How will you handle pressure from members of your political party, lobbyists, and donors who may be pushing for legislation that works against the best interests of the majority of your constituents?
I, John Lewallen, am a member of Occupy Mendocino, and am running to Occupy U.S. Congress! I need the continued support of a growing Occupy movement to achieve the federal reforms we urgently need to avoid war, depression, and environmental catastrophe. Since I returned from being a refugee relief worker in the Vietnam war in 1969, I have been a writer, organizer and activist for the Peace Conversion of our economy and society. I am not controlled by corporate-dominated politicial parties, lobbyists, or donors.
Candidates are vetted and elected on the principals they espouse. I have always taken an ethical approach to campaigning. In my two council runs I refused to accept money from developers because of their desire to influence local land use decisions. This position became quite an issue during the campaign with news articles featuring candidates’ contributors.
During my time on city council, I’ve been able to weigh decisions based on what is best for all concerned. My educational background in systems theory has provided a framework for me to review information within a macro and micro context. When making decisions, I take in constituent feedback and weigh it against the best science provided and the long-term needs of the community. I call this insight.
Sometimes I am in the minority, sometimes the majority. When I’ve been in the minority, I always try to shape the decision to include my opposing view. And when in the majority, I have listened to the opposing view and considered those issues in decision-making. Local government decision-making is typically non-partisan, but has special interests. While my party affiliation best represents my principals, it is not a complete reflection of my personal experience. I call that wisdom.
The problems with decision-making in Washington stem from breakdowns of insight and wisdom over decisions made that reflect party platforms or lobbyists interests at all cost. It matters what kind of people are elected, not just what they represent through their party platforms. I come from a diverse family, both politically and culturally. My background and experience have prepared me to make a difference.
My competition will have this problem as they are heavily endorsed; I’m not. I will be endorsed by the voters alone.
I have spent my entire adult life resisting pressure from the powerful while working to help bring about progressive social change. In fact, I’ve spent weeks of my life in jail standing up for what I believe in, from anti-war activities to opposing nuclear power to challenging escalation of the nuclear arms race. I’m rooted in several decades of experience pushing back against dominant political and financial pressures. My experience also reflects how and why I realistically expect to overcome entrenched special interests to achieve real results for the 99%.
For the last four decades, I’ve worked as a policy researcher, writer, activist and organizer — as part of progressive social movements. I’ve learned how to build coalitions while challenging the entrenched power of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. I stand on principle, and I know the difference between workable compromise and capitulation. I know what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m campaigning the same way I’ll serve in Congress — meeting with and listening to people all over the North Coast, not attending fancy corporate fundraisers. I am not taking any corporate PAC money and am not beholden to corporate interests. I’ll fight for Main Street — and against Wall Street — because that’s who I am and that’s what I believe in. I can effectively occupy a seat in Congress for the 99%.
My record is as an independent thinker and strong advocate for what I believe is best for my constituents. Working with them, and doing my homework, I forge my positions on issues of the day. I have a reputation for standing up to special interests, to taking no corporate fundraising money, and taking even unpopular stands when they are right. Because of this, I have earned support from a wide variety of people in my County and the North Coast.
I have also been able to wrangle Federal funds for bike/ped paths, and to wrangle corporate money when that was needed, such as for the Marin Media Center, in working out a good deal with Comcast. I stood up to utility giant, PG & E to help bring Marin Clean Energy to our County, and this is the kind of resolve I will bring to Congress.
Well, by not being a “member” of either party. I’m registered Democratic because I can get elected that way. My politics, however, are entirely Green. My campaign is built around seven old paradigm-shattering New Green America agenda items:
1) Fight The Climate Crisis as Threat Number One. Get off Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power as Fast as Humanly Possible.
2) Rebuild America’s Infrastructure around Bioregions and Sustainability to meet all our needs as close to home as possible.
~TAX THE RICH.
~Medicare for All and Expansion of the Social Safety Net.
3) Retreat the U.S. empire. Use the military only to defend Americans and their US property.
4) End Corporate Personhood.
5) Legalize Marijuana and End the War on Drugs.
6) Prosecute the Bush administration for Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, Torture, and Murder.
7) Electoral Reform, Ranked-Choice Voting, and Paper Ballots. Public Financing of Elections. Get Corporate Money out of Elections.
I have been an activist-organizer my entire life. I have always sought out the best leaders in the world to work with such as David Brower of the Sierra Club, founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute, Mike Roselle, co-founder or founder of Earth First!, Rainforest Action Network, Ruckus Society, and Climate Ground Zero (also my top campaign advisor) and Australian John Seed, founder of the international tropical rainforest action movement. I have now worked on over 1,000 campaigns and activist projects–over 50 in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties. I have a large organizing toolkit. I’m not just going to Congress to sit on committees and pass legislation. I’ve worked with tens of thousands of people and am today in contact with about 500 of them scattered over all seven continents.
I’ll do whatever it takes. Get arrested. Lockdown at Democratic as well as Republican Congressional members’ offices. I’m willing to get arrested smoking a joint on the capital steps to defend our rights of access to our medicine.
That’s with a $10,000 Congressional campaign. Imagine what I could do with the resources and connections of a Congressman.
Essentially I’ll play power politics: gorilla warfare. Cause the apes to go nuts because their lives will become less miserable if they give me what I want than if they fight me.
I have the world as a stage: internet, my own video work, social networks, grassroots networks, Occupy Wall Street. The BBC considers me a World Historic Figure as the World’s First Genetically-Modified Crop Thrasher (the world’s first GMO monkeywrencher). We pulled up strawberry plants that were to be sprayed with a GMO microbe called Frostban. I organized a campaign that used every type of organizing we could come up with: attending company presentations and challenging them; press releases and our own press conferences in the test town and at company headquarters, collected ⅓ of the town’s signatures, filled a lawsuit, wrote state legislation to require liability coverage for all such tests––which would have prevented all tests because those liability coverage costs would be prohibitive; got weeks of Bay Area TV coverage on every TV network… and then we hit the test site.
The company went bankrupt because the investors thought we would never give up. There were going to be 30 or more such tests of GMO microbes in the next two years. But thanks to our campaign, there have been no more tests anywhere on Earth ever since: 25 years!
I’m calling for a monthly Occupation of Congress. Surround Congress every month.
Losing is not an option. We’re fighting for our children’s and grandchildren’s’ very lives. I’m not going to mess around.
I’m independent of political parties to avoid this very important issue. The Democrats and Republicans agree on the big issues: war, economy, health care, justice, environment, etc. They only differ on the religious “values” issues. So voting for either a Democrat or Republican is a vote for no change. Obama has made this very clear. They say doing the same thing over and over and expecting a change is a sign of insanity, so voting for a Democrat or Republican and expecting a change in the big issues is insanity.
It only takes a small number of independent Congress persons to make a huge change in Congress. It does not take anywhere near a majority, just enough to break the grid lock caused by the almost equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
Constructing Public Opinion: How Politicians and the Media Misrepresent the Public a documentary by Media Education Fund
Full Length: http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=106
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I am one of the few Republican candidates who refuses to sign a pledge never to raise taxes, because I believe in being open-minded and accessible to people across the political spectrum. I do believe that excessive spending is the main cause of run-away budget deficits, but I would preserve vital programs such as quality education and sometimes vote in favor of school bond issues, such a Proposition D on Cotati’s June 5, 2012 ballot. In my current campaign I am spending only 10% as much as the other Republican in the 2nd CD race, and nearly all of this comes from myself and my wife. Although I supported Governor Ronald Reagan on issues such as tax reduction and redistricting reform, I opposed his 1968 Presidential candidacy and organized the Free Choice delegation (which led Reagan’s slate 47% to 42%, until we lost our spot on the ballot on account of a discriminatory ballot access law which has since been repealed). I opposed the Vietnam War because our side was not supported by a majority of the Vietnamese people. I believe we should have lived up the President Franklin Roosevelt’s commitment not to support the re-imposition of French colonialism after Ho Chi Minh’s forces fought against the Japanese in World War II. I also believe that we should not have supported a South Vietnamese Dictator in his refusal to hold the free elections to reunify Vietnam, which were agreed upon in the 1954 Geneva accords which ended the fighting with the French in Indochina. I supported Pete McCloskey’s challenge to President Nixon’s re-nomination in 1972 and was the organizing Chairman of his California delegate slate. When it became obvious that Richard Nixon was obstructing justice in the Watergate cover-up, I opposed his re-election in the 1972 General Election. I played a key role in the defeat of an effort by the Marin County Republican Central Committee to impeach its Chairperson for having supported the Proposition 14 Open Primary Constitutional Amendment. (She was removed later after my term of office expired.) I will always support the founding principles of the Republican Party, including a strong commitment to Civil Rights. The other Republican candidate in the 2012 2nd CD race was an American Independent candidate in the 2010 6th CD election.
I’ll handle it the same way I have always handled it: by standing up for my constituents and doing the right thing regardless of who is on the other side. I am the one candidate who is tested in this regard— the only one with a record as a legislator casting votes and making policy decisions in the face of constant lobbying pressure. The result is a record that speaks for itself, including a perfect 100% career voting score with the Consumer Federation of California, Planned Parenthood, and Congress of California Seniors, as well as a lifetime 97% record with the California Labor Federation. My environmental record is probably the strongest you will find in Sacramento, which is why I have received so many awards from leading environmental groups and won every environmental group endorsement in this race. Others talk about what they will do as a legislator, but I’ve actually proven what I’ll do.
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