Thursday, December 29, 2005

Op-ed: Who is "us"?

I'm sure Lynn Elliot is wondering why the "economy boosting" tax cuts Wally voted for wouldn't help pay for the social programs he helped cut. But I'm sure most people know how wasteful programs like "nursing homes, spending on home care for those on Medicaid, and decrease food stamps" really are. Oh...and student loan programs too. Talk about your budget fat!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Budget Woes

Wally and Senator Feinstein are working together to help out some of the northern counties here in California.

Budgets could lose funds: "School officials like French and road maintenance workers are watching nervously to see if President Bush and federal lawmakers reinstate a bill that provides funding to road maintenance and schools in many rural counties in California, Oregon and Washington. The funds compensate for lost logging revenue after large portions of old-growth forests were closed to timber harvest when the Northern Spotted Owl was listed as a federally protected species in 1990."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

To Wally and Staff

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I'll see you on the flip side.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I remember that one of the criticisms that Wally ran into in the last election was that he wasn't effective in getting Federal money for his district. California's 2nd District has levees, roads, schools, bridges, and all the other things that taxes pay for. It's not like we're asking for a bridge to nowhere. The Oroville Mercury-Register Online ran a story about how Doolittle (R CA-4) got $450,000 for projects in Oroville. I'm not sure if the last graph was a dig at Wally or what.

It couldn't be determined Wednesday whether Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, had inserted money for local projects in the appropriations bill.

I don't know about you, but that sounds like something a staffer in Wally's office might know...I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Anchor Babies

Immigration is a nice distraction from Iraq. Almost every place in the country you can look around and see people not speaking English. It's almost long as you don't count the whole "give us your tired, your poor, etc., etc." nonsense.

From the SacBee we learn that Wally is backing a bill that would deny citizenship to babies born in the US if their parents are not here legally. Apparently the fact that this would violate the 14th Amendment is not lost on our duly elected representatives in Washington.

"We do have an ongoing problem with these 'anchor' babies," (Devin) Nunes said, "but we also have a tough time with changing the law."

It's not just "the law," it's the Constitution. I'm sure the irony that this country was founded by immigrants is, in fact, lost on our representatives in Washington. Maybe they should just propose a bill that would place all financial burden of the illegal parents on the "anchor baby." It could work just like the national debt.

To be honest I'm a bit surprised that Wally is backing this bill since he is a "friend" of the farmer here in the north state. Cheap manual labor around here is traditionally done by immigrant workers. I'm not saying that the immigrant worker population is here illegally, I'm just saying I doubt many people are keeping up with the checking of paperwork. You gotta keep those prices down you know.

Update: The LA Times picks up on the story as well. No mention of Wally though.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Paradise Lost

A horrible pun, I apologize. But it seems Jamie O'Neil from Paradise is none too happy with Wally's latest mailer to us, his constituents. Well, you can't make everyone happy.

Welfare Reform

No...not for corporations, for poor people! Or, as the Wall Street Journal likes to call them, "Lucky Duckies."

Too bad that while welfare is on the chopping block (and yes, making sure fewer people can be on welfare is chopping it) that wages are going down.

Oh well, the stock market is back to around where it was when Bush started his term. Yay for fiscal responsibility!

Wally Strikes Back at Bee

Wally, along with Doolittle and Pombo, take issue with a SacBee editorial (which I failed to link to previously).

Other Sites

Definately check out Take Back Red California.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Monday, September 26, 2005

Action Alert: Rebuild

Move On is running a campaign to get some sanity in the rebuilding process.

Here is the extra text that I added:

I understand that in the theoretical world of supply side economics tax cuts and the free market will solve all problems. We do not live in a theoretical world though and it would be irresponsible for us to ignore the impact that the ballooning deficit will have on the economy if we simply leave the tax cuts in place and impose this massive debt on the next 10 generations.

Taxes are not punishment. a progressive tax system does require that people who can pay more do so. But the taxes we pay are our dues for citizenship.

We cannot afford this continued phase of 'Reaganomics' on steroids.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

2005 Town Hall Meeting Schedule

From Wally's Reports From Washington newsletter.

I will be holding a series of town hall meetings throughout our Congressional District. Town hall meetings are an excellent opportunity to influence what happens in Congress. I hope you and your neighbors will come and participate by asking questions, offering comments, and helping me to represent you better.

Tuesday, August 23

9:00 am - Yuba County One Stop
1114 Yuba Street

1:00 pm - Gridley City Council Chambers
685 Kentucky Street

Wednesday, August 24

9:00 am - City Council Chambers
701 Fourth Street

3:00 pm - Trinity County Library
211 North Main Street

Thursday, August 25

9:00 am - City Council Chambers
201 north Lassen Street

1:00 pm - City Council Chambers
425 Webster Street

5:00 pm - Public Library Office
250 First Street

Friday, August 26

Red Bluff
11:00 am - City Council Chambers
555 Washington Street

3:00 pm - City Council Chambers
1887 Howard Street

Sunday, August 07, 2005

H.R. 550

Be sure to talk to your rep about H.R. 550. Wally will be in Chico August 16th. I'm not sure where, I will post updates when I find out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Regarding Rove

Typically my letters to Wally are canned Action Alerts. This is the most basic, straight forward way I can think to ask him about Karl Rove.

To The Honorable Wally Herger

This message is about Karl Rove.

Can we agree that what he did, which is currently no longer in dispute, was wrong?

The Op-eds Keep Coming

At Wally's Social Security "Town Hall Mettings" should the audience have been more polite? Yes. Should Wally try to survive on talking points alone? Nope.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Wally Votes to Cut Public Radio Funds

Shocked! Shocked, I say!

In an e-mail statement sent Friday to the Enterprise-Record, Herger wrote that public broadcasting is a popular program, but Congress needs to make many discretionary program cuts reduce the budget deficit - projected to be $487 billion next year - while funding priorities such as the war on terror.

"While these spending decisions are difficult and, in some cases, may not be popular, these uniquely challenging times require that we tighten our belts as Americans and make some difficult choices " Herger wrote.

So let me sum that up for you: tax cuts for the top 1% are more important than the "war on terror" and they should also be exempt from any belt tightening. The other 99% of us can just suck it up and love America. Thanks, Wally.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Does Wally Stand with Rove?

Sent via e-mail.

Recently Karl Rove speaking to a conservative audience said that "liberals" wanted to give the terrorists therapy, file indictments and that I basically want to see US troops die. Recently Tom DeLay stood up and said that it wasn't slander, it was the truth. Karl Rove and Tom DeLay have basically called me a traitor to my country and a coward.

I have three questions that I'm asking you to address.

Do you stand behind Karl Rove's words? (The full text of his remarks can be found online -- I have not seem them posted on the White House website yet)

Do you believe that because people consider me a "liberal" that I am a traitor to my country?

Do you believe that I want to see US troops die because I am considered a "liberal?"

Thank you for your time in this matter,

Patrick Berry

Friday, June 17, 2005

Wally Respons on H.R. 683

Apparently I never posted my Action Alert message on H.R. 683. But never fear, here is Wally's response.

Dear Patrick:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about H.R. 683, the Trademark Dilution Revision. Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.

As you may know, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas introduced H.R. 683 on February 9,2005. This legislation aims to clarify the intent of Congress in an earlier law, the Trademark Act of 1946, with respect to "dilution" of trademarks. Dilution is defined as the lessening of a trademark's capacity to identify and distinguish goods and services. The likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception on the consumer's part is not considered to be necessary for a dilution to occur. However, in the 2003 case of Mosely v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc., the Supreme Court held that the 1946 law required a trademark owner to prove "actual harm," even for a charge of dilution. H.R. 683 clarifies that a judge may consider other relevant factors in determining whether dilution has occurred.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 683 by a 411-8 vote on April 19, 2005. I supported this bill because I believe it refines existing trademark law and strikes a more reasonable balance between the interests of trademark owners and other parties. As a strong supporter of private property rights, I believe it is important to ensure that the law adequately protects trademark ownership.

While I understand your concern that the dilution provisions of H.R. 683 could create an unfair advantage for established companies, the bill also aims to reduce trademark dilution lawsuits by narrowing the definition of "trademark" and listing specific factors required to prove: dilution. Additionally, the sponsors of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act recognized the importance of free expression by explicitly exempting fair use of a trademark for "purposes of. identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods and .services of the famous mark owner."

Following its approval by the House, H.R. 683 now moves to the Senate for further consideration. If you have not already done so, you may wish to contact either or both of your U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, so that they may have the benefit of hearing your views.

Again, thank you for your correspondence. As always, please don't hesitate to contact me in the future regarding this or any other federal issue important to you.

Wally Herger
Member of Congress

Friday, June 10, 2005

Wally Responds on H.R. 550

Back in March I took action to let Wally know about a good E-Voting bill. Here is his response.

Dear Patrick:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 550, the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005." I appreciate your thoughts on this subject.

As you may know, Representative Rush Holt introduced H.R. 550 on February 2,2005. Specifically, the bill seeks to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to provide for an extension of time for States to request payments for activities to improve administration of elections and for replacement of punch card or lever voting machines. The bill would also repeal the exemption of the Election Assistance Commission from certain Government contracting requirements (thus requiring the Commission to advertise for proposals for purchases and contracts for supplies or services), and revise audit capacity requirements to require the voting system to produce a voter-verified paper record suitable for a manual audit equivalent or superior to that of a paper ballot box system. Following its introduction, this measure was referred to the Committee on House Administration for further consideration.

While I do not serve on the committee of jurisdiction over this issue, please be assured I will continue to monitor its progress. Should it come to the floor of the House, I will keep your views on this matter uppermost in mind.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Mail Call

Some mail bags fell from a USPS truck in Yreka. It's all been recovered and the USPS assured Wally everything was under control. It's good to know that Wally is concerned with identity theft. I wonder how he syncs that up with a Nation ID card?

Friday, June 03, 2005

More on AIDS Trials for Foster Children

I'm still trying very hard not to be cynical about Wally's stance on this. myDNA has a new more details on the situation.

The research was federally funded by the National Institute of Health and offered a means for foster children from Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, and New York to seek a possible cure or treatment for their disease.

It is alleged that the researchers did not adhere to the guidelines of the "Protection of Human Subjects," which states that any investigator using human test subjects must aquire legally effective informed consent from the subject, the parents, or a legal guardian. Since these foster children were not of legal age to consent and lacked a parent or legal guardian to offer such consent, researchers promised the NIH to involve medical advocates in their clinical trials, but failed to hold true to their word.

Initially I was worried that this was about restricting HIV tests, but that is clearly not the case.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Wally Backs Stem Cell Research

Wally made the last paragraph of a LA Times article on House Republicans going against the president on legislation to break free some more federal funding for research.

I'm glad Wally didn't take the same tone as House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who said that, "If we afford the little embryo any shred of respect and dignity we cannot in good faith use taxpayer dollars to destroy them.'' He added, "That is the essence of the experiment: Kill some in the hopes of saving others." If Wally had done that he would have looked like a huge hypocrite because that last sentence is "The War on Terror."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Credit on Cuba

David Paul Brown, of The Paradise Post, gives Wally some love over his stance on travel to Cuba.

This has long been overdue. We've diplomatically dealt with, traded with and cozied up to, not only other communist countries, but also other unsavory figures like Castro for decades if we deemed it in our interests. We need to be able to visit Cuba, traveling legally from our shores vs. having to go there via Mexico or wherever. Cuban-American migrs need to be able to be able to visit loved ones in Cuba.

While most democracies and allies of ours have engaged in commerce, travel and cultural exchanges with Cuba for years, we've been too often been influenced by the anti-Castro Cuban vote, especially in Miami. I think a little good will could go along way in changing Cuba for the better and as the strongest nation an earth, what are we afraid of?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Saving the Land from the People

Many summers ago I worked for the Nature Conservancy. They work to "preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive." That sounds pretty good, right?

One of the ways they get people to help is to donate land. In exchange for helping to save diversity of life on Earth you get a nice tax break. Well it seems that some people don't like this system. Yup, you guessed it. Wally thinks the system is "rife with abuse." I wish the story had more about what Wally was saying because I thought all Republicans liked tax breaks. Maybe I'll send a him a request for clarification.

Wally Continues to Protect Foster Children

One of the areas that I don't cover enough is Wally's stance on foster children. It's good. He's been banging on the drum about these poor kids being enrolled in clinical drug trials for HIV. Yes, many times these trials were life saving treatments -- and you could look at this in a cynical way, saying that Herger just wants to spend less money on saving foster children that have HIV. I just don't think Wally has that in him. I honestly think he is trying to look out for these kids.

I'll try and keep an eye on this subject and see where he takes it though, just to be on the safe side.

Wally's 2005 Legislation

A Thomas link to Wally's 2005 legistration has been added in the Quick Access Wally sidebar. This is only legislation that he sponsored and does not count bills that he has cosponsored.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

To Havana!

From the Editorial Board at the Paradise Post we learn that Wally is cosponsoring (along with 57 other Congress critters!) a bill (H.R.1814) which basically tells Bush to ram his Cuba travel policy. It's a remarkably short and easy to read bill. I'm not really sure if this is some kind of delayed April Fool's Day joke or what.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Action Alert: Pentagon Requests Environmental Waivers

I visit the NRDC's Earth Action Center and send a letter:

I urge you to vote to reject the Department of Defense's request for exemptions from public health and environmental laws. Specifically, please do not exempt the Pentagon from the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) during consideration of the Defense Authorization bill.

The president already has the authority to waive these laws for national security reasons. But the Defense Department has yet to request any waiver, and has made no case to Congress for blanket waivers that could endanger public health. In the end, our military families who live in and around bases would suffer the most. Local communities also would be adversely affected as they are left to foot the bill for cleanup or deal with permanent blight.

Again, I urge you to protect America's military families and other communities and uphold our environmental laws. Please vote "No" on language that would exempt the Pentagon from these important public health statues.

I predict a response along the lines of, "we are at war, we must do what ever it takes, blah blah blah."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Personal Moment

The Hill looks at the age of the "people in charge" and we find that Wally met his wife in D.C. Just a little factoid for your day.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

More Rudeness

John Busch also writes a letter to the editor of the Chico Enterprise Record about rudeness at Wally's Social Security Town Hall meetings. I've had my say on rudeness. Perhaps if President Bush wasn't carefully vetting his audience and his minions allowed people with different opinions in to his town hall meetings he would also be met with people who want to let him know that they don't agree with him.

But John was also bothered by how "private" and "privitization" were being cast as negatives in the debate by some people. Simply put the government is good at absorbing risk and Social Security is a big insurance program designed at absorbing the risk of retiring into poverty. In terms of this debate "privitization" means taking the risk on as your own. There is also the idea that Bush is intent on phasing out Social Security instead of fixing it. That could be where some of the rudeness is coming from.

I'll let Josh Marshall do the talking.

It's easy to get lost in verbiage about defined this and defined that and mazes of actuarial figures. The key, though, is the difference between an unsecured system and a secured one. That's why it's called Social Security and why phase-out is really the only candid way to describe what the president wants.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Is Wally Helping Farmers?

Devvy Kid doesn't think that Wally is standing up for family farmers.

For someone who allegedly was fighting for the rights of these attendees, apparently Herger forgot to mention something called the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 and the privately owned Federal Reserve and how these two mechanisms have gone hand in hand in destroying tens of thousands of family owned farms.

Ouch. Sounds like one of those Big 'C' conservatives isn't happy with Wally or the Rubber Stamp Congress in general.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Wally can't always be in the district, mingling with the common folks. So this post goes out to Dave Meurer, who has been all over the north state representing Wally. I'm sure I've missed lots of your appearances Dave. I'm sorry and I hope this goes a tiny bit towards repaying that debt.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How Rude

Leon P. Randall, of Chico, worries about rudeness towards Wally in his letter to the editor of the Chico Enterprise Record.

While I agree that discourse between our representatives should be polite and respectful, it doesn't mean that it can't be honest. If people feel that Wally is not telling them the truth about a topic, like Social Security, it is not rude to say so.

This isn't to say that he hasn't been treated rudely on occasion, as I'm sure he has. But rudeness on the part of some is no reason for the rest of us to feel that we shouldn't speak our minds to our elected officials.

The Company You Keep

Patrick Oliveria, of Paradise, sends a letter to the editor of the Chico Enterprise Record that says Wally may be a little to into cronyism. The DeLay Fiasco continues to be an anchor around the neck of the GOP.

Wally Responds: Ethics Committee

I have to admit that I don't recall what exact message this is in response to. But it's about Tom DeLay. Most of the letter is juiceless. But towards to end, there is a good part.

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns with the current impasse at the House Committee on Standards of Conduct, also commonly known as the House Ethics Committee. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

I agree with you about the importance of a credible ethics process. Congress needs to be steadfast in its commitment to high ethical standards and a functioning ethics process, which help uphold the credibility of this institution. The public's confidence in Congress and their elected representatives depends upon it. As such, I, too, regret the impasse that has delayed the formal organization of the House Ethics Committee in the 109th Congress, and am hopeful that those Members who have objected to the Committee's formation wi11lift those objections soon and allow us to move forward in a bipartisan manner.

The objections have focused primarily on several changes to the current ethics process adopted by the full House of Representatives as part of the larger organizational rules package that was approved in January. Each year at the beginning of a new Congress (in this case, the 109th, which began in January), the House adopts a set of rules to govern legislative and other activities throughout the duration of that particular Congress. Specifically, several changes were adopted in response to concerns raised by some Members that the ethics process, as it was then structured and had been operating, was too easily abused for political purposes. Other Members of Congress believed certain other changes were necessary to ensure proper due process is afforded to all individuals brought before the committee to answer for alleged ethics violations.

I agreed with the proposed changes and supported them during their consideration and adoption in January. On balance, I believe they represent minor changes that will go a long way toward insulating the process from political influence and providing Members additional due process protections, while still firmly adhering to the spirit and intent of our ethics regime.

As for the specific allegations directed against Majority Leader DeLay, I believe they are an unfortunate example of how these issues and the ethics process itself can be manipulated for political purposes. I have not seen anything to indicate that Majority Leader DeLay has violated any ethics rules or otherwise acted improperly or against the best interests of the people he represents. Indeed, Mr. DeLay has indicated his willingness to go before the committee and explain his actions.

Again, thank you for contacting me to express your views. Please don't hesitate to do so again on this or any other federal matter of importance to you.

Wally Herger
Member of Congress

He probably could have saved a sheet of paper and just said that IOKIYAR (It's Okay If You're A Republican).

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Rubber Stamp Wally?

Jack Jamison, writing in the Paradise Post, fears that Wally is helping turn Congress into a giant Yes machine for President Bush. He goes on and on about responsible government. I'm not sure what that is though.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

EFF Action Alert: Best E-voting Bill Reintroduced

Now, we all know that Wally isn't on any committee or sub-committee that deals with elections in anyway, and I expect my response to indicate just that. But we have to try.

Mar 24, 2005

Representative Wally Herger
United States House of Representatives
2268 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Herger,

I am a constituent who cares deeply about election integrity, and I am writing to voice my support for the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HB 550). HB 550 contains several important election reforms, including the requirement that all electronic voting machines have a paper audit trail. I believe that a paper trail is necessary for voter confidence in machines that cannot otherwise be properly audited.

In addition to the voter-verifiable paper audit trail, HB 550 requires voting machine vendors to make all of their computer code available for public inspection and requires random audits. These practices would increase transparency in our voting systems, encourage robust testing, and promote voter confidence.

These improvements can only improve the quality of our elections. If you have not already done so, I urge you to become a cosponsor of HB 550.

Mr. Patrick Berry

Take action!