In his 2010 campaign for governor, Andrew Cuomo promised to end “partisan gerrymandering,” in which lawmakers draw their own districts. He failed to do that, and instead, as governor, signed onto a set of legislative maps in 2012 that were carefully designed to keep legislators safely in their jobs…
Franking Privilege allows Congressional Representatives to send mail free of charge. This privilege is to be used for official business, and is supposed to be nonpartisan. According to franking rules, it is not to be used to send materials that are political or partisan “in fact or tone”. This Congressional Privilege is paid for by the taxpayers.
Despite its limitations, it’s not unknown for members of Congress to take liberties. Even with increased scrutiny over recent years,some elected officials use franking privileges to send out campaign materials and partisan literature. This is known as Franking Privilege Abuse.
The latest Congressman accused of Franking Privilege Abuse is North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones. The Reform Party of North Carolina has condemned his actions.
The Reform Party National Committee believes that abuse of Franking Privilege is wrong. The Reform Party calls on Congressional Ethics Committees to continue scrutiny of Franking, and to hold our elected Congressional officials accountable for any abuses, including penalties and reimbursing any misused funds.
To the editor: Are you concerned about the ill-considered legislation quickly passed this summer and last in the N.C. legislature with little research or debate?
Recent reports on South Korean-American trade show that after two years of free trade, American exports to Korea have dropped by three billion dollars. The Reform Party supports renegotiating or repealing this treaty based on the following reasons:
The first reason the Reform Party stands against the South Korean-American trade deal, is that the treaty does not support real free trade. The treaty did succeed in curtailing some barriers and reducing some taxes on imports. It did not however create a free trade environment. For example, Korean automakers have sold over 800,000 cars and light trucks in the US markets since 2005. American companies have only sold 4,000 automobiles in the Korean market during that time. The American manufactures claim that changing regulations, taxes on engine size and other attempts to reduce the sale of American cars in Korea are to blame.
The second reason that the South Korean-American free trade deal has been unsuccessful is that free trade deals do not help the American economy. Twenty years ago the American government ratified the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. In 1994, before the passage of NAFTA, the United States had a 1.7 billion dollar trade surplus with Mexico. In 2012 the United States had a trade deficit with Mexico that was valued at 61.4 billion dollars.
When the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was signed in 2004, the United States had a trade surplus with the five other nations involved with the treaty. Eight years later, in 2013, America had a trade deficit with all five co-signers of the CAFTA treaty.
A third free trade treaty, the less talked about Jordon-United States Free trade treaty, is a third example of how free trade negatively effects the American economy. When the treaty was ratified in 2000, the United States had a trade surplus with the country of Jordan. By 2005, Jordanian textiles exports had risen 20 times their 2000 rates and the country enjoyed a trade surplus with the United States.
The final reason that the Reform Party believes that free trade agreements do not favor the United States is that American’s overall trade has declined since the beginning of free trade deals. Department of Commerce data shows that since the start of free trade agreements with NAFTA in 1992, America’s trade deficit rose from 39.2 billion dollars to 559.8 billion in 2011, or an increase of over 1428 percent.
Based on these findings, the Reform Party of the United States supports the creation of common sense measures that protect the American economy, and reduce the country’s trade deficits. The Reform Party calls on the US government to end free trade agreements, including the free trade agreement with Korea, and create a level playing field for American businesses.
Environmental advocates who collectively speak for a large number of N.C. residents are outraged by the weakness of the proposed bill to address the state’s coal ash mess, its failure to protect residents and the mockery it is making of the Clean Water Act.
The bill has been touted as the first state-level legislation in the country to deal with toxic coal ash. As one state senator rightly noted, it would “set the standard for the rest of the country on coal ash.” Yet changes the N.C. House of Representatives has made to an already weak Senate bill would set the standard egregiously low….