The only other 2nd District candidate present besides myself was Republican Brian Belanger. His site is listed on the Home Page. It was an event both informative and my meeting with Brian was most beneficial. It has prompted me to add reform as an issue for discussion. Initially covered this as an important part of my own efforts to prove by example that big money can be cut out of campaigns. To date I have found nothing on my opponents sites that addresses this issue specifically.
Those present at the forum all stood against the acceptance of PAC money and other big money donations. Other ideas were setting ridgid campaign limits, setting up a public funding option and tern limits. Certainly representatives that cannot run again will have much more time to spend on getting the job done.
Here is a hyperlink of a full taping of the event so all can obtain first hand access to the forum presentation.
I found no fault with what was presented. I do still feel that waiting for legislation to get passed to fix this by those well entrenched in keeping the current system in place will take way too long and probably be fighting uphill. My campaign seeks to have “We the People” simply follow the example being set and demand of all that want their vote to earn it by just saying “NO”. :-)
Okay, it will take some strong insistence by all those concerned to force their hand. But the next generation of voters that is coming has already laid down their demands. Or they will feel it when their next job performance review comes up. Get results or get out of the way.
As I review on a regular basis my opponent's sites I seek out new issues to add to the listings here. To this point most all I find are brief good intentions and seem all tied to being understood only in concert with the standard party lines on each issue. Just not enough meat to inspire much. But check them out through the links on the home page. If you spot something I missed inform me via the issues option.
The exception to this right now is Rep. Kuster's site. Her issues list has prompted some new considerations. The first one is jobs and the economy. Again check out her site to get the full presentation. It is brief and lacks specifics that would actually resolve the issue.
The parent of job creation is demand. Tax cuts to the wealthy do not generate new demand. The rich just get fancier toys, and buy them from the same sources. A business that increases its work force in anticipation of increased sales does so expecting to obtain those gains by reducing a competitor's market share.
So you need to increase demand. Of course an increase in allowed, and properly processed immigration brings in those who have little and thus generate all kinds of demand. Beyond that a well thought out and self funded infrastructure effort would speed up job demand. A plan to make the energy grid based on a renewable platform is both a job source that cannot be outsourced and that sets us up to have a power grid that can both better handle natural disasters and attacks by hackers, both foreign and domestic.
A realization that manufacturing jobs are virtually all going to fall to automation and robotics should be embraced. In the end those automated factories will have lower labor costs then what we encounter now. And those counties will need to come to us for the machinery they will need to compete. Setting up a reverse of the cash flow.
To prepare for that world we should structure our learning systems so they are always available so that the unemployed always have access to new skills. The institutions should work with industry to apprentice and intern future employees. Occupations that cannot be automated need to be held in higher esteem.
The tax code should be restructured to recognize that all taxes are paid for by the final consumer. Make the minimum wage high enough so a person can support their family on one job. That, by the way, means that those now needing two or more jobs to get by can open up those other jobs to others. Let the rich get richer if they want, just have them make sure they are given patriotic incentives to see that more wealth is passed on to the ones actually providing goods and services.
The way government is funded should be reevaluated. The five methods I know of are taxes, fees, fines, donations and investments. More incentive should be offered those who make money making money. This same idea is found in my suggestions on how to eliminate the national debt as a national security threat.
Also inspired by Rep. Kuster's issue listing is the matter of how we treat our veterans and our serving military. There is pretty much lottle to choose from among my opponent;s sites. Again just good intentions and the like without getting down to sopecifics.
All seem t agree the VA has not been structured and overseen properly so that those who served get the treatment they deserve when the need it. From what I see is that red tape, in its most insidious form is a major factor in this. All this paperwork comes across as designed to insure that the government does not get defrauded. Given the small percentage of times this happebns I submit the operating premise seems to be guilty until proven innocent. If there is any group that should be judged by our principle that you are innocent until proven guilty it is our veterans. Just clear them through if a better run coordination between the Pentagon and VA conforms their service and catch the few abusing the system down the road.
Those that are on active service need to be handled more fairly as they are discharged. Extend their pay and family support for enough time for them to obtain civilian employment and get relocated into a secure situation. Also it sometimes take time to determine the existence of PTSD. Of course if my suggestion that preventive health care were made a separate universal option their monitoring and care could be handed off and many tragic stories of our recent military heroes could be avoided.
It was rather depressing to see it seems the only thing our self scored as dysfunctional Congress and swamped Administration are getting better and better at are doing less and less to protect our election process from foreign adversaries. Party loyalty being put above country is reaching a point beyond the ridiculous.
Thinking on it, “Draining the Swamp” implies there is something evil about swamps. Swamps have a sound and valuable role in the cycles of life. Its polluted ones that are haphazardness. And the contamination is what, spreading across our electoral water table? Do only the next generation of voters remain uncompromising because they are closer to seeing the world as they were told it should be?
If we know, now all too well, that doing the same thing again and again yet expecting a different result is a choice lacking wisdom then perhaps different methods should be employed. Ones more in harmony with what was intended when the unfinished product that our founders presented us began.
Clearly those in Congress, the first among equals, must be held accountable at their next job performance review. But “We the People” must look to do more to see that those locked into their”Us versus Them” lifestyle do not slip through the cracks because those adversaries that seek to undermine our precious heritage and impose their own agenda distort our election procedures.
If we cannot count on those we have allowed for too long to operate at the wishes of the special interests over our general interests to get the job done then what options might we employ that bypass legislative gridlock? In doing so we should give credit and recognition to those silent heroes still struggling behind the scenes to protect us as best they can while serving, surviving(?), under the current destructive political agenda they find themselves in.
The obvious first step is to make paper ballots mandatory. We need to set aside our modern desire for instant gratification to get results that are verified. Recounts should be automatically conducted to verify every result. Voters should check frequently to make sure their voter registrations are not compromised. Given some form of motorized paper slip that can be presented at the voting locations that will allow them to cast at least provisional votes until confusions can be cleared up.
Have the candidates all conduct their campaigns in a cooperative manner. They are all suppose to be representing the same group of people. That being any who draw breath in their District, State or Nation. Let those represented set the issues to be addressed, the priority to give them and what defines resolution. Have the candidate web sites coordinate this input so that when voters go into the both they are only choosing the flavor of representation they want.
It is time “We the People” stepped up our game to get the exceptional representation that an exceptional experiment deserves.
Among the latest requests and submissions to this forum has been a suggestion or two that I translate the election reform ideas scattered through the issues presented into one overview on how we might collectively conduct our elections better. Over and above the presentation inserted at the top of the Home Page.
Presume first that we agree that to remove issues as dividing factors in our nation we have all candidates conducting cooperative campaigning as outlined on the Home Page. That when election time comes around all the voters have to do is select the one offering that best represents their political inclination. Or just the one that looks to be best qualified to deliver when sent to Washington.
Second we presume that the majority of those in a voting district support keeping big money influence out of the equation by distributing campaign discussions via social media. A more formal adoption of the means by which the women s' marches and other demonstrations have been organized in this modern era.
For the national level elections let us presume that a sponsor has stepped forward and runs a site where any individual who sees a need to run for Congress can go to and access a checklist on how to quickly and inexpensively establish a valid campaign. All the legal steps to take. Have a web site preset to obtain and make their own. All the media outlets that await notification of their candidacy so the public in the correct media coverage zones are informed of their options in a timely manner. Where information can be exchanged and a library maintained on all matters political. A database monitoring the media so all candidates are fully informed on current events. The tools of the trade constantly updated as this new approach gets tested out.
But consider also having these presumptions applied at the state and local levels. Have each level of the political spectrum have a site maintained that allows those seeking office to go through the correct procedure. Have a network in place so all those of that political division, be it state, county or town, can exchange insights in the same never ending Town Hall format that this site operates. In cases where a position requires specific abilities and qualifications, such as Town Clerk, have some sort of guideline on those duties and perhaps allow candidates to intern with the current holder of that position.
We also have a known threat from foreign interference in our elections. All of these polio cal platforms should have immediate access to the FBI and other authorities so that any suspicious submissions to distort the process are dealt with and countered. A mandate for paper ballots and automatic recounts of those paper submissions and electronic backups is expected as SOP. We the voters will just have to put aside our expectation of instant gratification, I guess. Note that a nice perk to this is that it will be very difficult for these attempted intrusions to have significant impact on issue resolution.
As noted elsewhere there should be a method provided to voters that allows them to obtain a notarized verification of their registration. So that if there is hacking of the registration lists their votes can be cast provisionally and counted in when the situation is cleared up.
It is time to mold the practices of the past with 21st Century technology to establish a platform for elections that truly empowers “We the People”.
As a Non Party Alternative candidate for Congress in 2018 my campaign seeks input from all those I will represent, not just the ones that vote. My campaign is built around those to be represented telling me the issues to address and the priority to set for each issue. Unlike the major parties, I also urge that we together also establish precise definitions on what will constitute actual resolution of that issue. It is not my campaign's intent to hold on to unresolved issues election after election so those one issue voters do not otherwise abandon that party.
One of the issues those I have canvassed are concerned with is the matter of the impeachment of the current president. In this age of bitter tribal loyalism it is clear that had the results in 2016 gone the other way we would have also been talking about impeaching. In essence the current majority party is actually proposing a version of that against the candidate that did not get elected.
While our system of justice does hold to all being innocent until proven guilty the one who holds the highest of office is expected to be held to a higher standard. Even if there was not such a level of growing division in our body politic this should be the case. In an ideal world the ones so elevated would be of the purest of heart. Sadly no Snow Whites are what are being offered up. I am not alone in observing that, had “None of the Above” been a valid option on the ballot this past election we would be in a different situation regarding who sits in the Oval Office.
Given this deterioration in the ability of the two major parties to produce better candidates each election cycle, but instead offer up ones now that are more often as not voted against rather then for, perhaps the Electorate should assert its role and insist on a, shall we say, supercharged security check.
In response to the concerns of those I seek to represent in Congress the idea that all in the line of succession to the presidency should be subjected to impeachment level investigations by the Congress as a part of their currently under executed duty of oversight. Let each one those who might at any moment be our commander in chief enter office with the American People already assured they are of good morale character and free of illegal habits or outright criminal violations.
Certainly those that are worthy of being our president would have no fear of being subjected to such scrutiny. They should indeed embrace it if there has been even a hint of question on their integrity. And if this was the norm for each individual upon taking an office that lists in the line of succession there would be no presumption of guilt associated with being checked out. And suspicions of party bias would be removed from the investigation or impeachment proceedings as well. How is that not a better alternative to what we have now?
Lately three issues were put before us. The March for our Lives, which demands something be done about gun violence. The countering proposals regurgitated by the NRA to promote an alternative perception on that issue. And our President deciding to distract us with a ban on certain Americans serving to defend our nation.
"The 2nd Amendment - A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State, The Right Of The People To Keep And Bear Arms, Shall Not Be Infringed."
The history I learned had no concerns of the founding fathers in making sure that no ownership of weaponry needed to be insured. They were no more concerned with that then if people owned a cooking pot. What they did not want was a standing Army. Both because they could not afford it and so it was not present as a threat, as they knew from history could happen, to their experiment in Democracy.
What they did not want is to see those who remained as Loyalists during the Revolution discriminated against. Along with those of minority faiths or origins. They established only a small force to provide specialists in artillery, engineering, cavalry, leadership and logistics. When needed the main army would be provided by the State Militias. And membership in those organizations was very well regulated.
No regulation against any ownership of types of weaponry arose until after WWI when criminals were becoming more heavy armed then the authorities. The restrictions then were only concerned with rate of fire. The machine guns and sub-machine guns now available with high capacity magazines. Even into WWII most soldiers were armed with bolt action rifles.
The first time I went hunting I learned my state limits a hunter to a five shot magazine limit. So how is it that those saying they speak for the hunters of America would allow people to be threatened with more deadly weaponry then is allowed to track down a deer?
Any device whose misuse by humans is deadly is subject to requirements for training and certification. And limits set on its deployment and availability in public. Only certain classes of vehicles are street legal. The same should be true for firearms.
But just as you can have as many clunkers on your private property as you like, subject to local ordinances, so should what you can have in hand in public should be restricted.
What the 2ndAmendment says, in its simplicity, is that no American can be denied the right to bear arms. That means military service. Lawyers seeking fairness for any denied that right should maybe be seeing the 2nd Amendment as what gives all, women, gay, transgender, immigrant and such, a right to serve.
Where this theory about us needing an armed citizenry to somehow contain a rogue government also seems a little suspect. First is seems to say they have more faith in the threat of violence then they do the rule of law. Second they propose that the first step to a dictatorship is to disarm the population. In the history books I studied all those disarmed people seem to somehow end up with mush more powerful instruments of war in their hands. Things like tanks, battleships and more. What was taken away first was the books. Even “Indiana Jones” movies teach that lesson.
And just who does a nervous Nellie think is going to come and take away their guns even is such an order was given? The police, who are almost all gun owners? The National Guard, who are all fellow citizens. Our all volunteer armed forces? Have these people not followed the news regarding all the places in the world where the population has stood up to their governments? Do any of these groups seem to be short of assault class weaponry? Maybe those building distortions of history to justify their fears should have to redo some of their schooling. They clearly did not pay attention the first time around.
We should have learned by now that Prohibition does not work. Did not work for alcohol. Abortion has been illegal, non legal and legal and still happens. If we are going to remove issues like this as dividing issues it is time to realize that until a solution defined and acceptable to all is committed to these issues will not go away.
The students, those closer to how things should be, rather then being discouraged by what some feel is just how things are, have it right. Those in office are the ones responsible for getting it fixed. For finding the exceptional path to solve the problems we face. Problems that they, in their collective failings and party over country agendas, are responsible for in the first place.
The youth are coming of age and the short sighted are dying off. Those in Congress need to lead, follow, or get out of the way.