A 21st century transportation and infrastructure is the essential backbone for our economy and community. Workers, families, and businesses must have a reliable and functional transportation system. We all know that our current road system is dysfunctional and always in a state of construction and reconstruction. I-35 and HWY 190 seems to be under this constant state of construction with no end in sight. It takes years to complete one project that’s insufficient once completed. Carter’s lack of focus on this issue has led to a bogged down road system. A representative is supposed to bring more federal dollars to help fix our transportation needs, not bleed them away to other needless items. Let's focus on building it right the first time to make it useful for many decades to come instead of just a few years. Our focus should be on effectively and efficiently moving people, goods and services from place to place. This includes high speed and light rail that will help spur a sustainable economic growth for our area. It includes a modern busing system for people to get around our growing cities. It also includes having modern, safe, and efficient airports. Let's also not forget the value of having safe and accessible walkways and bike paths in our communities. Putting more of our existing federal gas tax dollars into long-term and practical transportation systems instead of pouring endless amounts of concrete is the path towards a 21st century transportation system. Are you sick and tired of windshield chips on your car from road construction? Let future Congressman Clark help chart a new path and work towards a practical and meaningful transportation plan.
82 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt’s signature on the Social Security Act guaranteed an income for retirees. Having a safe and secure retirement system is what our hard-working Americans not only expect, but deserve. Enjoying the fruits of your labor is a basic human expectation. Social Security is a large portion of many Americans’ retirement incomes. We must do everything we can to ensure that Social Security is there for many generations to come. Raising the cap on Social Security is an easy and fair way to keep the program funded for future generations to come. We must eliminate the "double dipping" penalty on Social Security benefits being imposed on public sector employees, a penalty our own members of Congress do not have to suffer. Giving a REAL cost of living adjustment is way, way, overdue! We must thwart any attempt by Congressman John Carter, who receives multiple government funded retirement plans, to privatize Social Security. It’s a 3 trillion-dollar fund that you know hedge funds would love to get their hands on. Privatizing Social Security would have all the benefits for money fund managers who make their fortune from fees. It would have ZERO benefits for you! Having your retirement bought and sold to the highest bidder on Wall Street is not the way to safeguarding our future. It’s a short-lived scheme that has no long-term solutions to your retirement future. Privatizing makes absolutely no economic or business sense. We must also strengthen and enforce the rules and regulations that oversee our other retirement programs. Our 401k's and pension plans should not be at the mercy of high risk or careless investments. Promoting and encouraging retirement benefits for future retirees is essential to having happy and productive retirement life style. Future Congressman Clark will show leadership and make sure that our retirement system is safe and secure.
Let’s face it. The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court has thoroughly corrupted our financial campaign system. The notion that corporations are people is just beyond bizarre. It opens the door to “entities” being able to vote, hold office, and do all the inalienable rights that we have as individuals. This ruling has also tainted the PAC system. No one knows where the money is coming from, how much is being contributed, and where it is going. It gives a whole new meaning to a black hole. Limits and full disclosures on campaign contributions means that no one person or entity is controlling our candidates and elected officials. It helps to ensure that that democracy is free from the influence of the few. Campaign limits have no baring or restrictions on 1st amendment free speech rights. In fact, it ensures that everyone has the same equal voice in our political process. John Carter accepts tons of big money from outside District 31. The outside influence of special interests has made him anything but a representative of our area. There are two paths to fix Carter’s special interest influence. A constitutional amendment to fix the Citizens United ruling and/or appointing Supreme Court justices that will overturn the ruling. My campaign has never taken outside special interest big money. It was that way in 2016 and will stay that way in 2018! The people of Williamson and Bell County are the ones that I listen to. They are the ones that I will represent in Washington come January 2019!
There have been many positive results from unions that we often take for granted. Thanks to unions, we have better and safer working conditions, a 40-hour work week, vacation pay, health insurance plans, and retirement benefits. These are valuable benefits that have not only made our workers more productive, but have helped our economy grow. Child labor and forced 7-day work weeks are no longer legal. Even as we’ve made great progress in our working conditions and benefits, there are political efforts to undermine all the labor progress made over the last century. Even as this topic is being posted, there are states like Missouri that are usurping local control over cities like Kansas City. This is not only morally wrong, it amounts to enforced economic oppression. Kansas City, and many other cities across the nation, are taking the lead in making sure workers have living wages. When workers are considered as the most valuable asset, businesses are more prosperous. Congressman John Carter’s anti-worker stance goes against everything we value as Americans. It hurts our families, our communities, and businesses. Supporting workers’ rights is fundamental to our economic system and something I’ll be more than happy to promote as your next Congressman.
Longtime residents of Central Texas know that when it comes to rain, we live in feast or famine. We typically get an overwhelming amount of rainfall within a very short window that will fill up our lakes and replenish our aquifers. That’s usually followed by many years of drought. The extremes of record rainfall and extended droughts are only getting worse as our climate continues to change. That not only puts a strain on our local water resources, but a strain on local budgets when trying to plan and maintain water infrastructure. Let’s not forget what extended and extreme droughts do to our native plants and wildlife which are critical to living here. Congressman John Carter’s actions and policies of use all you can and waste all you want is so anti-conservative in nature that it is beyond the scope of common sense. Turning a blind eye to those that contaminate our water sources is wrong in every human way. Making the most out of what little you have and protecting it is a practical approach when it comes to our water resources and fits the realm of conservation. Promoting businesses and homes to reuse gray water for irrigation is an efficient, effected, and conservative way to use our water. Allowing homes and businesses to collect and reuse rain water is a cost effective and sustainable way to manage our most precious resource in Central Texas. Constructing green buildings is big business and Texas can be the leader in those efforts. This is one area in government where we can remove archaic rules, regulations or laws that prohibit progress on this issue. We must also promote the use of native plants in our landscapes. Not only will our landscapes look fantastic, we won’t be burdened by those high water bills. This means less of our tax dollars being spent on larger water pipes, pumping stations, water treatment, reservoirs and wells. It also means less strain on our water sheds and aquifers. Coming from a family of farmers and ranchers, water conservation is second nature to me. Water conservation has always been part of my family’s way of life and part of my character. As Congressman Clark, you will have someone in office who knows and respects the true value of water.
Having an affordable place to live is essential to a family's economic foundation. It represents the beginnings of wealth and future prosperity. Retirees and the soon to be retired are finding it challenging, if not impossible, to live in the same place they have for many years. Generations of families who have lived in Williamson or Bell county are finding themselves being displaced, as well. The overreliance of our state system on property taxes only exacerbates an ongoing crisis. As a growing economy leads to a growing housing market, higher rent and mortgage payments will follow. Promoting quality and affordable housing is critical to a sustainable and growing market. There is nothing wrong with helping those who help sustain the market. Low interest loans and down payment programs are critical to fund and protect consumers. Congressman John Carter has consistently cut these programs meant to help families find a home and contribute to our economy. Smart community and regional planning is essential to having people live and work near their communities. Having industry and business in our communities that support good wages is fundamentally important to supporting our living standard. Carter has taken political contributions from big business PACS with no presence in District 31. Many of these businesses outsource our jobs overseas while the purchasing power of the middle class from our district continues to fall. We must have representation in Congress that reverses this trend and helps promote more businesses that startup and grow here. Teachers, firefighters, and police officers deserve to live in the same communities where they work and serve. Future Congressman Clark will be the natural leader on this issue in Congress.
The message is clear and the issue is very real. I don’t expect all to fully understand this and I do expect many to lash out at this. Some may find it hard to believe that in 2017 we still have racism and violence targeted towards black people by our community and government. This is just not happening in the U.S., but worldwide as well. The liberation and struggle continues. Despite the fear and intimidation, the days when we have people in power who use their influence to intentionally leave blacks powerless, marginalized, and deprived of basic dignity and human rights are over. Incarceration and oppression will end and economic justice and self-determination will prevail. This is one very important topic that Congressman John Carter has completely ignored. Judge Carter would have taken it to heart and taken meaningful action. We may have lost that Carter, but we do have future Congressman Clark who is willing to step up and take the lead.
The idea that an elected official can draw their own district is so riddled with conflicts of interests that it is beyond hysterical. Make no mistake, the sole purpose of gerrymandering has been to suppress the voting strength of minorities based on race and ethnicity. Even more sinister, is that it has been used to promote one political party’s own ideology over the interests of the communities. Gerrymandering is another fine example of John Carter and his party’s desperate attempt to ensure the Republican party remains in control. Their true intentions are shown in Congress where the majority white male makeup of representatives in Congress does not reflect the diversity of culture, gender or ideology in America. Future Congressman Clark will support legislation that ensures any district is drawn independently by the citizens and not by the politicians. I will also sponsor legislation on day one that makes Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) the law of the land in all 50 states. AVR will add 10’s of millions of registered voters and help protect the integrity of our election system
Can we finally get rid of this piece of archaic section in our constitution? The idea that the few can decide who will lead the many is anything but democratic. The reasons and challenges that brought on the Electoral College system have long since passed. Twice in our recent history, a president was selected by the minority. In both cases, it was and still is very controversial. This does not bold well for a nation that is supposed to lead by example when it comes to democracy and freedom. The younger generation no longer feel bound by states. They feel like Americans regardless of where they live. People have more association with the city they live in rather than the state. John Carter and his party refuse to even discuss this, let alone debate the issue in Congress. It is a desperate attempt by them to hold on to power. It’s time to put this part of our constitution in the history books where it belongs.
Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of sensible gun regulation. It is ironic that the Congressman Carter, who is a former judge and legal scholar, ignores the actual content of the second amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Note the words “regulated” and “necessary to the security”; these are vital words in that amendment. These important parts are meant to ensure our security and safety.
The Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) addressed one of the primary issues raised by the 9/11 Commission Report. The Commission found that security agencies were unable to share threat information in a timely and effective manner. The TSDB ensures timely dissemination of terrorist information to these agencies. The No Fly List is a subset of the TSDB that prohibits those who would be a threat to aviation. The “no fly no buy” proposal is a simple and common-sense piece of legislation that is crucial to protecting our citizens on airplanes and what most Americans want passed. There are many layers of review and research before a name is placed on that list, yet Carter continues to oppose these measures even though it would help make us more safe and not infringe on the second amendment.
Safety, training, and enforcement are key parts of our national morals when it comes to gun ownership. Safety and training ensures that your spouse and children do not become another accidental shooting statistic. Enforcement means that criminals and terrorists cannot buy a gun the same way everyday law-abiding citizens can. There are about 75,000 accidental gun shootings every year. Many are self-inflicted. Some of those are children. Congressman Carter has ignored the advice and recommendation from our own law enforcement people and undercuts the value of training and safety programs. That has made us less safe and has cost lives. Carter’s actions only favor the voice of the National Rifle Association (NRA). We all know the NRA has become less about safety for hunters and more of an advertising tool for gun manufacturers. Universal background checks will close loopholes from those who would do us harm while having ZERO impact on our second amendment rights. These are beneficial actions that Congress should make happen today!
Gun violence costs us taxpayers at least half a billion dollars in hospital costs alone every year. This is very real! Without clear minds in Congress, we will continue to be at risk and less safe. Congressman Clark will be there for you!
Everyone agrees that we must pay our fair share of taxes. What fair share actually means is the ongoing debate. Let’s face reality, the less you make the more burdensome taxes and fees are on your income. The bottom line is that there is less disposable income available for anything else. While a tax increase for the rich might make them decide if they are going to buy a small or medium sized tropical island, for the middle class decisions like food or rent become real harsh choices. Saving for college or retirement is a luxury and not a reality for the middle class.
Major corporations, like Exxon, continue to pay no corporate taxes! Yet, they depend on the U.S Coast guard for protection of their tankers and depend on our interstate highway system to transport their goods. John Carter has historically supported and voted for legislation that favors those at the top 1%. The loop holes and exceptions in the tax code bleeds our country of vital revenue needed to fund roads, the military, education, and health care. Over his long tenure in Congress, Carter continues to support and pass legislation where there are less grants for education, less grants for lower income and less programs to help people financially succeed. The people of District 31 are overwhelming middle class and deserve a tax structure that favors them. They are the 99% that make Williamson and Bell County work and they are the 99% that deserve to benefit!
Make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with becoming wealthy in the America. There is no other country on the planet where you can go from having nothing to becoming a multi billionaire. Paying your fair share and giving back to your country that helped make you wealthy is part of our patriotism and love for America. A progressive tax structure has historical been the best system that spurs innovation, economic growth, and funds the government without going into debt. A tax reform system works best and will last long term when clear headed people in Congress are able to discuss the issue and come to reasonable terms. Congressman Clark will fit that role!
If you think this is not a serious problem, then take off those rose-colored glasses! It’s ugly, it’s real and it’s damn serious. Sexual slavery IS the fastest growing crime businesses in the U.S. and world. Texas is in the top 10 of this on-going trafficking ring. We must be clear headed on this issue and realize these are victims, not prostitutes. Half of all victims are under 18 and many end up in forced marriages. In addition to the smuggling of sex slaves into our country, we are also talking about the abduction and coercion of our own children into the sex trafficking realm. The recent arrest of over 1000 people involved in nationwide sex trafficking is but a tiny dent of a growing crisis. While Carter focuses on banning abortions and limiting women’s rights, more young girls are thrown in the U.S. sex slave crime industry every year. Come to think of it, when has he given a public speech about this? It will take resources and serious commitment from Congress to combat this issue. It will take serious people elected to Congress who won’t hold back on this crisis. Is this real enough for you?
Let’s not forget, what happens locally are the issues that are going to have the biggest impact to you. What happens in Georgetown is not the same as what happens in Killeen, Cedar Park, Temple, or any of the other of the fine cities in our area. Even within each community, the challenges facing one part of town are not always going to be the same as another part of town. Make no mistake, Congressman Carter IS a puppet of his national party. He has always and will always vote how they tell him to vote. His voting record speaks for itself on this issue quite clearly. As a result, District 31 has not received the personal attention that we all deserve to have from our elected official in Congress. As your Congressman, I do want to know what is going on at the local level and address the issues promptly. You WILL have regular town halls from Congressman Clark and you will get a phone call returned, an email answered, and a letter written back to you when you contact me. My responses will be specific about your questions and not the standard form letter we all typically get from Carter. That personal response is my commitment to you and what you deserve to have from your representative.
Immigrants add value to our American culture, they do not dilute it! Cities with high immigrant populations have the highest economic growth and the lowest crime rates. Congressman Carter’s blind eye to immigration does not reflect the man we all knew as Judge Carter in Williamson County. Judge Carter would have been for the DREAM Act. Trump and Carter’s support for banning people based on their religion does not reflect our American values. If you serve in the military, you deserve to be a U.S. citizen. If you are on DACA, you deserve to be a U.S. citizen as well. Congressman Clark will gladly support these issues that we believe in. Congressman Clark will also help reduce the red tape and artificial barriers being imposed on those who want to be American citizens and contribute to our economy and our culture.
Trade is vital to our economy. It is the basis for generating wealth and helps our citizens prosper. Pursuing trade deals that are mutually beneficial to the nations involved has been a common practice throughout history. A good trade deal leads to quality products and better wages for the people. Any trade deal MUST be a “plus” gain for our country. Congressman Carter’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an example of a lopsided deal. TPP had all the benefits for large global corporations and all the hardships for small businesses and the middle class. TPP would have also led to unfair pricing for American products, unenforceable environmental rules, and would have led to lower wages for Americans. NAFTA has been a mixed bag for America. Depending on where you live and what industry you are in, it has been either a blessing or a curse. A sound and equitable trade pact that focuses on wage growth, higher living standards, affordable products, and that is beneficial to our environment is what I will be committed to as your representative in Congress!