Some of you may not have heard of Mike Pence - a Congressman who thinks he would make a good VP candidate for McCain. Of course, if I said to you that Mike Pence was the man who accompanied John McCain on the intimate Baghdad market stroll with hundreds of their closest military friends, then you would probably remember who his is, and how out of step he is with reality.
Luckily, long term Daily Kos community member Barry Welsh is running against him for Indiana’s 6th Congressional seat. In 2006, despite a late entry into the race, a red state and a red district and only around $50,000 in funding, Barry put a scare into Pence. But this time around, Barry has gotten more funding, more experience and is looking to knock Pence into retirement.
We had the chance to interview Barry a few times in the past, first at last summer’s Yearly Kos, and he is as nice as he is passionate when it comes to American values and progressive ideals.
Here is a bit of background about Barry’s Pledge to his District (from his campaign website):
I pledge that I will always remember that The American Dream is not just about economics; it is also about ethics. We must all remember that The American Dream is about prosperity, but is also about rights, laws, and freedom.
I pledge to propose an increase in the minimum wage of $1.00 in the first year, and .50 in the next year. Americans deserve a living wage. The workers of America have been taken advantage of for too long. Adjusted for inflation, the current minimum wage is 26% lower today than it was in 1979. It is time that average people get the same representation in Washington that only the wealthy are now enjoying. I pledge to be that representative.
I pledge that I will fight to put America back to work. I will author legislation that immediately rescinds NAFTA and CAFTA. We must not allow any more jobs to leave our shores. We can make more than just debt in America, and we should! I want Made in America to mean what it used to mean and what it should mean ... the best!
I pledge that I will never privatize Social Security. With pension scandals like IPALCO, ENRON, and WORLDCOM, and with corporations threatening, and dissolving retirement plans, it is imperative that we guarantee the safety net of Social Security, which was put in place after a great crash of the stock market. The solvency of the Social Security System can be guaranteed simply by raising the cap from the current $90,000.00 maximum and insuring that no moneys are diverted from the Social Security Trust. I pledge to support such a plan.
I pledge to begin a graduated redeployment of our troops out of Iraq, beginning with the National Guard and Reserve. This will allow the re-intensification of the real war on terror, focusing on the search for Osama Bin Laden and stateless terrorists. I pledge my continued support of the strongest and best Military force in the world. Their benefits should never be cut, and they should never go into battle under-equipped or without absolute just cause.
I pledge to fight corruption. I will author and/or support legislation that limits the amount of money a Federal campaign can spend per election cycle. Trying to limit campaign financing has not worked, so we must limit spending and create fair, equal, and honest elections. We must also tether the influence of money channeled through lobbyists. I will author legislation stating that former Senators and Representatives, spouses, direct family members and staff members will have the choice of their pension and benefits, or a job lobbying after they leave office, and can have either, but not both. They may have other employment, but may not be a registered lobbyist. Logs of all meetings between Senators, Representatives, senior staff, and lobbyists must be of public record and limited in number per year.
I pledge to work for real solutions to move America away from dependency on oil in the next ten years. Televisions, computers, and cell phones, have all evolved rapidly over the past ten years. If we honestly applied our ingenuity to our transportation and energy problems, as we have our entertainment and diversionary pursuits, we could become the leader in exporting alternative energy technology and become oil-independent in the next decade. This would revitalize our economy, and guarantee our homeland security by removing dependence on foreign oil.
I pledge to work for affordable, single payer, universal healthcare. Health insurance, like Social Security Insurance, should be a right of all Americans. Medical care should not be a privilege for the rich, but rather a human right, and a moral value.
I recently posted a diary announcing a series of BlogTalkRadio interviews with Democratic Congressional candidates as furthering the majorities in Congress, especially with progressives, is a sure fire way to help our cause. Not only do I think this is a great opportunity to hear these candidates in their own words talking about their district, their campaign and the issues they hold dear, but also to keep some focus on Congress, because without more progressives in Congress who are willing to stand up and fight for the ideals that we discuss here daily, it really won?t matter if Clinton, Obama, Romney or McCain is in the White House because a progressive agenda would not even begin to be seriously discussed, nor would a right wing agenda be able to be thwarted.
Prior and upcoming interviews in this series are below:
- Gilda Reed (LA-1) - the diary about Gilda is here. The link to her interview can be found here.
- John Laesch (IL-14) - the diary about John is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Dennis Shulman (NJ-5) - The diary about Dennis is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
Upcoming interviews are as follows:
- Charlie Brown (CA-4): Tuesday February 12 at 8PM Eastern.
We also have commitments from a couple of others, but no dates set. We will keep you posted, and if there are any folks out there who work on a campaign, or know someone who is either a candidate or works on a campaign who may be interested, we would love to hear from you.
I hope you can listen live, and if not, we will be posting the interview at Heading Left, which is BlogTalkRadio’s official website for progressive internet radio and podcasts.