Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In what elections should noncitizens be allowed to vote?

In some cities across America, noncitizens are allowed to in local election. For example, noncitizens are allowed to vote in Chicago's municipal election. On November 2nd, voters in Portland, Maine and San Francisco, California would have the opportunity to decide whether on not they want to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. San Francisco's ballot would a low noncitizens vote in the school board election if they have children in school.

When I was a student at UMSL, I ran for Student Senate with my Korean roommate. He was not a citizen of this country at the time but he was a student; therefore, he was allowed to vote in the campus' election just like any other student on campus. With that in mind, San Francisco might want to consider how they can allow all parents, wether or no they are citizens of this country, to vote in school board election without involving the local election board. They could set something up within the schools where all parents are eligible to vote.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I only lost the battle

I lost the Republican primary, but there is a lot to be grateful about. A lot of voters support my effort to legalize medical marijuana, support public transportation and oppose eminent domain abuse. I'm still involved in the causes. If you are interested, please join on future petitions drives, lobbing, and other efforts to change laws

The Missouri Citizens for Property Rights will be starting a petition drive in an effort to stop eminent domain abuse.
A city wide ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana is going on now. The St. Louis area chapter of NORML have a facebook page. We are working on the website.
Join us because we would need your help.
Join Citizens for Modern Transit to support public transit.

I don't consider losing the Republican primary a lost, but an opportunity to take advantage of.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vote for me.

I'm diagnosed with autism and I attended the special needs school district when I was a child. So there are issues which I look at through a prism of one with a disability:

*I'm a strong supporter of public transportation. I supported Proposition A, the County's halve cent sales tax to restore and improve metro services. Furthermore, I support trolley systems and Bus Rapid Transit. Metro services are vitally important for people to get to work and go to school and can't drive.

*When I attended school my parents were involved and I benefited form their involvement. I don't think parental involvement is talked about enough. Without parental involvement, it's going to be hard to make improvements to the metropolitan schools. That being said, I support any educational alternative that will benefit a child in educational advancement.
I'm proud to announce that Citizens for Educational Freedom has me down as in favor of school choice for all parents. I believe all schools, public, private, and charter schools, should be held accountable.
When there is a shortfall in funding, I will support increase in funding. That is why I ask all city voters to vote yes on Prop. S, a school bond to improve the schools.

*While this issue is not exclusively effect people with disabilities, we are effected. I believe we need to make it easier for people to vote: this will include but not limited to making ballots in languages other than English, a voter ID law that does not disenfranchise voters and allowing people to voter absentee without requiring them to get a the absentee ballot notarized.

I invite you to the ADA 20 Anniversary at the History Museum is Forest Park. I will be there.

One more thing, I am the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, who is on record in support of legalizing medical marijuana.
So Ask for a Republican Ballot and voter for Me on August 3rd.

I write for the examiner. So subscribe to me.
Please email me at damienherr@yahoo.com if you have more questions.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stop the credit chects.

On March 29th of this year, Oregon Governor signed a law that prohibit employers from doing credit checks on job applicants. Now Oregon residence have an easier time getting a job. Supporters point out that well qualified applicants could have bad credit history.
Opponents argue that credit history can indicate whether or not the applicant is financial responsible, have good judgment, or risk abusing drugs or gambling. Lets dissect this argument.
1. It’s hard to be financial responsible if you’re out of work. Employing people makes them financially responsible. Moreover, to say that bad credit indicates bad decision really without knowing whether the circumstances what gave the applicant a bad credit score is wrong.
2. So you didn’t use your coupons when you went to the store, that makes you unqualified to work? I think we need to be careful before we make judgment against people.
I think Missouri and the whole nation should prohibit employers from doing credit checks. As state representative, not only I would introduce a bill to ban credit checks, but I would include in the bill the option to opt out of paying taxes until all old dept is paid back to collectors. This would not only make it easier to pay the money back, but it should increase the employees credit.

I also writer for the St. Louis Examiner.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I want to legalize marijuana

I want to legalize marijuana because the status quo is too costly for tax payers and unjust to civilians.
In the state of Missouri, cuts are being made to programs support people, like education. I understand that Missouri can't spend money we don't have, but maybe cuts could be made in other places instead, like the criminal justice system.
Currently, there is a city wide ballet initiative to decriminalize marijuana in the St. Louis city. Under the proposal, if caught with 35 grams of less with marijuana, a user would not get arrested for it, but could be fined. The benefit of this is we are not wasting tax payers' dollars filling up jails over marijuana.
Another proposal is to legalize medical marijuana. This benefits patients who need to use it without the fear of going to prison. While is saves tax payers dollars, it does not save as much as if we legalize marijuana.
If marijuana would were to be legalize, Missouri as well as the rest of the nation would not only save money, but earn money form the taxes collected. Legalizing marijuana would reduce people from being criminalized for nonviolent and non-disruptive crimes. That is why the NAACP endorsed legalizing marijuana.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Anti-Obama care proposition would be on August ballot.

According to subtitle F, Part I, section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the new health care reform law that was signed into law by Barak Obama, everyone is required to have health insurance or face a $750 fine. On August 3rd, Missouri voters will have the opportunity to voice opposition to this section by voting on Proposition C. The initiative reads:

Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to:

* Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?
* Modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies?

It is estimated this proposal will have no immediate costs or savings to state or local governmental entities. However, because of the uncertain interaction of the proposal with implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, future costs to state governmental entities are unknown.

Recently, I interviewed to experts on opposing side of this issue. John Payne is a research assistant at the Show-Me Institute. The Show-Me Institute is a research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Missouri by advancing sensible, well-researched solutions to state and local policy issues. He is oppose to the new law.
Gaylard Williams, is an experience attorney and actively involved in politics. He is in support of he new law. I interviewed John First.

Damien: Why should the voters oppose individual mandates?

John: Well I think you should look at this and ask why should the votes oppose more government involvement in health care because if you are going if your going to have a system where you are going to tell insurance companies that you must cover everyone regardless of preexisting conditions, the only way your going to make the work is with an individual mandate. But that care a whole host of other problems. For one, it’s a significant expansion in federal power. It’s unprecedented for the government to say; in order to live you must buy this product. People use this analogy and say, “Well, it’s like car insurance.” Well that is not entirely true. For one, that states require care insurance. Another, you don’t drive. Driving is a privilege, not a right. You don’t have to drive. I think we should oppose the whole package, not just the individual mandate. But that is certainly one of the worst aspects of the health care bill.

Damien: We’ll only be voting on the individual mandate.

John: True, but I think it will be beneficial in the since that it might cause the whole law to be repealed. I think that got to be the ultimate goal. Maybe not every single part of it. There are some beneficial parts, but the must insure parts, we got to take them out.

Damien: Couldn’t we have the rest of the part of the bill with out the individual mandate or vice versa?

John: I don’t think without the individual mandate, you could have a system where the insurers have to insure everybody. Now if we want to cover everybody, I think that is the goal of the law, you could just give the poor or people who do have catastrophic, preexisting conditions from birth, you could give them some type of government assistance, a voucher. But to impose a law that says the insurance have to cover, will be a lost on the insurance companies and ultimately, the insurance companies costumers. If we want to that, I think it should be straight form the government. Which essentially what Medicaid was design for. If we do that better, we could avoid a system where the insurance companies commanded to do all these things.
Damien: How would we go about doing that better?
John: Basically, we need to get government out of health care aside from the small parts where it’s just about helping out the poor and someone with catastrophic, preexisting conditions. So I think we need to retrench Medicare because as a group, seniors are actually the richest part of the population. Not to say that some of the seniors don’t need help, but there is no reason automatically at 65, you automatically go on the government payroll. So I think we need to start thinking about how we can roll that back. And there is a lot of good evidence that suggest that Medicare have not been successful at getting more health care to seniors but it had it successful at driving up cost and diverting more income towards doctors. So if we do that, we can save more money and put more money in to people who really need it.

Damien: If we all were covered, would insurance be cheaper?

John: No, I don’t think so. Because there is a limit on supply. If every one is buying insurance, at some point the price has to go up. Demand goes up and supply stay constant. You might get less coverage, less hospital beds, doctor visit or the price would have to go up. So you would have to reduce the amount of actual care or raise the price.

Damien: People without health insurance shows up to the emergency rooms and get care on the backs of the people with health insurance. Without a mandate, support argue, people with insurance will continue to pay. How do you respond to that point and what is your alternative?

John: regardless of people mandate there or not, people are going to continue to pay for people without health insurance anyway. I don’t think people without health insurance are going to get health insurance even with a mandate. The fact is, the penalty for the mandate is not that it’s is not as steep as for people who have to pay car insurance. So most people are going to just pay the penalty and move on. So you might be getting some tax money to offset some cost through penalty but there is still going to be a drain on the system that is covered by everyone else. Even if they do by health insurance they, would probably be heavily subsidized for it so everyone is paying the cost for it anyway. So one way or another, you’re still paying the cost. So it might encourage to get preventative care. The best system for that, it has been shown is high deductable plans combined with a health savings account. This bill seems to go in the opposite direction. High deductable plans only covers catastrophic things. It’s there when you need it. It encourages people to stay healthy because you get sick, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket. So that it provides an incentive to stay healthy. So it’s one of my alternatives to the health care plan we have going now. So encourage people to get health insurance that doesn’t cover everything. The idea that insurance company should cover regular checkups is can of insane. If something is regular and predictable, it should not be insured. Insurance are for things you can’t predict; something that comes out of now where it not sure that something is going to happen. You may have a incentive to avoid high health care cost by paying more out of pocket.

Damien: What if paying out of pocket is a strain on the individuals? A lot of people take advantage of Medicaid or Blue Cross/ Blue Shield so they can show up to the dentist, the emergency room, or regular checkups without paying out of pocket.

John: If they are below the poverty line, I don’t have problem with the government subsidizing them. I would say, it would be a better idea is to instead of having the government having an insurance plan, is to give out vouchers for people to buy insurance which would bring competition to the market. I do think there must be some out of pocket cost if you are going to be on government assistance even if it comes in the form of government money because you need that incentive to use to prevent people from over using the system.

The following is from Gaylard. Please be advised that he did not take a position on how much the fine should because he haven't seeing enough details of the law. But he did provide valuable information relating to the constitutionality of both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Prop. C.

Damien: Where do the federal government get its authority to mandate someone to buy health insurance?

Gaylard: Commerce Clause, that is the basis of regulating a lot of business. Actually, People don’t realize is, the Commerce clause is the backbone of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Through the Civil Right Act, congress was able to outlaw discrimination of private and as well as public facilities. Whenever there is an issue, state have been using the 10th understates rights. Congress have used the Commerce Clause many times to try to address social problems; problems that are to big for any one state to handle. Whether the mandate is constitutional or not is best addressing the issue by sending the matter to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court would find the law is unconstitutional, it would strict down the law. So, this seems like a road block, a legal roadblock, that this state and other state would prevent enforcement of the mandate. It’s interesting that one of he paragraphs here say, “It is estimated this proposal will have no immediate costs or savings to state or local governmental entities. However, because of the uncertain interaction of the proposal with implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, future costs to state governmental entities are unknown.” It seems like this is jumping the gun. Why don’t we wait till we see what to outcome is before we pass a law to outlaw it. We don’t know what to cost is going to be. To me this is more of a political reaction. Lets pass a law supposedly banning or deny the government authority to penalize. I would be concerned about any law that penalize citizens. Obvious to force people to have insurance is no different then the state forcing people you got to have auto insurance. We’re required by law to have insurance and if we don’t have auto insurance we are penalize for it. The concept is the same. The cost of health care is borne by everyone. Just like in automobile accident, if I go out and have and accident and I don’t have insurance, the public end up paying the cost of that accident. If this law is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will strike it down and the Court has been known to do that. Rosseveltt tried to use the Commerce Clauses to ease the suffering of depression. With congress, he passed a lot of social programs. But the Supreme Court, rightfully or wrongfully, ruled that he overreached his authority to deal with the issue. I will defer to the Supreme Court. Having said that, I just want to say this current Supreme Court would strike it down. This Current Court seems to be less proactive. If it’s not in the enumerated in constitution we’re not going to allow it to happen. So I think the proponents have a better chance at getting this strike down in the Supreme Court. It seems this gives opponents of health care another issue to raise in court because if it doesn’t violate federal law, it violate state law and they can say we have a law on the books that says you can’t do this. If the Supreme Court ruled that is this (the federal mandate) stood the test of the Commerce clause, then this (the prop. C) would be unconstitutional. This is like when the federal government passed the Civil Rights Act and states passed laws saying the federal government can’t force restaurants to let blacks in. When the Supreme Court ruled that that the federal government has that authority, that state laws was preempted. So I think this could be preempted. How could the state prevent the federal government form tax? If the federal government is relaying on the state to enforce the law, you could deny the state from enforcing the law. But the state can’t deny the federal government form enforcing the law.

Damien: You studied federal Nullification in school?

Gaylard: think about what you’re saying here. A state cannot nullify federal law. That’s the whole premise of succession. The whole idea the states left the union was the state can defy federal law. That whole issue was put to rest with the Civil War. The states that came back into the Union said we are gong to follow federal law.

Damien: When you mention this is comparable to auto insurance, the opponents argue that is different then auto insurance because a) the states are doing it and b) you don’t have to drive.

Gaylard: One the states are doing it. Lets say I move and travel somewhere, my insurance should be the same it should be portable. The other question was you don’t have to drive. Well that is true you don’t have to drive. There is never a perfect analogy. Brown v. Board of Education was decided on the fact education if a federal issue. It involved the equal protection clause.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Changes to Miranda rights

Sherry Colb blogs about the recent Supreme Court ruling on Miranda rights. In the Case of Warden v. Thompkins, the Court ruled that when a suspect is being interrogated and wants to insert the right to remain silent, the suspect have to tell the interrogators. In spite of staying silent for most of the time, the police interrogated the suspect for 3 hours until he confessed. Colbs explain the two different views on the right to remain silent. On one view, it’s only the right not to respond, even if the suspect is sitting in the interrogation room for hours. The other view is the right not to respond. The Court believe it’s only the right not to respond. It the suspect wants to remain silent, the suspect have to tell the interrogators that.
I’m diagnosed with autism and I’m concerned what effect this would have on people how are diagnosed with mental disease. Growing up in special needs school, I met a lot of people who could be pressured to talk. In spite of the ruling, I believe every police department should recognize the right not to be interrogated.
In other News, Missouri voters would have the chance to express how they feel about a portion of Obamacare, the mandate to get health insurance. On August 3rd, the would have a chance to vote for Prop. C, stating the federal government does not have the authority force people to get health insurance.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm running for the 64th district.

I'm running for State Representative of the 64th district. I am in favor of medical marijuana. I supported proposition A, a halve cents sales tax to restore, improve, and expand Metro services. I voted against the gay marriage ban in 2004. I'm pro-choice. I support school choice, low taxes, and oppose eminent domain abuse. I'm running in the Republican Primary in a Democratic district. I want my constituents to know that as State Representative, I'm willing to break ranks with the Republican Party if necessary for the betterment of the district.
I just want to say, I'm not part of the St. Louis Tea Party because they are not sensitive to the needs of my district. My message to the Republican Party is to think long and hard before embracing the Tea Party.
The Republican Party I know is the Party of Lincoln, a Party that supports school choice and stand for economic freedom. As State Representative, will work with legislators on both side of the isle to find bi-partisan solutions.
I hope I can have your support. Please email me at damienherr@yahoo.com to find out what you can do to help my candidacy.
And support the Safe Chemical Act of 2010 because toxic chemicals can cause everything from asthma to cancer and children are the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, nearly 85% of all chemicals are not tested for health effect.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

St. Louis Marijuana Liberation Day

*Stop the Lies
*End the Prison State
*Stop all cannabis arrest

Come join us as we March to the Arch in support of Worldwide Marijuana Liberation Day 2010 on Saturday, May 1!

We'll be meeting at Keiner Plaza (near the old courthouse at Broadway and Market) at 3:30 P.M. and we march to the Arch at 4:20!

We'll have special guest speakers and lots of excitement down at the Arch and a party afterwards on the landing.

This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Prop. A passed

Prop. A passed with 63%. of the vote. Now Metro does not have to cut needed services. Opponents argue the tax would hurt businesses. But if people lose their jobs because they can't get to work, then employers would have to pay the unemployment tax. I will continue to support public transportation.
Another goal I continue to support is the decriminalize marijuana petition. There is going to be a meeting this Thursday February 11, 2010 at
7:00 P.M. at CAMP at 3026 Cherokee in the City of St. Louis, 63118 - everyone is welcome!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yes, I'm on the ballot and I'm Republican

I'm running for I'm running for State Representative of the 64th district to legalize medical marijuana, support public transportation and oppose eminent domain abuse. Today I was circulating a city wide ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana. I'm a director of the Greater St. Louis Area of NORML. I am always looking for volunteers to circulate the petition as well. Please spread the word and visit my facebook page.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My goals to the district

I'm running for state representative and here are my goals:
This is what what I was thinking about today:
1. Fund Public transportation. Currently there is a ballot initiative on April 6th election that gives the St. Louis County voters an opportunity to restore and improve metro services by voting for proposition A, a half cent sales tax. I endorse Proposition A. I share the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce in supporting Prop. A so people who dependent on metro service and get to school and work.
2. Since the quality of education a child gets influence the opportunities the child have as an adult, the state legislators must ensure every child have a quality education. I believe in options of parents and students in seeking the best form of education tailored to their learning type. I support charter schools and vouchers.
3. Allow the use of medical marijuana. My state representative voted against this. As State Rep, I will support the use of medical marijuana so patients can use this as an alternative to expensive pain medicine.
5. Oppose eminent domain abuse. I believe:
*Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain
*Prohibiting the use of of eminent domain for private use with certain exceptions for utilities
*Require that the taking of property be necessary for public use
*Require that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking
*Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not used within 5 years.
6. Reform the public defenders system. As State Rep, want to ensure every defendant receives competent attorney regardless of income. Some states have a community defender system instead. Under the community defender system, the state pay a private attorney to represent the poor.
Please visit me on my facebook page.

Friday, January 29, 2010

from winning to white flag

The nation remember this. This was a time when the president of the United States made a commitment to man space exploration and the United States would be take the lead. By contrast, the current our current president believe we shouldn't take the lead. The Obama administration is going to cut founds from NASA. Under he Obama plan, American astronauts would ride in other nations' spacecraft.
So instead of of taking the lead, we are going to follow the leader? No!!!
Congress, don't cut NASA because a nation that leads the world require us to lead in space. America, vote in Republican majorities this fall and vote Obama out in 2012.