Friday, July 21, 2017

Randy Bryce-- On The Environmental Challenges That Face Us All


Let me put the bullshit smear about Randy Bryce favoring tar sands to bed right here and now. A political operative being paid to smear Bryce in progressive circles-- something that helps no one but Ryan-- has been running around making up stories about how he was pro-tar sands pipeline and basing it on "his union was for it and he's for his union, so therefor..." The assertions didn't jibe with Randy's very vocal backing for Bernie in Wisconsin, even after his union endorsed and started working for Hillary, nor did it fit in with discussions I've had with Randy before he declared his candidacy for Paul Ryan's congressional seat. His dedication to clean energy and to an environmental agenda to fight global warming, precluded backing tar sands pipelines. Endorsements by Blue America, the Working Families Party and DFA don't go to pro-tar sands candidates.

According to a statement to DWT from Working Families Party's Wisconsin Director, Marina Dimitrijevic:
We take our candidate vetting process seriously, and especially for high office. When Randy was considering getting into the race, climate was one of many topics we covered. He's firm in his opposition to the construction of dirty energy pipelines. He also wrote in his endorsement questionnaire in support of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Who could be a better messenger to make the case for clean energy jobs instead of dirty pipeline jobs than someone like Randy?

Randy is the real deal. We don't endorse in every race, but we do when we see someone who shares our values so whole-heartedly and can win. Randy is not just any candidate. He has been involved in the Wisconsin WFP since we launched. I don't know many federal candidates who have been actively involved in building the institutions of the progressive movement than Randy.

Beating Paul Ryan is going to be an uphill battle. He'll have all the money in the world from every polluter, banker, union buster, and every other corporate interest. Our early endorsement helps make sure we have the time to build the kind of massive organization that will it will take to rival all that money.
The first time I talked to Randy about it he told me, simply that he'd "turned down 100K working in Canada on the tar sands while I was collecting unemployment because I didn’t want to make money by contributing to the project." Last night he gave me a more formal statement:
Combatting Climate change is one of my top priorities and it will be a major focus for me as a member of Congress from southeast Wisconsin. Along with that, we must immediately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by investing in clean, renewable energy. We can create millions good-paying jobs by transitioning to a clean energy economy in which windmill and solar panel construction, installation, and maintenance employ my brothers and sisters in the labor movement.

Transporting fossil fuel presents a critical, and immediate environmental danger, whether by pipeline, ship, rail, or road. We need to have strong federal standards and protections to ensure that our natural resources and public health are protected. I do not trust that the CEO’s and corporate boards care about these matters, and as a member of Congress I will be on the side of our communities when a potential hazard is identified.

I have specific concerns about alternative dirty energy projects which are becoming all too popular. For example, tar sands are an especially dirty form of oil that are all too often categorized as clean by the entities looking to profit at the expense of our health and safety. As an ironworker, I was once offered the opportunity to work on one of these tar sands projects and immediately turned it down. My first concern is always the ability to take care of my family, and I need work to do so. However, I was taught to have courage in my convictions and in order to do so-- and to set a good example for my son-- I turned down this opportunity.

I am extremely concerned about the environmental impact of fracking, which reports suggest are now causing earthquakes and contaminating ground water. I’m deeply concerned that this dirty process-- and similar dirty processes-- disrespect and deny protections to indigenous nations. We must protect treaty rights and the rights of indigenous nations as we work together to build a bigger table, at which we can all succeed.

Let’s be honest, folks running for political office all too often say the right thing and then go to the capitol and carry out the wishes of the fat cats. As I’ve told folks every day on this campaign, I pledge to not take campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry-- their executives or their political action committees. I will hold true to this as candidate for Congress, and as a Congressman, after we repeal and replace Paul Ryan, who benefits from the greed and profits of big oil and the fossil fuel industry.
Jan Schakowsky's Illinois district is very close to WI-01. In fact it was Jan who proposed the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorse Randy (which it did-- unanimously). She's known to usually favor female candidates but at a meet and greet for Randy in DC this week, she was practically in tears introducing him. "The residents of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District deserve a representative that will show up and fight for them. As a veteran, ironworker, and cancer survivor, Randy Bryce understands the challenges Wisconsinites face daily. His sleeves are rolled up and ready to work.”

Yesterday Ruben Gallego, a progressive Democrat from Phoenix also spoke up for him: "I am excited to endorse Randy Bryce for Wisconsin's first Congressional District against Speaker Paul Ryan. Randy comes from a working class background and has served his country. As a fellow veteran, I know Randy has the training, toughness, and hard work mentality to fight for the people in Wisconsin. His leadership and values are needed in Congress more, now than ever."

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At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy. Still tilting at windmills... bless you.

"folks running for political office all too often say the right thing and then go to the capitol and carry out the wishes of the fat cats."

Like you'd be able to prevent this. If you're elected you'll be about 1/2 of 1% of the less racist sect of the money party in that chamber. You'll have dick to say about what the same sect of the money party's contingent in the other chamber does. The party leadershit in both chambers will determine what gets done and they will prevent all that their donors forbid. Aside from some meaningless façade stuff, they'll openly and religiously do whatever their donors demand, and you won't be able to do shit about it.


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