Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Write Me In for U.S. Senate!

With the announcement that Rosalind Kurita is withdrawing from the primary election for the U.S. Senate, there is no progressive Democratic opposition to Harold Ford Jr. in the Democratic primary August 3. I have decided to offer my name once again as a write-in candidate for those Democrats who wish to vote for a real progressive, liberal Democrat in the primary election. I want Democrats to win in November and take back control of the U.S. Congress, therefore I will support Harold Ford Jr., or whoever wins the Democratic primary, in the general election. But I and many other Democrats want a choice in this primary election, and an opportunity to offer an alternative vision for the future of the Democratic Party.

Some background:

On Sept. 30, 2004, Rep. Harold Ford Jr. reversed prior position statements and voted for the anti-gay "Federal Marriage Amendment" (H.J. Resolution 56), which would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit states from allowing gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the legal rights of marriage.  Because Rep. Ford  has voted against gay and lesbian civil rights, because he has voted with opponents of gay and lesbian equality, and because he voted against the position of the Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate John Kerry, I decided to oppose him as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 2, 2004 election.  ( I received 166 votes.)

While Rep. Ford has consistently opposed gay marriage, he has also taken the position of John Kerry and the Democratic Party that it is wrong and unnecessary to amend the U.S. Constitution to block the right of states to allow gays and lesbians to marry--until Sept. 30, 2004 when he caved in to a campaign of intolerance waged by anti-gay churches and clergy in Memphis.  I and many other gay and lesbian supporters of Harold Ford Jr. were very disappointed with his betrayal.

This is not the first time he has endorsed conservative positions.  He has supported President Bush's "Faith-based Initiatives" which violate the First Amendment's anti-establishment clause and the constitutional separation of church and state.  He supported the Iraq War and wasteful military spending.  I have decided that I can no longer support him or vote for him and believe that voters deserve a better choice, someone who stands up for his beliefs and principles, defends civil rights, equality and social justice for all, and supports the separation of church and state.

It is now clear that Harold Ford Jr. crossed party lines and voted for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in anticipation of running for the U.S. Senate 2006.  His campaign for the Senate has emphasized his vote for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment and his opposition to gay marriage, as well as his votes to restrict the right of women to abortion, and he has indicated that he supports some version of the Republican plan to "privatize" Social Security, as he has supported much of the Bush Administration's conservative policies. 

Progressive Democrats must challenge Harold Ford Jr. and the "centrist" Democratic Party establishment that supported him over his main Democratic opponent, Rosalind Kurita, who has withdrawn from the race for lack of money and party support.  It is very disturbing to me that candidates who cannot compete against other candidates with large corporate and other political establishment donors are forced to drop out of the political process.  People with money and family name recognition should not be automatically entitled to political office.

I still believe that PROGRESSIVE Democrats deserve a real choice in this election and so I offer my name as a write-in candidate for the August 2 primary for Democrats who share my unwavering belief in the progressive Democratic principles of peace, social justice, equality and the separation of church and state.   I still believe in the Democratic Party and urge progressive Democrats to join me in the fight for the heart, soul and future of the Democratic Party and our country.

Jim Maynard for U.S. Senate
Jim Maynard For Congress

No comments: