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Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:25 AM

O'Malley's Plans

Last edited Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:27 PM - Edit history (9)

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15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream

Addiction treatment and prevention

Criminal Justice Reform

Making College Debt Free for all Americans

Holding Wall Street Accountable

Expanding Social Security

Homeland Security


National Service


Foreign Policy

Gun Reform

Trade Policy

Campaign Finance Reform (Restoring our American Democracy)

Why We Need a Constitutional Amendment to Secure the Right to Vote:

Tax Reform
(Coming Soon)

Veterans and Military Families

Note: The actual plans are posted in the responses of this thread. I'll update when the Governor adds more.


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Reply O'Malley's Plans (Original post)
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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:27 AM

1. O'Malley's Addiction Treatment and Prevention Plan

The epidemic of untreated substance use disorder is a crisis that claims tens of thousands of American lives each year. With deaths from prescription drug overdoses quadrupling since 1999, overdose-related deaths now exceed the number of traffic fatalities, suicides, or homicides. Yet our response has not matched the scale of the emergency. Proven prevention and treatment strategies are underutilized. Funding for treatment programs is insufficient. Outdated stigmas make too many people reluctant to seek care, and make too many communities unwilling to provide it. Millions of families are needlessly torn apart.

As Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley brought all resources to bear to stop the epidemic of drug addiction and overdose. In Baltimore, Martin O’Malley expanded access to drug treatment to thousands of people while more than doubling funding for the city’s treatment system. His innovative efforts drove a 60 percent reduction in overdose deaths from heroin over 10 years—a program still cited as a successful national model.

In Maryland, Governor O’Malley made addressing addiction one of his Administration’s top goals. The centerpiece of this agenda includes forming an Overdose Prevention Council, which coordinates state agencies and local governments to collaborate on reducing overdose deaths. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland increased addiction treatment services by 45 percent, helped doctors identify and treat substance use disorder, and empowered pharmacies and first responders to stock and safely administer overdose-reversing drugs. Maryland also developed the nation’s first local overdose review teams, which review the circumstances of each overdose death to find lessons for prevention.

As president, Governor O’Malley will hold this same commitment to saving lives and addressing addiction. Drawing on his 15 years of executive experience, he will expand and improve addiction treatment, invest in recovery, improve coverage, and prevent substance use disorders before they start.


As a nation, we have looked past people imprisoned by drug addiction for too long—despite having the tools to save them. They are our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, and children. By focusing coordinated public health efforts on outcomes and holding ourselves accountable for results, we can save lives, spare families anguish, and rebuild our communities.

An O’Malley Administration will provide a new level of support and accountability for efforts to address addiction and overdose in the United States. Governor O’Malley’s ultimate goal as president is to reduce deaths from drug overdoses by 25 percent by 2020—an objective he first laid out in his 15 National Goals to Rebuild the American Dream.

As president, Governor O’Malley will take a public health approach to substance use disorders: developing and implementing a coordinated national strategy to reduce risky prescribing of pain medications, expanding access to effective addiction treatment, and investing in community resources for recovery.

Launch a National Dashboard on Overdose

To manage this strategy, Governor O’Malley will establish a national dashboard on overdose and addiction to monitor the problem, track our response nationwide, and target resources so that all Americans have access to critical services that support prevention, treatment, and recovery. This includes improving data collection and sharing information more quickly—with law enforcement, first responders and physicians, and other local leaders—so communities can respond effectively as soon as addiction and overdose challenges arise. This dashboard will guide $12 billion in federal investments and partnerships over the next decade, while providing a clear and transparent way for O’Malley to hold the federal government accountable.

The dashboard’s first use will be to reduce addiction to fentanyl—a highly potent and deadly narcotic increasingly laced into heroin—which was responsible for an unprecedented number of overdose deaths last year. The problem is especially acute in New Hampshire, where fentanyl took more lives than heroin in 2014. Within 100 days of taking office, O’Malley will direct his Administration to create and adopt a national fentanyl strategy—one that includes expanded prevention education, greater coordination with law enforcement, increased use of naloxone to reverse overdose, and robust treatment.

Stop the Over-Prescription of Pain Medications

The rapid rise in prescribing drugs to manage pain has contributed to the epidemic of opioid addiction. Physicians have an important role to play in reducing the inappropriate use of prescription drugs and helping individuals suffering from addiction reach treatment. As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Require Physician Training on Pain Prescribing. O’Malley will require all physicians seeking authority from the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe pain medications to first demonstrate that they have taken courses in appropriate prescribing. In Maryland, all physicians must complete required continuing medical education on prescribing controlled substances in order to maintain their license.

Strengthen Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. O’Malley will reward states that implement effective prescription drug monitoring programs, and demonstrate that they canreduce addiction and overdose. These programs can help doctors and other health care providers access information that allows them to identify patients who are at risk of addiction, and connect them to the treatment they need. In Maryland, O’Malley did just that—launching a prescription drug management system that is linked to the state’s web- based health information exchange.

Support Patient Education on Pain. O’Malley will develop an effective public campaign on pain drug addiction, modeled on previously successful efforts to reduce patient requests for unneeded antibiotics. By increasing public awareness around this quiet tragedy, O’Malley help patients understand that there are many other ways to manage chronic pain, beyond risky opioid medications.

Expand Access to Treatment

As the Mayor of Baltimore, Governor O’Malley led an effort that reduced heroin-related deaths by more than 60 percent—by expanding the resources for treatment, and focusing on therapies that worked. As president, he will ensure that states and local governments have the funding, support, and information they need to save lives:

Expand Access to Naloxone. Naloxone is an effective reversal drug used to treat overdoses from both prescription opioids and heroin; its increased use may already be saving hundreds of lives in New Hampshire. O’Malley will set a national goal of training and equipping all first responders to administer naloxone in areas with significant numbers of overdose fatalities. O’Malley will also bring together the FDA, industry, and others to make sure a readily-available and inexpensive supply of naloxone is available. In particular, that means focusing on those who need the most support—such as the friends and family of people with substance use disorders. In Maryland, O’Malley worked to ensure that pharmacies stocked naloxone, developed training programs for family and community members, and signed legislation and an executive order to expand use of the medication.

Equip All First Responders. Ensuring that first responders can carry and safely administer naloxone is an important first step, but not a sustainable solution. That’s why O’Malley will work to ensure that—whenever hospitals or first responders treat overdose—they can quickly direct patients to effective addiction treatment options. Emergency rooms are our first line of intervention, and must be empowered them to provide access to lasting care.

Increasing Funding for Effective Therapies. Existing federal investments to support comprehensive drug treatment systems pale in comparison to the need. O’Malley will work to greatly expand federal grant programs, increasing the number of grants and incentives for innovation in each state. This includes providing resources and technical assistance to states willing to overcome barriers to expanding care, like New Hampshire.

Expanding Coverage of Proven Treatments Under Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare pays for pain medications that can lead to addiction, yet many states do not reliably cover treatment medications as part of comprehensive treatment programs. In Maryland, O’Malley ensured that Medicaid covered medications to reverse overdose and treat addiction. As president, he will support regulations and legislation to expand coverage of evidence-based, medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence under Medicare and Medicaid, helping tens of thousands of people afford the treatments they need to recover.

Assuring Every Veteran Access to Treatment Within 12 Hours. The demands of military life, combat, and the return home can be complicated dramatically by addiction and related disorders. Mental and substance use disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other cause. O’Malley would set a new national goal for helping veterans access proven therapies for treating addiction—in every community.

Improving Data Collection and Access. Federal, state, and local partners need accurate and timely data in order to address addiction spikes as they occur. Yet currently, federal overdose death data is only available a year or more later. O’Malley will launch a new national emergency surveillance program on addiction and overdose deaths, as he also did in Maryland. This effort will feed into his new national dashboard.

Investing in Community Resources for Recovery

In Maryland, Governor O’Malley supported innovative services for individuals in recovery to help them gain employment, as well as contribute to their families and their communities. As president, O’Malley would:

Implement a Public Health Response to Addiction.
Incarceration is an inadequate—and in most cases inappropriate—response for people in need of treatment for substance use disorders. O’Malley will provide individuals with the care and support they require outside of the justice system, as detailed in his criminal justice reform plan. He will also establish federal guidelines for law enforcement on how to best serve people in crisis, support state Crisis Intervention Training for police officers, and ensure that people leaving prison or jail have the support they need—including substance use disorder treatment—to successfully reenter their communities.

Support Community Recovery Services. Recovery from addiction is holistic, involving not only clinical treatment but also resilience, support, and longer term care. O’Malley will provide a new level of support for community-based recovery for individuals suffering from mental illness and addiction, making urgent new investments across the country in housing, supported employment, and outpatient treatment.

Fight the Stigma of Addiction. We have long understood addiction to be chronic brain disease, yet negative associations persist—preventing too many of our neighbors from seeking care, and leading some communities to avoid providing treatment altogether. O’Malley will launch a national campaign to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction, opening up a path for all Americans to seek treatment and recovery.

Original here: https://martinomalley.com/policy/addiction-treatment-and-prevention/

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:29 AM

2. O'Malley: Preventing and Reducing Gun Violence

Preventing and Reducing Gun Violence

As a nation, it is time for sensible gun safety laws that save lives. That is why Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of cutting deaths from gun violence in half within 10 years. Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens. These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents; they are part of a full-blown—and entirely preventable—epidemic. We cannot afford to sit by and let this constant heartbreak become the norm.

As Governor of Maryland, O’Malley implemented some of the toughest measures in the nation to reduce gun violence. He put in place licensing, fingerprinting, background checks, and safety training requirements for all buyers. If a firearm was lost or stolen, owners were required to immediately notify law enforcement. And Maryland prohibited the sale of assault weapons and limited the size of magazines—all while protecting the state’s proud hunting tradition.

Governor O’Malley is calling for the nation to adopt similar, commonsense reforms—while also closing loopholes that allow prohibited individuals to easily purchase guns, prevent law enforcement from holding dealers and gun traffickers accountable when they break the law, and lead to the deaths of thousands of children ever year. These proven solutions are achievable at a national scale—if, as a nation, we have the courage and conviction to do the right thing.


Federally licensed firearms dealers are already required to conduct background checks in order to keep firearms out of the hands of people who have committed violent felonies or domestic abuse. While this requirement has effectively prevented more than 2.4 million prohibited people from acquiring guns, large loopholes allow others to easily purchase firearms.

Expand Background Check Protections to All Sales

The biggest and most dangerous loophole is that unlicensed sellers, who account for roughly 40 percent of all firearm sales, are not required to run background checks. Closing this loophole has been proven to save lives: In the 18 states that already require a criminal background check, the number of police officers shot and killed while on duty, the number of people who commit suicides with guns, and the number of women shot to death by their partners is nearly 50 percent lower than in other states.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Require a background check for every gun sale. O’Malley will fight for laws requiring all gun buyers to complete background checks. All private sales would be processed through a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency that completes background checks, as O’Malley required in Maryland.

End unregulated internet gun sales. Because hundreds of thousands of guns are sold online, people who are prohibited from owning them can easily purchase guns while avoiding a background check. O’Malley will work to require all gun purchases to be completed in person through licensed dealers, who will be required to complete a background check and comply with all other safety laws.

Strengthen background check protections. O’Malley will work end “default proceeds,” where agents have only three business days to finish background checks before the sale automatically proceeds. Law enforcement should have the time they need to complete background checks: this broken process allows more than 2,500 prohibited individuals to purchase guns annually. O’Malley will also seek to end the “Brady exemption” that allows permit holders to avoid background checks.

Encourage states to improve information sharing. In order for background checks to be fully effective, states must provide complete and accurate data on persons prohibited from owning guns, including those with felony records and histories of domestic abuse. The Obama Administration has made important investments to support states that share information with the federal background check system. O’Malley will build on these efforts, continuing to provide critical resources to states to help them modernize recordkeeping and share critical data.

Implement Commonsense Safeguards for Gun Purchases Beyond background checks, commonsense measures like mandatory gun licensing, waiting periods, and age restrictions have proven to dramatically reduce gun-related homicides, suicides, and trafficking. Drawing from his experience in Maryland, where under his leadership the state successfully implemented important safety measures, the Governor will fight to ensure that all Americans benefit from the same basic protections.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Enact comprehensive requirements for gun purchases, including fingerprint licensing. Building from successful reform efforts in Maryland, O’Malley will require all individuals who seek to purchase or transfer any gun to obtain a fingerprint-based license, and complete safety training with a waiting period, in addition to passing a background check. As he did in Maryland, O’Malley will extend these same requirements to private sales by requiring all sales to be completed through licensed dealers.
Set a national age requirement for handgun possession. A full quarter of gun crimes are committed by individuals 21 years-old and younger, based on data from 13 states; and guns are used in 38 percent of suicides among young people. O’Malley will work to set a federal minimum age of 21 for handgun ownership and possession.
Require the responsible storage of guns at home. Guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens, and the first cause among African American children. The responsible storage of guns can prevent suicide, violence, and accidents: 70 percent of unintentional child deaths from guns happened when firearms were stored irresponsibly.
While licensed dealers are already required to make sure that gun purchasers have safety devices, there is far more to be done to ensure responsible gun storage. O’Malley will extend existing safety standards to all firearm sales. He will also issue federal rules clearly defining the gun locks and safes that meet safety standards.
Reject federally mandated concealed carry. Republicans in Congress have proposed overriding existing state laws regarding who should be able to carry concealed guns within their borders. These laws are enacted by the voters and elected representatives of each state in order to keep their neighbors safe. O’Malley will defend strong state regulations, pushing back against efforts to force every state to recognize the concealed-carry permits issued by other states. Several states’ concealed-carry laws are extraordinarily weak, granting permits to individuals who do not complete safety training, have been convicted of a violent crime, or have a demonstrated history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Protect Women from Gun Violence

America is the most dangerous country in the developed world for women when it comes to gun violence. Domestic abusers can still easily purchase and own guns, and abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if a firearm is present. Closing loopholes that allow people to buy guns from unlicensed sellers is an important first step to keeping guns out of the hands of men who abuse or stalk women. But additional action must be taken to save women’s lives.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Close the “boyfriend loophole”. People convicted of domestic violence are already prohibited from owning and purchasing guns. However, this prohibition extends only to people who are living with, married to, or have a child with the person suffering abuse—meaning that someone who is convicted of domestic violence in a dating relationship can still own and purchase guns. O’Malley supports the proposed federal legislation that would close this loophole, providing critical protections for women who are targets of dating violence. O’Malley also supports provisions that prohibit anyone convicted of stalking from owning a gun.
Ban guns for those subject to emergency restraining orders. In addition, current law disarms only people who are under permanent restraining orders—leaving accused domestic-violence offenders who are under emergency restraining orders free to own and purchase guns. The days following the service of an emergency order of protection can be the most dangerous, and it can take several weeks or longer for permanent restraining orders to be imposed. O’Malley supports federal legislation that will prevent those under emergency restraining orders from purchasing or possessing a firearm for the duration of the order.
Disarm and prosecute those who break the law. Existing bans on gun ownership for domestic abusers and stalkers are too rarely enforced. O’Malley will make it a priority to disarm those convicted of committing domestic violence, and to prosecute those who fail to comply with the law.

Expand Reporting Requirements to Help Law Enforcement Fight Gun Crime

Firearm registration helps law enforcement officers identify and prosecute violent criminals, allowing them to quickly and reliably trace firearms recovered from crime scenes. Centralized registration systems and mandatory reporting of lost and stolen firearms also deter illegal sales, while encouraging gun owners to responsibly use and store their firearms.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Establish a national firearms registry. Although firearm registration helps advance public safety, federal law actually prohibits creation of a national system for registering firearms. This makes tracing guns back to their sale a slow, cumbersome, or even impossible process. O’Malley will push to revise federal law to establish a comprehensive, centralized firearm registration system, where records would be maintained electronically and indefinitely. All firearms purchases would be recorded and registered at sale, and re-registered when they are resold or transferred.

Mandate reporting to law enforcement of lost or stolen firearms. In addition, O’Malley will work to mandate that all lost or stolen firearms be reported immediately to law enforcement. These reports would be registered in the national database, helping law enforcement more quickly trace guns that are used in crimes—and identify individuals who routinely fail to report lost or stolen guns and may be trafficking firearms.

Require microstamping for all guns. Firearms can be designed to imprint a unique alphanumeric code onto a cartridge case when it is fired. This allows law enforcement to better trace the guns used in crimes, expediting investigations and further deterring trafficking. O’Malley supports a national microstamping law.

Hold Bad Actors Accountable

Law enforcement faces additional barriers to regulating firearms dealers and preventing gun trafficking and crime. Industry-friendly laws limit federal inspections of firearm dealers and ensure toothless punishments for breaking the law. The National Rifle Association and its allies have prevented the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from having the resources it needs to enforce our nation’s modest gun control laws. Law enforcement must have the tools required to ensure gun safety and hold bad actors accountable.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Revoke licenses when dealers break the law. The ATF is often unable to revoke the licenses of dealers who break the law because of certain restrictions and a lack of resources. Even when the agency does find serious violations, like gun sales to those who are underage, it can take one to three years for dealers to lose their licenses. Moreover, the ATF must meet the difficult standard of finding that dealers committed a violation “willfully” —even though dealers who break federal laws are a major source of trafficked firearms.

O’Malley will ensure the ATF has the funding and authority it needs to do its job and keep the American people safe. This includes revising the standard by which dealers can have their licenses revoked, and increasing follow-up so that dealers who lose their licenses do not pass on their business to friends or relatives, or continue to sell guns as unlicensed sellers.

Ensure regular and unexpected inspections of licensed dealers. Currently, ATF may conduct only one unannounced inspection of each licensed firearms dealer per year. Moreover, because of a lack of federal resources, licensed dealers are inspected only once per decade on average. O’Malley will lift the inspections cap and dedicate the necessary resources to monitoring dealers to ensure that they comply with the law.

Increase federal penalties for gun traffickers. There is no clear and enforceable federal prohibition on gun trafficking. Rather, law enforcement uses prohibitions from selling guns without a license to go after traffickers—and the penalty imposed is the same punishment for trafficking chicken or livestock. O’Malley supports the bipartisan Senate legislation introduced this year that would make selling guns to a prohibited person a felony under federal law.

Use the Power of the Federal Purse to Advance Gun Safety

Government agencies are the largest purchaser of firearms, accounting for 40 percent of gun industry revenues. By adjusting federal procurement policies, the federal government can encourage gun manufacturers and dealers to work to prevent trafficking and gun violence, while driving innovation that advances gun safety.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Use procurement contracts to advance gun safety. O’Malley will require manufacturers that seek federal contracts to make simple design changes that advance gun safety and improve law enforcement’s ability to trace firearms. These include hidden serial numbers that cannot be defaced, microstamping, magazine disconnect mechanisms, and other safety improvements.

Ensure Gun Manufacturers Act Responsibly

Holding gun manufacturers accountable when they contribute to gun violence can help break the pipeline through which criminals and dangerous individuals obtain and traffic guns. Yet, manufacturers have little incentive to encourage bad actors to reform: they continue to profit from dealers’ unscrupulous sales, while Congress protects them from any liability for contributing to criminal or deadly behavior.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

End immunity for gun manufacturers. Every state holds manufacturers accountable for producing and selling products that cause harm. But in 2005, the Republican-controlled Congress protected gun makers and dealers from most liability when their firearms are used criminally: the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act effectively wiped out gun liability laws in all 50 states. O’Malley will fight to overturn the Act, allowing states and cities to better protect their citizens from negligence, and giving victims of mass shootings the ability to hold irresponsible gun manufacturers and dealers accountable.

Ban sale or distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed to be extraordinarily deadly. So it is no surprise that mass shootings involving assault weapons are 50 percent more deadly, resulting in 155 percent more people being shot. O’Malley will ban the sale and distribution of all military-style assault weapons, including assault pistols and long guns, as he did in Maryland. He will also ban the sale or distribution of large-capacity magazines and “cop killer” ammunition through federal regulation.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:38 AM

3. O'Malley's Plan to Expand Social Security

Expanding Social Security So Americans Can Retire With Dignity

Our parents and grandparents should be able to retire in dignity—not poverty. Yet today in America, too many retirees are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, the economic pressures on millions of families—from stagnant wages and high housing costs, to a lack of affordable childcare and skyrocketing college tuition—have resulted in meager, if any, retirement savings for tomorrow’s retirees.

Our government must do more to improve the economic and retirement security of all Americans. That is why Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of increasing the number of Americans with adequate retirement savings by 50 percent within two terms in office.

As the first and most important step toward meeting that goal, Governor O’Malley will expand Social Security benefits—not reduce them or undermine Social Security in any other way. Second, O’Malley will also make it easier for private-sector workers to invest in their retirement. He will put commonsense protections in place to prevent older Americans from losing the savings they already have. And to ensure that all families can afford to save for retirement in the first place, O’Malley will continue to put forward detailed policies to raise the wages of all workers.


Social Security is one of our country’s greatest collective achievements. Since it was first implemented in 1935, Social Security has kept millions of elderly Americans out of poverty. Today—following the Great Recession, which decimated the retirement savings of millions of Americans—Social Security remains an especially critical lifeline for our parents and grandparents: without it, more than four in 10 Americans over 65 would be living in poverty.

We cannot ask seniors with modest savings to live on even less. Instead, we should expand Social Security so they can retire with the dignity they have earned over the course of their working lives.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Increase Social Security benefits for all retirees—both today’s and tomorrow’s. Governor O’Malley supports immediately boosting monthly benefits in a progressive manner for all Social Security was intended as a supplement to individual savings and pensions, but today, one in five married couples, and nearly half of unmarried individuals, rely almost exclusively on Social Security checks to survive. More than two-thirds of Americans near retirement will not have enough savings to maintain their current standard of living.

Strengthen Social Security’s long-term fiscal outlook. The solvency of Social Security is not in crisis: Social Security has adequate funds to pay full benefits through 2034. But to pay for expanded benefits, Governor O’Malley supports lifting the cap on the payroll tax for workers earning more than $250,000.In addition, Congress should implement policies to lift the wages of all workers, which will make meaningful contributions to Social Security’s long-term balance sheet. This includes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and enacting comprehensive immigration reform.

Ensure Social Security benefits are sufficient to keep retirees out of poverty. The immediate future is dire for many Americans nearing retirement: one in five Americans has no retirement savings at all. To keep seniors out of poverty, Governor O’Malley supports increasing the special minimum social security benefit to 125 percent of the poverty line for Americans who have worked at least 30 years.

Increase Social Security benefits for minimum wage- and lower-income workers. As wealth inequality continues to widen and traditional middle class jobs prove harder to come by, Governor O’Malley supports adjusting “bend points” in the formula to give minimum-wage and lower- and middle-income workers more financial security.

Prevent benefits from eroding over time. Governor O’Malley supports using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) instead of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) to determine Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustments. The CPI-E provides a more accurate reflection of the higher cost of living for retirees than the current measure, which focuses on younger workers. Using the CPI-E will ensure that benefits do not erode for future generations of retirees.

Reform Social Security to support, rather than penalize, caregiving. Governor O’Malley supports providing up to five years of “caregiver credits” that would increase the 35-year wage base for those who spend an extended period of time providing full-time care for children, elderly parents, or other dependents. In practice, current methods of calculating benefits penalize workers, most often women, who take extended time off to care for their families.

Reject efforts to raise the Social Security retirement age. Governor O’Malley believes that raising the retirement age is a back-door way to cut benefits for lower-income workers. It harms these workers in two ways: by forcing them to delay retirement in jobs that are often physically difficult, and by reducing lifetime payouts compared to wealthier retirees, who live five years longer on average than their lower-income counterparts.


With the days of defined benefit plans long past, millions of hardworking Americans lack adequate savings to support their standards of living when they retire. Nearly one in three Americans has no retirement savings, rising to one in two for Americans under the age of 30. Current investment vehicles such as defined contribution plans and IRAs have been grossly inadequate and underutilized for preparing most working Americans for comfortable retirements.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Dramatically expand access to employer-based retirement plans. Half of all workers do not have access to a retirement plan. Among part-time and low-income workers, roughly seven in 10 lack an employer-based retirement option. Governor O’Malley would require employers with more than 10 employees to process an automatic employee contribution to an IRA for all employees, at a level determined by the employee (who would have the option to opt out).

Raise wages so all workers can afford to save. Since millions of hardworking Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to save for retirement, raising the minimum wage and other wage policies are also critical to ensuring that today’s workers can retire with dignity and security in the future.


Older Americans face increased financial risks that threaten their ability to retire with dignity. Every day, unscrupulous lenders and scam artists attempt to separate seniors from their lifelong earnings. Republicans in Congress bent on slashing budgets attempt to undermine Social Security and other vital programs. And a growing number of aging Americans who need quality long-term care cannot afford it.

Implementing measures to better protect seniors from these threats to their financial security will help provide a stronger retirement firewall for millions of Americans.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Reject efforts to privatize Social Security. Governor O’Malley views proposals to privatize Social Security for what they are—a massive benefits cut that will gut Social Security, add to the federal debt, and leave future generations without the critical protections Social Security has provided for decades.

Increase penalties for those who defraud our seniors. Older Americans are often targets for financial scams and exploitation, at an estimated cost of nearly $3 billion a year. The vast majority of frauds go unreported. Governor O’Malley will advocate for policies to protect our seniors from financial fraud, including laws to increase penalties for the financial exploitation of older Americans, laws to allow financial advisors to refuse or delay transactions where clients are being defrauded or exploited, programs to better identify and report financial exploitation among older Americans, and increased investment in prosecutors and advocates to go after elderly abuse.

Fully implement the fiduciary rule. Under existing retirement advice rules, some brokers and financial advisers are allowed to sell Americans products even if they know they are poor investments. This conflict of interest, where advisers put their own bottom lines before helping their clients, costs workers saving for retirement $17 billion every year. President Obama has proposed a critical and commonsense rule to require those who give financial advice to put their clients’ interests first. Governor O’Malley will fully enforce this important fiduciary standard, protecting the retirement savings of millions of Americans and creating a level playing field for the many investment advisers who already act in their customers’ best interests.

Make affordable, high-quality long-term care a national priority. Americans’ longer lifespans are outpacing our ability to provide quality and affordable long-term care. Although seven out of 10 Americans will need home care at some point in their lives, many Americans and their families struggle to afford it. Nine out of 10 people who provide long-term care are women, while home care workers are underpaid, overworked, and lack important benefits and protections.As baby boomers age, now is the time to move forward, working with the private sector, to develop an efficient, affordable, and high-quality system to provide a diverse range of long-term care services for our seniors. Governor O’Malley will lay out a comprehensive plan for reforming long-term care and supporting caregivers in the coming weeks and months.

Link: https://martinomalley.com/the-latest/expanding-social-security/

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:46 AM

4. Great thread, FS!!!

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:48 AM

5. Thanks. We should pin another thread of his very best video/media appearances/speeches.

Hint, hint....

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Response to FSogol (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 11:55 AM

6. Good idea. I've never 'pinned' anything,

don't know how!!! Going out for a bit; can work on it later.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Thu Oct 8, 2015, 04:55 PM

7. O'Malley's Plan for NATIONAL SERVICE


National service should be part of what it means to be an American citizen. Our country faces great challenges—from economic inequality to education to climate change—and we need the talents and efforts of every citizen to overcome them and make our nation stronger. That’s why Governor O’Malley believes that every young American should have the opportunity to serve his or her country through national service.

National service should be expanded to help address our nation’s biggest challenges. The benefits are immense and go beyond the value of the service itself. National service is a critical strategy for addressing youth unemployment, which Governor O’Malley has committed to cut in half with good jobs within three years. It creates pathways for young people to meaningful careers, and often leads to lifetimes of public service. For many, national service is a springboard to college, and can provide college course credit or financial support. And, by bringing people together—including people from all ethnic, income, and geographic backgrounds—national service will become a shared experience among all Americans, helping to build community and heal our democracy.


Reinvest In Domestic National Service

Younger Americans intuitively understand the importance of public service and are doing it in record numbers. However, more than two out of three applicants who want to participate in national service programs are denied the opportunity because our nation has invested too little to expand and strengthen AmeriCorps and other service corps.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Fully Fund AmeriCorps To Provide 250,000 Service Opportunities By 2020—And 500,000 By 2024, Putting America On A Path To 1,000,000 Service Opportunities. The bipartisan Serve America Act of 2009 authorizes up to 250,000 AmeriCorps positions. However, Congress has failed to provide adequate funding for national service programs. Republicans have repeatedly tried to defund them and have not made expansion a priority.
Every young American who wants to serve their country should be able to do so. O’Malley will recommit our nation to expanding AmeriCorps and Senior Corps—helping Americans lead lifetimes of service. To start, he will ensure that proven programs have adequate funding to meet demand, so that the need for quality volunteers and services drives funding, and not the other way around.

Develop New Federal Service Corps. Federal agencies should invest in national service, in partnership with AmeriCorps or other service organizations, to fulfill their missions. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently launched FEMA Corps to assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery—saving the agency as much as $60 million annually, while preparing thousands of young people for careers in emergency management.

O’Malley will charge other federal agencies to launch similarly targeted service corps. He has already announced plans to create a Clean Energy Job Corps, which could be housed within the Department of Energy and would work to disseminate clean energy technologies across America. Other federal service corps programs could address veterans’ issues, education equity, and childhood hunger.

Partner With The Private Sector To Expand Service. Private businesses, industry groups, non-profits and others are helping lead the expansion of national service. O’Malley will support ongoing efforts to develop an online Service Year Exchange that centralizes all public and private service programs, providing a resource for young people seeking service positions, organizations seeking service members, and funders looking to support these efforts. As a first step, he will launch a public-private certification program that allows organizations to create full-time national service programs that offer stipends as well as education and job-training opportunities to young people. O’Malley will also encourage private sector employers and universities to give preference to those who have completed a year of national service.

Expand National Service Opportunities Abroad

Today, our nation faces increasingly interconnected challenges, from climate change to pandemic disease to growing political instability. In the face of these challenges, the Peace Corps is more important than ever. Volunteers work in collaboration with the global community to address the world’s toughest issues, while playing a critical role as citizen ambassadors in villages and towns that have sometimes never before met an American. Moreover, the Peace Corps provides invaluable skills to its volunteers that help them thrive in careers in our globalized world.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Double Peace Corps Membership. Existing funding supports fewer than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers each year. O’Malley will partner with Congress to finally double the number of Peace Corps volunteers, providing critical public services in the corners of the world that most need them.

Help Achieve Full Employment For American Veterans. Returning servicemen and women are hungry for ways to continue serving their country. Many are ideal candidates for the Peace Corps: they are comfortable working in foreign environments and have real professional skills to offer, often including language ability. Expanding the Peace Corps should be used as a way to fight veterans’ unemployment, especially among younger veterans who experience unemployment at higher rates than other veterans.

Make National Service A Gateway To Good Jobs And Careers

Young Americans who complete a service year after high school are better prepared for college and often pursue public service careers. For many young people, a year of service provides opportunities for mentorship and leadership, and a path to a career that would not have existed otherwise. Governor O’Malley wants a Year of Service to become the most sought-after, prestigious and rewarding opportunity available to young people in America, serving as a pathway to high-quality jobs and satisfying careers.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Use Service To Overcome High Barriers To Employment. National service can provide young people from low-income neighborhoods the tools to rebuild their communities and escape poverty. O’Malley will expand proven programs like YouthBuild and the Youth Opportunity Corps that support unemployed or under-educated people through mentorship, on-the-job training, and leadership opportunities.

Link Military Service To Civilian Service. Roughly 70 percent of people would be turned away from military service if they tried to enlist, due to a disability, health issue, or lack of education. As an alternative, military recruiters should provide information regarding civilian national service programs to all those deemed ineligible for military service. These individuals could complete national service programs that support veterans and military families with childcare, healthcare, and transition programs for returning troops. Finally, veterans should be able to use a portion of their GI benefits toward a term of national service.

Expand Federal Service Employment Benefits. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and those who successfully complete the AmeriCorps VISTA program receive one year of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status with the federal government. Noncompetitive status allows federal agencies to hire candidates for positions without going through the formal application process, improving their chances of employment with the federal government. Governor O’Malley will extend this benefit to all those who successfully complete full-time AmeriCorps programs and other full-time service opportunities.

Use National Service To Help Make College Debt-Free.

Governor O’Malley strongly supports all levels of government partnering with colleges and universities to remove barriers for students dedicated to public service careers. Governor O’Malley recognizes that our government is only as strong as the people who populate it, and that we need our country’s best and brightest serving the American people. To recruit and retain them, Governor O’Malley supports incentives that encourage national service and help participants graduate from college debt-free.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Expand Pell Grants to Increase Higher Education Awards For Service. AmeriCorps members receive an educational award equal to the maximum Pell Grant in a given year. O’Malley would make that award, like most other scholarships, tax-exempt. In addition, O’Malley has already proposed expanding Pell Grants to give all students the option of a debt-free education. As part of this expansion, he would make returning service corps members eligible for an enhanced Pell Grant award equal to the average cost of attending a public university in the member’s state.

Make Service Part Of The Undergraduate Experience. O’Malley supports efforts to integrate service into higher education, through credit-earning programs offered as part of a “year away,” senior thesis, or summer program. He would make academic service-year participants eligible for education awards, and would exempt student loans from accruing interest during students’ terms of service.

Encourage Service Through Federal Work-Study. O’Malley has already proposed reforming and expanding the federal work-study program to serve three times as many students and provide more meaningful, substantive, career-oriented opportunities. O’Malley would evaluate work-study programs in order to expand the most worthwhile and successful ones, and would improve or eliminate ineffective ones. He would also raise the program’s service threshold so that at least 25 percent of funds would support community-service jobs.

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Thu Oct 8, 2015, 05:04 PM

8. O'Malley on Homeland Security

Since 9/11, Governor O’Malley has been recognized as a national leader on homeland security and public safety issues. He has led nation-wide homeland security efforts as an advocate, exemplar of best practices, and adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Governor O’Malley considers public safety one of the most sacred and important responsibilities of those in public service.

As mayor of Baltimore, Governor O’Malley was selected by his fellow mayors to co-chair the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Homeland Security Task Force.

As Governor of Maryland, O’Malley was selected by his fellow governors to co-chair the National Governors Association’s Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano selected Governor O’Malley to serve as a key external adviser on the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

As an HSAC member, Governor O’Malley was selected to chair Task Forces on Violent Extremism and Community Resilience.

Governor O’Malley has been a national advocate for homeland security support and resources, delivering addressees on homeland security at the Democratic Leadership Council, National Press Club, Democratic National Convention, and the Center for National Policy, among others, and testifying before the U.S. Congress.

Governor O’Malley has worked as an author, collaborator, and partner with renowned homeland security experts such as Richard Clarke, Gary Hart, and Stephen Flynn.

In the coming weeks and months, Governor O’Malley will release detailed plans to strengthen U.S. homeland security, including proposals to keep America safe by:

Expanding Community Partnerships To Counter Violent Extremism

Groups like ISIL are committed to recruiting and radicalizing individuals to carry out small-scale attacks against the United States. The best line of defense against these diffuse threats is trusted partnerships with local communities, which the federal government should expand and empower with greater training and resources.

Reinforcing Cybersecurity From The Bottom Up

Every state’s National Guard should develop cybersecurity capabilities to protect critical infrastructure, utilities, and citizens’ personal information. The National Guard offers the quickest and most cost-effective way to stand up this capacity at the state level. To learn more about Governor O’Malley’s plans to strengthen cybersecurity, read his TIME Op-Ed.

Strengthening the Public Safety Standards of Cities and States

As the most likely target of terrorist attacks, major American cities should complete a Homeland Security Checklist of best practices, including vulnerability assessments, protective equipment for all first responders, interoperable communications, improved intelligence-sharing, and closed-circuit television.

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Thu Oct 8, 2015, 05:05 PM

9. His Op-ed on Cybersecurity mentioned above

Last week, we learned of a massive cyberattack on U.S. government data. Likely emanating from China, the attack has compromised the personal information of 4 million current and former federal employees. This security breach might be the most significant yet to take place in our country, but it won’t be the last. It signals the urgent need to advance a new agenda to improve our nation’s cybersecurity.

In the face of increasingly dangerous cyberattacks, it is imperative that we overcome gridlock in Washington. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a bill that seeks to improve public-private information sharing to reduce cyberthreats, has stalled in the Senate. After making changes to protect consumer data and ensure the appropriate level of legal protection for companies, Congress should pass this legislation.

Time is of the essence. Cyberattacks around the world are on the rise, jumping nearly 50 percent last year. The software security firm McAfee estimates that cybercrime robs the global economy of more than $400 billion each year. And that same report estimated that cybercrime could cost as many as 200,000 American jobs due to stolen intellectual property and lost exports. When hackers attacked the American retail chain Target last year, they stole data from an astonishing 110 million shoppers — roughly one in three Americans. The thieves then sold the information for more than $50 million on the black market. They committed these crimes all without stepping away from their computers.

Cyberattacks threaten not just Americans’ privacy, personal credit information, and intellectual property but also military operations and national security intelligence. For centuries, nation-states sought to protect themselves from attacks by land and sea. With the invention of human flight, nations also had to protect themselves from air attacks. Now, in the hyper-connected information age, we must understand how to better defend ourselves — and our economy — from attacks carried out through the Internet. Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called cyberattacks “the single biggest existential threat that’s out there” because of their ability to shut down our infrastructure and transportation systems, including our air traffic control system.

A new agenda is urgently needed to improve our nation’s cybersecurity.

First, unlike the military’s command-and-control approach to past defense challenges, this new threat will require a collaborative and networked approach across public and private sectors. The data that cyberattacks target do not reside completely in one sector or another. We need to ensure that privacy issues are directly and adequately addressed in order to build the trust necessary for businesses and other organizations to work with the government on the safeguards we need to protect both.

Second, greater security requires greater investment. Investing more resources in cybersecurity is an economic and national security priority. Our servers, information networks, and personal devices now exist on digital battlefields, with real-world consequences. Without sustained effort and bold ideas, our entire society will remain vulnerable to more destructive attacks, threatening our national security and robbing us of our privacy and precious intellectual property — the lifeblood of future American jobs.

Third, we need to understand that every segment of government has a role to play. As co-chair of the Council of Governors, which Congress created to better coordinate defense and homeland security issues, I worked with the secretary of defense and the secretary of homeland security to expand cybersecurity capabilities at the state level. We pushed for every state’s National Guard to develop cybersecurity units, which could be established quickly and affordably, and tap the skill sets of civilians. The federal government should support these efforts with financial and technical assistance to help states fulfill their commitments to strengthen cybersecurity.

In Maryland, we did just that, making investments in cybersecurity that continue to pay dividends. We launched CyberMaryland, an initiative to attract and convene new cybersecurity firms. We targeted more than 40,000 state employees for cybersecurity training and conducted vulnerability assessments to test resilience to attacks. We also created a cybersecurity tax credit and launched a program to train 1,000 workers for the industry. The results speak for themselves: Our efforts grew jobs and helped Maryland become the No. 1 state in America for innovation and entrepreneurship according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Maryland’s record of achievement on cybersecurity issues provides a path forward for the nation. Our digital information and networks are critical to our economic might and national security. We should treat them like the precious resources that they are.

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Thu Oct 8, 2015, 05:20 PM

10. O'Malley on Criminal Justice Reform

A reinvestment and rehabilitation framework for America’s criminal justice system

America’s criminal justice system is badly in need of reform. For too long our justice system has reinforced our country’s cruel history of racism and economic inequality—remaining disconnected from our founding ideals of life, liberty, and equal treatment under the law.

Our country needs new leadership that will honestly assess our broken criminal justice system and put forward solutions that will:

Ensure that justice is delivered for all Americans—regardless of race, class, or place.
Build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Ensure fairness and equal treatment for all people at every step within our justice system.

We must also strive to make our “corrections” facilities actually achieve rehabilitation. Almost all men and women who serve time in jail or prison return to their former communities. We will be stronger as a nation if all of our fellow Americans are able to find jobs, rebuild their lives, and have a stake in our democracy. There is no such thing as a spare American.

1. build Trust in Law Enforcement

The causes of crime are complicated. But our fundamental values and principles as Americans are simple: that all people are created equal, and should be protected equally under the law.

Public officials especially, including police officers, must treat all communities fairly and earn their trust. The next president should work closely with law enforcement agencies to implement best practices in policing, and build cultures of transparency, accountability, and respect.

Ensure Transparency and Accountability in Law Enforcement

As President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing observed, law enforcement is at its best when officers work together with neighborhood residents to ensure public safety and promote the dignity of all people. This “guardian” ethic better protects citizens and law enforcement alike. Moreover, people have the greatest trust in law enforcement when officers’ strategies and policies reflect their own values and input, and when policing data and practices are transparent and accessible to the public.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Mandate and Expand Data Reporting. The FBI does not collect data on police-involved shootings. Local data is also poor and incomplete. O’Malley has called for—and will strongly support—legislation to require law enforcement agencies to report data on all police-involved shootings, custodial deaths, discourtesy complaints, and use of excessive force. This data should be centralized in a universal database and made publicly available, allowing communities to observe trends and develop policy responses when necessary.

Establish a National Use of Force Standard. State laws governing when police officers can use excessive force vary greatly. In order to protect citizen and officer safety, O’Malley will put forward national guidelines on the use of force, linked to the expanded mandatory reporting detailed above. He will support legislation to require states to review and amend their own use of force laws to comply with federal guidelines.

Expand Community Collaboration and Civilian Review of Police Departments. O’Malley would reward and encourage police departments to implement best practices in goal-oriented community policing, including through the eligibility criteria in federal grant programs. These include undergoing racial bias training and crisis de-escalation training; establishing internal accountability measures to track and review civilian complaints and address officer misconduct; and creating and empowering civilian review boards to independently monitor and audit policing cases.

Use Technology to Advance Transparency. Technology—including but not limited to body cameras—can improve policing and build community trust in law enforcement. But it must meet community and local law enforcement needs, without infringing on individual rights. O’Malley will work with law enforcement, advocates, and other stakeholders to establish national standards for deploying and developing technology, while protecting privacy and communities’ access to data produced by body cameras or similar tools.

Improve Access to Justice within the Criminal Justice System

To build trust in law enforcement, we must also build trust in our justice system, adopting policies and reforms that improve fairness and ensure access to justice.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Encourage Independent Investigations of Policing Cases. Local prosecutors must work closely with local police on a day-to-day basis, creating possible conflicts of interest in cases regarding police misconduct. As a result, states and cities have begun to appoint special independent prosecutors—or prosecutors from other jurisdictions—in cases where police use deadly force. O’Malley will make these measures model practices, and support legislation to encourage all states to adopt them.

Strengthen Federal Civil Rights Protections. Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has successfully launched investigations into the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown. However, the Department’s ability to prosecute cases is limited because federal officials must meet a very high legal standard to bring civil rights charges. O’Malley would call on Congress to revise this standard so that the federal government can act as an effective backstop for ensuring justice.

Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture to Prioritize Public Safety. Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize any property they allege is involved in a crime, even if the owner has not been charged or convicted. Originally designed as a way to cripple large criminal organizations, civil forfeiture is now rarely used to address actual crime and is too often abused. O’Malley will support bipartisan efforts in Congress to reform civil forfeiture statutes, reorienting law enforcement activity toward improving public safety and community policing.

2. Increase Fairness In Sentencing

Skyrocketing spending on prisons and jails drains investment from schools, job creation, and community services: corrections spending at every level totals more than $80 billion a year. Racial bias remains ingrained in the justice system, and more needs to be done to reduce recidivism and expand successful reentry programs.

Ensure Fair Sentencing

Sentencing laws should treat all individuals fairly—ensuring that dangerous individuals are held accountable, setting lower penalties for less serious offenses, and providing opportunities for full rehabilitation.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Eliminate the Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine. This sentencing disparity has resulted in vast racial disparities within the justice system. Before Congress lowered the sentencing ratio in 2010 from 100:1 to 18:1, unjustifiably higher penalties for crack offenses led to African Americans serving roughly as much time for non-violent offenses as whites for violent offenses. O’Malley has called for and will continue to support legislation to completely eliminate this sentencing disparity.

Declassify Marijuana as a Schedule I Drug. O’Malley will direct the Attorney General to move to reclassify marijuana, while supporting bipartisan congressional efforts to legislatively reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug.

Reform Mandatory Minimum Sentencing. Over the past 30 years, mandatory minimum sentences have led to punishments that often do not fit the crime. Unnecessarily harsh sentences for non-violent offenses have not deterred crime, and have disproportionately impacted communities of color. O’Malley will support legislation that eliminates mandatory minimums for low-level drug offenses, while giving judges more flexibility to tailor sentences based on the facts of each case. He will also continue the Department of Justice’s successful Smart on Crime initiative, directing U.S. Attorneys to exercise greater discretion in their charging decisions.

Forge Consensus for Ending the Death Penalty. The death penalty is a racially biased and ineffective deterrent, and the appeals process is expensive and cruel to surviving family members. O’Malley has long opposed the death penalty as a matter of principle and as a matter of policy. As president, he will continue to oppose capital punishment and work to abolish death sentences under federal laws.

Reduce Recidivism Through Investments in Reentry

Up to 60 percent of individuals released from jail or prison return within three years. Programs that help people in prison or jail transition into society are saving taxpayer dollars that might otherwise be wasted on re-arrest or re-incarceration. Successful reentry options also give motivated individuals the tools and support they need to leave the criminal justice system for good, compete for a job, find stable housing, support their families, and contribute to their communities.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Invest in Job-Training Programs That Work. Roughly 9 million people return home from jail, and 650,000 from prison, every year. Getting and keeping a job is crucial to their ability to reenter their communities—and thus to reducing recidivism, and incarceration costs, overall. O’Malley will build on successful programs in Maryland and other states to train, place, and support those exiting the criminal justice system so they can secure employment. As president, he will work with Congress to secure additional funding for—and legislation that expands—community-based job training programs.

Support Reentry Programming. Since 2008, the bipartisan Second Chance Act has funded critical community services that help people return to their families from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities. O’Malley will work with Congress to reauthorize and expand funding for Second Chance Act programs, and other important services that ease the transition back to the outside world. Such services include referrals for housing and benefits, substance abuse treatment, mentoring, education, and job training.

Expand Good Time Credits. O’Malley will support legislation to allow people in federal prison to earn sentence-reduction credits by completing education and reentry programs. More broadly, he will support evidence-based, cost-effective reforms that allow people in prisons or jails to earn more good time credit for greater sentence reductions than federal law currently allows.

Support Access to Higher Education in Prison. O’Malley will use existing funds and work with Congress to support multi-year educational and vocational training programs in correctional facilities, including providing funding for professional teachers and staff. He will also support legislation and take executive action to restore eligibility for Pell Grants for people in state and federal prison, which was eliminated in the 1994 crime bill. These investments will increase individuals’ chances of finding jobs once they’ve done their time, and decrease their chances of cycling back into prison later in life.

Dramatically Reduce the Use of Solitary Confinement and Ban Solitary for Juveniles.
Research shows that prisoners subjected to prolonged isolation may experience depression, rage, claustrophobia, hallucinations, and severe psychosis that can lead to random violence or suicide. Federal judges have called the long-term lack of interaction, mental stimulus, and exposure to nature “beyond what most humans can psychologically tolerate”. As president, O’Malley will reverse the runaway growth of solitary confinement, limiting its use to the most serious in-prison offenders. He will also fight to pass legislation banning the federal use of solitary confinement for juveniles nationally.

Provide Pathways to Full Restoration of Rights and Benefits

Nearly one in three Americans has a criminal record that, because of employer biases and state laws, could prevent them from even being considered for good-paying jobs. Moreover, nearly six million Americans are denied the fundamental right to vote because of regressive state laws that target people with felony convictions. This results in one out of every 13 African Americans being unable to vote.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Ban the Box. O’Malley will use existing federal dollars to encourage states to adopt “fair chance” policies, which direct employers to delay criminal record inquiries and individually assess job applicants based on their qualifications. He will make the federal government a model employer by adopting fair chance hiring policies for all federal contractors and agencies.

Expunge or Seal Criminal Records. O’Malley will also support legislation that provides paths to recourse for people with criminal records. This includes automatically expunging or sealing juvenile records, so young people have a fair chance to turn around their lives; allowing some categories of formerly incarcerated people to petition a court to seal their records; and expunging the records of arrests that did not lead to formal charges.

Restore Voting Rights to People with Felony Records. All those who served time and reentered society should be allowed to vote. O’Malley will call for and strongly support legislation restoring voting rights to individuals with felony records. He will explore and take advantage of every opportunity to use federal funds and administrative solutions to encourage states to restore voting rights.

Ensure Access to Temporary Support. O’Malley will call for and strongly support legislation that would end the drug felon ban on access to SNAP and TANF assistance. Formerly incarcerated people and their families should have access to crucial support to help them get on their feet after serving their time.

Work to Eliminate For-Profit Prisons

There are approximately 130 private prisons in the United States. They house nearly half of all immigrant detainees, in addition to six percent of the state and 16 percent of the federal prison population. These facilities earn the private prison industry $3.3 billion in annual revenue, backed by nearly $25 million in lobbying over the past 25 years. This includes industry lobbying to protect perverse incentives, the strict enforcement of sentencing and immigration laws, and contracts that require correctional facilities and immigration detention centers to remain full even when crime is falling.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Phase Out Federal For-Profit Prisons. This includes closing for-profit immigration detention centers, while using alternatives to detention in the immigration context whenever possible.

3. Reinvest To Ensure Justice

As a nation, our divestment in education, job creation, and healthcare has resulted in some communities turning to law enforcement as a first and last resort—from providing student discipline to addressing addiction and mental illness. Reversing this trend by reinvesting in these areas will relieve our overburdened justice system, and ensure that law enforcement is able to focus on the most violent crimes.

Medicalize our Response to Addiction and Mental Illness

Incarceration is an inadequate—and in most cases inappropriate—response for people in crisis. Far greater investment in community mental health and substance abuse treatment is required to provide individuals with the care and support they require, outside of the justice system.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Make Robust Investments in Drug Treatment. O’Malley will work to expand existing federal grants to states to support comprehensive drug treatment systems. He will call for tripling the number of states eligible for grants, as well as increasing the aid provided to each state. He will call for requiring states to make matching investments—ensuring that addiction is treated, and not ignored, at the local level. He will also support regulations and legislation to expand evidence-based treatment for addiction under Medicare and Medicaid.

Make Robust Investments in Community Mental Health Infrastructure. Although the rate of serious mental illness is two to six times higher among incarcerated populations, more than 80 percent of people with mental illness in jails and prisons do not receive care. O’Malley will invest to provide adequate mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment within correctional facilities. Additionally, he will call for community-based recovery for individuals suffering from mental illness, setting a national target for reducing the number of Americans with serious mental illness behind bars. He will work with Congress to make critically needed investments in housing, supported employment, and outpatient treatment.

Train and Equip Law Enforcement to Serve People in Crisis. Police officers have increasingly become first responders to people with mental illness or substance abuse problems, often without adequate training. O’Malley will establish federal guidelines for law enforcement on how to best serve people in crisis—including de-escalating encounters, equipping specialized staff and response teams, and intervening in partnership with civilian service providers. He will use existing federal funds to support state Crisis Intervention Training, work with Congress to make additional investments, and require states to adopt federal crisis intervention guidelines.

Address the Discriminatory and Punitive Application of Student Discipline

Underinvestment in public education has left many districts financially strapped, often unable to staff the counselors, special education teachers and social workers their students need. This has coincided with an increased reliance on suspensions, expulsions, and school resource officers to enforce school discipline—including for behavior that is far from a crime. As a result, student discipline increasingly reflects the adult criminal-justice system—with children, especially children of color, being charged, arrested, and even detained in juvenile facilities. This trend has dramatic economic implications as well: children with arrest records have a fraction of the chance of graduating compared to students without arrest records.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Enforce and Codify Federal Discipline Guidelines. Federal law already prohibits public school districts from administering student discipline in a discriminatory way. The Departments of Education and Justice put forward guidance last year to help schools identify, avoid, and remedy discriminatory discipline, so that all schools ensure equal educational opportunities for all students. O’Malley will enforce this guidance by bringing federal investigations or charges when necessary, and call to codify the guidance into law.

Reinvest in Other Services and Supports for Teachers and Students. Underinvestment in public education has left many schools with too little funding for counselors, special educators, teacher training, and other needs. This has sometimes created an over-reliance on law enforcement and school resource officers to enforce discipline. O’Malley will invest in federal grants to help deploy counselors and other school staff, including by reprioritizing existing federal funding currently used to place law enforcement officers in schools.

Fulfill the Constitutional Right to Counsel

The flood of misdemeanor cases for petty crimes has greatly overburdened state courts. Many poor defendants—about one in four—do not receive court-appointed legal counsel, despite their right to it. Crushing caseloads for public defenders can create an “assembly-line mentality” toward justice that contributes to individuals being unnecessarily imprisoned for minor offenses.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Ensure Access to Counsel and Legal Assistance. O’Malley would invest to protect every American’s constitutional right to counsel, providing funding for legal aid programs and public defenders, and ensuring their independence.

Bring Accountability, Due Process, and Immediate Relief to our Immigration System

Immigration-related cases make up more than 40 percent of federal prosecutions, more than any other type of prosecution—including drug crimes. Yet families are denied justice throughout the immigration system. Conditions at immigrant detention facilities are deplorable, due process is limited, assembly-line justice is common, and families are needlessly torn apart.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Use Detention Only as a Last Resort. O’Malley will direct the Department of Homeland Security to use alternatives to detention for the vast majority of people, including for all children, families, LGBT individuals, and other vulnerable individuals. This includes using the family placement and community-based supervision policies he successfully implemented in Maryland. He will also work with Congress to repeal mandatory detention and deportation laws, and to codify higher detention standards. When detention must be used, O’Malley will ensure conditions are humane and in line with our basic values as a nation.

End Operation Streamline. Under Operation Streamline, federal attorneys criminally prosecute, in assembly-line settings, virtually all undocumented immigrants that enter the United States through the Southern border. Fast-track prosecutions and group hearings raise serious concerns regarding the violation of due process. Moreover, thousands of immigrants who try to enter or re-enter the United States are the parents of U.S. citizens attempting to reunite with their loved ones. O’Malley will direct federal prosecutors to focus only on priority entry and reentry cases—those involving national security or serious crimes—and work with Congress to repeal the Operation Streamline program.

Disentangle Local Law Enforcement From Immigration Enforcement. Our immigration policies have fallen short of their goal to pinpoint and detain individuals who pose a clear and present danger to public safety. Instead, they have created an indiscriminate dragnet that can encourage racial profiling and undermines trust between law enforcement and New American communities. O’Malley has outlined his plan for disentangling law enforcement from immigration enforcement, including by closing loopholes in DOJ guidance that allow DHS agencies to profile Americans based on their ethnicity and religion.

Set High Standards for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, and CBP officers must have the support and tools they need to do their jobs well. O’Malley will require CBP to implement the best practices in law enforcement, including equipping officers with body cameras, tracking and disclosing discourtesy and brutality complaints, providing robust training, and holding agents accountable for the use of excessive force.

Ensure Due Process. O’Malley will also implement critical reforms to expand due process protections in our detention and immigration systems, including providing counsel for immigrants in deportation proceedings, increasing the number of immigration judges and courts, ending telephonic and video hearings for detainees, and ensuring language access.

4. Address Economic Inequality

Actions to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system should be accompanied by a wide range of policies that help to alleviate deeply rooted disparities in economic security and opportunity among communities of color.

Today, too many families are hurt by active discrimination. What’s more, the legacy of institutionalized discrimination—such as redlining—has amplified the disproportionate harm that the recession inflicted on communities of color. As a result, our nation has endured 30 years of worsening economic inequality.

As a nation, we must strive to remove barriers to full participation in the social, economic, and political life of our nation, once and for all. Legal equality is absolutely necessary but not sufficient – we must strive for equal opportunity and a fair shot for everyone. That means helping to ensure good jobs that provide stable incomes; universal, high-quality childcare; affordable housing and homeownership; and greater equity in our education and health care systems—for all Americans.

Governor O’Malley has already called for a number of actions that would support greater economic security and opportunity for communities of color, including:

Raising the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour.
Empowering labor unions.
Greatly expanding access to national service and job opportunities for young people.
Ensuring young people can attend public colleges and universities debt-free.
Passing comprehensive immigration reform.
Investing in universal childcare.

In the coming weeks and months, Governor O’Malley will lay out comprehensive plans to address poverty and support the millions of American families striving to join the middle class, as well as put forth agendas to reform K-12 education, address homeownership and the rental crisis, and improve access to affordable healthcare.

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 08:34 AM

11. O'Malley's Plan for Trade Policy

Trade Policy

Today, the United States is negotiating trade agreements that are unprecedented in their ambition, size, and scope. Agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are endeavoring to align the global economy around a common set of rules, governing not just trade in goods but labor rights, intellectual property rights, financial regulations, and more. The future of American workers, businesses, and innovation depends on us getting the rules right.

In our increasingly global and interconnected world, trade is a powerful and vital tool. Done well—through high standards and carefully crafted rules—trade can open new markets for U.S. businesses, lift standards for workers in developing countries, protect our environment from climate change, and support a thriving middle class. Done poorly—by relying solely on market forces and hoping for the best—trade agreements can unleash a global race to the bottom.

As president, Governor O’Malley will support free trade agreements—but only those agreements that establish strong and enforceable rules for fair competition, creating opportunity for American workers while lifting standards in our partner nations.

The United States already has the leverage we need to meet this high standard, including in the TPP. Other nations sought to join the TPP in order to receive privileged access to the U.S. market. We should do everything in our power to assert a progressive trade agenda, rewarding countries with high labor and environmental standards—and encouraging those with weaker standards to make meaningful changes in order to join any trade deal.


As president, Governor O’Malley will support and negotiate global trade agreements only if they meet the following benchmarks. This includes the TPP, which after years of being negotiated in secrecy, will soon become public. Together, the following principles clearly define what it means for a trade agreement to be in the best interest of the United States. Agreements that meet these criteria will support American jobs, innovation, and businesses, while lifting standards in our partner nations and building a stronger global economy that works for everyone.

Going forward, every significant trade agreement negotiated by the United States should:


The TPP was written behind closed doors, with corporate lobbyists and other special interests sitting at the negotiating table—without adequate representation from labor, environmental, or consumer groups. In fact, the American people still don’t know what is in the agreement, because it is yet to become public, even though our representatives in Congress were forced to vote to rubber stamp it several months ago. But, because special interests are buying our elections and our democracy, they’re able to protect their special access to our trade agreements—making them into just one more way to rewrite the rules of our economy to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Democratize Trade Negotiations. America’s leadership in the world demands that we make good, fair trade agreements. But we shouldn’t let the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their allies dictate the terms alone. Businesses big and small should be engaged in the writing of trade agreements, alongside and equal to labor unions, consumer groups, health and environmental advocates, and all others who have a stake in the outcome of a deal.


Nations that are part of the TPP—or are likely to join in the future—have artificially undervalued their currencies in the recent past, boosting their own exports by making them cheaper on the global market. Their actions have come at an enormous cost to U.S. manufacturers, causing thousands of factories to close and millions of American workers to lose their jobs.

We cannot afford to lose any more manufacturing jobs to countries that gain unfair advantages by breaking international rules. As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Prohibit Currency Manipulation in Global Trade Agreements. Currently, the Treasury has no clear definition of what constitutes currency manipulation and imposes no consequences for those who engage in it. Worse, currency manipulation is not addressed within the TPP.

As president, O’Malley will take action to end currency manipulation. In agreements such as the TPP, he will clearly define currency manipulation—as a prolonged, one-way, large-scale foreign exchange intervention that prevents appreciation or forces a currency to depreciate—and prohibit all signatories from engaging in it. Then, if a country deliberately tries to depreciate its currency, it would lose its preferential access to the U.S. market and other privileges granted under the free trade agreement.

Hold Cheaters Accountable. Well-designed currency manipulation protections will not impede U.S. monetary policy or freely floating exchange rates. Rather, such provisions will prevent important trading partners from cheating, using their desire to join the TPP and other agreements as leverage to establish fair trade rules that are in the best interests of American workers and jobs.


Global trade agreements increasingly include a provision called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. This is a process that corporations use to sue—outside of the legal system—governments that seek to protect public and environmental health and the well-being of workers. And companies are now using this process to try to weaken or overturn regulations they don’t like more aggressively today than they ever have before.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Oppose ISDS in Trade Agreements. ISDS was designed 50 years ago to protect business investments in developing nations where corporations feared they would face discriminatory laws or have their assets expropriated. Today, ISDS is no longer necessary. Corporations that invest in uncertain markets can buy political-risk insurance to protect themselves against the possibility of a loss. And investors in the United States know they face no such legal risk. ISDS should not be included in the TPP agreement—and in past agreements, ISDS provisions must be revised.

Put Public Interests First. Corporations have abused ISDS, using it to ensure their interests always trump public ones. Through ISDS, they have challenged local laws that require safety warnings on cigarettes, limit mining and hydraulic fracking in sensitive areas, or reduce reliance on nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster. Eliminating ISDS, including from the TPP, is one of the most important ways to stop big business from using trade agreements to rewrite the rules of how our economy works” at the expense of workers and the public.


Countries that join the TPP or other free trade agreements gain better access to the U.S. market. The United States should reward only those nations that have robust labor standards in place—setting a high floor that encourages our trading partners to meaningfully and continuously improve conditions for their workers, creating high-paying and high-standard jobs. We should not be satisfied with trade deals that reinforce the status quo when our partners inadequately protect their workforce.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Protect Core Labor Rights. By assuring strong labor rights, the United States can leverage nations’ eagerness to join agreements to lift standards globally—while ensuring American companies are not be placed at a competitive disadvantage for paying higher wages and respecting their workers’ right to bargain. At a minimum, free trade agreements should guarantee freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain; uphold the rights of migrant workers; and prohibit forced labor, child labor, and employment discrimination. And for developing countries, free trade agreements should include a mechanism to ensure that labor rights and standards continue to meaningfully improve long after a deal is signed.

Set and Enforce Meaningful Labor Standards. Strict oversight and enforcement—including regular compliance monitoring and tariff snap-back provisions when rules are violated—are fundamental to ensuring that labor rights are actually respected. In the past, toothless enforcement mechanisms have made the labor and environmental chapters of trade agreements meaningless. Going forward, we must get the rules precisely right.

For the TPP, this means partner nations must change their laws before the agreement goes into effect. Consider Vietnam, which has never allowed workers to choose their own representatives; the country’s single labor union is controlled by the Communist Party. Or Mexico, where—despite promises made while negotiating NAFTA—freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain are severely limited. Both nations—as well as Brunei and Malaysia—will have to responsibly update their labor laws and practices in order to implement the TPP.

In addition, the TPP and other trade agreements must have strong labor chapters that allow for labor abuses to be investigated and actively monitored, require that labor disputes be quickly resolved, and, when parties fail to remedy labor violations, provide for the benefits of trade agreements to be suspended. Finally, partner nations must have the resources, institutions, and political leadership in place to ensure full compliance.


The United States has entered free trade agreements in the recent past that provide little to no meaningful protection of our land, water, air, and wildlife. At best, the environmental chapters of these agreements have covered a broad range of topics—from whaling and wildlife trafficking, to deforestation and illegal fishing—while lacking language actually prohibiting nations from engaging in these activities. And no trade agreement has recognized or sought to counter the risks posed by climate change.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Ensure Real and Enforceable Environmental Standards. Even the best agreements are only as strong as our commitment to enforce them. But to date, the United States has never once brought a trade dispute against another nation for violating the environmental provisions of trade agreements. When our trading partners pollute and destroy the environment in misguided efforts to gain a competitive advantage, they should lose their benefits under trade deals.

Enforce Delivery of International Climate Commitments. Every TPP nation, with the exception thus far of Brunei, has made international commitments to the UNFCCC on curbing their emissions of carbon pollutants. The TPP should have made delivering on these commitments a condition of continued preferential access to U.S. markets.

Oppose ISDS in Any Agreement. If trade agreements allow for investor-state cases against governments, any potential benefits of environmental provisions could quickly be wiped out. That’s because corporations have overwhelmingly used ISDS to challenge regulations that protect our air, water, and climate. The best way to protect the environment through trade agreements is to ensure that they don’t include ISDS provisions from the start.


Increasingly, trade agreements are not about reducing traditional barriers to trade—trade in goods is already quite free—but rather about rewriting the rules of how the global economy works. This includes “harmonizing” between nations regulations governing corporations, banks, and pharmaceutical companies. As with ISDS, these industries often have an incentive to rewrite the rules in ways that weaken regulations and pad their own profits.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Protect the Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms in Trade Agreements. The biggest banks are already lobbying aggressively over the details of future trade agreements, particularly the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—a proposed deal between the United States and the European Union. It is very likely that they will try to use the agreement to undermine Dodd-Frank’s capital requirements and leverage ratios, derivative compliance rules, and other protections. If the largest players in the global financial industry win out, American banks could shift business to Europe (or even reincorporate some of their activities there)—where financial rules are much weaker than in the United States—in order to sidestep Dodd-Frank altogether.

In addition, O’Malley will strongly oppose any trade provisions that would require new financial regulations to be screened (or even slowed down) based on how they might impact trade. No trade agreement should be used to delay implementation of important financial regulations against the public’s will.


The rules of any trade agreement must be written to ensure that benefits accrue to the nations that are party to them—limiting countries’ ability to take advantage of loopholes and impose non-tariff barriers to protect their domestic markets, at other nations’ expense.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Require Robust Rules Of Origin. When a nation grants trading partners preferential access to their market, they expect to receive the same treatment in return. Strong “rules of origin” protect this dynamic—strictly defining the extent to which inputs from countries outside an agreement can be incorporated into products that benefit from duty-free treatment. Such rules are especially vital to the U.S. automotive industry, because other nations—particularly Japan—import significant quantities of auto parts from outside the TPP bloc.

All trade agreements should include rules of origin standards that meet or exceed those established under NAFTA. Reports indicating that the TPP includes weaker rules of origin are disconcerting.
Ensure Fair Market Entry for U.S. Products. It is inconsistent with the spirit of TPP and similar agreements to keep in place non-tariff barriers that effectively exclude U.S. products. This has been a salient issue in the past, and it is likely that the existing version of TPP does not move sufficiently far to remove all such barriers.


Many countries and non-profit organizations rely on affordable generic medicines to treat life-threatening diseases, including in TPP nations. Access to generic medicines depends on each nation’s laws and regulations, as well as trade and other international agreements, including rules governing intellectual property. As a result, the global community in the past has sought to ensure that countries can overcome barriers that restrict access to medicines—preventing patent monopolies from blocking life-saving care and providing for competition in the generic drug market. In this way, commercial interests are respected but not allowed to trump global public health concerns.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Balance Access and Innovation to Provide Needed Medicines. The United States must ensure that trade agreements do not place onerous restrictions on the use of new medicines by partner nations, particularly in low-income countries. These medicines and treatments are a major American contribution to the world. It is critical that we provide access to needed medicines, even as we establish strong intellectual property protections that allow for pharmaceutical innovation and progress. While the TPP agreement takes steps in a better direction, we must carefully review the final agreement to ensure that it takes the right approach.


While trade agreements can open markets for American goods and services and create wealth around the world, they have often done so unequally—further concentrating wealth among a small number of corporations and investors at the expense of everyone else. This has happened both because past trade agreements have failed to guard against a global race to the bottom—and because the United States has failed to enact commonsense policies to help American workers and businesses thrive in a globalized world.

As a nation, we can do far more to boost our competitiveness, seizing new opportunities to create jobs, drive investment, and lift incomes for all families. As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Tie Trade Agreements to Investments in the U.S. Economy. O’Malley will work with Congress to ensure that free trade agreements are forged in concert with policies that help the middle class and advance our own economic competitiveness—such as raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and making robust investments in our nation’s infrastructure.

Ensure That U.S. Corporations are Taxed Fairly, Including on Their Global Activities. It has become too easy for very large U.S. corporations to shift the reporting of their global activities – solely to reduce their tax burden. These corporations, their executives, and their owners benefit from the laws and resources of the United States – including the public goods that we provide. The only way to sustain these public goods—and the functioning of our government—is with a fair revenue system that includes fair taxes on corporations. Governor O’Malley will be putting forward his plans to reform the tax code in the coming weeks and months.

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 10:10 AM

12. O'Malley on Holding Wall Street Accountable


Governor O’Malley knows that the American Dream today remains out of reach for too
many families. To attack this problem, it will take a multi-pronged and fearlessly
progressive approach to addressing economic inequality. But the results of any steps we
take as a nation to raise wages, ensure retirement security, and make the dream of
homeownership a reality can be wiped out in an instant by another Wall Street crash.

We need to protect America’s economy. And we can only do it by implementing strong
accountability and structural reforms that build upon the Dodd-Frank Act
and put an end to too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-manage, and too-big-to-jail financial firms.


In April, former Fed Chair Paul Volcker wrote: “it is all too clear that the federal
financial regulatory structure is simply inadequate to head off future crises. The structure
that failed us in anticipating and responding to the emergency is largely still in place.”

He is right. While the Dodd-Frank Act made important strides forward in reforming the
financial industry, there is still much work to be done—both in terms of structural AND
accountability reforms.

As President, Governor O’Malley will change the culture of our regulatory and oversight
agencies and departments by immediately pursuing the following reforms to ensure that
Wall Street megabanks don’t get to play by their own set of rules. He will provide real
deterrents to recidivist behavior among the worst actors on Wall Street.


Today, there is a constantly spinning revolving door among both senior and mid-level
regulators and the prosecutors responsible for reining in Wall Street. Senior officials at
the Department of Justice1, Securities and Exchange Commission2, Treasury3 and other
key departments have been deeply entrenched in the industries they are supposed to
regulate, and often return to them after they leave government4., This practice undermines
their independence and public trust in the federal government’s role of independent

Governor O’Malley will:

Ensure Key Political Appointees Are Independent of Wall Street

Over the last seven years, both the SEC and DOJ have fallen down on the job of
enforcement—sending a message to Wall Street that they are “too big to jail.”5 The most
impactful step we can take toward stronger enforcement against Wall Street is appointing
people to key positions who will take financial regulation seriously.

Governor O’Malley will:

Appoint to Key Positions—Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General for the
Criminal Division, SEC Chair—Individuals Committed to Pursuing Criminal
The DOJ and SEC have been over-reliant on financial settlements for
institutions that break the law. Settlements, even those in the billions of dollars, are
not appropriate deterrents for institutions with trillions of dollars of assets. O’Malley
will require that appointees to key positions have strong backgrounds in fighting for
the public interest and a proven ability to prosecute people who break the law.

Require the SEC Director of the Division of Enforcement to be a Presidential
Appointee, Subject to Senate Confirmation.
Currently, the SEC’s Director of
Enforcement is appointed by and entirely at the discretion of the SEC Chair. In
recent years, this has led to the indefensible practice of appointing both Wall Street
in-house lawyers and their outside lawyers to this critical position. O’Malley will
elevate this position to presidential appointee, forcing this critical appointment to face
greater scrutiny and transparency, along with a public vote from the U.S. Senate.

Close the Regulator/Prosecutor Revolving Door

Institute a Three-Year Revolving Door Ban: O’Malley will
bar anyone serving in a financial policy or regulatory role from working for any person or entity appearing
before their former agency/department — or any agency/department they had contact
with when serving the public —for three years. This triples and aggressively strengthens the existing bar, which currently applies only to “senior” officials.

Institute an Additional Three -Year Mandatory Disclosure Rule: In addition to the
above ban, O’Malley also will require these individuals to disclose any direct or
indirect contact with agencies/departments they had contact with for an additional
three years.

Agencies Affected by These Rules: This policy should include people working at the
CommodityFutures Trading Commission (CFTC), Securities Exchange Commission
(SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ) staff that work on economic crimes, Treasury
Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board, and Office
of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Apply the Same Scrutiny to Key Personnel at the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has played a significant role in slowing downthe implementation
of important financial regulations, including delaying for two years a core part of the
Volcker Rule. Appointing people to key positions at the Fed who take financial crimes
seriously, and requiring them to play a more active role in regulatory decision-making,
will further strengthen enforcement on Wall Street.

Governor O’Malley will:

Require the General Counsel at the Fed to be a Presidential Appointee. The General Counsel wields outsized influence on
the Board, advising theboard on every
major decision. In fact, the current General Counsel is sometimes referred to as the “eighth Fed governor”.
Currently, the Fed’s General Counsel is appointed by the Board of Governors. By increasing transparency
around this appointment, O’Malley will elevate its importance and ensure that only appointees who can prove
independence and a will to work on behalf of the American people—and not the megabanks—will be appointed to it.

Require the President of the New York Fed to be a Presidential Appointee.The President of the New York Fed is the second most powerful member of the Fed. They serve as a permanent member and vice president of the Federal Open Market
Committee, which establishes the Fed’s monetary policy, and oversee the largest reserve bank in terms of asset and volume of activity. Currently, the president is appointed by the regional bank’s board of directors.

Require the Board of Governors to Vote on All Major Decisions, Including Those Regarding Financial Reform. The Fed has entered into multi-billion dollar settlements with financial institutions without its presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed
Board of Governors voting to accept them. Decisions not to hold institutions accountable when they break the law should not be left to staff. O’Malley will support requiring the Board to vote on all major enforcement and supervisory decisions made by the Fed.

Proposal: Put More Cops on the Wall Street Beat

Even as the need for oversight has increased, funding for and prioritization of critical
enforcement agencies has lagged.
Today, the CFTC’s staff is virtually unchanged from the 1990’s, despite the fact that their
area of oversight—commodity futures trading—has exploded in size, and that they are
now responsible for regulating over-the-counter derivatives. Given the financial industry’s focus on weakening derivatives regulation, this lack of funding can be seen as a backdoor attempt to water down Dodd-Frank.

Similarly, the SEC’s regulatory role has grown dramatically, while the agency has also been given additional responsibilities under Dodd-Frank. But the agency has been chronically under funded by Republicans in Congress –who propose hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to the agency every year–and lacks the resources to adequately enforce laws on behalf of investors.

Immediately Double Funding for CFTC and SEC

The CFTC and SEC have been woefully underfunded in recent years. As a result, both
lack the staff and resources to police bad behavior on Wall Street. Fully funding these
two regulators is an investment that will have a large return over time—preventing the
same dangerous or fraudulent financial practices that led to the collapse of the U.S. economy, at a of
cost anywhere from $14 trillionto $22 trillion.

Governor O’Malley will:

Double CFTC Funding from $322 million to $644 million.

Double SEC Funding from $1.7 billion to $3.4 billion.

Elevate Focus on Economic Crimes at the Department of Justice

After the financial meltdown, the DOJ fell down on the job of prosecuting financial institutions for breaking the law.
Rather than focusing on more time-consuming investigations and criminal prosecutions, they resorted to a fines-only approach of
cracking down on law-breaking.

To date, not one single Wall Street CEO has faced criminal prosecution. Compare this stat to the aftermath of the 1980’s savings-and-loan scandal when hundreds of individuals were criminally prosecuted. Changing the culture at the DOJ will start at the top, but it should also be given the resources to investigate and prosecute financial crimes in-house.

Governor O’Malley will:

Create a Stand alone Economic Crimes Division Within DOJ. To increase the
focus on investigating and prosecuting financial crimes, Governor O’Malley will create a
Division of Economic Crimes within DOJ that is separate and co-equal to the
criminal division. The economic crimes unit should have an independent budget and
be staffed with top prosecutors and FBI agents.

Proposal: Enforce Real Penalties for Financial Crimes

Since the financial crash, the federal government’s key
enforcement agencies have sent a message to the largest financial institutions that they are “too big to jail” and somehow
above the laws that apply to every other entity and individual in America.

Rather than enforcing penalties that wouldhave real deterrent effects, enforcement
agencies have relied almost exclusively on settlements as a punitive measure. As a
result, banks like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays, UBS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland
have continued to break the law, because they know that they will face nothing more than a slap on the wrist—
a fine paid with shareholder money that can often be deducted from their taxes as a business expense.

Require Law-Breaking Banks and their Executives to Admit Guilt, Face Real Consequences

While the DOJ and SEC have touted the large fines they’ve imposed on law-breaking
financial institutions, they have failed to implement any policies that will serve as real deterrents against continued law-breaking.

Governor O’Malley will:

Implement Points Accrual System to Crack Down on Recidivist Banks. The
largest banks have been able to get away with repeated violations of the law because
the only penalty they have faced has been fines.Governor O’Malley will implement a
DMV-style points-accrual system that willassign points to infractions committed by
financial firms and their affiliates. He will makethe points system fully transparent—
so that employees, creditors, and investors all have access to them and can
make decisions based off them—and have the end result be the revocation of an entity’s
right to operate. This approach will send a strong message to institutions that racking
up repeat violations of the law will have real consequences, and it will give them the
opportunity to pursue course-correcting measures if they rack up points. To further
deter wrongdoing, each major fraud or violation could come with its own penalties,
through increased FDIC insurance premiums or increased capital requirements.

End Days of “Neither Admit Nor Deny.” The SEC continues to allow institutions
that break the law to avoid admitting guilt for their actions. If an institution commits a major crime or violation of a law, they should be required to admit their guilt, so that they face the full ramifications of parallel civil and criminal proceedings.

Reduce Reliance on and Increase Transparency Around Agreements Made With Law-Breaking Firms

Rather than pursuing criminal cases or even forcing law-breaking institutions to face the full force of
the law, the DOJ and SEC have adopted policies—often decided behind closed-doors—that allow law-
breakers to skirt accountability.

Governor O’Malley will:

Require Transparency Around Use of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA’s) and Non Prosecution Agreements(NPA’S).
Currently, the DOJ relies heavily on deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements with companies who have broken the law. Under these agreements, companies are permitted to avoid prosecution and real accountability for illegal activity.

Governor O’Malley will incorporate requirements to change senior leadership as part of DPA agreements, while also requiring the DOJ to submit a report explaining in detail the rationale for any DPA or NPA involving any significant economic crimes, including in particular why a DPA or NPA wasn’t used for similar crimes or matters.

Crack Down on SEC’s Use of Waivers By Requiring Public Votes, Statements on Them.
Currently, the SEC has wide berth to grant “waivers” to financial institutions that break the law.These waivers allow law-breaking banks to avoid penalties that come with their violations. To crack down on this process, I willrequire the SEC to
adopt strict procedures by which they can grant waivers. SEC Commissioners should be required to publicly vote on waivers given to too-big-to-fail banks, and require them to publicly state the reasons for their votes in detail.


While the vast majority of our financial system works quite well, a handful of too-big-to-fail, too-big-
to-manage, and too-big-to-jail megabanks continue to pose an enormous risks: to our financial system, the economy, and American families.

As President, Governor O’Malley will work tirelessly to eliminate the unique danger posed by too-big-to-fail banks, by making the following structural reforms.

Proposal: Break Up the Biggest Banks

Separate Risky Investment Banking from Ordinary Commercial Banking

For 70 years, the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act kept the U.S. economy safe from major financial crises by requiring commercial banks to be separate from investment banks to prevent them from putting everyday Americans’ deposits at risk. If Glass-Steagall hadn’t
been repealed in 1999, the financial crisis willlikely have been far less severe.

Governor O’Malley will:

Immediately Reinstate Glass-Steagall.The Volcker Rule, sometimes referred to as “Glass-Steagall Lite,”
is excessively complex, providing too many opportunities for banks to exploit loopholes and ambiguities. O’Malley
will introduce legislation to once again separate traditional banks from riskier financial services, while updating
protections to account for new banking activities and prevent the new rules from being watered down. This
willbe one of his top priorities.

End “Too Big to Fail”

Five megabanks still control half of the financial industry’s $15 trillion in assets. The
largest banks should be subject to strict size limits to prevent this small number of too-
big-to-fail financial institutions from threatening our economy.

Governor O’Malley will:

Right-Size Big Banks Using Living Wills.Although major banks are required to produce living wills under Dodd-Frank, they have resisted compliance. The FDIC found that the banks’ plan are “not credible,” and the banks continue to drag their feet without fixing them. If banks cannot produce a living will that credibly sets
forth a detailed plan on how they would be resolved in bankruptcy without causing a crash of the financial system and without any bail outs, O’Malley will require the Fed to take remedial action to make the bank smaller and less dangerous to our families,
workers, financial system, and entire economy.

Mandate Higher Capital Requirements for Big Banks. Higher capital
requirements are a straightforward, effective, and fair way to make the financial
system significantly safer. In addition to requiring banks to fund themselves with
equity instead of risky debt, they give regulators more leeway in the event of a crisis –without posing additional burdens on smaller banks. O’Malley will strengthen capital reserve requirements for the largest banks, requiring institutions with more
than $500 billion in assets to have capital reserves of not less than 15 percent.

Proposal: Limit Risky, Speculative Trading On Wall Street

Implement a Financial Transaction Tax to Limit High-Frequency Trading

High-frequency trading creates volatility and unnecessary risk in financial markets, while serving no productive purpose in the real economy. A small tax should be applied to each sale and purchase of a financial instrument to limit this activity—one that would be
nearly imperceptible to longer-term investors, but could dramatically cut down on high-risk, speculative activity on Wall Street.

Governor O’Malley will:

Implement a financial transaction tax. The tax will be well-designed not to soak
financial traders, but to fix bad incentives for speculation that comes at the cost of
real job-creating investment.

Proposal: Put Consumer's Interests First

Require Loan Brokers to Act in Consumers’ Best Interests

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made great strides in improving financial
products for consumers, but there is still far to go. A next step should be creating a
fiduciary standard for mortgage brokers and others who hold themselves out as acting in
the best interests of consumers.

Governor O’Malley will:

Create a Fiduciary Standard for Loan Brokers. O’Malley
willadopt new rules to require mortgage brokers, as well as auto loan and student loan brokers, to
put the best interests of consumers first, while providing full and fair disclosure of all
conflicts of interest. This will build from the successful efforts of states such as California and Washington.

Note: Footnotes left out, but if you want to see the source of the facts, check out the original foot-noted version at

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 11:46 AM

13. O'Malley's Plan to Make College Debt Free for all Americans

Governor O’Malley believes higher education should be affordable, accessible, and accountable for all Americans.

Just as the GI Bill allowed his father, a WWII bombardier, to go to law school debt-free and pursue his dreams, the next generation of Americans should have the same opportunity to attend college debt-free.

Yet today, the cost of obtaining a college degree is skyrocketing. American families are being crushed by $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans. And in our increasingly competitive economy, attaining a college degree is more important than ever before.

This is a crisis: Unless we act now, more and more students will not be able to afford higher education at all, putting the American Dream even further out of reach.

PROPOSAL: Set, as a national goal, that all students have access to a high-quality, debt-free college education within 5 years, attainable at any in-state public college or university.

Provide Immediate Relief to Student Borrowers
Nearly 70 percent of U.S. students are now graduating with student debt, averaging more than $28,000 in loans. Unlike homeowners or businesses, student borrowers and their families can’t refinance their loans to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Refinance Student Loans. All Americans with student debt – including both students and their parents – should be able to refinance their loans at lower rates.

Tie Minimum Payments to Incomes. All student borrowers should be automatically enrolled in income-based repayment plans, with loan forgiveness options. Borrowers who do not wish to use repayment plans would be able to opt out of them while those with private loans should be able to refinance into federal programs.

Stop Skyrocketing Tuition Rates

States have slashed higher education investments by an average of 20 percent per student since 2008. Colleges have used tuition increases to make up for 80 percent of lost funding.

Freeze Public Tuition Rates. Governor O’Malley is calling on states to immediately freeze tuition rates.

Restore State Higher Education Funding. He is also calling on states to restore investments in higher education. As president, he would partner with states, leveraging federal dollars through matching grants to encourage states to increase funding for public colleges and universities.

Reduce Tuition Costs
Almost all states have seen double or even triple digit percentage increases in tuition over the past 10 years. As a result, tuition rates at public four-year institutions are now more than 20 percent of state median income in 10 states.

Tie Tuition Rates to Median Incomes. Governor O’Malley would set a national goal of reducing the cost of tuition – to no more than 10 percent of state median income at four-year public universities, and to no more than 5 percent of median income at two-year public colleges. While institutions would be challenged to maintain quality and innovate in education and teaching to cut down on costs, states would be required to maintain their own funding efforts which, along with the increased funding from the matching grant program, would ensure universities do not suffer any decrease in educational quality while meeting these goals.

Help Low- and Middle-Income Students Cover Non-Tuition Costs
Debt-free college must apply to all college costs, not just tuition. But room and board is roughly double the cost of tuition on average. This brings the total cost of attendance up to nearly $19,000 a year for in-state students at four-year public universities. And federal support has not kept pace: while Pell Grants once covered nearly 70% of the cost of college for low-income students, they now cover only a third.

Increase Pell Grants. Pell Grants and state grants should be increased to cover the bulk of non-tuition costs for students who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

Expand and Modernize Work-Study. The need-based federal work-study program should be tripled so that at least two million students can participate. The program would be redesigned to make placements career-focused, and to better support low- and middle-income, part-time, and mid-career students. It will be essential to ensure the program hours are equitable and do not create additional economic hardship or detract from a quality education.

PROPOSAL: Set a national goal of increasing college completion rates by 25 percentage points within 10 years, and eliminating discrepancies in graduation rates based on race and income.

Partner With States and Schools to Improve Completion Rates
Fewer than 40 percent of students of all ages graduate from four-year institutions within four years. Low-income students are the least likely to graduate, with only nine percent of students from the lowest income bracket earning a bachelor’s degree by the time they turned 24.

Give Colleges Incentives to Lead. Matching federal grant programs and additional aid dollars should be used to encourage colleges to increase on-time graduation rates, improve education quality, and direct aid toward students who need it most.

Decouple Profits from Longer Completion Times. Federal and state governments should develop new incentives to encourage colleges and universities to help ensure students graduate on time.

Support Part-Time and Mid-Career Students

Roughly six million students attend college part-time, with five million students also supporting families while pursuing their degree. Unsurprisingly, part-time students are three times more likely to drop out than full-time students.

Make Childcare Affordable on Campus. A first priority for supporting this group of strivers is providing safe, high quality childcare on campus. Federal and state government should share the costs of increasing access to childcare for student parents.

Create Multiple Pathways to Graduation

Four years of classes are not always required for students to master the skills needed to enter a discipline, and many students learn better outside of the classroom. All measures should ensure access to an equal and quality education for all students at a given school, regardless of income.

Reduce Time to Graduation. The federal government should encourage schools to employ competency-based education strategies, which allow students to learn at their own pace, saving both money and time.

Encourage Expanded Online and Blended Learning, Project-Based Learning, and Course Redesign.

Increase College Preparedness
Although high school graduation rates are at a record-high 80 percent, one-third of high school students are unprepared for entry-level college courses.

Expand Access to Early College Credit. The federal government should support innovative efforts to better prepare high schoolers for college, like expanded accelerated learning and dual-enrollment programs.

Expand Access to Quality College Counseling. Better access to counseling is critical to helping lower-income and first-generation students apply for, navigate, and graduate from college, increasing college enrollment and graduation rates overall.

Hold For-Profit Colleges Accountable
Less than a quarter of students enrolled in for-profit institutions graduate, while the 11 percent of students who attend them represent almost half of all student loan defaults.

Set Strict Accountability Targets. President Obama’s aggressive efforts to prevent abuse, including the new gainful employment rule, should be expanded, to require colleges to meet accountability targets in recruitment, completion, and risk-sharing.

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 12:07 PM

14. O'Malley's Plan on Immigration

Welcoming New Americans to Rebuild The American Dream

We are a nation of immigrants – whether our ancestors came from Ireland or from Mexico, or whether they immigrated here generations ago, or whether our parents brought us to the United States. But today, this fundamental characteristic of our country – the diversity that makes us great and enriches each new generation – is being eroded. Our outdated immigration laws no longer meet our economic needs, our national security imperatives, or our values as a people. They fail to reaffirm our founding ideal, e pluribus unum – that out of many, we are one.

As a nation, we must honor our proud legacy as a nation of immigrants and maintain one of America’s key strategic advantages: that people all over the world still dream of becoming Americans. To continue to attract the next generation of strivers, dreamers, and risk-takers, and to be true to the values we hold dear, it is imperative that we pursue a dynamic, modern approach to immigration policy. This will require a new push for comprehensive immigration reform – and new leadership that is willing to work tirelessly until it is finally accomplished, once and for all.

There is broad consensus on how to fix our inhumane immigration system, but for all those waiting to immigrate – and for all those already here waiting to be legally included – reform cannot come soon enough. In 2013 alone, more than 72,000 parents were torn from their U.S.-born children. One out of five undocumented adults today is at risk of being separated from their partners. Even a visit from relatives can turn into a decades-long waiting game.

New Americans have endured the uncertainty and fear of legislative inaction for far too long. They deserve to know that when they go to work in the morning, their contributions will be valued, and that they’ll return home safely to their children. The next president must provide that assurance. And he or she can do so immediately by using the full power of the presidency to secure administrative relief for millions of New American families.

To give Congress a running start on advancing a lasting legislative solution, Governor O’Malley is committed to providing that relief his first year in office. From expanding the use of deferred action and exercising discretion to keep families together; to rewriting punitive regulations and ending harmful law enforcement policies; to greatly limiting detention and restoring due process to our immigration system; an O’Malley Administration will use all legal and executive authorities to safeguard and welcome New Americans and restore greatness and justice to America’s immigration system.

As president, Governor O’Malley will act immediately to:

Extend Administrative Relief to Millions of New American Families

Deferred action is the broadest, most inclusive, and most important relief that the next president can provide immigrant families. It allows hard-working individuals who already have strong ties to the United States to continue working and contributing to the good of our nation – and to do so within the framework, the opportunities, and the responsibilities of our laws.

Expanding deferred action is well within the president’s legal authority, based on the actions of previous presidents and the longstanding features of American immigration law. While President Obama’s efforts to expand deferred action have been delayed by baseless conservative challenges in the courts, Governor O’Malley is confident – and legal experts almost universally agree – that they will be upheld. But whether or not the president’s executive actions triumph at the courts, O’Malley is committed with moving forward with the additional steps outlined below.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Provide Deferred Action to the Greatest Possible Number of New Americans. To start, O’Malley would direct the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide immediate relief from deportation, with work authorization, to all individuals covered by the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform proposal. This includes the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as all individuals who have strong family and community ties – such as parents of DACA recipients or of young foreign-born children, individuals who have long-term residence in our country, and all young people who entered the United States before the age of 21. The goal is to get as many immigrants who are productive, contributing members of society onto the books and more fully included in our economy.

Expand Access to Waivers to the Three- or Ten-Year Bar

Too many barriers exist that prevent immigrants from legally living and working in the United States. Many immigrants who are entitled to lawful permanent resident status (also known as a green card) must first return to their home countries. Yet if they previously lived in the United States while undocumented, they are then barred from re-entering the United States for three to ten years. This 1990s policy creates a Catch 22 that needlessly hurts American families, punishing individuals even if they are now eligible to legally remain in the United States.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Grant Broad Waivers to the Three- or Ten-Year Bar. While waivers are available to the three- and ten-year bar, very few people are eligible for them. Today, applicants qualify for a waiver only if their bar creates “extreme hardship” to their U.S. citizen parent or spouse. Hardship to the immigrants themselves – or to their children, even if they are U.S. citizens – is not a factor in this decision. O’Malley would immediately issue guidance broadly interpreting “extreme hardship” to greatly limit the three- and ten-year bars, while working with Congress to achieve a permanent repeal.

Expand Parole-in-Place. Parole allows immigrants who have resided in the United States unlawfully to have a U.S. citizen of lawful permanent resident sponsor them for a green card without triggering the three- and ten-year bars. DHS already has the authority to parole individuals for humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Indeed, DHS already implemented parole-in-place for the families of members of the U.S. Armed Forces. O’Malley would issue guidance expanding parole-in-place to benefit all spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Expand Access to Naturalization for New Americans

Naturalization is an essential tool for New Americans to have access to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It is the foundation on which America’s immigration success story relies. However, barriers to naturalization have resulted in more than eight million lawful permanent residents who are eligible to naturalize, but have not yet done so.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Conduct Sustained Naturalization Outreach. O’Malley will undertake significant outreach and educational programs to promote naturalization, including U.S. agency, media, and community outreach. This will include directing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify and encourage lawful permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship to naturalize, while also expanding access to naturalization by lowering fees as appropriate.

Expand Access to Health Care for New Americans

Health care access is critically needed to strengthen the wellbeing of communities and our nation’s economy. However, New Americans disproportionately lack health insurance because of statutory and regulatory restrictions.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Rescind the Regulations Restricting Health Care for DACA and DAPA-Recipients. The Affordable Care Act provides access to the health care exchanges, tax credit subsidies, and other benefits to individuals who are lawfully present in the United States. However, a 2012 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulation excluded individuals with deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from these affordable health insurance options. O’Malley will rescind this regulation, providing health care access to the approximately five million individuals who are or will be eligible for deferred action under DACA, the proposed DACA expansion, and forthcoming Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Use Detention Only as a Last Resort

Conditions at immigrant detention facilities are deplorable – and those locked up in them are incarcerated not because they committed a crime, but because they are due to appear months or years later in immigration court. The system denies immigrants due process. It rips apart families. It traumatizes children. And taxpayers pick up the bill.

The Obama Administration has announced a number of reforms to detention policies, but none go far enough – in all but extraordinary circumstances, immigrant detentions must end for good.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Limit Detention to Only Those Who Pose a Clear Threat to Public Safety. The only individuals who should be detained are those who pose a clear threat to public safety or national security. O’Malley will direct DHS to use alternatives to detention for the vast majority of people. He will end the practice of holding children and families in detention centers. He will also end the detention of other vulnerable immigrants, especially LGBTQ individuals. This includes using the family placement and community-based supervision policies he successfully implemented in Maryland.

End the 34,000 Bed Quota. Congress requires DHS to maintain 34,000 beds in immigrant detention centers. The agency has historically interpreted this quota as setting a minimum number of beds, and entered contracts with detention centers that require the beds to be filled. Detention numbers should reflect of our actual public safety and national security needs, not an arbitrary target. O’Malley will issue guidance that DHS treat the bed mandate as a ceiling, not a floor – while working with Congress to establish funding levels for detention that reflect our public safety priorities.

Close Inhumane Detention Facilities. O’Malley will close or upgrade costly, inhumane, and violent detention centers. This includes the short-term facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border that often do not meet established detention standards. O’Malley will ensure the humane treatment of all detained individuals, increase oversight and monitoring, and bring criminal charges against bad actors. He will also work with Congress to codify higher detention standards and give immigrants a private right of action to enforce these accountability mechanisms.

Restore Due Process Safeguards and Basic Fairness to Immigration Enforcement

Existing laws deny immigrants basic due process protections and foster fear and mistrust of law enforcement. Thousands of immigrants are jailed without a bond hearing while they fight their deportation cases. Immigrants are transferred to detention centers thousands of miles from their homes, do not have access to lawyers, and are pressured to accept deportation to escape the deplorable conditions.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Expand Due Process Protections in the Detention and Immigration System. Our current system lacks due process protections in the judicial and detention context. O’Malley will implement critical reforms, including providing counsel for immigrants in deportation proceedings, increasing the number of immigration judges and courts, ending telephonic and video hearings for detainees, ensuring language access, and holding detention facilities and DHS personnel accountable for constitutional rights violations.

Prevent Racial and Religious Profiling. Current S. Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines include loopholes that permit DHS agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration and the CBP, to profile Americans based on their ethnicity and religion. O’Malley would work with DOJ and DHS to close these unfair loopholes and uphold our constitutional rights.

Disentangle Public Safety and Local Law Enforcement from Immigration Enforcement

President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing called for federal immigration enforcement to be “decoupled” from routine local policing. Our policies have fallen short of their goal to pinpoint and detain individuals who pose a clear and present danger to public safety. Instead, they have created an indiscriminate dragnet that can encourage racial profiling. This undermines the credibility of law enforcement efforts and hurts community safety, eroding the trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement that is critical to identifying and removing dangerous individuals from society.

As president, O’Malley will:

Limit the Use of Detainers and Notifications. DHS cannot continue to expect local law enforcement agencies to bear the costs, risks, and liability of holding immigrants based on incomplete investigations and inadequate evidence. O’Malley will direct immigration enforcement agents to obtain warrants from a judge, like any other law enforcement agency, in order to detain immigrants. O’Malley will also direct immigration enforcement agents to stop the routine issuance of U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) notification requests under the new Priority Enforcement Program, which may lead to unlawful detentions and transfers.

End 287(g) Agreements. Immigrant and civil rights advocates have rung the alarm for years about the 287(g) program, which also undermines community policing, incentivizes racial profiling, and has been at the heart of some of the worst abuses of immigrants’ civil rights. O’Malley will end the 287(g) jail programs, which are not mandatory and are an outdated and inappropriate way to enforce immigration laws.

Respect the Autonomy of States and Localities in Immigration Enforcement. Many states and localities have set policies that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities. The intention of these policies is to protect residents’ rights and build trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities. Many sheriffs and law enforcement officers strongly support these policies because they allow local enforcement to more effectively promote public safety. O’Malley will strongly oppose Congressional efforts that disrespect the autonomy of states and localities by coercing them – through the withholding of federal funding or other mechanisms – to rescind these policies.

End the Coercion of Local Law Enforcement through Civil Immigration Warrants. Law enforcement officers across the country refer to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to find out if a person in their custody has outstanding warrants. However, in recent years, ICE has entered civil immigration warrants into NCIC, confusing local police and producing unlawful arrests. O’Malley will provide clear direction, guidance, and training to local and state law enforcement agencies that they do not have the authority to arrest immigrants on civil administrative warrants.

Protect the Border, While Respecting Individual Rights

Effective immigration policy includes border security that bars those who wish us harm, and facilitates the entry and exit of others. However, this goal requires a functioning and efficient legal immigration system. Modern border security extends well beyond the U.S.-Mexico border and recognizes that we must be vigilant and judicious at all U.S. ports of entry.

CBP plays a critical role protecting the American public. In order to effectively secure the border, CBP officers must have the tools, trust, training, and support they need to honorably do their jobs and keep Americans safe.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Promote Smart, 21st-Century Border Security. Existing border security efforts can be wasteful and disruptive to border communities, while failing to address the fluid factors that drive migration. O’Malley will commit the resources needed to modernize and strengthen the border while respecting the rights of border communities. O’Malley will ensure that our border is secure through the strategic use of personnel and technology, extensive training and support for immigration officers, and policies that address the root causes of migration.

Ensure That CBP Officers Can Serve with Pride. Politicized congressional mandates have required Customs and Border Protection to hire and deploy hundreds of agents rapidly, sometimes without sufficient training, oversight, and accountability. O’Malley will direct CBP to focus on improving the professionalism, legal knowledge, and integrity of its growing force. He will require CBP to implement the best practices in law enforcement, including equipping officers with body cameras, tracking and disclosing discourtesy and brutality complaints, providing robust training, and holding agents accountable for excessive force.

Refocus Border Enforcement on Securing the Actual Border. In terms of the area policed, the U.S. border is now 100 miles inland from any land border or coast. Roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within this 100-mile zone. As a result, border agents regularly patrol areas far removed from the actual border, including neighborhoods and urban municipalities. O’Malley will protect the civil rights of residents who live near the border by directing border patrol agents to focus on border security, not interior law enforcement.

Focus on the Most Important Cases. Under Operation Streamline, federal attorneys criminally prosecute virtually all undocumented immigrants that enter through the Southern border for illegal entry and reentry. Thousands of immigrants who try to enter or re-enter the United States are the parents of U.S. citizens who are attempting to reunite with their children and loved ones. O’Malley will direct federal prosecutors to focus on priority cases that advance national security, address violent crime or financial fraud, and protect the most vulnerable members of society.

While Governor O’Malley will use executive action to the full extent of his authority, he understands that administrative relief is no substitute for Congressional action. There is a clear consensus among the American people for comprehensive immigration reform that restores legality, confidence, coherence and pride in our immigration system. There is significant support for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, but a failure of political will and leadership has stymied progress.

Our outdated immigration system has locked out millions of people from our economy and does not meet the needs of our modern, digital, and globalized workforce. Nor does it reflect our values of inclusiveness, innovation, and dignity for all people.

Securing comprehensive immigration reform has not been easy, but with new and principled leadership, and a commitment to action, O’Malley knows we can – and must – achieve it.

Forge Consensus to Achieve Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In Maryland, O’Malley forged a new consensus to secure the rights of New Americans. As Governor, he campaigned for and signed Maryland’s version of the DREAM Act, providing all children the opportunity to afford higher education and compete in Maryland’s economy. When the law was contested, he successfully championed it in a referendum, making Maryland the first state to defend the DREAM Act at the ballot box. He lobbied for and signed legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses so they could safely get to work and obey the rules of the road. Throughout his 15 years of executive experience, O’Malley forged – not followed – public opinion on immigration, bringing people together to get the job done.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Enact and Implement Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Governor O’Malley will never delay nor stop fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. From the first days of his Administration, he will work with Congress to modernize our immigration system and secure a path to full and equal citizenship for New Americans. O’Malley believes that this is an economic, moral, and national security imperative – one that is enshrined in our founding principles as a nation.

Overhaul the Legal U.S. Immigration System

The basic architecture of the U.S. immigration system dates back to the 1960s. Rigid visa caps – putting unrealistic and rigid quotas on who can contribute to our country – have remained virtually unchanged since that time. This outdated system puts the United States at a serious disadvantage – making us unable, as we have in every other generation, to welcome the best and brightest people from around the world and those willing to work hard and honestly to build our economy. This includes the hundreds of thousands of students who study at and earn degrees in engineering, science, and business at U.S. universities, but are unable to apply their talents in our economy.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Create an Independent Agency to Set U.S. Immigration Policy. Comprehensive immigration reform should build a new, nimble, and responsive immigration system—one that will prevent our country from ever needing to fight for comprehensive reform again. O’Malley will call for a reform bill to create a new, independent body housed within the executive branch. The agency will make recommendations to Congress regarding immigration levels and visa requirements. The recommendations would be based on rigorous and non-partisan analysis and market needs – supplying additional H-1B visas, creating new visas to attract and retain foreign innovators, establishing protections for workers, and complimenting and upholding the American workforce.

Address Employment Barriers for Foreign Professionals. Roughly one out of five highly skilled immigrants in the United States is unemployed or underemployed, unable to fully contribute their entrepreneurial efforts to America’s success. O’Malley would work with states, Congress, and federal agency partners to address barriers for high-skilled immigrant workers, such as credentialing and licensing requirements and policies; and to better provide language and technical training through the nation’s workforce system.

Promote Family Unity. Our immigration system has historically sought to preserve family unity, recognizing that strong families are the foundation of a strong economy. Yet long visa backlogs have kept families apart for many years, and because of a lack of procedural safeguards and due process, thousands of U.S. citizens and their family members have been unlawfully deported. O’Malley will work with Congress so that the supply of visas better meets demand. He will also reform outdated immigration bars so that previously deported individuals with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relatives could lawfully return to the United States.

Restore Judicial Discretion. In recent years our nation rescinded the ability of immigration law enforcement and judges to consider the individual circumstances of a person’s case. O’Malley will ensure that any future immigration legislation contains robust waiver provisions that restore the discretion of law enforcement and judges to consider individual factors—such as family and community ties; the nature, seriousness, and other circumstances of past criminal charges; passage of time; medical conditions; and contributions to community and family.

Protect the Diversity Visa. The diversity visa lottery was created to diversify the immigrant population in the United States. Today, about half of diversity visa lottery winners come from Africa. O’Malley would work to ensure that future immigration reform efforts do not gut this critical program.

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 03:46 PM

15. KICK!

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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 04:54 PM

16. O'Malley on Restoring Our American Democracy

Restoring Our American Democracy

Truly fixing our economy requires fixing our democracy. Today in America, big-money special interests have taken over our elections. In the five years since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling, super PACs, corporations and dark money groups have spent almost $2 billion trying to sway the outcome of federal elections—2.5 times what they spent, in total, between 1990 and 2008. As a result, special interests have drowned out our voices, while relentlessly lobbying for policies that improve their bottom lines at the expense of the American middle class. This corrupt system—while technically “legal”—forces candidates into a race to the bottom, embracing the muscle of their super PACs even as they espouse democratic principles and lukewarm promises of change.

It’s time for actions, not just words, on campaign finance reform—and Americans of all political stripes agree. That’s why Governor O’Malley has committed to establishing publicly financed congressional elections within five years as part of his 15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream. Meeting this ambitious goal will require a new campaign finance system, a tougher regulatory system, and stronger disclosure rules—in addition to an unrelenting effort to overturn Citizens United once and for all.

We The People Are Not Corporations

Today in America, due to a deeply flawed reading of our Constitution, a handful of wealthy special interests and corporations are able to buy candidates and elections—on both sides of the aisle—ensuring that the voices of the vast majority of Americans are not heard.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Fight to Overturn Citizens United.
As president, O’Malley will fight to ratify the Democracy for All amendment, which will allow the American people to once again place reasonable limits on the money that flows into our elections. This will give Congress and the states the authority to do what they always did before wealthy donors and corporations bought our courts and our elections: enact meaningful campaign finance rules that cap candidate spending, establish contribution limits, and bar corporations from meddling in our democratic process. The vast majority of Americans—including both Democrats and Republicans alike—overwhelmingly agree that Citizens United should be overturned.

Push to Establish a Constitutional Right to Vote.
Our democracy depends on greater participation, yet in recent years Republicans have sharply limited access to our most fundamental right. O’Malley has called for amending the Constitution to explicitly guarantee the right to vote—giving U.S. courts the authority to strike down efforts that disenfranchise voters, while empowering Congress to enact strong electoral standards nationwide.

Support Bipartisan Redistricting Commissions. O’Malley applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission this spring, which upheld voters’ right to draw their electoral districts fairly and independently. O’Malley will support states that are seeking to overcome gridlock by turning to bipartisan redistricting commissions to draw their Congressional districts.

Citizen Funded Elections

Runaway election spending by special interests forces candidates to listen to big money donors over the voters they claim to represent. As races are inundated with more and more outside spending, members of Congress now devote more than half of their time to fundraising, not governing. At the same time, the total number of small donors has begun to fall. In 2014, the top 100 donors to super PACs spent almost as much money as every single small-dollar donor combined.

It’s time for a new campaign finance system that gives candidates the opportunity to raise a larger number of smaller contributions from people back home—encouraging every citizen to participate in the democratic process and making candidates truly work for every vote.

Build a New Campaign Finance System

Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of implementing public financing of congressional elections within five years. To meet that goal, he supports the Government By the People Act introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD). As president, Governor O’Malley will work aggressively with Congress to pass and implement the Act.

Through the Government By the People Act, Governor O’Malley will:

Empower Americans to Participate in Elections. To counter the decline in small donors, O’Malley will provide Americans with a $25 refundable My Voice tax credit for contributing to candidates for Congressional office. By encouraging many more Americans to participate in giving, O’Malley will give candidates needed incentive to engage voters instead of special interests.

Amplify the Voices of American Voters. To make the contributions of small-dollar donors go even further, O’Malley will establish a national Freedom From Influence Fund. Americans who give $150 or less to a candidate who forgoes PAC money will have their contributions matched at a rate of $6 to $1. And if voters donate to candidates who agree to take exclusively small-dollar donations, they will see their contributions matched at an even higher $9 to $1 rate. As a result, congressional candidates will be able to spend far less time dialing for dollars and more time listening to the interests and concerns of voters.

Fight Against Special Interest Influence. Outside groups have monopolized our airwaves in the years since Citizens United, especially as campaigns enter their final stretch. In order to help citizen-funded candidates compete on more equal terms, O’Malley will provide additional public financing to congressional candidates who raise at least $50,000 in small-dollar donations in the 60 days before an election.

Real Accountability Under The Law

One of the biggest problems with our campaign finance laws is that we don’t enforce the laws we already have. Candidates, their political action committees, and even our party leadership are complicit in openly defying the letter and spirit of the law as they vie for larger and larger campaign contributions from Wall Street, fossil fuel companies and other special interests. And they do so without penalty, because the Federal Election Commission is now so gridlocked and broken that its commissioners have given up on enforcing election laws altogether. This is an unbelievable and unacceptable outcome. But as the chairwoman of the FEC says herself, “There is not going to be any real enforcement” of campaign finance regulations in 2016.

We need a new, nonpartisan system that actually works, both to hold candidates and PACs accountable under existing rules—and to enforce the next generation of stronger, citizen-driven election laws.

Overhaul the Federal Election Commission

The Federal Election Commission was designed and weakened by those it regulates—members of Congress—in order to be as ineffectual as possible. With three appointed members from each party, the commission is inherently partisan and perpetually deadlocked. As a result, its members cannot complete basic orders of business without resorting to extraordinary measures and hostile debates; their case backlog is now unprecedented. The FEC is imposing record-low fines even as political spending soars, failing to hold lawbreakers accountable and failing to respond to Citizens United.

It’s time to fix the FEC—while making its mission and work a real national priority.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Fight for a New FEC. The FEC’s partisan design is the root of the agency’s dysfunction. O’Malley will urge Congress to fundamentally restructure and strengthen the FEC by establishing a single administrator position to oversee the agency. This administrator would lead the FEC and enforce its laws, serving a term independent from the president who appoints them. O’Malley will also fight for real enforcement authority for the new FEC, including replacing the FEC’s toothless settlement process with a comprehensive schedule of strong, mandatory fines.

Strengthen Existing Disclosure Requirements. The FEC has broad authority to bring “dark money” spending—which accounted for a third of the $2 billion spent by outside groups on elections since Citizens United—into the light. But the FEC has allowed loopholes in disclosure rules to proliferate, leaving doors open to corruption. O’Malley will pressure the FEC to update its regulations: mandating that political action committees register and disclose the full extent of their campaign spending, preventing non-political committees from skirting disclosure requirements, and requiring all groups that engage in “electioneering communications” to disclose all of their underlying donors under the law.

Restrict Coordinated Campaign Activity. Despite unprecedented coordination between candidates and their super PACs, the FEC has stepped aside: allowing candidates to functionally evade contribution limits via coordination without imposing any significant penalties on campaigns that do so. O’Malley will call on the FEC to enforce laws restricting coordination, while using its existing authority to strengthen them. This includes treating candidate fundraising for outside groups as direct, prohibited coordination; and ending the “internet exemption” that allows some outside groups that engage in political activity online to coordinate directly with campaigns.

Strengthen Enforcement of Campaign Finance Laws. O’Malley will make real enforcement of campaign finance laws a federal priority. O’Malley will appoint FEC Commissioners and an Attorney General committed to assertively enforcing our nation’s existing laws even as we forge a new consensus for broader reforms to restore our democracy.

Transparency In Our Democracy

Our laws are riddled with loopholes that allow corporations and other special interests to pump undisclosed and unaccountable money into our elections. The biggest loophole is that “social welfare groups” face no requirements that they disclose their donors at all. Two such groups put more money into the presidential campaign in 2012 than all super PACs combined.

It’s time to bring “dark money” political spending into the light—through extensive executive action, and by passing strong and comprehensive disclosure laws.

Enforce and Strengthen Financial Disclosure Rules

The federal government already has significant authority to establish strong, comprehensive financial disclosure requirements. However, political pressure and partisan dysfunction have prevented agencies from putting forward commonsense and long-overdue transparency rules.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Use Executive Authority to Increase Transparency. In addition to the FEC rules described above, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Communications Commission each have the authority to strengthen campaign finance disclosure laws. O’Malley will direct each agency to act, completing regulations that require publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to their shareholders, restrict political spending by dark money groups, and enforce laws requiring broadcasters to disclose the real identities of sponsors who run political ads.

Pass Expanded Disclosure Laws. O’Malley will endorse, prioritize, and fight to pass and implement the DISCLOSE Act, which would require that all groups that engage in more than $10,000 in political spending—including social welfare non-profits—disclose their donors. The Act would also require disclosures by organizations that transfer or receive more than $50,000 for political spending, preventing special interests from setting up shell organizations to avoid disclosing their political contributions. Finally, the DISCLOSE Act would expand reporting requirements for organizations and donors who place and pay for television and radio ads in the months before an election.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:19 AM

17. O'Malley's Plan on Foreign Policy

This is from his speech to the Truman National Security Project on June 25, 2015

I. Introduction

Thank you for having me here today.

For more than a decade, the Truman National Security Project has been at the forefront of nurturing a new generation of leaders in foreign policy and national security.

From military bases in San Diego to federal agencies in Washington, you are not only advocating for a strong, smart, principled approach to international affairs—you are taking action, every day.

Through Operation Free, you are mobilizing a coalition of veterans, activists, and experts who know our reliance on fossil fuels threatens the security of our country.

Through No Exceptions, you are working to make sure that our military recruits the most talented Americans—regardless of gender.

And through the Frontline Civilians Initiative, you are supporting the diplomats, journalists, NGO workers and development professionals who are not in uniform, but who nonetheless put their lives on the line to alleviate human suffering.

Thanks to all of you, the Truman Project has emerged as a valuable source of ideas on the toughest challenges facing our nation today.

And we need those bold ideas now, more than ever.

II. America’s Role In The World

America’s role in the world is to advance the cause of a rising global middle class— free from oppression, free from want, free from fear.

But after twelve years on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan…

….and after a global financial crisis and long recession that our people are still struggling to recover from…

…it is understandable that many Americans would like to disengage from the world.

Understandable, but not responsible.

Because our country’s security—and our children’s prosperity—demand that we be more engaged with the world around us, not less.

We do this primarily by making our nation more prosperous and secure here at home.

And we do this by exercising our economic, diplomatic, military, and healing power around the world, in ways that are consistent with our moral principles.

In essence:

We must create a more far-sighted and a more pro-active foreign policy—based on engagement and collaboration, rather than going it alone.

And we must construct a new framework for our national security strategy, focused on the reduction of threats.

Today’s challenges defy easy solutions. We may have the most sophisticated military in history, but we do not have a silver bullet.

This morning, I want to share a vision for a more agile, innovative, and forward-thinking approach, one that will enable us to master the challenges of our times—rather than falling victim to them.

My purpose here today is not to offer soundbite solutions to a laundry list of crises.

My purpose here today is to lay out a long-term framework for pursuing our national interests in a fast-changing world.

III. History

A little bit of important history.

As America and her allies brought World War II to a close, a plain-spoken man named Harry Truman became our President.

Having fought in the First World War, Truman knew something about courage, about service, and about sacrifice.

It was Truman who concluded World War II.

It was Truman who brought forward the Marshall Plan that would turn our former enemies into democratic allies.

It was Truman who led the United States to recognize Israel immediately upon her founding.

And it was Truman who crafted and signed into law the National Security Act of 1947— the most lasting overhaul of our National Security strategies and institutions.

We must take the broader lessons of what worked in Truman’s day—and apply them to the emerging threats of our own time.

Because today, we face an equally daunting array of threats.

These threats are much different and far more complex than those of the 1990’s.

Violent extremism. Nuclear proliferation. Pandemics. Cyber-attacks.

Rising inequality. Failed nation-states. The mega-droughts, famines, and floods caused by climate change.

And more refugees than at any time since World War II.

It is time for a New National Security Act—one focused on the reduction of threats like these.

IV. Key Questions

Understanding precedes action.

To understand, we must ask the right questions.

Among them:

How do we balance the use of our military, diplomatic, and economic tools to advance our national interests, in ways that are consistent with our most deeply held American values?

What enhanced roles might institutions like the Defense Threat Reduction Agency or the Centers for Disease Control play in looking over the horizon—to alert us earlier to emerging threats?

What are the forward-looking investments and new alliances we can make—with other nations—that will stem the root causes of instability?

And how can we best prepare to defend ourselves from our enemies—while doing all we can to prevent conflict in the first place?

IV. Protecting The People Of The United States

The first and foremost responsibility of the President of the United States is to protect the American people.

Today, this means transforming our military’s force structure to focus on 21st-century challenges.
It means protecting our privacy and our security at the same time.

It means reducing security threats not only with better technology, but with better human intelligence.

It means transforming the way we partner with the private sector and civil society—harnessing the energy and talents of the American people to advance our values.

It means joining with allies to deploy renewable energy technologies—both at home and around the world—to confront the very real and present danger of potentially irreversible climate change.

It means understanding that comprehensive immigration reform is both an economic and a national security imperative.

It means protecting the United States from cyber attacks on the digital battlefields of servers and smartphones.

It means re-thinking how we deal with nations like Russia and China—which are neither trusted allies nor total adversaries.

It means forging a New Alliance for Progress right here in our own American hemisphere, which we have under-valued and neglected for far too long.

And it means forming regional partnerships to address emerging threats—in places like the South China Sea, the Arctic, and the sea lanes of the Middle East.

There is urgent work to be done.

V. Climate Change

Nowhere is this more collaborative approach more important than in confronting the growing and immediate challenge of severe climate change.

For years, the Pentagon has recognized global warming as an urgent national security threat.

Your organization’s leader—former Army Captain Mike Breen—put it best at a recent Congressional hearing, when he said:

“Over 97 percent of climate scientists say that man-made climate change is a reality.”

“As a combat leader, if 97 percent of my intelligence indicated that I was about to face a lethal danger that would risk the lives of my paratroopers—I would be committing unconscionable malpractice if I did not listen and act.”

Mike is right.

The energy technologies needed to combat climate change exist today—it’s only the political will that is lacking.

America can, and must, lead the way—by pursuing an ambitious plan to ensure our country is powered 100 percent by clean energy, by 2050.

Climate change is not only a very real existential threat to human life, it is also the greatest business opportunity to come to our country in a hundred years.

We must seize this opportunity by creating an American Green Jobs Agenda that is a match for the climate challenge.

We need to invest in resilience—from the Jersey Shore to California’s Central Valley.

We need to spur innovation—to develop cutting-edge technologies that will create jobs at home, and unlock new markets abroad.

We need to embrace new ideas at the state level, as we have in Maryland— where, in just eight years, we increased renewable energy capacity by 57 percent, became a clean-tech jobs hub, and cut carbon emissions by 10 percent.

America’s leadership and example are essential.

Because climate change is a global challenge—with global consequences. It is the transformation that transforms everything.

And by confronting this challenge, we can realize global economic opportunities—and job opportunities—for the United States.

We must partner with emerging markets, in our own hemisphere and beyond, to distribute renewable energy solutions and green design.

We must aggressively push for global emissions agreements in venues like the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.

And we must seed, scale, and deploy American-made renewable energy technologies throughout the world.

To reduce mankind’s carbon footprint.

To preserve the living systems of this earth—for ourselves and our posterity.

VI. Trade

Like climate change, trade is a global challenge. And it also has global consequences.

In our closely connected world, prosperity is not a zero-sum game.

While the cause of a rising global middle class is vital to our long-term economic and national security, our power is grounded in the strength, here at home, of our own middle class.

What gain for the United States can be found in secret trade deals that fast track the export of American jobs, and undermine wages for American workers?

Trade deals that raise standards for workers and the environment are good for the United States.

Trade deals that lower standards for workers and the environment are bad for the United States.

This is not a call for protectionism.

It is a call for fair competition—the kind that is consistent with our most deeply held American values.

The national interest of the People of the United States of America is not measured by the bottom-line profits of multi-national corporations—however large.

No nation ever off-shored its way to greatness.

To rebuild the American Dream, we must stop making it easier to ship American jobs abroad and start making better investments to grow our economy, here at home.

VII. Cyber

One such investment is cybersecurity— a new domain that is both an emerging opportunity and an emerging challenge to every facet of our society.

For centuries, nation-states sought to protect themselves from attacks by land and sea. And later, from attacks by air.

Now, in the information age, we must move to defend ourselves—and our economy—from attacks carried out through the Internet.

Last year, global cyberattacks jumped by nearly 50 percent.

Stolen intellectual property and other opportunities lost to cybercrime could cost us as many as 200,000 American jobs annually.

And our critical infrastructure remains extremely vulnerable to hackers.

Nuclear power plants, public transportation, air traffic control, water systems, and even the electric grid itself—all are in danger of being shut down with a few lines of malicious code.

The harm would extend far beyond just the loss of our personal data—it could grind our national and metro economies to a halt.

We must develop and follow-through on a comprehensive new agenda for cybersecurity that protects every level of our society.

To accomplish this goal, we must harness the skills of American engineers, designers, and scholars—from Silicon Valley to Fort Meade—to secure our networks.

And we must empower our National Guard with a new mission—the mission of protecting our cyber-networks in the Homeland—on a state-by-state level.

I have seen this need firsthand.

As the President’s appointed co-chair of the Council of Governors—a group charged by an Act of Congress to work with the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security—I advocated for a new national initiative to recruit, equip, and train cybersecurity units in every state’s National Guard.

These are highly-paid skills in the private sector.

And the quickest and most cost-effective way to stand up this capacity is in the citizen-soldier context of every state’s National Guard.

Furthermore, National Guard Cyber Units are best suited under our Constitution for the Homeland mission of collaborating with public and private sector partners to protect vital networks.

VIII. Sustainable Development

Like cybersecurity, sustainable development is a national security imperative. It requires a long-term commitment to advance the cause of a rising global middle class.

This is not a fanciful dream. Hard-won progress is being made.

Inspired by the Millennium Development Goals, the United States—in partnership with the global community—has cut extreme poverty and child deaths in half over the past 25 years: one of the greatest measurable leaps ever achieved in human prosperity and health.

And yet, still more than a billion people in Asia, Africa and Latin America live on less than $1.25 a day—all of them vulnerable to the scourge of extreme poverty and violent extremism.

Is it any surprise that, in Liberia—a country with just one medical school and meager hospital supplies—more than 10,000 people were infected with Ebola?

Is it any surprise that, in Honduras—a country with the world’s highest murder rate and the most brutal drug trafficking—that thousands of people have fled for their lives, in our own hemisphere?

Our leadership—in collaboration with other nations—is essential.

To be successful, we must involve more Americans from all walks of life in the cause of development—scientists and students; entrepreneurs and security experts; business executives and urban planners.

We must better integrate our development and military teams—ensuring that we are tailoring our assistance to get things done within the local culture.

We must support American businesses that project our values in emerging markets.

We must adequately fund our diplomatic and development agencies—particularly USAID and the State Department.

And we must achieve the goal of ending extreme poverty, hunger, and preventable child and maternal death—all within the next 15 years.

By promoting open societies—and by protecting the dignity of human lives in fragile states—we not only build the next generation of political and economic partners,…

…we also reduce the threat of our being drawn into more costly conflicts in the decades to come.

As James Mattis, the former Commander of U.S. Central Command, put it bluntly: “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

IX. Managing The Most Immediate Security Threats

Development, Defense, and Diplomacy must stand together as equal and essential parts of our national security.

They are also critical in reducing threats in what may be the most volatile and dangerous area in the world today: the Middle East.

Over these last several years, I have had the opportunity to talk with dozens of patriotic Americans who have given their energies and talents in this troubled region of our world.

I agree with noted national security expert Phil Gordon’s conclusions on our core national interests in the Middle East:

To protect our allies and prevent regional war.

To keep sea lanes open and provide humanitarian assistance.

To prevent terrorist safe havens. And to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Indeed, a nuclear-armed Iran is one of the most immediate threats we face.

I believe negotiations are the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,…the best way to avoid even greater conflict in the region,…and the best way to stop widespread nuclear proliferation across the Middle East.

It was for this purpose that the United States forged an unprecedented international partnership—including Russia and China—to apply the strongest set of sanctions Iran has ever faced.

Those sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table.

If we reach a verifiable, enforceable agreement that cuts off Iran’s multiple pathways to a weapon—and its ability to sprint to a bomb—Congress would be wise to support it.

And if Iran is found to be cheating, its leaders must know that we stand ready to reinstate the full array of sanctions that decimated their economy.

X. Containing, Degrading and Confronting ISIS

But no threat better illustrates the unintended consequences of a mindless rush to war—and a lack of understanding—than the emergence of ISIS.

Containing, degrading, and defeating ISIS will require an integrated approach—an approach focused not only on military power, but on political solutions.

The invasion of Iraq—along with the subsequent disbanding of the Iraqi military—will be remembered as one of the most tragic, deceitful, and costly blunders in U.S. history.

We are still paying the price of a war pursued under false pretenses and acquiesced to by “the appalling silence of the good.”

In confronting ISIS, we must avoid mission creep—and be mindful that American boots on the ground can be counter-productive to our desired outcome.

We will not be successful in degrading ISIS if the number of militants taken off the battlefield is exceeded by the number of new recruits replacing them.

But we must also ensure that our partners have what they need to contain, degrade, and ultimately defeat ISIS.

In partnership with other nations in the region and across the world, we must counter ISIS propaganda and use our own communications tools more effectively.

We must do more to amplify credible, local voices in the region to reveal ISIS for what it is: a gang of murderous thugs who have perverted the name of one of the world’s great religions.

And we must make every effort to encourage the Iraqi government to govern more inclusively, as they train up a new army with committed leadership, and a will to defend their own country.

XI. New Times Require New Relationships And Better Intelligence

Addressing threats like ISIS will require new relationships and better human intelligence.

This is also true in every other theater of engagement.

There is no substitute for human relationships and the work of patriotic Americans in our foreign service, and our national security agencies.

To succeed in a world of rapid change, we must adapt our national security institutions to better anticipate fast-emerging threats.

And we must recognize that there are real lessons to be learned from the tragedy in Benghazi:

Namely, we need to know in advance who is likely to take power—or vie for it—once a dictator is toppled.

Twitter and Facebook are no substitute for personal relationships and human intelligence.

We must recruit and retain a new generation of talented American diplomats.

And we must give them the tools to identify and engage with a new generation of leaders from different walks of life—often in hostile environments where we lack historic ties; where we lack relationships.

That was the work that Ambassador Chris Stevens was about. He gave his life reaching out to those emerging from the rubble of Qaddaffi’s dictatorship.

In remembering him, his grieving father said:

“He died doing what he loved most—working to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect between the people of the United States and the people of the Middle East.”

“Chris was successful because he embodied the traits that have always endeared America to the world—a commitment to democratic principles, and respect for others, regardless of race, religion or culture.”

XII. Strength At Home

The greatest power we possess as Americans is just that: the power of our principles.

We project that power around the world primarily through our own example—of the inclusive society and inclusive economy we build here at home.

The challenges we face today: to rebuild the American Dream at home,…to craft a new foreign policy of engagement and collaboration,…to refocus our National Security Strategy on 21st century threats,…

…these challenges are all connected, and their pursuits are mutually reinforcing of one another.

But ultimately, the source of America’s global strength is our own prosperity at home.

Our economy isn’t money. Our economy is people—all of our people.

Only with a stronger and more inclusive economy can we maintain our security.

Only with a stronger and more inclusive American economy, will we succeed in pursuing a more effective foreign policy for the cause that we lead: of a rising global middle class—free from oppression, want, and fear.

XIII. Conclusion

In thinking deeply about America’s role in the world, I find myself drawing inspiration from the very troubled world that my parents’ generation tamed, and the planet they saved from the brink of nuclear annihilation.

My parents were born during the Great Depression. They were part of the great generation of Americans that went on to win the Second World Word.

My dad flew 33 missions over Japan in a B-24 Liberator, and went to college only because of the GI Bill. Mom flew in the Civil Air Patrol at the age of seventeen.

They raised their children—the six of us—in a world secured by the sacrifices and the better choices of their generation.

We must remember the abiding truth of their success—that our strength abroad depends upon our strength at home.

No fighter jet or troop battalion will keep us as safe as a vibrant economy, a strong democracy, and a growing middle class.

By restoring an American economy that works for ALL of us again,…

….we will make ourselves a more prosperous and a more secure nation.

We will give our children a future with more opportunity, rather than less.

And we will make our planet a healthier, more peaceful, and more just place for all of humanity.

These are the ambitions worthy of a truly great people.

This is why I am running for President of the United States.

Thank you.

The speech can be found here:

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:36 AM

18. O'Malley's Plan for a Clean Energy Future

Clean Energy Future


As a nation, we have made great strides toward becoming energy independent. Now is the time to accelerate that progress. The future of our country and our planet depend on it.

Today, we are in the midst of an extraordinary transition from one energy regime to a new one.

New technologies have put a clean energy, energy independent future within reach – while the threat of climate change, and the urgent need for new middle-class jobs, makes it imperative that we aggressively pursue it. The fact is, there is no either/or choice between our prosperity and our environment – that we can create a future where there are more good-paying jobs, or a future with a healthy environment, but not both.

The reality is the two goals are indivisible. And it is time to make clean energy and climate change a top national priority. That’s because:

We have a moral obligation to act immediately and aggressively to stop climate change.
Clean energy represents the biggest business and job creation opportunity we’ve seen in a hundred years.
Ending fossil fuel use is a public health imperative, and would extend the lives of 200,000 Americans each year.
Reliance on local, renewable energy sources means a safer, more stable world.

We can’t meet the climate challenge with an all-of-the-above energy strategy, or from drilling off our coasts, or from building pipelines that bring oil from tar sands in Canada.

Meeting the climate challenge requires a commitment to one simple concept: a full transition to clean, renewable energy and an end our reliance on fossil fuels altogether.

I believe, within 35 years, our country can and should be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. But we have to accelerate the transition right now.

As President, on Day One, I would use my executive authority to declare the transition to a clean energy future the Number One priority of our federal government. I would:

Create a new Clean Energy Jobs Corps to partner with communities to retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, improve local resiliency, create new green spaces, and restore and expand our forests so they can absorb more greenhouse gases.

Retrofit federal buildings to the highest efficiency standards and require new federal buildings to be net-zero. The federal government owns and manages nearly 900,000 buildings, more than any other entity.

Require the federal fleet to be subject to low- or zero-emissions purchasing agreements. Our federal fleet of 250,000 vehicles consumes more than $450 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel every year. Fuel costs saved should be reinvested in clean energy deployment and jobs.

Require all federally funded infrastructure projects to meet climate resiliency standards.

Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to take aggressive action to limit greenhouse gases, expanding rules to other large sources of emissions beyond power plants.

Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for methane leaks from current oil and gas production. Leaks waste $1.8 billion annually, while exacerbating greenhouse gas pollution.

Direct the EPA and Departments of Defense and Transportation to set strong efficiency standards, including setting strict “MPG” standards for new buildings and requiring energy costs to be transparent to tenants and purchasers. Building retrofits out-perform investments in new gas and oil exploration as a form of job creation or economic stimulus by 3 to 1.

Reject projects like Keystone XL that exacerbate climate change and extend our reliance on fossil fuels.

Deny new permits for drilling in Alaska, Antarctica, and off our coasts.

Increase royalties and emissions fees for fossil fuel companies currently drilling on federal lands and invest the proceeds in jobs and skills training.

Keep domestically produced oil and gas in the U.S., instead of selling it abroad – unless there is a clear strategic security rationale.

More broadly, I would make clean energy deployment – and employment – a first order priority. I would:

Set a national, cross-sector Renewable Electricity Standard so our nation is powered by 100% clean energy by 2050.

Fight for federal legislation for a cap on carbon emissions from all sources, with proceeds from permits returned to lower- and middle-class families and invested in job transition assistance and the Clean Energy Corps.

Set a national goal of doubling our energy productivity within 15 years. Low energy productivity costs American businesses and households $130 billion a year.

Support a Clean Energy Financing Authority to support clean energy infrastructure, projects to increase efficiency, and resiliency upgrades in communities nationwide.

End all subsidies for fossil fuels, while extending production and investment tax credits for renewable energy for the long term. Taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel companies total $4 billion a year, even as the biggest oil companies reap $90 billion in annual profits.

Prioritize modernizing our electric grid to evolve to support localized, renewable energy generation, reduce electricity waste, and increase security from sabotage or attack. Power outages are up 285% over the last 30 years, costing businesses as much as $150 billion each year, and renewable energy sources remain unconnected.

Make robust investments in state and community resiliency.

Increase our investment in basic clean energy research so the U.S. can reclaim the lead on energy innovation, including advancing development, deployment, transmission, storage for renewable energy, and managing demand more effectively.

Work with industry to help meet skills and employment needs that the current labor market isn’t sufficiently supplying, like utility workers and cybersecurity experts.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:02 AM

19. O'Malley's Plan for renewable energy

A plan for renewable energy

1 Incentivize the production of clean energy, not fossil fuels.
2 Provide a strong market for biofuels.
3 Train workers to join growing clean energy industries.
4 Modernize our electric grid to support localized, renewable energy generation.
5 Support rural clean energy finance.

A Jobs Agenda for Iowa's Renewable Energy Future

As a nation we have made great strides toward becoming energy independent. Now is the time to accelerate that progress.

I believe, within 35 years, our country can and should be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. But we have to accelerate the transition right now. To support Iowa’s continued leadership in clean energy, as President I would:

Incentivize the production of clean energy, not fossil fuels.

End fossil fuel subsidies, and reinvest the savings in a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit. These credits are critical to a healthy wind industry, and make rooftop solar installations affordable for homeowners and businesses. Yet Congress regularly lets the credits expire, leading to a boom-bust cycle of development that hurts job creation and investment.

Support rural clean energy finance.

Launch a Clean Energy Finance Authority, and direct it to support community wind and solar projects. This should include working with rural electric cooperatives so they can affordably install renewable energy generation – from investing in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, to supporting partnerships so co-ops can take advantage of renewable energy tax credits.

Redouble USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, to help purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

Provide a strong market for biofuels.

Enact a long-term extension of the Biodiesel Tax Credit, including production incentives for second-generation biofuels, while investing in renewable fuel infrastructure to support biofuels and electric cars.

Maintain a strong market for biofuels, by directing the EPA to set annual volume targets that comply fully with the Renewable Fuel Standard. High targets drive new investments in biofuel innovation and infrastructure, creating jobs and tearing down barriers to using renewable fuels.

Train workers to join growing clean energy industries.

Create a new Clean Energy Jobs Corps to partner with communities to build clean energy infrastructure, retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, and expand our fields and forests so they can absorb more greenhouse gases.

Partner with industry to help meet skills and employment needs in renewable energy production, construction, and manufacturing. Launch a national initiative for career and technical education, starting in high school, to develop a pipeline of workers for the new clean energy economy.

Modernize our electric grid to support localized, renewable energy generation.

Prioritize modernizing our electric grid, to support localized, renewable energy generation – and better connect existing wind generation to the consumers who need it.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:17 AM

20. O'Malley's 15 Goals to Rebuild the America Dream (Part 1)

Goal 1: Increase American families’ median net worth by $25,000 in 10 years.

Today in America, families’ median net worth has fallen to levels not seen since the late 1980s. The wealthiest 10 percent of households have captured 76 percent of all wealth in America—a far-higher share than most other developed nations, and a far cry from decades past. African-American and Hispanic families own just a fraction of the wealth of white families.

Reach wage growth of 4 percent annually by 2018. Today in America, wages for most workers have been flat or falling for decades. In real terms, the average wage peaked in 1973. In addition, recent gains in wage growth have accrued to top earners: wages have risen almost 10 percent since 2000 for earners at the 90th percentile, while wages have fallen by nearly 4 percent for earners at the 10th percentile.

Increase the number of families with adequate retirement savings by 50 percent within 8 years. Today in America, a third of all Americans have no retirement savings or pension—meaning that millions of future retirees are unlikely to have sufficient resources to maintain their current standard of living in retirement. Roughly two-thirds of those close to retirement are projected to have inadequate resources when they retire.

Cut the pay gap between full-time men and women workers in half by 2025. Women represent half the workforce, but earn less than men in almost every occupation. Overall, women make just 78 cents for every dollar men make—a gender pay gap of 22 percent, and one that, at current rates of progress, will take almost 45 years to close. If we could close that gap today—through paycheck fairness laws, strong family leave policies, and expanded access to quality, affordable childcare, among other measures—half of working single moms would be lifted out of poverty.

Goal 2: Generate 100% of American electricity with renewable energy by 2050.

Full policy here: https://martinomalley.com/climate/agenda/

Today in America, while fossil fuel pollution contributes to 200,000 deaths a year and a growing climate catastrophe, renewable energy technologies have not yet adequately scaled up, in part because of federal policies that still preference the fossil fuel industry. Governor O’Malley will tackle the climate crisis with a new American clean energy jobs agenda, comprised of detailed policies that will rapidly develop the renewable energy industry, create millions of new clean energy jobs, and end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Goal 3: Cut the unemployment rate among young people in half within 3 years.

Goal 4: Reach full employment for American veterans by 2020.

Today in America, more than 7 percent of veterans who have served on active duty since 2001, and more than 5 percent of all veterans, are unemployed. Fully 17.3 percent of male veterans aged 18-24, and more than 9 percent of women veterans aged 35-44, are jobless.

Goal 5: Put 11 million New Americans on the pathway to citizenship through comprehensive immigration reform.

Comprehensive immigration reform will help all families—by lifting wages, creating new jobs, growing our economy, expanding our tax base, and improving standards for all workers. Conversely, in the absence of reform, millions of families that contribute to this country every day are one traffic stop away from being torn apart. Only a nimble, data-driven immigration system will meet our economic needs and safeguard all American workers.

Immediately extend executive action to safeguard at least 9 million New Americans from deportation. New American families need immediate relief as they wait for Congress to act. Today in America, tens of thousands of parents are separated from their U.S.-born children, while one in five undocumented adults is at risk of being separated from their spouse. And undocumented immigrants face higher incidences of labor abuses such as wage theft, intimidation, and dangerous working conditions.

Goal 6: Ensure that all higher education students have the option to graduate debt-free within 5 years.

Full plan here: https://martinomalley.com/policy/make-college-debt-free/

Today in America, nearly 70 percent of U.S. students graduate with student debt, averaging more than $28,000. Almost all states have seen double- or even triple-digit percentage increases in tuition over the past decade. Governor O’Malley will give every student the opportunity to attend college without taking on debt through his detailed plan for restoring investment in higher education, reducing tuition rates, and making other progressive reforms.

Goal 7: Improve college and career readiness, and increase college completion rates by 25 percentage points within 10 years.

Today in America, one-third of high school students are unprepared for entry-level college courses, and fewer than 40 percent of students of all ages graduate from four-year institutions within four years. Low-income students are the least likely to graduate, while achievement disparities between wealthy and poorer children in pre-K through 12th grade are more acute than at any time in the last 50 years.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:20 AM

21. O'Malley's Job Agenda for a Clean Energy Future

1. A Complete Transition to Renewable Energy—and an End to our Reliance on Fossil Fuels by 2050

We can’t address our climate challenge without ending our reliance on fossil fuels — full stop. I would take aggressive executive action and fight for legislation to slash emissions and put our nation on track to be powered by 100% renewable energy within 35 years.

As President, I would fight for federal legislation for a cap on carbon emissions from all sources, with proceeds from permits returned to lower- and middle-class families, and invested in job transition assistance and the new Clean Energy Jobs Corps.

On Day One, I would reject projects like Keystone XL, deny new permits for drilling in Alaska, the arctic, and off our coasts, and increase royalties and emissions fees for fossil fuel companies currently drilling on federal lands, investing the proceeds in jobs and skills training.

I would also make sure we keep domestically produced oil and gas in the U.S., instead of selling it abroad – unless there is a clear strategic security rationale.

I would increase royalties and emissions fees for fossil fuel companies currently drilling on federal lands, and invest the proceeds in jobs and skills training.

I would root out subsidies for fossil fuels, while extending production and investment tax credits for renewable energy for the long term. Taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel companies total $4 billion a year, even as the biggest oil companies reap $90 billion in annual profits.

And I would make sure federal agencies do all they can to protect public health and the environment by:

Requiring the federal fleet to be subject to low- or zero-emissions purchasing agreements. Our federal fleet of 250,000 vehicles consumes more than $450 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel every year.
Fuel costs saved should be reinvested in clean energy deployment and jobs.

Directing the Environmental Protection Agency to take aggressive action to limit greenhouse gases, expanding rules to other large sources of emissions beyond power plants.

Directing the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for methane leaks from current oil and gas production, which waste $1.8 billion annually, while exacerbating greenhouse gas pollution.

2. An Aggressive Agenda to Double Energy Efficiency Within 15 Years To Waste Less Energy and Create More Jobs

If we waste less energy, we can create more jobs — while saving Americans real money on energy costs and protecting our environment. Maximizing energy efficiency in buildings alone could eliminate the need to increase our national electricity generation capacity.

That’s why I would set a national goal of doubling our energy efficiency within 15 years.

On Day One, I would direct the EPA and Departments of Defense and Transportation to set strong efficiency standards, including setting strict “MPG” standards for new buildings. And I would require energy costs to be up-front and transparent to tenants and purchasers.

And I would retrofit federal buildings to the highest efficiency standards and require new federal buildings to be net-zero. The federal government owns and manages nearly 900,000 buildings, more than any other entity. And building retrofits out-perform investments in new gas and oil exploration as a form of job creation or economic stimulus by 3 to 1.

3. Renewed Investment in the Physical—and Intellectual—Infrastructure to Power a Clean Energy Economy

New technologies have put a clean energy, energy independent future within reach. It is up to us to develop and deploy the technologies we’ll need to get there.

First, I would support a Clean Energy Financing Authority to facilitate clean energy infrastructure projects, efforts to increase efficiency, and resiliency upgrades in communities nationwide. I would also require all federally funded infrastructure projects to meet climate resiliency standards.

As part of my agenda, modernizing our electric grid would be a first-order priority. Our electric grid must evolve to support localized, renewable energy generation, reduce electricity waste, and increase security from sabotage or attack. Power outages are up 285% over the last 30 years, costing businesses as much as $150 billion each year, and renewable energy sources remain unconnected.

I would also increase our investment in basic clean energy research so the U.S. can reclaim the lead on energy innovation, including advancing development, deployment, transmission, storage for renewable energy, and managing demand more effectively.

4. A New Clean Energy Job Corps To Rebuild, Retrofit, and Restore our Communities and Environment

Clean, renewable energy is the biggest business and job creation opportunity we’ve seen in the last hundred years. Compared with the fossil fuel industry, the renewable energy industry creates more jobs for each unit of electricity generated. And clean energy jobs are long-term, good-paying opportunities.

That’s why I would create a new Clean Energy Jobs Corps to help realize our transition to a clean energy economy. The Clean Energy Corps would partner with communities to retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, improve local resiliency, create new green spaces, and restore and expand our forests so they can absorb more greenhouse gases.

In addition, I would also work with industry to help meet current skills and employment needs that the current labor market isn’t sufficiently supplying, like new utility workers and cybersecurity experts.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:40 AM

22. O'Malley's 15 Goals to Rebuild the America Dream (Part 2)

Here are goals 8-15

Goal 8: End childhood hunger in America by 2020.

Goal 9: Reform our criminal justice system to save and redeem lives.

Link to the full criminal justice reform plan: https://martinomalley.com/policy/criminal-justice/

Today in America, our justice system has reinforced our country’s cruel history of racism and economic inequality. Governor O’Malley has outlined a comprehensive criminal justice reform plan, including measures to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, ensure fairness in sentencing, reduce recidivism through reentry, and address the discriminatory and punitive application of student discipline.

Reduce recidivism by 20 percentage points within 10 years. Today in America, the incarceration rate is triple what it was in 1980 and is six times the rate of that of most developed countries. According to the most recent data, three out of four incarcerated individuals are re-arrested within five years of leaving jail or prison—more than half of whom are re-arrested within a year.

Goal 10: Cut deaths from gun violence—homicides, suicides, and accidents—in half by 2025.

Link to the full plan: https://martinomalley.com/the-latest/preventing-and-reducing-gun-violence/

Goal 11: Reduce deaths from drug overdoses by 25 percent by 2020.

Goal 12: Reduce infant mortality by 10 percent by 2020.

Goal 13: Require banks to separate commercial and speculative banking within 5 years.

Read Governor O’Malley’s letter to Wall Street, and his plan for protecting the American Dream from another Wall Street crash:


Today in America, megabanks with more than $100 billion in assets comprise almost 60 percent of the financial services market, compared to just 17 percent in 1995, before the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Over that same period, the market share of smaller community banks, which are critical for small businesses and local investment, has fallen from nearly half to only a quarter.

Goal 14: Restore America’s competition and antitrust laws, taking action within one year in office

Our nation’s antitrust laws were built to protect fair and competitive markets where small businesses, small farmers, and innovation could thrive. But the Reagan Administration reinterpreted those laws to protect “efficiency” instead, allowing bigger and bigger corporations to shut out competition in many once-vibrant areas of our economy.

Today in America, a handful of companies now control the vast majority of the market in industries ranging from beef, seeds, and milk; to airlines, semiconductors, and defense contracting and procurement—depressing wages and employment and dampening innovation. A first step to reversing this consolidation is to direct the U.S. Department of Justice to issue new policies to aggressively enforce our antimonopoly laws.

Goal 15: Implement public financing of congressional campaigns within 5 years

Read the campaign finance policy paper here: https://martinomalley.com/policy/campaign-finance-reform/

In the five years since Citizens United, super PACs, corporations, and other outside groups have spent almost $2 billion targeting federal elections—about two-and-a-half times what they spent, in total, between 1990 and 2008.

At the same time, for the first time in decades, the total number of small donors has begun to fall. In 2014, the top 100 donors to super PACs spent almost as much money as every single small-dollar donor combined. Our broken campaign finance system allows special interests to drown out the voices of everyday Americans and stymies policies that would benefit the middle class.

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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 01:11 PM

23. O'Malley on Why we need a constitutional amendment to secure the right to vote

Many Americans believe they have a constitutional right to vote, but the U.S. Constitution guarantees no such right explicitly. While the 14th Amendment provides some protection, it is not comprehensive and has left many Americans vulnerable to Republican efforts to restrict the right to vote:

In 2014, Republican legislators in 29 states introduced more than 80 bills to require a photo ID, make voter registration more difficult, reduce early voting opportunities, and make it harder for students to vote.

As a result, a 2014 report found that voter ID laws in 32 states stood to keep as many as 23 million Americans from successfully voting.

Millions of Americans who voted in the last election are at risk of being turned away from the polls because of restrictive voting laws that require a photo ID, eliminate early voting, and make it harder to register.

To address this voter suppression, progressive leaders in Congress introduced legislation that would amend the U.S. Constitution to explicitly guarantee the right to vote. The legislation’s text is simple and straightforward:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

Governor O’Malley believes that nothing is more important in our sacred democracy than the right to vote. As governor, he made it easier – not harder – for Marylanders to vote. He signed a bill restoring voting rights to more than 50,000 people with felony records, expanded early voting and allowed same-day registration. He even revolutionized Maryland’s voter registration process by creating an online system.

Passing a constitutional amendment that enshrines this fundamental right will give U.S. courts the clarity and authority they need to strike down Republican efforts to suppress the vote. The proposed amendment would set a high legal bar to defend against attempts to disenfranchise eligible voters, and empower Congress to enact strong electoral standards nationwide.

Amending the Constitution is hard, but voting shouldn’t be. Our current laws have failed to protect this fundamental right for too many people.

That’s why on the week of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act…GOVERNOR O’MALLEY IS CALLING FOR A RIGHT-TO-VOTE AMENDMENT.

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Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:26 PM

24. O'Malley's Plan on Veterans and Military Families

Veterans And Military Families

Governor O’Malley believes America must uphold its sacred trust with our veterans. As Governor, he ensured that Maryland’s veterans received the housing, employment and health care services they were promised. He created a pioneering, data-driven system called VetStat that radically enhanced the state’s ability to respond to veteran needs. And he helped ease service members’ transition to civilian life by passing legislation that helped them find good jobs. Now, Governor O’Malley is offering the most detailed and comprehensive plan for veterans and military families of any 2016 presidential candidate.


Apply VetStat To The VA To Improve Transparency, Accountability And Outcomes
Further Empower The VA Inspector General
Expand Veteran Hiring Preferences And Recruitment At The VA


Work To Pass The Veterans Full Employment Act On A National Level
Crackdown on For-Profit Colleges that Exploit Education Benefits


End Veterans Homelessness With A Housing First Approach
Integrate Employment And Housing Strategies To End Homelessness


Dedicate National Service Positions to NGOs Bridging the Civilian-Military Divide
Enlist Federal General Counsels To Cut Red Tape Preventing Greater Partnerships


Provide Clean Records Of Service For Discharged Gay And Lesbian Troops
Expand Veterans Treatment Courts To Prevent Inappropriate Incarceration


Acknowledge And Honor The Guard & Reserve’s Increased Burdens & Deployments
Strengthen the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act


Support A Professional Licensing And Certification Tax Credit For Military Spouses
Encourage Every State To Grant In-State Tuition To Military Families


Governor O’Malley believes America must uphold its sacred trust with our veterans. Our government and our fellow citizens, however, have not always lived up to this responsibility. Veterans have not escaped Washington’s dysfunction. Dozens of bills designed to help veterans are languishing – and even worse, Congress allowed the 2011 budget sequester to take effect, slashing programs that veterans and military families depend upon. While some progress has been made at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the current situation remains unacceptable. Further reform and bold actions are needed to ensure instances of data manipulation and secret waitlists never happen again.

Solving the problems at the VA and providing the world-class care our veterans deserve will require good governance and innovative leadership – qualities that were the hallmarks of Governor O’Malley’s 15 years of executive experience. His administration delivered results for veterans, ensuring they received the employment, housing and health care services they were promised.

In 2011, Governor O’Malley created VetStat, a pioneering, data-driven system that radically enhanced Maryland’s ability to respond to veteran needs. VetStat identified unknown problems, clarified policy priorities, and tackled persistent challenges through a smarter allocation of resources.

Governor O’Malley helped veterans transition to civilian life and made behavioral health a priority. He launched Maryland’s Commitment To Veterans, a program that connected veterans to wellness services, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse. In addition, Governor O’Malley signed legislation to ensure veterans received quality behavioral health services. The legislation helped veterans access mental health services at the state and federal levels, offered crisis services for severe problems, and created a Veterans’ Behavioral Health Advisory Board to identify service gaps and correct them.

Governor O’Malley empowered veterans by expanding access to quality, affordable education and good jobs. He granted in-state tuition to all military families and signed the Veterans Full Employment Act, which gave veterans licenses or college credit for skills learned in the military. The law also expedites the professional licensing process for veterans and military spouses, cutting red tape to help them find jobs faster. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the signing ceremony and praised the legislation as one of the best laws in the country to help military personnel and their families.

Now, Governor O’Malley is running for president to continue fighting for veterans – and to continue the work of rebuilding the United States’ sacred trust between its service members and citizens.


America must do more to care for those who have served in the military. Over the last few years, we have all seen the headlines about decrepit facilities, long waiting periods and veterans who may have died before their time because of them. It’s extreme to say the VA should be eliminated, but it’s also wrong to say the agency’s problems are not widespread. The problem goes beyond reforming an unwieldy bureaucracy. The VA is now being squeezed from two sides. Aging veterans are using VA services at a much higher rate just as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are turning to the agency for help. In addition to physical ailments, mental health plays a major role. Up to 20% of post-9/11 veterans experience Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), and it’s estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

According to the VA, 11-20% of post-9/11 veterans and up to 30% of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTS, but many are not receiving care. For those left undiagnosed and untreated, PTS can have life-altering consequences, including hospitalization, unemployment and poverty. Many veterans with PTS don’t realize they have a problem – or, if they do, where to seek proper assistance. Without an extensive outreach program, comprehensive veterans treatment cannot be achieved.

The current situation at the VA is unacceptable and demands additional reform. To begin to restore the trust of those who sacrificed for our nation’s security, the VA must embrace an ambitious reform agenda.

Specifically, the VA should take steps to integrate physical and behavioral health care; further promote preventive services; view health care delivery as a holistic process, with greater cooperation between the Armed Services and the VA; deal with veterans health care as a continuum, from active service to post-service; devise a strategy to recruit and retain America’s best medical talent; and promote a climate of continuous improvement using a systems approach.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Fully Implement The Recommendations Of The Veterans Choice Act Independent Assessment. In order to improve the VA’s health care delivery systems and management processes, Governor O’Malley will:

Better align health care resources and services with the demand for them
Implement a patient-centered model that balances local autonomy and best practices
Better utilize data to improve transparency and evidence-based decision-making
Empower senior VA officials around clear priorities and hold them accountable

Apply VetStat To The VA To Improve Transparency, Accountability And Outcomes. As Governor, O’Malley deployed VetStat to better understand and meet veterans’ needs. As President, he would deploy the same comprehensive, integrated, and easy-to-use data systems to both pinpoint and ameliorate problems at the VA before they spiral into widespread crises. This evidence-based approach would improve senior policymakers’ visibility into service delivery on the frontlines and help them allocate resources optimally.

Lead A National Call To Action To Prevent Veteran Suicide. Governor O’Malley will lead a national call to action to prevent veteran suicide. As part of this initiative he will tour VA health facilities during his first month in office and will ensure the full implementation of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. Additionally, Governor O’Malley will scale up the inadequate number of mental health professionals at the VA, and urge the American people to personally commit to monitoring veteran friends and family for the five signs of emotional suffering.

Improve Interoperability Between the Pentagon, VA and State Health Exchanges. Governor O’Malley will promote the seamless transfer of health information from the Pentagon to the VA when service members are discharged, and when veterans seek care in civilian hospitals. This step will be especially critical if veterans use vouchers to receive care from private providers as part of the overall effort to eliminate the backlog. Synchronizing electronic health records between the VA and state exchanges will reduce bureaucratic red tape and the staff time it takes to share information, allowing health care providers to treat more veterans faster.

Expand Veteran Hiring Preferences And Recruitment At The VA. No one knows veterans’ needs better than veterans. Governor O’Malley supports new hiring preferences for veterans applying to VA jobs. One specific program of relevance would train and employ recently separated veterans as mental health professionals, streamlining them into the VA to serve their peers.

Further Empower The VA Inspector General. Much of what we know about the problems at the VA is due to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which investigates the agency for wrongdoing and failures to live up to its mission. Empowering OIG with additional authority and resources would allow it to identify problems before they become crises that threaten veterans. This would include more on-the-ground inspections and confidential feedback loops that better relay information to VA leadership.

Create A Nationwide Framework To Improve Identification Of And Outreach To Veterans. Governor O’Malley supports a comprehensive federal outreach program that includes not just veterans, but employers, local municipalities, and families. While a relatively new law mandates that all departing service members go through benefit sessions, this positive step does not help the millions of veterans already in need. Education programs must be established for both employers and families to help identify veterans in need. Further still, because current programs are disjointed, some groups and municipalities are experiencing more success than others in reaching veterans. It is incumbent upon the VA to identify best practices and develop a nationwide framework.

Improve and Expand Training for Health Care Practitioners on Veterans’ Issues. All private practitioners who treat veterans should complete a basic level of training on PTS and other issues arising from military service, especially since symptoms may not arise until long after discharge. Working with private insurers, state licensing boards and medical associations, Governor O’Malley will direct that completion of such training be part of continuing health education.

Reform the VA for America’s Growing Women Veteran Population. As more and more women serve in the military – and rightfully, in combat roles – the VA must adapt its infrastructure and culture to better meet their health, social and economic needs. This means improving the quality of care and services available to women – one third of VA medical centers do not have a gynecologist on staff – and creating a culture that fully recognizes them as veterans and as equals.


Today in America, veterans who served on active duty since 2001 experience unemployment at higher rates than their civilian counterparts. One estimate indicates that unemployment among post-9/11 veterans is twice the national average. While the overall veteran unemployment rate is comparable to the national average, young veterans and women veterans have a much harder time finding a job.

Underemployment poses an additional challenge. According to an Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) survey of its members, more than 50% reported not having enough paid work, or not doing work that made full use of their skills and abilities. Governor O’Malley supports VA proposals and public-private partnerships that will achieve full employment for American veterans by 2020.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Pass The Veterans Full Employment Act On A National Level. For veterans, finding a good job should be as easy in every state as it is in Maryland. Varying licensing requirements should not bar veterans from finding a job to support their families. Governor O’Malley will propose legislation to reduce or eliminate licensing and credentialing barriers for military families and establish a uniform hiring authority. Governor O’Malley will use VetStat to analyze data from the Labor and Commerce Departments to ensure progress toward veterans’ full employment is being made.

Launch An Apprenticeship Program To Facilitate Transitioning Service Members. Governor O’Malley will encourage all employers to offer six-months of transitional training to any veteran with a relevant and documented skill-set. Veterans would work as apprentices, learning how to use their military skills in the civilian workforce. Governor O’Malley will direct the DOD and the VA to coordinate with the civilian licensing organizations to confer accreditation on veterans who successfully complete the program.

Create A Single-Source Database of Veteran-Preferred Employers. According to IAVA, the number-one tool its members utilized to find a job was “knowing what companies have veterans preference programs.” The VA should compile and constantly update a master list of all public and private employers offering hiring preferences for veterans, starting with the common fields of law enforcement, health care and IT. Congress should consider incentives such as a modest “Hire A Vet” tax credit to encourage private sector participation.

Convene An Inter-Agency Task Force To Improve Career Counseling. Governor O’Malley will bring together leaders from the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs to propose ways to ease veterans’ transition into the civilian workforce. One proposal would be a Backend ASVAB, whereby veterans would input their military skills and experiences on a menu-driven website that would suggest civilian occupations for which they are qualified. Once this process is completed, veterans would be “prequalified” in certain occupations and could list that prequalification on their resumes and applications.

Expand National Service Opportunities For Veterans. Governor O’Malley has already put forward a plan to allow every young American to complete a year of National Service, which would provide veterans another way to serve after their retire their uniform. Governor O’Malley’s plan calls for expanding AmeriCorps and ultimately providing 1,000,000 Service Opportunities, including Peace Corps positions and opportunities to support other veterans and military families with childcare, health care and transition programs for returning troops. Governor O’Malley also supports allowing veterans to use a portion of their GI benefits toward a term of national service.

Crackdown On For-Profit Colleges That Exploit Education Benefits. Governor O’Malley will aggressively crack down on predatory for-profit colleges that prey on the education benefits of the Post-9/11 GI bill and leave veterans with unnecessary debt and a subpar education in return. Governor O’Malley will close the “90/10 loophole” that allows this exploitation to continue. At the same time, he would dedicate VetStat to collect and track veterans’ educational and professional outcomes to ensure they are transitioning into rewarding careers.

Strengthen The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA seeks to protect Guard and Reserve members against employment discrimination based on military service. Governor O’Malley will strengthen USERRA by ensuring federal agencies set the gold standard for compliance; making it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants about their military status; requiring employers to provide victims compensation for damages; and empowering courts to enforce USERRA through injunctive relief, debarment from federal contracting, and other measures.


Governor O’Malley is committed to ending veteran homelessness. Today in America, 50,000 veterans are homeless. As a nation, we cannot allow such an outcome for those who risked everything to keep us safe. No veteran should be left behind. Everyone deserves a place to call home.

The Obama Administration led the charge to end veteran homelessness, reducing it by 33% since 2010. Despite this important progress, mental health, substance abuse and employment issues continue to pose challenges. These issues often complicate efforts to keep veterans off the streets.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

End Veterans Homelessness With A Housing First Approach. Housing First emphasizes stable, permanent housing as a primary strategy for ending homelessness. Since its inception, the veteran homelessness population has decreased from roughly 74,000 in 2009 to 50,000 in 2014, based on the national point-in-time count. It could be improved further by monitoring veterans’ status for a period after housing is secured, in order to ensure stability, and by properly accounting for veterans who couch surf or borrow a friend’s address but are effectively homeless.

Utilize VetStat To Better Evaluate And End Veteran Homelessness. VetStat would shed light on the needs of veterans and identify the services that would promote their housing stability. This integrated approach would sync and leverage the assets of the public workforce and the homelessness assistance systems. VetStat would provide the clarity necessary to leverage federal resources in local communities. A national standard on counting sheltered/unsheltered homelessness is essential to understanding dynamic populations and providing the necessary resources.

Integrate Employment And Housing Strategies To Prevent And End Homelessness. Increasing access to meaningful employment is one of the most effective ways to end homelessness. To that end, Governor O’Malley will increase funding for the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program. Implementing VetStat nationally would better synchronize homelessness assistance with workforce needs, connecting individuals to employment with living wages. In addition, federal programs and resources need to be better utilized and leveraged with local, state, and philanthropic sources to expand employment and training programs to veterans experiencing homelessness.


Today in America, the civilian-military divide represents a pervasive barrier to post-service life for veterans, especially for post-9/11 veterans. One recent study found that 84% of veterans and 71% of civilians believe the public has little awareness of the issues facing post-9/11 veterans and their families.

While important, government programs are not enough to bridge this divide. While appreciated, saying “thank you for your service” should not be the extent of our support. We all have a responsibility to care for those who sacrifice for us. We need to do more on a direct, personal level to ease veterans’ transition back to civilian life. Simple human connections and interactions don’t require huge investments of time or resources. They just require each of us to deliberately build the relationships that lead to normalcy, treating veterans as fellow citizens who are ready to contribute to their communities.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Ensure The Continuation Of White House Initiatives Such As “Joining Forces”. Government can’t bridge the civilian-military divide alone, but it can encourage public-private partnerships that address the challenges faced by veterans and military families. These initiatives are vital and Governor O’Malley would fully support them as president.

Incorporate Public Service Into Veterans Programs And Institutions. Governor O’Malley will lead a national service campaign to harness the experience and expertise of private citizens for the benefit of veterans and military families. One proposal is a “VA Medical Service Corps” to expand the number of doctors and nurses serving veterans and military families, particularly in rural areas. Modeled on such initiatives as “Teach for America”, this program would recruit recent graduates for two years of service with the VA in exchange for student debt forgiveness.

Dedicate National Service Opportunities To Bridge the Civilian-Military Divide. Governor O’Malley will direct the Corporation for National & Community Service to dedicate a specific number of service opportunities to help bridge the civilian-military divide. This would include AmeriCorps positions and other service opportunities with organizations such as Give an Hour, Hiring Our Heroes, Vets Community Connections, Military Child Education Coalition, Blue Star Families, Team Rubicon, Red, White and Blue, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Cut Red Tape Inhibiting Greater Partnership And Collaboration. Governor O’Malley will direct the White House General Counsel to work with the Pentagon, VA and other relevant agencies to review outdated regulations currently preventing agencies from working more effectively with non-government entities. Updating these regulations would allow agencies to expand collaboration with NGOs and the private sector on educational, health and economic initiatives that could both help veterans and military families and share implementation costs.

Propose Legislation Establishing A Post-9/11 Veterans Memorial. Governor O’Malley supports the timely creation of a publicly funded memorial on the National Mall honoring the service of veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


Restoring Justice for Gay and Lesbian Veterans

The unjust Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy continues to harm veterans. As many as 100,000 Americans may have been improperly discharged because of their sexual orientation. The consequences of a negative discharge are far-reaching and life-long. Despite their many years of service and sacrifice, these veterans may be ineligible for veteran status, denied critical health care and education benefits, disadvantaged on the civilian job market, and even barred from voting. Despite the 2011 repeal of DADT, its legacy of institutionalized discrimination continues to harm veterans in these ways.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Provide Clean Service Records For Discharged Gay And Lesbian Troops. Governor O’Malley will provide long-overdue justice for LGBT veterans whose only transgression was being true to who they are. He will commit his administration to passing legislation automatically upgrading the service records of troops discharged solely because of their sexual orientation.

Expanding Veterans Treatment Courts

Those who serve honorably and later find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of issues stemming from their service stand to benefit much more from counseling and therapy than incarceration. The cause of veterans’ infractions often stems from PTS and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). When left untreated, these conditions can lead to substance abuse and exacerbate acts of physical aggression. The purpose of Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) is to divert worthy veterans away from the criminal justice system and into programs that provide the treatment they need. While still experimental, VTC programs have been widely successful in providing treatment, reducing recidivism, and saving taxpayer money by avoiding inappropriate incarcerations.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Commit The VA To Assess And Promulgate Best Practices at Veterans Treatment Courts. While many individual locales have enacted VTCs, there is no unified approach or method to assess effectiveness and disseminate best practices. Governor O’Malley will direct the VA to lead this effort. The VA should evaluate possible advantages of veterans treatment courts over drug court and mental health court, screening processes to identify eligible veterans, and whether a VTC program should be created at the federal court level.

Reforming the Discharge System

Too many service members receive an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge for reasons related to PTS or TBI. Since 2000, service members have reported 138,197 PTS cases and 333,169 TBI cases – with many more cases unreported. These troops are sometimes viewed as liabilities instead of being treated appropriately. Even worse, receiving an OTH discharge can cause service members to lose the VA benefits they desperately need to treat injuries sustained during military service.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Reform The Discharge System To Prevent Wrongful OTH Discharges. Governor O’Malley supports creating a uniform system of determining the level of military discharge. All military personnel being considered for administrative separation for misconduct or poor performance who served in a war zone must be evaluated for PTS and/or TBI. No service member who is found to suffer from PTS, TBI or any other medical condition that would impact his or her ability to serve should be separated for misconduct or poor performance. Instead, these service members should be sent through the medical board evaluation process.

Ensure Appropriate Legal Counsel For Those Facing OTH Discharges. Enlisted soldiers who maintain their innocence are sometimes pressured by their commanders to accept an OTH discharge. While the Army provides a right to legal counsel, commanders have been known to pressure soldiers to waive this right. Part of the problem is that military regulations do not provide an absolute right to legal counsel. All military personnel being considered for an OTH discharge should have the non-waiver right of legal counsel.

Protecting Men and Women from Sexual Assault

Progress to end sexual assault remains elusive. To the surprise of some, it is not a “female issue.” A 2012 Pentagon survey found that 12,000 women and even more men – 14,000 – were victims of sexual assault. Of all those incidents, only 3,374 cases were reported. In 2013, that number grew to more than 5,000. Only a small fraction of reported cases go to trial, and an even smaller fraction result in convictions. Sexual assault can affect troops long after they leave the military. Too often it results in OTH discharges as retaliation for reporting; medical problems; unemployment; and homelessness.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Work With Congress To Pass The Military Justice Improve Act. The Pentagon has taken steps in recent years to reform its policies. But sexual assault is too debilitating to our men and women in uniform and too serious a threat to military readiness to wait for progress without further action. No one should be expected to tolerate a work environment where they live in fear for their safety. To finally make real progress ending sexual assault in the military, Governor O’Malley will make passing the Military Justice Improvement Act a top priority of his administration.


Supporting Employment Opportunities for Military Spouses

Governor O’Malley knows that when civilians sign up for the military, their families sign up, too, and their wellbeing is critical for readiness and retention. Governor O’Malley understands the tremendous sacrifices military families make every day and will continue the outstanding work of military family champions like First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

Frequently relocating for duty assignments presents financial, educational and professional challenges for military families. Military spouses often experience difficulty finding a job in a new city, especially when occupational and professional licensing requirements vary from state to state. Military spouses are frequently unable to find work because of the time it takes to get licensed in the new state, whether to teach school or practice nursing. To ease these regulatory burdens on military families, Governor O’Malley signed the Veterans Full Employment Act.

As president, Governor O’Malley will:

Direct The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Protect Military Families. Governor O’Malley will direct CFPB to take steps to protect military families from predatory businesses such as payday lenders and for-profit colleges. Loopholes in the Military Lending Act that allow rates in excess of 36% APR must be closed, as well as ones that exempt Pentagon and VA tuition assistance caps on the amount of federal aid a college can receive. These loopholes make service members and veterans attractive targets for unscrupulous businesses and must be closed.

Support A Professional Licensing And Certification Tax Credit For Military Spouses. Until the Veterans Full Employment Act is passed on a national level and licensing and credentialing barriers for military families are eliminated, Governor O’Malley will support tax credits for military families to help alleviate the cost of fees for new state licenses and certifications. This legislation would resemble the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act.

• Streamline Military Spouse Hiring Information. In addition to creating a comprehensive database of veteran-preferred employers, Governor O’Malley will order an agency-wide review of current policies and procedures regarding military spouse hiring preferences. He will also push to expand public-private partnerships that support military spouses and commission a study to ensure military spouse hiring preference programs are effective and accountable.

Supporting Quality Education for Military Children

Military life can create a unique set of challenges for the more than 650,000 school-age dependents of military families. The average military child will move six to nine times between kindergarten and 12th grade, detrimentally impacting their studies if they are not provided adequate resources. Governor O’Malley is committed to ensuring military children receive an excellent education.

In Maryland, Governor O’Malley chose to invest in education at a time when other states slashed education funding. Working together with teachers, legislators and school officials, Governor O’Malley built a public education system that Education Week magazine ranked No. 1 in America five years in a row. Governor O’Malley will fight to ensure the same educational opportunities for all military children.

As President, Governor O’Malley will:

Encourage Every State To Grant In-State Tuition To Military Families. Many military spouses and children do not meet state requirements for lower in-state college tuition because they recently relocated to a new state as a result of their military service. Governor O’Malley believes they should not be required to pay out-of-state tuition rates at public universities. He also supports legislation that would waive these requirements for military spouses and their children.

Urge States To Fully Synchronize School Registration Requirements. Military families that relocate frequently often encounter bureaucratic barriers to easily enroll their children in a new school district. To ease this unnecessary burden, Governor O’Malley will support states’ efforts to fully comply with the Interstate Compact of Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which addresses key problems related to eligibility, enrollment, placement, and graduation.

Support Adequate Funding For Military Childcare Programs. While childcare is generally excellent on military bases, it remains an obstacle for many military families. Studies show that a lack of reliable childcare can even threaten military readiness. As the father of four children, Governor O’Malley understands the importance of quality, affordable childcare and will work to ensure military families have access to it.


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