Carlisle, MA— 3rd District Congressional Candidate Jon Golnik is proud to announce that Sam Meas, a 2010 Congressional candidate for this seat, is endorsing the Golnik for Congress campaign. Sam is an active member of his hometown of Haverhill, MA and well respected businessman and member of the community.
I am very grateful for Sam’s support. We had an exciting and spirited primary together last time around and I am thrilled that this time, we’ll be on the same team,” Golnik said. “I look forward to calling on Sam’s advice, guidance and experience in this District as we pursue our race to unseat Niki Tsongas and bring some fiscal freedom back to our citizens.”
Sam Meas is currently a small business owner and he is also a community organizer, activist and a consultant
“I am very happy to be teaming up with Jon and participating on his leadership team. Jon ran a great primary and general election last time around and I know he will work just as hard this time,” Meas said. “I call on my fellow Republicans, along with Unenrolleds and our like-minded Democratic friends, to join me in supporting Jon. We need some fiscal sanity representing us in Congress and I trust in Jon to be that voice.’
Jon, who is running against Niki Tsongas on a message of job growth and fiscal freedom, received more votes during the 2010 cycle, than any other Republican who ran in the District, since 1992.
For more information on Jon Golnik and his fight for fiscal freedom, check out his website at www.jongolnik.com.
Lost in Governor Perry’s debate gaffe and the ongoing European debt crisis is yet another potential crisis of our own. The bipartisan Super Committee is fast approaching its November 23 deadline.
Born from this summer’s debt ceiling negotiations, this committee is charged with finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts before their November 23rd deadline. Their inability to come to an agreement or in the event Congress rejects their proposals will trigger automatic spending cuts across the board, with half coming from our defense budget.
What’s at stake? veterans’ benefits. If Congress’s bipartisan Super Committee gets their way, our veterans will see higher healthcare costs and a reduction in essential services.
Today we face trillions of dollars in debt and where does Washington, DC seek savings? From our veterans. We must protect our veterans, not treat them like another line in the budget. Future American soldiers should have our support and gratitude. Is cutting their benefits a way to thank each man and woman who serves our country?
Some of the proposals include raising enrollment fees and imposing restrictions on TRICARE, the military healthcare program. We owe more to the people who defend our freedom. Nickle and diming our veterans is not the answer to our nation’s debt crisis. While cuts need to be made, the health of veterans should be considered an obligation, not an optional expense. When a veteran loses a limb during battle, he loses it for our country. We owe our military the best care available.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to an exponential rise in the demands on the VA Healthcare System with more and more soldiers returning home with extreme emotional trauma. The suicide rate among veterans is staggering. Over the past ten years of combat more soldiers have taken their own lives upon returning home than have been KIA in theater.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, almost 1,000 veterans receiving treatment attempt suicide each month. Data also reveals that the “suicide rate is lower for veterans aged 18 to 29 who are using VA health care services.” Estimated data states that from 2005 to 2010, one military serviceman or woman committed suicide every 36 hours. Cutting benefits and healthcare for any veteran that needs physical or emotional support is an abrogation of the obligation of our national responsibility. These young men and women expect to face trauma and death during war, not at home.
With roughly 20% of returning veterans facing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or major depression, we cannot fail in our obligation to ensure adequate treatment. Both the physical and emotional suffering soldiers experience necessitate government spending; treating the roughly 320,000 soldiers who will return from Afghanistan and Iraq after suffering traumatic brain injuries is not optional.
When the time comes for cuts to be made, look elsewhere. A good start would be the salaries, benefits, travel expenses, pensions, and other perks that members of Congress receive. Our veterans fight for our safety and we must fight for theirs. Recently, government inefficiency has reached new levels, with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding as much as $510 billion in possibly duplicative programs and this was only after examining a portion of the budget. There are duplicative programs across many federal departments, ranging from healthcare to transportation. Why, then, is the government examining veteran’s benefits? Before allowing thousands of soldiers to go without care, let’s start with eliminating some of the duplicative programs discovered by the GAO. As veterans and other concerned Americans seek answers, our government has been less than forthcoming with this information. The Super Committee should announce whether they plan to cut these vital services and their justification for doing so.
While the Super Committee has been charged with the challenge of finding spending cuts, it has also provided political ‘cover for Congress. Lacking the courage to face veteran outrage and remain accountable, Congress is hiding behind the Super Committee and letting it make the ‘hard decisions’. A little more than 10 years ago, another Super Committee created the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRACC), allowing Congressmen to avoid blame when local bases closed. This behavior then, and now, undermines the sacrifices made by each American veteran.
As the twelve-member Super committee deliberates and lobbyists swarm Capitol Hill, we must stand up for our Veterans. The Super Committee needs to find spending cuts that will improve our country and increase efficiency, instead of discouraging military enrollment and leaving our Veterans without their earned benefits. President Lincoln told us to “strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds” and, more importantly, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.” It is our duty to care for and respect the men and women who preserve our freedom. We cannot allow Congress to hide behind this Super committee. Instead, we must hold our representatives accountable and encourage them to make cuts that won’t undermine the American spirit.
The August jobs report was released this past Friday (September 2), and it was worse than expected with no new jobs created. In fact, it was the weakest jobs report in almost a year and the first time since February 1945 that the government has reported a net job change of zero.
The much vaunted stimulus package has failed to grow the economy or create jobs. Despite this, we are hearing the calls for yet another federal spending program. Representative Tsongas has called for a ‘21st century New Deal’. It is ironic; to say the least, that Representative Tsongas now believes that we need a comprehensive jobs program for this country. Where was she more than 12 months ago when all that precious time was wasted on a healthcare reform bill that destroys jobs by increasing the cost of doing business (as best illustrated by the more than 2000 companies that have ‘opted out’ of implementation).
Representative Tsongas supported that legislation and has voted for every piece of job killing legislation to come out of Washington DC in the past three years; starting with the stimulus package that “saved” and/or created jobs at the cost of $250,000 per job! Again, I have yet to have a ‘saved job’ defined to me but it is no wonder it is included in the calculation otherwise the price tag per job would be that much higher.
Now, she believes we need jobs legislation and what does she propose? Another big government job creating scheme, Stimulus Package Part 2. Where will the money come from? From us, by either ‘raising revenue’–the latest Washington code word for increasing our taxes–or printing money and putting us further in debt. Does she still believe despite the failure of the $800 billion government stimulus plan to lower our unemployment rate that the government does better at creating ‘shovel ready’ jobs than the private sector? Obviously she does.
Historically, the most sustainable jobs are created in the private sector. The private sector is not creating jobs because of the uncertain environment created by the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, DC. We need certainty. We need an environment where businesses can feel comfortable about making long term hiring decisions.
It may have been summer recess but shouldn’t Congress have been called back into session to begin the process of fixing what they have broken? They could start by extending the Bush tax cuts through 2012 for everyone. Next, the payroll tax holiday for employees should be extended through 2012 and include the employers as well. Then they should allow companies to write off 100% of their capital expenditures annually through 2012 instead of depreciating them over 5 years. Let them lower the punitive corporate tax rate which at 35% is now the highest in the world! (Imagine the world’s leading industrial and economic power having a higher corporate tax rate than France.) Finally, close the tax loopholes that allow large corporations to escape without paying a portion of their taxes.
This sounds like a lot of work, but we send our elected officials to DC to lead not to follow. Critics will argue that the Bush tax cuts should not be extended or at the very least not for the very rich. Unfortunately, the ‘rich’ get a very small amount of their annual incomes from salaries, in fact, most it comes from investment income. The expected tax revenue windfall would not materialize. Critics will also argue that our taxes are already historically too low and need to be raised. I agree. They are too low for our bloated federal government. However, instead of raising taxes to pay for an oversized ever expanding activist government I say keep taxes low and cut the size of government. Lastly, the naysayers will further argue that such tax cuts will cause the deficit to increase. Maybe, for the very short term, but it will be balanced by increased tax revenue from a growing economy and the newly hired.
These are not ideas you will hear from Representative Tsongas. She still believes in the power of a large and growing government, not the power of the individual. Her faith is in a government that she believes knows better than we do what is best for us. She believes her constituents are the Federal government’s ATMs who can be accessed to pay whenever another expanding government program is proposed.
Our Representatives were not elected to raise taxes and take more money out of the pockets of hardworking families and business people. We cannot let Washington, DC or Representative Tsongas fool us again. We have tried it their way and all it has gotten us is 0.3% economic growth, 9.1% unemployment (over 8.8% for more that 29 months) and deficit and debt levels that will burden our children and grandchildren.
It is time for comprehensive jobs program that empowers the private sector. This way, as a country, we can begin managing a growing pie rather than fighting for the scraps of a shrinking one.
By now the dust has settled and we have all breathed a collective sigh of relief as an agreement was reached on the debt ceiling increase. The agreement allowed us to dodge a debt default and the ratings downgrade that would surely follow. Right?
S&P still downgraded our debt. The stock markets have re prices themselves for slowing growth or perhaps even another recession and as of Monday are down 15% in a mere 10 trading days. Our 401Ks are getting smaller by the day. Sure, we reached an agreement on the debt ceiling. However, at what cost?
Well, the atmosphere in Washington DC was revealed to be even more dysfunctional than we were first led to believe. The activities, or better described shenanigans on the Potomac were a spectacle at best (the FAA situation being the icing on the cake). I liken our legislators’ behavior to college students waiting until the night before to write their term papers or study for a final exam. Our elected representatives knew about the debt ceiling increase for 8 months, yet, they waited until the last minute so that there was no hope to pass a substantive agreement.
The increase was by $2.5 trl, the largest increase in the history of the country. And in return we got a $917 billion spending cut with (fingers crossed) $1.4 trillion to follow.
Woefully inadequate but I digress.
Let’s examine this first spending cut- $917 billion over 10 years. That is $91.7 billion each year. Yes, there will be $917 bln in less spending. However, we will still be spending almost $830 bln more. How can this be?
Welcome to baseline accounting, a creation of Washington, DC bureaucrats and used by politicians when they want to claim to cut spending when they are actually introducing more. In baseline accounting, there are automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program(s) participation. Baseline accounting builds in automatic, future spending increases into national budget forecasts. For example, if an agency’s budget is projected to grow by $100 million, but only grows by $75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a $25 million cut. This is like my planning to gain 100 pounds but only gaining 75 pounds, and therefore claiming to have lost 25 pounds.
Why were there not more cuts? We know there is waste. In fact, in March, the GAO came out with a report that identified hundreds of duplicative programs in Washington where we could save billions of dollars. Yet this agreement touches none of them.
The debt agencies said we needed a minimum of $4 trl in debt reduction over the next 10 years. We have less than $1 trl now and at best an additional $1.4 trl by the end of this year ($2.4 trl total assuming that the ‘super committee can reach an agreement’). Little more than half of what the rating agencies expect and not ‘real’ cuts anyhow. And last week’s downgrade may have more immediate local effects. Moody’s announced that 162 local governments may be reviewed as a result of the downgrade. Our already struggling communities might suffer additionally as their cost of borrowing (for schools, police stations and fire stations) increases.
In addition, this debt ceiling deal does nothing to address our entitlement programs. These programs our where our real fiscal challenges lay. The programs are broken. They have to be repaired and strengthened. To do nothing is to drive them into bankruptcy leaving those who have paid into the programs with nothing. Democrats believe that repairing these programs is the equivalent to ‘ending’ them. For those who propose solutions, they are attacked as ‘cutting Medicare for seniors’. Scaring seniors never gets old for Democrats. Ironically, it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority who passed the $1 trillion healthcare plan that had $500 billion in Medicare cuts. And in this era rising fuel and food prices, social security recipients have not received a cost of living allowance since 2008. Who do seniors really need to fear? And despite the phony claims of representatives Niki Tsongas, the Paul Ryan budget doesn’t shortchange Medicare benefits for seniors and people over the age of 55.
Lastly, if this super committee (don’t these exist already as Conference Committees?), fail to reach an agreement on the remaining $1.4 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving, then this will trigger additional cuts of up to $ 1 trillion in defense and additional cuts to Medicare reimbursements. How do we know what national security challenge might be awaiting this country in the next 6 months? Even President Obama’s own Defense Secretary Panetta has said ‘no’ to what he describes as ‘draconian’ cuts.
Today, our government continues to grow even as state governments and families have made the tough decisions to downsize, to reduce, to live within their means.
The Obama administration continually reminds us that he inherited this deficit and debt crises. Just was he inherited the financial crisis of 2008, the healthcare crisis and our two wars. President Obama inherited $10 trillion in debt. However, he has increased it by close to $4 trillion in just three years. Our collective intelligence is insulted every day with the new Washington speak of ‘jobs saved’ as opposed to ‘jobs created’ and ‘raising revenue’ instead of ‘raising taxes’ and the latest that SP downgrade was not because our debt trajectory was unsustainable but because the Teaparty created a crisis with their demands! When will someone take responsibility and stop pointing fingers?
For a deal that was supposed to stop kicking the ‘can’ down the road, we just kicked that ‘can’ through the goal posts. Ever get the feeling that hope and change has turned into despair and confusion.
It’s official. The US Census Bureau has reported and Massachusetts is set to lose one congressional seat. It is the first time Massachusetts has lost a seat since 1990. Texas and Florida are the big winners adding 4 and 2 seats, respectively.
It is often said redistricting turns the idea of democracy on its head by allowing leaders to choose their voters, instead of the other way around.
Here’s how the process is supposed to work.
House and Senate committees of well-meaning legislators sit down and carefully draw district maps for both congressional and legislative offices. Each district is supposed to make geographic sense and have roughly the same number of residents to preserve the one-person, one-vote standard. Hence, current districts will be redrawn to reflect population shifts in the state.
In addition, the Voting Rights Act limits how districts can be drawn in many states (the Act is supposed to ensure that the new lines do not dilute the voting power of minorities). Depending on which party controls the state’s government, redistricting can be turned to its advantage. In other words, with democrats in control they have the power to pack the republican voters into districts with heavy democratic registration, nullifying the power of the GOP vote and potentially making it impossible for a republican to win. And where new lines are drawn, court challenges often follow.
But let’s face it, as a practical matter, both Democrats and Republicans often use redistricting as an opportunity to gerrymander districts for their own political advantage.
While one would think the process would be relatively simple in a state that is dominated by one political party, don’t hold your breathe. In a state that gave rise to the word “gerrymander,” the process has never gone smoothly. The last time lawmakers waded into the redistricting debate, the process ended up in federal court with former House Speaker Thomas Finneran ultimately pleading guilty to an obstruction of justice charge in a civil rights redistricting case. This time around redistricting will prove particularly vexing given that the Commonwealth will be losing one congressional seat.
Forming nine districts from ten could pit Democratic incumbents against each other in primaries, though there is the potential of retirements. Alternatively, a few of the current Representatives might choose to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. But without a retirement or someone running for Senate, the process will be much like musical chairs where once the music stops there will be one person left standing.
How does the process work?
A special legislative committee, likely led by state Rep. Michael Moran, D-Brighton, and state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, will handle redistricting. The remaining 20 House seats and six Senate spots on the committee are expected to be filled early next year. Any proposal needs the backing of the full Legislature and the governor.
And as a politician trying to serve the public, one expects doing what’s best and fair for the most people or, depending one your beliefs, his/her constituency. But fairness, unfortunately, often is in the eye of the beholder. Cynically, some politicians aren’t trying to serve the public; they are first and foremost focused on electability. Give politicians the power to design maps and you can’t help but come up with districts that are based on gaining power, not balance.
The political process in the US filters out the more altruistic politicians at the lower levels with redistricting becoming, by its nature, an insiders’ game.
Here’s what should happen.
Open the process.
Partisan politics has no place in the redistricting process. Empowering one’s constituency at the expense of his opponent’s is undemocratic. Voters are clamoring for more transparency, and the redistricting process provides an opportunity to restore the faith of a disillusioned public.
Create a nonpartisan commission to redraw the lines thereby removing most of the redistricting process from the hands of legislators and put it in the hands of retired judges, who would apply meaningful standards of fairness to redrawing districts based on the new census data.
Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats when it comes to abusing the redistricting process and lawmakers have historically jealously guarded their power over the process. However, the voters spoke on November 2, and while they overwhelming rejected the concepts of deficit spending and expanded government; they also called for an end to partisan politics and the gridlock that accompanies it. Politics has become a zero sum game that has become all about winning. While politicians may win, ironically, it is the voters who lose.
Let’s listen to the voters and begin the process of regaining the trust and confidence of the electorate.
I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season.
As I reflect on the past year, my family and I have much to be thankful for; our health, our happiness and most of all the support we received from people during this campaign. I have said many times that while the political process is one that makes many people cynical, for me, as a candidate it is a process that warmed my heart. As we reflect on our blessings, please take a moment to pray for the safe return of our troops who are away from their loved ones and in harms way, and also for their families who sacrifice so much.
May your home be filled with the joy of family and friends this holiday season!
From the Golnik family to your family, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. As I look at the past year of my life, I am amazed by the amount I have to be thankful for. I am most thankful for my amazing wife and my two beautiful young children –they are a blessing everyday and this year in particular, they gave me an incredible level of love and support. One can not underestimate the impact a political campaign has on families, and mine took it all in stride.
I am thankful to live in a nation where anyone with ambition, a willingness to work and ideas can run for political office, as I did. We came up short, but we received more votes than any republican since 1992. I am thankful to the voters for that.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you. If you are receiving this message, it is because you supported my campaign and my effort to run for Congress. Many of you donated, knocked on doors, made phone calls or held a sign for me. Many of you showed up the day after my first campaign office was burned down and helped me scrub the soot off signs and set up a brand new office. Thanks to you and my wonderful staff, we were back in business six hours after the first office burned down.
So this year, as I spend my time enjoying the holiday with my family, I want you to know I will be giving my thanks to you and all the people of this great state.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
As a selectman from Shirley, on a recent trip to the office of Niki Tsongas, I explained the urgent need for the approval of a “fast cops” grant for our community. I based this request on my 37 years in law enforcement, 20 of which I held the office of chief.
Shirley is a unique community in which the town plays host to not one but three correctional institutions, one of which is a maximum-security prison. No other town in the commonwealth can make this claim. Yet we find ourselves with a serious public-safety dilemma in which our police and fire departments are at the lowest manpower levels ever.
It is simply irresponsible to ignore Police Department needs in this community under the present circumstances given the nature of our crime rate. After several conversations with Jon Golnik, I believe he will be more than a partisan placeholder. One cannot “represent” without “listening” and Representative Tsongas has failed to listen. As a result, she has left our district without a voice and disenfranchised us. She is unengaged and unresponsive. It is time for a change and that change will happen by voting for Jon Golnik. I encourage all Democrats in the 5th district who are disillusioned with the present direction of our country and dissatisfied with our congressional representation to support Jon. For Shirley, he will fight for our right for “fast cops” and if any community deserves fast cops, it is our town.
ENRICO C. CAPPUCCI
The Irish American Republicans Endorse
Jon Golnik for US Congress
The Irish American Republicans (www.IrishGOP.com), a 130-year-old coalition of Irish Americans who support the principles of free markets, low taxes, limited government, individual liberty, and US support for Peace and Justice in Ireland, are proud to endorse Jon Golnik for election to the US Congress.
“The Irish American Republicans are calling upon all Irish Americans to support Jon Golnik, a true friend of Ireland. Jon will fight to cut the deficit, end out-of-control spending, repeal Obama-care and support a strong national defense.” stated Grant Lally, national Co-Chair of the Irish American Republicans. Jon Golnik believes that people, not the government, are the foundation of our country.”
“This election is too important for the future of our country. We need Jon Golnik in the US Congress “concluded Jeffrey Cleary, national Co-Chair of the Irish American Republicans. “Jon’s opponent is a big spending, high taxing supporter of the Obama-care Pelosi, Reid policy that are failing our nation. The choice is clear: Jon Golnik for US Congress”
The Irish American Republicans are dedicated to building Republican support among the 45 million strong Irish American community, and have been a leading force in the national Republican coalition, since having been organized in 1868 and nationally chartered in 1880. The Irish American Republicans have played leading roles in campaigns for local office, Governor, Senate, Congress and President of the United States, and been dubbed by Sean Hannity as the “GOP’s Delta Force.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 19, 2010 – Today the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s leading small business association, announced its full support and endorsement of Jon Golnik for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’ 5th District.
“Jon Golnik is the clear pro-small business candidate in this race,” said Lisa Goeas, NFIB vice president of political operations. “He’s a strong supporter of key small business issues such as tax reform, affordable healthcare and cutting government’s wasteful spending.”
Golnik has been a vocal opponent of the new healthcare law passed earlier this year, Goeas said, because the law failed to address main issues such as affordability, choice and portability for small business owners and individuals. He also has voiced his commitment to work to make Washington more business-friendly by reducing massive federal regulation and simplifying the nation’s tax code so Americans can better understand why and how they’re being taxed.
“Jon knows small business owners have no choice but to live within a balanced budget and he’ll push for government to do the same thing,” Goeas said,” she said.
Massachusetts has more than 141,000 small employers. Nationally, small businesses generate more than half the non-farm gross domestic product and have created more than 60 percent of the net-new U.S. jobs in the past 15 years.
Small business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. NFIB will encourage its members in Massachusetts to turn out and vote on Golnik’s behalf on Election Day.
Today’s endorsement comes from NFIB’s Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust, the association’s political action committee, and is based on candidates’ positions on key small business issues including healthcare, taxes and labor and regulatory policy.