Difference between revisions of "Andrew Straw"

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*'''Democratic Ballot Access Reform''' - Congress shall abolish the listing of party on congressional general election ballots.  Congress shall mandate that any party is eligible to have ballot access in a primary for federal office because a primary is free advertising and provides intelligence about voters; any party should be eligible for that.
*'''Democratic Ballot Access Reform''' - Congress shall abolish the listing of party on congressional general election ballots.  Congress shall mandate that any party is eligible to have ballot access in a primary for federal office because a primary is free advertising and provides intelligence about voters; any party should be eligible for that.
====Campaign themes, Secretary of State====
====Campaign themes, Secretary of State====

Revision as of 12:53, 19 June 2013

Andrew Straw
Andrew Straw.jpg
General electionNovember 4, 2014
U.S. House, Illinois, District 8
PartyDisability Party
State Chair, Disability Parties of Indiana/Illinois
USA Chair, Disability Party
International Chair, Disability Party
High schoolNorthridge High School (1987)
Bachelor'sIndiana University (1992)
Master'sIndiana University (1995)
J.D.Indiana University Maurer School of Law (1997)
Date of birthMarch 19, 1969
Place of birthCamp LeJeune, North Carolina
ProfessionAttorney, Employment Law & Civil Rights
Personal website
Campaign website
Attorney Andrew Straw is an exploratory Disability Party candidate for Congress in the November 4, 2014. He is the Chairman of the Disability Party of Indiana/Illinois, which formed for the first time in the United States on February 5, 2013 in Indiana. The Disability Party has branches in three states, and Straw is the national chair and international chair.

He was the Disability Party's candidate for Indiana secretary of state, and the 2012 Green Party nominee for U.S. House of Representatives representing Indiana's 2nd congressional district, but he was ultimately denied ballot access by the Indiana Secretary of State on July 27, 2012.[1]


Straw was born at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina on March 19, 1969.[2] His father, a Goshen, Indiana resident, served as a Marine in Vietnam, and was a small business owner upon returning. Straw's mother, a former computer programmer for Huber, Hunt, & Nichols, died in 1997. Straw's heritage on his father's side is Anabaptist, his grandfather being Brethren and his grandmother growing up Amish. On his mother's side, Straw's direct ancestry includes the famous musical family, the Bassanos, brought to London from Venice by Henry VIII. He is also the descendant of Dr. Thomas Young, an American Revolutionary War radical who planned the Boston Tea Party, ran a Continental Army hospital as its chief surgeon, named the State of Vermont, and was a drafter of the first Pennsylvania constitution in 1776. This constitution was considered the most democratic of the time, and Young convinced Vermont to adopt it also. Straw's name is British, and he shares it with British politician Jack Straw.

Straw's brother, Capt. Jason Lee Straw, is a critical care trauma nurse in the U.S. Air Force. He has served two tours in Afghanistan, his team saving the lives of critically injured soldiers blown up on the battlefield. His second tour, he served as a CCAT nurse, flying as part of 3-person team from Afghanistan to Germany, keeping severely injured amputees alive.

Straw was in-house corporate counsel for transportation legend Alan M. Voorhees, who designed the Interstate Highway System and the Metro in Washington, DC. Voorhees owned Autometric, the satellite intelligence company that keeps all American military and air traffic safe. He also own the company that invented the Bar Code used in retail, the company that invented the compression software for the FBI fingerprint database, and the company that invented Google Earth. Voorhees was a frogman in WWII, mapping islands and blowing up obstacles for island invasions in the Pacific. He and another frogman swam up Nagasaki Harbor immediately after the bomb was dropped and mapped the port and surveyed the damage. Straw represented Voorhees in corporate matters, education donations, government negotiations, and nonprofit work. He trained at the Council for Excellence in Government in 2000 with top-level civil servants from Health & Human Services. Voorhees founded the Council in the 1980s, and it had all living ex-U.S. presidents on its board of directors.

Straw's professional background includes being the founder and president of the Indiana Center for Excellence in Government, which has conducted studies on lithium concentrations in drinking water in the 2nd district, as well as a survey of local government communications and whether they are accessible. In particular, whether local government agencies provide email and fax contact information on the Internet.[3]

He is a member of the bars of Indiana and Virginia. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and has worked as the statistical analyst for the Indiana Supreme Court, collecting analyzing data for over 400 Indiana trial courts, and focusing on disabilities in the judicial system. Straw previously co-chaired the committee on Education of Bench & Bar for the Virginia State Bar Task Force on Technology. Click here to view Straw's CV online.


  • Northridge High School, Middlebury, Indiana - National Merit Scholar, National Honor Society
  • Indiana University, Bachelor's in English & Philosophy (Political Science minor) (1992)
  • Indiana University, Master's degree in Language Education (1995)
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D. (1997)
  • University of Otago (Dunedin, NZ), Graduate Studies in Bioethics & Health Law (2004) [4]



See also: Illinois'_8th_congressional_district_elections,_2014

Andrew Straw is exploring running as a Disability Party candidate for U.S. House, Illinois, District 8, election to be held November 2014. Straw moved to Illinois in 2013 and is registered to vote in Cook County, and U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth is the U.S. representative in this district.

As the Indiana state Chair for the Disability Party, which formed for the first time in the United States on February 5, 2013, Straw has advocated for disability rights in voting and judicial system rights. Straw is interested in Congress to advance disability rights like in his congressional run in Indiana. The Facebook page of the Disability Party went from 0 to 527 fans in its first 32 days.[5]

Straw filed a complaint with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice after collecting correspondence with the Indiana Secretary of State's office. Straw's complaint was that Indiana's voter registration, ballot access petitioning process, and absentee ballot rules all violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Disability Rights Section opened a full investigation of Indiana's practices.

Straw is conducting other studies of how the judicial system discriminates against the disabled.


Campaign themes, Congress 2014

Major campaign themes for Straw's exploration of a congressional run include:[6]

  • U.S. House Disabilities Caucus - Straw will become a member immediately upon swearing in. Rep. Duckworth has been in office for five months, but has not joined the Disabilities Caucus. [7]
  • Medicare for all - expand the existing national health system to cover everyone. Removes insurance premium burden on businesses and provides portability. Will cover people working as independent contractors.
  • National Accident Insurance - to cover all accidents without having to go to court. Removes most tort lawsuits and replaces it with a predictable benefit schedule. Very popular in the first country to have it: New Zealand. | ACC
  • Secretary of Disability Affairs - a cabinet-level position to advise the president
  • Disability Rights: Straw has said he intends to join the Disability Caucus in the House. He was the first congressional candidate in U.S. history to run against his own party's district chair in the May 2011 U.S. Census-motivated election, and the Party's lack of disabled access at the South Bend HQ for 17 years was the stated reason.[8] Butch Morgan, the county chair, district chair, and state committee member Straw ran against, is now convicted of forgery conspiracy in collecting signatures for Obama's ballot access in 2008. Morgan was sentenced in South Bend.[9]
  • Disability Auditors - federal auditors should analyze all communities in the USA for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws protecting the disabled.
  • Public education, paid for students, from preschool to Ph.D. Will introduce a bill to freeze student loan payments and set the interest rate at 0%.
  • 20 hours free preschool - must be a certified facility with trained teachers in Early Childhood Education
  • Job creation (25 million jobs from disability accommodation construction) - stronger EEOC for worker rights
  • Emergency Climate Change Program - heavy Defense Department spending to combat climate change.
  • Environmental protection - air, water, land
  • Death Penalty - researched Indiana Constitution, Virginia law on the death penalty. Protested death penalty at governor's mansion in Indianapolis with president of Amnesty International. Clerked on a triple murder/arson case and researched the death penalty for the judge. Pro-life on the death penalty, in favor of Life Without Parole.
  • Pro-choice - President Madison, author of the Bill of Rights and 9th Amendment would be pro-choice today. In 1791, the concept of "quickening" was considered to happen much later than conception. President Madison's position on liberties is clear. This is a major decision and often people later regret making it, so Straw believes those who provide abortion services should provide adequate information on the moral and medical implications of this choice. If it is a medical decision, the doctor should treat it as the removal of anything else from the body, and explain the choice fully, providing any necessary scans needed and show the patient any scans so she can make an informed choice. This is the normal procedure for any surgery, and it should be decided by the physician how to handle it. Straw opposes the choice of abortion solely on the basis of there being a disability. Straw, while supporting the right, confirmed that he opposes abortion as a choice and would not advise someone to have one if asked. There has not been a Democratic Supreme Court since the 1960s.
  • Gay marriage - should be guaranteed by U.S. constitution
  • American Voting Tax Credit - $50 every time a person votes in a general election
  • IRS Internet Reform - IRS should provide online accounts for all taxpayers and streamline its services so a person or organization can pay its taxes online and keep track of all information in one place. Social Security has online accounts and access to data. IRS can do this.
  • Non-profit & church free speech - churches and non-profits should not lose their free speech rights just to get their tax benefits
  • Marijuana - legalize it, with hemp and medical marijuana as the priorities
  • Give Workers a Break - mandatory minimum paid meal and rest breaks for all workers, including independent contractors.
  • Right to Work - repeal the anti-worker, anti-union legislation, nationwide
  • Domestic Violence - fund a nationwide database of court orders to protect women, children, and the disabled
  • MMP Electoral System - change the Constitution to allow for national U.S. House selection by party and district voting
  • Term Limits - committed to amending the Constitution so House members may serve a maximum of 6 years, and Senate members 12 years. 18 years as a federal official is more than enough for anyone.
  • Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Water Contamination - full medical coverage under VA for anyone stationed there (including spouses and children) and anyone born there--no questions asked.
  • Cyberbullying - will introduce a bill to help people remove defamation against them on the Internet, including search engines.
  • Democratic Ballot Access Reform - Congress shall abolish the listing of party on congressional general election ballots. Congress shall mandate that any party is eligible to have ballot access in a primary for federal office because a primary is free advertising and provides intelligence about voters; any party should be eligible for that.

Campaign themes, Secretary of State

Major campaign themes for Straw's Secretary of State run included:[10]

  • Make entire office compliant with our federal and state constitutions, including the federal and state bills of rights. Every function and component of the Secretary of State's office will be subject to a full review for compliance with both constitutions, since there appear to be many violations at the present time. State laws will not be enforced if they conflict with constitutional law as interpreted by Secretary of State Straw, when elected.
  • Make every function of the office not only compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but actively seek ways to exceed the standards set out by Congress.
  • Will make functions of the office environmentally-friendly, including making use of paper for official purposes rare. All official documents will be available in an official database and available online. The Secretary of State will opt in to accepting e-signatures and will strive to make all forms fillable online and able to be submitted online.
  • Reduce every fee and tax possible to zero or as close to zero as allowed by law to encourage company formation and business growth.
  • Offer value-added business and other services not offered in other states. Constantly seek ways to make Indiana a more democratic and attractive place to live and do business.
  • Coordinate with other state officials so that Secretary of State services reduce crime and in every way serve the public.
  • Improve voter registration and use all discretion to make voting accurate, fraud-free, and non-partisan as part of the constitutional review. Because when voting for candidates, our constitutions require actually voting for a candidate rather than a party, no "straight ticket" voting will be recognized, and this option will be stripped from ballots.
  • Voting will be made as easy as possible under the confines of state law and constitutional law while maintaining reasonable mechanisms to eliminate fraud. The Secretary of State has great power over how Indiana democracy functions, and Straw intends to use that power to improve voting and all electoral duties of the office.[11]


Straw's candidacy for appointment as superior court judge was supported by his work on trial judge analysis and court technology at the Indiana Supreme Court. Straw was law clerk for Hon. Joseph Spruill in Virginia's 15th judicial district in 2000, and provided research for the judge on Virginia's death penalty for a triple murder arson trial. He also worked on trial court technology at the Virginia State Bar Task Force on Technology, and on a court automation project promoted by transportation legend Alan Voorhees.[12]


See also: Indiana's 2nd congressional district elections, 2012

Straw initially declared to run in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Indiana's 2nd District. The Secretary of State, Connie Lawson (R), denied his petition on July 27, 2012 on grounds that Straw had submitted one signature on his petition. According to Straw, there was no mention of his statutory or constitutional objections, namely, that since Lawson was appointed and the number of signatures needed depended on the number of votes she received, only one was required.[1][13]

According to Straw, he left the Democratic Party after the mayor-elect of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, his Democratic opponent Brendan Mullen, and the new district chair, Mike Schmuhl, announced their solution to the inaccessibility at headquarters. Their ramp was, according to Straw, several feet too short (making the slope dangerously too high), and has no railings. In addition, the ramp twists because the sidewalk outside is at an incline right to left.[14]

Straw's Indiana Civil Rights Commission disability access complaint against the Indiana Democratic Party of September 2012 is ongoing, and was unsuccessfully in mediation.

On January 3, 2012, Straw announced his switch to the Green Party. Straw had previously been a regional male co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Straw was the 2012 Indiana delegate to the Green Party National Convention, and as such is a member of the Green National Committee through 2016.

On March 4, 2012, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein stumped for Straw in South Bend and in his home town of Goshen.[15]

After hearing he had been disqualified from the ballot, Straw addressed letter to the Secretary of State, in which he wrote: "I am stunned at the way you so cavalierly disregarded our constitution’s guarantees of equality and prohibition on privileging certain groups like your Republican and Democratic parties."[1]

Straw was a presidential elector for Stein, and received 625 write-in votes on her behalf in 2012.


2012 Campaign themes

Major campaign themes for Straw's congressional run included:[16]


  • Straw was endorsed by the Indiana Green Party on January 3, 2012. [17] The Lavender Greens, the LGBT caucus of the Green Party of the United States, endorsed him also.
  • Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein campaigned for Straw in South Bend and his home, Goshen on March 4-5, 2012.
  • 11-year dean of the IU-Maurer School of Law, Prof. Fred Aman. June 27, 2011.
  • Professor Jiefen Li, a Chinese law professor and expert on human rights, administrative law, and labor rights in China.
  • Mr. Marc Dubin, former senior trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, in charge of all Americans with Disabilities Act enforcement in the United States, 1993-2005.
  • Mr. Skip Potter, computer architect for Alan M. Voorhees, Autometric, and Boeing.


Straw lives in Streamwood, Illinois and has 2 children, Ava and Manu. Straw is fluent in English and Italian, as are his children. He also speaks some German and some French.[18]


  • National Merit Scholar
  • National Honor Society
  • "Most active student on Bloomington campus" $1,000 Parker-Powell fellowship, Indiana University Student Association
  • While at the Indiana Supreme Court, Straw proposed a nationwide database of protective orders to help police protect victims across state lines. This was recognized in the Imagine E-Government Award competition announced by President Clinton in 2000 in the first presidential Internet address. The Council for Excellence in Government and the Kennedy School of Government chose it as among the top 8 e-government ideas in the USA (National Finalist). The Indiana Supreme Court later implemented such a system in Indiana, and the state legislature mandated it in all 92 counties in 2009.

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 South End Tribune "Green candidate denied ballot spot," July 27, 2012
  2. Andrew Straw Birth Certificate
  3. Local Lawyer Explores Run for U.S. Representative "IndExcel"
  4. Goshen lawyer running for Congress "Education"
  5. [Information added to page by candidate on March 8, 2013]
  6. [Information added to page by candidate on June 18, 2013]
  7. Disabilities Caucus Members List
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Democratic Party ignores handicapped woman’s plea for access to downtown South Bend headquarters" "Democrat HQ"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Butch Morgan gets prison time for election fraud" "2008 Dem Voter Fraud"
  10. [Information added to page by candidate on August 27, 2012]
  11. [Information added to page by candidate on August 27, 2012]
  12. [Information added to page by candidate on January 16, 2013]
  13. Indiana Secretary of State "2012 Primary Election Results," May 8, 2012
  14. [Content added by candidate, June 2012]
  15. Jill Stein Stumps for Straw "SteinStraw"
  16. [Information added to page by candidate on July 1, 2012]
  17. eTruth.com "Goshen attorney Straw to run for Congress" Accessed December 15, 2011
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bio