Click on this link.  Then hit the right arrow on the media player and scroll down to find Jon’s speech.


A New Work Week for Congress

September 28, 2008

We need to change the way The House and Senate work, literally.  The current congressional work week was developed back when politicians had to travel to Washington D.C. on horseback.  The congressional work schedule must be updated to reflect current realities. 


The following proposal will limit the influence of lobbyist, increase transparency and put an end to the end of session legislative antics that Rhode Islanders know all to well.  I propose the following:


Congress will not meet in July or December.


Congress will meet in Washington one week per month.


Representatives will stay at home the other three weeks.  This will force them to spend less time with lobbyists and more with the people they represent.


One major issue will be addressed per month. 


The additional time can be used to deal with emergency issues. 


We can put an end to business as usual by changing the way government conducts its business.   

Small businesses are closing all the time.  Some local writers refer to these closures as “signs that the old Rhode Island is slipping away.”  I beg to differ.  The old Rhode Island is not slipping away; it is being strangled to death by self-serving politicians. 


Our political elites do not care about Rhode Island.  Some of them even exercise contempt for democracy.  Former (it feels good to say that) Democratic State Senator Stephen Alves’s efforts to overturn primary results in West Warwick is a recent example.  Alves, like the Narcissus of Greek mythology, only cares about himself.  I submit his legislative record as evidence of that fact.   


My opponent, Patrick Kennedy, was referred to as the “boy congressman” when he was elected in 1994.  He is all grown up now, but Rhode Island tax payers have raised him at considerable cost.  Mr. Kennedy has offered few solutions and often is part of the problem. 


Our state, once a cornerstone of American industry, now has the second highest unemployment rate in the country.  We have one of the worst business climates.  Our pension system is under-funded, and young people are fleeing the state for greener pastures. 


Congress is a mess and Mr. Kennedy represents a reactionary majority.  They had opportunities to prevent the current economic crisis but failed to do so.  As your representative I will be proactive in heeding economic warning signs. 


Rhode Island’s system is broken.  The only way to achieve real change is by changing our representation.  Patrick Kennedy is not a bad person, but he has been a bad representative.  He needs to be removed from office. 


The General Assembly needs to be changed as well.  Your representative or senator may be a good person, but elections should not be popularity contests.  Ask yourself one question before you vote:  is the person you are voting for working to empower you, or is that person working to empower the government?    


Rhode Island is slipping away but together we can pull it back. 

Hope for New Orleans

September 1, 2008

About a year ago I had the opportunity to tour parts of New Orleans that were still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  My prayers are with the people of New Orleans and my friends at Desire Street Ministries.  Desire Street Ministries, which is run by former University of Florida football great, Danny Wuerffel, is truly doing God’s work on behalf of those hit hardest by Katrina.  My thoughts are with them in this time of crisis.       

On McCain’s Choice

August 29, 2008

Congratulations to Sen. McCain on a strategic masterstroke in selecting Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Sen. Obama likes to talk about change, but working Americans know that change is an action.  McCain’s record shows that he is change in action. His selection of Palin puts yet another crack in the much talked about glass ceiling.  And she is a great American! 


When Democrats offer change it invariably arrives inside the Trojan horse of big government.  McCain and the G.O.P. are offering change that will protect individual liberty. 

Vote on the Issues

August 26, 2008

This may sound strange coming from a Republican, but cheers for Ted Kennedy.  I am well aware, as the son of a cancer survivor, of the courage required to battle such an illness.  My heart is with my opponent, Patrick Kennedy, and his father on this issue.  Sometimes we have to be human beings instead of Republicans and Democrats.  Everyone deserves to be healthy.


In November you will be casting ballots in support of candidates who will be custodians of Rhode Island’s and America’s economic health.  This should be more than a popularity contest.  Patrick Kennedy has represented Rhode Island’s first district since 1994 and it is time for change.  Mr. Kennedy continues to support policies that consolidate government power at the expense of individual liberty. 


My opponent voted to send congress on a five week vacation without addressing the energy crisis.  Our wallets are suffering as a result.  Congress must lift its ban on offshore drilling.  Countries like Brazil have become completely energy self-sufficient while our elected officials work to obstruct energy development.


Mr. Kennedy believes that the government should decide where Rhode Island kids go to school, and determine the type of health care coverage they should receive.  He is wrong.  These choices should be made by individuals. 


It is okay to root for the Kennedy’s personally but vote against them because of their policies.  Patrick Kennedy’s ideas are wrong for Rhode Island. 

Allow me this moment to applaud Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives for exercising political courage on behalf of the American people.  Last week’s Republican floor revolt was an appropriate response to the Democratic majority’s unacceptable failure to address our nation’s energy concerns. 
America faces an energy crisis that threatens our economy, standard of living and national security.  Real leaders act in times of crisis.  Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Kennedy and the Democratic majority failed America on Friday.  They should be replaced. 
Congress created this energy crisis, common sense can solve it.  Congress must authorize more drilling.  At the same time we need to pursue all alternative energy options including wind projects such as Cape Wind. We need to create solar panels, build nuclear power plants and use more natural gas.  Every energy option must be placed on the table.  Energy prices will drop when the supply increases.      
The people of Rhode Island need representatives who are patriots first and party members second.  Those who feel well served by the Democratic majority’s failure to address the energy crisis should vote to send our current representatives back to Washington.  Those being harmed by the burden of unprecedented and unnecessarily high fuel costs should vote for new representation in November.