Thank You.

We fell short. We didn’t accomplish all that we wished to. But it only ends once. And this clearly isn’t that once. More to come. I just didn’t want to be that politician who stopped talking when there was nothing to gain and no votes to earn. I’m going to sleep and things will get clearer in the next few days I’m sure. Again, I can’t thank each of you enough for the faith, belief, and commitment you showed in me. I pray that I lived up to it.

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I’m here, now what?

Welcome! Here’s how you can get up to speed in a few minutes:

1) Start with this video introduction.

2) Ready to learn more about my stand on the issues?

3) Ready to support our campaign?

Still have questions? Send me a note.

Thanks!
Surya

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FOX19 Interview

I’ll continue to share these as they come out:

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Let’s Be Real About Unemployment

Let’s acknowledge the real cause of high unemployment … and get to work addressing it.

It’s probably not wise for a candidate to pick a fight with a noted economist, but I had a strong reaction to a post this week from by Professor J. Bradford DeLong titled, “The Varieties of Unemployment” that I came across via Ezra Klein.

Prof. DeLong’s post is a bit technical. It addresses an academic debate among economists over whether our current state of high unemployment is “cyclical” or “structural.” In a nutshell, some smart people are arguing the issue is supply (not enough of a type of worker), a problem with the structure of the economy itself. Other smart people are arguing that the issue is demand (not enough employers seeking those skilled workers), which is a problem that comes and goes in cycles.

The big difference is the latter problem can be solved by pumping taxpayer-funded “stimulus” into the economy, essentially creating the missing demand. Prof. DeLong appears to be in the camp that thinks this would be an effective remedy.

Here is the key example Prof. DeLong uses to prove our 10% unemployment rate is not structural:

[S]uppose that you have many workers qualified and skilled to work in construction, but households have decided that their houses are more than large enough, and wish to fill them with manufactured goods …

In that case, we would expect to see construction Continue reading

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A Solution to the Housing Crisis

Sadly, each passing day brings with it more depressing economic news. Today’s latest is that housing sales dropped 27% in July, the weakest showing in 15 years. That the housing market remains a complete disaster, common knowledge to most of us, appears to still be a secret to those in Washington. This latest news reinforces that it is time to put aside the Washington “PR fixes” and get down to real solutions that address what is both a devastating crisis for many American families and a major barrier to any economic recovery.

To properly address the housing crisis we have to first stabilize the market. We can only stabilize the housing market by first stopping the downward spiral that it is currently caught in. What downward spiral? Today, each foreclosure, auction, and new house for sale puts increasing downward pressure on prices. As home prices drop, more mortgages become “underwater”, which leads to increasing cases of homeowners walking away and more bank foreclosures. This in-turn drives home prices down even further, and the cycle continues and continues.

To date none of the DC solutions have had a prayer of addressing this core problem; they were just band-aids. Not surprisingly, these DC solutions have only succeeded in allowing our politicians Continue reading

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Follow the money

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Given our current campaign finance system, we should hope that this is true. Washington Monthly’s article “Show Him the Money” looks behind the curtain at the process by which big dollars get in the door to the legislative process. Here are some of my thoughts on choice passages:

“In other words, a large part of what the Chamber sells is political cover. For multibillion-dollar insurers, drug makers, and medical device manufacturers who are too smart and image conscious to make public attacks of their own, the Chamber of Commerce is a friend who will do the dirty work. “I want to give them all the deniability they need,” says Donohue.

Wow. Shouldn’t it scare us that special interests– those who create, manipulate, and defeat legislation– would so readily admit the degree to which they manipulate the process? The truly sad part is that their confidence/arrogance is well-founded. If there ever was a formal battle between “organized greed” and “disorganized democracy” it was won long ago.

But while the Chamber has as legitimate a claim to representing this sector as any organization around—96 percent of its members have fewer than 100 employees—it is also beholden to a cadre of multinationals whose interests are often inimical to those of small business. In 2008, a third of its revenues came from just nineteen companies.

This feels like one of the most consistent patterns of Washington. Special interests hide behind the banner of a group that we all agree on/believe in– in this case, small businesses– solely for marketing purposes.

“The worst thing to happen to Tom is to have an issue resolved, even to his own favor, because then he can’t raise any more funds on it,” says John Schulz, a former editor at the trade journal Traffic World, who’s covered Donohue for twenty-five years.

Isn’t this exactly what is happening in government today as well? Both parties are more concerned with scoring political points and posturing for the next election than in actually solving problems.

Oddly, while Donohue casts himself as the voice of business, he has never worked for a corporation or any kind of for-profit concern—only for trade associations, nonprofits, and the federal government.

One of the biggest problems with Washington is that the vast majority of these people have never worked in a business or run a real business. They are career bureaucrats or politicians who know how to peddle influence, raise money, and tell people what they want to hear. They leach off hard-earned taxpayer dollars and borrow from our grandchildren. Of course we end up with out of control spending, poorly run programs, and abysmal oversight of regulation. They’ve never worked in the real world where if you do these things you get fired.

“The Chamber views itself as a shadow-government policymaking body,” a former Chamber economist, Lawrence Hunter, said.

Isn’t this the real cause for hope? After all this time, and having spent well over $3 trillion last year lobbying, can you really call this kind of behavior “shadow-government”? That’s quite the shadow. Now that the “shadow” is blocking out the sun, people are increasingly reading and hearing about how corrupt the ways of Washington have become. We legalized bribery, and now that they’re rubbing our faces in it, I have hope that we’re finally read to tell them we’ve had enough.

We have an opportunity here in the 2nd District to send just such a message. Our Congresswoman has taken over 1.5 million dollars in special-interest money. The banks donated to her. The big banks got her vote to bail them out and hand them hundreds of billions of dollars (TARP). Later the banks also got their protection from regulation as hundreds of Congressmen, like Rep. Jean Schmidt voted against and watered it down. Had enough yet?

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Does Wall St Own DC?

Washington’s passage of financial regulation last week served as a perfect reminder of so much that is wrong with DC.

Despite moderate legislation (I would say “watered down”), financial regulation only passed along essentially party lines. With elections having become endless year-round campaigns, we are left with a process where all legislation is examined only for political gain/loss and not policy implications. All of us, democrats and republicans alike, lose as a result.

Here in the 2nd District we have a front row seat to this disappointment. When Wall Street needed help, Congresswoman Schmidt was there to vote in favor of their bailout. However when the time came to vote to pass some basic, common-sense measures to ensure that taxpayers were not once again holding the bag for Wall Street’s excessive risktaking, Congresswoman Schmidt voted no. She has chosen to side with the interests of Wall Street bankers over those of her constituents.

All of this goes back to a climate in Washington that values winning elections and the preservation of power above all else. Preying on this, special interest groups are all too eager to step into the void with large checks to help their handpicked candidates win elections. So it is no surprise that groups like Wall Street get to write their own legislation and get hundreds of billion dollars in help when they need it. They have purchased the best representatives that money can buy.

Back to the financial regulation legislation– I don’t believe the present version of the bills go far enough. Sen. Sherrod Brown has proposed an amendment, Brown-Kaufman, which would be an excellent step to cap the size and leverage of the biggest banks. If we wish to ensure we don’t have a repeat of 2008′s disastrous events we must make “too big to fail, too big to exist.” So far this amendment has faced massive opposition from the army of lobbyists in Washington and their allies in Congress.

This is a great article on what’s going on behind the scenes of financial regulation. Great read.

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A broken Washington

Rep. Obey of Wisconsin announced his intention to retire after over 40 years in the US House. In his release, he clearly lays out so much of what is wrong with Washington and crippling our nation. The whole thing is very much worth a read, but here’s a must-read section:

“All I do know is that there has to be more to life than explaining the ridiculous, accountability destroying rules of the Senate to confused, angry, and frustrated constituents.

I absolutely believe that, after the economy returns to a decent level of growth, we must attack our long-term budget deficit. But, perhaps I expect too much because, in addition to an attack on the federal budget deficit, I also want to see an equal determination to attack the family security deficit, the family income deficit, and the opportunity deficit which also plague the American people.

I am, frankly, weary of having to beg on a daily basis that both parties recognize that we do no favor for the country if we neglect to make the long-term investments in education, science, health, and energy that are necessary to modernize our economy and decline to raise the revenue needed to pay for those crucial investments. I do not want to be in a position as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of producing and defending lowest common denominator legislation that is inadequate to that task and, given the mood of the country, that is what I would have to do if I stayed.

I am also increasingly weary of having to deal with a press which has become increasingly focused on trivia, driven at least in part by the financial collapse of the news industry and the need, with the 24-hour news cycle, to fill the air waves with hot air. I say that regretfully because I regard what is happening to the news profession as nothing short of a national catastrophe which I know pains many quality journalists as much as it pains me. Both our professions have been coarsened in recent years and the nation is the loser for it.”

This is exactly why I’m running for Congress. This is exactly what our campaign is all about. We are picking up this fight to repair a Washington that has badly failed the American people. I look forward to working with you in our journey to November and then in making it a reality.

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Thank you

More details coming, but I wanted to thank everyone now for their amazing support!

Yalamanchili wins 2nd Dist. Dem primary

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Third Frontier: smart job investment

The Third Frontier program (Issue 1) is on the ballot here in Ohio on May 4. I strongly support Third Frontier as a key investment in our future. It funds the future today, for jobs tomorrow. It’s a great example of smart, long-term thinking.

In a nutshell, it is a program that funds advanced technology development here in Ohio. Current funding runs out in 2012 and passage of Issue 1 extends the program until 2016. Third Frontier is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with bi-partisan cooperation and vision. It was started by Gov Taft in 02, and yet strongly supported by Gov Strickland.

Third Frontier will help Ohio create the homegrown advanced technology companies and jobs that we need to strengthen our economic foundation. After years of of having our manufacturing sector rust, it’s important that we create the incentives for businesses to invest in Ohio. It’s estimated that the program has already created over 10,000 jobs and 30,000 indirectly.

What can be done better?

As the Enquirer points out in their editorial, removing even the appearance of politics is crucial for public trust. Increased transparency throughout every stage of the process will go a long way to earning that trust.

We must make sure that we are not just funding the advanced R&D here in Ohio, but also the production and manufacturing. Too often, we have seen federal grants and R&D dollars invested in upstream work only to see the final production jobs created overseas. We should ensure that strong provisions exist that look out for Ohio’s public interest in having the multiplier effect of production jobs here.

I’m strongly in favor of Issue 1, Third Frontier and urge you to vote yes.

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