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Madison County: Oot seeks D.C. office

Oot said as a student of the law, the Indian land claim issues are a federal problem.

"Congress has to resolve this," Oot said.

Locally, Oot said he sees people who are suffering from economic distress and the loss of employment.

"It is the responsibility of any government leader to market his or her district to bring business into the area, rather than wait for companies to close and direct employees to the unemployment office," Oot said.

He said the federal government needs to come up with a way to compensate local municipalities for lost tax revenues and provide tax credits to businesses trying to compete with the Oneida Indian Nation.

"Somehow, they've got to level the playing field," Oot said. "The federal government's attempts to compensate the Oneida Indian Nation should not be done in such a manner that they penalize businesses and private homeowners. They should not have to shoulder the burden for this lost tax revenue."

Free trade agreements should not have been made by the U.S. with countries that don't have labor laws, Oot said.

"Americans can't compete in that environment, and we need to impose disincentives for companies that send jobs out of the country," Oot said. "They are exporting the American Dream to other nations."

Traveling throughout the district, another theme Oot said he's encountered is the apparently universal unhappiness of constituents about the war in Iraq.

"Everywhere I go, people are upset," Oot said. "There are peace vigils and lawn signs bearing death tolls. People want us out of Iraq. This is what they are telling me."

These things, Oot said, are indicative of failings further up the governmental ladder.

"America has always stood for leadership world-wide and at home," Oot said. "We had earned a certain deference because of our exemplary leadership behavior. Most Americans cherished that and want it back. We need to reach out to the people considered our enemies and have dialogue with everyone."

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