Energy and Transportation, followed by equality of pay, further improvement in the ACA and Medicare, and protection of Social Security
I have been married for over 40 years to Jolene. We have two sons, two daughters and three grandchildren. We met while students at Nebraska State University.
Growing up in a military family, we moved frequently during Dad's 32-years in the Army. Most years I was in a different school each year. Elementary School was in Austria, Germany and Ohio. We were in El Paso when I graduated from High School. After college in Nebraska, I entered the Marine Corp. Until we moved our family to Arlington 32 years ago, I didn't know what it meant to have a "hometown." Arlington is where our children went to school, we participated in PTA. I got involved in youth athletics through the Optimist Club and coached pee wee football. This is where we put down roots. Our children went to school and graduated from college here. Arlington is my hometown.
Software Engineer 23 yrs.; Software Project Leader for first cell phone to send texts and e-mail.
Employed by General Motors, Radio Shack, and Motorolo.
TD Ameritrade, Series 7 and 63 licenses
Taught High School Math in Grand Prairie ISD and at North Side High School, Ft. Worth ISD.
Veteran, officer in the United States Marine Corps.
Worked in the Optimist Club of Arlington Youth Athletic Programs. Brought Junior Olympics to Arlington, serving as Chairman of Junior Olympics for 4 years. Grade Administrator, Commissioner, Head and Assistant Coach in the Peewee Football Project for 19 years.
Candidate, Democratic Nominee, United States House of Representatives, District 6, 2010
Campaign Manager, Tom Love Congressional Campaign, 2008
Campaign Manager, Chris Youngblood State Representative Campaign, 2006
Chief of Staff, Morris Meyer Congressional Campaign, 2004
Former Campaign Consultant, Steve Bush Congressional Campaign
Lutheran. Believe firmly in separation of Church and State.
As the project leader for the software development team that put paging, text messaging, and voice mail on a cell phone for the first time and deplored in six major markets around the world, were were told that our successful development, testing and deployment of the new product line saved the Cellular Insfrastructure Sector from the scrap pile.
The project had two software Motorola teams, Fort Worth and Arlington Heights in Illinois. There was an associated RF team in Arlington Heights. It had two vendor teams; software in Lincoln NE. and firmware/hardware in New Jersey. My job was to integrate the teams, the technology represented by each team into a totally new product that was supposedly not possible on an analog RF cellular system. The
Graduated, Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), University of Nebraska
Basic School, U.S. Marine Corps, Quantico, VA, 1973
Artillery School, Ft. Sill, OK 1973
Bachelor of Arts, Physics and Mathematics, University of Nebraska, 1967-1972
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science with minor in Accounting, Youngstown State University, 1978-1982; Graduate Study Software Engineering, UT Arlington.
Certification stock broker: Series 7 & 63 licenses
Teaching Certificate from UNT in 2006; Graduated from High School in El Paso, Texas.
After Basic School at Quantico, VA and Artillery School at Fort Sill, OK, I was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corp. I served in Asia and the United States. One of my duty assignments was as Platoon Commander for Nuclear Deployment. This was a Cold War era assignment and my job was to see that we were ready in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.
I am running for office because I value my family and my nation. Unlike our generation where we had greater opportunities than our parents, our generation has taken more and used more, leaving our children and their children's generations to bear the brunt of the cost. As president of Keep America Moving, a non-profit, I have studied projections of the impact of the depletion of fossil fuels on industrialized nations. Although there is disagreement about exactly when the impact of peak oil will hit America, there is consensus that we are using fossil fuels much more rapidly than we are creating them. Already the O&G industry depends heavily upon governmental grants and subsidies to pad their profit and loss statements.
The turmoil to my grandchildren's
Incentives to keep and create good jobs which pay living wages here must replace failed policies which encourage off-shore manufacturing, shifting tax-domiciles off-shore, and facilitate handing over patents created through American investment and intellectual property to foreign partners without safeguards to ensure that the profits come back to American.
We must continue working to transform the American workplace to one where there is no gender bias in pay. As long as there is a discrepancy between the pay of men and women doing equal work, we still have work to do on this issue! As a father and grandfather of girls, I want to see this problem solved!
The rate of new jobs created is improving however, most of them are low paying jobs. The
Taxes are how we pay for governmental priorities and services voted on by the representatives elected by the people. Taxes are how we finance infrastructure and projects which are too large for an individual or smaller governmental entity to provide alone.
Taxes should be fair and lower income individuals should not pay higher percentages of taxes per income than the more wealthy.
Corporations should pay their fair share of taxes because as entities, they utilize the services created through the American governmental system which is supported by taxes.
Trickle-down economics is a failed experiment which destabilized the American middle class, transferring wealth from the middle class into the hands of about 1% of the population.
Yes, Federal Taxes should be simplified. However, each time it is attempted, it seems to become more complex. That does not mean that we should not continue. Greater access to technology can make the process less burdensome.
The wealthiest should pay the highest taxes because they profit the most. Trickle down economics does not work.
Corporations should pay taxes because they use American services and benefit from the business environment created by governmental services paid for by American taxpayers.
We have a national income tax. We do not need a national sales tax.
The Flat Tax seems like a better idea than it actually is. When closely examined, it frequently results in higher taxes than it seems like it should. A flat tax is not fair because it places higher burdens of the poor to pay relative to their wealth than it places on the wealthy to pay in relation to their wealthy. Some of the problems which developed when Reagan's taxcuts were enacted without them being tied to investment in workforce, charitable giving, investment in business processes and infrastructure are inherent in the Flat Tax Plan.
We need to establish a fair tax system and a Flat Tax is not fair. Just because everyone has the same rate does not mean that the same rate is fair to everyone because the income and resources of everyone is not equal.
Seniors should not be charged taxes on their Social Security income. When seniors are earning other income, they should be taxes the same as other citizens who create wealth.
R&D should be rewarded and the most logical way to encourage R&D is to allow Tax Credits.
Corporate Tax loophole means different things to different people. Corporations which invest in businesses in American should be allowed tax incentives. They should be allowed to deduct employee benefits and the cost of training and developing their work force and investments in business processes and infrastructure. There should be limits on deductions for Executive bonuses. There should be limits which prevent Corporations from loading up on "debt" to avoid paying taxes. The practice of buying businesses to avoid paying taxes on existing enterprises should be curtailed.
We must continue working for transparency in international banking and finance. American corporations which practice tax-inversion should be charged for the services provided by the American government.
Subsidizing fossil fuel industries should stop. We should be encouraging the development and implementation of new industries and clean renewable technologies, not subsidizing fossil fuel. Oil Companies should be limited to the same Tax Breaks as other companies: for R&D for process improvement, for employees, and for investment in business infrastructure. Some of the tax breaks for "new processes" such as those granted for horizontal drilling are being paid much too long. Horizontal drilling is no longer new. Just because it is expensive is not a good enough reason to subsidize it.
Property taxes should be fair. Property taxes finance local governments and the federal government really should not be dictating policies on how the local governments set their tax rates. Local citizens and their local officials should make those decisions.
The IRS is an agency we all "like to hate" but it is necessary to have an agency to administer the Federal Tax system.
Citizens United should be overturned. Dark money from sources from unreported sources violates the basic premise of campaign finance disclosure.
Our political system depends upon an informed society. We need some media for all candidates on the ballot. We need more education in the schools of civics, Roberts Rules of Order, multi-party process and campaign laws.
Many people graduate with PhD's in Political Science and have no training in campaign finance or campaign strategy or laws.
Corporations should not be allowed to contribute to political pacs or campaigns. Superpacs should be held to the same donor limits as are Federal candidates.
I think that campaigns should be allowed to spend however much they have. However, there should be caps on how much any individual or PAC can contribute to any one campaign.
Citizens should present identification when they register to vote. Once the voter registration card is issued, they should be allowed to present the voter ID card or to present identification proving that they are the individual who is registered and lives at the address on their voter registration card. Texas's Voter ID law is too restrictive. People do not have to present photo ID's to vote by mail. It falls short because it is not applied consistently to all voters, and because it creates unnecessary barriers for low income citizens who do not have drivers licenses or gun permits to vote.
I look forward to the repeal of the Citizen's United ruling.
The system works and is appropriate.
527 PACS such as ACT BLUE help small donors funnel money to political candidates and help candidates gather the necessary donor information for financial reports.
Bundling is fine as long as there are no fees charged for bundling.
Small donors are important. They should have their voice heard.
Disclosure of employment of donors allows people to recognize who is supporting which candidates. Lobbyist have a right to contribute to political campaigns, but the contributions should be within limits and given transparently.
Redistricting should be limited to once every 10 years and should be done by a non-partisan committee which is not comprised of any elected officials. Neighborhood integrity should be weighed more heavily than the political voting habits of specific residents.
Voting machines should provide a paper trail so that there is a mean for recounts other than machine recounts.
I do not think people should be allowed to vote unless they register in advance.
When a person has served his or her time and is "off paper" their voting rights should be restored in all states.
Civilization depends upon air and water. Rational people take care of what is necessary.
Climate change is creating open waterways where there used to be ice barriers. Science shows that it is real.
Sensible environmental regulations are important. The EPA should be funded and not obstructed from doing their job in identifying environmental hazards and regulating environmental protection. The cost of environmental accidents is much greater than the price of regulations.
The Clean Air Act and Clean Skies Initiative is important legislation and has been given a "bad rap" by those who deny the impact of pollution. Some pollution is occurs naturally and cannot be controlled. Therefore we must study and identify sources which can be controlled. The cost of air pollution in health cost. time lost from work must be factored in when the cost of regulation is considered.
In the Barnett Shale much of the pollution is associated with natural gas production. The industry has resisted installing vapor recovery systems even though the systems capture pollution and increase the amount of product that can be sold. Other technologies can be employed to reduce pollution. I have suggested converting some of the generators at pad sites to electric engines powered by solar.
Some of the worst pollution in the world is from third world developing countries. International assistance to help transition to wind and air power could help reduce the carbon /pollution footprint from these countries.
Tropical deforestation is a problem which increases with population explosion and development. This is a problem in South America. Those are sovereign nations but we have influence in those regions and can utilize NGO's to educate and assist with the permission of the governments of those countries.
As it was originally presented it had merit. It has been modified and I doubt that it will be effective.
Free market incentives can help in some instances but usually "free market incentives" is used as a catch phrase used in attempts to justify a hands off approach which gives corporations unfettered control. Sensible regulation, fair application of the laws to all, and careful tax policies usually accomplishes more than so called Free market incentives.
Power plant emissions vary depending on the plant design, the climate, and what is being burned to create the energy. Incumbent Joe Barton advocates for "clean coal" but the cost of creating fuel from so-called "clean coal" is high and it still pollutes. Much of the pollution in the DFW area comes from power plants outside the district. Air pollution travels and impact residents in neighboring counties and neighboring states. That is why it is important that the EPA is equipped to do its job.
Taxing gasoline is a source of funding for highway maintenance. Raising gasoline taxes more than few cents would not be fair to those who depend upon gasoline powered automobiles for transportation.
A United Nations protocol to reduce emissions, the Kyoto Protocol is an attempt to limit emissions worldwide. It is a beginning. In the United States, much of the improvements are from targeting better practices at the several of the nation's power plants.
The Clean Water Act is a crucial piece of legislation and should be enforced.
Clean drinking water is essential for the survival of the human race. When water wells and aquifers are contaminated human life, farming and livestock production is curtailed. The Clean Water Act and Clean Drinking Water standards are sensible regulations which help protect lives and helps property owners retain the value of their land.
Those who pollute should pay for the damage and should fund the clean-up. Unfortunately many polluters abandon sites and declare bankruptcy and never pay for the clean-up. The American taxpayer pays for much of the clean-up after those who exploit the resources have abandoned the sites or other business enterprises have closed.
The EPA is one of the most important, necessary regulatory agencies of the US Government. Much of their work is prevention of environmental accidents. It is less costly to prevent environmental accidents than it is to pay for the damage after they occur.
National parks enhance the quality of life for Americans, provide tourist attractions for visitors, and help preserve natural sites. They merit federal funding.
This helps restore and preserve our national forests.
Wetlands are very efficient ways that nature purifies water. They are wildlife habitants.
Austerity is not the most efficient way of reducing the deficit. We have had lower deficits during the Clinton administration than during the Bush administration. We should avoid costly wars, shutting down the government to posture on political issues, and refusing to pass appropriation bills to fund programs enacted by law by the majority of both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President. We should be prudent in our spending and prioritize those expenditures which benefit the American people and make our nation stronger. When we are in a depression we should exercise less austerity so that the economy recovers faster. When in inflationary cycles we should pull money out of the system and pay off the debt.
Drug manufacturers should be prohibited from adding ingredients to generic drugs or mixing two generic drugs together and charging higher tier pricing.
Drug manufacturers should be prohibited from charging more on the American market for drugs than they charge in other developed countries.
First, the Public Option has to be put back in the bill.
Second, transparency must be enforced on drug prescriptions by revealing the relative effectiveness of the top five drugs for a given treatment. And then require every drug delivery service to reveal their pricing to the public for price comparison.
Third, encourage the conversion from fee for each and every item or service method to a comprehensive treatment outcome payment method.
Fourth, encourage the practice of salaried doctors and staff in doctor offices, clinics, and hospitals. Require overtime pay for staff.
American health care is already rationed. Not having the money or health insurance to pay for health care is rationing!
Health plans which help prevent diseases should be encouraged.
Transparency in cost and quality reporting is important. The easier it is for citizens and physicians to see quality measures and cost comparisons, the better it will be for decision makers when selecting health care providers.
Development of vaccines for diseases which could be used in bio-terrorism or which are evolving in other parts of the world is often in the interest of the American people. The Ebola virus is an example. The virus has been in Africa since the 1970s and a vaccination was created and proven effective in monkey's. Because of the cost of human trials, the vaccine was not tested. If it has been tested, it was expected to be ready by 2010 or 2011. During the two years after it could have been released, thousands of people died in Africa. The delay was because there was not a "lucrative market" for the vaccine. Sometimes it is important for the United States Government and /or international health organizations to finance testing and development of vaccines.
The National Institute of Health is important for medical research, testing and protocol evaluation. It is a means of assisting research institutions in developing medical protocols. It should be adequately funded.
The CDC is the front-line for contagious diseases. Since 2006 the CDC's emergency preparedness budget has been cut almost in half resulting in the loss of 45,700 state and local health workers. These are the people who train hospitals and medical providers. During the period when the budget was cut, some of the executives with the CDC got substantial bonuses. That should be examined for appropriateness. Slashing the budget as much as has occurred since 2006 was, in my opinion, unwise.
CHIPS has helped provide insurance coverage for many uninsured children. The Affordable Care Act restricts insurance companies from excluding children with serious illnesses from coverage.
Small businesses are the economic engine of our society. Government has an important role in ensuring that the financial and banking and OSHA rules are fair and transparent. Most jobs are created in the small business sector. It is essential that tax-inversion are limited and we do not allow the larger corporations to escape paying taxes and the burden to be shifted to the smaller enterprises.
The American auto industry is an important business sector. We should have enacted higher fuel standards much earlier so that we'd have been more competitive with foreign manufactures. Electric vehicles and driverless vehicles are the wave of the future. Incentives to speed the installation of fast charging stations throughout the nation will create larger markets for clean electric vehicles. There are legal (governmental barrier) which must be worked out such as liability before driverless vehicles can mix with other automobiles on our nation's roadways. Alternate modes of transportation should be implemented. I personally favor the SKY-TRAN system currently under construction in Tel Aviv which is totally solar powered. This system could eliminate
Tax breaks on Executive pay over certain thresholds should be eliminated. Executives should not be granted bonuses when the Companies they lead file for bankruptcy.
It is essential that intellectual property and processes are protected from piracy. When companies manufacture overseas, there is greater danger of patent infringement. Companies should understand that offshore manufacturing frequently places greater risk to their patents. Even though the Department of Commerce and US State Department work on protecting American business interests, corporations should understand that sending their manufacturing specs to foreign firms is a business decision that they make which has risks and they must be prepared for their processes and products to be pirated.
Minority businesses should receive a share of governmental contracts and sub-contracts.
It is in the best interest of the American people to encourage start-up incubators. New technologies and new industries are the future of our economic system. We should encourage them and create controls so that the benefits of the technology developed here remains in the United States to create jobs and wealth for Americans.
It is difficult to prevent foreign ownership of American businesses. There are some businesses that I think it is in the nation's best interest to keep in American ownership. For example, I do not think that our ports should be controlled by foreigners.
America has lost too many manufacturing jobs. There is evidence that many American are willing to pay more to have the assurance that the ingredients and products they use are manufactured in American by American standards. We should think inside and outside of the box examining and identifying ways to encourage American manufacturing.
Pay day lending with high fees and rates should be regulated. Credit card companies should not be allowed to raise interest rates unless the customer has been late with payments on that card; raising interest rates and fees simply because a customer is late in paying some other creditor should be prohibited.
Bankruptcy laws should be fair. If a citizen qualifies for reorganization under the bankruptcy law, student loans should be included in the bankruptcy.
We need to exercise antitrust enforcement. Allowing institutions to become "too big to fail" is counterproductive to our national interest.
Intellectual property must be protected. International laws regulating intellectual property helps to protect the American tax base.
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements should be reasonable and not excessive. Simplifying forms and reporting procedures and providing easy-to-use and easy-to-understand electronic interfaces reduces the time and expense of reporting and of processing the reports. Electronic systems require administrators, programmers, and operators. It is important to appropriate sufficient funds to create, upgrade and maintain efficient systems. No system implementation is seamless. Implementation and testing is a process and rarely goes smoothly. In a governmental environment, politics and competition between party's should not be allowed to complicate process improvement.
The National Labor Relations Board is the mediator between employers and unions/workers and is a necessary protection for workers.
The minimum wage has not been indexed to inflation for decades. When it was first enacted, most minimum wage workers were young people. Now many older workers are relying on one or more minimum or barely above minimum wage jobs to support their households. I favor raising the minimum wage. The incumbent wants to abolish it. There is evidence from states which have the highest minimum wages that more jobs are created than are lost when the minimum wage is raised. When people who have little discretionary income get increases in wages, they spend more for goods and services and create demand for more workers.
Wage discrimination, especially gender bias, is still a significant problem in the United States. Although some women have been able to break through the glass ceiling, the overall pay for women is still much lower than that for men doing the same job. During this term every Republican in both houses of Congress voted against passage of the pay day fairness law. This should not be a partisan issue. The impact of pay discrimination on American families ultimates impacts the children. When a mother is underpaid, there is less money to support the children. When one parent is discriminated against in pay, there is less money to care for the family. Pay discrimination follows the worker throughout their lifetime. It impacts the amount of savings
We continue to lose large industries. Many of the jobs which "replace them" are lower paying non-union jobs.
We are nearing the end of a transportation era. Vehicles and roadway design has changed incrementally as long as fossil fuel was in abundance. We have used more fossil fuel than nature has created for the past 100 years. Now that we are reaching "peak oil" where the cost of extracting oil is equal to or greater than it's market price, we will see innovation in transportation vehicles and throughfare design.
With increasing population and concentration in urban centers, the ability to move more people efficiently without adding to the pollution will continue sparking innovation and invention. Converting vehicles from gasoline and diesel to solar will increase once there are fast charging stations throughout the state.
Amtrak moves people throughout the United States. We have less Amtrak service in this part of the nation than exists in the North East. Efficient on-time passenger service is difficult to provide on tracks which are owned and controlled by freight companies.
The Federal Government has a role in helping to plan, construct and fund public infrastructure on inter-state highways. Bridges, rail corridors and airports are also major infrastructure projects which are included in the Federal Transportation Budget. In addition to improving transportation and commerce, they create jobs.
We have to find better ways of moving people where they need to go than pouring more and more asphalt. Traffic gridlock in the DFW metroplex will increase unless we place incentives on living and working in the same neighborhoods and/or implement efficient public transportation options. Those who choose to drive personal automobiles should encourage the implementation of public transportation systems for those who choose to use them or else there will soon not be room on the highways for all the cars. One of the most frequently cited reasons for opposing public transportation is the use of tax money. However, highway construction uses tax money and gasoline tax money does not cover the cost of highway construction and maintenance. Therefore tax money subsidizes transportation by personal automobile also.
When the job can be accomplished by telecommuting and the employer and employee choose it, there are advantages to telecommuting. Working from a "virtual office" relieves some traffic congestion.
The ability to move more people efficiently is an advantageous if the systems can be constructed and maintained cost-efficiently. I am eager to see how the Sky Tran system currently under construction in Tel Aviv serves that population. I think it can be used here to eliminate maintenance and fuel costs and to move people efficiently, eliminating accidents and pollution.
We have concentrated most of our Federal Transportation budget to highway expansion, maintenance and construction. Looking at innovative ways to move people efficiently for the future is important. We are at the cusp of one era in transportation. Since the invention of the automobile, surface transportation has not changed much. Current vehicles have more technology and greater
Safe bike trails and walking paths are enhancements to communities. However, the design and implementation of bike trails in Arlington leaves much to be desired. Eliminating traffic lanes on heavy traffic streets to install bike lanes causes traffic congestion and resentment toward the bikers. Acquisition of appropriate right of way for bike lanes and walking trails to complement the communities can enhance the quality of life of residents. The bike trail in the linear park along the raiload track in West Arlington complements the neighborhood. A few blocks away on a nearby street where the bike lane came from part of the existing street, many motorist resent it because it takes away from existing traffic lanes.
American seaports should be owned and operated by American nationals. Foreign ownership or management by foreign corporations is a national security issue.
At the end of the GW Bush administration, the financial industry was in a melt-down, largely because of lack of accountability and too little "skin in the game" by subprime lenders. Corrupt lender making loans to people that could afford them using false information caused a melt-down. The system incentivized corruption.
The bank and financial corporation bailout did not have enough strings attached. Instead of using the money to lend, many of the banks used significant portions of the government bailout funds to "reward" bank officers!
The automotive bail out saved jobs and saved the American auto industry. The loans were repaid promptly and the auto industry now complies to higher standards and are better able to compete with foreign auto makers.
There were good things and unfortunate things about the Troubled Asset Relief Bailout. The economy was in a nosedive at the end of the GWBush administration. Some states such as Texas accepted the money yet did not distribute it to cover the troubled mortgages.
White collar financial fraud should be prosecuted.
America is not a purely capitalistic system. It is a free-market system with a working safety net. Having a balance between the "safety net" and the "free-market system" works for us.