Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jackie Speier's Hollow Candidacy

I use Gmail, and frequently see ads for Mike Huckabee, Mike Bloomberg, and Jackie Speier. It appears that they are all working to improve their campaigns, but Ms. Speier is not running a national one. She's running for Congress in California.

Her ads have shown up for 3 months now, and still her issues pages state "coming soon." This is her entire issues summed up: She's against the war. The war is destroying the American economy. Something must be done about health-care. Better access to student loans.

That's it. Oh, and she's a Democrat. She's vague. But she's fund-raising nationwide using the internet. Big on hype, little on substance. That reminds me of the technology hype of Silicon Valley, movie and music hype of Hollywood, political hype of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and housing hype where homes cost over $500,000. Greens there endorsed Ralph Nader by large numbers, while the rest of America's Greens prefer Cynthia McKinney. Sounds like California to me.

It's good to be a little different and stand out. But what do you stand for? And how effective will you be if you have all hype but no substance (Speier) - or too much substance but little support (Nader)?

I have e-mailed her campaign several times, and have received no reply. I have called her campaign's phone number ( (650) 347-4370 ) and left voice mails twice. When I receive a reply, I will post it - because my focus was on issues and not "what will Jackie's hair look like at the rally? I prefer curly hair.." or other such drivel.

Ms. Speier's campaign reflects current American politics - little on substance and a lot of hype. When asked the tough questions, they prefer to be on both sides of the issue - assuming they answer the question. At a time when America needs serious leadership, we get power-hungry phantoms who prefer to look at the latest poll in deciding what to support and how. Put your finger in the wind and seek the direction of least resistance.

What true leader will stand up and say that America's heading for bankruptcy? Where will solutions to Peak Oil and Global Warming come from if no leader states bluntly that we should stop using energy excessively - and put teeth in legislation to make it happen. "America is addicted to oil" as Bush stated back in 2005. Yet he does nothing to ameliorate our situation. People eat unhealthy foods and buy bigger digital TVs, then wonder why their health-care expenses are so high. When will a true leader tell America that on President can't change the world - that we must all do our part to make America better. And when will Americans of all political stripes band together to solve the myriad of problems facing humanity?

I am not involved in the Greens just because their values match mine. Their members actually do what they politically believe in. They are a vast combination of: vegetarians, who buy organic, garden, live carfree, subsidize wind energy, recycle, strive to live nonviolently, are community and social activists, and won't keep quiet in the face of injustice.

When I see someone in a car toss their Starbuck's latte cup on the street, I calmly walk over and pick it up and find the nearest trash receptacle. When I walk home from work, I pick up cans and trash with a plastic bag I keep with me. I invest in my son's future education and for my own retirement. I don't expect government to do everything for me - because that is now why it exists. Our government is a reflection of our society, and our society is greatly ill. I pray that we wake up, hope that better future can be realized.

But campaigns like Jackie Speier undermine grassroots democracy, in support of a powerful elite with no intention of real change in America. I hope the Greens run against her in California. Though he is NOT a Green, Ralph Nader could run against someone like her. He would still garner media attention and might even get more votes!


Anonymous said...

Next time spell her name right. Speier not Speiers. Also do some research. Her positions on the issues are well known in her district, where it actually matters. She's been in the California State Senate for years. She's one of the most experienced potential Congress people running for any seat in 2008. She was an aide to Congressman Leo Ryan in 1978. Both were shot, he was killed, and she was left for dead along with many others. I live in her district and I've heard her speak. I'm aware of her positions and the positions of those running against her. It also would make sense that her website was incomplete on February 28th. That was a little over a month after she actually announced her candidacy. Please next time find out who you're writing about before you trash talk them.

Kevin Chavis said...

Maybe you don't see her ads in your Gmail every day. I do. And the link to her website instantly asks for money. For the first few months of continuous ads, there were no positions stated on her website. In essence, she was asking for money without stating what her issues were. Being from Minnesota, I was skeptical of her asking for MY money.

I e-mailed and called her campaign about this issue. I googled her and only found people speaking vaguely about her being "prgoressive" and not needing any opponents. ( no positions on issues could be found, mind you) Receiving no responsefrom the campaign, I wrote this blog and sent the campaign a copy. THANKFULLY the site has actually expanded on her issues pages. I like her 10 times more, and will post a follow-up because I have material to go on.

Her statement on energy is strikingly similar to an important issue I e-mailed her about. How energy is a national security issue as it encompasses our entire economy. She almost touches on the topic of peak oil. Very nice.

Unfortunately, she is still a Democrat, and the first chance she gets, will vote for Iraq war funding with non-binding resolutions to end it. Another reason Americans have little hope in a Democrat led congress. Maybe Obama can fix that. Time will tell.

Speier's is not plural or misspelling. It is merely to show ownership of her campaign. It is hers right?

Anonymous said...

It's nice that you corrected the spelling throughout the article. You missed the first one however ("I use Gmail, and frequently see ads for Mike Huckabee, Mike Bloomberg, and Jackie Speiers.").

My only issue was that you were accusing the Speier campaign of having little to no substance (a
'Hollow Candidacy"), on the Internet, where anyone can read it and take your word for fact. This is absurd. The truth is, just because her website was incomplete on February 28th, when she announced her candidacy on January 10th, means nothing about her policies. Did you forget that politicians also use mailers, newspaper ads, and campaign rallies? Jackie Speier is one of the most respected politicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, and calling her candidacy hollow without being fully aware of what you are talking about is insulting both to Ms. Speier, a lifelong public servant, the voters in my district, who are aware of her positions and who overwhelmingly support her, and the dozens of California politicians who have shown their confidence in her by endorsing her.

As a San Francisco Progressive, I'm aware of the faults of this Democratic Congress. Voting to fund the war, however, is not one of them. Although I have disagreed with this war from the start, I expect Congress to fully fund our troops. It would be unacceptable for our troops to fight a war with less body armor or supplies than they already have. I expect Jackie Speier to continue to vote to fund the war, while doing everything else within her power to end it.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Northern California and a registered Republican. I voted for Jackie Speier on the special election held April 8th. She is a highly respected public servant for our district. I attended her meetings that were held in the area and was very impressed with her experience and the positions she advocates. It is bewildering to me that you would jump down her throat and accuse her campaign of being hollow. I am fed up with the Conservatives referring to all Democrats as clueless peace-niks. You have no idea what you are talking about and to post this hateful blog about Ms. Speier just confirms my suspicion that the GOP has become a group of feckless mouthpieces for hate mongers like Limbaugh and O'Reilly. I know it's cold and miserable in Minnesota, but do yourself a favor and do some research about a candidate other than determining what party they represent and deciding you hate them because they are Democrats. And, please, for the love of God, stop bashing California. Our economy bales out other less productive state economies in this nation every year. What's Minnesota ever done for us?

Kevin Chavis said...

This was posted prior to Ms. Speir adding any issues to her website, while her campaign begged me for money on a daily basis. I was fed up with her tin cup/street sign on the corner strategy and posted a response. So sue me if she decided to update her site. I refuse to un-post what happened.

What has this Minnesotn have to offer the campaign other than money? How about keeping your campaign ads in your own state. Stop begging us for money and an individual like myself would have nothing to say about your campaigns.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is the Ms. Speier voted Yes twice on the $700 billion dollar bailout bill that was just pushed through Congress. She certainly is no friend to her constituents. I live locally and know the numbers of people for and against the issue. She ignored the people and did the wrong thing.