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Rep. Raul Grijalva Norman Solomon Solomon has the experience we need on our side in Congress
Friday, 10 February 2012 00:34

Solomon has the experience we need on our side in Congress

Written by  Sylvia De Rooy | Times-Standard

In submitting a My Word in support of Jared Huffman for Congress, Linda Atkins has joined with the corporate interests and political power brokers who also back Huffman. Too bad, I'd thought of her as a somewhat progressive thinker, but now I have to wonder. More importantly, I want to make sure Times-Standard readers get the full story on Jared Huffman.

Atkins' claims for Huffman are based on his experience as an assemblyman with a supposedly “strong record for protecting the environment.” She says, “Jared has proven himself by getting numerous bills passed through the California Legislature....” She doesn't seem to have anything more to recommend him.

On Huffman's website he has a list titled “Successful Environmental Legislation Authored By Jared.” Of the 30 bills listed, only two have passed, and the bulk are “chaptered” (meaning they're in political limbo). A careful look at the bills shows them to be mostly addressing minor aspects of environmental problems -- decent ideas on the whole but of no great import in the face of what cries out to be done.

Huffman seems to take on nothing in a fulsome manner. He's careful to keep a foot in each camp, and the result of that modus operandi is that in a time of crisis, in every area, he just puts a bandage on here and there.

More concerning, however, is Huffman's history of bending to corporate interests and cutting deals that are bad for the North Coast. As chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, Huffman was one of the main players behind the $11.1 billion water bond, which would lay the groundwork for a peripheral canal to steal Northern California water. In 2010, when Assemblywoman Alyson Huber introduced legislation to block construction of a peripheral canal, she couldn't even get a second -- while Huffman was chairing that committee meeting.

Huffman is a go-along-to-get-along politician who makes himself sound far more progressive than he is. A look at a few of his more substantial campaign contributors is revealing: Wal-Mart, PG&E, Time Warner, Chevron, Clorox, Wells Fargo, Visa, E and J Gallo, Verizon, Kraft Foods, etc. He has also taken thousands of dollars from Darius Anderson, a tainted lobbyist who agreed to pay $500,000 to the state of New York to settle a corruption probe.

We're living in a time when our government is being run by corporate power. Our politicians are subsidized, wholly owned subsidiaries of big money interests. Too often they don't serve us, they serve themselves or their corporate benefactors. We're facing joblessness, rising prices, global warming and so much more. We need independent leaders who are knowledgeable about all of the many issues we face and committed to fighting for real solutions to our problems.

Like so many, I'm sick of the politicians who have allowed the grinding down of rights, the erosion of our Constitution, increasing poverty, homelessness and more. I don't want to vote for a career politician. I want a dedicated activist. I want someone with decades of experience in fighting the good fights and who isn't beholden to big corporations. I will be voting for Norman Solomon for Congress.

Norman Solomon has a remarkable track record, far longer than I would have room to describe here. As a leader in the struggle for corporate and government accountability, he has been a proven fighter for economic fairness and a healthy environment. He has published a dozen books on media, politics and public policy. The New York Times Magazine has called him “a leading progressive activist.” The Los Angeles Times has called him “a formidable thinker and activist.”

I particularly like the fact that he was given the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. Imagine having someone to represent us who is noted for “honesty and clarity.” That would be a refreshing change indeed. Norman Solomon accepts no corporate PAC money. His campaign is built on small contributions by everyday folks.

Ms. Atkins wants someone as our congressperson who has a track record of demonstrated achievements -- and so do I. Norman Solomon spent 13 years as the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, researching and talking with thousands of experts on global warming, foreign policy, economic equity, civil liberties and many other areas critical to our future.

Norman Solomon's publications, grassroots activism, and myriad achievements have given him unique expertise on how federal, state, local and foreign governments truly work. That's the kind of experience we need in Congress to deliver the change so many of us know is necessary.

Sylvia De Rooy is a longtime environmental activist. She lives in Westhaven.

Link to original article: Times-Standard

Read 3755 times Last modified on Friday, 10 February 2012 00:56

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