The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
2nd CD candidates Cooper and Hansen issue joint press release on SOTU
The Democratic dynamic duo of Craig Cooper and Jim Hansen, candidates for the 2nd district Congressional seat now groaning under the deadweight of U.S. Rep. Mike "Egomaniac" Simpson, have tag-teamed a hot-off-the-press release on Pretzeldent Bush's SOTU speech:
Cooper: “Are You Better Off?”
Hansen: “Where’s Congress”
Candidates for the Democratic nomination in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District responded to President Bush’s State of the Union address today in a joint statement to show how candidates with different viewpoints can show respect for each other and the public while disagreeing on important issues.
For several months, Cooper and Hansen have been making joint appearances around Idaho. Although they are facing each other in the primary election, the candidates sometimes even car-pool to the events together, discussing the issues along the way.
“We want to demonstrate that civility, courtesy and statesmanship are not lost in today’s hardball political atmosphere,” the two said. “We hope that other candidates for state and federal offices would agree that blind partisanship is a drag on democracy. Instead, what we need is honest debate on the issues at hand.”
Each candidate has his own perspective regarding the President’s State of the Union Address. Cooper said the Bush Administration is failing to serve the people of Idaho and asks Idahoans, "Are you better off today than you were two years ago, four years or six years ago?"
Jim Hansen said that watching Congress' reaction to the speech reinforced the public's belief that Congress has virtually stopped functioning as a separate branch of government. "Our country's founders understood that a republic can only survive if there are healthy and separate legislative, executive and judicial branches. Congress, mired in money scandals, has thrown in the towel and refuses to live up to its responsibility," Hansen said.
Hansen said that Congress' addiction to campaign contributions from private interests have particularly undermined its most critical oversight role: making sure that the lives of America's service men and women are not put at risk without strict scrutiny of the reasons.
"The amount of money flowing to Congress from private interests who are reaping the profits from America's involvement in Iraq undermines their credibility," Hansen said.
Cooper said Bush's expressed desire to spread freedom and democracy in Iraq raises deeper concerns.
"I do not define a free nation as a place where torture is legal, corruption is accepted practice, and law-abiding citizens are subject to government surveillance without a warrant. Bush's policies undermine American credibility, and I think this president should take a remedial course on the U.S. Constitution." Cooper said.
With respect to the litany of domestic issues that Bush listed, Cooper said "This administration's definition of compassion is lower wages, rising health care costs, deeper debt, special treatment for the wealthiest Americans, and a prescription drug program that is more complex than the tax code. The massive corporate profits being recorded on Wall Street are not trickling down to Main Street. It's time to change the way we operate, and begin investing in America".
Hansen said he was saddened by strident partisan tone of Congress's response.
"America is stronger when we work together, not when we go for cheap one-liners and one-sided applause. Political consultants tell Congressmen in both parties that to raise massive dollars for their campaigns, they must divide the parties even more, and based on the performance last night, it sounds like they are listening to their consultants, not to the average American who is sick of it."