Reed joined Patch at in Encino to talk about his views on the economy, Israel, immigration and more.
Reed in the Valley
"The San Fernando Valley is a beautiful place to live," said Reed.
Reed told Patch he has served on the board of directors for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and is the chairman of American Indians in Film and Television (Reed is part American Indian, and part French, Spanish, German and English).
He's a self-described businessman and actor (He told Patch he's most recently appeared in Two and a Half Men). Reed said he is a Roman Catholic, a father of three and a grandfather of seven.
Reed said he has plenty of political heavyweights backing his campaign. On his website, he lists Michael Reagan, son of the late president; John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the UN; and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich among those who have endorsed him.
Dear President Nixon
Reed told Patch he's been interested in politics his entire life. When he was 12 years old, he wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon, inviting him to his 13th birthday party. "He sent me a letter back; he was just as impressed that a 12-year-old was following his administration, but unfortunately he couldn't come to my party." Reed said he was also a "huge admirer" of Henry Kissinger.
Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, or ... ?
Reed wouldn't reveal who he favors to win the Republican nomination in the presidential race. He said of the candidates, "There's some that I like, yes. There's some that I absolutely disagree with."
One of Reed's main concerns, he said, was the problem of employment in the area. He said that, over the years, he's watched local industry suffer, and saw the Carnation and General Motors plants close down. He also said that he was concerned about rejunevating the Valley's economy in the midst of and rising college student debt.
"We have to have competent reform," said Reed. "We need to address the issue [of illegal immigration] as human trafficking, and America is better than that," Reed said.
"But human trafficking is ethnic on ethnic," said Reed. "You do not have white people down in Mexico and South America—it's 'coyotes,' " he said, referring to people who facilitate illegal border crossings. "These individuals are profiting heavily from the failed economic policies and infrastructure of these two regions," said Reed.
Reed said he is also concerned about "anti-American individuals" entering the United States.
"A lot of them are Muslim extremists that are coming across at this point," said Reed. "There's an airliner that's flown in once a week to Venezuela. They have no idea who the people are, they come from the Middle East, a lot of them from Iran, and they don't go back. They're dropped there in Venezuela, they learn Spanish, they come across the border."
Reed said he thought that the work visa program for legal immigrants needed to be reformed and consolidated to reward "hard-working individuals" who come to the U.S. to contribute positively.
The Jewish community and Israel
Reed said he believed that the Jewish community had more support within the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, saying that 33 percent of registered Democrats supported Israel, compared to 64 percent of registered Republicans.
"Within the Jewish community," said Reed, "some of their worst enemies come from within the Jewish community."
He went on to elaborate on this view.
"Brad Sherman and Howard Berman both stood silent during Barack Obama's complete decimation of [Israel's] prime minister, [Benjamin] Netanyahu," said Reed. "I asked both of them if they would denounce Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz's endorsement of the J Street group. They refused to do that." Reed referred to the J Street organization as an "anti-Semitic group."
(According to its website, the J Street group believes that a "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy.")
Reed said he sees gay marriage as a "states' rights issue." He added that, personally, he believes that "marriage [is] between a man and a woman. I believe that civil unions administered by the states should have the same legal authority and benefits as a marriage."
Reed does not believe in global warming. Of recent changes in the world's climate, he said, "This is natural; it's Mother Nature's cycle."
However, he said water and air pollution were problems that needed to be addressed. He said that motor vehicles were not the main culprit; the No. 1 producer of carbon dioxide was not cars but "the flatulence of cows." (For more on Reed's views on climate change, see his website under "ClimateGate—A Hoax Revealed.")
For more on Mark Reed, visit his website "Mark Reed for Congress 2012" by clicking here.