UPRISING IN FLORIDA-- MEET DOUG TUDOR
Worries congressmen who voted for warrantless wiretaps violated their oaths of office
In November, 2005, it was Arkansas Democrat Marion Berry who famously referred to Florida wingnut Adam Putnam as that "Howdy Doody-looking nimrod." Back then Putnam was working hard to set up the conditions that have led to the economic collapse this country is experiencing now. The bill he was pushing and that Berry was opposing was an attempt to throw "220,000 people off food stamps, allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid beneficiaries, squeeze student lenders and cut education funding, cut aid to state child-support enforcement programs and trim farm supports."
Republicans, particularly his mentor, Tom DeLay, liked Putnam's reactionary ideas and he was brought into their House leadership. Last week he was leading the House Republicans to destroy the U.S. Constitution and arbitrarily moving away from the concept of the rule of law. Nazi Germany didn't go from a democratic republic to a fascist dictatorship in one night. It took many years of hard work by politicians exactly like Adam Putnam to bring that about.
Yesterday, DWT contacted Doug Tudor, a twenty year naval veteran who has decided to challenge Putnam is his central Florida bastion east of Tampa. Formerly a strong Democratic district, dispirited Democrats didn't even bother running a candidate in 2006. Tudor is shaking up politics in Polk County, not by trying to echo Republican talking points but by presenting a clear and powerful alternative, the alternative Americans want to hear. Predictably, the cowardly Democratic Establishment, which prefers Republican-lite candidates, is trying to ignore his grassroots race. Tudor, who traveled to Iraq over 30 times, has been endorsed by Democracy for America. His politics are strongly progressive across the board. He wants to end the war in Iraq. He defends a woman's right to choice. He would never support inequality for any Americans and he supports the equal rights for gay men and women. He knows Bush will never end the war and in his campaign speeches he calls on Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Florida Senator Bill Nelson to end the war. I had a feeling he might have something to say about warrantless wiretapping and retroactive immunity. He did:
“On five occasions during my Navy career, I raised my hand and affirmed ‘to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.’ Members of Congress take a similar oath. I believe that those members who voted in favor of HR 6304 did so in violation of their oath of office. I would have voted against this bill.”
Another central Florida Democrat campaigning on a platform of progressive reform, Alan Grayson, is coming from a similar perspective. He is also running against a Bush rubber stamp happy to trade away our liberties for campaign contributions from Telecoms, Ric Keller. (Putnam scooped up $12,500 from the telecoms this year and Keller sold his vote for about half that-- $6,000.) Grayson is confident that Americans are as angered by this betrayal as he is. "If they really want to know what the American People are saying and thinking, there's no need to spy on us. All they have to do is read the newspaper headlines on Nov. 5."