Independent Congressional Candidate Peter Bearse spent time walking to earn contributions to reduce hunger while his opponent, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, was voting along with Nancy Pelosi to feed pigs. Peter shared a “Crop Walk” with dozens of others yesterday in Hampstead. Rep. Shea-Porter voted for an agriculture bill laden with subsidies for rich farmers, a bill that the Union-Leader and other media labeled as “feeding pigs.”
This contrast illustrates what voters can expect if they choose a party animal playing party games instead of an independent candidate who would help them make a difference. The choice is between feeding special interests and playing “go-along / get-along” to follow the line and leadership of a party rather than exercising independent judgment on behalf of the public interest. You can see what’s happening by looking at the overall voting record, not just the vote on a single bill. Rep. Shea-Porter has been voting 99% with her party’s leadership, 97% to follow the party line. Her likely political party opponent, Jeb Bradley, demonstrated a similar “go-along / get along” record when he was the incumbent.
The icing on the cake that Shea-Porter would feed to hungry people [Remember Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake!”] is highlighted by another contrast: The numbers of hungry people increasing while the number of people walking to relieve hunger is decreasing. Where is the activist Member of Congress in this picture? – walking the ways of Washington, not the streets of Hampstead; dialing for dollars rather than calling on people to participate [when she already has about $550,000 in the bank]. Organizers of the Crop Walk at the Congressional Church in Hampstead reported, sadly, that the number of people participating this year was less than last. Peter pledged to help get more people out for the next march against hunger -- something a Congressman should do.
During the Walk, Peter could not help but notice the number of cars whizzing by, going where, for what? Saturdays are usually the days for necessary family errands, like food shopping. Why is so much expensive gas being burned off on a Sunday? Why don’t more people spend more time at home, talking, reading and planting their gardens? Remember Liberty Gardens during World War II? Let’s bring them back, to save on the rising prices of both gas and food. After all, less food is being grown to provide a substitute for gas, and it takes a lot of gas to transport food not locally grown.
The greatness of the American Way emerges during emergencies, as in the old saying: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going. ” We rise to the occasion by helping – by self-help and helping each other. So, we can look to both reduce gas consumption and increase our food supply. Eliminate unnecessary driving and join car pools. Plant vegetables and help the hungry. So little time, so much to do, but we get things done. Comments? Share with others what you are doing to adapt in response to tough times. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or blog at www.peterbearseforcongress.com.
Released by Supporters of Peter Bearse for Congress, May 19, 2000