Monday, October 17, 2011

Farheen Hakeem and the 99%

Hilarious and pathetic defines last Sunday's Star Tribune Op-Ed section. Except this time Jason Lewis was telling it like it is and Lori Sturdevant was spinning partisan lies. Then again, they alternate between their opposing roles. Both enjoy leaving out vital information that might actually serve to inform voters - what the media is meant to do.

Without mentioning Farheen Hakeem, Sturdevant attempted to paint Hayden as the savior of Minnesota. The one politician who will channel the Occupy Wall Street movement into Minnesotan politics. The one person who can save the day when people clearly have given up hope.

Hayden says in the article, "You don't hear any longer about good governance or negotiating or 'try to get along. People are very fed up. They see the Tea Partiers as obstructionists, and they want us [DFLers] to be tougher on them. ... These people see their community starting to erode, and they want to fight for it." So what has he been doing the last few years? Obviously constituents expect more than a politician who toes the party line and refuses to push new and creative agendas.

I got a call today from a DFL activist. She said that I should vote for Hayden because he is a "true progressive champion." Pondering the article I had read only yesterday, I asked her what his stance was on Occupy Minnesota. She knew about the occupation but didn't know his stance. She then stammered "I don't really know him or what he stands for. Check his website for more information." Asking her if she even lived in Minneapolis, she replied that she lived in northern Minnesota. Partisans without a cause are not the type of leadership people look up to.

For a progressive champion, I would expect the DFL candidate to actually BE at Occupy Minnesota. Except, he wasn't. His opponent Farheen Hakeem was there. She spoke at the opening day rally about the need for real political change.

Fortunately, I saw one individual there who was wearing a Hayden shirt several days into the occupation. I pointed this out to some of the individuals I had been chatting with. "He's a pretty sorry representative" was the response with nods of agreement. These were not fellow Greens, but individuals who were hyper aware of politics. They see through the DFL-speak,  where a "true progressive champion" doesn't really mean anything.

So, with all the anger people have these days against injustice, do we really want to vote for another corporate shill? A guy who keep taking money during a government shut down? Or do we want to vote for someone who proposes economic and environmental policies that would benefit the 99%? Only Farheen has relentlessly brought up that we need to tax the rich to resolve systemic inequities. She would advocate for her constituents while spearheading a new agenda that Minnesotans have long awaited. Minneapolis voters can choose more of the same OR vote against the 1% by electing Farheen Hakeem.

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