Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tomlinson for Congress

The Democratic Party failed the citizens of the Third Congressional District by giving a free pass to Congressman John Boozman (R-Pinnacle Gated Compound). It was a disgraceful surrender without a whimper. Boozman has a shameful record in Congress, yet the state Democratic Party made no serious effort to recruit a candidate. Some will say it was a recognition of political reality; others know it to have been a failure of will and a lack of principle.

Abel Tomlinson will announce at noon tomorrow that he is seeking the Green Party nomination for United States Congress. He is an Arkansas native and a graduate student at the University of Arkansas. I know him only through occasionally reading his weekly political column in the online Arkansas Traveler, where he has been a fearless voice and a forceful opponent of the Bush Administration policies that are harmful to ordinary citizens.

According to his press release, Tomlinson is also a committed community organizer and social activist. He is a long-time critic of the Iraq War and the Bush Administration. He believes the Iraq War is immoral and illegal and that torture, warrantless wiretapping and other potential Constitutional breaches justify impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. As a member of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology organization, Tomlinson has helped organize multiple demonstrations against the war, giving speeches at these events.

In addition, Tomlinson says the war is a completely wasteful neoliberal spending misadventure that is fueling our $9.45 trillion national debt and potential recession, and the money could be better spent domestically. He also wants to fight Big Oil for lower gas prices, because he is very concerned the skyrocketing oil prices are hurting the poor through higher prices on consumer goods like food, lower consumer confidence and contribution to what appears to be an oncoming recession.

Tomlinson says he will work hard to seriously combat climate change and for clean energy independence. He also is a strong advocate for efficient universal healthcare and for making college more affordable for the poor and middle class. He also opposes the Bush tax cuts for the fat cats, but he supports tax cuts for working families. Tomlinson opposes NAFTA and the WTO, which he believes harms America and its people by encouraging businesses to outsource American jobs for the purpose of avoiding labor and environmental laws.

We deserve an intelligent debate on these issues, and Abel Tomlinson promises to give us just that. We wish him success at the Green Party nominating convention in Little Rock on April 12, and we hope to have the chance to vote for him in November. And Rebekah Kennedy, too.

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