Newsflash:
Rep. Barbara Lee Norman Solomon Norman Solomon’s Quest for Congress
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:55

Norman Solomon’s Quest for Congress

Written by  Theo Anderson | In These Times
Congressional candidate Norman Solomon at an event in California last summer Congressional candidate Norman Solomon at an event in California last summer (Photo via Facebook)

The veteran activist and writer may become one of the most progressive people on Capitol Hill. Norman Solomon isn’t the typical candidate for Congress. And that’s a compliment – he might actually be one of the most promising candidates ever, from a progressive standpoint.

Solomon is running for the House seat currently held by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a reliable progressive who represents California’s Second Congressional District. Woolsey is retiring. The district, recently redrawn, now consists of a narrow strip of land that extends along the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to Oregon’s southern border.

The Second District is among the most left-leaning in the nation, so there’s no doubt that a Democrat will replace Woolsey. The question is: What kind of Democrat?

Solomon became an activist for progressive causes in his early teens and has stayed true to that path for nearly half a century. His policy positions include support for legalizing marijuana, for single-payer healthcare, for public financing of elections, and for ending corporate personhood by constitutional amendment. But the most unusual fact about him, given the current political context, is that he doesn’t accept money from political action committees or lobbyists. Instead, his campaign is funded solely by relatively small donations – about $100, on average – from thousands of individuals.

The frontrunner in the race, Jared Huffman, bills himself as “one of the state’s top environmental leaders” and has served three terms in the California State Assembly. His great advantage is name recognition. As an Assembly member, he represents more than half the population of the redrawn district. He also has the endorsement of the state’s political and media establishments, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the sources of his funding have become a liability for Huffman, who accepts money from both lobbyists and corporations. The Anderson Valley Advertiser, a legendary Mendocino County weekly newspaper, reports that “Jared Huffman’s donor base reflects the realities of a decades-long class war waged by the top 1-5% against the bottom half of America. Huffman’s biggest and most well-organized donors are wealthy Marin County lawyers, real estate investors, bankers, and executives of major corporations. Some of them are liberals, but many are conservatives. Most of the liberals seem to make their money by representing the interests of conservative corporations.”

Solomon, for his part, is a Democrat who works within the party – he was an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention – while spending most of his time and energy trying to building the progressive movement. A former director of Fairness and Accuracy in Media, a media watchdog organization, Solomon founded the Institute for Public Accuracy in 1997, and has published several books on the subject of media bias, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. (He’s also contributed articles to In These Times since the 1970s.) He was a strong voice of dissent in the months before the war in Iraq, and he’s a popular teacher and speaker – in California and across the nation – on behalf of progressive causes. Most recently, he has been deeply involved with the Occupy protests in California.

Solomon decided that, at this point, running for Woolsey’s vacant seat was the best way to advance the movement. “His thinking was, instead of just speaking truth to power, let’s take power,” said Jeff Cohen, Solomon’s longtime friend and writing collaborator, “without in any way surrendering the progressive values and ideals.” Last year, in explaining why he was thinking about running for the seat, Solomon wrote that “dysfunctional relationships between liberals in Congress and progressive social movements serve as enablers for endless war, massive giveaways to Wall Street, widening gaps between the rich and the rest of us, erosion of civil liberties, outrageous inaction on global warming, and so much more.”

Solomon has been endorsed by several of the district’s weekly newspapers as well as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Democracy for America. He finished second of nearly 200 candidates in the latter group’s online “Grassroots All-Stars” competition.

The primary election will be June 5. According to California’s new open primary rules, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will move on to the general election. Recent polling by the Solomon campaign puts him second among the dozen candidates who are running.

Link to the original article on In These Times

Read 4728 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 21:12

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Lee Campaign

Latest News from the Grayson Campaign

Latest News from the Schapira Campaign

  • Standard-Bearer in Pivotal Arizona Congressional Race
    Standard-Bearer in Pivotal Arizona Congressional Race

    With early ballots in the mail, and only three weeks from the August 28th primary, State Senator David Schapira has emerged as the Democratic standard-bearer in a closely watched and increasingly nasty three-way congressional race in Arizona that many observers see as a litmus test for national Democratic chances to pick up critical seats in Congress.

    Written on Thursday, 09 August 2012 01:45 Read more...
  • Harry Mitchell Endorses David Schapira for Congress
    Harry Mitchell Endorses David Schapira for Congress

    “The primary in Congressional District 9 has pitted three of the brightest members of the Democratic Party in Arizona against each other. All three candidates are leaders in our state and I am honored to call them friends.

    Written on Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:14 Read more...
  • A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira
    A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira

    Endorsements are a funny thing. Most of them aren't worth anything at all. I have two friends running in the Democratic primary in Arizona's brand new 9th CD, Kyrsten Sinema and Andrei Cherny. Kyrsten is a progressive and Andrei is somewhere in his own world ideologically. But the third guy... well, he's the one who's been endorsed by Raúl-- and by PDA. Whomever wins the August 28th primary is, likelier than not, headed to Congress. That third guy is David Schapira, the Senate Democratic Leader.

    Written on Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:38 Read more...
  • David Schapira Receives PDA Endorsement
    David Schapira Receives PDA Endorsement

    On the May Inside the Party call, David Schapira (AZ-9) received the PDA National endorsement. Currently David Schapira is the Arizona State Senate Democratic Leader.

    Written on Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Arizona Communications Workers of America State Council Endorses David Schapira for Congress
    Arizona Communications Workers of America State Council Endorses David Schapira for Congress

    The Arizona Communications Workers of America (CWA) State Council announced today their endorsement of Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, in the race for Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District. The state council is comprised of the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association (AZCPOA), the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and multiple CWA local affiliates.

    Written on Thursday, 17 May 2012 19:55 Read more...
  • Congressman Raúl Grijalva Endorses David Schapira
    Congressman Raúl Grijalva Endorses David Schapira

    Congressman Raúl Grijalva, AZ-07, today announced his endorsement of Arizona Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, in his campaign for Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District. “Voters are looking for candidates who stand up for what they believe in and can win, not by hiding their values, but by sharing them with voters. David is that candidate,” said Rep. Grijalva.

    Written on Monday, 30 April 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Arizona Union Rights Stripped

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pushes the country's most anti-union agenda yet. David Shapira, Democratic leader of the Arizona state senate, slams his Republican colleagues. Welcome back to "The Ed Show." Jan Brewer and the Arizona Republicans are on a tear. they are on the offensive. they are on a mission to completely destroy public employee unions. have you heard the story before?

    Written on Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • State Senator David Schapira Jumps Into District 9 Congressional Race
    State Senator David Schapira Jumps Into District 9 Congressional Race

    As predicted, former state Senator Kyrsten Sinema's not the only Democrat with her eye on Arizona's new Congressional seat -- this morning, state Senate Minority Leader David Schapira announced that he, too, will run in Arizona's newly formed 9th Congressional district.

    Written on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:00 Read more...

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

Button-ShareTPPWithNewspaper

Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Like Rep. Barbara Lee

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

Button-HandDeliver

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of