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September 9, 2018

Policy Differences

Dear readers, I must tell you — for all the “likes,” all the shares, all the words of support, and thanks for my public affairs perspectives, and for how much I appreciate that, the fundraising has been going terribly. Separating out the donations from my parents, and one college friend, after all this time and effort I have about the same amount, and from the same number of people, that I have previously raised in a week when running for school board in my small town. Just boosting one Facebook post to enter the feeds of all FB users in the 19th CD for just one day costs around $1500. By comparison, bulk postage isn’t even a dream — it would cost $175,000 to send one bulk rate letter to every potential voter. At the moment, I have a total of $3500, and I’m supposedly running for Congress. Greens and everyone who rejects the influence of corporate money politics, and boasts of that rejection as something appealing about GP candidates take on with that some responsibility to make sure our campaigns can campaign, at least at the minimal level to be able to afford entry-level social media use, let alone postage, print ads, yard signs, and conventional targeted TV and radio. I am copying my responses to an inquiry I received this week so as to clarify exactly why my candidacy is so important, and why it’s like a tree falling in the forest, with nobody to hear it, if we don’t work together to make sure people can hear it. The sooner I can reach more people, the sooner there will be a wider pool to fund reaching more — and, ultimately, to vote. Thanks.

On what policy areas do you differ from Antonio Delgado? All of them. My platform is as different from Delgado’s as Delgado’s is from Faso’s, and it’s not because Faso is to the right, Delgado is in the center, and I’m to the left. I don’t fit neatly on the left-right spectrum. The first big difference between my policies and Delgados is that his are vague, and mine are specific. I’ve been through his website many times, and attended forums where he’s spoken, and he hasn’t made a specific policy proposal yet. He has no climate change plan. He has no tax plan. He has no education plan. The words “war” and “peace” don’t even appear on his website, and he has never addressed them in a campaign setting. We’re at war in multiple theaters for almost 17 years, far longer than any period of active engagement in American history, we have a $1.5 trillion defense budget, and none of it even exists for Delgado. He has no health care plan. He has no wage increase plan, and no labor organizing plan. The words “income,” “equality,” and “gap” don’t appear anywhere on his website. He seems unaware that discretionary spending is a function of income, and that 70% of our economic activity is consumer-driven. 43 million Americans below the poverty line, and 50 million more near poverty, and he has not a word about poverty alleviation — not even in his criminal justice plank. He says he has a jobs plan, but other than “I’ll seek federal funding for infrastructure projects in the district,” he has nothing else to say. He claims he’d address the drug problem by working with health professionals to treat, rather than criminalize, drug addiction, but apparently is unaware that no treatment modalities in current use work at rates different from spontaneous remission, while draining billions of dollars from research into improvements. Emergency services have never been mentioned by Delgado, and that’s a painful reminder of the problem with carpetbagging being unfamiliarity with how our local communities run. Volunteerism has plummeted over the last few decades because of demographic and labor market changes, and many communities are barely hanging on with fire and emergency medical protection. He’s a corporate lawyer. My major was economics. Our respective platforms make that distinction quite apparent.

Are you concerned about the possibility of siphoning off votes from Delgado and electing Faso? No, for the reasons given above. We are not aiming for the same pools of voters. He has millions of dollars and the backing of the multinational corporate structure. He is assured of all habitual liberal voters, and I am assured of none of them. The fact of not siphoning has been established in prior races in which I have run. In the 2003 County Legislature campaign I mentioned earlier, I got 20.5% of the vote — but the Democrats and Republicans got the same numbers of votes as they had before. My votes were from markedly expanded turnout. Two years later, when I did not run, the Democrats and Republicans still got very close to the traditional numbers for each of them. Turnout fell back down. The whole theory of vote siphoning, always faith-based, never demonstrated in the ballot booth, depends on the presumption that the third-party candidate’s platform substantially overlaps with one of the two major parties. That is not the case, though. I’m not a “better,” or “more progressive,” or “purer” liberal. I’m not related to what Democrats do in any way.

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