Saturday, June 10, 2006

In Their Own Words

The Virginian-Pilot has an article where James Webb and Harris Miller each tell Virginians why they should vote for them.

In Webb's words:
I have had the privilege of serving our country as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, as a full committee counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, as assistant secretary of defense and as secretary of the Navy.

I have written eight books, worked on numerous film projects, and traveled around the world as a print and television journalist. I have taught literature at the university level. And I have served as a business consultant on projects in Southeast Asia.

I would like to bring this combination of experiences to bear on the issues now facing our country as your senator representing the commonwealth of Virginia.

Our nation’s capital is a place under siege. These days, more than 30,000 lobbyists circle around 535 elected representatives, often influencing the direction of our government in ways no ordinary citizen might either want or understand.

If we look at surveys of public attitudes, we find that two-thirds of people in America believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. At the same time, we tend to re-elect 91 percent of our federally elected incumbents.

Like many Americans, I became deeply concerned about the direction of leadership at the federal level following the events of 9/11. After the disastrous mismanagement of the crisis that Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans, I decided for the first time in my life to seek an elected office so that I could more directly help our nation move into a brighter future.

Our campaign has been focusing on three major themes:

First, we must redirect our national security in a way that is more compatible with our traditional place in the world. We must end the war in Iraq and bring a renewed sense of stability to the Persian Gulf area. We must reinvigorate our foreign policy to focus on combating the forces of international terrorism. We must take a posture to address more assertively the strategic threats to our nation, particularly the military expansion of China and the emerging vulnerability of our economic security to policies that have resulted from improper trade relationships.

The second campaign theme involves economic fairness and social justice. This country is breaking into three pieces economically. The people at the top have never had it so good, largely as a result of globalization and internationalization of our economy. The middle class has become extraordinarily vulnerable as a result of globalization and the outsourcing of jobs. At the bottom, we are moving toward a permanent underclass caused by the lack of protection for wage-earners in our society. These trends can be reversed with the proper government leadership.

With respect to issues of social justice, I believe strongly that the power of government ends at our front door, unless there is a compelling reason for it to come inside. It is time for us to leave the political environment of divisiveness where people’s emotions are unnecessarily manipulated over issues of privacy. The government needs to leave us alone and let us live our lives.

The third theme in this campaign revolves around the unnecessary and dangerous expansion of presidential power in the wake of 9/11. I spent four years as a committee counsel at a time when the Congress fully understood its constitutional prerogatives. We need to have members of Congress who are aware of their constitutional place, who have the courage and willingness to stand up to executive overreach. Whether it is the recent NSA wire tapping debacle, or stonewalling attempts to bring accountability, this administration has ignored
every call for reasonable limits on executive power.

We are undergoing a sea change in American politics. The old labels of liberal and conservative no longer apply when we are examining the issues that affect the country and our future. I believe that there are many people who left the Democratic Party because of its foreign policy measures at the end of the Vietnam era. These same people would now be willing to come home to a Democratic Party that again embraces the principals of Jacksonian democracy and maintains a
Trumanesque common-sense style of leadership.

We measure the health of our society not by how people are doing at the top, but how the people who have no power are being represented in the corridors of power. For those who have no voice, I’d like to be that voice.

I’m asking for your support, and for your vote, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

In Miller's Words:

IT IS TIME for a change in Washington.

I am running for the U.S. Senate to bring real change in the direction of this country so that families in Virginia and across our nation still have the opportunity to live the American Dream.

Over the past several months, I have traveled close to 25,000 miles around this state, talking to Virginians from every region and walk of life. And the message from all of them has been crystal-clear: The leadership in Washington has taken this country in the wrong direction.

Now it’s time to turn things around. It’s time to invest in the future and create opportunity for every Virginian.

I know how important it is to be given every opportunity to succeed. I grew up in a steel and coal mining town in rural Pennsylvania. My
parents worked hard, but our family saw a lot of tough times. I started working when I was 13, including one summer working in a steel mill. Thanks to those jobs and student loans, I became the first member of my immediate family to graduate from college.

Growing up, I learned the importance of working hard, of community, of perseverance — and the impact you can have by reaching out and
helping your fellow men and women.

Those are the values that have helped me succeed as a businessman, as a father and husband, and as a community leader.

And those are the values that have made me a lifelong Democrat.
I’ve lived the American Dream. But right now, under the leadership of George Bush and George Allen, too many families in Virginia are finding their opportunity at the American Dream out of reach.
We should be investing in our future and getting America back on the right track:

- Reversing the economic policies of Bush and Allen that have led to huge budget deficits and hurt middle-class and working families;

- Taking on the oil industry’s record profits by making sure they pay their fair share to invest in new and alternative energy sources;

- Establishing a clear exit strategy for Iraq and firing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld;

- Improving education by recruiting the best teachers and making higher education more affordable; and,

- Cleaning up the culture of corruption and divisive partisanship in Washington.

George Allen has had 5½ years to make a real difference for Virginians in Washington.

Instead, he has consistently put partisan politics ahead of the people of Virginia. In fact, he has voted with the disastrous policies of George Bush 96 percent of the time — more than almost any other member of the U.S. Senate.

Under Bush and Allen, we have seen the record budget surpluses of the Clinton administration turn into record deficits, crippling our ability to make critical national investments.

The price of gas has more than doubled, as Allen has continued handing out massive tax breaks to oil companies and voted against making price gouging a federal crime.

And Allen has served as the ultimate rubber-stamp for the Bush administration’s failed policies in Iraq.

Together, Bush and Allen believe in an open-ended commitment that will span into future presidencies, with no exit strategy in sight, costing us hundreds of billions of dollars, and more importantly, thousands of American lives.

Allen has been playing partisan political games while the serious problems we face have gotten worse and worse.

That is why it is time for a change.

As Virginia’s next U.S. senator, I will work for change that creates a better future for our families — restoring fiscal responsibility to our government, improving education and job training, and investing in alternative energy to break our addiction to foreign oil.

And as senator, I will stop this rubber-stamping of the president’s disastrous war in Iraq. I am the only candidate in this race who is saying Donald Rumsfeld must be fired for his complete failure of leadership in this war.

I have outlined a strategy for getting our troops home from Iraq, by setting specific guidelines for withdrawal, something the Bush administration refuses to do.

And I will work on both sides of the aisle to demand that we shift the security burden to the Iraqis.

These are not easy problems to fix — it’s going to take a determined
effort by our elected leaders to tackle these issues in a constructive,
bipartisan way.

Virginians know it’s possible — they’ve seen it right here in our commonwealth.

Great Virginia Democrats like Jerry Baliles, Doug Wilder, Chuck Robb, Mark Warner and now Tim Kaine have brought people together to make Virginia the best-run state in the nation.

I will bring that proud tradition of Virginia Democratic leadership to Washington.

As a “Mark Warner” Democrat, I will never back down from challenging George Allen on the issues where he has failed the people of Virginia, and I will be relentless in offering my positive agenda for change.

That is why I am proud that The Washington Post has endorsed me in the primary, saying that I “would make the better senator ...
Virginians would be well served by having a lawmaker of Mr. Miller’s evident energy, commitment and depth.”

I am also proud and grateful to have received the endorsements of state and local officials across the commonwealth, including Hampton Roads-area leaders like Sens. Mamie Locke and Louise Lucas, Del. Lionell Spruill and Virginia Beach School Board members Pat Edmonson, Todd Davidson and Ed Fissinger.

These are the leaders who know what it takes to win in Virginia, and they are endorsing me because they know that I have the background
and the experience to beat George Allen this fall and bring real change for Virginia families in the United States Senate.

With real change in Washington, we can restore people’s faith in government, we can make sure that our government works well for its citizens, and we can ensure that every Virginian has the chance to live the American Dream.

HL - did the article give permission to reprint the statements in their entirety? If not, you should really provide a link and stick to fair use of one or two paragraphs...
You know, it's interesting you should bring that up.

I wondered what the copyright law was.

Is it two paragraphs?

I travel through the Internet and I see blogs republish articles in their entirety.

It's something that I,as a novice blogger wasn't sure about.

It's actually the very first time I've ever done so.
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