Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Name — New Address

I finally broke down and got myself a domain name and some web space.  I've moved my webspace to
And I've renamed my blog to Rockolitics.

Drop on by sometime and take a read.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Continuing Saga: GOP's War on Women

I oppose H.R. 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act because I am a woman, and I adamantly believe that Government has no place in my Doctor's office dictating what decisions I can make.

The GOP Jihadists who have overtaken the House of Representatives claim to be for small government and for individual liberty, but HR3 is the exact antithesis of those sentiments:
  1. It's my decision to make whether to carry a pregnancy to term, not the government's decision.
  2. I'm not sure I would ever exercise my RIGHT to abort a pregnancy, but if I were to learn the fetus I was carrying had spinal bifida and a 90% chance of being severely brain damaged, I'd have a serious decision to make.
  3. It would increase my taxes in that my insurance policy covers that type of procedure and thus no premiums associated with that policy could count toward any tax deductible expense.
  4. If passed, and if insurance policies don't cover that procedure, and then if the pregnant woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy ... well then ... would that expense would apparently need to be paid by solely by the mother. What if she doesn't have the money to pay? Too bad … so sad … Die?  Is this the GOP's version of death panels?
  5. The GOP claimed they would remove the word "forcible" from their definition of rape. The bill as published on Thomas (read section 309) has not been amended (note there are no amendments to this bill) to remove the word "forcible." Excuse me? That's the equivalent to an open invitation to rapists to figure out a way to drug women before the act … if she's drugged and not resisting, it's thus not "forcible" and therefore "not rape." Give me a break!
  6. This bill is nothing more than back door discriminatory mechanism with which GOP Jihadists can deny services and anything else they so choose based on the fact that one just happens to receive a tax deduction/credit for 'XYZ', therefore allowing them (whoever them might be) to dictate what one can or cannot do with respect to 'XYZ'.  If you're thinking this just affects 'abortion' ... you need to rethink that and take another look at the bill's actual language.
Are you also opposed to HR3?  Did you know there's a new service called PopVox on  You can use that service to search for any bill and see what other's have said in support/opposition to the bill, and you can had your own comments as well.  Here's a link to HR3 on PopVox.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's ALL about the Constitution?

Gavel in hand, Rep John Boehner (R-OH), the 53rd Speaker of the House pledged "to give government back to the people."  Yeah right, and if you believe that, I have this ..... you fill in the blank!

Most disconcerting to me is the omnipresent reverence to the Constitution as though it's their sacred Bible, yet no one seems to understand what it says.  They read the words, but it's as though they go in one eye and out the other without any mental processing in between.

But that doesn't matter, with great pomposity, the full Constitution is being 'read' into the record during today's (01/06/11) session. Newly adopted rules now require that each bill submitted contain a 'statement of Constitutional Authority.' That statement is to specify the specific section of the Constitution that empowers Congress to enact the proposed legislation.  But if that's not enough, in late January, Justice Scalia will be instructing members of the 112th Congress on the first of a number of constitutional seminars for conservative members of Congress.

Excuse me?  Justice Scalia?  This guy is the poster child for activist justices who attempt to legislate from the bench. As if we didn't have enough confusion about the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and Rep. King thinking that he can just pass a bill in Congress that will negate its birthright guarantees, now they're going to have Scalia, who thinks women and gays aren't protected by the 14th Amendment, teach classes for Conservative Congressmen?  What are they smoking, or drinking?

According to Justice Scalia, the 14th Amendment shouldn't apply to gays. But, before I go on, let's look at Section 1 (the due process clause) of the 14th Amendment:

14th Amendment, Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

According to Justice Scalia, “The due process clause has been distorted so it’s no longer a guarantee of process but a guarantee of liberty,” Scalia expounded. “But some of the liberties the Supreme Court has found to be protected by that word – liberty – nobody thought constituted a liberty when the 14th Amendment was adopted. Homosexual sodomy? It was criminal in all the states. Abortion? It was criminal in all the states.”

Good grief, if Justice Scalia wants to claim that, then he should also believe that the 2nd Amendment only provides the freedom for people to own and use a musket with which to protect himself, not an Uzi.

Justice Scalia has argued that "the Constitution tells the current society that it cannot do [whatever] it wants to do... Now if you give to those many provisions of the Constitution that are necessarily broad--such as due process of law, cruel and unusual punishments, equal protection of the laws--if you give them an evolving meaning so that they have whatever meaning the current society thinks they ought to have, they are no limitation on the current society at all."

According to Justice Scalia, “The way to change the Constitution is through amendments approved by the people, not by judges altering the meaning of its words.”  And that deserves another, Yeah Right!  Tell me that one again with a straight face after you, Mr. Scalia, helped create one of the greatest travesties of our time with the Citizens United ruling that gave citizenship rights and privileges to multi-national Corporations, and who just bought the last election and our country lock, stock, and barrel.

The 14th Amendment was intended to prevent discrimination in basic civil rights of PEOPLE.  As I see things, not just men, not just whites, but women, people of color, and people with different sexual orientations all 'people' ... and therefore, are covered by the provisions and guarantees outlined in the 14th amendment.  There is a reason why our founding fathers chose the word 'people.'  They chose that word so as to be inclusive of all of the citizens of our great nation.

Related Reading:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Something's Amiss with Judge Recommending Settlement

Reposted from "Friends of  Black Rock" blog:

Judge Recommends Humboldt County Accept Settlement for Jungo Landfill from Recology Legal Team, her Former Law Partner

Nevadans Against Garbage, a grass roots organization formed to stop Recology’s (Jungo Land & Investment) Jungo Road landfill project has learned Judge Valerie P. Cooke, Federal District Court Magistrate, assigned to mediate lawsuits filed by Recology against Humboldt County and the individual Humboldt County Commissioners, was a partner in the prosecuting law firm representing Recology in these lawsuits. Judge Cooke was a partner in the law firm of McDonald, Carano, Wilson, McCune, Bergin, Frankovich & Hicks LLP prior to her appointment to District Court in 1999.(i) Recology’s (Jungo Land & Investment) attorney is John Frankovich, Managing Partner, of McDonald, Carano, Wilson LLP. Frankovich joined the firm in 1973.(ii) 

The proposed settlement terms between Recology (Jungo Land & Investment) and the Humboldt County Commissioners required the commissioners overturn their decision NOT to extend the Recology conditional use permit for another 5 years. (iii) It was this April, 2010 decision by the Commissioners, not to prolong the conditional use permit, that prompted the Recology lawsuits against the county as well as the individual county commissioners. A settlement to extend the permit flies in the face of Commissioner reasons NOT to extend the permit, and voter directive. 

Nevadans Against Garbage is calling for officials to look into this conflict of interest between Judge Cooke and Recology’s legal team, led by John Frankovich. N.A.G. is also questioning the recommendation by the legal team for Humboldt County to follow Judge Cooke’s recommendation. On December 20, the Commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the settlement agreement, in spite of the fact that voting to deny the settlment meant they were still on the hook for the individual lawsuits Recology has filed against them.

According to Stephen Balkenbush, the attorney assigned to represent the Humboldt County Public Insurance Pool, the proposed settlement terms between the county, individual commissioners, and Recology (Jungo Land & Investment) were recommended by Judge Cooke, and that she told “…all parties that she believes it is in the best interest of the parties to resolve this case in connection with the terms that are before the board today…”. (iv) Draw your own conclusions; but it seems Judge Cooke's recommendation comes at no surprize given her past relationship with Attorney Frankovich. Attorney Balkenbush also noted “…I concur with her position and that this matter should be resolved along these terms…” (v). Clearly, the insurance company has great legal representation, the Humboldt County Commissioners, may be not. 

The proposed Jungo Road Landfill would accept 4000 tons of non-recyclable California waste, via rail, 5 days per week, for 95 years. Recology is looking for an exception to Nevada statute to build the landfill closer to an active aquifer than the law allows. USGS studies on the aquifer feeds have not been completed. No environmental impact study has been required or provided. The conditional use permit for this project was approved when local ordinances did not allow for a second landfill. 

Please write Nevada officials and share your concerns about Judge Cooke's relationship with the prosecuting law firm and her direction to Humboldt County in the matter of settling this lawsuit.

Contact Information:
Stat Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea:
State Representative Ira Hansen: (part Humboldt County)
State Representative John Ellison: (part Humboldt County)
State Senator Dean Rhoads:
US Senator Ensign:
US Senator Reid:
US Rep. Heller:

Govenor Sandoval, State Capitol, 101 N. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 684-5670  /  Fax: (775) 684-5683

NV Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto:
US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Department of Justice:

Reference Endnotes:
(i) Source Nevada US Court web site:
(ii) Source, McDonald Carano Wilson web site:
(iii) Proposed settlement terms at Humboldt County website:
(iv)Humboldt Sun, Volume 41, Issue 103, Dated 12/24-27, 2010, article “County Opts to go to Court” by Heather Gula
(iv) Humboldt Sun, Volume 41, Issue 103, Dated 12/24-27, 2010, article “County Opts to go to Court” by Heather Gula

Support Nevadans Against Garbage:
-Join our Facebook group, Nevadans Against Garbage
-Follow DesertPlaya on Twitter

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Non-Stop Circus to Continue

The 2010 Census has been published, and it's now official, Nevada has won a 4th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  With Nevada's population at approximately 2.8 million, up 35.1% from the 2000 Census count, that means Nevada will be redrawing Congressional district lines such that each district has about 677,000 Nevadans.

As the gerrymandering begins in early 2011, we're likely to see the strife rise yet again between north and south and blossum into full bloom.  Southern Nevada with its higher population counts will want to see more influence, not just in Congress, but at the state level as well.  Achieving some balance between the needs of both the Northern and Southern reaches of our state will, needless to say, become quite a balancing act (pun intended) in assuring the needs of all Nevadans are met, and that one part of the state can't disadvantage the other.  Before it's all said and done, we'll no doubt see at least one veto, if not more, and potentially a number of lawsuits as various parties allege the newly drawn District maps have somehow wronged or disadvantaged them.

Revisiting our state's strife between the north and the south could not come at a worse time, a time when our legislators need to be focussed on our state's budget crisis, an economy that is in desparate need of diversification, our seriously high unemployment numbers that put a serious strain on state services, a school system that's nearly if not dead last in the rankings, and housing market threatening even higher numbers of foreclosures.  Instead of focussing their full efforts on these overwhelmingly important issues, their focus will be diverted to issues of partisan politics in an effort to promote their political futures.

To that end, we can expect to see some jockeying from various politicians hoping the district lines might be draw in such a way to favor their election or re-election to higher office ... and some carping if they perceive another party or side will have an undeserved advantage.  And, if many of you had hoped that 2010 was the last you'd see from Sharron Angle ... well I hate to disappoint you ... but I don't think Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or even the almighty can grant a favorable outcome on that wish.

So, if you were hoping for a relatively uneventful year after last year's non-stop political circus, and before the next non-stop political circus next year, you might want to rethink that.  2011 is going to be a non-stop statewide political circus as various parties jockey get one-up on their opponents. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What You Can Do « The Story of Electronics

I watched What You Can Do « The Story of Electronics, an online short movie about how manufacturer's 'design for the dump' instead of for continued use. If you've ever tried to get a piece of electronic equipment repaired, you'd quickly understand that, as the bench fee (the fee just to put it on their bench, and before they begin charging hourly labor costs) tends to be somewhere in the $50-$75 range. Buying a new unit is cheaper, and the old unit frequently goes to the local landfill ... or if someone is ecology-conscious, they dispose of it through special recycling programs.

For years, I've hoped to see, for example, manufacturer's of TVs make them more modular, sort of like PCs are a bit modular. With a PC you can either use the basic sound capabilities that are built in to the motherboard, or you can add anything from a basic sound card to one that can mimic how the audio should sound based on the setting in which one might be listening (arena, theatre, etc.). You can either use the motherboard's built-in video, or you can buy a card that displays video in more colors, better screen resolutions, on more than one monitor simultaneously, etc. My point is, my PC is modular and I can add additional functionality merely by adding another card, more memory, another or a bigger hard drive, a different processing unit, etc.

Other electronic items that we buy should also be more modular. Take a TV as an example. I should be able to buy a basic model at one of several standard screen sizes. Each model should have a number of slots in which I can add additional capabilities. Like PCs, some might have more slots than others (a 720p TV might have fewer, whereas a 1080p might have more; or 32" models might have fewer slots/add-on capabilities than 65" models).  My point is, that I should be able to add additional functionality to my basic TV like:
  1. Internet access to certain online media (a number of new TVs are coming out with that now),
  2. A cable tuner card (to eliminate having to have that cable box), 
  3. A satellite tuner card (to eliminate having to have either a DISH/DirecTV box), 
  4. A DVD/BlueRay player (to eliminate having to have a separate box to view DVDs/BlueRay disks), 
  5. A card reader unit (to enable viewing pictures/video from all those other cards, vidcams, etc.), 
  6. A DVR unit with an e-sata pop-out hard drive (so when one gets full, you can pop in another one, or so you can play those movies on your laptop or PC as well), 
  7. A home network module that links your home PC network to your PC so you can access various media on your network from your PC.
  8. A video camera unit capable of making a skype audio/video call to friends and family.
I'm sure there are may more things more of you could imagine as well.  The manufacturer's just need to come up with a standard that could be used for the 'add-ins' ... and then they could stop designing for disposal and start designing for continued use and easy upgrade.

I hope you'll take the time to watch What You Can Do « The Story of Electronics, it's great food for thought not just for gadget geeks, but for all of us.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Who Owns Your Genes? You Do.

I've written two previous blog articles on this subject: ACLU Challenges Patents on Human Genes and A Thank You to the Plaintiffs, the ACLU and Judge Sweet. And, as the debate ensued over health care reform, I wrote to Sen. Reid, Sen. Ensign, and Rep. Heller on more than one occasion regarding the Patent Office's practice of allowing human genes to be patented. I argued that if they were going to make a dent in reducing health care costs, they would also need to look at systemic problems created by the Government itself that contribute to driving up health costs. This particular case is a glaring example of one of those systemic problems.

For the past 20 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been issuing patents on human genes -- the segments of DNA that we all have in our cells -- giving private corporations, individuals, and universities the exclusive rights to those genetic sequences, their usage, and their chemical composition. There is something fundamentally wrong with companies being able to own the rights to pieces of our human genome.

This raises serious civil liberties concerns in that the Patent Office has essentially been giving patent holders a monopoly over these genes and all the information contained within them. You see, patent holders then have the right to prevent anyone else from testing, studying, or even looking at the genes. Like the ACLU, I believe this is a gross violation of our First Amendment rights: our individual right to know about our own genetic makeup, a doctor's rights to provide a patient with crucial medical information, and scientists’ rights to study the human genome and develop new treatments and genetic tests.

The case at hand involves the BRCA genes that are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. As a result of the U.S. Patent Office granting patents on the BRCA genes to Myriad Genetics, Myriad's lab is the only place in the country where diagnostic testing/treatment can be performed. And, because only Myriad can test/treat for BRCA gene mutations, others are prevented from testing these genes or developing alternative tests. Accordingly, Myriad can charge anything they want for this testing/treatment, driving up the costs of both testing and treatment.

The case went to court and on March 30, 2010, Federal District Court Judge Robert Sweet issued his ruling that human genes cannot be patented, invalidating all 15 patent claims held by Myriad on the BRCA genes. Myriad is appealing that ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This week, the U.S. Government filed a 'friend-of-the-court' brief agreeing with the stance that 'isolated DNA is not patentable.'

The U.S. government filed a friend-of-the-court brief last week in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) challenging patents on human genes. The government agreed with our stance that isolated DNA is not patentable.

According to the government's brief, "The chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and it is no less a product of nature when that structure is 'isolated' from its natural environment than are cotton fibers that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth."
"We are extremely gratified that the government has agreed with us that genes are products of nature and therefore not patentable," said Sandra Park, staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project and a lawyer on the case. "Gene patents restrict patients' access to their own genetic information and chill important research. The lower court correctly found that no one should be able to patent human genes, and we are confident the appeals court will uphold that decision."

Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) introduced H.R. 977, the "Genomic Research and Accessibility Act" during the 110th Congress to bar the issuance of gene patents. He would like to reintroduce a new version of the bill this year, but needs your help. Representative Becerra needs support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle if his bill has any chance of being enacted.

Please take the time to ask your Congressional Members to contact Representative Becerra and sign on as a cosponsor of this important piece of legislation.

Take action: Tell Congress your genes aren't for sale!
(This link will take you to an ACLU page where you can fill out their form to send a letter, or where you can copy/paste/modify a form letter into an email to your Congressional Representative/Senators.)

The Election and all the Resulting Incongruities

Americans want someone who will fight for THEM! The reason for the election slaughter of so many Democrats was twofold: (1) People had lost confidence in the Democrats' abilities to hold their ground and defend THEM (Obama is just too good a christian ... in that he has turned the other cheek way too many times instead of breaking out a set of brass knuckles), and (2) the fear and smear campaign financed by billionaire plutocrats and the US Chamber of Commerce along with their multi-national corporation membership who didn't have to identify a single dollar of their contributions which were used for this hostile takeover of America.

A bunch of scared and gullible people voted to give the keys to the Treasury back to the Republicans. How mad do you think they're going to get over the next two years as the Republican Majority in the House, and Minority in the Senate begin breaking one provision in their Pledge to America, after another after another.  Democrats managed to hold the Senate, but with a smaller majority.  That means bills passed in the House are going to continually DIE at the door of the Senate.  And, judging from Mr. McConnell's speech at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, there will be NO compromise unless Democrats move over to the Republican side.  So Mr. Boehner, try as you may, and even if you can manage to get something through the Senate, if the President vetoes the bill, you don't have a veto-proof majority in either house ... so forget about wasting valuable time on trying to repeal bills that have already passed.  Do something that will make a meaningful difference for the citizens of this nation!

For those of us with even a modicum of intelligence, the GOP's Pledge is incongruous and filled with far to many false assertions.  They say their immediate priorities are policies that promote job growth and reining in spending so they can balance the budget, yet their first bill of the new session, H.R. 1, will be to make the Bush Tax permanent and instantly add yet another $700B to the Budget Deficit and the National Debt.  H.R. 2 is likely to be a bill to repeal Health Care Reform with H.R. 3 being a repeal of Financial Reform.  Repealing HCR will instantly add another $150B to both the Budget Deficit and the National Debt.  So within the very first month they will have slashed the revenue side of their balance sheet without identifying a single corresponding spending cut with which to balance those activities, and accumulated almost another Trillion dollars more debt.

Like many other women across this nation, I manage the household finances.  It wouldn't take me very long to figure out that if our income (revenue) stream just got reduced, I won't be able to pay all the bills.  So, Mr. Boehner, what are you going to cut?

They say they're going to reduce government, yet they're also supposedly going to create jobs.   Huh?  Government jobs are jobs too.  So, where are they going to create private sector jobs that will more than compensate for both the loss of government jobs as they start paring down the number of government employees as well as the existing number of unemployed people who are no looking for jobs?  We don't have a manufacturing sector anymore, at least not one that employs massive numbers of employees.  Those jobs have been shipped overseas.  If they figure they'll just start another war with Iran and employ them there, well boys ... that's just an expansion of government ... but just as minions of the massive Dept. of Defense (which should be returned to it's former name: Dept. of War).

These simpletons are continually trying to apply a single simple solution to very complex, multi-faceted situations.  They haven't taken the time to think through all the intricacies and so when they plug one hole in that dike, another one starts spurting, then another and another.  Well, they're running out of fingers to plug all those holes.  A prime example was the “American Dream Down-payment Initiative” (ADDI) implemented in 2003 by a Republican Congress and President Bush.  Their goal?  To get people out of government low-rent housing, into a home of their own, and off the public dole.  How did they do that?  They gave them $10K and the boot.  That put a whole bunch of people in the housing market buying homes they had no business buying.  The result?  A housing market collapse followed by a financial meltdown, an economic recession and unemployment in double-digit figures.

Now, the Republicans are complaining about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that something has to be done about them.  Well, they created this mess! It's another one of those holes in the dike that now needs to be plugged.  The whole purpose of Fannie and Freddie is to purchase mortgages from banks so those same  banks can then use that money to lend for additional mortgages.  To get more money so they could buy more mortgages from the banks, Freddie and Fannie securitized the mortgages bought from the banks (bundle them up in packages of large numbers of mortgages, as is their normal practice) and sold those various packages to Wall St., which then sold those packages to investors.  By introducing low-income  home buyers (people who had no business being in the housing market), we ended up with a nationwide collapse of the housing market followed by a full-blown economic recession.

It just goes to show you that people don't pay attention and have VERY short memories, because one bozo after another, at the ballot box, just returned the keys to the Treasury back to the Republicans.  But, if that's not bad enough, it going to get worse.  I wonder how angry those bozos are going to get when they finally begin to realize they were duped, just so the Republicans could regain the leadership THIS year ... because it's a redistricting year. Being in power in such a year allows them to redraw the district lines to favor the continued re-election of Republicans, who can then continue to rape America for the next DECADE! No... I'm not mad ... I"M ANGRY!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Kind of Representation Do You Want?

As you go to the polls this election, I have one question you might want to ponder:  "What kind of representation do you want?"

You might be saying, "huh"?  But, that's one important consideration  you need to make before you make your ballot choices.  For example, do you want your representative to listen to his/her constituents and then vote in Congress based on how the majority of those constituents believe he/she should vote?  Or, do you want to elect a representative who will vote the way he/she believes things should be regardless of how a majority of constituents might desire him/her to vote?

If your answer is YES to the first question, then you should be supporting Senator Reid.  If you answered YES to the second question, you are apparently supporting Ms. Angle.

Given Ms. Angle's voting record in the Nevada Assembly, it's quite apparent that she is pretty much incapable of any form of compromise.  It's her or the highway as evidenced by a wide consensus that votes during her tenure in the NV Assembly were called "41-to-Angle" votes.  So, if your wishes differ from hers, chances are that she'll vote her personal views regardless of what you or any other constituent might prefer for her to support.  After all, in her opinion, you elected her to represent you and therefore, she'll vote as she sees fit based on her values and opinions about whatever is brought to the floor for a vote.

And, given her propensity to only allow interviews by sympathetic news organizations (FOX), it's highly unlikely she will listen to concerns by any constituent who doesn't espouse an identical view to hers.  Don't bother to waste the ink to pen a letter, and don't work yourself into carpal tunnel syndrome sitting at your keyboard sending one email after another to a Senator who will be blind to your perspective for anything she might disapprove of.

If you don't know where each candidate stands on issues of importance, this should be of some help in figuring out who you want to represent you and your views of the world over the next 6 year term.




Social Policy: Abortion; Contraception; Same-Sex Marriage

• Supports a ban on same-sex marriages.
• Pro-life, opposing abortion for any reason.
• Abortion is the taking of a human life. 8/2010)
• All human life is precious. (7/2010)
• Worked on Constitutional Protection of Marriage Act. (7/2010)
• Would support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and woman.
• Endorsed by Family PAC Federal, Phyllis Schlafly, and Concerned Women of America

• Voted NO on restricting UN funding for population control policies. (3/2009)
• Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (3/2008)
• Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (3/2008)
• Voted NO on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (10/2007)
• Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (4/2007)
• Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (7/2006)
• Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (7/2005)
• Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (3/2004)
• Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (3/2003)
• Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (J6/2000)
• Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (10/1999)
• Rated 29% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (12/2003)
• Expand embryonic stem cell research. (6/2004)
• Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (5/2006)
• Rated 50% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (12/2006)
• Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (2/2007)
• Sponsored bill allowing emergency contraception. (1/2009)
• Voted NO on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors. (5/1999)
• Rated 100% by the AU, indicating support of church-state separation. (12/2006)


• Demand a Balanced Budget amendment. 7/2010)
• Limit federal spending growth to per-capita inflation rate. (7/2010)
• Supports/defends Right to Work laws
• Supports a "balanced budget" amendment to the Constitution
• Dismantle Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
• Supports a constitutional amendment to restrain spending to no more than 20% of GDP (except during a declared war), plus a 2/3 vote of both houses
• Maintain the mining laws and provide access to public lands.

• Bush’s deficit is a ‘birth tax’ of $36,000 on every child. (2/2005)
• Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (7/2009)
• Voted YES on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (5/2009)
• Voted YES on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (2/2009)
• Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (9/2008)
• Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness. (3/2007)
• Voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending. (12/2005)
• Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts. (4/2000)
• Reform mortgage rules to prevent foreclosure & bankruptcy. (2/2008)
• More enforcement of mortgage fraud and TARP fraud. (5/2009)

Civil Rights

• No same-sex marriage (8/2010)
• No gay adoption. (8/2010)
• Supports ban on same-sex marriages.
• Opposes adding "sexual orientation" as a protected minority under existing civil rights laws
• Believes clergymen should have the right to express view from the pulpit on legislative issues

• Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (6/2006)
• Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (6/2006)
• Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. 6/2002)
• Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (10/2001)
• Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (6/2000)
• Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (3/1998)
• Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (10/1997)
• Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (9/1996)
• Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (9/1996)
• Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (12/1995)
• Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (7/1995)
• Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (3/2001)
• Rated 40% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (12/2002)
• Rated 67% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (12/2006)
• Rated 96% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (12/2006)


• Businesses need to be liberated from over-regulation and taxation

• Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (7/2001)


• Supports death penalty. (8/2010)
• Require prisoners to serve full sentences. (8/2010)

• Voted YES on reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program. (3/2007)
• Voted YES on $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program. (5/1999)
• Voted YES to limit death penalty appeals. (4/1996)
• Voted NO on limiting product liability punitive damage awards. (3/1996)
• Voted YES to restrict class-action lawsuits. (12/1995)
• Voted YES to repeal federal speed limits. (6/1995)
• Voted NO on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms. (5/1994)
• Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals. (5/1994)
• Rated 50% by CURE, indicating mixed votes on rehabilitation. (12/2000)
• More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes. (4/2001)
• Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program. (1/2007)

• Opposes decriminalization. (8/2010)
• No legal marijuana; limit legal alcohol too. (6/2010)

• Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (11/1999)
• Voted NO on spending international development funds on drug control. (7/1996)
• Federal grants to Indian tribes to fight methamphetamine. (12/2006)
• Require chemical resellers to certify against meth use. (9/2007)


• Let students and teachers acknowledge God. (Aug 2010)
• Vouchers to allow choice of private, religious & home-school. (Aug 2010)
• Decisions are best made by local teachers & parents. (Jul 2010)
• Believes the Federal Department of Education should be eliminated because it is unconstitutional
• Eliminate No Child Left Behind
• Believes that parents should have alternative choices and advocates for home school, vouchers and charter schools.
• Endorsed by Nevada Home School Network

• Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (10/2007)
• Voted YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers". (10/2005)
• Voted YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (10/2005)
• Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (5/2001)
• Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (5/2001)
• Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (4/2001)
• Voted NO on Educational Savings Accounts. (3/2000)
• Voted NO on allowing more flexibility in federal school rules. (3/1999)
• Voted NO on education savings accounts. 6/1998)
• Voted NO on school vouchers in DC. (9/1997)
• Voted NO on $75M for abstinence education. (7/1996)
• Voted NO on requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer. (7/1994)
• Voted YES on national education standards. (2/1994)
• Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. (12/2003)

Energy & Oil

• Build our vast domestic coal and natural gas resources. (7/2010)
• Ending offshore drilling due to BP is an over-reaction. (7/2010)
• Cap-and-trade has no impact on global temperatures. (7/2010)
• Explore proven energy reserves & keep energy prices low. (7/2010)
• Would vote NO on cap/trade
• Promote Nevada, as the nuclear energy capital of reprocessing spent fuels for the United States.
• Invite scientists to do research and development in a secure test site environment as well as mentoring students who would come to UNR and UNLV to study under these great minds.
• Introduce and shepherd legislation that would remove the prohibitions on reprocessing in the United States, as well as, the executive order agreement with France, which prohibits reprocessing in the US and has strangled domestic reprocessing.
• Store and reprocess nuclear spent fuels at Yucca Mountain. Use those reprocessed fuels to fire nuclear power plants on site at Yucca.
• Educate Nevadans and Americans, on the safe transportation of nuclear spent fuels since 1954 over 400 million miles without an accident.
• Supported the three coal fired plants in Ely
• Would repeal regulations that prohibit drilling off-shore and in ANWR
• Would support elimination of the Department of Energy

• More energy efficiency, no drilling in ANWR. (5/2001)
• Voted NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax. (4/2009)
• Voted NO on requiring full Senate debate and vote on cap-and-trade. (4/2009)
• Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (6/2008)
• Voted YES on addressing CO2 emissions without considering India & China. (5/2008)
• Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (6/2007)
• Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. (6/2007)
• Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (5/2007)
• Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (11/2005)
• Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (10/2005)
• Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (6/2005)
• Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (7/2003)
• Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (6/2003)
• Voted YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (3/2003)
• Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (4/2002)
• Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (3/2002)
• Voted NO on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling. (4/2000)
• Voted YES on ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards. (9/1999)
• Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (6/1999)
• Voted NO on approving a nuclear waste repository. (4/1997)
• Voted YES on do not require ethanol in gasoline. (8/ 1994)
• Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (3/2004)
• Rated 100% by CAF, indicating support for energy independence. (12/ 2006)


• Believes the EPA should be eliminated
• Does not believe in anthropogenic or man-made global warming and instead believes "there is no sound science to back that up."

• Voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program. (8/2009)
• Voted NO on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land. (12/2007)
• Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (9/2005)
• Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (1/2001)
• Voted NO on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat. (9/1999)
• Voted NO on transportation demo projects. (3/1998)
• Voted YES on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests. (9/1997)
• Voted YES on continuing desert protection in California. (10/1994)
• Voted YES on requiring EPA risk assessments. (5/1994)
• Reduce liability for hazardous waste cleanup. (5/2001)
• Rated 84% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (12/2003)
• EPA must do better on mercury clean-up. (4/2004)

Foreign Policy

• Withdraw from UN

• Voted YES on cooperating with India as a nuclear power. (10/2008)
• Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (5/2002)
• Voted YES on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons. (9/2000)
• Voted NO on cap foreign aid at only $12.7 billion. (10/1999)
• Voted YES on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions. (7/1998)
• Voted YES on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech. (4/1998)
• Voted YES on $17.9B to IMF. (3/1998)
• Voted YES on Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba. (3/1996)
• Voted YES on ending Vietnam embargo. (1/1994)
• Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s. (3/2007)
• Condemn violence by Chinese government in Tibet. (4/2008)
• Condemn Iran for state-sponsored persecution of Baha'i. (2/2009)
• Pressure friendly Arab states to end Israeli boycott. (10/2007)

Free Trade

• No official statements available

• Voted NO on promoting free trade with Peru. (12/2007)
• Voted NO on free trade agreement with Oman. (7/2006)
• Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (7/2005)
• Voted NO on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (7/2003)
• Voted NO on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (7/2003)
• Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations. (5/2002)
• Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (10/2001)
• Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (9/2001)
• Voted NO on permanent normal trade relations with China. (9/2000)
• Voted NO on expanding trade to the third world. (5/2000)
• Voted NO on renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority. (11/1997)
• Voted YES on imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market. (5/1995)
• Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record. (12/2002)
• Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy. (6/2007)

Govt Reform

• Close loopholes in campaign finance system. (7/2010)
• Repeal any federal health care takeover. (8/2010)
• Identify constitutionality in every new congressional bill. (7/010)
• Audit federal agencies, to reform or eliminate them. (7/2010)
• Moratorium on all earmarks until budget is balanced. (7/2010)
• Supports a 'single subject' rule for all legislation
• Require a supermajority (2/3 vote) requirement for passing tax/spending increases
• Place a restriction on spending growth to population growth plus inflation
• Endorsed by Declaration Alliance PAC

• Voted YES on Congressional pay raise. (7/2009)
• Voted YES on providing a US House seat for the District of Columbia. (2/2009)
• Voted YES on granting the District of Columbia a seat in Congress. (9/2007)
• Voted NO on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections. (7/2007)
• Voted YES on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (3/2006)
• Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (3/2006)
• Voted YES on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads. (3/2002)
• Voted YES on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (4/2001)
• Voted YES on funding for National Endowment for the Arts. (8/1999)
• Voted YES on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance. (10/1997)
• Voted NO on Approving the presidential line-item veto. (3/1996)
• Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts. (7/1995)
• Reject photo ID requirements for voting. (9/2005)
• Sponsored bill repealing automatic Congressional pay raises. (1/2009)

Gun Control

• Supports second amendment rights. (7/2010)
• Individual constitutionally protected right to bear arms. (7/2010)

• Voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains. (4/2009)
• Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership. (9/2007)
• Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.( 7/2005)
• Voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence. (5/2004)
• Voted YES on background checks at gun shows. (5/1999)
• Voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (5/1999)
• Voted NO on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (5/1999)
• Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (7/1998)

Health Care

• Replace Obamacare mandates with tort reform & client pools. (7/2010)
• Defund, repeal, & replace federal care with free market (both 'Obamacare' and Medicare). (7/2010)
• Repeal any federal health care takeover. (7/2010)
• No mandates for Insurance companies to cover autism, mammograms or colonoscopies
• Elimination of coverage mandates
• TRICARE for the military must be protected from attacks that dilute quality of care and increase costs.
• Would support privatizing the VA
• Believes solution for health care
• Expanded client pools
• Tort reform
• Purchasing insurance across state lines
• Tax credited health savings accounts

• Voted YES on regulating tobacco as a drug. (6/2009)
• Voted YES on expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program. (1/2009)
• Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare. (7/2008)
• Voted NO on means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium. (3/2008)
• Voted NO on allowing tribal Indians to opt out of federal healthcare. (2/2008)
• Voted YES on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility. (11/2007)
• Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (4/2007)
• Voted NO on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000. (5/2006)
• Voted YES on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D. (2/2006)
• Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics. (11/2005)
• Voted YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on $40 billion/year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (6/ 2003)
• Voted YES on allowing re-importation of Rx drugs from Canada. (7/2002)
• Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. (6/2001)
• Voted NO on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (4/2001)
• Voted YES on including prescription drugs under Medicare. (6/2000)
• Voted NO on limiting self-employment health deduction. (7/1999)
• Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions. (Jun 1998)
• Voted NO on Medicare means-testing. (6/1997)
• Voted YES on blocking medical savings accts. (4/1996)
• Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage. (4/2001)
• Let states make bulk Rx purchases, and other innovations. (5/2003)
• Rated 88% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record. (12/2003)
• Establish a national childhood cancer database. (3/2007)
• Preserve access to Medicaid & SCHIP during economic downturn. (4/2008)

Homeland Security

• Maintain strong defense against terrorist & foreign threats. (8/2010)
• Staunch supporter of strong sanctions against rogue nations. (7/2010)
• Supports a military force of superior strength and readiness to deter all threats to America's national security.
• Equip the military with the best possible weapons and intelligence
• U.N. is ineffective and costly, and threatens U.S. sovereignty. U.S. should withdraw from the U.N.
• Israel's sovereignty, stability and security are in the best interests of the United States, especially when dealing with radical Islamic terrorism.
• U.S. must always promote freedom

• Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army. (4/2008)
• Voted YES on requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. (2/2008)
• Voted NO on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (8/2007)
• Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (7/2007)
• Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (3/2007)
• Voted YES on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (9/2006)
• Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (9/2006)
• Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
• Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (12/2005)
• Voted YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (7/2005)
• Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders. (3/2005)
• Voted YES on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (10/1999)
• Voted YES on allowing another round of military base closures. (5/1999)
• Voted NO on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels. (5/1999)
• Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. (3/1999)
• Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%. (2/1999)
• Voted NO on prohibiting same-sex basic training. (6/1998)
• Voted YES on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. (10/1997)
• Voted YES on banning chemical weapons. (4/1997)
• Voted NO on considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty. (6/1996)
• Voted YES on 1996 Defense Appropriations. (9/1995)
• Federalize aviation security. (11/2001)
• Rated 100% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record. (12/2003)
• Sponsored bill for Iraq budget to be part of defense budget. (6/2006)
• Establish global strategy to defeat al Qaeda. (2/2008)


• Secure our borders & enforce the law. (7/2010)
• Supports an intensive physical presence on borders, including military assistance to help the Border Patrol do its job effectively.
• Opposes amnesty proposals
• Eliminate access to benefits for non-citizens and anyone living in the U.S. illegally.
• Voted against the Millennium Scholarship because it allowed non-citizens to receive, taxpayer subsidized, college tuition
• Supports the AZ immigration law
• Supports a requirement for voters to show identification before they can cast ballots.
• Endorsed by Minuteman PAC.

• Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities". (3/2008)
• Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (6/2007)
• Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (6/2007)
• Voted YES on eliminating the "Y" non-immigrant guest-worker program. (5/2007)
• Voted NO on building a fence along the Mexican border. (9/2006)
• Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (5/2006)
• Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (5/2006)
• Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. (7/1998)
• Voted YES on visas for skilled workers. (5/ 1998)
• Voted NO on limit welfare for immigrants. (6/1997)
• Rated 0% by USBC, indicating an open-border stance. (12/2006)


• Not her job to create jobs

• Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (11/2008)
• Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill. (6/2008)
• Voted NO on terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules. (3/2008)
• Voted YES on limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000. (12/2007)
• Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (6/2007)
• Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (2/2007)
• Voted YES on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (3/2005)
• Voted NO on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress. (3/2001)
• Voted NO on killing an increase in the minimum wage. (11/1999)
• Voted NO on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time. (5/1997)
• Voted NO on replacing farm price supports. (2/1996)
• Protect overtime pay protections. (6/2003)
• Rated 100% by AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record. (12/2003)
• Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union. (Jan 2006)
• Form unions by card-check instead of secret ballot. (3/2009)
• Ban discriminatory compensation; allow 2 years to sue. (1/2009)
• Stronger enforcement against gender-based pay discrimination. (1/2009)

Social Security

• End social security as it is today and privatize it
• Redeem promised IOUs with a lockbox & personal accounts. (7/2010)
• "We must keep the promise of Social Security by redeeming the "IOU's" that have been written to the Social Security Trust Fund and then putting that money in a lock box that cannot ever be raided again by Washington politicians. The only way we pay for it is by cutting spending. We should also create personalized accounts for the next generation that cannot be raided. "

• Bush’s plan guarantees a 40% benefit cut. (2/2005)
• Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security. (3/2007)
• Voted NO on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. (4/1999)
• Voted NO on allowing Roth IRAs for retirees. (5/1998)
• Voted NO on allowing personal retirement accounts. (4/1998)
• Voted NO on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes. (5/1996)
• Rated 90% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record. (12/2003)

• Welfare & Poverty

• No official statements available

• Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention. (3/2009)
• Voted YES on welfare block grants. (8/1996)
• Voted YES on eliminating block grants for food stamps. (7/1996)
• Voted NO on allowing state welfare waivers. (7/1996)
• Voted YES on welfare overhaul. (9/1995)
• Tax credits to promite home ownership in distressed areas. (4/2003)


• No official statements available

• Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court. (8/2009)
• Voted NO on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice. (1/2006)
• Voted NO on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (9/2005)

Tax Reform

Will introduce bill to:
• Cut back on spending, taxation and regulation
• Defund ObamaCare
• Audit the "Fed" (Federal Reserve)
• Supports a simplification of tax systems and would abolish the 67,000-pages of IRS code
• Supports tax reform that leads to a simpler, fairer, flatter tax system.
• Make the capital gains and death tax cuts permanent
• Sharron Angle, singularly, led the fight in the NV Legislature and in the courts to stop NV's 2003 tax increase
• Pay back the deficit

(Deficit = Revenue-Expenses, thus you can't pay back a deficit, you merely operate with red ink. You can, however, pay down the National debt.)

• Voted YES on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million. (3/2008)
• Voted NO on allowing AMT reduction without budget offset. (3/2008)
• Voted NO on raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M. (2/2008)
• Voted NO on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (3/2007)
• Voted NO on raising estate tax exemption to $5 million. (3/2007)
• Voted NO on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts. (8/2006)
• Voted NO on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (6/2006)
• Voted YES on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut. (2/2006)
• Voted NO on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (2/2006)
• Voted NO on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (11/2005)
• Voted NO on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (5/2003)
• Voted YES on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (5/2001)
• Voted YES on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (5/2001)
• Voted NO on eliminating the 'marriage penalty'. (7/2000)
• Voted NO on across-the-board spending cut. (10/1999)
• Voted NO on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (4/1998)
• Rated 17% by NTU, indicating a "Big Spender" on tax votes. (12/2003)
• Rated 80% by the CTJ, indicating support of progressive taxation. (12/2006)

Campaign Finance Reform

• Believes that campaign finance limitations must come from the candidates themselves
• Supports a campaign law that requires immediate disclosure, of large contributions, via the internet.
• Endorsed by Citizens United

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The GOP and the Minimum Wage

While watching Lawrence O'Donnell last night, I learned that Republican Chairman Steele has no idea how much the minimum wage is, or should I say isn't.  It's only $7.25/hour, but there are various minimum wage exceptions that can apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20 in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, tipped employees and student-learners.  When asked by O'Donnell if he, the chairman of the Republican Party, agreed with a number of Republican candidates that the minimum wage should be abolished, Steele wouldn't answer.

Alaska's GOP Senatorial candidate, Joe Miller, believes that the federal minimum wage law should be abolished, claiming that minimum wage laws should be under the purview of the States.  Others, however, believe that minimum wage laws are basically economic ceilings that make it costlier for many businesses to operate than it should, and should therefore be abolished entirely.  But, if you would ... take notice of the locus of their concern ... it isn't for the citizens of this country of ours ... but, instead for the businesses and the corporations.

Let's take a look at what a single person making minimum wage in a full-time job (2080 hrs/yr) might expect to earn: $7.25/hr x 2080 hrs/yr = $15,080 gross wages. To get to their net wages, we'd need to deduct income taxes [$1,844 (from 2009 IRS tax table)] and FICA taxes (7.65%, or $1,153). So, after deducting Federal and FICA taxes, take home wages are $12,083.  In most states, there are also State taxes to consider, and there may also be city/local taxes as well. If we take Ohio as an example, $208.52 in Ohio State taxes would apply and if this person lived in a taxing local city where a 2% tax applied ($301.60), that would bring the take home wages to $11,572.88 per year.

At $11,572.88, this person would be just barely above the poverty level for the 48 contiguous states of $10,830.00 and we haven't begun to look at other expenses like: health care expenses, auto payments, auto licensing expense, auto insurance, rent, utilities, food, etc.

Ever wonder just how much GOP Chairman Steele makes annually?  It's a far cry from our example at $235,000/year.  I'll bet he doesn't have any trouble putting a car in his garage, or food on his table each night.