Throughout his political career, Brad Miller has represented the people by legislating with Democratic values. Supporting small businesses, strengthening the public school system, increasing teacher’s wages and supporting Smart Start are just the tip of his “values” iceberg. Brad is running for re-election to again be the Representative of North Carolina’s 13th District.
Having served North Carolina in the NC House of Representative and the NC Senate and as a native North Carolinian, he has first hand knowledge of the affects of Bush’s policy of fast tracking American jobs overseas. He understands the impact this has on the local and national economy. With the realization of lost jobs in NC and across America, Brad co-founded and co-chairs the newly established and bi-partisan, Community College Caucus which promotes adult education, job training and continues to be the “engine that drives economic growth in America”.
DarkSyde at Kos has written two diaries on his support of Science, here and here. Serving on the Science Committee, he has joined fellow Democrats in “introducing legislation that acts upon the recommendations of a National Academy of Sciences report”.
This legislation will equip the United States in retaining and creating quality jobs, educating the next generation of scientists and putting resources in place that will insure innovation and the U.S. job market keep pace with international competitors.
Seeking to protect the poor and disadvantaged, Brad Miller has enacted legislation to protect consumers from predatory lending. On March 9, 2005, Brad Miller along with Melvin Watt of NC and Frank of MA, introduced H. R. 1182, the Prohibit Predatory Lending Act.
To amend the Truth in Lending Act to impose restrictions and limitations on high-cost mortgages, to revise the permissible fees and charges on certain loans made, to prohibit unfair or deceptive lending practices, and to provide for public education and counseling about predatory lenders, and for other purposes.
At BlueNC.com, we are examining and interviewing our North Carolina candidates for the “Citizen Journalist” project created by the Southern Dem. Brad Miller is a regular visitor and poster and I got lucky with the draw. After contacting his office via email, I requested an interview.. A few emails later with his Campaign Manager, Denise Turner and Brad Miller was on the phone. He is a real person, focused and passionate about his service to North Carolina and America. This is what representation should be. He listened and discussed every point. He was my neighbor, my friend, talking with me about his job.
These question were sent to Mr. Miller by the Greensboro News & Record, his office shared these and his answers:
Why have you chosen to run for this office?
I am running for Congress to put government on the side of ordinary Americans, and to be a voice for North Carolina in Washington. Everyday, I am working to find constructive solutions to problems that affect each of us.
What distinguishes you most from your opponent?
I take the job seriously and see the job as an opportunity to get things done, not attract attention. Vernon Robinson has spent his political career on one publicity stunt after another, and to giving voice to outrageous rhetoric on the most painfully divisive issues we face as a society. In contrast, I have worked patiently and often quietly on finding constructive solutions to the problems that affect people's lives.
Key qualifications you would bring to the job:
I understand what the lives of most North Carolinians are like, what their
hopes and concerns are, because my life has not been that different. My father was the
branch manager of the post office, and my mother was a bookkeeper. They taught me
the value of hard work and treating people fairly. I am committed to making the same
opportunities available to every child that were available to me.
List your top three campaign issues and your stances on those issues
-Helping the Middle Class-
The wages of the vast majority of Americans are not keeping up with inflation, while the compensation of the richest sliver of Americans has continued to balloon. The average annual compensation of the CEOs of publicly traded corporations now exceeds $14 million.
The goal of our economic policies should be to improve the circumstances of the middle class and those trying to climb into the middle class. We need to invest in worker training. Our community colleges are at the center of this effort. Community colleges are where the newly jobless go to learn new skills and in many cases earn a GED so people don't have to leave their hometowns to look for work. I am co-founder of the Congressional Community College Caucus and I am committed to giving community colleges the support they need.
There are business practices that should offend anyone with a conscience, but are now perfectly legal. I am lead sponsor of legislation to protect vulnerable homeowners from predatory mortgage lending practices, so homeowners do not have their trust betrayed when they need to borrow against their home.
-Making the United States Energy Independent-
We now depend upon the most unstable region of the world for 60 percent of our energy supply. As a result, our economy is vulnerable to catastrophic disruption and our foreign policy options are severely limited in dealing with some of the world's most unattractive regimes.
We need an effort to achieve energy independence comparable to the effort in World War II to develop the atomic bomb. We need to push business-including car manufacturers-to develop and use energy efficient technologies, and we need far more research into alternative energy sources.
What immediate steps should Congress take to cut the budget deficit?
Congress should stop giving tax breaks to the richest Americans, especially as the baby boomers prepare to retire. And in all of American history there have not been massive tax breaks for the richest Americans during wartime. Giving millionaires and corporations a tax break doesn't do a thing to help ordinary Americans. I support a more fiscally sane alternative plan in Congress that would:
· Provide more for veterans' healthcare and reject an increase in fees for military retirees' healthcare;
· Provide more in funding over five years for medical research and rural health, and would help make sense of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit;
· Balance the budget by 2012 so we don't leave a staggering debt for our children to pay;
· Bring back the pay-as-you-go budget rules that helped create four consecutive budget surpluses in the 1990s.
I am also committed to making government perform as efficiently as the most efficient private businesses. I introduced legislation that created a new category for the Malcolm Baldridge awards for non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Do you support the sale of National Forest land in North Carolina?
No. The Bush Administration's proposal to sell 300,000 acres of land in North Carolina and 33 other states is another example of the President seeing our natural heritage as a commodity. In North Carolina, we would lose about 10,000 acres from the Pisgah, Nantahala, Croatan, and Uwharrie National Forests. And from that sale we might expect to realize $800 million-once.
The Bush Administration claims that the funding from these sales goes to rural areas for roads and schools. I agree that our nation's education system needs adequate funding, but I do not think that selling off our birthright to the highest bidder is the answer.
When and how should the U.S. remove troops from Iraq?
The decisions we face in Iraq should be the subject of an open and honest national debate, and the patriotism of those who participate in that democratic debate should not be questioned. Our men and women in harm's way deserve that much, at the very least.
It is painfully clear that the Iraqi people view our military as an occupying army, and believe that the United States intends to occupy Iraq on a long-term basis. We need to make it absolutely clear to the Iraqis and to the American people that we do not intend a long-term occupation, and that the future of Iraq will be decided by Iraqis.
Whenever our forces leave Iraq, the Iraqis must decide whether there is a civil war and chaos or a stable democratic society. We should not leave precipitously, but we should negotiate with the Iraqi government to establish a timeline for our withdrawal, so the Iraqi people will know that we do not intend to dominate their government, control their oil, or use their soil as a military staging area.
Should Congress ban foreign ownership of certain private businesses or operations - like ports management - in the U.S.?
Yes. Our national security requires that certain aspects of our nation's critical infrastructure be owned and operated by our government or American businesses. We should review how such acquisitions are reviewed and presented to the President, rather than ignore the issue again just as soon as the publicity over the Dubai ports deal recedes in our memory.
I am a cosponsor of legislation that would address these issues, The Reform of National Security Reviews of Foreign Direct Investment Act. The bill amends the procedures of the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). It establishes CFIUS as a matter of law and provides for a national security review of pending transactions involving foreign investment that threatens to impair the national security of the United States. The House Financial Services Committee, of which I am a member, unanimously approved the bill on June 14, 2006. The House passed H.R. 5337 in July. The Senate has passed its own version of the bill which now awaits final action in Conference Committee.
What steps can or should Congress take to strengthen U.S. companies struggling against foreign competitors?
We should stop entering foolish trade deals that provide no enforceable worker protections and put American business at an insuperable disadvantage, and we should insist that other governments not manipulate their currency or create other barriers to U.S. imports.
In the longer run, however, our economic future cannot depend on low-skilled jobs in labor intensive industries. To have the highest standard of living in the world, we must have the most skilled workforce in the world, which is why I have made support for community colleges my priority in Congress; we must be the most innovative economy in the world, which is why I have supported basic research, including research into alternative energy and energy efficient technology, and the commercialization of research; and we must remain the most agile economy in the world, which is why I have supported programs to assist small businesses, especially those based on innovative research.
Should Congress take further steps to cut the influence of lobbyists and special-interest groups?
Yes, this is not a new issue to me. I wrote legislation in the North Carolina Senate to limit the influence of political patronage in state government hiring. This year in Congress, I co-sponsored the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. The act would slow the unseemly revolving door between government and lobbying firms by strengthening the "cooling off" period before former members of Congress and senior government officials can work in the private sector. (I introduced similar legislation while serving in the North Carolina legislature). The legislation also prohibits gifts from lobbyists to Members of Congress and staff. And it requires that individuals appointed to certain positions involving public safety possess proven credentials, training and expertise relevant to the position
"We learned on September 11, 2001, that we are still a great nation, that we are still a courageous and resilient people, that we will still make any sacrifice required to protect our democracy and our way of life. We were reminded what extraordinary people ordinary Americans are. "Today we honor the extraordinary acts of all of those ordinary Americans. And today we renew the pride and the resolve that we felt five years ago."
Brad Miller is a REAL DEMOCRAT!