Saturday, November 17, 2007

Congressman John Hall Not So Green?

As we close in on Congressman John Hall's first year in office, he has been a more than a sterling dissappointment to the grassroots who got him elected. If his campaign donor list is any kind of and example, it is once again time to RETAKE 19. At least we knew what we got with Sue Kelly, but with John Hall, his supposed GREEN is not as Red, White and Blue as he led us to believe.

Green Anti-Nuclear Environmental Congressman John Hall-NOT SO GREEN

Rah, Rah elect John Hall, if he can't close Indian Point, no one can. We all remember those heady days on the campaign trail last fall when our GREEN GUY, John Hall was going up against Sue Kelly. Setting aside the whole impeachment issue, lets focus in on his promise to Close Down Indian Point. He has not exactly been delivering on that promise, and that should be of some great concern to those who got him elected.

A couple weeks back, all hell broke loose when this blog DARED attack our GREEN HERO in Washington. Some quietly behind closed doors agreed with us, but said he was the best we had, and that maybe we needed to give him the BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. You know, the old "He's just a freshman, he means well, and maybe some of his mistakes are nothing more than that, growing pains as he FINDS HIMSELF. So, I decided to follow my own advice, and FOLLOW THE MONEY...the trail is very disturbing.

1. John Hall, under the guise of being PRO-LABOR has been taking quite a bit of money from the very unions that harrass the grassroots at NRC meetings, and are openly very pro-nuclear and very supportive of granting Entergy their requested license renewal. These include:

Operating Engineers Union Pro Nuclear, with direct ties to CASEnergy which is funed by none other than NEI has donated $10,500 to John Hall.

Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $9,000

Plumbers/Pipefitters Union $6,000

Carpenters & Joiners Union Who regularly FLOOD NRC meetings with their membership to intimadate those against License Renwal have donated $5,000

Now, it is obvious that some might say it is unfair to hold John Hall to these high standards, so I took the liberty of looking into some of his other donors, and many of them are NOT SO GREEN once you get past the pretty veneer. A couple of these include:

The Blackstone Group-one of their holdings is Allied Waste Industries. As the old saying goes, you are as green as where you invest your money. We can argue about how clean waste haulers are, so will let everyone do their own research of various and assorted violations.

Then we have the Renco Group, and rather than address this issue myself, shall share what is found on Wikipedia. This is not the kind of donor one would think Congressman John Hall would be courting.

Renco Group
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Renco Group is a holding company controlled by Ira Rennert. It owned AM General, maker of the Hummer SUV, until a recent deal handed control to Rennert's neighbor, Ronald Perelman. Another Renco subsidiary, U.S. Magnesium, is accused of polluting the Great Salt Lake, and other Renco companies are accused of pollution in Missouri. The Renco Group owns mills and mines around the United States and in South America. Pollution problems at the company's properties have sparked public outcries, environmental lawsuits, and hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental penalties and fines.

Not sure the Grassroots can afford Congressman John Hall's brand of environmental stewardship.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

John Hall's Betrayal Launches a Movement? Time Will Tell.

Thought it only appropriate to share the story as written, share the straw that for me broke the camel's back.

Has Anti Nuclear Rocker John Hall Sold His Soul To Nuclear Devil?

Making news all over America in the past couple of weeks was the reemergence of MUSE as stalwarts in the music industry Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and others launched a new movement to stop the $50 Billion Loan guarantees slated for the Commercial Nuclear Industry as they push for a Nuclear Renaissance here in America. With great fanfare a petition drive was launched, complete with a new web site and organization as Congressman John Hall's friends in the music industry rode into town on their white steeds. ( It was a start, and many of us in the anti nuclear movement were anxiously awaiting ACT II...would MUSE finally do something to oppose the wrongful license renewal of 104 again reactors such as Entergy's aging Indian Point? Would the music industry step up to bat, and beat back a wrongful Nuclear Renaissance, oppose the license renewal of trouble plagued plants, and oppose all new build applications being filed with the many questions as we enjoyed the new video, as 120,000 anti nuclear folk poured out of the wood work to rush off and sign the petition!

The movement seemed to stumble at a Press Conference when everyone but Jackson Browne seemed to stumble...the most noticeable stumble came from Congressman John Hall, perhaps the most NOTABLE Anti Nuclear musician of his time, who ran on the promise of CLOSING DOWN INDIAN POINT. When asked if he would SUPPORT Pro-Nuclear Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama if they win the nod to carry the Democratic banner, he said he would support them! WHAT! wait a minute, say it ain't so John!

Whispers rushed through the grassroots here in New York, telephones rang as conversations on this revelation began...with a certain sadness the consensus seemed to be that John Hall had to play politics, and was just doing what he had to do to keep his ducks in a row inside the beltway. With tears in our eyes, and a bit of doubt in our hearts, it was decided to give John Hall the benefit of the doubt. After all, he is only a Freshman, and besides, LOOK at what he is making happen with MUSE...120,000 signatures is NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT. Further, he, Nita Lowey and Maurice Hinchey are all in favor of shutting down Indian Point, they have told us so, have stated they are against NUCLEAR ENERGY.

Shaken, but reassured, we moved forward, taking solace in Jackson Browne's comments, and the incredible list of Music Titans who had signed onto the petition such as Herbie Hancock, Musician/Activist, David Crosby, Musician/Activist, Pearl Jam, Musicians/Activists and even Melissa Etheridge. Even more assuring at the time was the fact that long time environmentalist and anti nuclear legend Paul Harvey was in charge of the new web site.

Imagine the resurgence in our ranks as we began believing we had friends in high places who were TRUE TO OUR CAUSE, would carry our anti nuclear message into the Halls of Congress, work with us to stop the wrongful license renewal of trouble plagued nuclear reactors like Indian Point, Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim, Diablo Canyon and others.

Then, the other shoe dropped when I was reading and article today about the Defense Appropriations bill passed by Congress for 2008. The House-passed measure that would require the Navy to make its future fleet of surface combatants nuclear powered. WHAT? OH MY FREAKING GOD, a major expansion of nuclear propulsion cruising around the worlds oceans! Thinking it was a mistake, I ran off to do some research into the bill. H.R. 1585--110th Congress (2007): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, (database of federal legislation)

Sure as God makes little green apples it was true! From hence forth if the Congress has its way, all Naval ships will be floating Nuclear Reactors! My first thought was, "Does John Hall know about this?" My second thought was, "How did our anti nuclear members of Congress (Lowey, Hinchey and John Hall) vote on this? OH MY FREAKING GOD! All three members supported this bill, voted in favor of AN ALL NUCLEAR NAVY!

Such a vote, showing support for a bill that calls for a all Nuclear Navy is nothing short of treason to the Nuclear Movement. The very people we are counting on to help close down Indian Point, to stop the plants leaking of tritium and strontium 90 into the Hudson River voted to have all future war ships powered by nuclear reactors!

Are Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby and Harvey Wasserman aware of this betrayal? Stay tuned as the Green Nuclear Butterfly investigates this story further.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Retake 19 Is Exploring New Political Alternatives to John Hall

A little over a year ago, I was immersed in the campaign to get John Hall elected to Congress. In three days, it will be exactly one year since the night we made that goal happen. So, it is with some sadness that I take the first steps in putting Retake 19 into play, but feel as if there is no other choice.

Early on, there were signs that the bloom was off the rose, that John Hall the person we all had grown to love was different as a politician. On election night, his appearance among us, the grassroots that got him elected, was scripted. Then, shortly after his acceptance speech he was whisked away from us all too soon by large hulking pushy thugs acting as his personal body guards. After hiding behind curtains on his cell phone for quite some time he abruptly left the building without so much as a how do you do.

The next major warning sign came when he chose, of all people, Darren Rigger to be the staff member that would go to Orientation in Washington, DC. Needless to say, this was a serious SLAP IN THE FACE for those who had worked months to get John Hall elected. Darren Rigger had lost in the primary to John Hall, partially because of his wessel like approach to politics. He's and operator, someone that strikes you as a smoke filled back room deal maker and knuckle buster. There were grumblings, but the Grassroots stayed quiet, took a wait and see attitude.

Then came the announcements of about cronism and political payback. You would have through that Senator Schumer and Congressman Maurice Hinchey has personally made all the decisions of who would be going to Washington with John Hall. The grassroots who carried John Hall into office were completely ignored. When inquiries were made, we were told that we just did not have the right presense for a Freshman Congressman trying to carve out his niche in the halls of Congress, and to just be patient. OUCH!

As months passed, problem after problem appeared on the horizon, but as the old saying goes, we for the most part kept our powder dry. John Hall's promises of bringing our troops home gone as he took a seat on the Veteran's Committee. The rattling of swords and promises of Impeachment quickly taken off the table, and the most troubling of all, John Hall did not appear to be as active and helpful as we had hoped he would be in Closing Indian Point...still, everyone cautioned patience, reminded us that John Hall after all was only a Freshman, and had to play the game to some degree.

Naively, I allowed myself to be convinced that it was not in the best interest of John Hall's political career for me to have my Congressman John Hall Blog appearing in the top five search when you Googled his name, allowed myself to be talked into taking said blog down. No sense in crying over spilt milk as they say.

As in most cases though, there comes a time when the proverbial straw breaks the camels back...that moment for me occurred earlier today when I learned that John Hall voted in favor of the Defense Appropriations Bill for 2008. That fact in and of itself would not have been enough to break the camels back, but one small paragraph in the bill is. We in the grassroots community believed in and supported John Hall because he was ONE OF US, was Anti Nuclear, and wanted to shut down Indian Point. Anti Nuclear was, simply stated a major part of his campaign, included in the Congressional version of the Defense Appropriations Bill is a singular paragraph that calls for all future naval warships to be powered by nuclear reactors!

Such a vote cast by John Hall, a vote that supports what amounts to the largest Military/Commercial Subsidy ever awarded goes far beyond breaking a simple campaign promise. It betrays the very heart and soul of who John Hall presents himself as being. That vote not only makes it impossible to support John Hall, but leaves me no choice but to look for a new voice to speak for District 19 in Washington, DC. It is for this reason that Retake 19 is being taken out of the garage and launched on this the 4th of November, 2007.

Over the next few weeks, the necessary steps will be taken to put up the necessary vehicles to have a say in the 2008 Congressional Campaign.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reserving the name Retake 19

This blog created to preserve and lay claim to the name Retake 19. Two primary reasons for this name protection are:

1. Take 19 was instrumental in unseating Sue Kelly, and putting New york's 19th Congressional District back in Democrats hands. Knowing the Republicans are not above anything, can see them trying to steal the concept, using the basic premise of Take 19 in trying to win back the seat in 2008. For that reason, feel it imperiative that Grass Roots activist like myself preserve a name we may need at some future date and time in supporting another candidate when and if it becomes necessary to field a candidate other than John Hall...for instance, an Independent or Green Party candidate in light of Entergy's efforts to relicense Indian Point.

2. Retake 19 will be upgraded to a PAC (political action committee) should this Grass Roots activist feel a need to support other political candidates.