President Obama is having a “seriously good year,” as Paul Krugman pointed out on Monday. Health reform is now a reality, despite the efforts of Republicans, including our own Rep. Tom Reed, to keep millions of Americans from acquiring affordable health insurance. Also on Monday, the White House announced that the President would be issuing a regulation prohibiting discrimination against members of the LGBT community by federal contractors. Slate notes that as many as 16 million workers, or one-fifth of the work force are employed by such contractors and will be protected. Yesterday it was revealed that U.S. special forces and the FBI had captured the prime suspect in the murder of Americans and the torching of the consulate at Benghazi, Libya.
These successes are hard for the Tea Party to swallow, but what really has the Koch brothers in a twist is the President’s carbon emissions reduction plan, announced on June 2. This plan would require states to take measures that will reduce overall carbon emissions by 30 percent. Koch Industries are heavily invested in coal and oil, and the brothers are worried because two-thirds of Americans support the President’s initiative.
At a recent closed-door summit at an exclusive California resort, the Koch brothers reportedly raised hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy attendees to fight the President’s climate initiative, assure a Republican victory in the 2014 congressional mid-terms, and prevent Hillary Clinton from ever becoming President.
The public supports the President in reducing carbon emissions because the results of climate change are plain for all to see. Here in Yates County, we continue to struggle with freakish weather, including a recent micro-burst that flooded much of downtown Penn Yan. Last night a vicious hail storm damaged crops and gardens.
Republicans in Congress, including Tom Reed, continue to urge the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Speaker Boehner refuses to bring to the floor legislation that would protect the LGBT community in the workplace, and there will be no comprehensive climate change legislation while Republicans control the House.
For voters in New York’s 23rd who favor affordable health care, inclusiveness, and protecting the environment, the choice in November is clear. That choice is Martha Robertson.