that past three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration to be a time when the most concentrated damage has been done to our country in a fairly brief period as a result of liberal policies. Which of those policies and decisions do you view as the most detrimental to our freedoms and our national interest?

OD: Keep in mind that it all rests on our financial strength and moral compass. We have significant problems with both. ObamaCare is a major problem that does not address the problems in America’s healthcare crisis. It is a government takeover of 20 percent of our economy. We need free market solutions for this problem, such as interstate competition for healthcare providers, tort reform, and small businesses’ pooling of resources. I spent 14 years of my business career at AT&T. In the late 80′s and early 90′s, our profit margins in long distance were obscene. I hated MCI and Sprint, but competition in long distance was great for consumers. Anyone complaining about long distance prices today?

Our government is far too large. Big government is not the answer; it’s the problem. We need to reduce the size of government and to reduce the unnecessary, burdensome regulatory constraints on businesses that prevent the economy from expanding on its own.

AR: The 2010 elections were without a doubt a strong statement from the American people, in that they were awake and aware as to the nature of what seemed to be taking place at the highest levels of our government. Clearly, the Tea Party movement was the foundation of the political change that has been sweeping across the nation since 2009. Several everyday citizens ran and won Congressional seats as “Tea Party Republicans,” people who have gone to Washington with the intent to deliver on the common sense for which their constituents are calling. There seems to be, however, a difference between what are called “Establishment Republicans” and “Tea Party Republicans.” How would you characterize the difference between the two?

OD: I hate labels. This is a loaded question that leads to stereotypes that are not always fair. These negative stereotypes lead people to refer to “Establishment Republicans” as conservatives who have lost their way on the one hand, and “Tea Party Republicans” as radicals who cannot and will not work with their fellow representatives on the other. I know that there are elected officials in both of these “groups” that believe the same thing as I do, a proud conservative Republican: that government has grown far too big, that the tax burden on Americans is too high, and that government spending is out of control.

AR: There’s no question that as November 2012 draws nearer, the political tension in this country is going to increase, perhaps alarmingly so. The “Occupy” movement of the past several months may be a harbinger of things to come, especially next summer. Interestingly, the Occupiers seem to think that they’re the Left’s answer to the Tea Party. In what way would you say the movements are similar and different?

OD: They are totally different. I believe that the Tea Party members have great respect for our country, know that we have lost our way, and have done a great job shaking up our leaders. Individual liberty and freedoms are being jeopardized. They have behaved in a civil manner and have helped move the country forward. The Occupy movement has not had a clear mission and as a result has left many to their own devices. It has been a divisive and non-productive movement.

AR: Is it fair to say that you feel that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz no longer truly represents the interest of her constituents?

OD: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is representing the DNC and the “Re-elect Obama” movement. Her statements are outrageous and oftentimes outright lies. She will say and do anything to get Obama re-elected and to push forward the Obama propaganda machine. She has made claims that Obama has turned the economy around, that unemployment is lower under Obama, and that Obama is the best American President with regard to our relationship with Israel. Exactly when and where her propaganda will cease is a mystery. The truth is irrelevant to her, but more and more it’s becoming obvious that the truth is not irrelevant to the people of Florida.

AR: Ms. Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic Party will no doubt be plenty prepared to do whatever it takes to retain her seat, especially when it comes to funding for her campaign. Do you feel that your campaign’s infrastructure will be able to stay the course and compete step-for-step?

OD: Absolutely. First off, the most important point is an individual’s stance on the issues. When a person is right on the issues and his opponent is wrong, it gives you a sense of calm; she and her campaign simply can’t make their arguments on the basis of facts. We are and will continue to get our message out. I have committed significant personal resources to this race, and we are raising money nationally and locally from those who are committed to defeating Ms. Wasserman-Schultz. We will never outspend the Democratic machine, but we will get our message out and we will win.

AR: During the past several months, Americans have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves pretty thoroughly with the slate of GOP candidates who are vying for the party’s presidential nomination. Any thoughts on the candidates or the debates in general?

OD: I am confident that America has had enough of Obama, his divisive politics, and class warfare rhetoric. I am comfortable with all the choices that we have. All will be significant improvements over the current administration.

AR: Once again, thanks for taking time out of your schedule for America’s Right, Mr. deFaria, and best of luck with your campaign and the election next November.

OD: Thank you so much for your time and for moving forward conservative causes and candidates.

Many thanks to Ozzie deFaria.  To find out more about Ozzie and/or make a donation to his campaign, go to OzzieForCongress.com.

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Comments

  1. SunshineStateSammy says:

    Ozzie has my support. We need good folks here to spread the word. Thanks for such a great article and interview, John.

  2. John Feeny says:

    Sammy -
    Spread the word. Ozzie can win. Muster up as much support for him as you can.

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