Democrat for Congress in 2008
I believe that in order to find solutions to the issues that confront us we have to look outside rhetoric and ideology. I think we need to rationally look at the facts and merits of different arguments and do what is best for America. We need to replace sound bite politics with reality-based policy. I respectfully submit a set of solutions that are based in reality and research. If you feel there are better solutions, please feel free to share your ideas.
As a Union Carpenter who works for a living, I understand the economic concerns that we all share. I will work to protect pensions, raise wages, provide tax relief for the middle class and create jobs by investing in alternative energy technology. Every day that I go to work in Washington, you can rest assured that I will be fighting to represent working Americans. Those who work hard every day should receive their hard earned fair share of the prosperity they create.
Our current policy in Iraq is doing nothing to defeat terrorism or bring peace to the region. Iraq is in greater turmoil than ever and attacks on US servicemen and women are increasing everyday that Congress and the President stall. Our troops did their job and their continued presence serves to inflame sectarian violence and further tear the country apart. The best possible outcome can be achieved by withdrawing our soldiers, giving strong diplomatic and financial support to the Iraqi Government and doing everything possible to work with other countries in the Middle East to achieve a political solution. (more…)
We have the best doctors, nurses and medical technology in the world, but we have the most inefficient healthcare financing system imaginable. I will take on big insurance companies and work to pass a fair healthcare system that covers all Americans. We know that Health Savings Accounts and the for-profit healthcare system are not working for most Americans and the premiums are so high that all businesses, small and large are having to cut or eliminate benefits. This leaves nearly 87 million without adequate coverage. Fortunately we can solve the problem without creating a new program. Medicare is a successful program that can be expanded to serve as a single-payer healthcare program that covers all Americans. (more…)
The economy is not one simple issue. Rather, I have dealt with economics throughout this Website. Healthcare costs, skyrocketing gas prices and the war in Iraq are making it more difficult for small businesses to grow. Tax relief and job creation are steps in the right direction, but we also need to change our global trade policies. We live in a global economy that needs a new business model; one that expands economic prospects for hard working citizens and small business owners instead of multinational corporations. We need policies that allow all Americans to benefit; promoting the general welfare, rather than protecting the interests of the wealthy few.
Since the beginning, our environment has been a source of our strength. Access to natural resources, clean water and land spurred the growth of our nation. As stewards of the land it is our duty to insure that we keep our environment as clean as possible, for ourselves and our posterity. I firmly believe that every individual should do his or her part to reduce consumption of energy and raw materials. I also believe that Congress has a responsibility to lead this change of course by enacting legislation that empowers more people to achieve energy independence through tax credits, university research and small business grants to emerging alternative technology companies. We have to break our dependence on foreign oil because it weakens our national security and economy.
Retaining quality teachers is the best way to improve our public education system. Our teachers often have their hearts and intentions in the right place but many burn out after five years because of inadequate preparation for the realities of the classroom. This is especially true in schools that show the poorest performance. Congress needs to repeal some of the costly and ineffective testing requirements of No child justify Behind and move that money toward teacher mentoring programs in our worst performing districts. (more…)
Honor our Soldiers and Veterans
As a veteran, I am disgusted with the way our government has broken trust with our men and women in uniform. Congress has in its power the ability to stop the cost cutting practices that cut or deny medical and mental health services for our deserving veterans.The current use of the designation of “pre-existing conditions prior to enlistment” to deny benefits to soldiers wounded in service to their country is particularly dishonorable. The substandard treatment of wounded comrades harms military morale and goes against Congress’ constitutional responsibilities. In order to provide for the common defense we need to keep the faith and trust of our fighting men and women, our friends and relatives who put themselves in harms way so we at home can sleep peacefully and securely every night.
Women and Children
As a future Congressman, I feel that it is not my place to intrude on a woman’s decisions regarding her reproductive and personal health. These are family and personal matters, and the state needs to respect that privacy according to the framework set out by Roe v Wade. I believe we can create a reality where abortion is rare while still being safe and legal. If we as a society want to show our value for life we should begin by helping mothers in difficult circumstances. I will work tirelessly to make sure that new life in this country is greeted with affordable healthcare, adequate shelter and nutrition and a good education to insure that the American Dream is within the reach of all.
Americans have every right to be upset over the problems created by our dysfunctional immigration system. For the last six years, the Republican controlled Congress and Presidency has done nothing to fix our porous borders and broken immigration system. Instead they have resorted to catch phrases, sound bites and fear mongering, leaving the issues unresolved, while unethical businesses profits from the exploitation of undocumented workers. As a result, American workers have seen their wages stagnate and their jobs disappear.
Had enough divide and do nothing policies? Then keep reading further.
Clean Elections for a Government that works for We the People The only way to make elected officials accountable to people instead of special interest groups and lobbyists is change our political system. I am a strong advocate for a clean elections law modeled after Arizona’s publicly financed campaign system. In addition to passing a clean elections law, I would strongly support legislation that requires a guaranteed paper trail and random sampling for all electronic ballot systems.
Safeguarding Constitutional Rights
Our country was built on the concept of equality before the law and opportunity for all. Unfortunately at many times in our history the rights of the minority have been brushed aside as the majority asserted its will. Our freedom of speech gives us a diverse set of opinions all of which try to influence Congress. While I understand the deep faith and conviction that accompanies many of the competing ideas, I also believe that Congress has the responsibility to safeguard the rights of all, without discrimination. While in Congress I will support equal rights legislation that guarantees all Americans the same rights, including the right to marry the person they choose.