My Name is Norma Duffy,
There are too many officials in our state government who have forgotten who they are supposed to represent and serve. As a lifelong resident of Beaverhead County, a businesswoman, farmer, public advocate, and single mother, I have no tolerance for the bad politics-as-usual, interfering with our future as Montanans.
It is wrong for partisan-politics to win over the needs and desires of the people. It is wrong for corporate interests to buy votes and avoid taxes while Montanan's struggle every day to pay their taxes... only to have their voices not heard in our state capital.
Our state is not broken, as certain people say... it is growing, and our coffers are full. Montana will always need more job opportunities, security, education and inovation in place to continually succeed. We need a steady hand while the rest of the country's ecomony comes back to do business with us.... and we can do it while keeping our state pristine, and our rights intact!
If these are the qualities you value in a Legislator then vote for me and ask your friends to vote for me. Someone needs to work for the people, for a change!
Economic Growth and Jobs:
I Believe, Investing In Employees Is Important For Business To Succeed.
We always need more industry and jobs in this state. and I intend to work hard for Montanans to get it done! This state, has huge potiental to do better then it has. Right Now, Montana ranks better then half the states in the country, regarding the costs of doing business. We need to make that apparent in everything we do to attract more business to our area.
Tax credits should aim at increasing growth in business, but not at the expense of hurting American wage earners. Wages should be fair and allow a family to live outside of poverty.
The minimum wage and earned income tax credit must be maintained and strengthened.
Labor Unions & Fair Trade:
I support Labor Unions! Montana has a good history with unions protecting workers rights. By forming unions, employees can work collectively to improve working conditions, including wages and benefits, hours and job safety, and to resolve disagreements of employees and employers and to find the best ways to get the work done.
Labor unions are the backbone of our middle class. Keeping unions healthy protects even non labor workers in this state!
Trade between countries should be free with minimal protection or tariffs as long as the rules of fair trade are followed. Fair trade involves setting environmental, labor, and safety standards that all countries must adhere to while allowing them to maintain existing competitive advantages. Economic advantage should be based on economic factors not political restrictions.
Trade unions must be allowed to operate freely in all countries, establishing a level playing field between business and labor. Free trade does not exist where labor unions are not allowed to operate, or are excessively restricted.
Markets must be regulated sufficiently to maintain their competitive nature and avoid monopolistic practices or fraud. Trade is one of Montanas fastest growing industries in state, with other countries.
Education must be fully funded, class sizes manageable, student expectations high, and control should be local with high parental involvement.
Public education should not be privatized, the profit motive works well for producing and selling goods where the payment and benefit is immediate. But it does not work for a long-term public good like education whose individual benefits are not realized for many years. We must never create an education system where a child's education is limited to what their parents can afford.
Religious preference shouldn't interfere in the sciences, and teachings of any school that is public... there is a wall of "Separation of Church and State" on public schools. Accommodations should be made for Parents who do not want Sex Education Classes for their children, but classes shouldn't be stripped from other parents who wish their children to have those classes!
All schools should have Mandatory " anti-bullying " regulations in place.
Parents should receive real tax breaks helping them to save for their children's college.
Lastly, good public educators should be treated like heroes, in our community. They should be allowed to organize, be paid a good salary and given support to improve our children's future.
Discrimination cannot be tolerated in a free society.
Gay Marriage: I am for Gay Marriage. It is a commitment to love and care, between two people till death. This is what is heard in all wedding vows. Civil marriage vows emphasize love and commitment. Reproduction and child-rearing are not mentioned, nor is the sexual orientation of individuals. And, wedding vows, being the essential element of a wedding ceremony, should be seen as the most authoritative expression of what defines marriage. Gays can clearly qualify for marriage according to these vows, and any definition of marriage deduced from these vows.
Womens Right To Contraceptives And Health Care: Reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self determination, and equality embodied in both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I am a woman, who understands this! Every woman should be free to decide whether and when to have children; where every woman has access to the best reproductive healthcare available; where every woman can exercise her choices without coercion or discrimination. Contraception has already proven to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
Health Care For All:
Work on reducing cost escalation and increasing access to our health care system. Universal access to health insurance should be the goal for all Montanans. Its the goal that is important, not how it is achieved, all regulatory and market oriented options should be considered.
What we have now in the New "Health Care Act," is by no means perfect, but it is a good start! I believe this will bring down health care costs, and help stabilize Medicare well into the future! Not to mention bring down the countries debt!
Who can argue with what it has achieved right now!
Insurance companies will be prohibited from placing lifetime caps – limits on the amount of money that can eventually be paid out – on their policies. They’ll face new restrictions on setting annual caps, as well.
Insurance companies also will be prohibited from pulling your coverage, except in case of fraud or intentional misrepresentation.
Children won’t be excluded from coverage due to pre-existing health conditions. Plus, children will be able to stay on their parents’ policy until age 26.
Small businesses that offer health coverage to employees will be eligible for tax credits of up to 50 percent of premium costs.
Seniors who fall into the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole”, in the middle of the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan will get $250 to help them pay their bills.
People with pre-existing health conditions will be able to enroll in a new, national high-risk insurance plan.
Other parts of the plan do not go into effect until 2014, but we are getting closer to enjoying a single payer system every day! I will continue to keep us on this path.
Lets Be Adults About Tax Breaks:
Tax breaks must be focused on business that invest in their communities and on the middle class working to save for college and retirement. It should never be a give away to the wealthy or big business. Economic growth does not occur from the top-down by the wealthy who are already making their contribution (diminished returns). It occurs when the investment is made in the middle.
Overall Taxes should be progressive with three tax rates (poor, middle, wealthy). The rich should pay a higher percentage.
People who complain that government spends wastefully or too much, just to make a political point without furthering detail of where the waste is and how much spending can be cut, will hurt this states ability to handle emergencies, or invest in cutting edge technology that will benefit all. Their kinds of arguements, without merits, should not be taken seriously.
I promise to look keenly into what we can do productivly as a state, and streamline government services without hurting the pockets of the people the state serves.
Environmental and Consumer Safety:
A Pristine Countryside Matters:
Air, water, and soil quality standards must be maintained, enforced and strengthened where needed. Companies that deal in dirty energy, knew from the beginning they were in a toxic business, therfore they should be more then willing to stick by regulations that protect the public health, as well as their bottom line. People's safety before profit must always come first in any business.
The same for Consumer safety standards for food, drugs, etc. Regulation of industry must cooperate with industry but should not be conducted by industry insiders or ideologue philosophically opposed to regulation.
Agriculture and Rural Development:
I support the Montana Democratic Platform Regarding Rural Development!
I support agricultural policies designed to promote and enhance a decentralized, sustainable, community-based family farm system of agriculture, as opposed to the centralized, globalized, and industrialized model of agriculture.
It is crucial that measures be taken to assure farmers and ranchers opportunities for profit supported by fair trade policies, value-added enterprise, market promotion, country of origin labeling, availability of credit and fair prices. I believe that in order for the farmer and rancher to survive, transportation for inputs and commodities must be competitive and reasonably priced.
Family farming and ranching is a valuable economic, social and cultural institution, which must be preserved through public policies that make it financially possible to sustain the family-oriented agricultural production so vital to our state.
Public agricultural policies should be modified to include a financial security net with a goal of no net loss in the population of family agriculture producers. Montana Democtats support legislation that will enhance food security and maintain fair market access by curtailing the concentration of US agricultural production by multi-national corporations.
Hunting, Fishing & Outdoor Recreation Activities:
Gun Rights Are Essential:
I support the right to keep and bear arms as defined in both the Montana and U.S. Constitutions. I recognize that hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities are essential components of the Montana culture. I also believe that the opportunity for Montana families to enjoy nature’s bounty is an important part of our state’s heritage.
I support the public ownership of the fish, wildlife, streams and rivers of our state, and believe that the state holds these resources in trust for the beneficial use of its citizens. As such, I believe that Montanans are entitled to reasonable access to these public resources, consistent with private property rights, and that no commercial entity should be allowed to hold a vested interest in them.
Access to public lands and waters should be maintained and increased, and public lands should not be diminished in size or recreational quality. I oppose any net loss of publically owned lands, or corporate control of those lands.
I will defend, without compromise, Montana’s Current Stream Access Law, including the public’s right to access streams at public bridges.
Voting And Democracy:
Voting must be actively encouraged and made as easy and accurate as possible. Campaign finance standards must be open, monitored and set with the goal that elections are won more by ideas and issues, than drowning out an opponent with paid messages, via Super Pacs.
The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy. Yet most Americans do not realize that we do not have a constitutionally protected right to vote. While there are amendments to the U.S. Constitution that prohibit discrimination based on race (15th), sex (19th) and age (26th), no affirmative right to vote exists.
Citizens United must be overturned by U.S. constitional ammendment as soon as possible and we must be vigilant against corporations and PAC money that wish to drown out individual voices in Montana! The more people who are allowed the right to vote in our state, the less chance any vote can be bought, or coerced
Freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion must be maintained, within our constution. We cannot sacrifice our freedoms on the alter of fear and insecurity.
Internationally, democracy and self determination of people and ethnic groups must be a main goal of our foreign policy. This will reduce conflicts and produce a more peaceful and prosperous international community. We cannot force our life style but we must encourage a free and open process. Foreign aid should be focused on reducing poverty not financing trade or arms sales.
They Protect Us, We Should Give Back:
An adequately funded and professional police and fire fighting force are vital to a secure society. The community should be actively involved with helping with their activities, functions and monitoring. Professional standards, community involvement, continual training and awareness programs will create effective organizations. Our Volunteer Fire Department, should be given every chance to recieve federal and state funds to be the best for our community.
Criminal justice should not be based on one size fits all mandatory sentencing guidelines. Property crimes should allow for more restitution based outcomes. Victim rights must be standardized and parole processes should be open, monitored and accountable. Rehabilitation efforts should be standardized, available and monitored, with repeat offenses punished harshly.
PROUDLY ENDORSED BY