PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh resident Tim Stampfler is tired of complaining to his television set when he sees news about the U.S. government.
So much that he has decided to run for Congress.
"Things just don't feel right," Stampfler said recently.
"I've had enough."
The 44-year-old self-proclaimed constitutional scholar has decided to run for the seat in the 11-county 23rd Congressional District in the 2012 election.
He said he will enter the Republican race for a chance to unseat incumbent Democrat Bill Owens from Plattsburgh.
Stampfler's platform will rest squarely on protecting civil liberties and personal freedoms.
"I am not saying I am always right, but I will focus on taking care of people's freedom. I will always be on the side of freedom and people making their own decisions."
Stampfler, a 13-year correction officer who now works at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, graduated from Peru High School in 1986 and from Clinton Community College in 1993.
He ran for a seat on the city's Common Council in Ward 1 in 2010 but lost to incumbent Tim Carpenter, a Democrat.
Although he knows winning a seat in Congress is a long shot, Stampfler says his mission is to get people thinking.
He says the government has eroded so many civil liberties in recent years, that it is scary. The ultimate example, he says, was passage of President Obama's health-care plan last year.
"They are telling you that you have to buy health insurance. The government shouldn't be telling people what they have to buy. That is unconstitutional."
He said he is targeting Owens, in particular, because he voted in favor of Obama's plan.
"He (Owens) said it could be allowed because of the interstate commerce laws, but that answer is not good enough for me," Stampfler said.