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Dear District 19 voters,
I live in NY 19, notable since last January for our Member of Congress John Faso: former NYS legislator, former Republican candidate for NY governor defeated by Eliot Spitzer, former lobbyist for an energy company which did some fracking, and current holder of the sobriquet “No Show Faso” for his unwillingness to hold an open town meeting accessible to all his constituents.
Mr. Faso cannot run well on his record, having voted against affordable, accessible health care for all when he voted for the Republican Repeal and Replace Act, a vote revealing not only adherence to the Republican predilection for sacrificing the middle class and vulnerable to the wealthy but also revealing Mr. Faso’s hypocrisy by his voting for a bill which had no solid budget figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office while at the same time holding a seat on the House Budget Committee. Further, Mr. Faso is also one of the original sponsors of the National Concealed Carry Bill, a proposed law which would permit guns to travel freely and secretly in all parts of the country, negating state laws that prohibit or restrict concealed carrying of guns. So Faso is more than beatable; his record places him somewhere near the category of “punching bag.”
But as we know from our last national presidential election, more important than one’s record, more important than one’s personal character, more important even than one’s having a symmetrical face and thick head covering (albeit obviously dyed) is having access to funding from the lords of money and good times (in Faso’s case the Mercer family of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica fame). So the race that shouldn’t be a race is on.
There are now seven candidates on the Democratic side who will compete in the June 26, 2018 primary election for the honor or defeating Faso in NY19. How to choose among these good people? I have distinguished on my first run through based on each candidate’s discussion of health care. I am not interested in those who talk about opting in or out of a single payer system; I want Medicare for all. I also want a person who is devoted to making public education work for all; I see public education as the single most important democracy builder. So having pushed aside for now (although I could vote for any one of these over Faso—so low a bar does he present) all but four of the candidates, I chose Brian Flynn. And I will tell you why.
I choose Brian Flynn, whose personal experience of loss and injustice came when at 19 his 21-year-old brother was among the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing. For over 20 years, Brian and others learned the method of dealing with the labyrinth of Washington D.C. politics as well as with foreign nations and international agencies. Brian and this group helped pass the Iran/Libya Sanctions bill and brought to justice one of the perpetrators. Brian and his fellow diligent justice seekers also helped pass legislation which made air travel safer.
That 20 years of negotiating with, not merely working for, government and agency power structures, plus Brian’s own work history, explain his thoughtful platform. Brian and his company created 400 well paying, blue collar American jobs, most of them union. Brian is a union member, and Brian’s own campaign team is among the first in the country to unionize! Brian puts his time and money where his platform is.
Brian’s platform advances the public good: calling for the restoration of the Glass-Steagal Act; stipulating that capital must be put back into the hands of the small businesses and workers; insisting that earned money must be taxed at reduced rates; reducing the heavy debt burden on students; demanding that taxpayer monies address public needs; creating a safe environment; fostering the use of clean energy; rebuilding infrastructure; and providing Medicare for all (not just universal health insurance which can lead to reduced insurance pools and thus increased premiums). Ever respectful of people, Brian demands full empowerment of a woman over her own body. Brian wants an enhanced public school system that will prepare all citizens for well-paying jobs. He and his author wife worked with the NYC teachers’ union (UFT) to create a public school devoted to literacy in the Bronx.
Yes, Brian has a good sense of irony and a ready acceptance of people he meets, but he is not just the life of a party. I think he could be the life of our party, the Democratic Party. I support Brian Flynn for NY19 ‘s next Member of Congress.