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Showing posts from October, 2006

Political Issues: Campaign Finance

It's time for businesses to get out of politics. Candidates, political parties, and political action committees should only be able to accept contributions from individuals. This means no corporate sponsorship of candidates, no political ads sponsored by businesses. I would even forbid groups from donating. No unions, church groups, clubs, etc. would be allowed to donate. The individual members should be allowed to freely donate but groups will be forbidden.

There are millions of dollars flowing into DC and who knows what kind of legislation it's buying. I think the Jack Abramoff scandal is the tip of the iceburg. The corruption needs to stop, but it won't until the money dries up. Businesses do not have the best interests of the country in mind. They need to get out of politics.

Update (Nov 2, 2006)

Another way which has been pretty effective in Arizona would be using a clean elections type financing model. The way it works in Arizona is that a candidate running un…

Political Issues: Illegal Immigration

I feel that the best way to discourage people from coming to the country illegally is to take away all of the benefits of hopping the border without permission.

1) Deny any government services (social security, medicaid, schools, etc) to non-citizens. If you are here illegally, you should not expect to get any help or support at taxpayer expense.

2) Strict enforcement of laws banning the employ of illegals. If a person is here unlawfully, they should not be able to find a job. There needs to be a quick and efficient way for employers to verify that a potential employee is legal (there is a social security database that employers can use to check social security numbers) so that they can easily prove they did due diligence. After that, the consequences should be pretty steep (large fines, loss of business license, maybe even prison)

On the other hand, I'm not at all against a guest worker policy. If the current illegals that really do want to work can come legally then great. Th…

Political Issues: Education

Education is a hard one to cover. Not being an educator (being a parent doesn't count in this instance), I don't have experience with the day to day things that may make a difference between a good education and a great one. However, on a broader level, I do have some ideas that I think would help.

1) Vouchers: I know that teachers unions, etc have tried to make that a dirty word but I believe that the money from taxpayers should follow the students. Parents should be able to pick any school and get the same funding for their child as they would if their child was in public school. The goes for public schools, private schools, charter schools, parochial schools, and any other schools. If we create a level playing field, then the best schools are going to get the students and the lesser schools will either have to improve or they will lose all of their funding. I think that competition will be a good thing for our kids.

2) Teacher Certifications: I feel that all teachers i…

Political Issues: Mass Transit

One of the largest causes of pollution in the Phoenix area is the amount of cars on the roads. Although expensive, the solution is REAL mass transit. What I mean is a commuter rail system that is fast and inexpensive. Our current bus system is way too slow. For example, it takes me between 30 and 50 minutes to drive to work (depending on traffic), but I rode the bus, it would take about 2 hours. Even if if was free I wouldn't take the bus. Commuter rail would probably drop the time down to 45 minutes to an hour. That would be worthwhile.

We could have a subway, and elevated train, or use existing track. The trick is for it to have it's own right of way (not have to wait for traffic). You could have a stop every mile or so with the buses fanning out from the rail stops. If the commuter rail hit malls and shopping centers as much as possible you would already have parking and the businesses would get a boost from the commuter traffic.

If we can pull half of the cars off …

Political Issues: Alternative Energy

I'm a nut for technology so it should be no surprise that I find fuel cells (hydrogen power) and other technologically advanced forms of alternative energy, fascinating. While it may seem a good idea to mandate their use, it's just not feasible right now. However, there are some practical things that can be done. If I were making energy policy for Arizona here are some of the things I would include.

1) Allow any vehicle that gets greater than 40 miles to the gallon (by EPA standards) to use the carpool/HOV lanes. This would encourage those buying cars to commute to get high mileage cars that, while not as stylish, can cut half an hour or more from their commute time.

2) End the policy that lets alternative fuel vehicles that can still run on gasoline use the carpool/HOV lanes. Most AFV cars and trucks that can use gas, do. That negates the environmental benefit and so their perks should be negated as well. I would make an exception for fleets that can prove they do not us…

Where I stand on political issues

Lately I've been doing a lot of research on different political candidates and examining where they stand on the issues. It's easy to get confused and mixed up because they all present good arguments to support their cases. So I thought I'd spend some time and outline how I feel about various issues. Some may be more local (to Arizona) while others more of a national concern but I think by writing out where I stand, I can more clearly see if a particular candidate fits with my views. I may also make changes to my position as new information comes out or as I find that my conclusions were not as correct as I may have hoped.

Election Predictions from electoral-vote.com

The web site electoral-vote.com shows its predictions on the upcoming election based on the most recent polls available. It should be interesting to see how the current scandals affect the poll numbers in the next few weeks (as well as the election itself).