Our state representative, Erich Ponti, is at it again. Mr. Ponti, a Republican representing District 69, whose occupation is a homebuilder and general contractor, has sponsored HB1048, which would revoke the plumbing code and plumber licensing requirements. It would also revoke the authority of over 1,000 Office of Public Health employees who oversee plumbing and sanitary practices. It ends inspections of residential, nonresidential and food service facilities that last year alone resulted in 13,000 citations for deficiencies. It ends the authority of the state health officer, who is a medical doctor, and his staff to bring testing, analysis and treatment to amoeba-infected drinking water supplies. On the federal level, our corporatist politicians are pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If you like NAFTA, you’ll love this one. The TPP would govern trade between the U.S. and 12 other Pacific-rim nations including Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Mexico and Vietnam just to name a few. The TPP would represent close to 40 percent of the world GDP! The TPP contains clauses that prioritize foreign investor rights above all, allowing companies to take governments to court over laws they consider detrimental to their profits. These include child-labor and safety laws, along with protections for collective bargaining. The TPP would also ban “Buy American” policies that prioritize the use of domestically manufactured goods in taxpayer-financed projects. All of this means more exportation of U.S. jobs as well as the increased use of immigrant workers domestically. Welcome to the new era of a corporate-controlled faux-democracy. Thanks Citizens United!

Mark Walock

pipe fitter