Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

DFC Endorses Alanna Hartzok for Congress

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) National Committee has endorsed Alanna Hartzok for Congress, 9th district, Pennsylvania.

Hartzok’s campaign platform is compatible with the DFC’s – especially her stands on economic issues, where her views are for an alternative to the usual left and right.

She recognizes that, for a healthy economy, with job creation and alleviation of poverty, it’s essential to uphold the basic principles that labor and production should not be penalized, and that natural resources are a unique kind of property that needs to be treated differently from other property, because otherwise it skews the entire economy. She is also for cutting corporate welfare.

According to an interview in the Daily American newspaper in Pennsylvania, Hartzok was asked by the Franklin County Democratic chairman if she would run for the Democratic nomination. She says there are ways to take ideas from both the right and the left, which could make our  democracy work better.

Hartzok points out that an important aspect of the state’s wealth is its gifts from nature, and that we have to fairly share those gifts. Environmental rules and regulatory rules need to be enforced.

She is in favor of a policy similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund, in which revenue related to the oil industry is invested and some of the revenue is paid as a dividend to the state’s residents.

In the Democratic primary, Hartzok was  unopposed, and won the primary.

Contact information for Alanna  Hartzok’s campaign:
Hartzok for Congress
Box 346 Scotland, PA 17254
717-357-7617

If you send a campaign contribution, let the candidate know you were referred by the Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC).

Online via ActBlue:
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/hartzokforcongress

DFC Endorses Jim Wildoner for County Council

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) National Committee  has endorsed Jim Wildoner for County Council, District 3, Prince George’s County, Maryland.

On Wildoner’s campaign website it says: “Jim has adopted  the DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM CAUCUS platform
(www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org) because it generally states his political views on promoting social justice, individual liberty, constitutional democracy and fiscal responsibility.”

Wildoner has previously served as a Council Member for  New Carrollton, from 2003 to 2013, where he has held all positions on the council. He has a degree in Business Management and an MS in Finance.

Wildoner has indicated that he actually is not seeking endorsements for his campaign, because he wants voters to make up their own minds. “A Vote for Jim WILDONER for County Council will give you someone that is serving the  people (STP) not the government or special interest groups. Our campaign committee knows that when we receive 50.1% of the voters on June 24th then that will  be better ‘than 100% of the endorsements.”

Contact information for Jim Wildoner’s campaign:
PAC for JAW
P.O.Box 1244 Lanham, Md 20703.

online via Democracy.com:
http://democracy.com/WILDONERforCountyCouncil

 

DFC Endorses W. Lane Startin for Idaho State Treasurer

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) National Committee   has endorsed W. Lane Startin for Idaho State Treasurer.

Startin points out that what the incumbent state  treasurer did with “mortgage-backed securities” was  “irresponsible. A state treasury is not a hedge fund.   Investments should be in low-risk vehicles, especially  those with guaranteed rates of return.”

“In 2006, Idaho raised its sales taxes and cut its property taxes, a scheme which is proving to be  detrimental,” including its effect on encouraging harmful  land speculation. (The DFC agrees that decision was a  mistake. The DFC platform points out that it makes sense  to lower the property tax on buildings and improvements,  but the tax on the value of a location is similar to a  user fee for public services such as roads, police protection, schools, etc., which raise the value of land.  If that aspect isn’t there the result is large amounts  of land speculation, which leads to less job creation,   less affordable housing, and less affordable products  and services.)

As Startin notes, although the state treasurer doesn’t directly make decisions on such things as taxation, the person in that position can have an influence, by means  of having a “bully pulpit”.

Contact information for W. Lane Startin’s campaign:
W. Lane Startin for Idaho State Treasurer
1140 S. Phillippi St.  Boise, ID 83705-2621

Why Senator Lugar Was Turned Out

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

In Matt Welch’s CNN article about why Republican Senator Lugar lost his re-election bid in the primary, Welch points out that Lugar’s “moderation” contributed to bailouts, the  so-falled stimulus, and a worsening economy.

Welch also suggests that Democrats should consider using their own primary elections to toss out incumbents “for supporting the drug war, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wiretapping and every new military intervention under the sun”.

Here are excerpts from the article:

Why Dick Lugar was turned out
By Matt Welch, Special to CNN
Thursday May 10, 2012

Chances are that most of you reading this are opposed to at least some of the following federal laws and policies: the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the auto bailout, the serial raising of the debt ceiling, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, marijuana prohibition, systematic increases in the Department of Education budget, Medicare Part D, sugar subsidies, obstacles to gay marriage, the nationalization of the mortgage industry and the infuriating performance (or even existence) of the Transportation Security Administration. …

Such tactical use of primarying is creating a growing but still statistically outnumbered group of politicians within the Republican tent who for the first time in a free-spending generation take seriously the notion of forcing the government to live within its fiscal and constitutional means. …

Even straight news articles portrayed Lugar’s defeat as the victory of ideological intolerance over successful and patriotic moderation. …

If it’s “ideological” to always prefer saying “no” to government intervention, why isn’t it ideological to always say “yes”? …

I have no illusions about Richard Mourdock being the next great senator, though I’m always happy to be surprised. Fiscal conservatism was part of his pitch, but so was a slew of good ol’ fashioned Obama-hatin’, which doesn’t necessarily augur well for his future as a thoughtful legislator.

But I won’t be shedding tears for any senator who… had not faced a tough primary since winning office…. From where I sit, power still corrupts, and competition (especially of the political sort) is always a good thing.

What I’d like to see more from Democrats is less condemnation of the tactic and more emulation. Who will be the first sitting Democratic senator tossed out in a primary election for supporting the drug war, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wiretapping and every new military intervention under the sun?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/10/opinion/welch-lugar/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

Maine’s Newest Land Baron

Friday, March 11th, 2011

From a recent article at The Progress Report:

A Colorado billionaire who has had a major hand in the way Americans have watched, and paid for, television in recent decades, now, thanks to his purchase of about 1 million acres of Maine forestland, is vying for a new title: the nation’s largest individual landowner.

A company set up by John Malone, BBC Land LLC, closed on the sale of about 1 million acres of commercial timberland in Maine and an additional 23,000 acres in neighboring New Hampshire.

As Progress Report editor Jeffery J. Smith notes:

“Owning land turns a profit for the owner not just by ranching cattle or logging timber.  There’s also the tax breaks for both extractions and for conservation.  Ironically, instead of paying landowners, government should be charging them rent, since nobody made land and everybody makes land value.  At the same time, government should not be taxing anyone’s earnings, since that is a value one does generate by exerting labor or investing capital.”

[The DFC’s Principles state that, “since no person made the land, property in land needs to be treated somewhat differently from other types of property, to prevent over-concentrated ownership of land and natural resources.” The article above from The Progress Report suggests one way to address the problem, and there can also be alternative approaches.]

Read the entire article here.

To read even more as to why this is a problem, check out this statement by Mason Gaffney.

California Tax Reform Initiative

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The Democratic Freedom Caucus is pleased to see an initiative in California entitled, “The California Tax Reform Initiative” which is being promoted by Prosper California. The initiative is now in circulation for the purpose of obtaining sufficient signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot next November (Secretary of State initiative #1413, A.G. File No. 09-0051).

The initiative, among other things, seeks to make exempt state personal income taxes for the first $150,000, with a maximum tax rate of 8%, to abolish state and local sales taxes, corporation taxes, and existing property taxes on real & personal property, and to shift the tax to 75% of the rental value of land.

The California Tax Reform Initiative is consistent with section 2a of the DFC’s platform which states, in part, “the least harmful tax is a tax on land location value or on extraction of natural resources, because those are not products of labor, but are fixed resources”.

For more information on The California Tax Reform Initiative, go to http://www.prospercalifornia.com/

DFC Endorses Mike Bozarth

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) endorses Democratic candidate Mike Bozarth for re-election in 2010 to the city council of St. Joseph, Missouri (population 71,900), representing the Third District.

Mike Bozarth advocates practical economic views that are fiscally responsible, and supports personal liberty issues. He reaches across the aisle and works in a constructive manner with city council members from both parties. Bozarth is the publisher and editor of the St. Joseph Telegraph, and has lived in the South Side of St. Joseph most of his life. He also serves as the DFC state chair for Missouri, and as a DFC National Committee representative.

Update on Richardson Nomination, Secretary of Commerce

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

It’s unfortunate that Bill Richardson had to step aside from the nomination for Secretary of Commerce. Hopefully, after the dust settles, he might still have some role in the Obama administration, or perhaps Obama will at least consult with him now and then.

Richardson Nomination for Secretary of Commerce

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The Democratic Freedom Caucus congratulates Governor Bill Richardson in being nominated for the Secretary of Commerce. Although we favored Governor Bill Richardson to be Secretary of State his selection for Secretary of Commerce will afford him the opportunity to influence policy in a direction of a more level playing field in the economy, including cutting corporate subsidies, and allowing customer choice for public services. We expect he will act as a voice of restraint within the administration as calls for government control and ownership of private industry increase as we enter more difficult economic times.

DFC Recommendation of Richardson for Cabinet

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

The National Committee of the Democratic Freedom Caucus issued the following statement:

The Democratic Freedom Caucus respectfully recommends that President-elect Barack Obama appoint Bill Richardson to serve as Secretary of State, or in another position in his cabinet.

Bill Richardson’s experience as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative in Congress, Governor of New Mexico, and U.S. Secretary of Energy, makes him extremely well-qualified to serve as Secretary of State, or in another cabinet position of President-elect Obama’s choice.

The Democratic Freedom Caucus is a caucus which promotes the values the Democratic Party was founded upon: individual liberty, constitutional democracy, and social responsibility. http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org