2nd Congressional District candidate Cassie Easley in 8 questions

Aug 25, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: Aug 27, 2023, 9:12 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — It’s not just Republicans and Democrats on the ballot in November for the special election to replace Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. Cassie Easley from the Constitution Party is also on the ballot.

KSL NewsRadio caught up with Easley to ask the eight burning questions asked of all the candidates on the ballot. A transcript of their full interview follows.

Cassie Easley’s stance on military

Kira Hoffelmeyer: You’re running in the race to replace Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, who’s leaving us as the only military veteran in Utah’s current congressional delegation. And, to my knowledge, no one running to replace him has quite the military background like he does,  either. So we’re wondering, what interests (held by) Utah’s military bases need protecting?

Cassie Easley: My father is a retired Navy veteran. So, I actually grew up as a military dependent. I’ve been around the military, all my growing-up life.

The bases here in Utah, I know we have Hill Air Force Base there. But I’m not really aware of any of the situations with the bases here in Utah.

I deal a lot with the veterans division because I take my father to his appointments and things like that. I do know that there are some shortfalls, but Utah does have some programs that do help when the people live farther away from the actual clinics so that they can get help in their communities.

That has been very helpful over the last couple of years, we’ve taken advantage of that.

We do need to make sure that we are doing things for our veterans so that things are not as hard because they did serve for us. I mean, they went out and they put their lives on the line for us to be able to have this free country. So about base-specific things, I’m not sure I can look into that if we’ve got some issues going on.

But as far as the military goes, I’m a strong supporter, especially of our veterans, because it takes a lot of time away from your family and your home when you’re out there. Taking care to make sure that we’re safe. So as far as that goes, that’s kind of where I stand on it.

Cassie Easley’s stance on public lands

Kira Hoffelmeyer: Most of this state is public lands owned by the federal government. And so, you know, that sort of puts all of Utah’s congressional districts in a position where they have to work with the federal government, regardless of what congressional district that is. So how would you work with the federal government when it comes to these public lands and ensuring Utah’s best interests?

Cassie Easley: I think Utah’s best interest when it comes to public lands is for the federal government to get back to the state to manage. Because, obviously, being in an area that’s very rural, we have so much public land around us, I think they should be protected.

But I think the state would do a much better job than the Bureau of Land Management because they really do not do a great job of making sure that things are taken care of on the public lands.

And I really think that if Utah was able to take care of their own public lands, even if they got it back from the federal government with the condition that they had to stay public, I think that Utah itself would take better care of it than some agency out in Washington, D.C. that’s never actually been here and knows what we need.

I think that Utah should have their lands back, because, like I said, we can manage it, and they’re not. And I will push for the federal government to do more with the public lands to make them the way that they’re managed properly.

I know down here, we have a problem with the watersheds that are on BLM land. And it’s really hard for the farmers when the watersheds are not maintained properly for the waters to get back into the aquifer so that the farmers can use it to water their fields and stuff like that. So yeah, I think that there’s something that needs to be done.

I think that we still need our public lands because we enjoy them being able to go hiking and anything we’d like to do. But I don’t think they’re being managed properly and being in a position where I can point this out that, as a congressman, we need to do something so that our public lands are actually managed properly.

I think that that would be the way I would go with that.

Cassie Easley and the shutdown showdown

Kira Hoffelmeyer: If you’re elected, you’ll enter Congress right in time for what we at KSL like to call a shutdown showdown. What do you have to say about the state of the economy, inflation spending, and a possible entry into this shutdown showdown?

Cassie Easley: I think we are in a horrible state of inflation right now. And the people in Utah, I mean, all over the country are suffering because of the inflation that we’re having to deal with.

I think that I would rather shut down the government and get things more balanced than just agree to whatever they want. Because I think they overspend.

We are the taxpayers. They take it from us because it comes out of our paychecks, they take our money, and they are spending it excessively. And we are so far in debt, that we need to do something about it. And we need to stand up and start saying, ‘Stop spending our money.’

Because, with the way that they’re doing things, we are in such a sorry state economically in this country due to the inflation because of their overspending.

And I would rather have the government shut down until things can be put back on a more even keel than to sit there and just agree with whatever people, whatever Congress is saying they want to do.

So that’s one thing I think we need to start literally taking and making the different departments justify why they need so much money because they don’t, and they can start doing cutbacks like the rest of America has had to do.

We’ve had to cut back. A lot of people I know have had to cut back and the government can start cutting back, too, so that we can get back on a better financial economic scale in this country.

Cassie Easley on where Congress and SCOTUS meet

Kira Hoffelmeyer: The Supreme Court has handed down a lot of divisive decisions recently. We’re talking about abortion, we’re talking about affirmative action, no matter where you fall, they’re contentious. What do you see as the role of a member of Congress in all of it?

Cassie Easley: Okay, as the role of the member of Congress, if the Supreme Court is finding that they have to change decisions based on the constitutionality of it, that is their job to tell us. They interpret the Constitution, and they say, ‘This is constitutional.’

If it is deemed not constitutional, the 10th Amendment comes in and says that it’s up to the states to decide. To determine if it’s something Congress can do, you have to look at Article One, Section Eight.

So if it is within those boundaries, as someone in Congress and we can say, ‘Okay, we can do something about it.’

But if it is not in there, there’s really nothing Congress is supposed to do because it’s outside the scope of what they are allowed to do.

We have delegated powers from the people, and they said exactly what we’re allowed to do. And by going outside those delegated powers, they’ve been creating laws for years, that are not inside what they’re supposed to be doing.

So when the Supreme Court comes back and says, ‘No, you can’t do that, because that is not within what you’re supposed to be doing,’ … Congress is getting like all wound up, ‘Well, we’ll just make a law.’

Well, you can’t. They do not have the power that they think they do. The power was given to the Congress by the people. And if the people aren’t allowed to do it, Congress is not allowed to do it.

And they’re only allowed to do a limited number of things. But they have taken that power and said ‘We can do this.’ And I would stand on Article One, Section Eight, and say, ‘No, we cannot do this. This is not something we’re supposed to do. That is something that the states are supposed to make laws about because they’re not in the Constitution specifically.’ We have very specified things that we are supposed to do as a member of the federal government.

So that’s how I would handle it.

If it is something that falls within the purview of a congressman, then there may be laws that we can make that can make it better for everyone. But if it is not in that, then we do not need to be making law because that is up to the people and the states, as suggested in the 10th Amendment. So that the states and the people at a more local level can decide what they’re going to be doing, versus the federal government telling us, ‘Oh, you have to do this, because we’re the federal government.’

They have it backward. It’s supposed to be people up, not government down. So that’s kind of where I stand as far as laws and how I would vote on them and whether I would believe that they were constitutional or not.

Cassie Easley on running for re-election

Kira Hoffelmeyer: If you’re elected, you’ll barely be in office, before you have to turn around and rerun. So how do you feel about that?

Cassie Easley: I feel like it’s worth it. I think that it is our responsibility as citizens to make sure that we have a constitutional government.

I’m going out there and I’m letting people know that that’s the kind of government that I want. And I will be there for a year, and then it’ll be time to reelect. And we do have congressmen only two years at a time for a reason.

Because if we don’t like what they’re doing, we can with our votes, say, ‘Hey, we don’t want that person, let’s vote them out.’

It doesn’t happen that way a lot, because people vote a lot of party politics versus individuals. But I think that by having a year to show people what I can do, by the next campaign, they’ll see what I am doing. And they can decide if they want to keep me or if they want to try for someone else.

Because that’s kind of how it’s supposed to be. And maybe it’ll start making people realize that we only have to put people in for a short period of time, but we don’t have to keep re-voting for them.

So I think that it’s just half a term, and we’re gonna have to go back into another election, I’m already aware of that.

Whether I win or lose, I’m still running in 2024. So that was my plan, initially, after I ran against Chris Stewart last year. So my plan was to run against him again in 2024. And that’s still my plan just maybe that I’m running to get someone else.

Cassie Easley on some silly questions

Kira Hoffelmeyer: Utah or BYU?

Cassiel Easley: SUU! I’m a student there. I’ve gotta go with them. Literally, I’m enrolled right now.

Hoffelmeyer: Nice. Nice. That’s awesome. Okay, next question. Do you think it’s human in costumes? Are they actual bears

Easley: Based on the fact that I’ve actually seen videos of actual Sun Bears before. I’m gonna say it’s a bear.

Hoffelmeyer: If the FBI were to do a background check or security clearance check and they found something silly, what would it be

Easley: On me? Um, gosh I don’t know. I would have no clue. That I milk cows that are not mine?

Hoffelmeyer: Explain that. Explain that one.

Easley: I think they’ve recently changed the law. But for a long time, you were not allowed to milk a cow unless it was yours or someone in your immediate family, because of the whole raw milk thing.

So at one point, it was like I wouldn’t have been allowed to do that. And I may have been, I don’t know if it was before or after the law passed, but I do milk a cow. And at one point, it was not allowed because I wasn’t related to the person that I was milking for.

This is part of a collection of questions asked to all candidates running in the 2nd Congressional District special election before the Sept. 5, 2023, primary election. See below for the interviews of the other candidates.

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2nd Congressional District candidate Cassie Easley in 8 questions