Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wisconsin 6th Congressional District Democratic Candidate John Curry Challenges Man Who Introduced the Draconian Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Wisconsin 6th Congressional District Seat Democratic Write-In Candidate John Curry Challenges Man Who Introduced the Draconian the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Very promising to see that Curry is fighting this act. He even had to run on a write-in basis. As he states the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is a “…bill [that states that] anybody who protests an animal enterprise loses their First Amendment rights. It makes a direct assault on the First Amendment and the right to protest."


Democratic write-in tries for Congressional seat

By Anna Krejci
Dells Events

On Nov. 7 voters in Adams and Marquette counties will have a choice between re-electing Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., or voting in Democratic write-in candidate John Curry of Waupun to fill the 6th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Curry, a write-in candidate who failed to get the 5,000 votes necessary in the Sept. 12 primary election to have his name appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, is in the midst of his first political race. He is running against Petri, who has served for 27 years as a Congressman, sine 1979.

Petri, 66, was born in Marinette. He attended Fond du Lac public schools before studying law at Harvard University. He practiced law in Fond du Lac while serving in the Wisconsin Senate from 1973 - 1979.

Before he was a state senator, he served as a law clerk to a federal judge from 1965-1966. He was a Peace Corps volunteer and U.S. Aid for International Development worker in Somalia from 1966-1967. He was the executive director of the Ripon Society in 1968 and a White House aide working in anti-drug efforts from 1969 - 1970.

He is married and has one daughter.

Curry, a handicap van driver for S&R Taxi in Waupun, was born on a California air force base in 1958 and graduated from high school in Renton, Wash., just south of Seattle. He earned dual associates degrees in police science and correctional science from Moraine Park Technical College before working in a group home trying to change the behavior of young adolescents guilty of crimes such as shoplifting.

Curry worked in the setting for two years before quitting. He left the work because he said the state began treating the group home as a correctional facility, sending older children who were guilty of drug dealing and prostitution.

"We were warehousing more than treating at that point, and I just burned out on the system," Curry said.

Curry drove cabs in Fond du Lac for four years before working as a can line mechanic for 10 years for Silgan Containers in Waupun, a manufacturer of tin cans.

He has been married for 27 years and has one stepson.

Working man's view

"I think the first thing I'll bring to Congress is a working man's point of view," Curry said, adding that he never made more than $50,000 a year in his life. "I've always worked for a living," he said.
He said he understands what it means to live from paycheck to paycheck and the "devastating" effects of not having national health care.

Curry said he is running because he disapproves of the way the current Bush administration is running the country and that his opponent, Petri, tends to run unopposed.

Petri voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which Curry says violates rights such as that to challenge being detained. Curry said it allows the president to define torture and those facing charges aren't allowed to see all of the evidence that may be gathered against them. It was passed in the House and Senate after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that the current way the administration was dealing with detainees suspected of terrorism was unconstitutional.

Petri defends act

Petri contends that with the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 detainees will be dealt with according to the constitution. He said the act does not allow the president to define what is and is not torture and that those held in custody would have to have access to evidence against them or else it wouldn't be admissible in court.
Curry also criticized Petri on a bill he introduced, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

"In that bill anybody who protests an animal enterprise loses their First Amendment rights. It makes a direct assault on the First Amendment and the right to protest," Curry said.

Petri defended the bill, saying it has bi-partisan support. The bill would allow charges at the federal level to be brought against individuals who harass or threaten people involved with animal enterprise. The definition of animal enterprise is expanded to include a commercial enterprise "that uses or sells animals or animal products for profit." It includes furriers, breeders, animal shelters, and pet stores. The bill provides penalties for people who purposefully damage property or "cause bodily harm or place a person in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm," according to a column provided by Petri's office.

Petri said he supports the right to express opinions and to convince others of the worthiness of their cause, but wants to protect researchers and business owners from extremists.

"That is the line we're trying to draw," Petri said.

Curry sees a need for change in other areas besides the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

"The first thing that has to be done that hasn't been done is to make government accountable to the people who elected them," Curry said.

He said Medicare should be allowed to deal directly with drug companies. There cannot be tax cuts during wartime, he said. He said Halliburton misplaced money it received from the federal government to carry out work in Iraq and it needs to be accounted for or returned to the government. He said he saw a BBC report that reported U.S. troops are eating two meals a day and are being charged for housing. He disagrees with both policies, he said.

Curry said he would change the way citizens are taxed. Income tax shouldn't exceed 50 percent of income, but someone making $1 million a year should pay 35 percent to 40 percent of their gross income in taxes. Somebody earning minimum wage shouldn't pay more than 5 percent to 10 percent of income towards taxes, he said.

Both see need for change
Curry is not alone in thinking there is need for changes in the current administration. Petri agrees.

"I figure there's always room for improvement," he said.
"We clearly have to have better management of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars in terms of the rebuilding effort in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan," he said. The United States can do a better job building coalitions in the Middle East so that U.S. troops can come home sooner, he added.

Petri called himself a strong supporter for student loan reform and providing more money in the form of Pell Grants.

Petri said he opposed the U.S. Department of Education's move to cut the Troops to Teachers Program that helps military personnel become school teachers.

Petri has served 27 years
Some of his biggest accomplishments during the 27 years he has served in the U.S. House of Representatives include the passage of the expanded earned income tax credit program in 1986. If earned income is less than $12,000-$13,000 a year individuals earn a tax credit, he said.

Another major accomplishment was increasing the amount of federal transportation money Wisconsin received from the gas tax it contributed. In the early 1980s for every dollar Wisconsin paid in federal gas tax, the state would receive 70 cents back, Petri said. Now for every dollar paid in gas tax, Wisconsin gets $1.06 back.

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