IB Congressional Candidate Scorecard
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DemocracyHealthcareAbortionImmigrationGun ViolenceEnvironmentPrioritiesEconomic FairnessCriminal JusticeWhy You?
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DistrictCandidatePartyDo you see a need for protecting or strengthening this country's democracy? What would you propose?How will you ensure that all your constituents have access to quality health care? Indicate whether you support a Medicare for All / single payer system.Do you support a woman's right to have an abortion? Tell us what you would do to advance your position.Do you support a path to citizenship for DREAMers and TPS holders? What about the other 10 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States? What actions would you take to resolve this issue?If elected, how will you address gun violence in the U.S.? Please be specific. Tell us your views on climate change, fossil fuel extraction, clean energy, and the role of Federal government in this area.Discuss the dynamics between economic development, a clean environment, and environmental justice. What factor do you weigh most heavily and why?Do you believe the American economic system is fair? If not, what needs to change to make it so?Should criminal justice reform be prioritized by the Federal government? If so, how? Please tell us how you will win this race, why our members should support you and how you plan to accomplish your goals once you are elected.
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PA04Dan DavidR[did not respond]
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PA04Madeleine DeanDYes. Our democracy has been under threat since the election of Donald Trump – attempting to reduce access to the ballot box, failing to protect our electoral integrity, and working to undue the democratic values that this country was founded on. In Congress, I will never vote for any legislation that limits access to the ballot box or works to disenfranchise people from voting. Additionally, I will work to hold the Trump administration accountable for their failures of protecting our elections. Finally, I will work to restore the core values of our democracy and decency of conduct to our government and politics.I believe healthcare is a right and not a privilege. Everyone deserves access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare, and I will work in Congress to make sure that that access is guaranteed. Specifically, I will support expanding healthcare to all – and vote for budgets that guarantee just that. We know there is a will to accomplish this goal: I will be part of the solution that finds a way.I do support a woman’s right to choose. In Washington I will continue my fight to guarantee women have the unequivocal right to determine their own health choices. As I have in Harrisburg, I will vote and speak out against any bill that puts restrictions on access to abortion clinics or those that put unjust and unconstitutional limitations on women’s private healthcare choices.Immigrants and immigrant communities are a part of the rich history of both Berks County, Montgomery County, and our country. In the legislature, I voted against Republican attempts to defund sanctuary cities and in Congress, I will not only speak up against President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, but also actively work to block any policy that will harm DACA recipients or immigrants. Additionally, I support a path to citizenship for DREAMers. They live in America, work in America – they are Americans.Our children’s lives depend on public servants confronting the gun violence epidemic. In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I have led the fight to end gun violence. I formed and co-Chair the PA SAFE caucus, which works to pass legislation ending gun violence, in addition to introducing legislation – such as a bump stock ban, and stolen legislation, and expanding background checks. In Washington I will never be silenced when speaking against the inaction of the Republican majority on the issue of gun violence. And I will introduce legislation increasing protections, to make certain our communities no longer have to live in fear.We know that climate change is real – it is a fact. I believe we need to put restrictions on our use of fossil fuels, fully fund the agencies that protect our environment, and expand green jobs in our communities. In Harrisburg, I introduced a shale tax in my first full term – in a time when no one would even talk about sensible drilling regulations. The revenue generated by this extraction tax could have been used to fully fund the agencies tasked with protecting the environment and our public health. As a member of Congress, I will continue to make sure that we fund policies that make saving our environment a top priority. A few of these priorities include fully funding the EPA and their projects, investing in renewable energy sources, and expanding access to green jobs.The dynamics of these three issues do not have to be antagonistic – as the Republican majority would have Americans believe. Green jobs are a booming industry, and I intend to work to make sure Pennsylvania and American become leaders in that sector. Focusing on expanding such jobs, coupled with proper respect, protections, and rehabilitation for our environment can create a well-balanced system.The American economic system favors corporations and the wealthy. President Trump and the silent Republican majority in Congress led by Paul Ryan have prioritized giving unbalanced tax cuts to their wealthy donors, instead of investing in jobs for working people. I will fight to remove those unjust tax cuts, increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, protect union jobs, and return to a culture of respect for working people. Working families are the backbone of our country – our economy must support them.Criminal justice reform should be a top priority for the federal government. First, we need to end the system of unfair jailing in the United States. The research shows we have condemned people of color to a system that unfairly targets them and makes it near impossible to functionally return to society after imprisonment. This is a moral failing on the part of our leaders. I will work to end this culture and will continue to advocate and fight for an end to mandatory minimums and cash bail.This run for Congress will be propelled and won by the fighting spirit, hard work, and compassion of the people of the fourth district. In addition to the many issues I am already fighting for, I will listen to the ideas and beliefs of voters in the district, and learn what their priorities are for themselves, their families, and Pennsylvania. I am a progressive fighter who has never been silenced when fighting for change. In Harrisburg, I have fought the battles that others would not, and have led my colleagues in beating back the bad policies of Republicans. In Congress, I will take this spirit and apply it every day to be the un-silenced voice of the people of Berks and Montgomery counties. To fight for your values, our values, and the values of our common humanity.
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PA04Shira GoodmanDThis president is a danger to our democracy. In the last year and half, the institutions of our democracy have been undermined. Our democracy is based on respect for separation of powers, the rule of law, a robust press, and the freedom of the individual to question authority. All of that has been under attack. Opposition is being treated as disloyalty, or worse, treason. Institutions doing their job are being undermined by the Executive Branch. The media is taunted and dismissed as fake news. False equivalencies are created, and serious policy debates are being reduced to the 280 character limit of Twitter. We can and must do better.Health care is absolutely a right and not a privilege. People shouldn't have to see sickness or injury as a financial scare. I fully support Sen. Sander's Medicare for All bill.Yes, I firmly believe that a woman should have full and readily available access to make her reproductive health choices, including safe abortion procedures. I will fight every effort made to chip away at Roe.Absolutely. It's frightening that we have leaders in Congress and the White House who feel the need to divide the country, tear apart families, and harm Americans. Those who have made this country their home after being brought here as children and those who have sought refuge here should be able to comfortably call America their own. It is unconscionable that our leaders could be so cruel as to turn our back on these people. Secondly, there needs to be an accessible path to citizenship for those who are living here - the process is too unwieldy, too unfair, and too long. I have made it my career as the Executive Director of CeaseFirePA to fight gun violence in Pennsylvania and across the country. I have formed coalitions and reached across party lines to stop every effort the NRA has made in the Commonwealth. Additionally, as a Congresswoman, I would push to ban assault weapons and bump stocks, strengthen and expand background checks, require safety and proficiency training prior to gun purchases and annually for gun owners, and fight for more funding for ATF inventories of gun dealers and automation of ATF records reviews as well as funding for research into the causes and effects of and ways to prevent gun violence.The increased frequency of climate change influenced extreme weather effects is already having a significant impact on the country's health and economy. We cannot roll back laws or regulations that will put our country at risk for further damage from climate change or pollution. We must do everything we can so that government agencies have the full strength of the federal government behind them and are fully funded to regulate and oversee every industry with a potential impact on our environment. Further, the recent news regarding the EPA restricting scientific studies it uses to develop and justify regulations is completely unacceptable.We need to do more to support research, development, and implementation of alternative energy sources, e.g. wind and solar. This could include tax incentives and support for research. Federal and state governments should also play a lead role to ensure that low income communities and communities of color do not bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms.No, it isn't fair. The fact that there are men and women working more than 40 hours a week and still living below the poverty line is clear evidence that our system is not fair and is not working. Seniors who have worked their entire lives having to choose between which medical treatments they can afford that month is not living in a fair system. Young students having to take on a mountain of debt to educate themselves is not living in a fair system. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15. We need Medicare for All. We need to forgive student loan debt and make college tuition much more affordable.Too many people have had their lives ruined by being caught up in the criminal justice system, where they were just held and often mistreated, instead of being rehabilitated and welcomed back into society. I support Gov. Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro's efforts to reform the criminal justice system in PA.I've spent every day of the last five plus years fighting the NRA - and I've won every fight. Talking to voters has shown us that curbing gun violence is an incredibly important issue to everyone across Pennsylvania and especially those in Berks and Montgomery Counties. I've put together a great team and we've been able to raise a considerable sum of money from supporters in district, especially as a first time candidate, to tell voters about my message for a more fair and just economy, better gun laws, and protecting our democracy from the current president. I plan on accomplishing these goals in the same way that I've managed CeaseFirePA: by creating and mobilizing coalitions - both inside and outside Congress - to achieve these goals.
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PA04Joe HoeffelD[did not respond]
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PA06Chrissy HoulahanDI served in the U.S. Air Force and am third generation military. I also have several family members who are active duty today, and we all served to protect our nation’s core democratic values. However, I do feel that these values are threatened under this current Administration which is being aided by a complicit Congress. That is why I am running for Congress, so we can get some real world leaders in Federal government instead of career politicians. I believe we must elect a more representative Congress to strengthen our nation’s democracy, and one way to do this is to get money out of politics. It’s wrong that billionaires and special interests can spend unlimited amounts of money to take down anyone who opposes their agenda. It is also wrong that every day citizens are not able to run. If elected, I am committed to making meaningful campaign finance reform a top priority, including limiting the influence of special interests, full disclosure of who donates so voters know who is paying, and keeping foreigners and foreign governments from secretly spending to influence our elections. I am also interested in assuring our unfettered access to the ballot. Campaign reform, voters’ rights, and fair districts are essential to a secure democracy.I believe that healthcare is a universal right and that all of us should have access to affordable and quality care. As COO of And1 Basketball, I ensured our employees had great healthcare benefits. We paid more than 80% of all healthcare costs for all our staff, and their families. We must do all we can to prevent continued attempts to take care away from millions and move us backwards, not forward. I strongly support a public option that people can buy into (with subsidies provided for those in financial need) so that people in markets with little or no choice have a choice should they choose to buy in. While short term efforts to stabilize the market and make it more cost effective and efficient are in progress, I believe that we can work collaboratively in a bipartisan manner to move toward true universal coverage.The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress want to turn back the clock on women's health and eliminate vital funding for Planned Parenthood, denying thousands of women access to lifesaving cancer screening and affordable health care. We can't let this this happen. I believe women's health care decisions should be made between a woman, her doctor, and her faith -- not DC politicians. As a mom, wife, businesswoman, and veteran, I know we must do more to help women and families succeed. In Congress, I will work to protect Planned Parenthood clinics and fight back against efforts to undermine Roe v Wade.My father was a 5 year old refugee when this country welcomed him. He was a Hidden Child in war-torn Poland – sheltered by a family through the course of the war. Thankfully he survived, as did his mother, and they came here as many do in search of safety and the American Dream. My dad came here with seemingly nothing to offer. He became a highly decorated veteran, serving our country with honor for a quarter century. One generation later, I am running for Congress – a testament to the power of the promise we make to each other in this great land of opportunity. I am committed to ensuring that this promise and Dream remain intact for generations to come. Congress needs to come together and provide protections and a path to citizenship for the roughly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children, many of whom contribute to our economy, play by the rules and in some cases they serve us proudly in the military. These young people need a place in our country. We have promised them this, and we keep our promises. There is no question that our immigration system is broken, and we must strengthen our borders. Immigration reform is possible and necessary, and if done properly, can result in growing our economy, reducing our national debt, and strengthening our communities. Our nation’s immigration system is in clear need of improvement, but the only viable solution is a comprehensive, bipartisan approach rather than playing politics. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to move this important agenda forward.Gun violence prevention is a very critical issue. And it is widely agreed upon that many commonsense actions can and should be taken. Shootings are such a regular occurrence that we cannot afford to wait. We need to have this debate now and take the precautions and legislative steps necessary to prevent future tragedies from occurring. This issue is very near to my heart. I taught high school chemistry in an area in which students were able to get their hands on guns because they were ever-present in the community. Additionally, one of my husband’s cousins was one of the EMTs after the Sandy Hook tragedy; his story rings in my mind every time there is another senseless tragedy. I support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, but I also believe we must take commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. Enough is enough. We must act. First, we need to allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research these issues so that we can use data to inform our decisions. I cannot understand how the gun lobby has persuaded Congress to ban the CDC from pursuing this basic research. Similarly, we must be better at funding mental health. We also need to pursue some commonsense safety measures — measures that the majority of Pennsylvania families support. These steps include closing the gun show loophole, renewing the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and restrictions on high-capacity firearm magazines, and universal criminal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers.Tragically, the Trump Administration has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” It has also appointed deniers and skeptics to key oversight positions, moved to slash research budgets and reduce program funding, and otherwise attacked key domestic environmental programs. All this in the service of special interests. In Congress, I will be a champion for our environment and will work to combat the threat of climate change and the assault on truth and data. I support President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the recent Paris Agreement that President Trump has repeatedly threatened to leave. I will support legislation to protect our public lands, keep our drinking water clean, and continue moving toward a future with renewable and clean energy.More than 75% of the US economy is driven by for-profit businesses. I think that successful businesses can work with care and concern for the environment and economic justice. I worked to help grow a new sector of the economy, called B Corps (the B stands for Benefit). I was the founding COO of B Lab, the non-profit that identifies and supports these companies. These are for-profit businesses that worry about more than the bottom line or share-holder value in their business decisions – they are legally allowed to consider the environment, the community and the employees in their day to day decisions and in critical business inflection points. As a result of this work and movement, in more than 35 states and in more than 50 countries, you can now choose to run a business as a Benefit Corporation. One example of such a business is Patagonia. This B Corp is at the fore of balancing economic development and environmental justice. In fact, they just sued the US government to retain the land in Utah Bears Ears national monument. Businesses and economic development and environmental (and social) justice are not mutually incompatible and this is not a zero sum game. In fact, there is abundant academic research that demonstrates that businesses that take care of their employees, engage in their community, and preserve our environment will be more profitable in the long term.I grew up a true product of the American Dream. Mine is a story that could only happen in America. My father is a survived WWII and the Holocaust as a “Hidden Child” and came here with his widowed mother when he was a child. He later served as a Captain in the U.S. Navy. Because of his Navy service, I grew up in half a dozen states and attended twice that many schools. No matter where we were, my parents always emphasized education and the opportunities a good education could provide. I fear the American Dream that I benefited from is in danger. Many Pennsylvania families are working harder and struggling to get ahead, while certain career politicians seem to have lost interest in their constituents’ lives, in creating real jobs, in affordable healthcare, and in educating people. We need to rebuild the country where families can work hard and climb the economic ladder. In Congress, my first priority will be to construct and advance programs that improve economic security for Pennsylvania families. We need to build a 21st century economy, one where people can work hard and share in prosperity, not envy it. Having been the chief operating officer of two Southeastern Pennsylvania businesses, I helped bring hundreds of jobs to our region. I know that a good relationship between government and business can spur and support job creation and job security. We need leaders in Congress with real world experience, representatives who will work to create a prosperous future in which we all can share, while providing up to date training and support for Pennsylvanians whose jobs are gone or going. Furthermore, we must also ensure that businesses pay a living wage, that equal work gets equal pay, and that the workplace respects the dignity of its employees.Our nation has a real problem with mass incarceration; we solve too many of our societal issues with imprisoning our citizenry. These issues are particularly acute in populations that are under duress. I would like to see us pick up on the conversation and progress that we were collectively making in a bipartisan manner before the Trump Administration.I never thought I would run for office before, but I could not stand by and watch President Trump misrepresent our values while Congress stood aside. I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, businesswoman, educator, and mother, and have the service background and real world experience I believe we are lacking in Congress. I am inspired by all the energy I have seen in our community over the past year and am excited to continue working with all of our supporters to flip this seat in November. I believe we will win this race together by getting out in our communities and talking about the real issues at stake this election. If elected, I will bring my experience to Congress to create good jobs, expand access and affordability to healthcare, improve and strengthen education, fight for veterans and hold this administration accountable.
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PA06Greg McCauleyR[did not respond]
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PA09George HalcovageR[did not respond]
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PA09Daniel MeuserR[did not respond]
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PA09Laura QuickDI once thought that America’s “Great Democratic Experiment” was strong enough to withstand inept governance within and threats from outside. That our constitutional framers had done an excellent job of setting ourselves up for success. The election of 2016 has changed my mind. The present administration is slowly dismantling our institutions and Congress is only writing legislation that helps the 1%. We need to fill Congressional seats with people ready to serve ALL of their constituents and prepared to write and pass legislation that restores the middle class. We must also get the dark money out of politics by repealing Citizens United and overhaul the campaign finance system.In the majority of developed nations have a healthcare system that covers all of their citizens. They either have a market-based system which brings down cost or government run healthcare. The US has the worst of both worlds. Our private healthcare companies have been left to their own devices for far too long under our employer-based system to have any chance at a market-driven competition that is fair to the consumer. The government run Medicare and Medicaid does well but is far from perfect. America is long overdue for a healthcare system that covers everyone. The ACA was a good start at taking our unwieldy employer-based system, combining it with an improved Medicaid/Medicare system and transitioning to affordable healthcare for all. There were two huge problems however with how the ACA tried to achieve its goals. The first problem was letting the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies retain so much power in the pricing. This makes it virtually impossible for market forces to really do an effective job at keeping costs low. The second problem with the ACA was to not establish a national public option. Instead of depending on individual states to expand Medicaid, it should have offered a national Medicaid buy-in. Now that the Republicans have done a lot to undermine the ACA we might need to start over with whole new plan but we can only revive the ACA or start over if we flip the House, Senate and get back the White House. Go Blue Wave!Roe v. Wade has saved millions of women from losing their ability to have future children and sometimes losing their lives to botched “back-alley” abortions. And now due to very loud groups who want to save in utero babies clashing with those who want to protect a woman’s right to choose, American women’s healthcare has become collateral damage. Places like Planned Parenthood and healthcare clinics provide critical services to keep women and babies healthy – especially those of low-income. We need to call out those who stoke fear and propagate lies and misinformation about abortion. A woman’s decision to start or expand her family needs to be made in consultation with her family, physician and faith. I will defend Roe v. Wade and will work to make women’s health a priority.DREAMers were brought here as children and know no other culture or country. They are contributing members of our society and often serve in our military. They should be given a clean path to citizenship decided by legislation in Congress so that we solve this problem permanently. As for the rest of undocumented immigrants there should be separate legislation that not only allows them a path towards legal resident status but an eventual path to citizenship after a certain period of time and restitutions for not having paid taxes.The first thing we should do is repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow the Center for Disease Control to gather national data and study gun violence. We should then invite the NRA to change its response to gun violence – especially mass shootings – by encouraging them to stop fearmongering and joining the fight for common sense gun safety laws. If they refuse to join us we must then find ways to change the national discourse without them. The students from Parkland, FL have taken bold steps in this new direction and we should not only continue to support them but help them convert their passion and grief into actual national legislation. Ultimately I would like a ban on bump stocks and assault rifles, close loopholes in the purchase of guns (for example: the gun show loophole) and impose a more rigorous path to background checks. Responsible gun owners should be rewarded for safe storage of guns and ammunition and encouraged to register their guns nationally (either privately or publicly).We must continue to educate the public on how climate change is real. We should also start planning for a phasing out of fossil fuel extraction and dependence to renewables such as wind and solar power. I would strongly advocate for the federal government to have a comprehensive approach to this transition so as not to abandon workers in the fossil fuel industry. I propose an “energy union” that incorporates workers in the fossil fuels AND renewables so that the new jobs in wind and solar can cover the pensions of the old jobs in fossil fuels while we transition.Economic development and being good stewards of our planet is not a zero-sum game. Right now there are approximately 600,000 wind turbine jobs to 70,000 coal mining jobs. Both are physically demanding and well-paying but working above-ground with a wind turbine is far better for your health than working in a mine. I would also like to see converting oil and gas pipeline workers to water and sewage pipeline workers. I’m sure that Flint, MI is not an isolated incident.Right now the American economy is rigged for those at the top. It got this way because of powerful corporate interests inserting themselves into our legislative and judicial processes. We need to start creating legislation that is more employee-minded than employer-sided.Absolutely. The US has 25% of the world’s prisoners while we represent only 5% of the world’s population. Federal laws got us in this mess so federal laws need to take us out. We need to end the era of mass incarceration, root out racial discrimination in the system, and ensure humane, constitutional standards for prisoners. For decades we have tried to arrest our way out of societal problems that our politicians choose to sweep under the rug. We can start by enacting legislation that reverses the trend of income inequality in this country and invests in public education to stem the school to prison pipeline.I plan to win the primary with a powerful GOTV effort. The redistricting has forced me to throw out my original campaign plan of 10,000 doors by the primary so I plan on having as many “boots on the ground” as possible the weekend before the primary. Once I win the primary I feel confident that I will have proven that a no-name candidate with the right message can win an election. I will then resume my 10,000 door campaign and raise a minimum of $500,000 for the general. I will work tirelessly on getting my message out to the voters of the new 9th through town hall meetings, focus groups and events around the district. Democrats are at a 47,000 voter disadvantage in the new 9th so I will focus on getting the Democrats out to vote, the Independents on my side (53,000) and any Republicans that can be brought over. I will need to focus on my 3 priorities (jobs, education, healthcare) and not be distracted by wedge issues. If elected I will continue to work hard at making legislation that improves the lives of the 99% and will attend as many town halls around the district as humanly possible. I will rely on groups like Indivisible Berks to be my touchstone to good public policy that works for ALL Americans.
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PA09Scott UelingerRI believe in Term Limits for Elected Officials. This would strengthen our Democracy by reducing the effects of Special Interests upon politicians and policy.I do not support a Single Payer System as that is by definition a Socialist system - and believe that most of the reform should occur in the private sector. Allowing insurance companies to cross State Lines would be one common sense reform that would allow the Market to resolve the issue.I am a firm supporter of Life and will do everything I can to ensure legislation that will make Abortion increasingly rare. This would include eliminating Late Term Abortion, necessitating mothers to view their ultrasound prior to any decision and supporting legislation such as the Fetal Pain Awareness ActNo action can be taken on DREAMERS, nor any Amnesty given to Illegals, UNTIL a Border Wall is built (at a minimum). For too long in the past, Democrats have baited Republicans to ease immigration legislation with future (unfulfilled) promises of Border Wall construction. As the Father and Husband of Green Card Holders (LEGAL Immigrants) I am determined to crack down on illegal immigration, and fully support the Border Wall, institution of eVerify and elimination of Chain Migration.Gun violence is a problem in our increasingly amoral society. This reflects the weaknesses of our liberal progressive society more than the availability of firearms (which are no more available than they have been for 75 years). I do NOT support any further abridgment of our Second Amendment rights, but fully support information sharing amongst our mental health programs and law enforcement personnel (as respective as possible of our Rights to Privacy) to enforce the laws we ALREADY have on the books. The recent tragedy in Florida was a comprehensive failure of a variety of programs involving county and State officials. Should those programs have functioned as advertised, the tragedy would never have happened.The US has an obligation to efficiently and cleanly take advantage of our natural resources as a means of enhancing National Security. A US less dependent on foreign sources of energy is a safer and more self-sufficient America. This also removes sources of income from energy rich, authoritarian regimes such as Iran or Russia. The Federal government should not be heavily investing in clean energy in a way that supports non-economical enterprises (think Solyndra or Tesla). The Federal govt must ensure that the standards of the Clean Air and Clean Water Act are enforced, but should not be using the EPA in an unauthorized manner to make Carbon dioxide a regulated gas, for example. Climate change as a result of human activity is unproven (see "Inconvenient Facts" by Gregory Wrightstone) - and we thus need to be very skeptical of treaties such as the Paris Climate Accord which proposed radical solutions to problems that may not even exist in the medium term. We must also be wary of any Treaties which restrict energy exploitation of advanced economies, while letting developing countries exploit without restraint their own resources - which is invariably done in an environmentally unsafe manner.There is always a balance between Economic Development and a Clean Environment. What is often not understood, however, is that due to legislation in the 1970s, the US is considerably cleaner ecologically in 2018 than it was some 30 or more years before. We have made considerable progress - but must be wary of not enacting further regulation and legislation which discourages Industry from efficiently exploiting our resources - and producing well paying jobs for Americans in the process.The US capitalist system, while imperfect, has historically been the most dynamic engine of human social progress in History. To the extent it can be reformed , we must ensure that it does not become an oligarchy, where Special Interests are able to curry legislative favor not due to Product/Service improvement, but due to Cronyism. We must be on guard for Cronyism in our system, which affords unequal protection before the law. By reducing such corruption, we will find that a less fettered capitalism will even more efficiently move the economy, and the United States, with it.Criminal Justice Reform must be enacted - specifically regarding the incarceration of Illegal Immigrants. Almost 20% of Federal inmates are illegally in the United States - resulting in an unnecessary burden on our limited resources. Some of these individuals are members of MS-13, the most vicious gang in the country. These individuals must be deported and not permitted to return. This is yet another reason why a Border Wall must be constructed. Such a Wall will also greatly reduce the crime and violence that is a feature of life on BOTH sides of the Mexican-American border.I will win this election because I am not only the only Veteran and Non-Politician in the race, but also because I share the concerns of the common person in this District. As the Father and Husband of Legal Immigrants, I understand the necessity of Immigration Reform. As a Non-Politician, I will not be beholden to Special Interests and have no intention in becoming a "professional politician". As a retired (28 years service) Naval Officer, I am greatly concerned about our national defense and our ability to protect the country against the threats of the present and future. As a former Trump Delegate, I am determined to support President Trump's policies as long as they are consistent with Conservative Principles. Lastly, as a retired CIA Officer, I am outraged at the Corruption of the Justice Dept and elsewhere in the Federal govt. As a man who has taken the Oath (multiple times) to support the Constitution, I speak for the people in my District who are tired of unequal justice and who want the investigation and punishment of the perpetrators involved in such acts. As an individual who, when elected, has more experience in Intelligence than anyone in the US Congress (or Senate), I will be particularly well situated to serve my District, and my Country.
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PA09Gary WegmanDAbsolutely yes. The republic upon which our democratic principles has been founded is being corrupted by access to excessive amounts of money, and the power that this money can purchase. Thus, we need to find ways to “limit” the influence “outside” monies can have in influencing elections, and in allowing special interests to have their agendae take precedence over that of the constituents our elected leaders are supposed to represent. I would first encourage my constituents to write all of their elected leaders to request that the Supreme Court “Citizen’s United” decision be overturned. Allowing Corporations to contribute unaccounted for monies without limit to campaigns is a recipe for corruption and division in our nation. I would also like to see the following instituted, and I will work for these proposals within our legislative system of governance: - Make the Representative to Congress Term 4 years each term (instead of 2 year terms), limited to three elected terms -Limit Senate service to two elected terms -Limit the time one can campaign and/or raise money for elected Federal office to 6 months prior to a primary election date. -Limit the amounts of monies that can be spent between a primary and a general election to a specific figure (to be determined by Congress) -Improve people’s rights to privacy by strengthening laws that would protect private citizens from corporations, persons, or nation states from accessing and using/weaponizing their personal information gathered from their social media websites.The reason our present healthcare system is not being reformed is not due to a lack of need, but rather due to an unwillingness to take on the special interests that are profiting from the current system. The two main failures of our current Healthcare System is that it is far too expensive, and it does not “incentivize” preventive services that would encourage early intervention to help to minimize pain and suffering. (This would contain costs while improving long term health outcomes as a result of early treatment and intervention.) The cost of Health Insurance continues to escalate year after year without check upon the rates that are being asked of the individuals and businesses that purchase medical insurance products. In my opinion, to allow a third party medical insurance industry to profit on the misfortunes of the medically compromised individuals of our society is unethical and should be outlawed. The current system has promoted a situation whereby no one, and I mean no one actually “knows” what the cost of a hospital-based, health service is or will be for any procedure performed anywhere in a hospital in America. The price differs based upon who you are, if you have any benefits to help pay for this service, who provides you these benefits (yourself, AARP, CHIP, Private Medical Insurance, in-network vs out of network, etc.), how you pay for the service (Cash, check, credit card, care credit, etc.), who performs the service (Dr, PA, Nurse practitioner, etc.), and where the service is performed (Hospital, SurgiCenter, Private medical office, etc.). The high cost of medical insurance premiums that are needed to feed the insurance beast, and the high deductibles put in place to force you to pay before you receive any insurance “benefit” coverage, has resulted in a system whereby you are given a “disincentive” to seek treatment, because you must come up with out of pocket monies prior to receiving diagnosis and treatment. This results in higher costs for overall care, since now situations which could have been intervened upon and treated in such a manner that there would have been far less pain and suffering of the individual, and at a much reduced total cost. My solution would be to create a “publicly funded but privately managed” healthcare system (Single Payer Healthcare). This is not a “Socialized Medicine” system, for the government would not own the healthcare delivery systems, nor the providers who render care. These would continue to compete in the private marketplace, almost as they do now, but without the “in network vs out of network” gaming of the system. The government would negotiate with the stakeholders in the healthcare industry to determine the range of fees that would be allowed for any service anywhere in US Territory, as well as the price of any medication purchased in America. The benefits of this type of change to our system are many. Listed below are but just a few: Lowers the cost of property taxes (less benefit costs to teacher and school worker salaries) Makes our Global Businesses more competitive (no longer incur the burden/cost of employee healthcare expenses) Lowers the price of a new Automobile made in America (Presently, 18% of a new auto made in the USA are due to Healthcare costs to the manufacturer) Eliminates “Job Lock”, meaning, you can relocate to another state, and take a new job, and not have to worry about losing coverage due to a pre-existing condition, etc. We will have a “Healthier” Society, due to incentivizing preventive routine examinations, leading to early treatment and less cost to the individual and our system. This means better attendance at school and work, leading to greater productivity from our workforce. This “Medicare for All” System will mean no more bankruptcy due to medical illness, and no more worry or stress as to whether or not anyone in the family can afford their healthcare. We presently pay 60% of our Health costs in America to the government with our existing taxes. By reducing the price of treatment from within the system, and by eliminating the 20-30 % of health premium dollars that are being taken out of the system by the medical insurance industry for administration, salary, profit, and real estate costs, the minimal earned income tax monies that will be placed upon all people and businesses working on American soil will be far less that what we are paying at present The focus of any “healthcare visit” can now be on “wellness”, or what one can do to become healthier and heal, rather than worrying about how one is going to afford and pay for treatment . Lastly, ALL Americans will receive treatment equally,, regardless of economic or social class. This will end the special healthcare benefits that our elected officials have created for themselves.This is a very sensitive question, and requires a very thoughtful and delicate response. So I will choose to respond as follows: I support a woman’s right “Not to have any government tell her what she can and/or cannot do with her own body”! I am a doctor, and I will work in support of life, and I mean all life on our planet, and also in support of all of the laws that govern American society. The 1972 Supreme Court decision on Roe vs Wade is a law in America, and I would work to uphold this law, although this is above my pay grade, for this is a matter for the Supreme Court to determine. Regarding the question of abortion, we must work in every way possible to educate all populations to prevent a person from being placed in a situation of having an unwanted pregnancy. Education is the key to preventing bad choices in life, and this situation is no exception. Thus I would support any and all institutions that work to provide such an education to our people.In all my actions as a Representative to Congress, I would hope that the overriding principle guiding me would be to emphasize humane responses to all situations pertaining to inhabitants of our planet. Thus, I regard the situation whereby a child that has been brought into the United States illegally, and has subsequently grown up in this country, has not been involved with criminal activities, and is a contributing (ie. employed member of the workforce, full or part time student, etc.) member to society, then I would regard it inappropriate to deport such an individual to a country that they have never known. I would support a pathway to citizenship for such an individual, and I would not support any actions that would threaten removing individuals who fall into these “Dreamer” or TPS categories from the United States. I am not privy to the many circumstances that may drive people to seek to live in the US, either legally or illegally. So I will not “judge” circumstances that have led the US to have 10 million undocumented inhabitants, but rather I would support someway to give these inhabitants “legal status” to remain in the US, provided they are contributing members to our society, and are not involved in criminal activities or have a history of violent behavior. I would also support intelligent and creative ways of strengthening our border security, and mechanisms for following up on expiring visitor visas, such that we prevent such situations from reoccurring in our country in our future. The agriculture sector of our 9th District needs an immigrant workforce to help with the work on our farms and in our vineyards and orchards. I am not in favor of a "merit" based admissions immigration system, and would support legislation that would make it easier for businesses to "keep" good non-citizen immigrant workers employed and on the job legally, until they are able to achieve US Citizenship.We have a “violence” problem in America, with violence perpetrated by individuals using guns as a serious symptom of this broader issue. I want to make it completely clear that I support a “50 State” law that would require a mandatory 3 day waiting period and background check on all individuals seeking to purchase any firearm from any venue in any state or territory of this nation. I believe we need to revisit the existing laws that we have enacted to deal with this issue, such that we can correct any flaws in this existing legislation that will allow these laws to function more efficiently and as intended. The “NixFix” correction that was just passed in the Omnibus Budget Law was needed to facilitate proper reporting to the database that is to function to screen out persons who have a history of violence, or of mental illness, that would disallow them from making a firearm purchase. We need to assure that the platform to which all this data is being placed is functional across all the reporting entities necessary to give an accurate assessment of the potential firearm purchaser’s history with law enforcement and/or our military. This does not exist today, and we need to make this correction happen in all 50 states to assure proper communication on this issue among all law enforcement entities. I would also support a 50 State solution that would enact “Red Flag Legislation”, as currently exists in several states in our nation, that would allow a mechanism for loved ones or persons in positions of authority or medical oversight to give law enforcement, with proper due process, the ability to “confiscate” firearms from any individual deemed a risk to themselves or to others, until such a time that this individual is deemed to no longer be a threat to society or to themselves. The above two initiatives have overwhelming support among a majority of all Americans, and should be enacted immediately without delay. Other areas of concern to many people in America are the question of military style weapons in the hands of the private sector, and large clip sizes and conversion methods to make existing weapons “automatic” in their firing function. I would support the reduction in all “clips” for any weapon to be restricted to 10 rounds maximum in any clip. This would provide time for persons in such situations to get away and/or intervene if they encounter a situation where a perpetrator of gun violence would have to stop to reload his or her weapon. With military “assault” style weapons, the concern with these guns is that the ammunition or rounds are designed to be so destructive to humans. We therefore have to have a serious conversation with all gun enthusiasts as to whether having the availability of such weapons in the private marketplace is something that is necessary, or would the greater good of our society be better served by taking these weapons out of private citizen hands. Given the carnage and death caused by these types of weapons in recent attacks, the momentum of this question appears to be moving away from allowing the manufacture and sale of these weapons to private persons (ie. recent legislative changes to gun law in Florida). As a farmer, I am a gun owner and gun user. I recognize the right and the need of many of my constituents to have rifles and guns on their land to defend their crops and livestock. In light of this reality, I consider my above views to be based on reason and not in conflict with the principles of common sense or our second amendment. I do not support the arming of teachers with lethal weaponry in our schools. We do, however, have to enact safe school legislation that will require a range of proper screening facilities for all persons entering a school area, as deemed appropriate by their local governing school boards. I oppose the manufacturing and sale of “bump stocks”, and I am against the ability to purchase a “build your own weapon” through the mail. Lastly, I would support legislation that will require a “permitting” period for all “first time firearm purchasers”, such that any such individual, just as we do with the operation of automobiles or airplanes, must submit to a process of education and medical evaluation, so as to learn how to properly use, store, clean, and sell/dispose of any firearm that they may wish to own. I am not the first to suggest such legislation, but I believe it is time that we consider the benefits of having such an education before you become the owner of a firearm with the potential to cause such harm to yourself or others.When it comes to our environment, I believe there is no doubt that science has shown that man can seriously influence, and is influencing the quality and viability of our earth’s waters, soil, and atmosphere. As such, I would take a seriously “less moderate” approach on legislating to incentivize the behavior of our constituents that would lead to more positive atmospheric and environmental conditions. I would support America “rejoining” the Paris Climate accords, and work to “incentivize” the creation of new 21st Century energy sector jobs in the development of Solar Panels, Wind turbines, etc. I view the advantage of such an approach to the fact that these energy sources (the sun and the wind) cannot be monopolized by any owners, compared to the way mineral rights owned by our fossil fuel industry are currently be controlled. Regarding the extraction of fossil fuels, again, as a doctor, I am trained to look to the source of a problem, and not to treat only the symptom. Carbon emission from fossil fuels is a problem for sustaining life on earth, and we must take prudent yet dramatic steps in the direction of science based energy development to address this reality. Thus, due to the toxic and carcinogenic nature of the chemicals presently used in the Pennsylvania “Fracking” industry to extract natural gas from our Marcellus Shale substrata layer, I would err on the side of “science” by limiting or outlawing this process until such a time that it can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that this process will not place neighbors, livestock, wildlife, and our water supply in jeopardy of any negative health consequences. It is a quite elementary question to me, that “if you would not want to live next to or drink the water from or work at any such facility where fracking is occurring, then why would you want anyone else to have to be subjected to this risk?” Lastly, the rural communities and farms of the 9th District have the ability to be used for renewable energy sources, by tapping in to these open spaces for solar panel grids and wind turbine placement through federal incentive programs. The monies gained from energy production on our farms and transported to our urban sectors could be used to help subsidize the incomes of our farm communities that are presently suffering from the low market prices of the products they are producing.As a child, I was blessed with the ability to spend most of my youth outdoors. Today I witness that most of what I knew as “wildlife” in Pennsylvania has changed, unfortunately towards the negative. I see the role of government as being necessary to protect the environment from unscrupulous business practices that although in many cases they may not intentional, they do not take into consideration the necessary protections of the environment that they are interacting with. Thus, I would uphold most heavily a regard for a clean environment. Remember, doing business development without regard to environmental concerns may save money for a certain business and its shareholders in the short run, but what history has taught us is that in the long run, the negative environmental consequences of allowing industry to behave unchecked in regards to environmental consequences of their disruption to the planet always costs the next generation more (for a less desirable outcome) than it would have cost the company and society in the present day to do it correctly the first time around. We can grow an economy based upon sound scientific principles, without bankrupting our nation’s future by compromising our planet when we know and have the technology to prevent such situations from developing. (Historic example of the coal communities in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties, and the clean up in the 20th century that was required to rectify environmental consequences of the coal industry actions.) I would also advocate strongly for “transportation oriented development”, which should exist to incentivize where growth is occurring in our neighborhoods and cities, and disincentivize the development of our open spaces that has led to sprawl and an increase in residential communities, requiring the allocation of additional monies for infrastructure development, and the unintended consequences of raising the temperatures and negative contents of our small streams due to stormwater and other rainwater runoff into these streams. Lastly, we need to honor the efforts made to create National Park spaces, and not allow these areas to be compromised in search of mineral exploration, particularly when other clean energy sources could be ramped up and uses to sustain our energy grid, without compromising the environment in the process.I believe that fixing the broken American existing “healthcare system” will go a long way in repairing much of what is “unfair” with the existing american economic system. Let me explain. American Businesses that must fund Healthcare for their employees are in an inherent competitive disadvantage with the competition from other countries in a global economy. In many states, the property taxes used to fund public schools are so high because of the spiraling inflationary costs of having to fund healthcare for all school employees, which is forcing people out of their homes. Allowing a for profit 3rd party “medical insurance”industry to “profit” from the misfortune of those who suffer health-related pre-existing conditions, or consequences from work-related, automobile or any other accident, is not a “fair” enterprise. Life is not fair, agreed, but we as a society can do better to protect those who are less fortunate among us. When some of the richest persons in the world today own and operate an American corporation whose full time employees are not paid a “living wage”, and the rest of the American workforce must “subsidize” this business’s employees and their families by paying from their tax dollars for the “medicaid” program that fund the healthcare expenses of this underpaid work force and their family members, then something is seriously out of balance with our system of law in America. I would support a “Medicare for All” style publicly funded but privately administered Single Payer (not a socialized medicine) model for a “new” Healthcare System in America. This would eliminate the “for Profit Medical Insurance industry, it would reduce property taxes by making the costs of healthcare less onerous, less expensive and more predictable on a year to year basis, and American business could compete globally on a more level playing field. Recognizing that the cost of living is not uniform throughout our nation, I would support the development of a raise in the minimum wage for full time employment in America, dependent upon the geographic location and cost of living indicators for each of these regions. Annual cost of living increases should also be built in to any minimum wage model. (In Pennsylvania, I would agree with our Governor and would work to bring this Minimum wage law up to $12.00 per hour over a period of several years, and possibly more for full time employees, particularly if Healthcare Reform to a Medicare for All system is enacted!)We need to seriously have an American dialogue regarding the state of our criminal justice system, why we incarcerate more people than the rest of the nations of the free world combined, and why persons of color so outnumber the other inhabitants of our prison system. I have always been, and will continue to advocate for the legalization of marijuana for use above 21 years of age. We need to eliminate the profit incentive from the prohibited substance, which is driving so many individuals into this negative lifestyle. This will lead to less people of color being arrested, leading to less disruption in their families and neighborhoods. Good paying jobs from the research and development of medical uses for extractions from this plant could be beneficial to society, and the tax revenue from another agricultural product could be used to strengthen and enhance education in america. By restricting legal use to age 21, the tendency of some to consume to their detriment the use of this substance before the maturation of their brain would be reduced. Another potential positive side effect of this legislation could be a reduction in the number and power of latin american drug cartels, who would lose their cash cow in this commodity, reducing violence in these communities, and placing less pressure upon the law abiding citizens who live there to have to escape and migrate to safer areas. Lastly, I am not an advocate, and I do not support the concept of “privatization” of our Prison systems. Private businesses operate on a model of “for profit”, meaning in this case an incentive to see our prisons “full” rather than incentivizing educating the inhabitants to learn a pathway to reintegrate into society in a more healthful and beneficial manner.The new 9th District will be won by the candidate who best reflects and respects the values and priorities of the constituents of the 9th District; all of our constituents, be they from our urban centers, our rural communities, and without regard for anyone’s political party affiliation. Healthcare represents 20% of our national economy, and it is spiraling out of control. Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s biggest industry. With 61 years of hands on experience as a Pennsylvania Farmer, and with 35 years in the trenches as a healthcare provider, there is no candidate better qualified to resolve the issues of importance to the constituents of the 9th District of Pennsylvania than Gary Wegman. I intend to build a groundswell of support for my common sense solutions from all the communities within our district. The candidate with the best ground game will win this race, based upon an energized voter turnout in support of our issues, and not due to money or outside influence. It is my intention to attempt to serve the constituents of the 9th District in Congress by trying to represent them in the following committees in the House of Representatives: Health and Human Services Agriculture House Committee on Foreign Affairs Our Farmers need new markets for our products. We need to engage with the world where markets exist in need of our products, and facilitate this exchange. My french speaking skills should be an asset to this effort when seeking these markets in Southwest Africa and Southeast Asia. We also need to engage with the French, Swiss, Wisconsin and Vermont residents to bring a cheese and yogurt processing industry to the dairy market of Pennsylvania. I also intend to build upon past efforts to reform healthcare, by working tirelessly to build coalitions that will seek to advance the reforms our system needs to achieve Medicare for All and the goals expressed above regarding the benefits of this approach for all American residents. As a self employed small businessman, I know the value a good paying job can have on one’s life, on one’s family, and on one’s community, and I intend to work tirelessly to improve the environment we work in everyday by leading through example based upon the ethics I have been taught being raised in this area; those being hard work, fair play, and an equal opportunity to succeed. I will give this endeavor my heartfelt devotion and 24/7 attention, and I ask for your vote and your support of my candidacy to represent the new 9th Congressional District.
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PA09Denny WolffDYes, with a particular emphasis on ending the incredibly unfair practice of Gerrymandering -- whether that's at the federal or state level.I support improving the Affordable Care Act & extending Medicare to those with no other healthcare options. This is an incredibly important issue to me after my youngest son was born with a rare liver disease and received a transplant at 18 months old. At the hospitals, we were never asked if we were a Republican or Democrat, but every single one asked if we had health insurance. Families we knew with sick children that didn't have health insurance did not have outcomes as favorable. That's not right.Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and I respect that. However, I do have an issue with late-term abortions.Yes, I support DREAMers and providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.It is very important to improve accuracy and transparency in our background check system.Climate change is occurring. I support the continued development and deployment of clean energy as well as promoting technologies which allow traditional sources of fuel to burn cleaner. Energy efficiency measures are also an important part of this equation.These options frequently aren't at odds with each other. We can have economic development while also being good stewards of our environment.Certainly not in all places. Our middle class is shrinking and wage growth has been too stagnant for too long. I also support equal pay. I fully support policies to grow the middle class and provide upward economic mobility.Yes, there's many topics that need addressed. Identifying and addressing mental health issues in our criminal justice system is very important.
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