Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Message to 5th District Dems

Guest blogging: Ryan Eller

Brothers and Sisters,

I deeply regret not being able to participate in last week's Democratic Issues Forum in Statesville. My fiancée is still in recovery from surgery, and although she is doing well, I could not leave her side. Over the past few years I have come to know some very good folks in Iredell County, and forums such as these are extremely necessary as we organize to defeat Virginia Foxx.

I did, however, want to chime in briefly about the future of the 5th Congressional District.

Last summer I served as a Naval officer assigned to the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune. While my congressional representative, Virginia Foxx, was claiming that all was well in Iraq, United States soldiers were struggling with the horrors of war and deciding the proper way to tell their families that they might not return home. While my fellow soldiers were fighting for their lives and psychological well being, with shoddy armor and inadequate rest, Virginia Foxx was working behind the scenes to spend $400,000 on a teapot museum.

Virginia Foxx remains one of only 11 members of Congress to have voted against funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Just after her vote, Foxx sent out a mass mailing (at taxpayer expense) claiming that she voted against this bill because there was not enough accountability built into the legislation. This, even though she refuses to hold the Bush administration accountable for the billions of dollars that are unaccounted for in Iraq.

As a minister, I find it truly hard to watch Virginia Foxx brush off the deepest moral issues of our day: genocide in the Sudan, global warming, and systemic poverty. Time and time again, Virginia Foxx and the Bush administration have abandoned the common good in favor of ideologically driven politics.

That's why it does not surprise me that Virginia Foxx's staff has already begun to use scare tactics and lies in an attempt to thwart any formidable candidate from running against her in 2008. When Foxx's Chief of Staff (whom she pays over $130,000 per year) heard that I myself was considering running against the congresswoman, he sent warnings that he would "bury me and ruin my reputation forever."

Rest assured that Congresswoman Foxx will continue to do whatever she can to put fear in us, because it is only when we are scared that we can be controlled.

As Democrats we do have issues in the 5th Congressional district. Our manufacturing jobs continue to go out overseas while economic development lags in our area. Our educational systems continue to be under-funded. Our health care continues to be unaffordable. Our gas prices continue to soar. Global warming is on the cusp of changing our economy (ski resorts and Christmas tree farms require a certain climate). Loggers and asphalt plants are constantly looking to move into our neighborhoods.

Foxx refused to take a stand on the clear-cutting of the national forest area near Blowing Rock. On other issues, she's deaf to our needs because she has grown completely out of touch with those she claims to represent.

We must not forget the bodies of those floating in the Katrina aftermath. We must not forget those who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (like Specialist Christopher S. Honaker of Iredell County). We must not forget those who have lost their jobs here in northwest North Carolina or those without enough money to pay for their medical expenses.

The time has come for us to organize around a candidate -- regardless of his/her age, sex, race, or creed. We must stand up together and give a voice to the voiceless, bind up the brokenhearted, and give hope to all those who have lost hope in politicians like Virginia Foxx.

God Bless,

Ryan Eller


If a candidate does emerge within the next 6-7 weeks, may I suggest that he or she (we)...

1. Find out how to appeal to a new demographic of voters
2. Focus primarily on local issues while mentioning the necessary national issues
3. Remind voters of Foxx's unethical behavior
4. Focus on Democratic Voter Performance, with extremely targeted communication
5. Have absolutely no fear -- losing is not an option for those who are struggling

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