I've known Matthew for about 14 months now, ever since we first met with a few other people at his house to watch the State of the Union in 2011. The first thing that impressed me was his honesty. We were talking about his candidacy for the 18th Congressional District in Illinois, and he was brutally honest about his background and circumstances. He knew it was an uphill battle, that he would be getting a lot of heat from the press, and he would have practically no financial support. As we talked about the issues, I found his knowledge impressive, and still do. He spends a great deal of time reading news articles and staying abreast of decisions and other political items that affect the 18th Congressional District, as well as the nation.
That alone is impressive, seeing as he also has had a year of misfortune with the health of his family. His mother, a cancer survivor, required an additional surgery last month, and his grandmother's health has also seen a decline. He manages to provide care for both of them while holding down a full time job and trying to manage his campaign with a minimum staff of volunteers.
Matthew A. Woodmancy is a local man with a background in the 18th district and a passion to serve the people of this nation. His platform speaks for itself, so I'll let it.
Matthew Aaron Woodmancy
Born January 25, 1984 in Pekin, Illinois. Attended Normal Community High School. Currently attending Kaplan University On-line completing a Bachelor of Political Science. Assistant Manager for Gumby's Pizza in Normal, IL. Resides in Pekin, IL.
Matt stands with the Veterans of this nation in seeking fair and equal treatment for all men and women who have offered the ultimate sacrifice to defend our way of life. The medical care and responsibility for wounded service members is a sacred duty that we as Americans cannot turn away from. Educational benefits, rehabilitation services, low or no interest home loans, and other special programs are the least we can provide for these valiant Americans who have stepped forward to serve.
Matt's dedication and commitment to making our nation a better place to live comes from his own real life experiences. Raised by a single mother, Matt grew up in Central Illinois. He has experienced first-hand the inequities of the system, and is dedicated to changing the laws and programs of this country to protect the middle class Americans, the very people who make this nation what it is.
Matt is a man who constantly stays abreast of the issues and in touch with his constituency. He works full time, attends to family health issues and mortgage, and still finds time to review the news, both local and national, to keep up with the latest news and concerns of his community and the nation.
While a registered candidate for the Democratic Party, Matt is a man who thinks for himself. He does not “toe” the party line. He takes into consideration what is right for the nation and what the people of his district want him to do.
Matthew A. Woodmancy stands for Union Workers, Veteran's Rights, and a return to Balanced budgets and Basic Services for the American People at the local, state, and federal levels.
The Economy: We need to increase state participation in retraining displaced workers, and reduce the bailouts to corporations who have overextended themselves through reckless actions. Mortgage bailouts for homeowners should be available to first mortgages only, not second, third or even fourth mortgages that clearly demonstrate the kind of reckless disregard for sound financial judgment. At the state level, every state should pass and implement a balanced budget amendment that prevents the state from building excess deficits.
Gay Rights: Society is changing. The Federal Government, however, refuses to recognize same sex marriages and civil unions. The 14th amendment formally protects a person's civil and political rights from being abridged or denied by any state. It is time that we, as a nation, accept the diversity of every American, and their right to participate in a free society as equals. We have continued to fight this battle since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and we can no longer tolerate discrimination in any form in our society.
Racism and Hate Crimes: I abhor discrimination in all forms, be it gay bashing, racism, gender bias, segregation, or ethnic profiling. This includes discrimination for all groups in all forms. Since Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we have fallen short of the dream and some have continued to teach our children to hate one another based on our prejudices. We cannot legislate this shameful legacy away, but we can commit ourselves to the legacy of the popular entertainer who told us “The times they are a-changin'” and we must change with them. Hate does not begin with others, but in the heart of every individual. If we are to stop these heinous and reprehensible actions, we must learn to begin within ourselves.
Welfare reform: We cannot afford a permanent underclass who rely solely on the Federal and State governments for support. Welfare was never intended to be a permanent life style, but a safety net for those who stumble and fall while striving to reach the American dream. We have always been a people who help others in times of need, and we will continue to help those in need, who by no fault of their own, rely on Social Security and other safety nets. This goal is worthy of a great people and a great Nation. But those who continue to abuse the Welfare system have violated our trust and compassion, and this can no longer be tolerated. Vocational training, along with drug and alcohol treatment should be provided. It is in the best interest of America to help those in need to find jobs to support their families and allow them to pay back into the system. They however must live up to the standards of this Great Society they depend on for assistance. Stricter enforcement of the rules regarding the use of welfare and assistance monies must provide more accountability to the American people for this use of the taxpayer's funds.
Immigration: While this will always be the land of opportunity, we need to change the way we think about immigration. We are partly to blame for the current immigration problem, with the high costs we charge for those wishing to come into this country, a cost so high many who long for the American dream see no other way to come in but illegally. Even before the founding of the United States, people from all over the world came here with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They wanted a better life and they wanted it here. We should not ask those coming here now to give us the shirt off their backs to try and achieve that same dream. If they are willing to meet the challenges of citizenship, then we as a country must help them achieve the American dream that we all reach and work for. America is the hope of millions, those who wish to live here, who follow our laws and are willing to do the hard work needed to become citizens of the greatest nation in the history of the globe should not be turned away at the nations front door because of unfairly high cost of entry. If they are, some will break in through a window or unguarded back door. The responsibility of the Federal government is to enforce the laws it sets for immigration. However, the Federal Government is either unwilling or unable to enforce its own laws. Their duty, therefore, belongs to the states to defend themselves from the high cost of illegal immigration. Their freedom to do so should not, must not be infringed by those in Washington. We must ensure that the United States of America is still and will forever be the last best hope for those who are willing to work for it.
War on drugs: We must take a hard look at the “war on drugs”. The United States imprisons a higher percentage of our citizens than Iran or North Korea, surely not the kind of company we want to keep. We are funding both sides: our Federal and State governments combat the importation and distribution of drugs, while our citizens continue to buy drugs. Both sides spend literally billions of dollars every year. We will never win the war on drugs this way. While we can surely all agree that cocaine, crack, LSD, Heroin, and Ecstasy are more deadly and dangerous than Marijuana, Marijuana is considered by the Federal Government to be more dangerous. I do not believe, nor does the scientific community believe, it is as addictive or dangerous. While not a complete solution, decriminalization of Marijuana might be the new weapon in this war. By softening our stance on Marijuana , we can not only reduce the cost the tax payers pay on incarceration, but we can deal a deadly blow to the dealers and growers bottom line. The money saved can be used to not only provide treatment and education of the dangers of drug use, but also on public schools, the real front lines in this war. When our schools are underfunded, and kids fall behind and fall between the cracks, they become easy prey for the dealers and gangs. Education is our silver bullet, for with it we can defeat the monster known as drug abuse and ultimately win the war on drugs.
On Education: We need a National Education Standard that will be enforced across all fifty states in all schools in all areas. With this, the Federal government should require all states who have allocated their education budget to the profits of the gaming industry to return to a base portion of income taxes that will not be allocated to the general fund. Our schools have been gutted by the gluttony of politicians who have reallocated those tax dollars to needless programs to benefit special interests and corporate donors at the expense of the children of this great nation. A voucher system will only add to the disparity of education available to children in poorer areas, while the rich will benefit as they always do. We need to level the playing field by raising the bar so that all children in this great nation have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Stopgap measures such as district consolidations would not be necessary if sufficient funds existed to hire teachers, supply books, and provide the basic services required to ensure our children have a solid fundamental education. We need to work with the teacher unions. The teachers are, after all, the ones in the classroom every day.
The Justice System: Our Criminal Justice system is also of great concern. “We currently incarcerate people based not on the seriousness of their crime, but on their ability to retain adequate legal services. We charge some minors as sex offenders, when their actions do not merit a permanent criminal record. We have taken the raising of children out of the hands of the parents and are creating an atmosphere where the state allows the parents to abdicate their responsibility. This will not correct the crime, but it will eventually erode the American family. Only crimes of violence such as murder, rape, and assault should warrant the consideration of adult charges against a child.
On the 2nd Amendment and Concealed Carry: The Right to bear arms is one of the most basic freedoms of the American People. It was important enough that the framers of the constitution placed it only second to Freedom of Speech. Without this right we are at the mercy of criminals and despots who would take our rights, and possibly our lives, without a second thought. We have little to fear from a law abiding citizen with a concealed handgun, as long as that citizen behaves in a responsible manner. Concealed Carry is not a permit to act irresponsibly, but to protect assets and persons from those who do not respect the law. In all 48 states where Concealed Carry is permitted, a person is required to attend rights and responsibility training and to certify they are trained in the operation and proper use of a firearm.
While I do support the use of private firearms for the purpose of hunting and personal protection, I strongly oppose the availability or private ownership of assault weapons. Handguns are intended for personal defense, rifles and shotguns are tools for hunting when used properly, but assault weapons are tools of war, intended for only one purpose: to kill. No hunter can reasonably assert he needs automatic fire or armor piercing ammunition to accomplish his goal. While military and police agencies can make strong arguments for using such weapons, the average citizen cannot.
On a Woman's Right to Choose: I believe in the sanctity of human life, and believe that abortion, while sometimes a medical necessity, is certainly not an alternative to birth control, abstinence, or safe sex. While I am not advocating a return to back room abortions where women were often placed at unnecessary risk, I believe we must provide parental notification, not consent, when the woman in question is 16 years old or younger. While the decision for the woman is her own, her parents will provide her medical care and should be aware of any operation or procedure which might affect her health and well being.
Term Limits: I have signed the U. S. Term Limits Group pledge. I strongly believe career politicians end up serving only themselves and their own career interests. Passing an Amendment to the Constitution to enact term limits would put an end to career politicians, and by doing so, return us to a citizen government, where the voice of the many and the few is heard. The U. S. Term Limits group proposes a limit of three terms to the House of Representatives and two terms to the Senate. Even if this amendment fails to pass, I will bar myself from serving more than three terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate.
Social Security Reform: In order to preserve the Social Security System, we must remove the earnings cap of $106,800.00 and apply a flat rate of 6.2% on all wages or earnings for all Americans. Employer contributions will continue to be 6.2%, but would cap at $200,000.00. If we level the playing field in this manner, we shift the burden of Social Security on all Americans, preserve the ability of employers to create jobs and pay decent living wages, and protect our senior citizens and disabled from poverty.
So there you have it, the reasons to vote for Matthew Woodmancy on March 20th. No matter who you vote for, I hope you will vote.