Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Candidates

From what little I've seen so far, both Democratic candidates are impressive.

From Georgia Berner's website:

An innovative CEO of a prominent and growing manufacturing company in New Castle, PA, Georgia Berner credits her success to the simple skill of listening — listening to her customers and employees alike.

Our representatives in Washington should put the people back home ahead of their political self interests. I will always listen to the people and work hard to help our area and its unique needs."

Georgia Berner is committed to job creation in Pennsylvania's fourth congressional district, protecting Social Security and making health care more affordable.


At the bottom of her home page is "Creating Jobs and Balancing the Budget. Vote Berner in '06."
I'm looking forward to her "issues page."



Jason Altmire has an issues page up and I like what I see:


Health Care
Jason Altmire is a seasoned health care professional with a long history of public policy work related to health care. He is passionate about sensible health care reform and is a nationally recognized expert on health care policy. He has spoken about health care reform before audiences around the country. Jason Altmire has a master’s degree in health administration from George Washington University and has served on many professional boards and advisory committees related to hospitals and health care providers.

Health care reform will be a top priority for Jason Altmire in Congress. He will work to make health care more affordable and accessible for everyone and to guarantee that patients’ medical decisions remain in the hands of health care professionals, not insurance company bureaucrats.

Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Jason Altmire is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. In Congress, he will defend the rights of Pennsylvania’s sportsmen by opposing any new gun control laws. We must do a better job of enforcing existing gun laws before considering new restrictions or regulations.

Social Security
Jason Altmire will strongly oppose any plan to privatize Social Security, a program that has worked well for more than 70 years.

Prescription Drugs and the Medicare Rx Benefit
The Medicare prescription drug bill recently passed by Congress forces seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for prescription drugs and gives large insurance companies the power to overrule doctor's prescriptions. It also contains billions of dollars of profit padding payments for the pharmaceutical industry but does nothing to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Jason Altmire will work to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Western Pennsylvania families and seniors.

Gas Prices and Energy Policy
Congress recently passed an energy bill that ignores American dependence on foreign oil and does nothing to reduce or even restrain gas prices. Most troubling, the bill contains billions of dollars of subsidies for big oil companies with little incentive to search for alternative energy resources. Skyrocketing gas prices are negatively impacting every American family, and Congress continues to ignore the problem. Jason Altmire believes American dependence on foreign oil is at the heart of the problem, which has evolved into a national crisis. In Congress, he will work tirelessly to promote sensible energy policy that encourages scientists to research and develop alternative energy resources. He will also support legislation to immediately lower gas prices and punish price gougers.

The War on Terrorism and Homeland Security
The continued threat posed to America by international terrorist organizations is the top foreign policy issue facing this country. Jason Altmire supports a strong national defense as a way to help keep our homeland safe and secure. He strongly supports the men and women bravely serving our country around the world.

Veterans
Jason Altmire believes it is unconscionable for bureaucrats in Washington to provide inadequate funding for our nation’s VA health centers. American veterans have earned the right to their health care. Congress has recently passed congressional budgets that have cut veterans health care, restricted access and imposed onerous user fees. In Congress, Jason Altmire will work to guarantee that every American veteran has access to the affordable, quality health care that they deserve.

Federal Budget Deficit
Jason Altmire strongly supports a balanced budget and will work in Congress to ensure that the federal government does not spend more than it takes in. Congress is running the country on a credit card, passing trillions of dollars of debt on to our children and grandchildren. Jason Altmire will support sensible budget policies that will help reduce the national debt. For example, he strongly supports reauthorization of the “pay-as-you-go” budget system, under which Congress must find budget offsets for new spending proposals or legislation that decreases federal revenues. The current lack of pay-as-you-go rules has led to the unprecedented federal deficit now facing our country.

Foreign Trade
Jason Altmire will oppose any trade policy that ships Western Pennsylvania jobs overseas. The North American Free Trade Agreement, passed in 1993, has cost Pennsylvania thousands of jobs. In 2005, Congress passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which extends the failed policies of NAFTA to other Latin American nations. Jason Altmire opposes CAFTA and will vote against any trade policy that contains inadequate protections for American workers and fails to address workers rights in all nations that are party to the agreement.

Education
Jason Altmire is a product of Western Pennsylvania’s public schools and a father of two young children. He strongly supports our public schools and will work to strengthen them. He knows the value and proven results of early childhood education and will work to ensure that every child has access to affordable pre-K schooling. He also has a long history of involvement with higher education in Western Pennsylvania, having served as an active board member of local colleges and universities. In Congress, he will work to make college and vocational schools more affordable for working families.

Tort Reform
Jason Altmire will strongly oppose any plan to place arbitrary financial caps on damages awarded in lawsuits where an avoidable error has occurred. Medical patients and consumers deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they will have access to legal recourse should they or someone they love fall victim to gross negligence.

I want to hear his position on women's privacy rights.

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