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Common Sense for the Common Good

For South Carolina Congressional District 7

 
 

On the Issues

Presidents Jefferson and Eisenhower told us the price of liberty is eternal vigilance—that is the price of justice, the price of community, and the price of security.  Just voting is not enough—we need to stand up, speak out, and organize-- to create a government that works for all of us.  Keep the faith.  Organized people can defeat organized money. To strengthen the land of the free, we must be the home of the brave. Join us on this journey for Common Sense for Common Good.

Public Service

"I refuse to accept donations from corporations, banks, or the Democratic National Committee. This independence allows me to be free to represent all of the people of the district -- no public servant can serve two masters.” - Mal Hyman

Economy

It is time for the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes to fund new investments in America.

Our national economy has made great strides since the Great Recession of 2008, but recovery has slowed. Unemployment and underemployment rates are far too high, minimum wage is too low, and millions of Americans still do not have enough to eat.

We need to invest our government's resources to create and keep good jobs in South Carolina, increase the minimum wage to a true living wage, improve our local infrastructure, and make better the lives of all South Carolinians.

Education

We all know that investment in education is an investment for the future of South Carolina.

Education is one of the most important issues facing the entire country. I have been an educator for more than four decades, teaching people of all ages, and all walks of life. I know what we need to make education a priority for legislators, community leaders, teachers, and students.

Environment

Protecting the environment is crucial to the future of South Carolina.

Foremost among our goals is the prevention of offshore drilling and seismic testing right along our coastline. The push to drill for oil off of the South Carolina coast risks our atmosphere, our beautiful beaches, and tens of thousands of jobs.

Environmental issues affect so many aspects of our lives, from the economic, health, and environmental impacts of fossil fuels, to international security issues created by scarce resources across the globe. Protecting our environment and making strategic choices for the future of our planet’s resources is common sense for the common good.

Congress has responded to climate change with denial and cowardice. Our civilization is a force of nature! Many in Congress would rather protect the oil and gas industry than God's creation and future generations. I strongly support new investments in sustainable energy, which will create millions of good jobs. We need a moratorium on fracking until the issues of methane release at the wellhead, as well as the impact of drilling on water quality, can be adequately studied.

Air and water pollution are an environmental taxation without representation on future generations.

Family and Community

As a Democrat, I believe in strong families for South Carolina.

Investing in dignity for children strengthens families. Investing in opportunity for students strengthens families. Guaranteed healthcare and decent wages strengthens families. Paid family leave and sick leave strengthens families. Investing in veterans and seniors strengthens families. A deeper commitment to a common sense criminal justice strengthens families.

I am tired of Big Government and politicians getting in between a woman and her doctor, a woman and her minister. These relationships, built on trust and privacy, are continuously being attacked and violated. This relationship is an essential freedom that must be honored.

Foreign Policy

Peace through strength and common sense.

Our policy of implementing regime change has generally created less security and has contributed to the rise of ISIS. We must honor our commitments to our allies, and seek to strengthen international law. ISIS must be destroyed - yet we must understand that this is essentially a battle for the soul of Islam and we must broaden our work with our Muslim and Arab allies. A more balanced policy toward Israel and the Palestinians will diminish terrorist recruitment.

The Pentagon

The ongoing challenges of Pentagon fraud and abuse have been systematic since President Eisenhower warned us in his Farewell Address. We need to finally, and thoroughly, audit Pentagon spending. Savings could be reallocated to veteran's benefits, strengthening NATO, anti-terrorist programs, and reducing the national debt.

Gun Control

The Second Amendment is fundamental to American freedom.

I will work to protect the rights of:

  • Hunters,
  • Individual Collectors,
  • Target Shooters.

I oppose:

  • Cop-killer armor piercing bullets,
  • High capacity magazines,
  • Guns for anyone on the National Security No-Fly lists.

People with mental health problems, as well as those on the terrorist watch list, should not have access to guns.  Universal background checks strengthen our security.  Further, for decades police chiefs from hundreds of cities have pushed to ban assault weapons, since they threaten the police as well as society.  These weapons threaten American security and must be banned.  In Congress, I will call for committee hearings on the subject of violence in America. 

Healthcare in America

I believe that health care is a human right.

Twenty-nine million Americans still lack medical coverage and millions more are under-insured.   Americans spend about 40% more per person on prescription drugs than Canadians. I believe that the common sense approach is universal coverage with the single payer plan.  You have the freedom to choose your doctor—you have the freedom to choose your hospital, and run by the states, not the federal government.  This will markedly cut health care costs, make our businesses more competitive, and lower the national debt. 

I believe that paid sick leave and paid maternity leave are basic human and family rights.

Our veterans face unconscionable delays in medical and psychological services.  Veterans who fought to defend the American dream-- must be able to live it.

Immigration

American needs secure borders.  The legislation passed under President Reagan regarding workplace sanctions needs to be enforced.  Corporate pressures to limit enforcement have contributed considerably to our current problems.  There needs to be a legal path to citizenship similar to the one proposed by Presidents Bush and Obama.  Undocumented immigrants who commit crimes must be deported immediately.  Any legal path to citizenship must not break up families.  The Statue of Liberty is the spirit of America--not a wall at the border.

...And Justice for All

I believe the open wounds of our past demand a new commitment to criminal justice. 

Early in my teaching career I taught at a medium security men’s prison in California, and sometimes I would ask the inmates, “When did you lose hope and lose your dreams?”  They would say at the age of 11, 12, or 13.  They made some bad choices—but they did not pick their parents, they did not pick their schools, they did not pick their community, they did not pick their country.  Society has made some bad choices, too. Either we have liberty and justice for all, or we don’t.  Either we do unto the least of these, or we don’t.  We are reaping what we have sown.

The open wounds of our past demand a new commitment to criminal justice.  We need:

  • More police training,
  • Changes in mandatory minimum sentencing and criminal justice,
  • Prison reform,
  • New ways to police the police
  • Drug treatment on demand,
  • Expanded drug courts,
  • A comprehensive study of the real risks of marijuana.

Social Security

Social Security must be increased to provide dignity to seniors.

Currently, Social Security is the sole source of income for about half of South Carolina retirees.  About 37% of each Social Security check goes toward out-of pocket health care costs.  Twenty percent of our citizens can not afford to fill their prescriptions. Currently, no Social Security payroll taxes are paid on incomes above $118,000--so the upper middle class and the wealthy pay a lower share of their income on this tax than the rest of us.  Eliminating this cap on payroll taxes will be more fair, it will stabilize the Social Security Trust fund, and Social Security payments would increase.

I oppose any chained consumer price index, and would favor the so-called elderly index. Increased benefits for a surviving spouse and for children of the disabled can be implemented through a Financial Transaction Tax, and slightly higher taxes on the wealthiest 1%.

In a nutshell....

I believe in Common Sense for the Common Good.

I have called South Carolina home for nearly 30 years, and have devoted that time to my family, my community, and the future of South Carolina through community service and teaching. I am running for Congress because I believe Congress has a responsibility to invest in America to create more jobs, opportunity, and security. I believe that every person in South Carolina has the right to be fully and equally represented in the eyes of the nation.

My South Carolina Life

In 1986, I joined the faculty of Coker College, teaching Sociology and Political Science. In my three decades at Coker College, I have researched policy and political matters, from local high-school dropout rates to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as traveled to and worked on human rights issues in eight countries. My commitment to education was honored by being recognized as a Coker Master Professor three times, receiving the Governor’s Distinguished Professor award, as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan service award.

Working with the United Nations, I monitored the elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and in Mexico in 1994. I have served on numerous local boards including the homeless shelter, the Disabilities Board, Christmas in April (low-income housing), as well as the South Carolina Democratic party. I currently serve on the board of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Hartsville, am a co-chair of the local Earth Day Festival, as well as the co-chair of the conference “Sustainability and Faith.”

For 12 years, I have also taught government and economics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Math, helping students understand the importance of civic engagement and economic policy. I am finishing a book, “Covering High Treason: Media Coverage of the Assassination of President Kennedy.”

I live in Hartsville with my wife, Carole Holloway, an attorney with the Department of Social Services. We are the proud parents of two daughters, Geneva and Nicole. Geneva, a nurse, is married to Dr. Luke Baxley, formally of Hartsville. They have one son, Davis. Our youngest daughter, Nicole, is a Junior in college with a double major in political science and sociology.

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