Indefinitely suspend deep water offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, at least until the U.S. and/or international communities develop reliable underwater technologies to cap and rapidly ameliorate catastrophic deep water releases, such as the on-going environmental crisis in the Gulf.

 

The thirty-seven deep water oil rigs currently operational along the coast of the United States should not have received congressional approval for construction and operation without available technologies to rapidly cap oil/gas releases comparable in magnitude to what is occurring in the Gulf. In essence, Congress and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP and other oil corporations and license to drive a fleet of tracker trailers with neither brakes nor steering devices. When I ran for Congress in 2008, I emphasized the need to diversify manufacturing and construction facilities, such as General Dynamics, used exclusively for military purposes, which by fits and starts produce unsustainable jobs only when contracts are paid by U.S. taxpayers. Thusly, the job market is repeatedly destabilized, and we taxpayers are held hostage to military funding for projects sometimes deemed unnecessary by the Navy (in other words, military corporate bailouts and/or corporate welfare). Military corporations thereby avoid competing in commercial markets, which could produce sustainable job growth and generate corporate profits not from our federal tax dollars but via free market competition for foreign investment and foreign trade. Again I propose, as I did in 2008, and with the support of labor, that military corporations be made to diversify and fund jobs through commercial, free market enterprise. In the case of Electric Boat, diversification could include competition with Scandinavia, China and other ship building nations by mixing military construction with construction of commercial vessels. Subsurface vessels designed to repair and cap deep water releases from offshore oil derricks are one example.   The incident in the Gulf shows how desperately the international community needs such technological advances. Furthermore, diversification could and should include commercial surface vessels, underwater research vessels, transport ships, mass transit, green technologies associated with alternative energy and other types of construction in high demand throughout the world. Such diversification will attract foreign money to support sustained job growth and reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

 

Another key cause of the catastrophe in the Gulf about which I have written op-ed articles to newspapers and which appear in the Blog section of this website are the many exemptions granted BP and other oil companies by Congress from offshore safety requirements mandatory in Brazil, Scandinavia and other countries allowing offshore oil drilling. Acoustic shutoff valves and auxiliary relief wells are just two examples of back-up safety measures which the U.S. does not require, or from which exemptions have been granted in exchange for Big Oil campaign donations to both democrats and republicans in the House and Senate. Until such corrupt and ecologically dangerous practices are thoroughly investigated and prohibited, deep water offshore drilling should be suspended. As I have written at length, in addition to loss of jobs in the fishery industries and related businesses, the ecological consequences of the BP Gulf release will impact many generations of fish, crustacean and mollusks and will be felt for years. Although media attention has been focused on those oceanic surfaces and beaches more visibly impacted by the oil pollution, the most telling story lies beneath the surface, where oil treated with dispersants is being carried in the water column to and on the Gulf Stream. Measurable amounts of subsurface oil have already been detected in waters off the East Coast. Even small concentrations of oil and other chemical pollutants can be toxic to fish larvae, crustaceans and mollusks. The continuing spread of contaminants will negatively impact coral reefs and salt marshes (the nurseries of many marine species) already in decline from a synergy of climate change and global human pollution.

A major source of U.S. and global environmental crises is government’s unwillingness to stand up to corporations which harm public health and exploit natural resources.  I will fill that leadership void in Congress. Over 26 years of service to this State as an official in the Department of Environmental Protection, I never failed to stand up to corporations which threatened human health and the ecology of southern New England and the overall nation. My record speaks for itself.

Reform election law and amend Constitution to stop corporate predetermination of election results. Permit same-day registration for all elections in Connecticut, not just presidential voting. End corporate personhood. Subordinate corporate power to the sovereignty of the people via a federal charter with clear social contracts, and by supporting people-powered neighborhood small businesses and local economies.

 

I believe in majority rule and reject the present method of plurality election without a majority. Accordingly, we need massive reform of election laws, including tamper-proof voting systems, public funding (with tight spending limits) for all campaigns, instant runoff or range voting (to provide majority rule) and proportional representation. We all know that unlimited contributions of soft money to public campaigns corrupt the political process. Corrupt practices which perpetuate two-party control of elections must be eliminated in order for voters to have a real choice in the voting booth. [The Green Party has successfully sued the State of Connecticut (see Judge Underhill’s landmark decision in Green Party v. State of CT) on the grounds that CT campaign finance law is unconstitutional. The law has denied freedom of speech rights to parties outside decidedly preferential treatments afforded Democrats and Republicans, the authors of the unconstitutional law, including greater and easier access to matching campaign funds. In Judge Underhill’s decision, under the Constitution there can be no “major” or “minor” parties…only parties!]

 

The global community and political landscape change too quickly for a paralyzed interchangeable two-party system to keep up, designed as it is to maintain an exploitable status quo. Culturally, as in the biological world, the ability to adapt to changing conditions is critical to survival. People are fed-up with large corporate campaign contributions and special interest money buying influence, determining electoral outcomes and replacing aspirations for democracy with a corporate oligarchy. Democrats and Republicans are engineered by corporate campaign donations (which we Greens refuse as a matter of national platform) to be interchangeable parts in a machinery designed to perpetuate corporate wealth. Choosing between the two biggest parties is therefore no choice at all. Both select people with no firm convictions beyond retention of political power and their own political careers. Consequently, they lack the education or experience to deal with crises of their own making: unprecedented debt, catastrophic pollution, crippling unemployment, addiction to fossil fuels and a doctrine of continuous war. A key to ending this dysfunction is to limit or prohibit the influence of corporate money on elections. To do so, we must look closely at the constitutional treatment of corporations as “individuals” with freedom of speech rights proportional to the size of their corporate wallets, thusly diminishing freedom of speech for individual U.S. citizens.

 

The corporate personhood debate refers to controversy over the question of what subset of rights afforded to natural persons should be extended to corporations as legal “persons.” In the U.S. corporations were recognized as having rights to contract and to have contracts honored the same as contracts by natural persons in 1819 (Dartmouth College v. Woodward). In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad), the Supreme Court (or more likely a clerk of the Court, and former railroad executive, intentionally misinterpreting the case into the Court record) recognized corporations as persons with rights of individuals under the 14th Amendment. The Tillman Act of 1907 did, however, ban corporate political contributions to national campaigns, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 banned corporate funding of issue advocacy ads. But, more recently, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) the Supreme Court held that corporate funding of political broadcasts cannot be limited under the First Amendment. Intuitively, individual rights granted deep pocketed corporations limits the constitutional rights of average citizens. The electorate wants less rather than more corporate control of election results and of government in general. The issue must be revisited and resolved once and for all. As your congressman, I will fight for resolution of this controversy and for the necessary amendments to the Constitution to make freedom of speech of natural persons at least commensurate to that of corporate America regardless of economic disparity.



Disparities of wealth lead to increased crime, proliferation of disease and poor general health. Create a fairer society by restoring taxes on millionaires and corporations to levels of the 1940s. Crack down on corporate tax avoidance. Close the off-shore reincorporation tax loophole and ban government contracts and subsidies for companies that relocate their headquarters to offshore tax havens. Shift taxes off things which contribute to the common good (income) and onto those things harmful to the common good (e.g., pollution, harmful foods, Wall Street speculation). Advocate for the poor and overburdened middle class.

 

The middle class have been set adrift in America on an ice flow of mounting debt. Poor people fall victim to financial and other predators every day, but they receive little help from government. I will be the one congressman, who will advocate for the poor and debt-ridden middle class.

 

End the race and class injustices of the phony and failed “War on Drugs,” which annually costs the U.S. $60 to $70 billion. Reduce our bloated prison population (approximately 1% of the population, highest in the world) by decriminalizing possession of marijuana and, as supported by most law enforcement personnel, subjecting marijuana usage to the same restrictions and taxation as alcohol possession and alcohol consumption.

 

Break-up Banks “Too Big to Fail” and Restore Glass-Steagall

 

Six Big Banks (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Bank of America) currently control 65% of the U.S. GDP. There is widespread agreement that the “too big to fail” status of these banks and others create three major societal problems. Firstly, when TBTF institutions come to the brink of failure, they have to be bailed out and that usually means by the government and taxpayers. A TBTF bank cannot go into ordinary bankruptcy procedure because its creditors and counterparties are cut off from their money for months, which can be fatal. The government must keep the bank afloat and, without credible threat of bankruptcy as negotiation tool, must honor the bank’s obligations. Secondly, TBTF banks have a strong incentive to take excess risk because the government is over a barrel to support their lack of capital in an emergency. The problem gets worse with time. “Never again” admonishments by government lose credibility and, knowing that, market participants, who are betting with our tax money, double their bets and add to the cost of future crises. Thirdly, TBTF banks are bad for competition and thusly bad for the economy. Bond investors, realizing that megabanks have an implicit government guarantee, are willing to lend the TBTF banks money at lower interest rates than smaller competitors (which also by natural selection and resource disparities become less numerous). The result is greater and greater consolidation, as the market experienced in the 1990s through the collapse of 2008. The big banks get even bigger! And, as we learned in 2008, Big Banks are sociopaths, operated by graduates of business schools which, by teaching their students to put profits above all else, were endorsing crime. As an initial guideline, an investment bank should be effectively limited in size to 2 percent GDP, or approximately $285 billion today.

 

Stringent limits on pollution and tough enforcement of environmental laws, including imposition of fines which are truly disincentives to pollute as unaffordable costs of doing business as usual.   Oppose the shell game of carbon trading. Impose Carbon taxes on all fossil fuels.

 

After a quarter century of enforcing state and federal environmental regulations and of developing reputations both for fairness and for tough compliance monitoring, I know that self-regulation, either by Wall Street or by generators of pollutants, is a delusional philosophy. Promoting carbon trading as a meaningful approach to reducing greenhouse gases is another such fallacy. Predictably, though, the next big bubble to burst on the face of Wall Street will be futures trading of cap-and-trade offsets.

 

Unlike traditional commodities that usually must be deliverable to someone in physical form, the carbon market is based on lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one. Carbon trading is already the fastest-growing commodities market on Earth. More than $300 billion worth has occurred in less than five years, a figure likely to balloon to a $3 trillion market if the U.S. takes that cap-and-trade plunge. Projects in Europe already outstrip the U.N.’s ability to police them, and studies show that approved clean development mechanism projects fail to reduce the amount of emissions promised.   Market forces created the worldwide industrial growth that has contributed to global warming, but the U.N. foolishly concludes that those same forces can be assembled to mitigate climate change. The same multinational powers responsible for looting Wall Street either fund or own major carbon project developers.   J.P. Morgan Chase owns the biggest in the world, Eco-Securities; Goldman Sachs has the largest interest in the biggest U.S.-based developer, Blue Source; Citibank hosts carbon trading desks in London. Even Cargill, the agricultural commodities firm, has become one of the top developers of carbon projects. Of course, as a perverse irony, the largest sources of greenhouse gases, not to mention water pollution, are animal wastes and methane from the meat industry, agricultural pollutants from petroleum-based fertilizers and felled trees, all which contribute to Cargill’s profits, some of which, I suspect, is earmarked for campaign contributions to congressional candidates supporting cap-and-trade.

 

Oppose privatization of natural resources.

 

Roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, but only 2.5 percent of that water is fresh water, much of it (about 70%) is frozen (90% of the frozen water in Antarctica) and significant amounts of the remainder are not potable because of pollution. Because of human consumption and other uses, many of the world’s greatest rivers, including the Yellow, Ganges, Murray-Darling (Australia) and Colorado, often fail to reach the sea or are so severely tapped as to have flow tremendously reduced. It is unsurprising, therefore, but a matter of great concern that aquifers in the U.S. and around the world are being privatized. Access to potable waters is becoming restricted, made a commodity and bought by such corporations as Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola and Nestles. As your congressman, I will oppose such privatization of natural resources.

Give states revenue sharing federal assistance, based on population size. Declare a two-month payroll holiday during which the U.S. does not deduct FICA, Medicare and other federal payroll tax deductions.

 

If we reduce the military budget and implement single-payer health care, we can easily afford to make this holiday an annual event, increasing take home pay by $650 per month for a couple with combined income of $100,000 to help pay delinquent mortgage and car payments or to be applied to principle rather than interest on loans.

 

 

Close hedge-fund-managers tax loopholes which cost tax payers $6 billion annually

 

Implement the nation’s first comprehensive National Energy Policy focusing on alternative and renewable energy production. As I proposed in 2008, a Green Corps designed to reimburse college students large percentages of tuition costs in return for Vista-like service to the community, including labor for installation of smart meters and electrical storage, domestic solar, geothermal and wind units for generation of electricity by home owners.

 

Fight for constitutional amendment to end eminent domain abuses.

 

 

Enact workers’ Bill of Rights. Withdraw from trade agreements that undermine jobs, workers’ rights, environmental protections and consumer rights, or renegotiate them into “pull-up,” not “pull down” trade agreements which also exacerbate U.S. trade deficit. Repeal Taft-Hartley. End tax credits for businesses that outsource jobs.

 

Require corporate disclosure of compensation packages to stock holders as part of greater transparency.

Make politicians accountable to U.S. citizens by creating Congress watchdog groups in every congressional district.

 

Ensure a living wage. Regionalized $10/hr to $12/hr minimum wage adjusted for inflation and regionalized costs of living. Pass pro-union organizing laws.

 

Over 1/3 of U.S. workers make less than $10/hour – hardly enough for two workers to support a family in today’s economy and contributing to the national debt burden by pressuring citizens (in conjunction with massive advertising and low interest loans) to make credit purchases they cannot afford, thusly also driving up prices for everyone. Adam Smith/supply and demand economics cannot function under such conditions when demand is not correlated to affordability. 70% to 85% of illness in America is due to unmanaged stress. I will fight for national measures to reduce work hours, promote cyber-commuting for work and increase vacation time for workers (using European standards as a basis). These measures will make the workplace more inviting and improve the nation’s overall health.

 

Repeal the Patriot Act, the FISA “snoop” Act and any legislation designed to violate basic civil liberties of fellow Americans. To ensure transparency in government, subpoena power for lesser bodies of government (e.g., neighborhood boards, counties) over larger government bodies (e.g., state, federal).

 

Our government spies on us, censors the news, interferes with our right to dissent, wages wars illegally, tortures prisoners and spends with neither limit nor accountability, all in defiance of the laws. The Green Party and I will fight to restrain such unconstitutional authority.

 

Reclaim public airways to establish people-controlled radio and TV stations and networks.

 

Fix the pension system and give workers a voice on pension boards and the opportunity to control their 401(k) plans.

 

Limit commercialism by restricting “commodification” of childhood, health, education, elections, government, war and natural resources critical to survival, such as drinking water.

 

Lower property taxes via Land Value Tax Reform. Encourage appropriately higher-density communities and urban infill development to prevent urban sprawl into agricultural and wilderness areas. Change tax and planning laws to promote decentralized, renewable energy infrastructures in urban and suburban areas. Change tax and planning laws to promote restoration and revitalization of degraded lands, improvements in watershed management and protection/reintroduction of listed, threatened or endangered species in suburban, rural and agricultural areas.

 

Ecological wisdom. Improvements in food quality and incentives to support sound dietary practices for disease prevention, improved quality of life and ecological/ethical responsibility.

 

The planet is in peril because of short-sighted pursuit of profits and unsustainable growth at all costs. In addition to the ecological Hydra of climate change, loss of species diversity, pollution and deforestation, American agriculture teeters on a “trophically” dysfunctional and congressionally subsidized pyramid of genetically modified corn. The family farm has given way to the environmental degradation and cruelties of factory farming. Land and water, energy and protein are wasted on a scale unprecedented in our species’ history. Agricultural dependence on solar energy and rotation of crops to replenish nitrogen in soils has woefully converted to dependence on manufactured fertilizers, the yearly application of which pollute, leave the soils depleted of nutrients by exclusively planting corn and require enormous amounts of petroleum each planting season. As a biologist, ecologist and small scale farmer, I understand the causes of and solutions to these problems and the paradigm shifts needed to save the American farmer and to pull this nation (and the planet) back from the brink of ecological disaster.

 

Tougher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and larger vehicles. Throw the book at polluters. Place a moratorium on highway widening and use the money for mass transit and facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The government has been quick to respond to polluting industries’ pleas for relaxed standards. In an almost seamless transition, Democrats have continued most of the policies of the Republicans they replaced in the last several congressional terms, bowing to polluters’ demands. The Green Party and I will not!

 

Oppose vouchers and other schemes which transfer money out of public school systems, a course which leads to separate and unequal educational systems. Oppose charter schools or the administration of public schools by private, for-profit entities. Repeal Leave No Child Behind Act, especially section that gives military access to student records. Support after-school programs for “latchkey” children.

 

I support educational diversity, holding no dogma absolute, continually striving to learn the truth in the realm of ideas. I view learning as a lifelong process to which all people have an equal right. In America, it is shameful that, according to surveys, 40% of our citizens, who either hold a high school or college degree, never read another book the rest of their lives following their respective graduations. That weakens us as a nation and as a society. Education starts with choice. Magnet schools, Site-based Management, Schools within Schools, alternative models and parental involvement are all ways in which elementary education can be changed to make a real difference in lives of our children and to reinvigorate an American thirst for knowledge by making education exciting and fun for all children.

 

Advocate that all persons convicted of felonies shall regain full citizenship rights upon completion of sentence, including the right to vote and to run for elected office.

 

Abolish the death penalty.