(An interesting discussion of an unexpectedly renominated Cynthia Matthews. – promoted by SFBrianCL)
As promised, I went to the campaign office of Cynthia Matthews (D, CA-26) yesterday. It is a typical nondescript office space in a small shopping center along California’s historic Route 66 (corner of Towne and Foothill). The office is not clearly visible from the road; I didn’t actually see it until I had driven around the parking lot.
But don’t let the search deter you; the destination is worth the journey. Upon entering the office I was pleased and surprised to find Matthews personally manning the office. The surprise came only from my personal experience of working on Presidential and Senatorial campaigns that are not centralized in the manner of a House of Representatives campaign. Matthews was dressed casually in a yellow shirt and greeted me warmly, as if inviting me into her home for a beverage and reprieve from the summer heat. I knew immediately that I had been missing something by not being more engaged in politics at this local level.
Matthews took the time to sit with me and discuss topics of both local and national politics. She clearly articulated her positions on a wide range of issues. Her positions both showed that she is committed to progressive ideas that have made America a great nation and also distinguish her from the money-directed and rubber-stamp politics practiced for too long by her Republican opponent.
We talked about the invasion and occupation of Iraq and what it really means to support our troops and be strong on national security. Matthews believes that the Bush administration and those involved in the planning and execution of this ill-conceived war must be held accountable. America’s involvement in this war of choice against a country that posed no imminent threat has diverted our focus and billions of dollars from the real work of defending our country and bringing Osama din Laden and Al Qaeda to justice. In order to resolve the situation in Iraq she supports “a definite troop withdrawal timeline” that is carried out in conjunction with “a humanitarian support program”. Bringing our troops home and providing humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of civilians adversely affected by our prolonged occupation of Iraq is a crucial step in resolving this situation. In addition to providing humanitarian support to those impacted abroad, Matthews supports fully funding veterans services that are important to our troops after they return home. This administration’s continued cutting of veterans medical and mental health services appall her. I believe she summarized America’s sentiments on this issue well, “Our troops have earned our love and respect and are entitled to these basic needs.” I believe my vote for Cynthia Matthews is a step towards restoring America’s position of respect and trust in the eyes of the world and the honor and dignity our troops deserve.
For me, a central role in protecting America and its way of life is through defending the Constitution and the civil liberties guaranteed within for all American citizens. This is what our true patriots have always fought for and it should be no different today. Cynthia Matthews strongly believes that all American citizens regardless of race, color, creed, religion, and sexual orientation are guaranteed and entitled to equal protection and equal rights. As a member of Congress she will call for the repeal of the misnamed Patriot Act. In our conversation she pointed out that our Constitution and laws already provide the Federal government the tools necessary to protect America while at the same time preserving the civil liberties of all American citizens. I must concur. If we were able to survive two world wars and the Cold War that threatened to unleash a level of terror and destruction on every American city that could never be matched by the likes of terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, then I believe our Constitution is more than sufficient to handle the threats of today without the need of restricting our civil liberties. Matthews also does not believe that under current FISA law the Federal government has the legal right to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens. I want to make it clear that the government has the full, unrestrained ability to spy on foreign terrorists at will. What is in question here is the illegal spying on American citizens by the Executive branch without any judicial oversight. This administration has blatantly and arrogantly broken the laws set forth by Congress that the President is sworn to uphold. I believe my vote for Cynthia Matthews is a step towards restoring law and order and a sense of fairness to our Federal government through restoring a healthy practice of oversight between the three branches of government as dictated by the Constitution.
Through her years of experience of working with the Operating Engineers, Local 12, as a Heavy Equipment Operator, Environmental Safety and Remediation with the responsibility for monitoring safe clean up of contaminated materials, and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management, Matthews has become uniquely qualified in recognizing the need to protect the environment and promote the research and use of alternative energy, while finding solutions that will expand and strengthen our economy. A healthy environment does not preclude a robust economy. Matthews promotes a policy of encouraging the use of alternative energy sources, which will lead to lower cost, reduced consumption, and a cleaner environment. To this end she will “support fully funding scientific research on new environmentally sound forms of alternative energy sources.” I believe my vote for Cynthia Matthews is a step towards environmental responsibility and energy independence.
Above I have chosen to highlight only a few of the issues that I personally find important and believe Cynthia Matthews will be a positive force in providing solutions for them. I strongly urge you to take the time to visit her site, www.matthews4congress.com, to find out more on her positions. For example, I am also encouraged by her even-handed position on immigration, which promotes equality for workers and the development of economic opportunities on both sides of our boarders, while stressing border security through the enforcement of current immigration laws, properly funding our border patrol, and by restructuring our immigration process in order to promote legal immigration. America is a nation built by the work of immigrants and Matthews’ plan supports fair and practical solutions.
As an educator, I was pleased to hear her interest in investing in education through supporting our teachers and providing affordable higher education for every American. This is crucial for keeping America competitive in a global economy. In a recent interview Matthews stated, “I want to save American jobs”… “The American worker is the foundation that this country rests on. Our House of Representatives must ensure the security of this foundation.” As an integral part of her stance on education and labor she believes all “American citizens have a right to affordable healthcare.”
I am new to this district, so I was not around to witness the 2004 campaign. In 2004 Cynthia Matthews in her first political campaign captured 43% of the vote against Republican incumbent David Dreier. Dreier, one of the most highly funded GOP House members spent $3.5 million to defend his seat. Matthews spent $35,000. Can you imagine if she had been able to only double her spending? With the political environment of today and Dreier on the wrong side of most issues and history there is an excellent chance that she could garner another seven points. With our help we should be able to push her over the top. Please donate (button at bottom of page) what you can to her campaign. Removing Dreier, the Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, from the House would be an important win for the progressive movement and another step closer to returning our government to the hands of the people.
Support Cynthia Matthews for Congress.
Cross-posted at Ariel