We received an email that had a broad distribution outlining the reasons why Mark Fernald (D-Sharon) thinks he should be the next NH Congressman from CD-2.
Many will remember Fernald as the challenger to Craig Benson (R-Rye) for the Governor's office. You may also remember Fernald as the promoter of an Income Tax (read that as WAGE Tax) in NH. Supposedly to allow the State to take control of the public education system, to provide the same level of medicrity (adequacy) to all students in the state.
Subject: The2010 Election - 2nd Congressional District
Dear Friends of New Hampshire:
Congressman Hodes has announced that he will run for the United States Senate in 2010. I am considering a run for Congress here in the Second District. I am writing to discuss some of the issues facing our nation, and to solicit your thoughts, both on political issues and my potential candidacy. Please forward this email to your friends and neighbors.
After my campaign for governor in 2002, I returned to my country legal practice, where I have enjoyed helping people with their legal issues: wills, deeds, business transactions, and resolution of disputes. It has been a wonderful time for our family, making maple syrup in our back yard, growing a large garden, and teaching our two children to play tennis. But as I watched our country go seriously off the rails, I looked for an opportunity to return to pubic service. President Obama has given all of us new hope. I want to do my part to make his dreams for America come true.
These past few months have been an exciting time for Democrats, with the election of stronger Democratic majorities in the US House and Senate, and the election and inauguration of President Obama. Recent votes in Washington, though, demonstrate that Republicans are already preparing for the 2010 election. I believe the key to another Democratic victory is a platform that is fiscally responsible, economically sound, socially progressive, and grounded in American values.
Each part of this formula—fiscal responsibility, sound economics, social progress, and basic values--will be crucial in the next election.
Republicans are trying to position themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility. We need to point out the truth. During the past fifty years, only two presidents have balanced the federal budget— Lyndon Johnson in his last year, and Bill Clinton in his last two years. No Republican president has come close. Our economy is now in crisis because of a mountain of debt, most of which was amassed by Republicans.
Republicans are still preaching voodoo economics. Their policy of huge tax cuts for the wealthy, paid for with huge deficit borrowing, has been an utter failure. Their prescription, incredibly enough, is more tax cuts. We are all concerned about the level of federal borrowing for the stimulus plan, but increased federal spending is the right thing to do when a crisis of confidence has caused the private sector to cut its spending by 5-10%. Without government intervention, our economy will shrink 10%, and we will face a depression. It took the Republicans eight years to get us into this mess. It will take time to work our way out of it.
The election of Barack Obama has re-established America as the land of equality and opportunity, vaulting us ahead of other developed nations. How long will it be before the UK elects a prime minister of Pakistani descent, or France elects a president or prime minister of Arab descent? As America moves towards a post-racial society, there is still much work to do to ensure equality for all. The Republicans did us a favor when they opposed the Lilly Ledbetter bill, which allows people to sue for gender discrimination in the workplace within a reasonable time after the discrimination is discovered. In that debate, Democrats talked about people and equality. Republicans fumed about trial lawyers. So long as we keep talking about equality and opportunity, we will be able to move this nation forward.
This brings me to values. Democrats have often been too reluctant to talk about values. I believe there are American values that cut across party lines and unite us as a people, and these values should drive our politics.
Americans are community-minded. We understand that a community takes care of the least fortunate. In New Hampshire, we have had a law requiring care for the indigent since the 1600s. But our adherence to this principle is incomplete. If you are poor and hungry, food stamps are there to help. If you are poor and homeless, a partnership of public and private shelters will provide you a roof. But if you are sick, too ‘rich’ for Medicaid, and too poor to afford care, you are out of luck, there is no safety net. It is time for our country to have universal health insurance, so that we can be the compassionate community we have always strived to be. Universal health insurance is also a wise move, because a healthy nation is stronger both socially and economically.
We value fairness. And yet, under our tax code, a middle income person faces an income tax rate of 25%, while a person who manages a hedge fund, or makes a profit in the stock market, is taxed at 15%.
We believe in the free enterprise system, which is the source of our nation’s success and dynamism. At the same time, we understand that completely unregulated markets lead to many ills, including child labor, pollution, adulterated food, unsafe work conditions, and risky investments that endanger our economy. Government regulation has resulted in a huge increase in our quality of life over the past century, even as we enjoyed unprecedented growth. We must resist those who, ignorant of history and the cost of ‘laissez-faire economics,’ blandly call for ‘less government.’
We value common sense. Laws and regulations should be constantly re-examined to make sure they are achieving their objectives without needless complication. Our tax code cries out for reform. In 1986, Sen. Bill Bradley successfully led the fight for a major simplification of the tax code. It is time to do that job again.
We are a hopeful, optimistic people who invest in the future. Our nation and our world face environmental threats and challenges that put our future at risk. We need to make investments now in renewable energy, infrastructure and basic science to ensure a brighter future.
We believe in democracy, but we have a political system that is beholden to money. The Obama campaign’s fundraising success has not carried over to the rest of the system. Senators and members of Congress spend too much time raising money, rather than governing. Once elected, there is too often a quid pro quo between donations and legislation. We need to severely limit the amount of contributions that PACs can make to candidates, and the contributions the wealthy can make to PACs. We also we need to offer the option of public financing of Senate and Congressional races, so that our candidates can spend their time campaigning, and our elected officials can govern free of the influence of money.
There are many other issues I would like to talk about—I am pro-choice, pro-union, an environmentalist (and recycler and organic gardener)-- but I have gone on too long already. I hope I have given you a sense of the approach I would bring to a campaign and to Congress—thoughtful, thorough, and grounded in values. I would also bring the experience of three contested primaries and four contested general elections, at both the state senate and gubernatorial level.
If you have the time and the inclination, please contact me with your thoughts about this letter, and my potential run for Congress.
243 Spring Hill Road
Sharon, NH 03458