‘Tis the season for local campaign literature. I usually toss these things in the circular file, unread. As a minority conservative in a massively Democrat/Progressive county, my votes are invariably wasted anyway. With Open Primaries, though, I’m starting to pay attention to this unsolicited reading material. So far, I’ve heard from Michael Allen, Jared Huffman, and Stacy Lawson. The first two live in a Progressive fairy-tale; the third is struggling to make contact with reality.
Herewith, some quotations from their campaign literature, as they slug it out to become the Democrat nominee for U.S. Congress (taking over Woolsey’s seat) or for California Assembly.
First, a statement from Jared Huffman, who has spent a great deal of time in the California Assembly (emphasis in original), and who now wants to go to Washington:
I’ve spent my whole career working for the public interest. I won major anti-discrimination cases for women and have a 100% career voting record with Planned Parenthood. I fought for our environment as a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
As your Assembly member, I’ve overcome gridlock in Sacramento to pass over 60 pieces of legislation — including laws that are creating jobs, expanding renewable energy, keeping our state parks open, and forcing big oil companies to pay for oil spill prevention.
In Congress, I’ll continue standing up for what I believe in. Bringing our troops home. Prioritizing education above military spending. Equality and women’s rights. Creating California jobs, and ending tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs overseas. And fighting big health insurance companies who put profits above our health needs.
I think we can summarize the above easily: If elected, Huffman will (1) pass legislation that funds chimerical green enterprises; (2) support Obama in his fight against the Catholic Church; (3) raise taxes on corporations at home while preventing them from continuing their businesses abroad (bankrupting or downsizing many, I’m sure); (4) de-fund the military while giving more money to teacher’s unions; and (5) help support “The Return of ObamaCare — it’s back, bigger and badder than ever.”
Unsurprisingly, Huffman has gotten the nod from a slew of environmental and union organizations: the California Federation of Teachers, the Sierra Club, the Marin County School Superintendent, the California Labor Federation, the National Association of Letter Carriers, California School Employee Assoc., California Hospital Association, North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Amalgamated Transit Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Laborers’ International Union of North America, and on and on.
I wonder how many of those union members whose bosses are giving Huffman the nod will still have jobs in three years, after Huffman’s policies (if enacted) have driven away or destroyed private industry, and made the cost of energy prohibitively high.
This being Marin, Huffman isn’t an outlier. California Assemblyman Michael Allen, who is seeking re-election, rings the same bells. His whole platform (in wealthy Marin) can be summed up easily: tax, tax, tax, and spend. I’m not kidding. For every problem, he has a very expensive solution. Here’s his statement from one piece of campaign literature that harps upon the fading California dream:
PROTECTING THIS DREAM MEANS FUNDING GREAT SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES
That’s why, as your Assemblyman, I’m co-sponsoring a new college scholarship program for middle class families and closing corporate tax loopholes to fund education. And it’s why I’m working with the Governor to place a “millionaires” tax on the November ballot to save public schools.
It doesn’t seem to occur to Allen that the State of California and the schools of California were thriving when the government, for the most part, left Californians alone. California’s economic and academic decline coincided so closely with the ascendance of Leftist government in California that the two events cannot be a coincidence.
In another piece of campaign literature, Allen explains that he can help solve the budget crisis (which is very real) because he has “a head for numbers.” First, he explains that as a Former Labor Leader, he’s able to “resolve disputes, kickstart stalled projects and create new jobs.” I wonder how management feels about his boasts. They’re probably too busy packing for Nevada or Texas to talk about their feelings.
Allen is proud of his stance on education. Despite decades of proof that more money has not solved, and will not solve, California’s education woes, he’s all about getting more money to the unions:
Michael Allen stood with teachers and education advocates to stop millions of dollars in cuts to local public schools. He authored legislation to help make college tuition and fees more affordable for middle-income families.
I just spoke with someone today(he knows who he is) who explained that government rules, especially ADA compliance requirements, impose thousands of dollars per classroom on new school construction. How about fixing our schools by putting pressure on the Feds and on Sacramento to stop micromanaging schools? That ought to save some money.
Nor has the Solyndra debacle stopped Allen from pushing the Green government button:
Michael Allen worked with local environmentalists and business to create Solar Sonoma, a group that promotes local access to renewable energy. He started his career as an attorney with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Team on the Warm Springs Dam initiative. He introduced incentives that will help our agricultural community transition to organic farming methods.
If these things (solar energy and organic farming) are so good, shouldn’t the market be moving consumers in that direction without Allen’s help?
You won’t be surprised by Allen’s supporters: California Democratic Party, California Federation of Teachers, California league of Conservation Voters, California Teachers Association, Sierra Club.
Incidentally, both Huffman and Allen have gotten the nod from various law enforcement organizations (police, fire fighters, sheriffs, etc.). I assume this is because these organizations are union organizations and, by default, back the Democrat candidate and, because of past favors, back those who currently hold political office. Otherwise, the endorsements make no sense. I certainly don’t see anything in the candidates’ actual platforms that would improve the quality of life for these organizations’ members.
Stacy Lawson, who is running against Huffman (and others) for Congress, hasn’t yet sent me any literature, but you can see her stand on the issues from her website. Her proud boast is that she’s less extreme than the others running, and that is true. However, in Marin County, less extreme is still a relative term.
On energy, Lawson talks about the economic and national security imperative of becoming self-sufficient, but her ideas are the same failed ones the Democrats regularly tout: namely, conserving and going green. Until something comes along that’s better than fossil fuel, conserving and going green will never offset our legitimate energy needs, unless we are willing to lower our living and production standards to, say, 1950s levels.
On job creation, Lawson rightly focuses on small businesses. She wants to make it easier for them to borrow (potentially replicating the housing crisis, which started when the government forced banks to make bad loans). She also thinks that the federal government should get involved, not by lowering taxes and decreasing the hundreds of thousands of regulations dotting the private sector landscape, but by entering into more contracts with small businesses. I don’t know where she gets that idea. Large companies have huge, expensive departments that are solely dedicated to dealing with the federal paperwork necessary to get and hold a federal job. Small businesses can’t afford to do business with the federal government.
Lawson also advocates a new WPA: Rebuild the infrastructure by having the government build a new one and having the taxpayers pay for it. Considering that America’s Depression had worsened dramatically by 1937, drowned under the weight of Roosevelt’s infrastructure projects, it’s doubtful that this will help the economy.
But will it help the infrastructure? Again, that’s doubtful. In the 1930s, infrastructure was basic: roads and dams. Also, there were few regulations, so that back then an entire dam could be built in the time it takes the Sierra Club to mount its first protest.
Most importantly, in the 1930s, technology was fairly stagnant. That’s not the case today. Just ask yourself this: whatever happened to all the pager companies that dotted the landscape back in the 1990s? With a few small, industry-specific exceptions, they’re gone. Cell phones killed them in less than twenty years. That’s change government can’t handle. Remember, while businesses are facing the problems and opportunities that arise today, government is busy imposing yesterday’s solutions.
I’ll stop here. I like Stacy, who is a nice person. More importantly, and rather sadly, by Marin standards she is indeed the moderate alternative. I may even vote for her in the primaries because the thought of seeing a mini-me Woolsey (that would be Huffman) jet off to Washington in January is simply unbearable.
And that’s the stuff that came in today’s mail (augmented by some internet information). It’s not calculated to uplift a conservative’s spirit, that’s for sure.