CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Howard Swint, a Charleston real estate broker, is running as a Democrat in the Nov. 6 election against incumbent Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
During a meeting with Charleston Gazette editors Friday, Swint said three of his key campaign issues are supporting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women, opposing the continued deregulation of banks, and mountaintop removal mining.
Swint said Capito holds opposite positions on all those issues. Capito, who currently represents the Second Congressional District, did not attend the meeting.
Swint said he is particularly upset at provisions in the Paul Ryan budget before the House "creating vouchers for Medicare recipients and further tax cuts for the wealthy ... . The wealthy should finally pay their fair share."
Swint also opposed Capito's "support for George W. Bush in two unfunded wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Swint would support some cuts in the Defense budget. "We could close hundreds of military bases around the world without hurting our security ... .
"We could also save money by not having ... tax loopholes, deductions and exemptions for the wealthy," he said.
Swint was particular vocal in opposing the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in January 2010.
That 5-4 ruling treats corporations as people, allowing them to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Often, the sources of contributions made to political action committees are not made available to the public.
"If I am elected, I would become an immediate spokesperson for campaign reform and lobbying reform," Swint said. "I would cite the dissenting opinions of four Supreme Court justices who objected to Citizens United."
Swint said he would favor a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
"President Obama has disappointed me so many times, in areas like public campaign financing and rolling over for the Super PACS. But he is the best candidate.