By Nick Diamantides
Nicholas “Nick” Dibs is convinced that the people of California’s 37th Congressional District would be better served if they gave him a seat in the United States House of Representatives. Although in his first attempt to unseat incumbent Congresswoman Laura Richardson, in 2008, he only garnered 25 percent of the vote, Dibs believes he has a good chance of winning this time around, and he is hoping that thousands of voters who are dissatisfied with the way things are in Washington D.C. will give him a chance to make a difference.
“In 2008, about 43,000 people voted for me,” Dibs said. “Since that time, the country has continued to go in a negative direction with regard to several things. Unemployment has gone up. Wars continue to drain money away from the economy. School teachers are being laid off, and class sizes are going up.”
Dibs added the unemployment rate in the 37th District is now at 13 percent, which he finds unacceptable. “We have to recognize that billions and trillions being spent on war is linked to the economy,” he stressed. “We are on an unsustainable path, financially, militarily and morally. I would vote to end the wars.”
He added that, instead of spending federal dollars on overseas conflicts, he would vote to balance the federal budget so that the country does not continue the practice of deficit spending, which is passing a colossal debt on to future generations.
According to Dibs, the federal government should immediately reduce spending by eliminating unnecessary expenditures, and the government also needs to invest money into green jobs, which would benefit the country for many years to come. “We need to initiate massive solar projects,” he said. “Right here in Southern California we have practically year-round sunshine, and we are not taking advantage of it, while we continue to be dependent on foreign oil.
He explained such an undertaking, which he called “a Marshall Plan for America,” would drastically reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. “I would call for a plan to not only install green energy infrastructure, but to also repair our streets and water systems, which are falling into disrepair throughout the nation,” he said.
Dibs said the first step toward eliminating deficit spending would be to pull all American military personnel out of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Then we have to work on responsibly reducing our defense expenditures,” he said. “Presently, the Pentagon budget is 57 percent of the federal discretionary spending in the federal budget.”
Dibs added that, by eliminating unnecessary spending and balancing the federal budget, Congress could make more money available for education. “One of our national priorities needs to be vastly improving our educational system,” he said. “We need more teachers and smaller classes.”
Dibs acknowledged that accomplishing all those goals is a tall order for one lone congressman, but he said the fact that he is an Independent would give him an advantage. “I would be able to work with both sides,” he said. “What we have now in Congress is gridlock, and the best interests of the American people are sidelined in favor of the special interests and the elite.”
Dibs insists that the current system of campaign contributions is nothing more than a revolving door of legalized bribery that permits wealthy and powerful entities to have undue influence over what laws are passed and how money is spent on the federal level. “The best interests of the American people are being left in the dust,” he said. “Americans need to start electing representatives that will look after the best interests of the people.”
Dibs also acknowledged that running against Richardson is a monumental task. “I admit it is a David versus Goliath scenario,” he said. “However, the voters in the 37th District need to realize that this election is very important, and they need to decide whether they want positive change or maintenance of the status quo.”
He explained that, in his estimation, under the leadership of Democrats as well as Republicans, the federal government continues to push policies that are eroding the vitality of the nation. “As an Independent, I will bring common sense to the federal government and provide opportunities for fundamental positive change,” he said. “The voters need to ask themselves, ‘Is party loyalty more important than the best interests of the United States?’”
Between May and the Aug. 6 deadline, Dibs and his campaign team collected approximately 14,200 signatures on the petition to put his name on the November ballot. He ended up with 8,628 valid signatures. State law requires that independent candidates obtain signatures of at least three percent of registered voters in the district in order for their names to be placed on the ballot. That number is 8,315.
Dibs did not disclose how much he has in his election fund, but he said he hopes more people will donate money to his campaign. Dibs maintains two residences: one in Long Beach and one in Garden Grove, where he assists his 92-year-old grandmother. He noted that the US Constitution does not require that a candidate for Congress live in the district he or she hopes to represent, but candidates must reside in the state in which that district is located.
“The voters and the American people need to wake up because they have been deceived by both parties,” Dibs said. “They need to put somebody in office like myself who is gong to bring fundamental, positive change.”