Issues

Immigration

The traditional entry point to the United States was, at one time, Ellis Island.  In New York Harbor, greeting immigrants as a welcoming symbol of our ideals, stands Liberty Enlightening The World.  The Declaration of Independence, on which our country was established in 1776, states that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.  My grandfather fought tooth and nail to enter this country and become a citizen. We as a nation need to not turn our backs on those who seek these same ideals.  Those who come to this country should be subject to a disease and a security check, and then they should be allowed to pursue their American dream.

Religious Freedom

I vow to vote against any bill that would infringe on personal religious freedom.  This does NOT mean that I will vote FOR any bill that seeks to exclude or discriminate on manufactured religious grounds.

4th Amendment Rights

The Patriot Act is a direct violation of every American’s 4th Amendment rights, which is supposed to be protecting us from warrantless search and seizure.  In the name of the War on Terror, we have forgotten our civil liberties.  The NSA needs to be audited, and their powers limited.  Any federal agency who wishes to infringe on our 4th Amendment rights need to be held accountable.

National Defense

We need to reconsider our overseas troop deployments.  If we are deployed in areas that are not important to US National security, we need to have a plan to leave in a timely manner and execute it. We also need to reconsider our foreign aid, especially to nations who are hostile to the United States.

Decriminalization of drugs

Most drug-related offenses are non-violent, and are creating criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.  Use (and abuse) of any drug is best handled as a medical issue, where the issue can be treated, and not as a criminal one, where imprisonment recidivism rates come into play and the actual problem is never solved.

Legalization of marijuana

Marijuana is of special concern.  This drug is Schedule I on the DEA list of Controlled Substances, meaning that it has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and therefore users are among the harshest treated on the federal level.  In fact, marijuana is a mild drug, with no proof of gateway properties, and with a host of medicinal uses proven through clinical study.  The use of marijuana should be legalized, its distribution subject to lower regulations, and its impairment treated similarly to alcohol (i.e. DUI laws, etc.).

Free Trade

The economy in upstate New York is suffering.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in Rochester, where our economy suffers, in large part due to offshoring of our jobs and manufacturing.  The barriers to export and to manufacture in the United States have become too great for many of our local businesses.  US companies need and deserve lower barriers to free trade with foreign (non-hostile) nations, and lower barriers to manufacture American-made products for sale around the world.  This is the only way we will compete in the global marketplace.

Abortion

Abortion is a complicated issue, and many of us have very strong feelings about it from a moral standpoint.  It is my firmest belief that the decision to have an abortion should not be one in which government is involved at all.  This decision should be between a woman (and whomever she chooses to bring into the discussion) and her doctor alone.

Plan 2014

Plan 2014 to raise the level of Lake Ontario to higher levels and lower it to lower levels at different times of the year will MEASURABLY damage the property values of everyone along the lakeshore throughout New York – an approximate assessed value of $3.7 billion dollars – who will go between being constantly flooded with sewage and losing their lakeshore, as well as place an undue burden on municipal infrastructure, which will have to bear the brunt of these changes.  Furthermore, it will measurably increase lakeshore erosion.  It is my position that such a plan is wrong for the State of New York, and I will campaign against this with our Department of State.

All The Answers

I don’t have them.  Your government doesn’t have them.  We are a sovereign people, and we should all be trusted to make decisions for ourselves that won’t hurt others.  I am going to defend your right to THAT in Washington.  I am also here to listen to you, and to be your advocate.  Give the little guy a chance to do that for you.