Greetings, my name is Sean Closson. I'm a 25-year-old artist running in the Democratic primary for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District. My opponent in the primary, Ben Ray Lujan, is a co-sponsor of SOPA, which I oppose in the strongest terms. I'm not running because I want to build a career, I'm running because it's something I believe in. I think if things are ever going to change, really change, then we have to get more people in office who aren't lawyers, or CEOs, or career politicians. The House has completely lost perspective, and I think the only way to get it back is for people from all walks, not just old white business men, to occupy congress in the most literal sense.
On to the questions!
I know there have been plenty of diaries about the SOPA/PROTECT IP act, but I just found out that my opponent in the Democratic primary is a co-sponsor, so I feel the need to comment.
This bill is the poster child for terrible ideas. Under this act, sites like Google, YouTube, and Twitter could all be shut down by the Department of Justice for linking to infringing content. It also allows DOJ to block any foreign websites it deems as committed to infringement, as well as forcing ISPs to shut down state side websites. It's too broad, it's draconian, and it would destroy the internet as we know it today.
In February of 2009 I was on my last financial legs. It had been a few months since I had work, and when I did I didn't make enough to qualify for unemployment. My last job ended back in November of 2008 and I already exhausted the small amount of savings I had. My parents couldn't afford to help, and my roommate wasn't going to give me any money if I couldn't pay it back. A few weeks prior I had taken a test for a job, but hadn't heard anything since. The rest was all unanswered e-mails and job postings requiring a lifetime of experience. Rent was due in a few weeks and I was out of options.
When the phone rang, the man on the other end was Bill Lenox. He asked a few questions, to all of which I answered yes, having no actual idea if I would be capable of any of it. I didn't care, I'd figure it out later. That's when he gave me something that changed my life.
Thanks to a fortuitous tweet from @fbihop, I managed to make it to the redistricting meeting down at the Roundhouse. I got there just in time to hear Brian Sanderoff get into the meat and potatoes of what the population changes over the last decade look like. I find this particularly interesting because I was a Field Operation Supervisor for the census in 2009.
TL;DR is that rural areas shrank while the urban areas grew.
Update: Added maps of all 6 congressional district proposals as well as maps showing the population deviation for congress, state house, and state senate.
I was in 10th grade chemistry class at Pine Forest High School when the news came in over the radio that a plane had hit the North Tower. I wasn't anywhere near New York. I didn't even know anyone in New York. I initially reacted to it the same way I would news of any other terrible accident or natural disaster. Then news started filtering in that the South Tower was hit, as well as the Pentagon. It was obvious to everyone this wasn't an accident anymore. Out of all the feelings going through my head at the time, the one that was most poignant was confusion. I couldn't fathom why anyone would want to attack us. We were America. We were the good guys. So then who were the bad guys? I remember wondering if this was how people felt after Pearl Harbor.
In what has apparently become an ongoing series, tentatively titled “Sean Closson Receives Terrible Republican Campaign Literature”, I will now deconstruct a stupid plea for donations from Heather Wilson.
“Dear Mr. Closson,
We need to call a spade, a spade. America is at risk.”
Absolutely. I think it puts America at risk when we have the Speaker of the House playing politics with the debt ceiling. I think America is at risk when Republican presidential candidates are out there suggesting defaulting on our debt wouldn't be so bad. I think America is at risk when Republican members of the house are applauding the possibility that the government might shut down.
I received a piece of literature from “Hon. Newt Gingrich”, apparently the unfortunate result of donating $10 to Ron Paul once in 2007. It begins:
“My fellow Taxpayer,
If you're outraged that Congress would rather raise your taxes to solve our energy crisis than let us drill for oil right here on American soil, then please take just 60 seconds to read my letter.”
Already, it's problematic. This suggests that raising taxes will solve our energy crisis, but instead of solving our energy crisis, Newt Gingrich would rather drill for oil. There aren't any specifics about how raising taxes solves the energy crisis, but if it did, wouldn't that be better than pointlessly drilling for more oil? Believe what you will about climate change, but peak oil is a fact. It's finite and we're well on our way to Thunderdome. Accelerating it's depletion does nothing close to “solving our energy crisis”.