I received a letter from my liberal Senator Barbara Boxer the other day, asking me to donate more funds to her campaign to insure her victory in the 2010 election. Now while Boxer has more chutzpah than just about anyone on Capital Hill, I turned her down. Conditionally. In essence, I told her that I was ’sick and tired of being sick and tired” of politics as usual in Washington.
And then I spelled out in clear and uncertain terms what she would have to do to receive any more mullah from me: Publicly endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential candidacy in 08.
The power of the purse strings. We might not have much leverage when it comes to how our representatives fail to allocate our tax dollars. We may not have control over the huge conglomerates and lobbyists stretching campaign finance laws to jettison their candidates into office. But there is a form of ‘bundling’ we can engage in. A million strong refusal to add any of our bucks to election coffers until our representatives announce that they, too, are ready for a sea change in America. A sea change led by the good Senator from Illinois.
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Senator Boxer. Feel free to copy, amend, elaborate and augment as (and if) you see fit.
Dear Senator Boxer:
Before I contribute any more funds to your campaign, I need something from you! A public endorsement of Senator Barack Obama.
You have done an outstanding job representing California, but you will not have my support (nor the support of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Obama supporters) if you back Senator Clinton for the Democratic presidential election. As Senator Obama has said repeatedly, the time for change in American politics is now. I expect you to join him in this fight.
I especially recall attending Sen. Obama’s immensely successful fundraiser for your last reelection campaign. There’s a lovely video post of the packed event on YouTube; you were very excited and grateful, a most gracious and worthy benefactor of his 2004 Democratic Convention speech popularity.
Given the fact that Senator Clinton is funding her campaign with oil, pharmaceutical, mainstream media, and military contractor industry contributions that break all Congressional records, and are in no small part tied directly to her being the politically active Clinton, I see no reason to believe the Senator has any inclination to effect any positive change in Washington.
Here are my major concerns with the first Clinton administration:
1. Vigorous support of China’s entrance into the WTO despite ongoing human rights violations
2. Support of NAFTA, the WTO and economic policies which have outsourced manufacturing, resulting in economic devastation across America (most recently resulting in massive recalls of goods from CHINA due to insufficient quality control)
3. Contributing to economic devastation in Mexico and other Central American countries through unfair trade practices and relocation of US mega corporations to the region, thereby destabilizing labor organization and employment for rural Latin and US Americans especially, and throwing the US into the race to the bottom instead of into the lead for an equal playing field for workers on both sides of the border
4. Failure to render illegal offshore accounts of major US corporations resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in corporate taxes for America
5. Introducing the Telecommunications Act, which essentially has resulted in government (now synonymous with Corporate) control over virtually all mass media
6. The passage of the Terrorism Act, which resulted in exhaustive constitutional violations, as Americans were secretly surveilled by our government
7. Clandestine dealings with the Taliban on behalf of pipeline plans of mega-oil companies
8. Failure to address the Rwanda genocide because of commercial interests in using Rwanda as an entry point to exploit the natural resources of the Congo
9. Initiating education policies which paved the way for No Child Left Behind, a system which has virtually destroyed our public school system and any hope for advancement for millions of children
10. Backing down on the promise to open the military to openly gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers and a failure to deal effectively with any gay rights issues.
Senator Boxer, I count on your integrity to ensure that Hillary Clinton is not our party’s choice to resume power in the White House. Your constituents and the people of America rely on fearless leaders such as yourself to speak truth.
Senator Boxer’s office shot back an email informing me it was against Congressional ethics for her to engage in this type of polical endorsement request. I responded it was against my ethics to continue to support candidates who aren’t directly addressing the lack of ethics rampant within our elected leadership and requested removal from her mailing lists.