Brandenburg, KY. 21 July 2014 — Kentucky’s Second Congressional Democratic nominee, Ron Leach, blasted his opponent, Congressman Brett Guthrie, for his repeated votes for the Paul Ryan budget. In an ad that will be airing throughout the 2nd Congressional District and on-line, Ron Leach notes “budgets reflect our values.” Guthrie’s vote for the Paul Ryan Budget reflects just how out of touch the Congressman is with the voters he represents. His vote protects the rich and special interests at the expense of the middle class and our seniors.
There is a long list of devastating cuts that are inflicted on the American people within the Ryan budget-however; the cuts to Medicare are perhaps the most striking. The Paul Ryan/Brett Guthrie Budget effectively turns the Medicare program into a voucher health insurance system, which will give seniors a voucher to look for coverage on the open market. Furthermore, it increases the enrollment age for Medicare to 70.
Wednesday 13 AUG 2014: Weisiger Theater in the Norton Center for the Arts, Centre College, Danville KY. Debate start time 6:30 pm Eastern Time
Wednesday 20 AUG 2014: Pritchard Community Center, 404 South Mulberry St, Elizabethtown, KY. 42701 Debate start time 6:30 pm Eastern Time
Wednesday 27 AUG 2014: Venue to be finalized, Owensboro KY. Tentative -Debate start time 6:30 pm Central Time
These debates will be centered on Support or Opposition to the “Paul Ryan Budget” as passed in the US House as a defining distinction in the candidates’ vision for Kentucky and America in the coming years and decades. The goal of these debates is to encourage substantive discussion of important issues to educate and engage the electorate. It is our desire that these debates may be informative and generally elevate the political discourse. While the debates will center on Support or Opposition to the “Ryan Budget”, discretion will be given to the moderator on related issues and related questions.
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 triggered the Depression that we appear to be exiting this summer. And it was triggered by the collapse of the Great Turn of the Century Suburban Housing Bubble.
In coming out of the recent Depression, one driver of residential property values, the Cul de Sac, seems to be in conflict with a new driver: walkability. In October 2013, the Realtor(R) Magazine Online, of the National Association of Realtors, wrote, in Neighborhoods: More Walkable, More Desirable that:
Neighborhoods that boast greater walkability tend to have higher resale values in both residential and commercial properties, finds a recent study published in Real Estate Economics. In fact, a 2009 report by CEOs for Cities found that just a one-point increase in a city's walk score could potentially increase homes' values by $700 to $3,000.
And Ken Harney, writing for NewHomeSource.com, observes in that:
The core concept - connecting people with where they want to work, play and own a home by creating attractive neighborhood environments that make maximum use of existing transit infrastructure - fits many post-recession households' needs, regardless of age. Older owners of suburban homes are downsizing into townhouses and condo units close to or in the central city, often in locations near transit lines. Younger buyers, fed up with long commutes to work, want to move to places where they can jump onto mass transit and get off the road.
Many of these buyers also have an eye on economics. For example, Bill Locke, a federal contracts consultant in northern Virginia, said that although owning a LEED-certified townhome near a Metro transit stop "is a really big deal" for himself and his wife, he sees the unit they recently purchased in the Old Town Commons development in Alexandria, Va., as a long-term investment that will grow in value "because it makes so much more sense" than competing, traditional subdivisions farther out from the city.
So, what does this mean for the sustainable transport and for the future of the deadly American Suburban Cul de Sac? Let's have a chat about it, below the fold.
Response to Brett Guthrie’s 7 JUL 14 Op-Ed comments on Workforce Skills Training Bill Brett Guthrie tries to put positive spin on dismal congressional performance:
The recent passage of the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA)” was the conclusion of an 11-year effort to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The sad fact is that this bill – or similar legislation - could have helped many displaced workers retool and retrain to reenter the workforce more quickly during the great recession and through to today if we had a functional US Congress that could have done their job sooner.
The current Workforce Investment Act as passed had wide bi-partisan and labor support, unlike the divisive and narrow interest “SKILLS Act” previously sponsored by Congressman Guthrie in 2011. Guthrie’s bill would have pitted one group of workers against another, would have led to fewer resources for dislocated workers, and would have removed labor from the table as a vital partner and voice for workers. Yet Congressman Guthrie appears to be taking an election year victory lap as if his bill had passed.
While I applaud the passage of the WIOA – even if needlessly delayed for years, the fact remains that this US Congress continues to fail.
Our nation’s infrastructure continues to crumble, making America’s economy less efficient, less resilient, and dangerous as bridges fall, railways fail, and airports and roads become more congested. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our current national infrastructure a grade of D+ and urges a national investment of $3.6 trillion dollars just to maintain and repair our current infrastructure, let alone invest in the future requirements for a growing and dynamic US economy. A functional congress would address this real and growing crises, while stimulating hundreds of thousands to millions of near term and future jobs.
A functional US Congress would raise the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is supported by greater than 600 economists to include 4 Nobel Laureates as a means to not only lift greater than a million Americans out of poverty, but also stimulate the economy and create more jobs. The simple fact is that folks living paycheck to paycheck and sinking further into poverty do not stimulate the economy, and results in the very slow and inequitable economic growth we have seen over the past several years. We must rebuild an economy that works for all of us again, not just a diminishing few at the top – a rising tide that lifts all boats, not just the biggest Yachts.
A functional congress would fix the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which will run out of money early next month. The need for a fix has been known for years. Yet the best this failed congress has to offer is a temporary patch by borrowing from elsewhere, rather than come up with a sustainable funding solution. If the fund is not made solvent, 700,000 US jobs are at risk.
Brett Guthrie and this congress continues to fail to find long term pragmatic solutions - Fails to put governing ahead of ideology, and fails to put people ahead of partisanship.
For Immediate Release July 16th, 2014 Independent US Senate Candidate Ed Marksberry.
Today I’m announcing through press release that I have decided to end my quest of collecting the 5000 signatures needed to have my name on the November ballot.
At this time I have only half of the needed signatures (deadline is Aug, 12th) and recently my health has impeded on the energy and strength needed to finish this task.
I was not successful in raising the funds needed to hire others to help me collect the signatures and there is a lesson there!
My campaign was never about winning, it was about the lack of a Progressive voice that is needed to move Kentucky forward (so far this conservative-mindset hasn’t served the majority of Kentuckians very well).
Recently some of the most respected columnists have pointed out this embarrassing lack of intellectual leadership. So here’s to a more prominent person to carry on the hope of a Progressive voice in Kentucky.
For more information in a very candid manner, feel free to contact me anytime.
Ed Marksberry 270-993-0536 EdMarksberry@bellsouth.net
There was a gleam of hope this week for state officials faced with the prospects of having to start delaying projects and lay off people working on maintenance and new construction funded from the Federal Highway Fund: Bloomberg:
Lawmakers' fight over how to fund roads and transit probably will end with legislation from the Republican-led House sent to President Barack Obama, leadership aides in both parties said.
House and Senate leaders have been collaborating on a strategy for preventing the Highway Trust Fund from running dry at the height of the summer road-construction season. While bills approved July 10 by committees in both chambers are similar, the Democratic-led Senate's version contains tax proposals seen as obstacles in the House.
But this is akin to lending someone with a broken leg crutches and hoping that it will heal on its own. For some fractures, that might work, but most would require a splint at least, and for serious fractures, you need to set the leg and put it in a cast of some sort.
In the case at hand, the long term broken funding model that lays behind the Highway Funding crisis is something that requires something better than a temporary loan of crutches.
Disconnect from Reality: Brett Guthrie’s Student Loan Debt Crises “solution”
"Let them eat cake" is the response attributed to Marie Antoinette, in 1789, upon learning that peasants had no bread, reflecting her disconnect with the condition of the people.
In a classic “let them eat cake” response, Brett Guthrie announces that the solution to the growing student debt crises in the United States (currently exceeding $1.2 Trillion) is simple - young folks should borrow less for college educations. Guthrie is sponsoring HR 4984, which does nothing to address the spiraling cost of a college education, offering only annual counseling for student borrowers. While financial literacy should be addressed – in High School as well as for college students - the underlying realities of Congress’ abandonment of affordable education is the real issue Brett.
The ever increasing student loan debt in America is a symptom of the real problem; an affordable College Education in America is rapidly becoming only a reality for a diminishing few. Fact: The cost of a Public College/University education (Tuition, Fees, and Board in 2013 dollars) in the US has risen 229% over the past 30 years, while family incomes have remained flat for greater than 30 year. Fact: Total Pell Grant expenditures (assistance for lower means students) peaked in 2010-11 (in 2012 dollars) and declined by over $5Billion by 2012-13 – and the Ryan/Guthrie Budget (Brett Guthrie has vote for the Ryan Budget every opportunity and most recently earlier this year) would slash Pell Grants by another $125 Billion over time. Fact: While Banks borrow from the Federal Reserve at a current rate of 0.75%, student loan rates range from 3.5 to 10%. Brett Guthrie’s mentor in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, recently filibustered a Senate Bill that would have corrected this discrepancy. Not a word heard from Brett Guthrie to protest Mitch’s placing of big banks ahead of an affordable College Education. Let them eat cake appears to be Brett’s response. Not only does Brett not want to reduce student loan interest rates, he wants to see student loans fully privatized for profit for his corporate sponsors, calling for a “limited federal role”.
Brett Guthrie continues to demonstrate a total disconnect with the realities facing hard working Kentucky families and a generation of Kentuckians and Americans being increasingly left behind. From opposition to raising the minimum wage, to his failure to address the realities and root cause of the student loan debt crises, to his efforts to deny health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of our fellow Kentuckians, Brett Guthrie steadfastly demonstrates his allegiance to his corporate sponsors ahead of representing us (over $3million in contributions collected primarily from Corporate PACs), and a clear disconnect or distain for the plight of a growing majority of Kentuckians and Americans.
We need Leaders, not looters in Washington. We need a Kentucky and America that works for ALL of us, not just Brett’s corporate sponsors. We need FUNCTIONAL Government that represents ALL of us.
Brett needs to go. Respectfully, Ron Leach Democratic Congressional Candidate for Kentucky’s 2nd District.