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Candidates Forum, OR 4th Congressional District, Listen On Line October 7, 2016
Here is a link for the October 7 forum sponsored by Eugene City Club with participants: Mike Beilstein, Pacific Green Party, Peter DeFazio Democrat incumbent, Republican Art Robinson, and Libertarian Gil Guthrie.
Retired research chemist. Worked at Oregon State University, Johns Hopkins University and Medical College of Virginia. Peace Corps volunteer/teacher in Lesotho, Southern Africa.
Mike Beilstein Candidate for US Congress, 4th District, Oregon
I am the Pacific Green Party candidate for Congress in the Oregon 4th Congressional District, nominated at the state convention on May 21, 2016. I will represent the core Green values of sustainability, social justice, nonviolence and democratic participation. A particular concern to Greens, and to voters, in this election is the worsening climate crisis. Global warming, ocean acidification, loss of historic glaciers, mass extinction of species, proliferation of wars to acquire or protect resources are all symptoms of a human economy that can not maintain human life into the future. Participation of Greens in the election broadens the debate and gives voters a chance to register their support for “green” values.
CARBON FEE and DIVIDEND (CF&D)
I and the Pacific Green party promote federal legislation and international treaties to impose a “carbon fee and dividend” (CF&D) as proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby . The program would collect a fee on all carbon fuels at the point of extraction or import. The fee would start low, at $15 per ton of carbon, and increase annually until changes in the economy reduce carbon emissions to a sustainable level. The collected fee would be returned to citizens on a per capita basis. Most citizens would receive a dividend larger than their increased costs due to the energy fee. This “internalizes” the cost of dumping carbon dioxide waste into the atmosphere, which until now has been an “externalized” cost to producers and consumers. The CF&D does not dictate how the economy should change to adapt to the fee, but it creates incentives toward greater efficiency. More efficient construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and home climate control would be rewarded once producers and consumers are required to pay for carbon emissions.
Growing economic disparity is destroying the traditional American middle class. Green solutions include a livable minimum wage of $15 per hour; federal rules that facilitate unionization of all workers, especially in agricultural; transaction fees on securities to limit speculative investment; international trade rules that prohibit import of the products of slave labor; free universal public education through university graduate school – an end to tuition and forgiveness of existing student debt; and universal comprehensive health care through a single payer insurance system.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1966, our country has become the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Approximately half of international arms exports originate from the US. The federal government should severely restrict this death market. Similarly, as the greatest market for illegal drugs, the US promotes violent criminal activity in Latin America, especially on our southern border. The “war on drugs” has created the largest mass incarceration system in the world. All “illegal” drug use needs to be decriminalized. Addiction should be treated as a health care issue, not criminalized. The US should be extremely reluctant to conduct military interventions. Congress should prevent such acts in the absence of a declaration of war. A Green member of Congress would never vote to increase the military/surveillance budget.
As a regular visitor to Cuba I am sensitive to issues that do not get adequate attention by US media and citizens. I support recent normalization of relations with Cuba and an end to the cold war hangover of the US imposed trade and travel ban. Despite obvious progress, it is still illegal to travel to Cuba without a Commerce Department license. The US military still illegally occupies Guantanamo Bay against the wishes of the Cuban government and people. And the US still carr45ies our economic sabotage against Cuba through the Helms/Burton and Torricelli Acts. I intend to visit Cuba in defiance of the trade and travel ban every year until it is ended.
The US is conducting a vigorous economic war against Cuba. Since 1962 the US has prohibited US banks from doing business in Cuba, however since 1992, the US has asserted the right to prevent foreign banks from working in Cuba. Following the 2007 global economic collapse the consolidation of financial institutions has reduced the number of banks that finance international trade to a handful. The US Office of Foreign Assets Control has vigorously pursued civil proceedings in US courts against international banks that finance Cuban trade. Billion dollar settlements have forced banks to choose between operating in the US and Cuba. It gets harder and harder for Cuba to find banks to finance trade. The US financial boycott is turned into an economic blockade.
CORVALLIS CITY COUNCIL
I have served for 12 years on the Corvallis City Council. I am leaving the Corvallis City Council at the end of this term (2015-2016). Another Green, Charlyn Ellis, has agreed to run for the open seat. I most strongly recommend her for the position. The residents of Ward 5 will continue to have a Councilor who represents their values.
I experienced a gradual change in the tenor of the Council since I first served in 1999. There is greater concern about fiscal responsibility and willingness to reduce services to maintain a healthy bottom line. Along with this fiscal sense there is less willingness to raise City revenue. I think a lot of our early momentum on sustainability was lost because of reductions in staffing in public works in the 2012 budget. The adoption of a growth oriented economic development policy and establishment of the Enterprise Zone in Benton County were steps in the wrong direction. I will continue to speak out against the outmoded concept of boosterism as economic development. Economic development should focus on increasing equity and efficiency, not growth.
My major goals on the Council were to establish a more sustainable local economy by providing adequate housing for people who work and attend school in Corvallis, reduce commuting, develop all components of a local food system, maintain high quality accessible services through the Library and Parks and Recreation, and promote a sustainable transportation system that emphasizes walking, biking and transit.
I have great respect for both Art Robinson and Peter DeFazio, and Libertarian candidate Gil Guthrie. I have no doubt that Peter DeFazio will be re-elected to the US Congress. He is well liked in the 4th District and he has the advantage of incumbency. Of all the progressive Democrats in the US Congress, Peter DeFazio is the best and we are lucky to have him as our representative. However, Peter DeFazio is not a Green. If he were, he would be more careful about voting for foreign wars. In 3 of 11 congressional votes on supplemental military funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, DeFazio voted with the majority for the funding. DeFazio co-sponsored a bill with Greg Walden to open up the O&C Forests to logging without environmental restraints. The proposal was so bad that even president Obama said he would veto it if passed, which it didn’t. A toned down version of the same proposal is now being proposed by Senator Wyden. Peter DeFazio is very committed to investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure. This is admirable, but there is too much focus on increasing highway and automobile transportation. Development of rail and transit should be the focus of US transportation policy.
Web page: http://www.newmenu.org/mikebeilstein Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 541 754 1858 (h); 541 602 1007 (c)
Mailing Address: Mike Beilstein for Congress
1214 NW 12th St
Corvallis, OR 97330
Why Vote For Mike Beilstein:
Candidate’s Statement for Mike Beilstein - Oregon 4th Congressional District
Prior Government Experience:
Corvallis City Council, 1999-2000, 2007-2016
We are far over the “safe” target of 350 ppm atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Producers and consumers need to start paying for the environmental costs of dumping CO2 into the air. The “carbon fee and dividend” approach will internalize the costs of CO2 pollution, and create incentives for appropriate energy technology. This is a practical GREEN solution to a civilization threatening problem.
The PACIFIC GREEN PARTY is about practical solutions that benefit everyone in creating a sustainable and just global society.
• Stop using the military to enrich oil companies at the cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
• Single payer national health system. Comprehensive community based care.
• Fund education that develops our full potential. Eliminate tuition. Forgive student debt.
• De-emphasizes the single-passenger automobile. Invest in rail and transit.
• Decriminalize drug use. Provide appropriate medical treatment for addicts.
• Eliminate small arms exports that fuel global violence.
• Support the right of all workers to organize. $15 per hour minimum wage. Stop trading with countries that practice slavery. Full rights for immigrant workers.
• Protect Oregon forests. No give-aways to lumber barons. Protect federal and state forests to ensure endangered salmon recovery and clean drinking water.
• Enforce environmental and safety rules. End the ecological disasters created by unregulated fossil fuel companies. No fracking. No mountaintop removal coal mining. No investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure. No new pipelines. No oil trains. No export of fossil fuels.
• Build an economy that meets human needs. Help the wealthy re-invest in a better society for all.
The need for Green leadership in Oregon and the USA is more urgent each day.
Vote Peace! Vote Green!
Contact Mike Beilstein
I am not seeking contributions for the campaign. I will return any contributions. I don't intend to spend more than a few hundred dollars, which is what I can afford.
Mike Beilstein for Congress
1214 NW 12th St
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
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