Jan 152015
 

Tuna fishermen in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean know that schools of yellowfin tuna swim beneath dolphin pods. Since 1950, while targeting dolphins in pursuit of tuna, these fishermen have inadvertently caught and killed over six million of these mammals. Such mortality prompted congress to create the “dolphin-safe tuna” label in 1990 that prohibits the intentional netting of dolphins. Since then, annual dolphin mortality has decreased from more than 100,000 dolphin kills to about 3,000. For years, Mexico has used the encirclement method of tuna fishing and has been denied our dolphin-safe label for intentionally catching dolphins in their nets. Opponents claim this method of chasing down dolphins has resulted in much higher dolphin mortality rates than reported – from injuries, separation of calves from mothers, and physiological stress that damages heart muscles. Some depleted dolphin stocks have not recovered. Currently, at least three dolphin populations remain at risk from inadvertent fishing: the northeastern offshore and the coastal spotted dolphins and the eastern spinner dolphin.

Pending Legislations:

S.269 & H.R.69 – Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current dolphin catch policy and wish to defeat S.269 & H.R.69

I support identifying vessels and vessel owners engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing; taking appropriate action against such vessels and vessel owners in accordance with U.S. and international law, and wish to pass S.269 & H.R.69

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Chronic or uncontrolled pain is considered the driving force behind the euthanasia movement. Constant pain affects at least 100 million Americans every day. Terminally ill patients often experience severe pain for many weeks or months before dying. Historically, pain management has been a lesser priority to doctors than treating a patient’s illness. Concerns with addiction, side affects, or drug laws interfere with the attempts of doctors to dispense pain medication -or with patients to take it. Opioids such as codeine and morphine, processed from the poppy flower, are effective remedies for cancer pain. Health advocates say opioid prescriptions, although extremely addictive, should still be made more available to all pain sufferers. Consumer advocates say as much as anything else, economic factors seem to determine who receives relief from pain. People without health insurance as well as minorities and the elderly are forced to live with more pain than others. Chinese researchers have recently discovered a powerful new analgesic refined from the venom of the Chinese red-headed centipede. Laboratory tests show this pain killer to be more effective than morphine without measurable side affects.

Pending Legislation:

S.641 & H.R.1339 – Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

I oppose reforming current pain relief policy and wish to defeat S.641 & H.R.1339

I support awarding grants or contracts for the establishment or operation of Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers and incentive grants or contracts to advanced practice nurses, clinical social workers, pharmacists, chaplains, or students of psychology pursuing an advanced degree in palliative care or related fields; and awarding grants to schools of nursing, health care facilities, or programs leading to certification as a certified nurse assistant to develop and implement programs and initiatives to train individuals in providing palliative care in health-related educational, hospice, home, or long-term care settings, and wish to pass S.641 & H.R.1339

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act have allowed cockfighting to exist and grow. Cockfighting is only legal in Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico but its legal status in these states encourages cockfighting in other states as well, giving enthusiasts in outlawed states an excuse to own these fighting birds and associated gear. Stimulants, blades and blood-clotting drugs for cockfighting birds are readily available online. During cockfights, metal blades are strapped to the legs of these combatants so they can inflict maximum damage on their opponent, and roosters often fight each other to the death. Animal welfare advocates claim the deaths and injuries of many animals are committed under the guise of entertainment and for the promotion of gambling. Proponents claim “chickens do naturally fight” and are against further federal restrictions and penalties.

Pending Legislations:

S.666 & H.R.366 – Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current cockfighting policy and wish to pass S.666 & H.R.366

I support punishing any person for knowingly attending an animal fighting venture with a fine and/or imprisonment for up to a year for each violation; and who knowingly causes a minor to attend such venture to be punished by a fine and/or imprisonment for up to three years for each violation, and wish to pass S.666 & H.R.366

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Marine turtles are long-lived, late-maturing and highly migratory. Only about one in 5,000 hatchlings live to adulthood. With the exception of one species, every sea turtle in the world is listed as threatened or endangered. Coastal development and human exploitation contributes to loss of habitat and nesting sites. Illegal international trade seriously threatens wild populations of many marine turtle species, particularly the hawksbill turtle. Floating debris and water pollution also contribute to mortality, as does international commercial fishing and inadvertent capture. Sea turtles are facing growing pressure from strong demand for its meat and shells. Poaching and egg harvesting are further pushing this slow-growing reptile rapidly to extinction. Because marine turtles are flagship species for the ecosystems in which they live, sustaining healthy populations of marine turtles provides benefits to many other species of wildlife, including many that are either threatened or endangered.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1329 – Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2013

I oppose reauthorizing the 2004 Marine Turtle Conservation Act and wish to defeat H.R.1329

I support authorizing not less than 20% of amounts made available from the Martine Turtle Conservation Fund for any fiscal year to be used for projects relating to the conservation of marine turtles in the United States and wish to pass H.R.1329

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

There are currently about 18 million alcoholics in the U.S. and more than 88,000 Americans drink themselves to death each year. About 480,000 Americans also die from tobacco related products each year. Health advocates claim the makers of these harmful products routinely market cigarettes and alcohol to our young. These products are often advertised on billboards, television, radio and other mediums which are unavoidably seen and heard by minors. However, our Federal Trade Commission claims it has not found overt evidence of such targeting. Our tobacco and alcohol industries currently regulate themselves by creating standards for the ethical advertising of their products. These standards discourage irresponsible drinking and prohibit the promotion of a beverage’s alcohol content or the effects of alcohol. These standards also call for alcohol ads to be placed only in media where 70% of the audience is over 21. However, critics say these harmful products should not be advertised on any medium that is viewed by minors. They say a precedent exists for banning these types of ads without running afoul of our First Amendment. Tobacco advertising was banned from television once the dangers of smoking were acknowledged.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current alcohol and tobacco advertising policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ban alcohol advertisements on media that is viewed by children

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ban all tobacco advertisements on media that is viewed by children

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ban all alcohol and tobacco advertisements on media that is viewed by children

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Wild animals including Raccoon, Muskrat, Mink, Beaver, Coyote, Red Fox and Opossum are harvested for their fur and are often caught with leg traps. Anti-fur advocates contend the steel jaw leg-hold trap is a painful, inhumane and nonselective way to trap animals. Animals caught in this trap often further injure themselves trying to escape before finally dying. Even if released, they may perish later from internal injuries or reduced ability to hunt or forage for food. It is estimated that these traps catch and kill two unwanted animals for every animal that is targeted. In a 1981 study, non-targeted animals comprised 76% of all animals captured in steel jaw leg-hold traps. These animals include golden and bald eagles, hawks and other birds, rabbits, sage grouse, family pets, deer, antelope, porcupines, sheep and calves.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current fur trapping policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ban the use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Efforts to reverse the decline of the whale species began in 1946 with the establishment of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It unsuccessfully attempted to protect whales by setting sustainable whaling quotas. However, 66,000 whales were taken in 1962 alone, and by 1982 the Commission realized a total moratorium on whaling was needed to prevent the extinction of this majestic species. About 32,000 whales have been killed since 1986 and at least 1,500 whales are killed worldwide each year. The IWC moratorium compliance is voluntary and Japan, Norway and Iceland harvest whales under a “scientific study” loophole. These nations claim to kill only whales that are relatively plentiful such as the Minke whale. However, whaling opponents claim whale meat tested in Japan’s fish markets reveal DNA of several whale species banned for any type of “take” including Blue, Humpback and Fin whales. Opponents say that since prohibited whale meat is sold in its restaurants, Japan’s research whaling program is actually commercial whaling in disguise. However, there are indications the efforts of anti-whaling protesters are having an effect on this industry. Japan’s commercial whale-meat market has crashed and when Australia filed charges against Japan’s whaling practices in The Hague International Court of Justice in the Netherlands, the Court found Japan’s Southern Ocean whale hunt to be illegal under international law. Advocates say this decision was a pivotal moment in the history of the IWC. Ironically, whale-watching has become a thriving industry accounting for $1 billion in annual revenue in 87 countries. This, and designated sanctuaries including those in the Indian and Southern Oceans, have had a positive effect on whale populations. Marine sanctuaries, off-limits to whaling, are places of refuge where whales can feed and breed, and where non-lethal scientific research can be done. President Obama has recently proposed doubling the size of the Pacific Ocean sanctuary, protecting this huge area from fishing and other environmentally harmful human activities.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current whaling policy

I support establishing a national whale conservation endowment fund to be used to support research, management activities, or educational programs that contribute to the protection, conservation, or recovery of whale populations in U.S. waters, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce S.2172 – National Whale Conservation Fund Act of 1998 (105th Congress 1997-1998)

I support efforts, including financial aid, to organizations that will reduce or eliminate whaling worldwide

BANKS

BANK FEES

BANK ACCOUNT FEES

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now considering reversing an 80-year ban which prohibits one company from owning a newspaper and television station in the same market. Its resulting report could allow one media company in a single city to acquire as many as two television stations, eight radio stations and a major newspaper. Currently, there are 10 media companies which own about 700 local television stations across the country. Opponents say that a truthful, objective and inclusive media is indispensable to our democracy. They worry more consolidation would limit diversity and ideas in the marketplace, giving a small number of media giants too much influence in shaping our public debate. They claim these new rule changes will spur a wave of mergers that will crowd out independent stations and stifle local coverage and dissenting viewpoints. Critics say this is exactly what occurred in 1996 after the FCC revised ownership rules for radio stations. These changes reduced the number of radio station owners by 25%, from 5,100 in 1996 to 3,800 by 2001. The FCC claims its media ownership rule changes will give consumers better access to a wider range of cable channels and other news and entertainment sources. Many conventional media companies say current FCC rules hinder their ability to compete with emerging digital platforms. As evidence of the need to compete with broadcast and online media, they point to the difficulties our newspaper industry has suffered for several years. Overall, media industry representatives claim they could increase efficiency and offer residents better and more comprehensive news coverage by combining newspaper and TV operations. They also claim any restrictions on media ownership and viewer reach is contrary to the free speech protections of our First Amendment. The FCC is planning to complete its report in 2016.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current media ownership policy

I support invalidating the actions of the FCC in repealing the media ownership limitations under the Communications Act of 1934, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce a version of H.R.2462 Protect Diversity in Media Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Apes are the closest relatives to humans in the animal world, sharing more than 96% of their DNA with us. The great apes, including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans, are now in danger of extinction. Poachers shoot them, smugglers sell their babies as exotic pets, illegal loggers destroy the rain forests where they live, and civil wars drive them from their habitat. Along with elephants, apes are regarded as the ‘gardeners of the forests’ by spreading seeds and pruning branches. Today, there are believed to be about 400,000 great apes in Africa and Asia, compared to many millions in the 19th century. These species will become extinct within the next 15-20 years if action is not taken to halt their decline. Advocates say ape habitat must be protected, law enforcement must be given more resources to prevent smuggling, and countries inhabited by apes should be encouraged to regard them as an asset, making them the center of their tourism industries.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1328 – Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current great ape policy and wish to defeat H.R.1328

I support awarding a multi-year grant for long-term conservation strategy for great apes and their habitats including scientific research and findings related to conservation needs and priorities of great apes, including regional or species-specific action plans or strategies, and wish to pass H.R.1328

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

A derivative has no intrinsic value in itself. Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is derived from the value of something else. They usually take the form of contracts under which the parties agree to payments between themselves based upon the value of an underlying asset, index, interest rate, or other data at a particular point in time. Derivative transactions include a variety of financial contracts, including structured debt obligations and deposits, swaps, futures, options, caps, floors, collars, forwards, and various combinations of these. For example: Choose something valuable such as soy beans, petroleum or government bonds, make bets on its future worth, add a contract, and you have a derivative. Derivatives have been called the unregulated global casino for banks. The financial crisis showed that derivatives make the system much more dangerous by encouraging banks and investors to pile up more and more risk. A derivative contract loses or gains value as the price it tracks changes. When it loses enough value, the bank will demand that the owner pays it some money, the dreaded ‘margin call.’ This was exactly what brought down AIG and nearly did the same to our global economy. Advocates say that a small tax on financial transactions would discourage rampant speculation by our financial institutions and help reduce our budget deficit.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.880 – Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act

I oppose reforming current derivatives policy and wish to defeat H.R.880

I support imposing a .03% excise tax on the purchase of a security, including derivatives, stocks, partnership interests, notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidences of indebtedness, if such purchase occurs or is cleared on a trading facility located in the United States, or the purchaser or seller is a U.S. person, and wish to pass H.R.880

 Posted by at 12:00 am