Jane Harman's consultant Harvey Englander, the guy who advises union-busting hotels near the LA airport, stole a clip from my cable television ad for single-payer health care to put me in a bubble in another cable television commercial. While I'm bouncing around in this bubble, a Swift Boating narrator announces "Winograd wants to kill the defense budget, lay off workers, blah, blah."
Interestingly enough, the narrator never mentions I want to expand job opportunities, not shrink them for the engineers and skilled work force in the aerospace industry that anchors the South Bay region of our 30-mile long congressional district in southern California.
In fact, my JOBS, NOT WARS campaign against Jane Harman in today' Democratic Party primary centers around connecting the dots between the trillions we spend on war and the money denied for sustainable job creation, affordable housing, strong public education, and quality health care for all.
Who's in the bubble? Marcy Winograd, a leader in Progressive Democrats for America (pdamerica.org) who is running for Congress to transition from a war economy to a new Green economy or corporate Democrat Jane Harman who took us to war in Iraq and votes for an onerous bankruptcy bill that makes it harder for the poor to climb out of debt? Who's in the bubble? A south Los Angeles high school English and history teacher who helped organize the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party or the richest woman in Congress who covers up Bush's crimes of torture and illegal wiretapping and now thinks she can rebrand herself a progressive?
I would argue the Blue Dog Washington politician, the incumbent who plunges us deeper into debt with trillion dollar wars, is the one in bubble trouble.
In the last few years, since the start of the recession, an estimated 8-million Americans have lost their jobs. Optimistically, the most recent stimulus bill will only create 250,000 jobs.
What about the rest of America? Those still looking for work, as well as the ones who have given up? We must put them back to work, too, -- and we can if we have the political will and are courageous enough to address the elephant in the room -a near trillion dollar military budget that includes money for no bid contracts, mercenaries, fortress-like military bases, and new weapons.
Under a Green New Deal, analogous to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression, we can create a federally-funded program to jump start jobs in both the public and private sectors.
- Here's How I Would Create Jobs: Fix our infrastructure - bridges, roads, water treatment plants, ports (employ 2 million) * Create a National Environmental Corps for clean up, maintenance, and prevention of BP-like disasters. (employ 1 million) * Build solar-powered cities and wind farms to end our reliance on polluting fossil fuels. (employ 1 million) * Strengthen our neighborhoods with more farmers markets, senior and youth centers, fully-funded schools and health clinics. (employ 4 million)
- Here's How I Would Pay For Those Jobs: Bring our troops home from Iraq & Afghanistan and cut the trillion dollar military budget by at least 60-billion per year * Reverse the Bush tax breaks for the rich, generating an additional 45-billion * Collect 100-billion per year in taxes owed by large corporations * Impose a small fee on stock trades to generate another 100-billion per year.
Before the House approves the $33-billion war supplemental, before we send more drones into Pakistan and Yemen, before my opponent again appears on FOX news to threaten Iran with a military attack, the clamor for JOBS, NOT WARS can translate into an electoral victory for a candidate forging real substantive change.
I would like to debate my jobs program with my opponent, so once again in the final days of the Winograd vs. Harman challenge, I ask my opponent to formally debate me, something she has steadfastly refused to do, even when a Los Angeles rabbi offered his 800-seat sanctuary gratis. Harman's office released a statement saying there is no need to debate; Harman's position is clear.
Does that mean Harman backs the escalation in Afghanistan, as her votes would indicate strong support? Does that mean Harman cheers increased foreclosures, as her bankruptcy bill vote would suggest the more meltdowns, the merrier. Does that mean Harman thinks it's all right to invest up to 5-million in Goldman Sachs and then vote to bail out her portfolio with our money? Does that mean Harman supports ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank? (Certainly her silence reinforces a one-state Israeli dominated solution with no contiguous borders for a Palestinian state.) Does this mean Harman supports a WARS, NOT JOBS policy?
Our congressional district deserves to hear a real debate on the allocation of our resources.
Do we want jobs or just wars?
That's the question.
36th Congressional District Candidate
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Rally photo credit: Ralph Oden