|Posted on October 2, 2018 at 5:45 PM|
State Senate Platform of Steve Theriault (Write-ins still welcome on 11/6)
1. Independence. I am a “Pro-Life Progressive” or a “Conservative-Green-Progressive” who takes the good from each side of the political spectrum. I am independent of the major parties and am running as an unaffiliated candidate. I will vote my conscience and be responsive to the needs of my constituents. No special interests, party funding or corporate or PAC money.
2. Moral values and progressive credentials: As a Christian “Progressive” I plan to work with both parties on issues common to all of us. I have supported progressive candidates in the past (and some conservatives) and I am a fan of Bernie 2020 (although I am don't consider myself a socialist and I am not in 100% agreement with his more radical positions). I cut across the grain and take the good from each side of the political spectrum. Even though I disagree with many of his positions on issues, I got along well with my predecessor in the 16th District, Joe Markley.
3. Good Government. My first order of business is to work to clean up the political system from the evils of corruption, influence-peddling, corporate avarice and special interests of all kinds. I pledge to introduce bills to make sure our legislators work for the people, not well-heeled special interests. I will also strive to make the executive branch accountable. I am a devout Christian and my platform reflects my beliefs and integrity. We must implement nationwide Campaign Finance Reform and overturn Citizens United. I will accept no money or favors from special interests, corporate or other PACs or any other interest which might compromise my objectivity and resolution to represent my constituents and my conscience.
4. Tolls. I reluctantly support the proposed electronic tolling which will receive income from out of state drivers, only if we have an exemption or tax credit to reduce the cost to our own already burdened middle-class taxpayers.
5. Budget trimming and management: I will work to find savings from efficiency and trimming waste from bloated budgets but restoring important programs which truly are necessary for the health and well being of our citizens.
6. Tax fairness. Taxation should not burden the working and middle classes. The wealthy and corporations should pay their fair share of the tax burden, while providing for a positive climate for job growth. Also, we must end unfair corporate subsidies. Corporate “welfare” and various tax breaks or other “special” incentives often are political motivated by corrupt influence and short-term, selfish, greedy thinking.
7. Wage and income fairness. Women and men should make the same amount for the same work and the minimum wage should be a living wage. Paid family and medical leave and sick leave should be mandatory.
8. Environmental Protection. Thirdly, I will work on protecting and conserving our precious environment, an issue with which I am knowledgeable and concerned. We must guard our resources, natural areas, bio-diversity, shoreline and Sound, rivers and lakes, clean air, inland and coastal wetlands as well as to work to reduce carbon emissions and protect ourselves from climate change.
9. Government for All the People, including the undocumented. I will tolerate no deviance from a policy of government honesty, openness, integrity, fairness, and compassion toward all our citizens and residents. I believe those “illegally” in residence in our State deserve our compassion and caring.
10. Gun Violence: We must close the loopholes to universal background checks and we must find a way to limit access to assault -type weapons and cop-killer bullets. School shootings must stop.
11. Financial reform. I will also work, to ensure that our financial, banking, insurance and investment sectors made to work for the consumer and small business borrower.
12. Educational Excellence for all Students. I will also begin to look closely at our educational system and the tax-dollars which support it. Education begins in the family and in the values of our citizens, not in expensive new equipment, programs and facilities. Schools, colleges and universities should be teaching our students how to think, solve problems, and take responsibility. Public education and teachers should be supported and encouraged to provide quality education to all students, regardless of financial or cultural background. We should support our public education collective bargaining rights.
13. Legal reforms: I believe through experience that our legal system is corrupt, inefficient and works for the benefit of lawyers’ incomes, not the public for whom it was designed to serve. The system is inexorably slow, fraught with confusion, waste, and double-talk. I will work to ensure that bills get passed which make the law work for the average citizen and small business owner, rather than the large corporations who can afford large-well-connected law firms.
14. Criminal justice and abortion: I abhor abortion and do not believe capital punishment is effective or ethical, as practiced. We are often hypocritical in punishing minor “street” crimes, for political reasons, harshly, while letting major illegal activities (i.e. white collar crimes) go unpunished or underpunished. Although I detest the termination of an unborn child's life, I do not believe we should criminally punish women and therefore, I am not calling for overturning Roe v. Wade. Reproductive education and reasonable efforts at controlling pregnancies with contraception should be implemented instead.
15. Mental Health and Addiction: We need insurers and providers to ensure that we as a society provide prompt and effective counseling, medication and treatment for mental illness and substance abuse and dependence.
16. Organized labor and labor legislation. I believe unions can play a useful and positive role in our economy and that the law should ensure everyone access to reasonable pay and working conditions.
17. The Opioid Crisis: We must improve our delivery of drug treatment to those suffering from this terrible addiction, as we should increase all addiction services to the extent feasible. We must also hold the pharmaceutical companies accountable and doctors and pharmacists as well for over-prescribing pain medication which has become as available as candy.
18. Trumpism: People are constantly asking me whether I voted for or support or like our current President, Donald J. Trump. To be honest, I don't like virtually any of his policies, programs and I especially abhor his lack of truthfulness and integrity. His flirtation with dictatorial leaders such as Putin and others and his vilification of our own justice department and intelligence communities speaks volumes. I did not vote for Trump, nor do I support him and I will work to oust him in 2020. I believe strongly that evangelicals and women who voted for or supported Trump are making a grave mistake.
19. Veterans affairs: I support a strong defense and I am totally disgusted with the way our returning Veterans are treated. PTSD/mental health problems leading to Veterans' suicides must be addressed both with additional funding and legislation. Health care services and other services for Veterans must be top-notch and speedy and medically effective and efficient. Any less would be a national travesty.
20. Political correctness: I plan to tell the public and my constituents the truth regardless of whether it is offensive (within reason) or controversial. In my work as a Christian, the truth always wins in the end.
21. Gambling: I do not support expanding public gambling in the State, and that includes opposing new casinos or any other form of gambling including lotteries. Our reliance on the government revenue from public gaming and lotteries is regressive and is an excessive reliance on a form of activity which is of questionable value to our society. The love of money is the root of all evil.
22. Gay Marriage and LGBQT Rights: I support civil unions and civil rights for all sexual orientations. However, I do strongly believe that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation. This issue has been settled by the U.S. Supreme Court and I stand with its decision as binding precedent.