Why Dems for Lawson Support BJ Lawson

Why we support B.J. Lawson
This is a community of Democrats in and around the 4th District of North Carolina, and indeed from around the entire state and the entire country, who support the campaign of William "B.J." Lawson for House of Representatives. You may ask why we support B.J. when there is an 11-term and well-known Democratic incumbent, David Price, currently representing the 4th District. Well, for starters:

1) B.J. is a passionate advocate for protection of civil liberties, staunchly opposing measures such as the Patriot Act, the Real ID, the Military Comissions Act, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act, warrantless wiretaps, torture, and other measures fundamentally violating the Bill of Rights. He has come out in favor of the American Freedom Agenda Act, a bill that will go to great lengths to preserve the Bill of Rights and Constitutional checks and balances that has been praised by Naomi Wolff, liberal author of The End of America and champion of civil liberties.

While David Price has supported the recent FISA Bill and has spoken out against many of the transgressions of the Bush Administration, he demonstrated wholly irresponsible leadership in voting for the Patriot Act when it first came up in 2001, even though 62 of his fellow Democrats had the foresight and courage to vote against it at the time amid great awareness among the civil libertarian community of its flatly unconstitutional provisions. His vote to institute the Real ID, an alarming step toward a National ID Card and the rise of the "database state," is also shameful. Granted, the Real ID was just one item that was stuffed into a much larger emergency appropriations bill, but he nonetheless should have shown the courage to oppose the bill based on its clear violation of the freedom and privacy rights of Americans. Congressman Price also voted in favor of the scantly covered Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, a bill eerily reminiscent of the McCarthyism of the 1950s.

With the assault on our basic freedoms that the Bush Administration and others have waged this decade, we need leadership in Washington that doesn't just uphold the Bill of Rights only part of the time, or when issues related to it are in the public limelight; we need leadership that will always conduct a deeply principled, vigilant, and tireless fight to defend our liberty. B.J. Lawson will bring this leadership.

2) B.J. will oppose any attempt by the Bush Administration and Department of Homeland Security to impose the proposed National Bio-and-Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) on the 4th District of North Carolina. This facility, which will be researching over 100 diseases with no current cure (including Foot and Mouth disease), will be within 50 miles of 2.2 million people if placed in Butner, one of the proposed locations. Simply put, this lab is a disaster waiting to happen from environmental, public health, and property rights perspectives. As a poster on the Democratic blog Daily Kos described the situation:

The great minds in Bush’s Homeland Security department came up with a doozie this year: let’s move the facility where we study the most infectious and dangerous disease among livestock from the isolated island it’s now on (accessible only by ferry or helicopter) and put it where there are lots of livestock operations. Brilliant!

Can you imagine the next Foot and Mouth outbreak occuring in North Carolina on account of this facility being so close to livestock in the area? There is a reason why the current facility is currently located in the relatively isolated location of Plum Island, NY.

And what does David Price think of NBAF?

My current assessment is that the Granville County site would be a good location for the NBAF, and that our region of North Carolina would reap many economic and agricultural benefits from such a facility.

Wrong answer. This is not responsible leadership.

3) B.J. is a principled opponent of the Iraq War and supports immediate military withdrawal. He recognizes it not only as an isolated blunder, but as a typical misadventure in what has been a fundamentally misguided, arrogant, and costly foreign policy by our government of aggressive interventionism. Scores of national security analysts- including Michael Scheuer, former chief of the bin Laden Unit of the CIA- have identified American interventionism in the Muslim world as the chief motivator of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden himself in his 1998 declaration of war on the United States stated his three reasons for doing so as: unconditional U.S. support for Israel, the bombing of and economic sanctions placed on Iraq during the 1990s, and the stationing of U.S. troops on the Arabian Peninsula.

While David Price voted against the initial authorization for war against Iraq, he has been on the wrong side on a great many issues regarding Iraq and, more broadly, foreign policy. He voted for the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which effectively set regime change in Iraq as a policy of the United States and has been used as justification by the neoconservatives for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He voted for the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, which expressly gives the Bush Administration the authority to define the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a special forces unit of the Iranian armed forces, as a terrorist organization. This is eerily reminiscent of the rhetoric and tactics that the Administration and its neoconservative supporters used to promote the invasion of Iraq, and as John Edwards said during the October MSNBC debate in Pennsylvania, "You give this president an inch, and he'll take a mile." Further facilitating the neocon saber-rattling toward Iran, David Price voted for H.Con.Res.21, which called for the trial of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be "tried for inciting genocide" for "calling for Israel to be wiped off the map," a claim that is overly belligerent and is based on statements by him for which there is evidence of mistranslation. What is ironic is that the resolution overtly states strong support of the Israeli government, stating:

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(4) reaffirms the unwavering strategic partnership and close friendship between the United States and Israel and reasserts the steadfast commitment of the United States to defend the right of Israel to exist as a free and democratic state.

So David Price is supporting the trial for "inciting genocide" of Ahmadinejad for statements that likely were mistranslated about a country whose government has a record of human rights abuses, all the while asserting our "close friendship" with this government, one of the very reasons stated by Osama bin Laden for his declaration of war against the United States. This is a perfect reflection of the blunder of US foreign policy, as we claim to uphold the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights while supporting governments that work against these principles and using our military to impose our will on other countries, while spending a lot of money to do so. If we want an effective foreign policy that promotes our national security and interests, we need one of non-interventionism that focuses on diplomacy and even-handedness with all countries, not "close friendship" with some and condemnation of others. As these stances and others throughout his career demonstrate, David Price will not work hard to advocate this change. B.J. Lawson will.

4) B.J. Lawson and his campaign, unlike the Bush Administration and most Republicans in Congress, is a principled fiscal conservative who understands that we as a nation cannot continue the fiscal course we are on or we risk financial and economic collapse. He supports a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an important step on fiscal policy advocated by Bill Richardson during the Democratic Presidential Primaries this year. Unlike most politicians, including life-long academic and Party politician David Price, B.J. actually has the experience of starting a business from scratch, turning it into a successful enterprise, and working hard to get his family out of debt. Thus, not only does he have intellectual reasons for supporting fiscal responsibility, but he has a very personal foundation for doing so.

David Price, on the other hand, talks a good game on fiscal issues, but he's not the steadiest walker. This year, he voted for a Concurrent Budget Resolution that planned the budget for the next five years, with planned spending amounting to nearly $16 trillion and planned tax revenues amounting to $14 trillion. So effectively, David Price voted for a document that plans for the government to create $2 trillion more in new debt over the next five years. And what does he have to say about his vote?

This budget is a clear reflection of our priorities to build a stronger economy, keep our communities safe, and to do both in a fiscally responsible way,” Price said. “After President Bush and the Republican Congress turned projected surpluses into record deficits, this Congress is committed to reversing the damage.

Fiscally responsible? In what universe is the creation of nearly $2 trillion of new debt, which amounts to an average of almost $400 billion in federal deficits over the next five years and even more raiding of the Social Security trust fund, "fiscally responsible?" This isn't just the mark of someone who doesn't understand the necessity of taking strong action now to eliminate the deficit; it's the mark of someone who is so entrenched in the Washington establishment that he's out of touch with reality. Partisan finger-pointing is not going to be enough to resolving the fiscal problems of this country. We need strong leadership on both sides of the aisle, and B.J. Lawson will provide this leadership from the right.

5) B.J. Lawson has made eloquent and strong stands of opposition to corporate welfare, an issue that absolutely must be dealt with. As he notes in a blog post on his website, our current system is not a free market system, it is a corporatist system where the government actively favors selected firms. He has also brought a very important issue to light that is not often discussed, which is the fundamental flaws of our monetary and banking system, one of which being the level to which it favors large banks and financial institutions at the expense of working Americans. This corporatist system is riddled with inefficiency and wasted resources, and it is facilitating and promoting many of the social problems we as progressives seek to address.

David Price is the poster child of the apparatus in Washington that favors corporate America. His donor list is full of high-roller donors and corporate PACs. It should come as no surprise, then, that he supports legislation such as the recent Farm Bill, a $300 billion giveaway to large corporate farms. He has supported "free trade" agreements such as NAFTA that favor large multinational corporations.

6) Congressman Price ignored his constiuents and voted twice for the Wall Street Bailout. He even brags about being able to squeeze in some earmarks. We don't necessarily disagree that the earmarks were good, but if they are good allow them to stand on their own merit; don't pile them into a bill that is obviously leaving the station. 

The bottom line is that this is a very important election at a time in our history when we face a number of very important issues that must be resolved soon. To do this, we need public servants in Congress who understand the issues, have real-world experience that serves them well in tackling them, that know the need for change, that will not let partisan bickering get in the way of progress, and that are aware of their duty to uphold and defend the Constitution. David Price has simply been in Congress for too long, and he has demonstrated throughout his career to be a member of the Washington establishment, and as such he is no longer a reliable agent for change. We do not agree with B.J. Lawson on everything, but we agree with him on some of the most important issues of the day and know him to be a a man of principle, integrity, and courage, as demonstrated by his willingness to disagree with the Republican Party line on many visible issues and to even criticize the leadership of the organization. He will be a hard-working, responsible, and diligent Congressman. It is for these reasons that we enthusiastically support B.J. Lawson for U.S. Congress from North Carolina's 4th District.


Ray McKinnon (on behalf of)
Dems for Lawson



why is he a Republican?  Was he awake during the past eight years?

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