A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rob Haswell: "If Both Campaigns Do Well It Will Signal That Doolittle’s Reign Is Over"

Read Part I of this interview here.

Here is the second part of the interview Rob Haswell, Democratic candidate for California Assembly District 4, has granted Turn Tahoe Blue:

What is your relationship with Charlie Brown, who’s running for Congress and who’s district over lapses with yours? Do you think a success by his campaign could be helpful to you since your opponent Ted Gaines has aligned himself closely to corrupt Congressman John Doolittle?

I have a good relationship with Charlie. He's stepped up to take on one heck of a challenge in John Doolittle and everyone in the Brown campaign is working extremely hard to defeat him. There is no question that my opponent, Ted Gaines, is a product of the Doolittle political machine. Ted was essentially handpicked for this seat by John Doolittle and we don't hesitate in pointing that out to folks. If both campaigns do well it will signal that Doolittle’s reign is over. To turn your question around a little, I think our success will help Charlie’s campaign because the voters our campaign turns out for an assembly race have a high likelihood of voting for Charlie in an "up ballot" race. I can tell you one other thing: This October and November we will produce the best coordinated GOTV operation that this district has seen from Democrats in years.

Do you think the general disillusionment by voters with the Bush administration will help you win? Have national issues come up often when you talk to voters?

National issues are always on everyone's mind, but I have to say, they don't come up in the context of my race all that often. My race is relevant in national terms because, in some ways, it's a microcosm of what's happening at the Federal and State level. In the 4th Assembly District, big-city mega developers wield all the political power. Developers have invested, literally millions of dollars in state and local campaigns here. My opponent alone has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers. This is an example of the undue influence the big corporate and special interests wield in today's politics. It's a big reason why we can't have meaningful healthcare reform, while big pharmaceuticals and big insurance companies and big HMOs keep turning record profits while the rest of us pay more and get less, or don't have health insurance at all. As far as disillusionment with the Bush administration goes, I think if Republicans are less inclined to go to the polls, while democrats and independents are more motivated to vote for change, that this could have a profound effect across the country and certainly in this district.

Towards the end of this part of the interview Rob mentioned health insurance. Just yesterday the Haswell campaign came out with a news release on this issue titled "Schwarzenegger Punts on Healthcare Reform - Governor Side with Failing Status Quo" (the following is from the news release, not part of the interview):

Democratic Candidate for State Assembly Rob Haswell took time off from his Whistle Stop tour to denounce Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's stand against universal healthcare. The State Legislature passed SB 840, which would establish a single-payer healthcare system that would offer health security for all Californians. Today, Schwarzenegger vowed to veto the bill.

"Time and again this governor has sided with large insurance companies and large corporate special interests, while turning away from California's working poor, uninsured children and small business owners. Once again, the Governor is showing his true colors," Haswell said.

Haswell derided Schwarzenegger's claim that healthcare is a "top priority" and that he'd unveil his plan after November's election. "Arnold's political hero is Richard Nixon and it looks like he's taking a page out of the Nixon playbook," stated Haswell. "We're still waiting for Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War, and I suspect we'll be waiting just as long for Schwarzenegger's secret healthcare plan. Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to pay more and get less while insurance companies make record profits."

Recent estimates put the number of Californians living without insurance at between 6-7 million. SB 840 (Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica) would establish a single-payer system in which the state would take over the role that private insurance companies now play. Private medical groups and hospitals would continue to provide care as usual but would be paid through the state system.
You can do your part in helping Rob get elected to the Assembly by clicking on the following links:

Rob Haswell's Campaign Website

Haswell Campaign Journal

Contribute to Rob Haswell!

Read Part III: "We Need People In Political Office That Will Be Advocates For Lake Tahoe"


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