On January 3, 2010, congressional candidate Marcy Winograd wrote an open letter to Congressman Henry Waxman regarding his endorsement of Jane Harman. Ms. Winograd is a progressive democrat running against Jane Harman for the 36th congressional seat in California.
Here is what she wrote:
Dear Congressman Waxman:
I write this as an open letter in response to a letter you sent contributors, urging them to join you in financing Jane Harman’s re-election to Congress. More importantly, I write this as an open letter because I believe the establishment of world peace merits an international conversation.
Both of us recognize the importance of strengthening our country’s role as a global partner in world affairs.
Hence, it is with great disappointment that I received your letter urging readers to support my opponent Jane Harman, a woman recently under an FBI investigation for allegedly conspiring with members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to use her influence in Congress to subvert due process.
On the domestic front, you have advocated for the protection of constitutional rights. It is therefore disconcerting to learn that you would lend your name and financial support to a woman who lobbied the New York Times to suppress reports of the Bush administration’s crimes involving illegal wiretapping and who ultimately became the chief Democratic Party defender of those unconstitutional methods.
This is not the definition of a patriot.
Like you, I am intimately aware of our Jewish history. On my mother’s side, my great-grandparents escaped the Russian Pogroms to make a better life for themselves in Europe. On my father’s side, my great-grandparents were killed in the Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany. Because of our collective experience with persecution, it behooves us to stand in opposition to persecution anywhere and everywhere, rather than sanctify reductionist state policies that cast all Jews as victims who can only thrive in a segregated society. Furthermore, we must stand in explicit opposition to the Israeli persecution of the Palestinians; the brutal blockade of Gaza, an act of war by international standards, denying children clean water, food, and medicine.
We are better than that.
In your letter, you reference my speech in support of a one state solution, one that would recognize both Israelis and Palestinians as equals in a land of great historical significance to both. Security for Jews and Palestinians will be increased, not decreased, by efforts to establish a state where all are welcome and treated equally, but such a day may be far down the road given the existing enmity and lack of accountability in U.S. foreign policy regarding ever-expanding Israeli settlements. To stop the suffering of the Palestinian people and to end the rocket attacks on Israelis near the border, I am ready and willing to accept a negotiated peace agreement that adheres to principles of justice and recognizes a two-state solution based on withdrawal of illegal settlements to the 1967 borders or a mutually-agreed exchange of territory.
Nowhere in my speech do I advocate destruction or violence. Those are your words.
In your letter, you include what you term an “alarming’ quote of mine – “As a Jew, I do not want my name associated with occupation or extermination.” Frankly, I am mystified as to why you would find my words objectionable. Surely, you are not saying the converse is true – that you want Jewish people associated with occupation and extermination. Such a legacy would dishonor our people.
As Jews, we have so much to be proud of – our participation in the Civil Rights Movement, our leadership in the anti-war movements, our role in the construction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To uncritically support profoundly discriminatory policies undermines our proud past and imperils the sanctity of our international position on human rights.
Please reconsider lending your name and your status to a cause not worthy of your stature.
In your letter, you praise Harman’s “leadership on national security” yet fail to mention Harman lobbied for the Iraq war while shirking her oversight responsibility on the Intelligence Committee, ignoring warnings in the National Intelligence Estimate that discounted fictitious accounts of weapons of mass destruction. You also failed to mention that it was Harman who was briefed on the Bush administration’s use of torture, only to shirk her responsibility to denounce torture. Such a lack of oversight further endangered our troops.
This is not the definition of a patriot.
You call Harman an ally on health care, though she voted against your own much-needed amendment to fast-track exorbitantly-priced drugs for patients suffering with breast cancer, brain tumors, AIDS or the dreaded Parkinson’s, which confined my father to a wheelchair the last decade of his life. Not only does Harman’s opposition to your amendment cost patients their lives – but also taxpayers billions of dollars, for Medicaid and Medicare, both federal programs, subsidize the profits of large drug companies with monopolies on clinical trial data funded by our government.
Please also note that Harman’s position on health care is revealed in her support for a bankruptcy bill that hurts those who are forced to declare medical bankruptcy and then can’t find employment or obtain credit.
You praise Harman for her position on energy and the environment, never acknowledging that Harman’s support of perpetual war leaves the worst carbon foot print of all – a scorched earth.
Time and again my opponent has proven to be a virtual lobbyist for large corporations, big banks, and war profiteers, while voting against mortgage relief for constituents facing foreclosure. How tragic when so many California families are struggling to make ends meet. We, the People, deserve real representation in a congress too often beholden to large corporations. That is why I am running for Congress – to give the people a voice in Washington.
On Capitol Hill, I hope you and I develop a productive working relationship because we share an interest in reform and good governance, both in the domestic and foreign policy arenas.
To begin that effort, I ask you to courageously join me in encouraging engagement and dialogue on conflict-resolution and world peace, and to refrain from rubber-stamping the candidacy of someone who has deeply betrayed American values.
Thank you for your time, consideration, and public service.
36th Congressional District Candidate
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd, of Progressive Democrats of America, is challenging Jane Harman (CA-36) in the June 8, 2010 Democratic Party primary. In 2006, Winograd mobilized almost 40% of the vote in only three months of campaigning. To learn more about her campaign, visit winogradforcongress.com or Marcy Winograd for Congress on Facebook. Winograd for Congress.