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Thelma Drake on Technology

Republican Representative (VA-2)


Direct federal resources to transportation infrastructure

Drake is committed to directing federal resources to our transportation infrastructure that will make needed improvements on our roadways. High-speed rail to Richmond and Washington, DC, funding for improvements to those interstate interchanges most-frequented by congestion, and improved transit options to take cars off the road will all help to ease the congestion that plagues our roads, and Thelma will work to direct federal resources to these important programs.
Source: 2004 House campaign Website, ThelmaDrake.com , Nov 2, 2004

Voted YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms' warrantless surveillance.

Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. ETHERIDGE. This bipartisan bill provides the critical tools that our intelligence community needs to ensure the safety of our Nation--to authorize surveillance in the case of an emergency situation, provided that they return to the FISA court within 7 days to apply for a warrant.

Rep. LANGEVIN. One issue that has been repeatedly addressed is whether telecommunications companies should be granted immunity against pending lawsuits for their involvement in the earlier surveillance program. This legislation preserves a role for the U.S. court system to decide independently whether the telecommunications companies acted in good faith. Only after that review would the courts decide whether the telecommunications companies deserve any form of liability protection.

Opponents argument for voting NAY: Rep. LEVIN. I oppose this bill because of the provisions that would confer retroactive immunity on the telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. It sets a dangerous precedent for Congress to approve a law that dismisses ongoing court cases simply on the basis that the companies can show that the administration told them that its warrantless surveillance program was legal. A program is not legal just because the administration claims that it is.

Rep. NADLER. The House must decide today whether to uphold the rule of law & the supremacy of the Constitution or whether to protect & reward the lawless behavior of the administration and of the telecommunications companies that participated in its clearly illegal program of spying on innocent Americans. The bill is a fig-leaf, granting blanket immunity to the telecom companies for illegal acts. It denies people whose rights were violated their fair day in court, and it denies the American people their right to have the actions of the administration subjected to fair & independent scrutiny.

Reference: FISA Amendments Act; Bill HR6304 ; vote number 2008-437 on Jun 20, 2008

Voted YES on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.

Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.

Veto message from President Bush:

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495 ; vote number 2007-1040 on Nov 6, 2007

Voted NO on establishing "network neutrality" (non-tiered Internet).

An amendment, sponsored by Rep Markey (D, MA) which establishes "network neutrality" by requiring that broadband network service providers have the following duties:
  1. not to block or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access the Internet;
  2. to operate its broadband network in a nondiscriminatory manner so that any person can offer or provide content and services over the broadband network with equivalent or better capability than the provider extends to itself or affiliated parties, and without the imposition of a charge for such nondiscriminatory network operation;
  3. if the provider prioritizes or offers enhanced quality of service to data of a particular type, to prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data of that type without imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such prioritization or enhanced quality of service.
Proponents say that network neutrality ensures that everybody is treated alike with regard to use of the Internet, which has been a principle applied to Internet use since it was first originated. Proponents say that without network neutrality, large corporations will pay for exclusive preferential service and hence small websites will be relegated to a second tier of inferior service. Opponents say that the Markey amendment forsakes the free market in favor of government price controls, and would chill investment in broadband network and deployment of new broadband services, and would reduce choice for internet users. Voting YES favors the network neutrality viewpoint over the price control viewpoint.
Reference: Communications, Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act; Bill HR 5252 Amendment 987 ; vote number 2006-239 on Jun 8, 2006

Voted YES on increasing fines for indecent broadcasting.

Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005: Expresses the sense of Congress that broadcast television station licensees should reinstitute a family viewing policy for broadcasters. Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to provide that for violators of any Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license, if a violator is determined by the FCC to have broadcast obscene, indecent, or profane material, the amount of forfeiture penalty shall not exceed $500,000 for each violation. Sets forth:
  1. additional factors for determining indecency penalties;
  2. indecency penalties for non-licensees;
  3. deadlines for actions on complaints;
  4. additional remedies for indecent broadcasts; and
  5. provisions for license disqualification, revocation, or renewal consideration for violations of indecency prohibitions.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton [R, MI-6]; Bill H.R.310 ; vote number 2005-035 on Feb 16, 2005

Permanent ban on state & local taxation of Internet access.

Drake co-sponsored permanently banning state & local taxation of Internet access

Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007 - Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

Related bills: H.R.743, H.R.1077, H.R.3678, S.156.

Source: Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (S.2128) 07-S2128 on Oct 2, 2007

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology: Thelma Drake on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
VA Senatorial:
Mark Warner

Retiring to run for other office:

Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

Running for Senate:
AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
2011-2012 Special Elections:
AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NV-2:Mark Amodei(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
OR-1:David Wu(D)
OR-1:Suzanne Bonamici(D)

Retiring 2012:
AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
CA-18:Elton Gallegly(R)
CA-24:Dennis Cardoza(D)
CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
MA-1:John Olver(D)
MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2012