Candidate Profile
Brian Merlen

Independent , Connecticut

Biography

Panel Rating*

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*Additional information appears below for educational purposes; however, only data received prior to the candidate deadline was considered during Panel Evaluation.

Questionnaire*

*The questionaire was received after the deadline and was not considered in the Panel Evaluations and is for additional educational purposes only.
Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Disagree   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Disagree   

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

Ultimately I believe these are very difficult decisions that have multitudes of factors and I believe that abortions should be allowed in all circumstances when it comes to family planning, personal finances, healthcare or age decisions, feelings about the intentions of the other partner and if they will be there for you through such a major milestone like this. I think unfortunately in our complicated world many people have to weigh many factors into their reproductive choices, and that these choices unfortunately often have myriads of factors. I would not want to deny someone reproductive choices no matter what values or weights are behind their decisions and I understand that these things can be very difficult and complicated and I really feel for those who are contemplating these long term decisions overall. I know as I get older my own reproductive choices definitely can start to feel different, particularly after major events like my testicular cancer and I support families.


Economy

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.

Strongly Agree   

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Strongly Agree   

How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

I would favor reducing corporate hand outs or military spending in terms of reducing existing costs in the budget. I would never support attacking the social services.

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

I would favor reducing corporate hand outs or military spending in terms of reducing existing costs in the budget. I would never support attacking the social services.

Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?

I believe we should make education free and settle all existing student debts. We can give opportunities to those who will work hard, not just those who come from wealthier backgrounds by doing this. Also most schooling can be done online during Coronavirus, so we do not need to restrict access any longer to the institutions.


Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Strongly Disagree   

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Neutral   

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.

Yes   

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

Our history in this district goes back to being one of the original thirteen colonies where one of the principal reasons our ancestors arrived was to seek out religious freedom. The separation of church and state recognizes that both historically and even now religious freedom is a tenet of our society and we recognize that it is wrong to have the government impact religious institutions when it comes to practicing our valued customs.


Healthcare

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

Strongly Agree   

I support the elimination of private healthcare insurance.

Agree   

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

Every study, including even Koch studies, shows that Medicare for all would be cheaper than the existing system. By simply fixing prices and using a public option we could already achieve existing savings. We have no tangible reason why Americans should pay more then all other countries for identical procedures and meds, the situation is clearly a gimmick for my opponent Jim Himes donors.


National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Disagree   

What should the United States do to help eradicate the threat of radical Islamic terrorism?

The United States should stop being involved with coups and propping up one country or sect over another. Our misdeeds in many regions politically is what creates the the hostilities and if we tried to have more multilateral discussions on peace and persued isolationist strategies I believe terrorism would no longer be a problem both in the US or abroad.


Immigration

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

Strongly Agree   

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

Strongly Disagree   

Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

As someone with Jewish heritage I have strong feelings on immigration. We should allow anyone seeking citizenship to get American citizenship, and the people seeking it often are facing dire circumstances to do so. My family remembers our many relatives that didn’t escape Europe during World War 2, the majority died in the camps. One married a prison guard at the camps to survive the war, but the vast majority of my family among many other Jewish families and other groups disenfranchised by the Nazis lost their lives to the United States immigration practices. I never support a system that lets people seeking a better life here die under the terrible circumstances people die under every day over our white supremist policies, and in 2020 it is about time we stop this crazy nonsense. People deserve access to our country and no one makes a decision like that lightly. Oftentimes US foreign policy destabilizes the regions that then need displacement too.


Education

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

Strongly Agree   


Values

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Strongly Agree   

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

Strongly Agree   

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I am a spiritual person and believe in God and in doing good deeds for others. I try to live a moral life and to really look at these issues and how I can be a better person for my family, my friends, and my community. I pray about these issues, along with my own health scares like with cancer. I think progressives have values that are very similar to historical religious values, we want to clothe and feed everyone, we want to provide healthcare to everyone, housing for everyone, these fundamentally are the same kinds of goals and values all religions and good leaders have hoped for. I want to help people and to stand up for those who are struggling, and though religion is a factor most likely in why I want to help people, intrinsically I just want to help. I believe we are all capable of trying to help one another and that by doing so and living moral lives we can all do good works whether we believe in a particular faith or not.


Qualifications

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Very Liberal   

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

I believe in Medicare for all, living wages, and have spent my career fighting for the less fortunate.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.

No

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I care deeply about these issues and if you look up what I have worked on during my lifetime you will know that I will continue to work hard for our community, and to help those who have been disenfranchised. I didn’t take the deal Jim Himes offered me for funding my harm reduction efforts or meeting with prosecutors to drop out of the election when I was offered a backroom deal, instead I posted the truth to our residents. I will always act above board for our community and expose corruption and whether you vote for me or not, I will continue to fight for you. Thank you so much for your time


Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

Strongly Disagree   


2nd Amendment

What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

I believe in the strict CT laws on guns and that we should try to enforce other common sense reforms that the majority of Americans support. Universal background checks, wait periods, stuff of that nature goes a long way towards keeping us all safer.


Other Important Issues

I support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) against Israel if they refuse to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Strongly Agree   

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Strongly Agree   

Reparations should be given to people on the basis of race.

Strongly Agree   

The Electoral College should be abolished.

Neutral   

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

Drug reforms, ending Police qualified immunity, and medicare for all.

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

Yes, racism is a threat to the security of the US and its citizens. We have white supremacists hurting people of color, hurting trans people, hurting places of worship, and cars crashing into crowds who march for peaceful racial justice. Right wing terrorists gun people down, and have even blown up buildings previously and right wing extremism is a greater threat to the United States then foreign terrorism is.


Background

Education
  • Southern Connecticut State University, New Haveb, Bachelors, 2010
Work & Military
  • (Candidate did not provide)
Affiliations
  • Pacific House, Volunteer
  • Open Doors, Volunteer
  • New Covenant House, Volunteer
  • Church of Safe Injection, Social media
  • Newmans own, Video Editor
Offices
  • CT State rep 148, Sought 2016
  • Stamford City rep, Sought 2017
 

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