(Thanks to Jeff Barnett for carrying the Democratic banner proudly and for articulating the values of our party with intelligence and passion. I hope that, although Jeff won’t be seeking the 10th CD Democratic nomination for 2012, he’ll stay heavily involved in continuing to do those things moving forward. – promoted by lowkell)
On Saturday, I confirmed with the 10th Congressional District Democratic Committee that I will not seek this year’s nomination for the US Congress. Katherine and I are disappointed with the realities that drove our decision. To be honest with you, the decision NOT to run was the tougher call. It was actually tougher than committing to a 10-month campaign.
I will remain active in advancing Democratic values. Regrettably, our Middle Class values are under constant attack. Cynically exploiting this historic recession, Republican lies and corporate greed are destroying our Middle Class. It’s time for the 99% to stand up. I am one of the 99%.
Too many Americans are working on thin ice. If you lose your job today, it may take years before you find another. In the meantime, you may lose your savings and your home; maybe your family. “Barren shelves in our Job Markets” is the #1 issue in this election – and will remain #1 in every election for decades.
Democrats and Republicans offer two completely different remedies. We propose two conflicting strategies to re-new and re-stock our job markets.
“On your own” is the Republican Party strategy. Once you boil down their goal of “less government and lower taxes,” that is all that’s left. Wealth will inevitably erode from the Middle Class. Those who want to join the Middle Class will get less help than they need. In other words, they are “on your own.” Darwin might call it, “survival of the fittest.”
The Republican strategy is proven to fail. It produces nothing but massive debt, concentrated wealth, and economic collapse. Ronald Reagan quadrupled the national debt, and then George W. Bush doubled it. They created a century of debt in only 20 years. They also stripped faith in government to regulate our economy. Wall Street and BP are the results – along with the deepest recession in 80 years.
I believe “we are better together.” For America to out-compete the world we need to out-build, out-educate and out-build the world. The World War II generation, our parents and grandparents, knew this. The Greatest Generation out-educated the world with the GI Bill. They out-innovated the world by winning the Space Race with hosts of new inventions. They out-built the world with interstate highways. The Greatest Generation used government investment to build history’s’ greatest middle class. Their investments in education, infrastructure and innovation gave us decades of wealth. Their strategy is proven to work. Their strategy is my strategy.
In Northern Virginia, our world-class economy faces the same challenge. We must lead the Nation in out-building, out-innovating, and out-educating the world.
We can out-build the world with transportation projects that make good jobs. Rail-to-Dulles is ridiculously underfunded by the federal government. There are zero federal dollars for the Loudoun County portion of Dulles Rail. Zero. We need to fix that. Republicans blame construction workers for the underfunding. That is a lie that Democrats must attack.
We have the brains and bandwidth to produce energy. We can lead the Nation in green innovation. That will create generations of new jobs in Northern Virginia.
Education is the key natural resource of the information age. Over time, we must reengineer our national education, from Kindergarten through College to Lifetime Learning. This is a new necessity for growth in the Information Age. Working people in their 40s and 50s will need education as much as those in their 20s. What the private sector can’t do better and cheaper, government must provide.
Republicans don’t agree. They want to slash government investment and protections. They consistently vote to cut taxes for the richest 1% of Americans while rising taxes and cutting services for the middle class. Their strategy is proven to destroy jobs, not create them. Not only is the Republican strategy poison for America, it is poison for Northern Virginia. The Republican’s anti-government strategy will inevitably slash tens of thousands of federal and contractor jobs – with no plan to replace them. If Republicans have their way, Virginians will be out of jobs and “on your own.”
This election is not just about the future. It is about today. The decisions we make now will affect our jobs and our lives now. The votes we cast now will affect our jobs and the jobs of thousands of our neighbors. The fact that I’m not running for Congress this year gives me the freedom to engage in other ways. I will be writing, speaking, working for candidates, and working for committees. My message will be simple, “We are better together.”
This election is a clear choice. The Republican Party offers a proven strategy of failure. Democrats offer a proven strategy of success. In November, Virginians will chose between “you’re on your own” or “we’re better together.” Our neighbors will choose between the failed strategy of deregulation and deficits or the proven strategy of out-building, out-educating and out-innovating the world. This choice is why I am proud to be a Democrat. This choice is why I will work hard for our candidates and for our message in November — and for many Novembers to come.