I wanted to make everyone aware of a truly amazing man who is running for Congress in 2006 in NY state and who needs all the support he can get. Les Roberts was the most inspirational professor I've ever had (at the Hopkins school of public health). He has worked in every major humanitarian relief effort in past few decades, from the war in Congo to the Rwandan genocide. Most recently, he published a defying article in the journal The Lancet, where he went to Iraq and used scientific methods to estimate civilian mortality - something this administration has claimed is "impossible" to be done.
In order to have access to serious campaign funds he needs to raise $100,000, so I'd like to call on you to read a little more about him (see links below), spread the word, and help out, if you can.Links:
Campaign website: www.lesroberts2006.com
Interview on Democracy Now:
Summary of Lancet article (with links to full text):
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673604174412/abstract Many thanks!
Les Roberts is running against 12th-term Republican incumbent Sherwood Boehlert in New York's 24th district, the type of district Democrats can and must win if they are to take back the House in 2006. According to the National Journal, Boehlert's district is a half-rural/half-urban district that leans Republican. If you remember 1994, Republicans were particularly successful in their efforts to unseat moderate Democrats in Democratic-leaning districts
Sherwood Boehlert's interest group ratings indicate that he is a moderate Republican and, like Chris Shays in CT, he often refers to himself as a moderate. But, like Shays, he actually Boehlert's follows Tom DeLay's lead most of the time. Unfortunately, Democrats have never been able to mount a credible campaign against Boehlert. In 2004, Democratic candidate Jeffrey Miller spent $34 thousand to Boehlert's $1.5 million. Boehlert won that election with 57% of the vote. George W. Bush, however, only took 53% of the vote in Boehlert's district. While I don't have poll numbers for NY's 24th district, given the trend in Bush's approval rating in even the reddest of the states, it is safe to assume that Bush's approval is below 50% in that district.
So far, all I know about Les Roberts is from reading his website and from the strong endorsement from my friend, someone whose opinion I value. The website, which is a temporary site while his real site is under construction, doesn't offer details on his positions on every issue. But it's clear from reading about him and his priorities that he is someone progressives should get behind.
There are several things you can do to help Les Roberts unseat Sherwood Boehlert:
1) Donate to his campaign. Electoral politics is odd in the sense that you have to have money in order to raise money. If everybody here gave $5 Les Roberts would be on his way to raising the initial amount he needs.
2) If you live in or near NY's 24th district, sign up as a campaign volunteer.
Winning the House next year won't be easy--districts have been redrawn in the past two redistricting cycles in such a way that they are now either solidly Democratic or solidly Republican. We need to take advantage of the few leaning districts out there if we want to make Nancy Pelosi the first woman to ever be elected Speaker of the House.
Thanks for reading--now let's see those credit cards!