Issues

 

Salary & Commitment

Most politicians in America view their job as a career and as a way to make a lot of money.  Dan pledges to do the opposite.

First, he pledges to accept only half of the salary offered to congressmen.  Your tax dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Second, he states for the record that he will not serve any more than 4 terms in office. With the support of his constituents, Dan plans on going to DC to help to create some drastic changes and then returning to NY.

Third, Dan will not participate in the Congressional pension program. He believes this program takes money from hard working Americans and diverts it to the retirement accounts of politicians.

Last, as Congressman, Dan will strongly push for government transparency and will post all votes online along with full explanations. Government officials are not held accountable because it is extremely difficult for citizens to track the activities and votes of their elected representatives in Washington, DC.

People need to know the intentions of their government, and it is the duty of elected officials to keep their constituents informed and to be available for questioning.  Unlike most politicians today, Dan will maintain consistent and strict fidelity to the rule of law, The Constitution.  All votes will reflect this.

Education

Dan supports implementation of programs that will allow parents, using school tax credits, to make the important decisions about their childrens’ education – decisions that are today made by politicians and bureaucrats. Numerous studies have documented the effectiveness of choice in improving the educational system, and Dan will never let politics stand in the way of parents being able to provide the next generation with the best possible preparation for the world of tomorrow.

Read more about how school choice has worked in other cities:

http://www.edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/301/National_0608_final.pdf

Defense

The U.S. Federal government is involved in way too many ventures abroad and not concerned enough about the countless problems that exist in our own country. Dan O’Connor will vote to bring home troops from abroad in order to scale back the trillions of dollars wasted overseas. Our nation is on the verge of bankruptcy and can no longer afford to maintain the overextended operations in other nations.

We should follow constitutional protocol when going to war. It is there for a reason. If we are legitimately attacked, it is the job of Congress to declare war. We then fight the war, win it and come home. War should be efficient, decisive and rare. However, when Congress shirks its duty and just gives the Presidential administration whatever it wants with no real oversight or meaningful debate, wars are never-ending, wasteful, and political. Our so-called wars have become a perpetual drain on our economy and liberty.

The Constitution grants the power to go to war with the deliberative body closest to the people – the Congress. Decisions to go to war need to be supported by the people. War should not be covert or casual. We absolutely should not be paying off leaders of a country while killing their civilians without expecting to create a lot of new problems. This is not what America is supposed to be about.

We need to end the needless militarism. We are less safe as a result and closer to bankruptcy every day.

Term Limits

Dan O’Connor will push to limit the power of politicians.

More than 95% of incumbent politicians win re-election to the US Congress. Incumbents win re-election at a higher rate than they did in the Soviet Politburo.

With each successive term, politicians grow more and more distant from the people. It is hard to understand the plight of ordinary citizens when Congressman make over $170,000 per year, have health care benefits worth another $15,000 and become fully vested in a lucrative pension plan within a few years.

Some claim that we do not need term limits because we have elections. Unfortunately, politicians have a tendency to do whatever they can to get re-elected.

Incumbent representatives amass large amounts of funding during campaigning. They also do favors for large corporations, unions and banks which allow them to receive continued funding. This wealth allows them to run very successful campaigns in future elections.

Is it any wonder that incumbents win almost every election?

Long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for their country.

Over 80% of the public, both Democrats and Republicans, favor term limits. What will it take to force a vote on Congressional Term Limits?

Today we are drowning in a sea of debt, teetering on financial ruin if we don’t get our house in order. Will this crisis be the one that finally convinces us as a nation to bring these politicians home, to replace them?

What the movement needs is a leader elected to US Congress. We hope you will help both the Term Limits movement and the country by supporting Dan’s campaign for US Congress in NY district 12.

War on Drugs

In the 20th century the federal governments effort to restrict sale of alcohol was a complete failure. Prohibition did not prevent the use of alcohol but significantly caused crime rates and murder rates to skyrocket – similar to the modern day federal war on drugs. The Federal Government repealed prohibition and should now repeal the war on drugs.

Since the federal War on drugs began, drug use in America has continued to increase annually as well as the rate of crime surrounding the distribution of narcotics. The premise of our war on drugs is fundamentally flawed. We are waging a “war” on addiction and drug addicts. These policies have contributed to a rapid increase of incarceration rates and currently the United States imprisons more of its own citizens than any other country in the world.

The war on drugs also has a serious impact on the families and communities of minorities. According to the research on this topic, minorities make up the majority of those incarcerated on non-violent drug offenses even though statistically they do not consume more narcotics than any other demographic.

The war on drugs is even failing on its own stated goals of reducing availability and access to narcotics. In modern America, minors are able to acquire illegal narcotics much easier than tobacco or alcohol, both of which are regulated and controlled substances by state & local governments.

The war on drugs has also contributed significantly to the erosion of our civil liberties. The federal government continues to usurp state laws on medical marijuana and lock law abiding citizens in jail. I will always favor policies that support state sovereignty on the drug issue.

It is time we abandon the federal prohibition of drugs and develop policies that promote treatment and council for those afflicted by drug addiction rather than overly stringent punishment

If there are to be any restrictions on drugs this should be decided by state and local governments…not the Federal Government…

The Federal Governments war on drugs has been a complete failure. These policies have contributed to tens of thousands of drug-related murders, as well as wasted hundreds of billions of dollars.

Jobs & Economy

Dan O’Connor saw the economic collapse coming and has warned against Washington DC policies which have only prolonged the economic misery. The politicians in DC did not see the economic collapse coming and afterwards, they responded by approving of trillions of dollars to be given to their friends in the large banks, corporations and businesses that keep them in office.

Dan O’Connor was born in NYC and attended elementary school in Brooklyn. While studying business at Rutgers University, Dan developed a strong understanding for the way that the economy works. Later on, he studied economics intensively while pursuing a master’s degree in International Relations at a program established through The United Nations and Seton Hall University. After graduating Dan moved to Asia where he mastered the Chinese language and studied economics even further at Johns Hopkins University in Nanjing, China. Mr. O’Connor lived in Greater China for 6 years and spent the tail end of his time abroad working for an economic think tank in Hong Kong.

Returning to the U.S. at the end of 2009, Dan sought out a career in Green Energy in Manhattan, where he has been working ever since.

Over the years, Dan has written extensively on subjects related to economics and the corrupt relationship between businesses and government which have brought our economy to the awful stage that currently exists.

Unfortunately, the economy is showing no signs of recovery.

Most of the politicians in DC have no training in economics and no respect for the US Constitution and the rule of law. They are more concerned with getting re-elected and pleasing their corporate sponsors. It’s time to bring fresh faces to Washington DC who are not in bed with the the big banks and corporations and understand how to get the economy back on track again!

Internet Freedom

One of the few places in the world not yet plagued by government intervention is the internet. Although some governments in certain parts of the world have infiltrated the activities of the internet to varying degrees, it remains the closest thing to a purely free society that we can identify in the modern world.

On the internet, the beautiful aspects of human nature manifest themselves, and we see individuals and companies maximizing their talents and resources for reasons of profit, pleasure, altruism, and mere progress in itself. Given that the government neither inhibits the activities of the internet nor props up or favors any particular actors or individuals, perhaps we are witnessing the closest thing to a free market that man has ever witnessed.

Our Congress must remain stern enough to defend the Constitution as it was written with the intent of dealing with the government threats that currently exist.  The first amendment, freedom of the press, was most strongly emphasized by Thomas Jefferson. He stated, “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”  It must remain this way!

Corporatism/Cronyism

For many decades, it has been well known that big money determines policy in Washington DC. The military industrial complex provides endless funding to DC war hawks who continuously push for more war and greater domestic “security”. Lobbyists and big money interest groups spend billions of dollars a year to policy-makers in helping to craft legislation that directly benefits the lobbyists. Policymakers don’t suddenly have epiphanies and then decide to push out new legislation — just follow the money trail. This issue of cronyism is at an all-time high in America — best highlighted by the $16 trillion dollars that was given from the Federal Reserve Bank to large banks across the globe, which was later profited off of, by the same large banks.

Over the decades, campaign finance laws have been adjusted and shifted countless times but the big money interests always figure out new ways to determine policy in Washington DC.

Today, heads of the SEC have very cozy relationships with the heads of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. Heads of the FDA have very cozy relationships with heads of the pharmaceutical companies and heads of The Department of Energy give out loans to their friends in large oil and solar companies, such as last year’s $1/2 billion gift to Solyndra.

The solution is to restrict the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington DC, similar to the way the Federal government places restrictions and mandates on citizens. The same laws that apply to citizens should also pertain to the politicians. The rule of law should be interpreted strictly. The politicians interpret the rule of law loosely in order to empower themselves and appease the big banks, corporations and lobbyists.

2 solutions that I will support when I get to Washington DC have been proposed several times recently and can very feasibly become law.

1) I fully supports term limits and have signed a pledge that I will only serve 4 terms in office. This is not the great panacea to all of the corruption in Washington but it is a great first step and is supported by over 80% of the American public. A major problem in Washington is that representatives are mostly concerned with being re-elected rather than best serving their constituents and upholding the rule of law. The longer most representatives stay in office they often become corrupted and more disenfranchised from their constituents. Term limits is a very feasible way to mitigate the corruption in Washington DC, which is at an all time high.

2) I also support recent proposals that would require all members of Congress to fully read every bill in its entirety before voting on it. Not only is this a very rationale and feasible solution but this proposal is also supported by over 90% of the American public. The fact is that in today’s congress most bills are not read entirely before voted upon and during this process, all of the various Republicans and Democrats slip in additions to the bills on behalf of their friends who are the contractors, lobbyists and big banks. When later questioned by their constituents, representatives reply that they were unfamiliar with those certain aspects of the legislation. Requiring legislators to initial every paragraph and section of every page of legislation would not only enforce a greater level of accountability but would certainly bring down the size of every bill which is often designed to benefit the special interests that keep politicians in office.

Small Business

Dan O’Connor is a staunch defender of small businesses.

New York is a city based on small businesses as the entire United States once was. Although major corporations have gradually taken over major chunks of market share across the country, New York still remains dominated by small businesses. As New Yorkers we must fight to maintain this unique aspect of our great city. Although many corporations have been cutting into the local market share in recent years, it doesn’t need to be this way.

While campaigning across the district since July 2011, Dan has grown to learn and understand the genuine concerns of small business owner and the challenges they face. Many business owners express that the environment has become very unfriendly to small businesses. Parking conditions have deteriorated keeping away the higher customer volumes of the past. The city bureaus such as the health department impose standards that are way too rigorous—thus costly and time consuming. Fines on small businesses can range anywhere from $50,000 to $5 million dollars a year. On top of it all, it is impossible to challenge government accusations— which is an abandonment of our “rule of law.”

The rule of law needs to be reinforced in whereas small business should at least be able to contest abusive government overreaches of power. In some ways, the city has become the “wild wild west” with complete disregard for the rule of law.

In April 2012, a press conference was held at City Hall addressing the very important bus industry of Chinatown. Local officials claimed that the buses were “too dangerous” and “destroying the local transportation conditions.”

Dan was the sole voice in the room to defend the Chinatown buses as a pillar of the community. Not only do the bus companies attract 300,000 customers to the neighborhood every month, but the accusation that the buses are “unsafe” are based on lies. Many news outlets have reported that 15 people died in a Chinatown bus last year however this is not true— that bus crash was not a Chinatown bus but happened to be bringing passengers to Chinatown.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8632372

Dan also stood up and explained that the poor transportation and parking conditions are a reult of an out of control government which aggressively issues tickets, that cannot be contested in court; over floods local parking spots with government vehicles; implements simple road construction projects that take up to 2 years; and charges meter rates that scare people from spending time in the neighborhood to shop—this is the situation in Chinatown.

Dan O’Connor is not afraid to speak out and challenge members of the political establishment when he disagrees as in the instance of the Chinatown bus companies. Dan acknowledges the importance of small businesses in New York and that the government should uphold “the rule of law” and help to provide a healthy environment for small businesses to flourish in.

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