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Weekly Newsletter - March 12, 2018

This Week's Action Items

#1: CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR
In the Fight for $15, the General Assembly is considering companion bills to gradually raise the minimum wage so that many Marylanders can make a decent living. But while the House of Delegates seems to have enough votes for passage, the bill (SB 543) is a few short in the State Senate. You can call Sen. Eckardt's office to lobby for the measure at 410-841-3590. 

#2: HOLD HARRIS ACCOUNTABLE
You can ask Rep. Andy Harris at a Friday Town Hall why he isn't supporting legislation to ban assault weapons. You can also question him on why he isn't supporting a solution for the DACA situation, as well as inconsistencies in immigration policy. (See the event listing below for details)

#3: STOP A NEW FINANCIAL CRISIS
The Senate is trying to roll back financial rules that are aimed at preventing another financial meltdown, like the one that occurred in 2007-08 because of shenanigans by big banks. The Senate is considering the deceivingly-titled “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” (S. 2155) as Indivisible.org calls it, after the House passed its own version last year. Call our Senators to tell them you appreciate their opposition to the bill and ask them to continue blocking it: Sen Cardin (202-224-4524); Sen. Van Hollen (202-224-4654)

Monitoring Rep. Andy Harris, #9:  THE COMPANY HE KEEPS ON GUN CONTROL  

Do you think that arming schoolteachers is a good idea?  President Trump sure does.  But that should come as no surprise, since he seems to take his cues from Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

So do far too many members of Congress, which has repeatedly failed to enact any sort of gun control legislation.  They couldn’t even pass a law banning, or at least regulating, bump stocks, the devices that utilize the natural recoil motion of a semi-automatic rifle to facilitate rapid fire similar to an automatic firearm, one of which was used by Stephen Paddock to mow down 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas last October.

Is Andy Harris one of the far too many?  Is he a party to the “gross negligence” of which Sen. Chris Van Hollen has accused the Republican leadership in Congress?  Yes.  According to the Baltimore Sun, at a March 1 town hall in Joppa, “Harris said he would support local initiatives to allow teachers, such as military veterans or others qualified to use firearms, to carry guns in schools to prevent another mass shooting.”  The Congressman himself said, “I have no problem letting them carry a firearm in a school building because honestly, the way you stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Paging John Wayne.  In addition:
Harris has sided with the Christian Coalition in opposing restrictions on the right to bear arms.
On Feb. 20, The Baltimore Sun reported that, ”Rep. Andy Harris, the state’s sole Republican in Congress, has received $20,450 in campaign funding from gun rights supporters — such as the National Rifle Association  ($11,000) -- since 2014.” The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in U.S. politics, cites an even higher number from the NRA:  $25,447 since 2008.  He is the only member of the Maryland Congressional delegation to receive NRA money.
Since 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, “Congress has not taken definitive action on gun issues.  One reason is that, “Harris…has voted in favor of loosening rules on buying or owning guns each time the issue has come up.”
MoveOn.org is currently circulating a petition asking Harris to “Give back or donate the > $24,000 with which the NRA has bought your vote.”
According to On the Issues, a website that covers electoral politics, Harris sponsored or co-sponsored:
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 197 and S. 845), which establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state.  This bill supersedes all state laws regulating concealed guns.  He called it “common-sense legislation” on the House floor.
The Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act (H.R. 58 and S. 1691), which loosens restrictions on interstate gun purchases.  In so doing, he and pooh-poohed the findings of a Project Vote Smart survey that concluded that the majority of respondents oppose loosening those restrictions.
The Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act (H.R. 420 and S. 798), which allows veterans to register unlicensed guns acquired abroad.

We are now at a crossroads. The horror of the Parkland attacks has brought this hypocrisy clearly into focus. We can’t turn our heads, pretend it will go away, or temporize any longer. It’s time to act.
In our hearts, we, the American people, know what’s right. It’s not difficult. Dangerous, deadly assault weapons. high-capacity magazines and buttstocks, designed and used for killing people, should be banned. It’s that simple.  And it’s time for our Congressman either to get on the right side of history, or to get out of the way.

--PETE HOWELL
This is a new weekly feature spotlighting Andy Harris' record. Send suggestions to talbot.rising@gmail.com.

Events Rising

March 16 - Rep. Harris Town Hall
Details: 6:30-7:30 pm, Stephen Decatur Middle School, 9815 Seahawk Road, Berlin, MD
Rep. Andy Harris will hold a Town Hall in Wicomico County for all constituents, with a special focus on immigration, as well as other issues.

March 16 - Free Legal Clinic
Details: 1 pm, Talbot County Courthouse, Easton
Mid-Shore Pro Bono is offering free legal advice on a broad range of civil legal issues. Meet with a volunteer to review your situation. Call 410-690-8128 to make an appointment on March 16 or 30. There will also be an elder law clinic on March 22 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Talbot County Senior Center.

March 18 - Congressional Candidate Forum
Details: 4 pm, Avalon Theatre, Easton
Democratic candidates for the First Congressional District will appear at the annual Talbot County Democratic Forum. There will be food and a silent auction, followed by a brief party business meeting at 5 pm, and then the candidates will speak. Those attending are Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Michael Pullen and Steve Worton. For more information, visit www.demforum.com

March 19 - Harris Tele-Town Hall
Details: 5:30-6:30 pm, conference call
Rep. Harris will hold another in a series of tele-town halls. You can ask him to explain his support for assault weapons. Go to https://harris.house.gov/live

March 19 - FORUM ON OPIOID CRISIS
Details: 7 - 8:30 pm, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 S. Washington St., Easton
What's working and what's not as Talbot County families struggle with this epidemic. Dr. Fredia Wadley, health officer of Talbot County, and Dr. Benjamin Kohl, Mid-Shore Programs Director of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, will discuss: The Way Forward for Talbot Families.

- Views and Updates -

HARRIS PUSHES CAMPUS IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN
Rep. Andy Harris is renewing his efforts to force local law enforcement on college campuses to spend their time doing immigration enforcement instead. In a message to constituents recently, Harris touted his efforts to penalize universities who won't do immigration crackdowns.

Harris has sponsored the Federal Immigration Law Campus Compliance Act, known as HR 1342. Introduced last year, it would withhold research funding to universities if they did not help out on immigration enforcement actions known as detainers or report students to immigration officials.

And under the bill, according to the Library of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security has very broad powers: "DHS may request from any entity that receives federal funds other immigration-related information pertaining to an alien that is not otherwise precluded from disclosure."

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WATCH TALBOT RISING TV
Talbot Rising has produced a series of video programs taped at the Avalon Theater with MCTV. You can watch these informative exchanges on YouTube. Here's your quick program guide and easy links:
Affordable Care Act
Nuclear Weapons
Immigration Assistance
Unionville Anniversary
Local Schools
Single-Payer Healthcare
The Opioid Crisis

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GO ONLINE FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM TR
Find updated events, useful links, and more about Talbot Rising:
• Updated website: www.talbotrising.org
• Videos on healthcare, immigration, opioids and more. Go to YouTubeand search for Talbot Rising.
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