Andrew Straw

Andrew Straw (born March 19,1969, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina) is a Goshen,Indiana lawyer who is currently exploring a run for the Indiana's 2nd congressional district as a member of the Democratic Party.
Early Life, Education and Career
Andrew Straw grew up in Elkhart County, graduating from Northridge High School in 1987. Straw was a National Merit Scholar. His father, Phillip Straw, was a Marine, and owned a butcher shop in Goshen with Andrew's mother, Sandra. Phillip Straw worked at NBS Office Supply with the current mayor of Goshen, Allan Kauffman, and now is part-owner of another business in Goshen, The Office Barn. Straw's brother Jason is a captain in the U.S. Air Force and a critical care nurse, taking care of severely injured soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan.
Straw's wife, Paola Voci, and their children live with her in New Zealand. She is an award-winning university senior lecturer in Chinese at University of Otago. Dr. Voci, Straw, and the two children all speak Italian and English fluently, while Straw has also studied German. Voci also speaks French and Chinese fluently, and has studied Russian and Japanese. Dr. Voci is a native of Ferrara, Italy. Dr. Voci was present during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and was part of the first class at the Beijing Film Academy to include non-Chinese students. She later worked at Voice of America in Washington preparing news in the East Asian Section. Dr. Voci was a Fulbright Scholar.
Straw attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he majored in English and Philosophy and earned a minor in Political Science. After he graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with his bachelor's degree, he went on to receive his master's in Language Education at the same institution. He then received his J.D. in 1997 from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
While a law student, Straw served as the legal researcher for the dean, Alfred C. Aman, Jr., focusing on administrative law, constitutional law, and globalization. He also represented the Law School in the Indiana University Student Association and served on the Law School Educational Policy Committee. In 1996, he was awarded an Indiana University Student Association fellowship for being one of the most active students on the Bloomington campus. He spent two years as a statistical analyst and worked on judicial technology at the Indiana Supreme Court, including design of the Court's webpage. He used his past experiences to become the Assistant Dean for International Programs at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Straw was the corporate counsel for Alan Voorhees.
He has provided services to the disabled community. Mr. Straw has worked with disabled youth at Association for the Disabled of Elkhart County (ADEC), served as a mental health worker at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, and was the assistant manager of a group home for developmentally disabled adults in Bloomington/Spencer in Indiana. Straw has bipolar disorder, and has been an advocate for those with mental illness, including suggesting admission and discipline rule changes at the Indiana Supreme Court as a state bar association committee member. He is conducting a survey and analysis of all 50 state supreme court rules on mental illness and disabilities, and will suggest that courts treat mental illness as a disability rather than a character issue.
Mr. Straw received master's level training in bioethics and health law from the University of Otago in New Zealand in 2004.
He returned to Goshen, Indiana in 2010 after living seven years in New Zealand.
Political Work
Straw became active in Democratic Party work in Bloomington, Indiana as a graduate student. He helped draft a new constitution for Indiana University College Democrats and was an executive committee member. He was active in criticizing U.S. Representative John Hostettler, especially on the topic of federal student loans. He wrote columns on the topic while working at the Indiana Daily Student and circulated a petition against abolishing federal student loans.
All members of the city council signed the petition, which had over 700 signatures in total. The Republican candidate for mayor and David McIntosh assured students that the loans would not be cut. Straw criticized McIntosh for coming to town to save White and contradict Rep. Hostettler:
:::"At every step and on every vote, Congressman McIntosh has proved himself over and over again an enemy of Indiana students," said Andrew Straw, College Democrats student-aid coordinator, in a press release criticizing White for inviting McIntosh to his political fund-raiser.
Straw served as the Internet Director for the 1996 8th District U.S. House campaign of State Representative Rick McConnell at the advice of , current mayor of Bloomington. Jonathan Weinzapfel, current mayor of Evansville, was the primary opponent.
Straw served as a Democratic precinct chair in Bloomington in 1998.
While working at the Indiana Supreme Court, Straw provided comments to the federal courts on sealing court documents. Straw strongly advocated for public access to non-sensitive information. Straw was also a national finalist (top 8) in the Council for Excellence in Government's Imagine E-government award in 2001. This competition, announced by President Clinton in the first Internet-broadcast presidential address, was to identify the top e-government ideas in the United States. Straw's idea was to create a state and federally-integrated database system such that domestic violence protective orders are accessible and enforceable across state lines. In 2009, the Indiana legislature mandated a state-level database.
Straw managed a county council campaign in 2002 for Democrat Bill Hayden, an Indiana environmental activist and leader in the Indiana Sierra Club. He moved to New Zealand in 2003. While living in New Zealand, Straw volunteered with the Green Party and was elected to be the male regional co-convener from 2004-2005 in the Deep South region. One project during his term included protecting a braided river from being dammed and destroyed. Straw also worked on local government politics, writing publicly about the city's $200 million stadium, and encouraging the city to put in place state of the art 3GPP Long Term Evolution wireless broadband to encourage economic development. Straw's broadband plan was presented to the IRGO Conference at University of Otago. Straw has also suggested that there be an accelerated negotiation of a US/NZ Free Trade Agreement as a means of providing aid in the wake of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.
Upon returning to the United States in 2010, Straw became the campaign manager and legal counsel to Dwight Fish, candidate for Indiana state representative in District 21. District 21 is the district Walorski gave up to run against Joe Donnelly. Straw also served as a Democratic convention delegate in 2010. After the election, Fish, Straw, and a Chicago journalist, Jennifer Martin, started the Indiana Center for Excellence in Government.
In 2010, Straw began working on Internet defamation issues, and wrote a legal theory arguing that Internet defamation can be considered wire fraud under Title 18 of the U.S. Code. He has also written a draft bill to broaden the definition of wire fraud to include Internet defamation.
2012 U.S. Congressional campaign
Straw has formed an exploratory committee to run in Indiana's 2nd congressional district.
Jackie Walorski, who ran unsuccessfully against Joe Donnelly, announced at the same time that she will run for the seat again.
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