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.

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