The pending renewal of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act has received a lot of attention lately. This important legislation provides health screenings and financial aid to the first responders and workers at the scene of the 9/11 attacks. It was initially passed in 2010 and funded for five years while we could study the link between time served at Ground Zero and health issues later in life. The research is in: 33,000 first responders and workers suffer from at least one illness or injury related to the attacks, including cancer, breathing issues, sinus issues and blood conditions. Many have died, and the deaths continue every year. There is no doubt about the cause of these health issues.Read more
I fail to understand why refugees become political fodder. The following article is an effort to correct misinformation and allay fears about Syrian refugees coming to the U.S.:
PolitiFact Sheet: 5 questions about Syrian refugees
Eleven-year-old Omran Wawieh, a refugee from Syria, is staying with parents and siblings at a motel in Pomona, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2015. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Whether the United States should accept Syrian refugees has become an urgent debate in the days since the terror attacks in Paris. At least 30 governors have said they’re against letting refugees into their states because of fears that terrorists could hide among those seeking political asylum.
The unrest began in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad, in the wake of the pro-democracy Arab Spring. Assad’s regime responded with violence, and the country spiraled into a civil war. But it isn’t just pro-Assad vs. anti-Assad groups. There are several sects fighting one another, one of which is the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
We finished up our tour of the 10th Congressional District on October 30 with a little celebration at Harmon Field in Tryon. The Garrison Chapel Men's Choir sent a group to sing this song. Thank you, James Bryan and friends!
What I learned from my Tour of the Tenth
I knew lots of these things already, but it was nice to know they're still true:
1 - There's no doubt. Any lingering doubts I might have had about running for Congress are gone. I'm doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.
2 - I have great friends. I was blown away by the number of volunteers and by their work, time and enthusiasm. Every day of the tour I was accompanied by three or four volunteers who supported me in the RV -- which was itself loaned to us by a supporter. And there were more volunteers holding the fort back at the campaign office.
3 - The Tenth Congressional District is big. Six-and-a-half counties, several good-sized cities, tons of tiny communities and endless country roads.
4 - The district is mostly rural. If you don't love country roads and country folks, you're in the wrong place.
5 - The district is scenic. Over every hill, around every bend in the road there is new beauty. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful corner of the world!
6 - Our people are diverse. We encompass multiple races, ages, backgrounds, religions, economic levels, political persuasions and more. There's no such thing as a "typical" Tenth District citizen.
7 - People are nice. Almost without exception, everyone I talked with was friendly and welcoming. I would walk up to someone and introduce myself, not knowing how they would respond. But just about everyone was happy to talk with us, curious about what we were doing, and eager to share their views.
8 - Congress has no credibility. Many of the folks we talked with -- too many -- have checked out of politics completely. They see a Congress that doesn't represent them and is more interested in bickering than getting things done.
9 - Politics may be polarized, but people don't want to be. Folks have a variety of experiences and opinions, but they find ways to work together to get things done. That's what they tell me they want from their politicians, and they don't understand why the politicians can't do it.
10 - People want to be heard. We are fed up with politicians who talk but don't listen. Every time I'd ask a question -- and then listen -- I was rewarded with insights, ideas and nuggets of wisdom.
11 - Folks are hungry for leaders with a new attitude. We've reached a point where too many of our leaders are more interested in keeping their jobs than in doing their jobs. That is absolutely unacceptable to voters -- and they want to turn that equation around.
12 - Poverty is real. We may not see it, but poverty is all around us. We helped distribute food to 57 needy individuals at a church in Shelby; talked with a group of homeless people (including a couple with an infant child) in Asheville's Pritchard Park; and learned that 1 in 4 Polk County children faces food insecurity. I don't believe many -- if any -- of these folks are taking advantage of the "system" or are poor by choice.
13 - Our message resonates. Folks instinctively grasp that if our children are to thrive, we must make some smart investments now: highways, bridges, clean energy, education, Social Security, Medicare, and veterans' benefits among others. In short, people are ready for a new attitude of problem-solving by elected officials who have integrity and goodwill -- elected officials more interested in doing the job than keeping the job.
14 - The challenge is to get the message out. There are 487,000 voters in the Tenth Congressional District. I plan to get to know as many of them as I can -- and to give them a chance to know me. If we deliver our message effectively, we absolutely can win.
15 - Every single day of this tour, I was touched and moved by the people, the beauty, the potential and the needs of our district. I am more determined than ever to do the hard work and go the distance to be a congressman who's focused on doing the job rather than just keeping the job.
(This is why folks are fed up. ~Andy)
Watchdog group files ethics complaint against McHenry
Gaston Gazette, October 23, 2015
By Kevin Ellis
A watchdog group accuses Rep. Patrick McHenry of taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the payday lending industry at the same time as he was taking official actions in support of the industry in an ethics complaint filed in Washington.
McHenry took $55,399 in campaign contributions from groups and individuals associated with the payday lending industry in 2011 while co-sponsoring a bill in Congress critics said would hobble the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its oversight of payday lenders, according to the complaint the group Campaign for Accountability filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
McHenry also took $15,300 from... Click here for full article
Andy Millard, Candidate for US House of Representatives for NC’s 10th Congressional District, wants to meet the 740,000 people of the district – or as many as he can! The current U.S. Congress has the lowest approval rating in history. Andy believes building a better congress starts with listening to people and getting first hand knowledge about their concerns.
In an effort to meet and hear from as many people in the district as possible, Andy will be pounding the pavement – literally! He is planning to “Tour the Tenth” – running, walking and cycling the entire length, width and breadth of the 10th Congressional District.
The tour will begin on Saturday, September 19 at the campaign headquarters at 60 Walker St. Columbus, NC and end at campaign headquarters on Friday, October 30.
- Andy will run, walk or cycle an average of 8 to 15 miles per day, stopping to visit communities and points of interest along the way.
- He plans to cover a total of 350 miles over a six-week period.
- Tour days are Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
- The route will stick mainly to less-frequently traveled roads and avoid busy highways.
- A brightly decorated RV will accompany Andy on the tour.
- People are encouraged to join the tour, whether walking, running or stopping to talk.
The tour can be followed online at www.millardforcongress.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The tour calendar will be posted on the website, as well as weekly video updates. Log on to see when Andy will be in your neighborhood or watch your local paper for the dates when he will be in your community.
Adviser Running for Congress Wants to Protect Dodd-Frank Reforms
Candidate says clients and constituents, virtually unfazed by recent market turbulence, need a level playing field for financial advice
By Mark Shoeff, Jr.
Choppy financial markets, which are swooning again today, haven't become a topic of conversation on the campaign trail, according to a financial planner running for Congress.
The residents of the 10th district of North Carolina are a lot like the clients of Carl Andrew “Andy” Millard, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. House. Everyone seems to be taking financial gyrations in stride.
“I have not had a voter mention it,” said Mr. Millard, owner of the advisory firm Millard & Co. in Tryon, N.C. “People have a more sanguine attitude toward markets than sometimes the popular press wants to think. Sometimes, we don't give people enough credit for being able to put things in perspective.” ...click here to read the full article
Our volunteer Tour team, led by Kim Karaman (left) and including (l - r) Mac Bond, Kate Bond, Bonnie Musselwhite and Julie McIntyre (plus others not pictured), spent some quality time yesterday planning the route for my upcoming tour of the entire Tenth Congressional District. We'll cover about 350 miles through 7 counties and dozens of communities over six weeks. Although we'll be accompanied by a small RV support vehicle, my personal modes of transportation will be running, walking and biking, with several stops each day to learn and listen. The Tour is scheduled to start on Saturday, September 19. Heartfelt thanks to our awesome volunteers for making this Tour possible!
I lived and worked in Gaston County for eleven years before moving to Polk County. The local paper, The Gaston Gazette, had a good story about our campaign in yesterday's paper.
Former Educator Eyes House Seat
People may remember Andy Millard as the teacher they had at Grier Junior High or maybe as assistant principal at Holbrook or Hunter Huss. Now a 58-year-old financial planner in Polk County, Millard wants people to consider him for Congress.
Read more here:
I arrived late. Let's get that out of the way right off the bat. But they waited for me, and they forgave me.
Beatrice Crocker had arranged for me to speak to a few voters in Bessemer City's Precincts 1 and 2 Friday night. Although I was unforgivably late, these folks were ready for a conversation, so they waited. When I arrived, I found them seated in lawn chairs under a tree in Bea's front yard. They had used the time to formulate a lot of probing questions, and they didn't waste any time asking them.
We talked until the sun was low. They shared a diverse range of views and a lot of wisdom. By the time we said good-bye after an hour and a half, I felt like I had made some new friends. And I definitely knew more than when I arrived. Thank you, Bea Crocker and Bessemer City. See you again soon.