By Chuck Pennacchio, candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania
Last Saturday in Washington, D.C. I joined 300,000 marching Americans -- all of whom want a clear new direction for our country. The "Bring Them Home Now Tour" was led by military veterans and families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. I proudly stood -- and continue to stand -- with these veterans and families who demand an immediate end to the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and a dramatic change in a national security policy that provides us with many results. Unfortunately, security is not one of them. The radical right's war-first policies have cost thousands of lives, wasted billions of dollars, weakened our homeland, and undermined global friendships that won us the Second World War and the Cold War.
The best way to redeem our losses in Iraq and, more recently, in the Gulf Coast region, is to beat radical right leaders like Rick Santorum and rededicate ourselves to America’s best ideals. We've had more than enough of the Bush-Santorum lies, failures, and war profiteering. What we need instead is a tough-minded foreign policy based on honesty, common sense, the rule of law, smart diplomacy, and military readiness. Moreover, we need a homeland security strategy that not only prioritizes critical infrastructure (e.g., levies and transportation systems) and first-responders (e.g., fire, police, and health professionals), but gives us a federal government able, prepared, and eager to coordinate help for all classes, ages, and races of Americans in times of emergency. This is, after all, the 21st century.
The right of citizen protest is vital to any functioning democracy, but now is the time to translate street action into electoral success. We need regime change in Washington as soon as possible. That effort begins with you...and me. Right now. We can’t elect a new President until 2008. But in 2006 we can replace his allies in Congress. Nobody has done more to push George W. Bush’s disastrous policies than Rick Santorum. Santorum leads Bush’s divisive agenda on Iraq, Social Security, and tax cuts for Republican fat cats, job exporters, and no-bid contractor friends. At the same time, Santorum crusades against equal rights, privacy rights, consumer rights, worker rights, and abortion rights.
Pennsylvanians and Americans want a return to democracy and decency, opportunity and security, unity and responsibility. Nothing will show that more clearly than replacing Rick Santorum with a progressive Democrat who is a proven winner. Yes, I believe in protests. But I also believe in winning, delivering, and doing what's right from positions of authority and responsibility. In fact, my track record working with winning, effective, principled U.S. Senators (Cranston, Harkin, Wirth, and Simon) and a House member (Dellums) contrasts sharply with a Pennsylvania Democratic Party that last elected a full-term Senator in 1962.
Let's show the "establishment" party, pollsters, and press what we the people know: politics as usual will not beat Santorum. Conviction wins. Toughness wins. Confidence wins. Believing wins. That's why I need your help. Right now. This Friday, September 30th is the end of our third quarter reporting period. Let's finish an amazing three months with a flurry of contributions: small. medium, and large. Please give as generously as you can: $10, $25, $50, $100 or more. And spread the word among all of your friends, family, and associates. We need an exit strategy for Iraq and for Rick Santorum. And it begins with you and me. Working together, fighting together, winning together. That's the formula. I'm doing my part. And I know that you will continue doing your part.
Yours in Solidarity,
Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D.
Pennacchio for Pennsylvania
2006 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate