Our Independence

Today we are celebrating our indepdence as our own country. We are celebrating the freedoms that we were promised by our founding fathers. Our county fought for it’s freedom to have a government that is seperate from religion, we fought to ensure that we all had basic inalienable rights like the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Those that created the framework to our country wanted to escape the religious persecution in England. 

Our history is riddled with battles to ensure the freedom of everyone. We stood up for the slaves during the civil war because we knew it was wrong to “own people”. During WWI and WWII, we helped the world fight against oppression and genocide. During the civil rights movement, we once again fought to ensure equal rights for all. Today, we are fighting for a new form of independence. We need to stand up against corporations that, in some fashion, own our government. We need to fight once again for the good of the country, and the rights of the people. We need to fight against the greed of those who value money over the rights and wellbeing of our country. 

My goal during this election, is not to fight for power of my own. I am not interested in money or power. I am however interested in ensuring that through my time in office, I can give you the people the power that you were promised. It is clear that our representatives no longer represent the people. They represent corporations and special interests. They represent their biggest campaign donors, which unless you are a millionaire, most likely is not you. My campaign will represent the people because I refuse to take money from corporation. Money is not speech, and big money has no business in politics. I firmly believe that we the people should have the biggest voice. 

I am calling for all of you, regardless of your political affiliation, to take a stand against the corporate tyranny that we are facing today. I ask you to support my campaign so I can be a voice for you in congress. I know that right now we are divided, but we need to rise above our differences and come together around our common goals. We as a country have fought repreatedly for our freedom, and today we need to stand again and fight. This time it will not be with guns or weapons, it will be with our votes and our words. The only way we can win is to put aside our disagreements. We have been divided before, and we have come together. It is time once again, to stand united for the common good.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

A Time of Coming Together

The facts as we know them about the Alexandria shooting have been published many times since yesterday. Therefore, I will not dwell on the events other that to say I wish those injured a speedy recovery. Yesterday, I simply posted that my thoughts would be with them. While that is true, we need to finally stand up and do something. I did not want to post much yesterday in response to the Alexandria shooting until more details came out, and I could think through my emotions.

While both sides of the political spectrum are working to place or divert blame, we absolutely need to remember that the suspect that carried out the shooting was an American and a human. Which side of the political fence he was on, nor his motives for carrying out his actions mattered. What matters is that he did it. What matters is that he had a history of violence. What matters is that he was angry. 

There is a palpable amount of anger in the United States today. I’m not going to tell you to not be angry. I will tell you that our anger needs to be directed toward a positive and peaceful solution. We need to use words and not violent actions to share your anger. To those the anger is directed at, don’t become angry in return; try to understand. To those who are angry, violence will not solve the issue and will only escalate the situation. We need more understanding in our country from both sides. We have allowed ourselves to become so divided and angry that we are just fighting to fight in many cases.

We need to come together as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats. We are one society that needs to find a way to work together peacefully to create solutions to our challenges. Yes, we need a form of gun control that is more stringent than it currently is. I understand that we have a constitutional right to bear arms, but we also have a duty to protect our citizens from the threat of someone wishing to use those arms to do us harm. I don’t want to “take your guns”. I want common sense gun control that both sides can agree on, that keeps guns out of the hands of people with a violent history. This isn’t a partisan issue. This is a humanitarian issue. We will never stop all violence, but if we do nothing to reduce it we are as guilty as those who pull the trigger.

I ask people from both sides to reach out to me and share your ideas. I specifically want to hear from gun owners and enthusiasts and those from the “far right”. I want to know how I, as a progressive can have a peaceful and respectful discussion on how to solve the serious issue we have with guns in this country. I urge both sides to reach out to someone who opposes you and ask to have a similar conversation. We need to look for peaceful solutions that everyone can agree to.

Working together, we as a society can solve the problems that face us. We all have a part of the solution, and instead of trying to silence each other, we need to talk each other. Those discussions will be uncomfortable. But until we can do that, we will never change anything.

Shawn

Paris Climate Accord

Yesterday afternoon, the President announced that the United States will be leaving the Paris Climate Accord. This is an unacceptable and catastrophic mistake that shows a total disregard for your wellbeing and our future. The central claim that joining the accord will hurt jobs and the economy is just plain false. If you look at the number of jobs in clean energy, we have over a half million jobs in the United States. Solar alone stands at over 170,000 jobs and is growing daily. Coal is less than half of that number. It is clear that embracing new technology that supports clean energy, will not only help to save our environment, but also add jobs and strengthen our economy.

The goal of the Paris Accord is not about any one country. It is simply about the planet that we all live on. There is no backup plan if we continue down this reckless path. By leaving the accord, the United States is turning its back to the rest of the world and saying that we value money over our environment. Climate change is real, and we are causing it. The economic impact of doing nothing is far more detrimental long term that saving one particular industry that is not disappearing because of the accord, but because of market demand. As a photographer who learned on film, I know that the industry has changed. While I still enjoy using film, I am not going to undermine the digital photography industry to attempt to save film jobs. I think we will always have some small need for film, just like there will be a small need for coal. Clinging to old technology will not move our country forward.

As a candidate for congress, my job is to listen to the people. The majority of Americans support staying in the accord. They know the importance of protecting our environment, and they can see that times are changing. I will fight to keep us in the accord to not only work to save our planet for my daughter, but to protect and create new jobs. I will also support programs that help with job retraining for all those that may be displaced by a changing industry. We need to look at long term solutions, not just knee jerk reactions that put a band-aid on a broken leg.

I hope that you support me in 2018 as this coming midterm election will be one of the most important midterms is U.S. history. It is clear that the majority of congress no longer represents the people. We need to elect progressive democrats as well as republicans and those in other parties that value the voices of those they represent. We need to vote according to what is best for the good of our country, and not what party you belong to. If your member of congress does not listen to you, vote them out. If you live in the 5th congressional district, currently represented by Jim Sensenbrenner, I hope that you vote for me when the time comes. I have a long term view of what we can become as a society. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

Thank you

Memorial Day

Today, Memorial Day, we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect us and our freedoms. It is more than just a simple holiday in which we get an extra day off work. It’s far more than the unofficial start of summer. Memorial day should serve as a somber reminder that our freedom is most decidedly not free. It takes work and far too often sacrifice.

Not only should we remember those soldiers of the past, but those of today. We should also take a moment to acknowledge those who did not lose their life in battle, but lost the fight with mental illness after they have returned home to safety. Mental illness is rampant in veterans, and we need to do what we can to protect them as well. It is not something to be ashamed of, but it is something we need to work on eliminating. All too often, our soldiers come home after the horrors of war and are expected to begin a civilian life again. That transition can be incredibly hard for many. We as a society, who have benefited from a soldiers service, should stand up and ensure that their mental health needs are met along with their physical needs.

Instead of simply remembering those who have given their life for this country, we should ensure that we are doing everything in our power to reduce deaths. We need to search for peaceful resolutions to avoid war. We need to make sure our soldiers have the right tools in the field. And of course we need to be sure to provide the support when they return home.

So today, take a moment to remember those who lost their life making our country safer. If you know a veteran that is struggling with mental health, let them know they are not alone and that there is help available. We can’t stop every death during war and conflict, but we should do everything we can to stop the lose of life associated with the mental health of our heros.

Thank you,
Shawn

Impeachment

It is becoming increasingly clear, that impeachment proceedings need to be started against Donald Trump. It is also very clear that Rep. Sensenbrenner has no intention on helping to start those proceedings. I can assure you that if I win in 2018, and impeachment proceedings have not yet begun, I will work with as many in the House as I can to start them immediately.

Let me make that clear, if you elect me in 2018, I will do everything I can to start impeachment proceedings against current President Donald Trump if they have not already been started. Continue reading

Who’s the Boss?

I think that there is a fair amount of confusion in congress, as well as many other elected officials, as to who their boss is. It seems that many of them, including my opponent in 2018, seems to believe that it’s the party chair, or maybe the Speaker of the House in the case of the House of Representatives. Let me share who I firmly believe the boss is: You. Continue reading

A Change to My Campaign

Good afternoon everyone,

I would like to share some exciting news with you this afternoon. While it does not change my beliefs, it does change the dynamic of my campaign. I have amended my filing to now be running as a Democrat instead of an Independent. While my beliefs and goals have not changed, after discussing the prospects of running as an independent with my campaign manager it was determined that in order to have the best chance at winning the election, I need the support of a party. Continue reading

HR861 – Terminate the EPA

On February 3rd, Rep. Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a bill to terminate the EPA. In case you are not much on the acronym game, that’s the Environmental Protection Agency; and it’s kind of important. While the text of the bill is currently not available due to it just being introduced, I can assure you whatever it says is not going to be good. Continue reading

Reason for Running No. 4 – Immigration

Today it’s estimated that there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. For years the idea of immigration reform has been floated around with little progress. Our country was founded by immigrants, and turning our backs on those coming to our country to make a better life for themselves is turning our backs on our heritage. Continue reading