Monday, July 17, 2006

Why I am running for U.S. Senate (D-RI)… why now?

If Lincoln Chafee had run as a Democrat or Independent, I might not be running for U.S. Senate. I’d raise my kids, be a good husband, neighbor and friend. If any among all the ethical, high quality people we have in Rhode Island had run for U.S. Senate, as a Democrat, I’d remain a business owner, teach college courses, write articles and do what most middle class families do.

But instead, we have Sheldon Whitehouse. I have no ax to grind with Sheldon. In fact, he has called me “very likeable” and I appreciate it. But, I’ve done my opposition research as his Republican opponents have. His past lapses will undoubtedly be raised by the media and/or his opponent(s) to the detriment of providing bipartisan balance in our U.S. Senate.

Too few elected officials are willing to break ranks from partisan posturing so the job gets done on behalf of the public. I expect our elected to be selfless in their public service even above partisanship. No one, no matter how wealthy, well connected or Ivy League educated is above our laws. If an elected official, even the President, ignores the law I expect (s)he to be held accountable. We need folks who are willing to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution. Our Constitution is what allows us to be uniquely American.

I’m running because when Sheldon first announced, his campaign wanted to “stay the course” in Iraq. I’m running because his campaign has repeatedly attacked Chafee and the Republican Party instead of offering real solutions to the bread and butter issues we working families experience. I chalked that up to his being born into privilege. The “disconnect” between those from working and wealth income happens all too often.

I’m running because history shows when candidates receive contributions from the wealthy and special interests, they seldom provide access to folks like you and me. This is why our youth, our elderly, our struggling, our military personnel and veterans receive a lower priority than lobbyists for health care, insurance, energy and education.

Those who originally signed our Constitution recognized that in order to avoid the dire results of too much power in too few hands, our government needed to have checks and balances. They recognized there would be conflicts and classes of people. They understood the influence of religion and law. They understood people wanted their rights protected and our government’s role to be limited to ensure our pursuits of prosperity, freedom and justice.

I’m running because in order to serve well and decently one leads by putting the public first. We’ll have our differences locally and globally, but a statesman finds the common good to build bridges. Now is the time to honor our troops and bring them home. Now is the time to lower fuel costs by improving our Middle East and energy policies. Now is the time to engage faith-based, civic, business and academic organizations to find value based solutions to quality education, family security and health care. One million dollar a month political ads are great – but enduring bipartisan solutions are better. It’s time.


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