Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meet Bill Durston (D-CA), A Democrat Who Wants To Rescue The Real Victims Of The Bush Economic Miracle, Not A Bunch Of Wall Street Predators


The Bush Regime's plan to stave off what Bush insists is systemic economic catastrophe hasn't been sufficiently explained to Congress or the American people. Instead they tried shock and awe. That's why it failed yesterday. We've attacked right wing goons like John Shadegg (R-AZ), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Robin Hayes (R-NC), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Ric Keller (R-FL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Tim Walberg (R-MI) for irresponsibility when they voted NO, at the same time we were praising solid progressives like Donna Edwards (D-MD), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Pete DeFazio (D-CA) for having the foresight and courage to vote NO. They are introducing legislation today to improve the bill and make it a bill to rescue the real victims of the Bush Economic Miracle. (Of all these suggestions from progressive economists, Brad DeLong's is the best.)

Bill Durston is a decorated Marine combat Vietnam Veteran who volunteered to serve his country at the height of the Vietnam War. His opponent Dan Lungren, now a far right extremist and Bush rubber stamp, tried everything to avoid serving in the military and his daddy (who was Nixon's personal doctor) got a 4-F medical deferment for him so he could avoid going to war (even though Lungren was all gung-ho about it). Lungren is still a true "chickenhawk" today as he continues to oppose any timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Bill's position on Iraq: "As a U.S. congressman, I will not vote for any further funding for military operations in Iraq that is not tied to a prompt, orderly, and complete withdrawal of U.S. forces."
Bill's an Emergency Room Physician in Sacramento and has lived in the 3rd Congressional District for over 25 years. Bill is the past President of the Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. 
Bill ran for Congress against Dan Lungren in 2006 and lost to Lungren by nearly the same percentage as McNerney lost to Pombo in McNerney's first run for Congress (2004). The congressional districts also had nearly the same voter registration percentages. In 2006, the Republicans had a nearly 7% voter registration advantage in the 3rd CD. Today it has been cut nearly in half at about 3.5% with 18% Declined-to-state. This is definitely a winnable district if we are able to get the word out about Bill.
The Democratic presidential candidates received over 7,000 more votes in the Feb. primary than the Republican candidates did in CD3. The voters of the 3rd CD have voted for candidates with "Democratic" after their name before (Feinstein won this district in 2006) and we believe they will do it again for both Obama and Durston in November!
Yesterday, Lungren voted to give $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer money to the financial industry with almost no oversight or accountability.  It just happens that Lungren has taken over $475,000 from the Banking/Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industry over the last 3 campaign cycles. Do you wonder why he wants to give them free money?  Bill opposes the free giveaway to Wall Street.. This is the OpEd Bill wrote about the bailout plan last week. Last night we asked Bill to explain his position on the Bush Regime's proposal and tell us why solid progressives are opposing it.

Solving the Financial Crisis-- First Do No Harm
By Bill Durston, M.D.

Representative Dan Lungren, a career politician in virtual lock step with the Bush-Cheney Administration, voted as expected on HR 3997, the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street-- against the interests of his constituents in California’s 3rd Congressional District, and in the interests of his wealthy corporate donors. Having taken $25,000 in contributions from the American Banker’s Association Political Action Committee since 2004, Lungren’s “Yes” vote on the Wall Street bail out came as no surprise.
Lungren had previously voted against the Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act, to give shareholders a vote on multi-million dollar “golden parachutes” for corporate CEO’s, and against the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, to require credit card companies to give cardholders fair notice before increasing interest rates.

I have publicly opposed the Wall Street bailout. As an Emergency Physician I can see an analogy between the practice of medicine and the practice of government. The $700 billion bailout plan violates the principle of “First, do no harm.” Increasing the national debt by another $700 billion will further reduce the value of the dollar, worsen inflation, and put the federal government itself at greater risk of bankruptcy.
Another principle in the practice of medicine which should also apply to government is that of informed consent. Before undergoing a major operation, a patient has the right to an objective discussion of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the proposed surgery. In the case of the bailout for the financial industry, we’ve heard very little from economic experts about the risks, a very vague discussion of the benefits, and virtually nothing about reasonable alternatives.
I certainly don't advocate that Congress sit idly by during the financial crisis. Instead of bailing out financial institutions that engaged in corporate greed and unsound business practices, the government should provide more help to honest people who were victimized by predatory lending practices, reinstitute sensible regulations on the financial industry, and look at other ways to rebuild the American economy, including redirecting the massive human and financial resources that are being wasted on war toward more constructive uses.


Bill was just added to the DownWithTyranny ActBlue page today, only the third candidate this cycle. The first 20 contributors this week of at least $20 will get a thank you note from DWT with Quixotic, the two-disc new CD release by Matt Keating.

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At 6:56 PM, Blogger Alex Higgins said...

Fight the Wall Street Bailout

This bailout is nothing but bad news. There is no real crisis, the market sell of is a result of fear mongering by President Bush

The bill allows for foreign banks to dump all of their bad assets into American banks, who can in turn sell the debt to the treasury.



Congress will meet again tomorrow to vote on a revised version of the bill.


It allows foreign banks from Nation Like China and England to transfer an unlimited amount of bad debt to be transferred to our tax bill.


Please contact your congress men. Call them, fax them, email and tell them no way before its too late.

Visit blog.alexanderhiggins.com to learn how to help

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Lungren is one of the bozos who voted for the bill. He doesn't give a damn about the folks in his District. Thanks for letting us know about Dr. Durston and his views.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lungren ( Ca-CD3) has sold out to big oil, big pharma, and big real estate already..so why not Wall Street? Lungren, former lobbyist turned carpetbagger, told a constituent recently at a townhall infomercial that" I am not in office to help you with your problems"..say what.. Throw the bum out and help elect Dr Bill Durston decorated combat Marine veteran and Emergency Room Physician!!

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Bill Durston is in touch with the district... and Lungren is out of touch. It is as simple as that. Bill cares about people, as his work as an ER doctor and with PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility) shows. Bill is not trying to make a career out of politics, he is trying to make a difference. Go Durston!

Oh, I would definitely check out the TV ads he has running in the district right now. They can be found on his website: Durston for Congress

At 9:13 AM, Blogger admin said...

The Doctor's in the house! It's time for Lungren and his arrogant attitude to head back down to SoCal where he can spend all his time "doing business by the pool". We need a representative that actually cares about the voters in this district. Dr. Bill Durston is the Prescription for Change that this district needs!

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have the opportunity this year to replace a right-wing Republican with a solid progressive, Dr. Durston. The Durston Campaign needs support in the form of volunteers and contributions. Now, before the absentee ballots go out, is a good time to act.

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bailout is just plain wrong! People need to be responsible for borrowing beyond their means and banks and financial corporations (and businesses in general) need to deal with the consequences of bad practices and decisions.

It's high time our representatives spoke for us instead of special and business interests! Think about who really will feel the effects of the bailout plan.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand Dan Lungren... he doesn't represent me or anyone I know in the district.

I've written him countless letters and all I ever get back is the "Why I love George W. Bush and his policies..." form letter.

Throw Lungren out of Congress and elect someone who has his head on straight like Bill Durston.

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Durston wants to be our congressman and what scares me is he does not even take the time to understand how congress works. First, lets look at what Bill Durston said:

“The (Sac Bee) op-ed states,” says Durston, “‘Lungren opposed the original Bush administration [bailout] proposal because it gave too much authority to the treasury secretary….” But, Lungren actually “voted for the original bailout proposal, HR 3997, which failed to pass by a vote of 205-228 on September 29, 2008.”

Second, let’s look five quotes from Nancy Pelosi’s Sep 29 press release about HR 3997:

“Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.”

“Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.”

“Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.”

“And should this program not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.”

“These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.”

“This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.”

The treasury secretary’s proposal was 3 pages long and Lungren opposed this. HR 3997 was 110 pages long, clearly authored by congress led by democrats, Lungren did vote for this, and it did not pass the House. Another point of interest is Lungren reached across the aisle on HR 3997 and voted with Matsui, Pelosi, Tausher, Lofgren to name a few California Dem reps. FYI - what did pass was HR 1424 which basically is HR 3997 packaged with other tax cuts.

I can see why the Sac Bee did not endorse Bill Durston. You do not deserve to be elected to Congress when you do not understand how congress works and cannot correctly explain the legislative process. I think I would fall asleep just like the Sac Bee editors if you do not correctly depict what is going on in the real world. I am also positive threatening to cancel your subscription and bad mouth the paper will not help either…


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