Sunday, July 09, 2006


Do conservative political principles help us or harm us?

The engine driving conservative policy is an uncompromising belief in a free market economy. This ideology endorses outsourcing jobs. It supports a continuous influx of low-wage workers, legal or not. It encourages high gas prices and Internet usage fees at the expense of the consumer. It neglects border security, undocumented migration and national natural disasters.

Democracy is imposed by the barrel of a gun, not through diplomacy or good example. There are no strategies following an invasion other than campaign-style rhetoric. War merely paves a path for private contractors to set up shop and serves as a mechanism to impose a free market economy on foreign soil.

In the 1950’s President Eisenhower cautioned against the intrinsic dangers of a powerful military industrial complex. Unfortunately, conservative policy ignores the warning.

War drives up our federal deficit. Enormous deficits and tax cuts for the wealthy mean less funding for veterans’ benefits, public schools and college scholarships.

Spreading “democracy” by military means instead of diplomacy makes us less safe. While invading one part of the planet, we neglect another. And then there is a problem with nukes and rogue nations.

Folks ought to ignore poisonous partisan rhetoric and study the real facts.


Down here in Texas the Rovian wing of the Republican Party is alive and well, as is the obvious censorship of news that is critical of the Bush Administration and its Republican elected officials.

The media's sin of suppression is one of omission more so than it is of commission.

Democrats are fighting an uphill battle and we are more or less "going it alone." We have a brilliant candidate who shows great promise and who is also gaining in the polls, as is Ned Lamont in Connecticut. But Ned somehow rates national media coverage.

Texans do not?

Our candidate of promise is Barbara Ann Radnofsky. All of her efforts and that of her campaign have been at the grassroots level. The response to Ms. Radnofsky's stand on issues by the Texans she has met has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and gratifying. When Ms. Radnofsky walks into a room, people yell and cheer. Why? Because Ms. Radnofsky's policies are more consistent with those of most Americans, and therefore Texans, according to recent national polls.

But the Republican machine needs and breeds Bush rubber stamps, not those who are intelligent and who will work for Joe and Jane Texas.

Local newspapers throughout the state will not publish most of our letters asking for debates between candidates for U.S. Seante. When they do, editors will sometimes omit sentences or entire paragraphs that mention Ms. Radnofsky's name. The senior Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison arrogantly ignores every request made for a debate. Her excuse is that she is too busy but we know better. The senior Senator is busy, but not in doing the work of the people who elected her. No, she is” busy” doing things like chairing fundraisers for Tom Delay’s legal defense fund and for Abramoff's lobbying interests.

Alas, I am an optimist and know that Ms. Radnofsky and her group of supporters will do all it takes to prevail in the end. We have great faith in the American dream, our collective conscience and our culture as a people. LS



Ken sent this article today from The Kansas City Star via Raw


Kent Goyen, Pratt

Age: 55

Occupation: Farmer and substitute teacher

Running for: 114th District House seat

Switched parties because: The Republican Party has gotten a little far away from where it ought to be. It's probably just a little too far right. Philosophically, they're trying to control too many things in people's lives that they shouldn't be controlling

Goyen also was advised that winning the primary would be tougher than winning the general election. A late decider, Goyen said his switch was based partly on practicalities. As a busy farmer, running in the GOP primary just wasn't feasible. He needed more time to mount his campaign.

Any regrets? I'm a little nervous about the whole thing.

District registration: 59 percent Republican, 23 percent Democratic and 18 percent independent.

My chances are 75 percent or better, the way I read it. The formula: Build a coalition of Democrats, moderate Republicans and independents.

I‚m fairly well known. Hopefully that‚s a positive. I think people ought to vote the person, not the party.


Cindy Neighbor, Shawnee

Age: 57

Occupation: Marketing, public relations, patient care and human relations for a dental practice

Running for: 18th District House seat

Switched parties because: Several things in the (Republican) platform were not what I thought I could agree with. They‚re supporting (school) vouchers and tax credits and the teaching of creationism over evolution.

All of that just went against what I really had grown up with, I think, as being a moderate Republican. I said I thought the Republican Party left me. I didn‚t leave it.

Any regrets? It was actually a feeling of relief. (The reaction) has been very positive. I haven‚t had any negative comments.

When I talk to them (Democrats), they don‚t say if you disagree with us you don‚t count.

District registration: 47 percent Republican, 25 percent Democratic and 27 percent independent.

You put your independents and Democrats together and that counterbalances the Republicans.

Neighbor rejected the idea that party switchers carry a stigma „because people are seeing that people don‚t have anywhere else to go.

Registering as an independent didn‚t seem plausible because then people wouldn‚t know what you stand for, Neighbor said.


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