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Thinking ahead to 2012: Challenge all incumbents

The most important work that citizens can undertake for the Summer of 2012 is to line up challengers for U.S. Congressional incumbents in their districts.

If we wait until 2012 and then complain because there are no good choices and thus we must choose between the lessor of two evils–we have no one but ourselves to blame.

Now is the time to select the challengers and build their core group of volunteers.

It is entirely possible that the people of the USA could replace the majority of the House of Representatives with Representatives who will represent the majority.  We might even be able to replace a few Senators as well.  However, replacing the representatives is TOTALLY doable.

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THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK ANY CANDIDATE:

1.  Do you own Wall Street Stock?  If so, what stocks?

2. What is your net worth?

More than anything else, their answers to these questions tell who they will represent.

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If you think that when the chips are down that a wealthy Wall Street investor will represent you before his stock portfolio, you are a fool.  And this is REGARDLESS THE PARTY so don’t go off on a Democrat/Republican or Liberal/Conservative rant as that is exactly what the one party of the rich is hoping that you will do.  It is also exactly what the American people have been doing for years.

Here is an example that I’ve used before and it illustrates this point perfectly:

James Sensenbrenner (June 1943) is a Representative from Wisconsin.  He is an ultra conservative Republican and heir to the Kimberly fortune. He is the one who, although he owned over $200,000 stock in BP did not think it necessary to recuse himself from a House Committee that was investigating BP. On Sept. 8,2005, Sensenbrenner voted against a bill to provide $50 billion in emergency aid to victims of Katrina. These are just a couple of examples of the man’s character.

John Kerry (December 1943) is a Democrat and ran in 2004 as an anti-war candidate. Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War vet, was slandered by the Swift Bets and POWs for Truth formed during the 2004 presidential election campaign  for the purpose of opposing John Kerry’s  candidacy for the presidency.   The campaign inspired the widely-used political pejorative “swiftboating.” The group disbanded and ceased operations on May 31, 2008. [What some may not know is that Bob Perry  Houston Homebuilder –no relation to Rick–was one of the major funders of this 527 group.  Mr. Perry gave $4.5 million to this group. Mr. Perry in September and October 2010,  gave $7 million to American Crossroads.]

So there we have Mr. Anti-War “liberal” Democrat Kerry and Mr. Wingnut Conservative James Sesenbrenner–thousands of degrees of separation, that is until you are talking their mutual Wall Street investments, at which point there is NO degree of separation whatsoever.

In the summer of 2009 Max Baucus proposed a $4 billion tax on medical-device firms to help offset the cost of health-care reforms.  John Kerry and James Sensenbrenner  bellowed like two stuck hogs.  Why?  Because Kerry and Sensenbrenner have  something in common that supersedes any party alliance or lack of it: They each have millions of dollars of family wealth invested over the years in the companies that make medical devices.

You want to know why we don’t have a decent healthcare system in the USA?  It’s because at least half of Congress have their personal wealth tied up in Wall Street health insurance stock–Democrats and Republicans.  For example,  Bayh and Lieberman both have wives who are lobbyists for the health care industry AND both couples own over a million dollars each in health car stock.  Judd Gregg, a Republican, owned between $100,000 and $250,000  of stock in Bristol-Myers Squibb and on it goes with examples from Congress on both sides of the aisle.  But in the fall of 2009 instead of talking about the conflict of interest of these people, we were too busy responding with self-righteous indignation to the ridiculous claims of death panels.

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Wall Street Stock ownership is the single most important factor in determining how an elected official will vote.  Until voters realize this, don’t expect much change.

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Liz Berry

Liz Berry

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