We are facing huge long-term problems: a real unemployment rate of 18%, dysfunctional banks that are "too big to fail", a regressive tax structure that's stifling economic growth, prisons that are bursting at the seams, urban schools that are struggling, a health care system that still needs major reform, the lack of a coherent national energy policy that will protect our economy and the environment, and a government that has been encroaching on our civil liberties. For decades we have lived with irresponsible public policies from career politicians in Congress who care more about increasing their party’s power and getting re-elected than they care about solving long-term problems. They haven’t been honest with us, and they have been lousy public servants.

I’m different. I do not want to be a career politician. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a Problem Solver. I want to force members of Congress to be responsible, and implement sustainable solutions to real problems. Please read the positions I present on this website, and spread the word to friends and family.

Please email me at John@Mertens2010.com, and become a supporter on Twitter at @mertens4senate or Facebook: John's FB

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"New Ideas and New Process" Speech at Primary Watch Party

Hello everyone! Thank you for coming! I especially want to thank Tom Marsh, the Independent Party candidate for Governor, for being here. Good to see you, Tom!

The primaries are over. The multi-millionaires have bought their prizes, and they have joined Tom Marsh and me on the ballot in November in the races for Governor and U.S. Senate. Linda McMahon alone spent more than $300 dollars per vote! But now, the campaign begins in earnest.

Tonight my campaign begins an exciting new phase. I’ve talked about many issues over the last year, and presented over 30 detailed position statements and solutions on my website, in debates and forums, in interviews and speeches, and on my monthly TV show. Now my campaign is going to focus on building a new political process, a new way to re-engage the voters who have been disgusted with politics, and who have lost faith in our democracy.
These last weeks we have seen the most relentless and prolific negative advertising I have ever seen. Commercial after commercial that insult our intelligence, and focus on some narrow, fabricated negative issue to attack an opponent. Aren’t you tired of being treated like an idiot that can be bought with millions of dollars of advertising? We want real conversation, not just showmanship! I want to help create a process that will elevate the level of discussion, and increase participation and accountablity, and I want your help. Tonight, I want to talk about a new type of campaign.

A few weeks ago I attended an event during Social Web Week in New Haven. I met some amazing people, who are passionate about rebuilding our democracy, and our democratic process. I’m delighted to say that they’ve agreed to help me build and champion a process to elevate the level of social discourse and increase involvement using social media. This may sound corny, but we want to create something new, using a social web, that will give everyone a voice and a chance to participate in the dialogue; something that will live on beyond this election, something that candidates in the future will ignore at their peril. Here’s what we want from our candidates: Answer the question that you are asked, honestly and completely, instead of sidestepping it or answering a different question. Stop rolling out attack ads that focus on some narrow and distorted issue, and instead have a civil conversation with the voters and the other candidates about ideas and how to solve our problems. We have the tools to do this, and I want to demonstrate how to do it with my campaign.

This will be the most transparent and inclusive campaign in history. Everyone will know where I will be, and what I am doing, in advance, and everyone will be invited to be there. And much more than that, I am asking everyone to be a full participant in the conversation. In person at events, online with unedited posts on my blog, through open conversations on twitter every week, I want everyone to talk to me, for as long as they’d like. I am asking everyone to re-engage in the political process. We will develop better ideas through inclusion! And we can build a new social web for civic engagement that will live on beyond November, to change the status quo, and in the long term, repair the lack of representation and true give and take in politics. It will be a model for politicians, so that, perhaps, they might become the public servants that represent us in a way that our founding fathers intended.

This campaign isn’t about me. This is about reversing the degradation of our political process, and rebuilding our democracy. You know what the negative, superficial advertising does. It drives down voter turnout and suppresses participation. The other candidates know this, and they’re doing it on purpose. Well, I am the ANTI-APATHY candidate. This is what you can expect from my campaign: Listening and dialogue, positive and constructive brainstorming, honesty, and open participation. I invite the other candidates to join me in this. And I ask you, the people, to help. The country needs you, our democracy needs you. Apathy is not allowed. Vote to raise the level of civic discourse by getting involved! And, there are a lot of people in this room tonight that will show you how to start. Find one, and introduce yourself.

Thank you for listening! And I will stick around to talk with any of you for as long as you’d like.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

John on Lisa Wexler radio show today 7:45pm

John will be interviewed on the Lisa Wexler radio show (TALK 1400 WSTC and 1350 AM WNLK) today for 5-10 minutes, between 7:45pm and 8pm. People can listen online at:
http://lisawexler.com/
John will discuss his campaign, and the primary elections.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Come to John's Primary Results Watch Party, Tuesday, August 10th

John will host a "Primary Election Results Watch Party" 8pm Tuesday evening, August 10th, at the Sisson Tavern, 86 Sisson Ave., Hartford. All are welcome to attend!

Come discuss the results of all the primary races with John!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Watch the July 27th U.S. Senate Debate

Please watch the U.S. Senate debate from Tuesday, July 27th, here:
http://ct-n.com/webstream.asp?odID=5671&odTitle=Federation%20of%20Connecticut%20Taxpayers%20Organization%202010%20U.S.%20Senate%20Candidate%20Forum

Come Meet John at Hartford Town Hall Today

John will be at the Candidate Meet and Greet at Hartford Town Hall, 550 Main St. today (Thursday) from 10:30am-1:30pm. Come say hi!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

U.S. Senate Debate Tuesday, July 27, 7pm, Hartford!

Dr. John Mertens will be one of four candidates participating in the U.S. Senate debate on Tuesday at 7 pm. The event will be broadcast by CT-N. See the press release below for details. Admission is free.
PLEASE COME!

PRESS RELEASE July 21, 2010
From: Susan Kniep, President, The Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations

YOU ARE INVITED TO THE JULY 27 DEBATE For the U. S. Senatorial Candidates
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Trinity College, Mather Hall, The Washington Room
300 Summit St., Hartford, CT

The Federation is delighted to announce a U. S. Senatorial Debate to be held on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at 7 PM at Trinity College, Mather Hall, in the Washington Room.

All candidates for U. S. Senate have been invited to attend. We have received confirmation of attendance from Rob Simmons, Peter Schiff, John Mertens, and Warren Mosler. We would be delighted to have Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal participate as well.

The moderator will be a representative of the Journal Inquirer Newspaper of Manchester. We have invited various nonprofit organizations to submit questions of importance to their mission, to include CBIA, the Federalist Society, Yankee Institute and Voices for Children.

Nice blog coverage of an interview with John

http://blog.freeyourdata.net/2010/07/21/our-political-environment-john-mertens-independent-candidate-for-us-senate/

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Text and Video of John's Speech on How to Save the Economy

John presents serious short, medium, and long term proposals that will repair and protect our economy. Delivered July 1, 2010, broadcast on CT-N, Connecticut's State Public Affairs Television and Streaming Network.

You can watch John's speech by clicking here:
http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/webstream.asp?odID=5597&odTitle=Independent%20U.S.%20Senate%20Candidate%20John%20Mertens%20Address%20on%20the%20Economy

Here is the text:

Hello everyone. Thank you for coming! And hello to those of you watching on TV or the internet. I’m here to talk about our dire need for government action to fix our economy in the short term, and protect and keep it healthy in the long term. The good news is, the solutions exist! Unfortunately, they are not being implemented by our elected officials in Washington because of a combination of ignorance, greed, cowardice, and corruption. We must all fight to overcome these forces, and build a coalition of true public servants in Washington that have the knowledge and courage to solve these problems.

Before I get into the details of my economic proposals, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I’ve been a Professor of Engineering at Trinity College in Hartford for 20 years. I also teach some public policy and environmental science. I’ve been passionate about the need for real problem-solving in government for my entire life, and for my entire life I’ve been disappointed with the Republicans and Democrats we’ve sent to Washington. They seem to care more about building their party’s power, and getting re-elected, than they care about doing the right things. So, I started getting involved in independent party politics in Connecticut in 2006. That involvement has included the takeover of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, for which I’m on the ballot for U.S. Senate this November. I’m also seeking the nominations of the Independent Party, the Green Party, and the Libertarian Party. I believe that all these minor parties, while they differ on many issues, overlap significantly in their commitments to honest and responsive government, and the protection of our constitution and our civil rights.

Some personal history: I grew up on a farm in northern California, in the middle of nowhere, 8 miles from the nearest post office. I learned what hard work is. I was the foreman of our harvest crew when I was 12, working 70 hours a week in 100 degree weather, usually supervising migrant farm workers from Mexico. With my parents’ encouragement, I worked my way through the local university and was a member of the first generation of my family to graduate from college. I earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, graduating summa cum laude, and was fortunate enough to go to graduate school at Stanford University and earn a master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. I then landed my dream job at Trinity College. A few other things that I think give me a unique perspective: when I was 9, my parents leased our farm for two years and joined the Peace Corps. My family and I spent two years in Zaire, Africa, from 1972-1974. The experience changed my life, and gave me a deep love for the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States. I also developed a respect and love for all the people of the world. In CT, I’ve volunteered with Hartford schools for 19 years, and I feel that I understand the challenges of our cities very well. During my twenty years at Trinity I’ve been very involved in faculty governance, and done a lot of committee work. I feel that all of these experiences make me well qualified to be your Senator.

So let’s talk about the economy: First our immediate needs. We have a real unemployment rate of 18%, when we include people who are working part-time and can’t find a full-time job, and people who have simply given up looking. And in some of our cities, unemployment is as high as 50%! Home and commercial property foreclosure rates are dangerously high, and they show no signs of going down. Some experts say this is our biggest concern. And small businesses, our biggest potential source for jobs, are struggling to survive. Our economy is ice cold, and it has the potential to get worse. People are suffering, and if things don’t change, there will be a significant long term toll on our citizens’ well being.

We have also seen our economy change over the last few decades in a way that has increased the disparity between working families and the wealthy. Corporate executives now make 350 times the average pay of their employees, while in the 1970’s they made 40 times their employees' average pay. And at the same time that this disparity has exploded, our tax structure has become significantly more regressive. If you add up all the taxes that we pay: Property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes such as gasoline and cigarette and cell phone taxes, state income tax, FICA tax, and federal income tax, we Americans pay on average 32% of our income in total taxes. I’m going to tell you a secret that you’re not supposed to know: the top 1% income earners in the United States only pay 31% of their income in total taxes. I’m going to repeat that: on average Americans pay 32% of the income in total taxes, and the top 1% income earners pay 31%. Do you think it’s fair that the richest Americans pay a lower percentage of their income in total taxes than the American average? I don't. And this is new. In the 1950’s, the top income tax bracket was 90%. Now it’s 35%. Over the last 50 years, our tax structure has become much more regressive, that is to say, it has shifted more to the working middle class. We may agree that this isn’t fair, but more importantly, it’s a disaster for our economy. Here’s why.

Unemployment levels are primarily a function of how much money is being spent in our economy. If more goods and services are being purchased, more goods and services need to be produced, and more people are hired to produce and sell those goods and services. Taxes reduce people’s spending power. If you increase taxes by $3,000 on a family that makes $50,000 a year, it makes a big difference. It makes it harder for them to make their mortgage payment, or buy health insurance, or pay their child’s tuition. It reduces their spending. If you reduce the taxes of someone who makes a million dollars a year by $3,000, it’s not going to change their spending much at all. So by making the tax structure more regressive, you’ve removed spending from the economy, and ultimately increased unemployment.

So all of these things are related. Spending levels, and therefore U.S. unemployment levels, are most affected by our overall tax rates. When unemployment is too low (which we approached in the 1990's), there is a shortage of workers for employers, it causes inflation, and hurts our economy. In this situation government should cool off the economy by raising taxes, which reduces spending, and stabilizes unemployment rates and inflation. When unemployment is too high (or in our current situation, WAY too high), government should lower taxes in a progressive way, putting more money into the hands of the average person, which increases spending, and creates jobs.

So I’m going to talk about one single, simple piece of legislation that will fix all of these problems: unemployment, foreclosures, small business failures, tax fairness, and to some extent, wall street compensation. It’s a change to our FICA tax structure. Right now, a family that makes $100,000 a year pays approximately $6,000 of social security tax. Do you know how much someone who makes $10 million a year pays? $6,000! This is as regressive as it gets! This also applies to the employer contributions to FICA; employers must match the tax payments that are deducted from their employees' checks, but only on salaries below $107,000. This is a huge tax burden on small businesses in particular. Here’s my proposal: eliminate FICA taxes for employees and employers for incomes below $100,000, and institute the current FICA tax of 7.65% only on additional income above $100,000. I call this FLIP THE FICA. This will allow working families to keep 7.65% more of their paychecks, which will help them pay their mortgages and spend reasonably. And it will reduce small businesses’ payroll expenses by 7.65%. These two things in combination will create a tremendous amount of jobs, greatly reduce the rate of foreclosures, greatly reduce the rate of small business failures, reduce government unemployment payments, and get our economy back on track very quickly. Flipping the FICA will also discourage corporations from giving huge bonuses to their top executives, because they would have to pay the same FICA taxes on the bonuses as they used to pay on their lower-income workers' paychecks.

In my plan, once the economy rights itself, and real unemployment drops below 8%, FICA taxes on incomes below $100,000 would be raised from 0 to 3.8%, and when real unemployment drops below 5%, FICA taxes on incomes below $100,000 would return to the original 7.65%. Medicare and Social Security benefit calculations for individuals would remain the same throughout the plan as they would have been without these changes. It’s as simple as that! Flip the FICA, until we have full employment, and then FICA for everyone, not just the working middle class. If we present this plan publicly, calmly and intelligently to members of Congress, perhaps we can embarrass them into doing the right thing, instead of protecting the interests of large corporations and wealthy people.

OK, how about longer term issues? How do we build a healthy economy down the road? I have four proposals:

1. Enforce antitrust laws. The United States developed the most vibrant and powerful economy in the world because we have been fantastic innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, we’ve changed into an economy of huge corporations, because for the last 10-15 years our government hasn’t enforced, or done away with, antitrust laws. We need to swing the pendulum back to the other end of the spectrum, to give small businesses a chance to become our economic engine in the United States again. Here’s an example: we should break up each of the huge banks that are “too big to fail” into 10 smaller banks, primarily because they have also become “too big to function decently.” And we should do it now. I’m not the only person who feels this way. I encourage everyone to read “13 Bankers” by Simon Johnson and James Kwak.

2. If we are going to succeed in enforcing anti-trust laws, we will need to end corporate ownership of our government. This will require real campaign finance reform, and an amendment to the constitution that ends corporate citizenship and states clearly that money does not equal free speech. The recent supreme court ruling that gives multinational corporations free reign in spending on political advertising must be reversed.

3. Health Care reform: Health care is 17% of our economy. We need to address cost control. We should evolve our current system to function as a single payer system, with intelligent tort reform. There are many ways to do this, and I recommend that people watch my half hour TV show on Health Care on youtube. I also recommend that they read this book: "The Healing of America", by T.R. Reid. It’s an excellent presentation of the health care options we have.

4. We will not grow our economy unless we have an educated work force, and that’s going to require addressing the problems of our urban areas. I’m proposing a Marshall Plan for our cities, although it’s really a Marshall plan for every part of the country. It should have three components:

a. Education: We live in the era of the standardized test. We need to teach critical thinking, and how to work independently. We need to reform No Child Left Behind, and we need charter schools and vocational schools that have the freedom to implement innovative curricula, especially in our cities. We need to learn from New Orleans: after Katrina, they have rebuilt their school system from scratch, building about 50% charter schools, and 50% regular public schools. The charter schools are doing significantly better. We can also learn from model charter schools here in CT, for example the Common Ground High School in New Haven, which has greatly improved the performance and learning of high school kids. And in our existing urban public schools, we need to offer honors classes for students who want them. I’ve worked with a lot of good, smart kids in Hartford, who crave that opportunity.

b. The second part of the Marshall Plan is a federal jobs program that offers a minimum wage job with health insurance to anyone who is willing to work, anywhere in the country.

c. The final component is drug law reform: I support the proposals of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, and the solutions proposed by Dirk Chase Eldredge in his book “Ending the War on Drugs”. I encourage everyone to watch my 30 minute TV show on U.S. Drug Policy on youtube. And just so you know, Mr. Eldridge is a conservative republican.

These four proposals will ensure that we grow a healthy and vibrant economy once we recover from our current crisis.

So how do we protect our economy from financial crises in the future? I see two likely sources of future crises:

1. Another mortgage crisis. The current regulatory bill being debated in Congress does a few good things, but it falls far short. Here’s a quote from Douglas Elliott of the Brookings Institution, who supports the bill: "The bill will not eliminate financial crises, but it will make them less frequent and considerably milder, which is all we can realistically accomplish.” Mr. Elliott is wrong on that latter point. I propose one single, simple piece of legislation that will prevent this kind of financial crisis from happening again: require any lender to keep ownership of a minimum of 30% of any loan they make, for the lifetime of that loan. I’ve talked to a lot of successful financial sector experts, and they agree with this proposal, and that 30% is the correct number: it would not hinder lending, but it would prevent coercive, risky lending, and it would prevent misrepresentation of the quality of bundled mortgages. This simple law would have prevented the current crisis, and it will prevent future mortgage crises.

2. The second area that I fear could cause a fiscal crisis is Energy Policy. The United States has never had a comprehensive and well-articulated energy policy. Until we do, our economy is vulnerable. See my website to read details of my national energy policy.

Thank you for listening. To summarize, my two most important economic proposals are also the simplest:
1. FLIP THE FICA to solve our immediate problems of unemployment, foreclosures, small business failures, and tax fairness.
2. Require all lenders to own a minimum of 30% of all loans for the lifetime of the loan, to protect our economy from a future mortgage crisis.
I also propose a host of changes to antitrust enforcement, corporate citizenship, health care, education, employment, and drug law reform that will build a healthy economy into the future. I encourage you to go to my website, www.Mertens2010.com, and watch my TV shows on youtube, for more details. By the way, my 30 minute TV show, John Mertens for U.S. Senate, is now running on public access in all 169 towns in the state. I discuss a different issue each month.

So, in conclusion, I am on the ballot in November. I offer an alternative to the same old baloney from the democratic and republican parties, or as I refer to them together, the INCUMBENT PARTY. That’s the party that takes hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests, and fails to represent us, the people. If you elect me, I will work incredibly hard, every day, for us. The voters. No one else. I ask for your vote in November. Thank you.

I’d be happy to take any questions.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Watch John's Televised Speech on How to Fix the Economy

Watch John's major address on the economy, followed by a press conference, on CT-N on Sunday, July 4 at 9:59pm; Monday, July 5 at 6:32am and 7:39pm, and a TBD time on Tuesday evening.

CT-N is Connecticut's State Public Affairs Television and Streaming Network. Find the CT-N TV channel in your local area, watch it online, and/or find Tuesday's schedule here:

http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/

Monday, June 28, 2010

John to Deliver Major Address on the Economy July 1st, 3pm, Elizabeth Park, West Hartford

U.S. Senate Candidate John Mertens will deliver a major address on the economy on Thursday, July 1st at 3pm, followed by an open question and answer session. The event will be held in the Garden Room of the Pond House Cafe, located in Elizabeth Park, 1555 Asylum Ave., West Hartford, CT. This event is free and open to the public.

It will be broadcast on CT-N, Connecticut's State Public Affairs Television and Streaming Network.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hartford Courant "Capital Watch" posts John's response to President Obama's speech

http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2010/06/independent-us-sen-candidate-j.html

Here's the content:

"I think politically, it was a fair speech," Mertens said via email this morning. "He emphasized the efforts that they are implementing and starting to implement now, and touched on all the issues. But it also exposes the weakness of the initial response, in the first two weeks, to the accident. I was infuriated during the first week by the usual practice of taking a 'best case scenario' view of the situation."

"As an engineer, I know that in order to protect the public good, we must always assume and prepare for the worst case scenario. Also, as an engineer and energy policy teacher, I was very disappointed that his discussion of energy alternatives was extremely vague. He didn't mention electric cars! We will never wean ourselves from oil until we convert to electricity as our transportation energy distribution system. And, unfortunately, I do not have a lot of confidence in Dr. Chu or Mr. Salazar."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

T.V. Show "John Mertens for U.S. Senate" Running in All 169 Connecticut Towns

Candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. John Mertens announced that his monthly television show is now airing on every public access television station in Connecticut. "John Mertens for U.S. Senate" features thirty minutes of in-depth discussion of a different issue each month, between the candidate and the guests.

The show has been running in most of the state since November 2009, but it wasn't until recently that it began running in East Hartford and Bloomfield. It is the first time that any public access show has run state-wide. "Every station has different technical and sponsorship requirements, and it has been a lot of work and logistics," said Mertens. "I would love to see other candidates spend thirty minutes talking about different issues, instead of campaigning with thirty-second commercials."

The broadcast schedule varies around the state, but in most towns it runs weekly or twice a week, often in prime time slots.

Show titles have included: "U.S. Drug Policy", "Social Security", "Health Care", "Jobs", "Afghanistan", "Energy and the Environment", "John Answers the Debate Questions", "Meet John" and "The Independent Party". Most can be viewed online at YouTube.com.

Monday, June 7, 2010

John Mertens Responds to Warren Mosler's Million Dollar Challenge

John Mertens says that Warren Mosler's million dollars are safe. Mosler has offered one million dollars to any Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate who is on the ballot who can prove Mosler's economic theories are wrong.

"As one of two candidates currently on the ballot in November, I can say with certainty that Mr. Mosler's economics are correct: the U.S. will not run out of dollars or face a solvency crisis like Greece. And Mr. Mosler's jobs plan, while differing significantly from my proposals, would also work. Voters should pay close attention to the ideas of third-party candidates."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

John Mertens Attending 33rd Annual Yeshiva of New Haven Gathering Tonight

U.S. Senate Candidate John Mertens will be introduced at the 33rd Annual Yeshiva of New Haven Gathering tonight, Sunday, June 6th at 7:00pm at the Peabody Museum's Great Dinosaur Hall, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT. All other candidates for Connecticut statewide office have been invited to attend and be introduced.

The Keynote speaker will be Al Konetzni, Jr., Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.), Commander, Pacific Fleet. There will be a special tribute to Jeffrey B. Butler, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Connecticut Light and Power Company, and the presentation of the Community Service Award to Andy and Paige Weinstein, owners of Star Tire.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jobs!

We have a real unemployment rate of 18%, when we include people who are underemployed (working only part time jobs), or have stopped seeking work and are no longer included in the "official" unemployment figures. My goal is to reduce real unemployment to below 5%. Here's how we do it:

U.S. unemployment levels are most affected by our overall tax rate. When unemployment is too low, there is a shortage of workers for employers, it causes inflation, and hurts our economy. In this situation government should cool off the economy by raising taxes, which reduces demand, and stabilizes unemployment rates. When unemployment is too high (I would say if it gets above 7%), government should lower taxes in a progressive way, putting more money into the hands of the average person, which increases demand, and creates jobs.

I support a carefully crafted change to our payroll tax system until real unemployment drops below 8%, followed by additional payroll tax adjustments to provide a "soft landing" to our goal of getting unemployment below 5%. Here's my plan:

Currently, any household that makes less than $106,800 a year pays 7.65% of their payroll checks in FICA taxes. People who make more than $106,800 per year pay only 1.45% of their additional earnings into FICA! (See my positions on "Tax Fairness" and "Social Security" on this website). This means that a family that makes $100,000 a year pays approximately $6,000 of social security tax, and someone who makes $10 million a year also pays only $6,000 a year! This also applies to the employer contributions to FICA; employers must match the tax payments that are deducted from their employees' checks. This is a huge tax burden on small businesses in particular.

This is terribly regressive, unfair, and worst of all, very bad for our economy. Taxing lower income people more than higher income people prevents spending in our economy. If someone makes a lot of money, having an extra $6,000 a year doesn't really change their spending. But if a middle class family has an extra $6,000 a year, they will spend it. We should allow working families to keep that money to help pay their mortgages and pay their bills, which will create jobs and reduce unemployment. It will also help small companies meet their payrolls and stay in business!

Here's what I suggest:
Annual Family Income vs. FICA Tax Rate
less than $100,000: 0%
anything earned above $100,000: 7.65%
(Note: the 7.65% is only on the income above $100,000)

This will create a tremendous amount of jobs, greatly reduce the rate of foreclosures on houses, greatly reduce the rate of business closures, reduce government unemployment payments, and get our economy back on track very quickly. It will also discourage corporations from giving huge bonuses to their top executives, because now they would have to pay the same FICA taxes on the bonuses as they do for their lower-income workers' paychecks.

Once real unemployment drops below 8%, FICA taxes of 3.825% on incomes below $100,000 would apply, and once real unemployment drops below 5%, the 7.65% FICA tax would apply to all income levels.

Some would call this a "payroll tax holiday", but it is much more than that. It also addresses equity issues in our tax structure.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

John to Attend African-American Affairs Commission 11th Annual Classic Awards

John will attend the State of Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission 11th Annual Classic Awards on Friday, May 7th beginning at 6:30 pm in the Atrium of the State Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford.

The Following Awards Will Be Presented:

Man of the Year: Dr. G. Duncan Harris, Dean of Student Affairs, Manchester Community College

Woman of the Year: Dr. Shirley A. Jackson, Associate Professor of Sociology, Southern Connecticut State University.

Youths of the Year: Ayibatari Sikpi, Old Saybrook High School and Aaron Eaddy, Glastonbury High School.

Lifetime Achievement: Jane L. Givenhand-Glover, Founder, Kente' Cultural Center

Business and Economic Development: Keith Newton Tinker, Tinker Realty and Insurance, Inc.

Friday, April 30, 2010

John attending Coffee Party meeting in Hartford tomorrow (Saturday)

U.S Senate Candidate John Mertens will attend a "Coffee Party" in Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday, May 1, 2010, from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm, held at Real Art Ways on 56 Arbor Street.

From John's press release: "I strongly support the philosophy that deliberation from many viewpoints, guided by reason, is the best way to achieve the common good. That's why I'm running for office - to bring non-partisan problem-solving to public policy decisions."

John also supports the Coffee Party pledge: "As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Mertens Speaks on Energy Policy and Climate Change in Hartford on Wednesday

U.S Senate Candidate John Mertens will speak on U.S. Energy Policy and Climate Change at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, beginning at 2 pm, in McCook Auditorium. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. The event is free and open to the public.

John, Dick, and Peter in fashion show at Hartford Stage on Monday!

From Dennis House:
This November there will likely be three candidates on the ballot for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Chris Dodd. Could this be the lineup of the Republican, Democrat and Independent we will be choosing from this fall? Maybe…but this trio will be representing the Senate race this Monday at the Hartford Stage.

Peter Schiff could emerge as the Republican nominee if Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon continue to damage each other so badly that the GOP decides to turn to someone who still has all limbs intact. Richard Blumenthal is the front runner for the Democrats, and John Mertens is running as an Independent.

All three will meet voters this Monday in a ……fashion show. Yes, the annual Capital Catwalk benefits Dress for Success Hartford, an organization that helps women prepare to enter the working world. The show also features local celebrities and personalities modeling the latest fashions from local stores and boutiques. There is also great food from local restaurants.

http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/november-preview/

Sunday, April 25, 2010

John speaking at U. Conn. (Storrs)

John Mertens will visit the University of Connecticut in Storrs to address political science students on April 27 at 11 am.

Dr. Mertens will discuss the practicalities of implementing public policy solutions in American politics. He will address Medicare and Healthcare, Social Security, Energy Policy, Bank Regulations, US Drug Policy and other issues. He will also discuss the practicalities of running for office: ballot access, campaign funding and media access.

Those interested in attending should contact the John Mertens for U.S. Senate campaign via e-mail at: John@Mertens2010.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010

John attending Green Party State Convention

U.S. Senate Candidate John Mertens will attend the Statewide Connecticut Green Party Convention on Saturday, April 24, at the Portland Senior Center, located at 7 Waverly Ave., Portland, CT. The convention begins at noon, and is free and open to the public. John will be arriving around 2pm, following the 2010 Urban Issues Forum earlier in the day at the State Capitol.

Monday, April 19, 2010

U.S. Senate Candidate John Mertens Participating in 2010 Urban Issues Forum

U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens will participate in the “2010 Urban Issues Forum” at the Connecticut State Legislative Office Building (LOB) on Saturday, April 24. This forum offers Elected Officials and Candidates running for office the opportunity to meet “face to face” with concerned citizens for an “interactive dialogue session” on issues affecting communities throughout Connecticut. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can register at:
http://www.sojournerwomenspoliticalinstitute.info/Public_Registration.html
The event runs from 9am-1:30pm, in Room 2-C of the CT State Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford, Connecticut.

AGENDA
9:00 A.M. Breakfast Reception: Meet and Greet with Elected Officials & Candidates
10:00 A.M. Presentations and Audience Q-and-A Session
12:00 P.M. Networking Break and Lunch
1:00 P.M. Wrap up Panel Discussion and Participant Recommendation Session
Candidates and elected officials will be on hand to answer questions and to listen to your concerns.

Sponsors of the event include The CT Health Foundation, Inc., the Commission on Children, the State of CT Office of Protection and Advocacy, the CT Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, the Black and Latino Caucus, the African American Affairs Commission , the Foundation for Educational Advancement, Inc., African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities (AFCAMP), Sojourner Women’s Political Institute, CT Federation of Black Democratic Clubs, CT Commission on Health Equity, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and the Connecticut Branches of the NAACP.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

John Mertens Attending Forum at Eastern Connecticut State University

U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens (I) will attend a candidates forum organized by the "Eastern Conservatives" at Eastern Connecticut State University from 3pm - 5pm on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The event will be held in the Johnson Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library on the ECSU campus.

U.S. Senate candidates Linda McMahon (R), Rob Simmons (R), and Vinny Foras (R) are also expected to appear, as well as fifteen candidates running for Governor, a variety of constitutional offices, and Congress.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

John Mertens Attending Sacred Heart University "Candidates Day"

John will attend the Sacred Heart University "Candidates Day" on April 13, 2010 from 1pm - 3pm. The event will be held in the University Commons of the main academic building of the Fairfield, CT campus.

U.S. Senate candidates Merrick Alpert (D), Richard Blumenthal (D), Linda McMahon (R) and Peter Schiff (R) are also expected to appear, as well as 15 other candidates running for a variety of constitutional offices and Congress.

Each candidate will have a table at which they can meet attendees. In addition, Sacred Heart University students will videotape private interviews with each candidate, and posting the videos on the University website.

John says: "I'm looking forward to it! It's another opportunity for people to see and hear that I'm the only candidate that gives specific solutions to the huge long- and short-term problems we face (see the 30 detailed position statements on my website)."

Monday, April 5, 2010

John Mertens in U.S. Senate Forum at the Hartford Club on Thursday

Dr. John Mertens will be the sole Independent to participate in the MetroHartford Alliance U.S. Senate Candidate Forum at the Hartford Club on Thursday, April 8, from 8am - 10am.

Seven candidates are scheduled: Merrick Alpert (D), Richard Blumenthal (D), Vincent Forras (R), Linda McMahon (R), John Mertens (I), Peter Schiff (R), and Rob Simmons (R). The event will be moderated by Tom Monahan from NBC 30.

It will be taped and broadcast at a later time by CT-N. It will also be filmed by the MetroHartford Alliance, and made available on their website. NBC 30 will also be taping for potential future broadcast.

Monday, March 29, 2010

U.S. Senate Candidate John Mertens to Address Milford Independent Party Town Committee

U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens will speak at the Milford Independent Party Town Committee Meeting on March 31 at 7 PM, at the Stonebridge Restaurant, 50 Daniel St., Milford, Connecticut. Mertens is a Professor of Engineering at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and also teaches courses in public policy and environmental science. The meeting is free and open to the public.

John became the first candidate in the country to earn a 2010 ballot line for U.S. Senate at the Connecticut for Lieberman Party statewide caucus on January 13. He is also seeking the nominations of the Independent Party, Green Party, and Libertarian Party.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

John Mertens to Speak at Gateway Community College

U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens will visit Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut to address students of American Government classes on April 1, at 7 PM. Mertens is a Professor of Engineering at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and also teaches courses in public policy and environmental science.

Dr. Mertens will discuss the practicalities of implementing public policy solutions in American politics. He will address Medicare and Healthcare, Social Security, Job Creation, Energy Policy, Bank Regulations, U.S. Drug Policy and other issues. He will also discuss the practicalities of running for office: ballot access, campaign funding, and media access.

Those interested in attending should contact the John Mertens for U.S. Senate campaign via email: John@Mertens2010.com

Monday, March 15, 2010

John's reaction to Dodd's Regulatory Bill

John's reaction to the latest version of Chris Dodd's Financial Regulatory Reform Bill:

It does do some good things, and is an improvement upon the November version (see "Too Big to Fail" on my website). However, it does not go nearly far enough. We should reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, to separate most commercial and investment banking activities. And, after causing huge damage to our economy, and requiring huge amounts of taxpayer-funded bailouts, it's time to break up huge institutions like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs into, say, five smaller (but still extremely large) institutions. Mr. Dodd says that "No legislation will stop the next crisis from coming." I do not agree. Stronger action to prevent entities from being "Too Big to Fail" can do the job. I would vote for Mr. Dodd's bill, but I would also fight hard for much stronger protections for us, the people.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Overview of Some Legislation I Will Fight For:

A U.S. Senator enacts change through legislation. My opponents seem to forget or ignore this. Here's a summary of some of the specific short-, medium-, and long-term legislation that I will fight for. You can find details of each on this website, and by watching my TV show.

• Flip the FICA: to deal with unemployment, foreclosures, small business failures, and tax fairness, eliminate FICA taxes for workers and employers on incomes below $100,000, and institute FICA taxes on additional income above $100,000. When full employment is reached, FICA taxes for everyone.
• Require all lenders to keep 30% of every loan they make, for the lifetime of the loan, to prevent future mortgage crises.
• Social Security: remove the income cap, means-test payments (see TV show on YouTube).
• Universal Health Care, with cost containment (see TV show on YouTube).
• Make permanent a temporary renewable energy tax credit that is impeding investment.
• Close hedge-fund-managers tax loophole that costs us $6 billion dollars a year.
• Specific, large improvements in our ethanol policies.
• Implement a National Energy Policy for the first time.
• Require corporations to disclose compensation packages to stock holders. Transparency.
• Reinstate 1990 Budget Enforcement Act.
• Reinstate Glass-Steagall, and address “Too Big to Fail”.
• Fight for Constitutional Amendment that ends Eminent Domain Abuse.
• Fight for Constitutional Amendment that prevents corporations from donating limitless funds to political advertising, and states that corporations are not treated as persons.
• Urge reduction of troop levels in Afghanistan to 10,000. Focus on Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, corruption and 60% unemployment in Afghanistan. Purchase all Afghani poppies.
• Fight for U.S. Drug Policy urged by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). (see TV show on YouTube.) Address 30% high school dropout rate in the U.S. with savings.
• Implement real campaign finance reform.
• Tax Fairness: our tax burden has been shifted to the middle class. Reverse this with more progressive tax structure.
• Keep government out of our personal lives.
• End tax credits for businesses that outsource jobs.
• Fight obesity and diabetes epidemic, replace corrupt FDA food pyramid with Harvard study.
• many more....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lecture by John Mertens in Hartford, March 9, 12:15-1:15 PM

U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens is presenting:
“The Nuts and Bolts of Public Policy, American Politics, and Running for Office”
in Hartford, Connecticut on March 9, 12:15-1:15 PM.

Dr. Mertens will discuss the practicalities of implementing public policy solutions in American politics. He will address Medicare and Healthcare, Social Security, Energy Policy, Bank Regulations, U.S. Drug Policy, and others. He will also discuss the practicalities of running for office: ballot access, campaign funding, and media access.

The presentation is in Boyer Auditorium, Albert C. Jacobs Life Sciences Center, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford, Connecticut.

The event is free and open to the public; all are invited to attend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John Mertens is Guest on FOX 61's "The Real Story" on Sunday, Feb. 28

John Mertens will be a guest on "The Real Story" hosted by Laurie Perez on Sunday, February 28th. "The Real Story" is broadcast in Connecticut on Sundays at 10:30am on FOX 61, 11:00am on WTXX, and 8:30pm on CTN.

Podcast of Dr. Mertens' appearance on WNPR's "Where We Live"

You can listen here to John Mertens' discussion with John Dankosky on WNPR's "Where We Live":

http://www.cpbn.org/program/where-we-live/episode/where-we-vote-john-mertens

Sunday, February 21, 2010

John Mertens on WNPR's Where We Live on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd

Dr. Mertens will be the sole guest on WNPR's Connecticut radio show "Where We Live", hosted by John Dankosky, on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, from 9-10 AM. The show is rebroadcast at 7 PM. The broadcast can be heard live online at http://www.cpbn.org/listen-live

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Congress has made another huge mistake:

"The Senate Tuesday rejected a plan backed by President Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the federal deficit this year despite glaring new figures showing the enormity of the red-ink threat."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-01-26-federal-budget-deficit_N.htm
" 'Yet another indication that Congress is more concerned with the next election than the next generation,' said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., a sponsor of the plan."

I (John Mertens) would have strongly supported the formation of this task force. And this comes on top of a recent budget passed by Congress that increased spending for almost all agencies by 10%! Most companies and non-profits that I know of have frozen spending (if not cut it). Congress should have done the same.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

John Mertens' Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

I agree with President Obama's statements about the recent Supreme Court decision that lifted limits on corporate and union spending on political ads:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/us/politics/24address.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
We need to work to 1) pass legislation that can reduce the impact of the ruling, 2) change the balance of the court when the opportunity presents itself, and 3) ultimately pass a constitutional amendment that fundamentally changes the relationship between money, free speech, and politics.

In addition, and probably more importantly, I support sponsoring legislation that ends the treatment of corporations as persons. Read this letter by Ralph Nader:
http://www.nancho.net/corperson/cpnadrsa.html
I agree with this view. Here's an excerpt I would like you to read:
"The lesson that emerges from our 100-year-plus experience in treating corporations as persons for constitutional purposes is this: If corporations -- all of which are chartered by the government -- are given the same rights as human beings, human beings will not have the same effective rights as corporations. This is not only because of the massive financial and technological resources available to corporations, but the unique powers, privileges and immunities that are inherent in the transnational corporate form or accrete to it over time, and which allow corporations to overwhelm real persons' rights."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tax Loophole for Hedge Funds Costs $6 Billion

This is completely unacceptable, and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have done anything about it. If I were in the U.S. Senate, I would fight hard to close this loophole.

Hedge fund managers pay a much lower income tax rate than their secretaries. It's disgraceful. And it's because they donate millions of dollars to the campaigns of the incumbent politicians:
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/pm120/
Democrats pledged during the 2006 congressional campaign that they would close this loophole (created by a Republican congress) if they became the majority party. They did become the majority party, it's 2010, and they haven't closed it.

We need independent people in congress who will do the right thing!

Nice Article on CTNewsJunkie.com

http://ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/connecticut_for_lieberman_party_nominates_john_mertens_for_dodds_seat/

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Donate to the Rescue Efforts in Haiti

CNN has done a good job of vetting aid organizations here:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/01/13/haiti.earthquake.how.to.help/index.html

John Mertens is First U.S. Senate Candidate to Earn 2010 Ballot Line

John Mertens became the first candidate in the country to earn a 2010 ballot line for U.S. Senate at the Connecticut for Lieberman Party statewide caucus on January 13, 2010, in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mertens earned the U.S. Senate nomination with 52 votes. Peter R. Anderson of Bozrah, Connecticut received 2 votes.

Mertens is a West Hartford resident and a Professor of Engineering at Trinity College. He is also seeking the nominations of the Independent Party, the Green Party, and the Libertarian Party.

Monday, January 11, 2010

John Mertens' TV show addresses Health Care

Dr. Mertens' TV show "John Mertens for U.S. Senate" is now running in over 150 towns in Connecticut, on average more than four times a month. By the end of January it will be running in all 169 towns.

The most recent show is on HEALTH CARE. You can also view it on youtube:

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=848lvRy7ipM
Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS6aJYI0sTw
Part 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ27rx6J2FE

Previous shows can also be viewed on youtube by searching for "John Mertens"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

John Mertens welcomes Richard Blumenthal into the race

Dr. Mertens welcomes Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal into the U.S. Senate race. "I'm looking forward to debating Mr. Blumenthal and all the candidates on a wide range of issues. I hope we will have many opportunities to talk about solutions to long term problems."

Photo is from the Hartford Courant's photogallery of U.S. Senate candidates:
http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-ct-senator-potential-dodd-replacements,0,4970875.photogallery



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John Mertens for U.S. Senate
P.O. Box 330452
West Hartford, CT 06133-0452