Ursula Rozum is hoping people are listening as she continues her campaign for Congress. She's running on the Green Party line against republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle and democrat Dan Maffei. YNN's Bill Carey says the third party effort for the House seat in the new 24th Congressional district is focused on some very different positions on issues.
CENTRAL NEW YORK -- Ursula Rozum is not your usual candidate for public office. But Green Party candidates tend not to be. They often take positions that are dramatically at odds with the stances adopted by the candidates of the republican and democratic parties.
Take for instance bath salts. Major party members have been rushing to respond to public outrage and concern over the sale and use of the synthetic drugs. Many of the proposals involve creation of new criminal statutes.
Rozum says bath salts are dangerous, but it's time to step back and think before acting.
“The prohibition of another substance isn't going to address the underlying reasons why people use drugs, why we have drug violence and why we have drug crime,” Rozum said.
The congressional hopeful points to marijuana laws, saying criminal sanctions have forced users into an underground market, where they are more likely to be introduced to more serious and dangerous drugs. Time would be better spent, she says, focusing on problems like a lack of jobs and opportunities.
“Use of drugs and sales of drugs is either an escape to get away from your everyday problems if things aren't going right or if you really don’t like your job or, for many people, sale of hard drugs is a way to make money when there are no jobs,” Rozum said.
Like other Green Party candidates, Rozum is only polling in the single digits at this point. But she says as voters hear her views and are offered a real choice, she expects those numbers to grow.
Rozum says she has the advantage. She says she, unlike her opponents, can speak her mind.
“They want to get votes and they might not be talking about issues honestly or completely because politics, especially for a congressional race, it's very orchestrated. And it's like a show for people,” Rozum said.
Rozum says she's satisfied following a different path.