Positions

The following are statements of support or opposition to policy positions. Each position includes passion information to help indicate priority. Positions are ordered by passion, the higher a position, the more energy I'll be devoting to it.

Party passion is a best guess estimate based on role call votes and campaign rhetoric, it is included only for comparison. The further a number from zero the more passion. Positive numbers indicate support, negative numbers indicate opposition.

Score Voting

If your goal was to use a voting system that favored two party dominance and required leaders to pander to the extremes, you would use our current system. If your goal was to use a voting system that maximized voter expression, was biased towards none, ensured every candidate could be viable, and resulted in less pandering to the extremes, you would use score voting.

With score voting voters give each candidate a score between 0-9, they give a low score to candidates they like the least, and a high score to candidates they like the most. In the end the candidate with the most points still wins. Score voting is simple, competitive and fair (the Olympics use it), and because it has so many upsides and no downsides, I call it the silver bullet of reforms. With this one reform, everything changes, and for the better.

Republicans you say you like competition? Democrats you say you like fairness? Great, then you should both be supportive of this reform.

My Passion
11
Party Passion
-10
-10

Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering happens when party leaders draw district lines for partisan gain by using your age, income, party affiliation, race, and past voting habits to control what district you are in.

When party leaders do this they are picking you, instead of the other way around, and when this happens you lose. When party leaders draw lines for partisan gain and create safe seats for incumbents, you lose. When party leaders divide us based on our personal traits and contribute to a divide that is tearing this nation apart, we all lose.

Very few talk about gerrymandering reform because it is not sexy. Meanwhile, the two parties quietly go about distorting our democratic process by controlling who votes in what district. Make no mistake about it, this practice has a huge impact on who wins elections and it is the most distorting and least understood democracy stealing practice that goes on today.

Restricting line drawing responsibility should not rest with Party leaders, instead it should rest with non partisan committees who use only population and geographic data to draw lines. I can't stand unfair advantage. I can't stand gerrymandering.

My Passion
-11
Party Passion
8
9

Private gains, Social Losses

Too big to fail? Too politically well connected to lose? We don't deserve that. I do not support the idea that any bank, any corporation, any company, or any person is too big to fail. The federal government should not try to prevent the rich from falling down any more than they would prevent the poor from rising up.

We don't deserve leaders who protect the privileged few. We don't deserve leaders who engage in crony capitalism.

My Passion
-10
Party Passion
2
2

Term Limits

What would serve this country best are citizen legislatures, what we have now are career politicians. 

There are many arguments both for and against term limits, and while they alone are not enough to deal with what ails us in government, they are a step in the right direction. I support a limit of two terms for the U.S Senate and three terms for the U.S. House of Representatives. I have pledged to hold myself to these same limits.

My Passion
9
Party Passion
-6
-5

Democracy Vouchers

Public officials spend 30-70% of their time raising large sums of money from the same groups impacted by their vote. You can blame them, but the blame really should be focused on our system of funding elections. It takes money to win, and candidates want to win, so they raise money.

The supreme court ruled money is speech, so we should not aim to address the issue of money in politics by denying people the right to spend money "or speak". The way we address the issue is to go in the opposite direction. We give every taxpayer the opportunity to have their voice heard by providing them a $50 voucher for use in support of candidates or parties of their choosing. This will help put the focus back on all American taxpayers.

My Passion
9
Party Passion
-9
-9

SOPA | PIPA

SOPA and PIPA would fundamentally alter the free and open internet that we know today. While I support attempts to curb online copyright infringement, I do not support these laws as written and will make it a priority to fight against any legislation that centralizes control of the internet.

My Passion
-9
Party Passion
4
7

War on Drugs

I oppose the war on drugs. It is not winnable, it is not working, and it is costly in terms of life (wasted in jail for non violent offenders) and treasure (the expense of waging it).  Drug addiction should be treated by healthcare providers, not jails or the court system.

My Passion
-9
Party Passion
1
5

Fiscal Report to Congress

Facts matter in any debate, especially in debates where the outcome impacts the entire nation. To help ensure everyone is working off the same set of facts, and to minimize the amount of distortions in the system, I support the idea of a nonpartisan individual delivering an annual, televised fiscal update to a joint session of Congress. (#7 of 12 ways to make congress work, as proposed by nolabels.org)

My Passion
8
Party Passion
0
0

Civil Unions

Our nations founding documents champion liberty and equality. If two people want to share life together it should be of no consequence to the government if they are homosexual or heterosexual. All the same rights should be afforded to both groups. I support Civil Unions and the right of gays to marry.

My Passion
8
Party Passion
5
-8

Taking the Fight to Terrorists

It would be disingenuous to claim "terrorists attack us because we're a free nation", they attack us for the very reason they say they attack us: our Foreign Policy.

There is however a right way and wrong way to address grievances in foreign policies and under no circumstance is killing innocent Americans ever going to be tolerated. In this regard, I support taking the fight to any group that is willing to do harm to innocent Americans.

My Passion
8
Party Passion
4
10

Eliminate all tax expenditures for businesses

Corporate tax reform should eliminate subsidies for all industries. By eliminating business tax expenditures – currently more than 75 – the corporate tax rate can be significantly reduced while contributing to deficit reduction. A lower overall tax rate will improve American business competitiveness. Abolishing special subsidies will also create an even playing field for all businesses instead of artificially picking winners and losers.

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-3
2

Cap Discretionary Spending Through 2020

Hold Spending in 2013 equal to or lower than spending in 2012. Limit future spending growth to half the projected inflation rate through 2020. 

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-4
1

Taxpayer Receipt

To address our debt and deficit problem we'll need an informed electorate. To enable an informed electorate, I support providing all taxpayers with a year end receipt outlining where government allocated their tax dollars.

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-2
1

Create a Cut-and-Invest Committee

I support creating a bipartisan Cut-and-Invest Committee tasked with finding 2% of our discretionary spending to cut. Half of the savings from these cuts would then be used to invest in high-priority national interests.

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-2
3

No Budget, No Pay

If Congress can't make spending and budget decisions on time, members should not be paid on time.

(#1 of 12 ways to make congress work, as proposed by nolabels.org)

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-3
-3

Cut All Tax Rates

I support cutting all tax rates and dedicating a portion of the savings from cutting tax expenditures to lowering individual rates. The top rate should be 30%. 

My Passion
7
Party Passion
-2
6

Increase CMS Authority

I support proving the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services additional statutory authority and increased resources to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in all of our government funded healthcare systems.

My Passion
6
Party Passion
-2
9

Up or Down Vote on all Appointments

All presidential nominations should be confirmed or rejected within 90 days of the nomination.

(#2 of 12 ways to make congress work, as proposed by nolabels.org)

My Passion
6
Party Passion
0
0

Fix the Filibuster

Now a days leaders in congress don't filibuster, they only threaten to filibuster. I support requiring real filibustering. 

(#3 of 12 ways to make congress work, as proposed by nolabels.org )

My Passion
6
Party Passion
0
0

Strict Ballot Access Restrictions

Strict ballot access restrictions that prevent third party candidates and non party candidates from having their name listed on state ballots might be good for the Republicans and Democrats, but it's bad for America.

I do not support disproportionate filing fees or signature requirements that states might impose on independents or third party candidates.

My Passion
-6
Party Passion
3
5

Woman's Right to Choose

I support a woman's right to choose, and would not support any change to current law on abortion procedures or restriction timelines.

My Passion
6
Party Passion
9
-6

Excess Tax Revenues Used for Deficit Reductions

I support using any additional revenue or excess funds to go towards tax rate reductions and deficit reductions, not to new spending.

My Passion
5
Party Passion
-3
1

Sunset Clause

Most laws and regulations get introduced and never reevaluated based on need or effectiveness*. A sunset clause requirement  would fix that. The more sunset clauses we have, the more congress will be forced to re-examine our laws for effectiveness.

*Unless they are tax expenditures, those get reviewed every year because politicians use tax expenditures as a fundraising tool.

My Passion
5
Party Passion
-2
-2

Formally Declare War if We Send Troops Into War

The last time Congress formally declared war was in 1941 (World War II). Since then, we have sent our men and women into war without first declaring it. I support requiring congress to formally declare war before we send men and women into extended war.

My Passion
5
Party Passion
-6
-7

Individual Tax Breaks for Buying Health Insurance

Government should not be using the tax code to manipulate individuals. I do not support proving individual tax breaks for buying health insurance.

My Passion
-5
Party Passion
3
4

Make Members Come to Work

When Congress is in session, members typically show up on Tuesday and leave on Thursday, leaving one day to cast votes and get things done in Washington. This is not only unproductive in terms of hours spent legislating, but it contributes to the lack of congeniality among members that is counterproductive and can lead to hostility.

I support any effort that increases the duration of consecutive time a congressmen is in Washington. (#5 of 12 ways to make congress work, as proposed by nolabels.org)

My Passion
4
Party Passion
0
0

Cut Security and Non-Security Spending

As we look for areas to cut in our budget, everything should be on the table.  I support the idea that nothing is off-limits, and that the same rate of cuts should apply to defense and non defense.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
2
-4

Technology in the Classroom

I support using more technology in the classroom. From tablet devices instead of physical books, to interactive white boards instead of chalk boards, to computerized adaptive testing instead of scantrons. Our children stand to benefit from the use of technology. Some technologies will not work out, others will. Teachers, parents, schools, unions all must become more adaptive to trends in education development and willing to allow for innovations in the classroom. 

My Passion
4
Party Passion
-5
0

Annual Limits for War Spending

We need better accounting practices to ensure we can more accurately track spending. I support creating a separate category for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and requiring the President to propose annual limits for war spending.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
1
-4

Fair Elections Now Act

Our current election system promotes candidates willing to dial for dollars and fundraise massive amounts of money from big business, special interest groups, and lobbyists. This is not working. 

I support reform movements that level the playing field and allow for a more diverse set of individuals to serve as elected leaders in Washington. The Fair Elections Now act is one such proposal.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
3
-5

Eliminate all Congressional Earmarks

In FY 2010, Congress approved more than 9,000 earmarks costing taxpayers close to $16 billion. Earmarks are not competitively bid on, and are not subject to accountability metrics. This makes it difficult to measure effectiveness or conduct cost-benefit analysis.

Many earmarks are doled out by members of Congress for parochial concerns in their districts and to special interest groups to contribute to their campaigns. I support the elimination of earmarks.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
-5
-6

Higher Pay for Effective Teachers

In order to attract and maintain great teachers we will need to pay them a higher wage. I support paying effective teachers based on multi metric performance. I support higher pay for effective teachers.

(The authority to address teacher pay is not the role of our federal government, local governments should address this issue.)

My Passion
4
Party Passion
3
0

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge

The STOCK Act would prohibit federal employees from trading stocks based on nonpublic information and would require oversight of the "political intelligence” industry. I support the this act, and any act that aims to end the influence peddling so destructive to our democratic process.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
6
-1

Audit the Fed

It is important our central bank operates independent of politics, but they should not be free from the occasional congressional audits. I support auditing the Fed's monetary policy.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
2
2

DREAM Act

I support providing conditional permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors and meet the criteria found in the 2010 Dream Act. The dream act is fair to taxpayers, does not punish the children brought here illegally, tough on borders and tough on fraud.

Update, June 15: The Obama administration has announced it will stop deporting young undocumented immigrants who meet the following criteria: brought to the U.S. under the age of 16, resided in the United States for at least five years, graduated from a U.S. high school or served in the military, have no criminal record, and be younger than 30. I support this policy.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
8
-5

Three-year Freeze on Congress pay

Members of Congress get automatic salary increases every year, I support putting a three year freeze on these increases. 

My Passion
4
Party Passion
-3
0

Estate Tax Repeal

The estate tax, or death tax as its opponents like call it, is a progressive tax that aims to redistribute wealth. It taxes the transfer of property at your death. According to the IRS, "the laws on Estate and Gift Taxes are considered to be some of the most complicated in the tax code." 

While I sympathize with some of the arguments on why we should maintain an estate tax, all things considered, I support a simpler tax code and I support the repeal of the estate tax.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
-9
10

Move to a competitive territorial tax system

To bring the U.S. system more in line with our international trading partners, I support changing the way we tax foreign sourced income by moving to a territorial system. Under such a system, income earned by foreign subsidiaries and branch operations (e.g., a foreign-owned company with a subsidiary operating in the United States) is exempt from their country’s domestic corporate income tax. Under a territorial system, most or all of the foreign profits are not subject to domestic tax.

My Passion
4
Party Passion
-3
7

Healthcare Individual Mandate

I do not support an individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health care insurance.

My Passion
-4
Party Passion
6
-9

K-12 Parental Choice

I support more choice and competition in all aspects of government, same for parental choice in elementary and secondary education.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
-4
6

Reduce the Size of the Federal Workforce

In the spirit of doing more with less, I support reducing the size of the federal workforce through attrition.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
-8
10

Reduce Congressional and White House budgets

The economic downturn caused many businesses and families to cut back on spending, so too should congress and Executive branch. I support cutting Congressional and White house budgets by 15%.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
-10
7

2nd Amendment Rights

I support the right of the people to keep and bear arms, to include concealed handgun permits.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
-1
7

Fix the Medicare SGR

I support the development of an improved physician payment formula that encourages care coordination across multiple providers and settings, and pays doctors based on quality instead of quantity of services.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
1
1

Reduce excess payments to hospitals for medical education.

Medicare provides supplemental funding to hospitals that have teaching programs for residents receiving graduate medical education. I support bringing these payments in line with the costs of medical education by limiting hospitals direct GME payments to 120 percent of the national average salary paid to residents in 2010 and updated annually thereafter by chained CPI and by reducing the IME adjustment from 5.5 percent to 2.2 percent, which the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has estimated would more accurately reflect indirect costs.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
0
5

Human Impact on the Environment

I support the idea that human action could have an adverse effect on our environment, and as such it is appropriate for governments to take environmental concerns into consideration when permitting various economic activity.

My Passion
3
Party Passion
7
-4

Taxpayer Funding for Abortions

Current law does not allow for taxpayer funding of abortions. I do not support removing this restriction.

My Passion
-3
Party Passion
5
-10

Federal Subsidies for Renewable Energy

I want to see a green energy future, but we are $16,000,000,000 in debt. I do not support using the tax code to subsidize energy companies, renewable or otherwise.

My Passion
-3
Party Passion
5
-1

Deport All Illegal Immigrants

I agree we have an illegal immigration problem in this country that should be sensibly addressed; but I do not support creating any new laws that would mandate massive deportation of illegal immigrants.

My Passion
-3
Party Passion
-8
5

Abolish the Department of Education

I support deference to the states and minimizing the role of federal government in every aspect of government not explicitly authorized to it in the U.S. Constitution, but I do not support abolishing the Department of Education.

The D.O.E. would serve the country best if it was downsized and focused on facilitating communication between the states, sharing best practices, and authoring unbiased data useful for parents, educators, and administrators to make market choices in education.

My Passion
-3
Party Passion
-9
6

Nation Building

I do not support sending America troops into other nations to prop up leaders or to help establish democracy, I do not support nation-building. Its use is wearing our troops down and increasing our national debt.

My Passion
-3
Party Passion
-1
4

Reduce Federal Travel, Printing, and Vehicle Budgets

I support requiring federal agencies to do less traveling and more teleconferencing; less printing documents and more use of electronic viewing; and cutting the $4 billion annual federal vehicle budget by 20%.

My Passion
2
Party Passion
0
4

English as Official Language of Federal Government

For purposes of uniformity and shared common bond, I support making English the official language of the Federal Government. State and local governments are of course free to print and provide their services in the language(s) they see fit.

My Passion
2
Party Passion
-3
5

Establish a Disaster Fund

Congress needs to allocate funds to cover for future disasters instead of relying on emergency supplemental funding requests. I support establishing an off budget disaster fund for catastrophes and establishing strict definitions on what qualifies as a disaster.

My Passion
2
Party Passion
0
0

Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency

While I agree we should rein in the expansive regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency, and also ensure no unreasonable burden is placed on American businesses, I do not support abolishing the EPA completely.

My Passion
-2
Party Passion
-8
5