How will you handle pressure from members of your
political party, lobbyists, and donors who may be pushing
for legislation that works against the best interests of
the majority of your constituents?
independent of political parties to avoid this very
important issue. The Democrats and Republicans agree
on the big issues: war, economy, health care, justice,
environment, etc. They only differ on the
religious "values" issues. So voting for either a
Democrat or Republican is a vote for no change. Obama
has made this very clear. They say doing the same thing over
and over and expecting a change is a sign of insanity, so
voting for a Democrat or Republican and expecting a change
in the big issues is insanity.
It only takes a small number of independent Congress persons
to make a huge change in Congress. It does not take
anywhere near a majority, just enough to break the grid lock
caused by the almost equal number of Democrats and
Public Opinion: How Politicians and the Media Misrepresent
a documentary by Media Education Fund
Full Length: http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=106
Polls show that the majority of Americans want
single-payer health care. What steps will you take
to help make single payer a reality?
I'm all for single payer (aka Medicare for All) and
will support that option as my first priority. Obama
care is a huge dollar giveaway to the medical insurance
companies and is a bad idea, but two of the Democratic
candidates have come out in favor of Obama Care because
that's the Democrat party line (see question 1 above).
I predict that if Obama Care goes forward the costs to the
insurance companies are going to rise because they will be
required to accept all applicants. The result will be
higher premiums which will be passed on to everyone driving
our costs even higher than they are now. Note the U.S.
is now a second rate country in terms of medical care.
(the U.S. is No. 34)
(the U.S. is No. 20)
(U.S. is No. 1)
A. Would you commit to introducing into Congress Move to Amend’s proposed amendment to the
U.S. Constitution to limit the influence of big
money on elections?
Yes I would introduce and/or support undoing
corporate person-hood. This is just part of the
problem of big money controlling the government. Even
bigger than a SuperPAC are the Democratic and Republican
national committees. They have much more money and
power than the lobbyists. This is what's behind the
"split on party lines" votes. That does not happen
because of PAC or SuperPAC money, only party politics.
We need radical reform in how elections are held to remove
party politics as well as big money.
B. If yes, what additional steps will you
commit to taking to restore democracy to the citizens of
There are a number of things but some of the more
important ones are to restore justice. Starting with
Ford's pardon of Nixon for criminal behavior all the
succeeding presidents have pardoned their predecessor for
criminal activities. This has now been passed down to
corporations, for example Obama granted immunity from
criminal prosecution to the telecom industry. Another
area is Regulatory Capture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_Capture
where government agencies who were founded to regulate an
industry now work to protect them from criminal
prosecution. One of the most public examples is the
SEC which has protected a lot of Wall Street people from
going to jail. For more on this see the book:
With Liberty and Justice for Some:
How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the
Powerful by Glenn Greenwald (http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/)
Also see http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog
C. If no, what steps would you commit to taking
toward getting big money out of elections?
What steps will you take to ensure that
A. suspected mortgage and foreclosure fraud is
investigated and those found guilty of criminal behavior
are prosecuted and imprisoned?
All debtors now holding mortgages should be offered
a new mortgage where the principal is reduced in proportion
to the current value of the asset and at the lowest market
rate. Currently owners are not able to refinance
because their homes are worth less than the principal amount
of the mortgage.
B. victims of illegal foreclosure receive fair
compensation from the institutions found guilty of
perpetrating the crime?
Yes including damages.
What will you do to push for a national
moratorium on foreclosures?
I don't think a general moratorium on all foreclosures is
needed. But a provision to get people out from under
water is needed as a first step.
How would you promote a sustainable economy in
northern California that is shielded from the manipulative
exploitations of Wall Street?
There are a number of problems with our basic
First Capitalism is based on the book "Wealth of Nations"
which was published in the same year as the Declaration of
Independence was signed, 1776. This was a time were
there was no electricity and products were made one at a
time by hand, there were no corporations. The barrier
to entry for a mom and pop store was very low, so if there
was a store who was over pricing it's products it was easy
for someone to open a store to compete with them. In
this environment the "do what's in your own self interest"
(greed) philosophy of Adam Smith did work. About a
hundred years later Carl Marx wrote Das Kapital saying
Capitalism could not work and socialism was a better
system. The U.S.S.R. tried his idea and it failed in
1989. Capitalism is now failing because Adam Smith's
idea of an "invisible hand" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_hand
no longer works in modern society. In the movie "A
Beautiful Mind", based on the life of John Nash, there a bar
scene where Nash's Governing Dynamics is demonstrated. (http://www.end2partygovernment.com/2012Issues.html#ASvJN
Nash won the Noble prize in economics for his idea that we
should do what's best for each of us (capitalism) AND what's
in the best interest of the group.
Second is that our monetary system is based on money from
debt. The problem is that only money in the amount of the
principal borrowed is created, the money needed to pay the
interest is not created so there's never going to be enough
money to pay off the debt. See:
Third is that any growth (there is no such thing a smart
growth) is not sustainable and many aspects of our
society depend on growth. This has implications in
many areas of society not just the environment or
economy. For example planning that includes growth is
Forth is the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933
which was put in place in response to the stock market crash
of 1929 and the great depression. Here are some laws
that are causing today's problems:
*Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control
Act 1980 (Wiki
* Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act 1999 (Wiki
* Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection
Act 2010 (Wiki
does not come close to restoring the checks and balances
needed. In fact Title IX, Subtitle B, Section 929
repeals the Freedom Of Information Act reporting requirement
from the SEC allowing them to hide information to prevent
prosecuting Wall Street criminals. It's part of the
Obama 'Opaque government" plan.
In light of what we’ve learned from the Fukushima
nuclear disaster, do you support our continued reliance on
Because the NRC is one of those agencies that suffers from
Regulatory Capture (see question 3 above) they are not
regulating our nuclear power plants and I'm concerned for
plant safety. There needs to be a Congressional review
of all our generating plants for safety. Note that
virtually all electrical generating plants are located near
water and are more at risk if the sea level rises.
There are newer designs for nuclear generating plants that
are much safer and these should not be ruled out in general.
Will you defend civil liberties at least as
vigorously as national security?
I think the War On Terror should be ended and the Bill of
Rights restored. The office of the President has way
too much power and needs to be rolled back to the powers
granted in the Constitution. In addition the
presidential pardon needs to be removed by an act of
Congress. Along with that provision made for criminal
prosecution of government workers who subvert the
Constitution or laws of the land. Congress has passed
many laws to limit the powers of the president and the next
president finds a way around them. This has to stop.
What would you do to address disenfranchisement,
institutional racism and brutality against people of
There was a crime wave in the 1980s and politicians at the
state and federal level enacted many laws in a false attempt
to stop it. These took the from of "Tough On Crime",
"Three Strikes and You're Out", "Mandatory Sentencing" etc.
But, as explained in the book Freakonomics
, those laws had little effect
on the crime wave but are still on the books. The
result is that our prison system is overloaded. Not
only that, but the 1% are not going to jail (See: Justice in
question 3 above) but the minorities are being over
prosecuted. This is another example of our current
problems being caused by bad laws already on the
books. We need to get these bad laws off the books and
free those now in prison who should have been sentenced to a
few months in county jail, not 20 years in federal
prison. These bad laws need to be repealed.
The U.S. is number 1 in the world for prisoners, a national
tragedy in terms of dollars and more importantly peoples
If elected, what will you do to limit the power of
the Military Industrial Complex and end wasteful, illegal
The U.S. Defense (really War) budget is way way too big and
needs to be cut at least in half and tapered down in future
years. Our foreign bases need to be closed. This
is one of those big issues the Democrats and Republicans
agree on and so you will not see Democrats or Republican
candidates taking a hard stand. This is a place where an
independent candidate can do a lot of good. See the book: Drift:
The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow
Do you think it is a good idea to put an asphalt
plant across the river from Petaluma’s Shollenberger Park?
That sounds like a local issue. The Constitution is
very explicit in what powers are granted to the U.S.
Congress (A1), the president (A2) and the courts (A3) and
the rest are left for the states (A4).