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.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Message From Rob Haswell

Personal Message from Rob

"When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action."
-- the late Senator Paul Wellstone

A Message to Our Supporters:

Hope and Action. When my wife, Kim and I decided more than a year ago to throw our hat in the ring and run for the open state assembly seat, we really only knew one thing: "Hope" is an empty word without action. If we ever hoped to make real change for good in our country, our state and our community, we needed to put both our ideas and our ideals into action. If we wanted to ensure that our children grew up in an America filled with as much promise as the one our parents left for us, we had to get involved in a meaningful way.

This great campaign that we shared with all of you was exactly that.

I want to tell a quick story: At the 2005 Democratic State Convention in Los Angeles, well before we were seriously considering this run, I spoke to a woman who had run for assembly in a deeply conservative district. I told her that I followed her race and hoped to learn from it. Despite running an inspiring campaign, she had been beaten handily at the polls. I didn't know it at the time, but what she told me then may have been the most important advice I've ever gotten: "Don't be afraid to lose," she told me.

Don't be afraid to lose. If I could give one piece of advice to all of you, it would be that. I believe that fear is the one overriding factor that keeps good people from creating needed change. Once fear is squashed, the possibilities are limitless. Once fear is gone, amazing things happen: Like the election results this past Tuesday.

On Tuesday, people-driven politics scored a resounding victory! In CA-11, the people's candidate, Jerry McNerney, defeated an entrenched incumbent. In the state of Montana, an actual honest-to-God working farmer is going to the United States Senate. In Minnesota, a high school teacher who turned his indignation about being barred from a Presidential town hall meeting into action, is now a member of of the United States House of Representatives.

And right here, in a Congressional District with twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats, Charlie Brown came within 3.5% of winning the race, and forced an eight-term incumbent to bring in the First Lady just days before the election to save the seat! In my race, 42% of the electorate voted against the Republican and we held Republican Ted Gaines to 58% of the vote, the lowest vote total for a Republican in this assembly district in a decade.

You did that. You forced the debate.

This campaign has shown me that the people of this district are not afraid of change. All of you, who did so much to inspire me and aid us in this effort, have planted the seeds of change.

My hero, Paul Wellstone, also liked to say, "Sometimes you've got to start a fight, to win one." For far too long in El Dorado, Placer, Alpine and eastern Sacramento counties, we have allowed the local political machinery and their big money allies in the development industry, to dominate the discussion. No more.

I say to you now, and I pledge to you my word: The days when these Sierra foothills -- my family's home for six generations -- are dominated by a single political voice that tolerates no dissent are over. The days when partisan political machines handpick their candidates for local non-partisan races and pay no price for this inexcusable meddling in local affairs, are over.

Kim and I have been so inspired by all of your efforts, and commitment and sacrifice. Thank you.

There is still much to be done and we are counting on working with you all in the coming weeks, months, and years as we continue to put "people before politics."

Fight on.

Rob Haswell


Blogger Askinstoo said...

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4:16 PM


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