Saturday, February 11, 2012

Freedom of Choice in 2012

"Religious freedom" for employers affiliated with churches to discriminate in healthcare coverage between birth control and Viagra is not the real issue underlying the fake GOP hysteria over contraception. What motivated Mitch McConnell to declare a cultural war and inspired Senator Snowe to flip-flop on women's rights and join Tea Partier Marco Rubio in sponsoring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 is raw unadulterated political power and the 2012 elections.

The righteous indignation expressed by the Republican Party posing as "the Church" this week nationally coincided with an effort in the Maine Senate to protect lawmakers from the deluge of church-generated anti-abortion mailings that are overwhelming the publicly-funded staff.

Maine State Senators were given a choice whether to continue receiving duplicative fire and brimstone letters arriving daily in boxes and piling up until public employees distribute them, or not. The photocopied tirades harangue lawmakers to act according to scripture as interpreted by an evangelical sect that takes advantage of bulk-mail rates for non-profits.

Some churches are feeding Maine's poor children and housing homeless veterans. Others want unlimited freedom to influence politics at a discounted rate, but reject on "religious freedom" grounds that politics should influence church businesses that provide programs and services to the general public. Thanks to the First Amendment we can choose between churches, and churches can choose between candidates.

Senator Snowe was for "basic fairness how we treat and view women's reproductive health care versus every other health care need that is addressed through prescription drug coverage" before she was against it.

Your choice in 2012.

Friday, February 3, 2012

We have the tools to fix America.

I am running for the United States Senate because I know we have choices as a country, and I will vote to help the people who elect me, not the elite group of special interests that are running things now. We have the tools needed to change the course of America, and we need people who have the political courage to use them. I am not afraid to stand up for fairness and families. I will create jobs here in the United States by investing in desperately needed public infrastructure. I will protect seniors and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, not weaken it. I will reward veterans, not abandon them. I will hold Wall Street accountable to avoid another economic collapse, and regulate the polluters of our environment. I will reform our tax laws so everyone pays their fair share, and work tirelessly to remove the corrupt influence of unlimited corporate money on our democracy.

Washington is not working for middle-class American families, and the United States Senate in particular is completely out of touch with the challenges ordinary people face today. Exorbitant health care and energy costs, unemployment and poverty are critical issues that are not being addressed by our government. Unfair tax laws that favor the super wealthy, the corrupt influence of big corporations on our democracy, the deregulation of Wall Street and the weakening of the labor movement have shipped jobs over seas and left millions of families without hope or opportunity.

This election will present voters with a stark choice -- return the same millionaire Washington insider to the U.S. Senate for what would be her 33rd consecutive year in Congress -- or elect a new generation of leadership who believes government belongs to and should be working for the people and the common good.

Does Maine want a career Republican politician who enjoys the lifestyle of the 1% making choices that further the interest of corporations, or a progressive working mother who will cast votes in the interest of future generations?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Progressives Teach You to Swim

If you are drowning in 12 feet of water, a moderate Republican will throw you six feet of rope.

One in five Maine children are hungry and living in poverty, family budgets are crushed under the weight of exorbitant healthcare and energy costs, and too many people can't find a decent job. The American middle class is drowning and all we see and hear in the media is the spectacle of ridiculously wealthy men who have contributed nothing to the common good tell us why they should be president. Crazy right-wingers in the Congress are so busy trying to dismantle the social safety net, gut and "investigate" programs for women and kids that they don't have time to balance the budget.

None of them can be trusted to throw us a life line in Maine. Self-interest and greed is shockingly the agenda for all those afflicted with Potomac Fever, and the silence of our United States Senators in the face of their GOP caucus is deafening.

For over thirty years Washington has created vast income inequality. The insiders have stacked the deck in favor of corporations, and have failed the children and grandchildren of the greatest generation.

Members of Congress use their position of public trust to become career politicians and K Street lobbyists. Any of them who have been in DC and voted to deregulate Wall Street, corrupt the tax code and invite corporate interests in to the chambers of the U.S. Capital is responsible.

It is time for bold ideas and a progressive agenda. We need public financing of elections, everyone to pay their fair share of taxes, and investment in and celebration of goods made in America.  We must protect public spaces that enable community-building. We can and should amend the U.S. Constitution to prevent a corporate coup d'etat. Our Supreme Court can and should be increased to dilute the power of the sitting right-wing element under the spell of the economy of influence. Healthcare must be reformed. Education, research and protecting the environment must move up the list of American priorities.

Equal opportunities to succeed must be offered by a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

If you are drowning in 12 feet of water, a progressive will teach you to swim. And that's what will make the difference for the future of this country.