Fw: Why I support Bill Halter

Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 11:21 AM
Subject: Why I support Bill Halter

Daniel –

I’m David Wayne McAvoy and I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

I grew up here, went to High School and College here, and now, I work here. I’m also one of the volunteer organizers of the Draft Bill Halter group on Facebook. We’ve been campaigning hard since November to get Arkansas’ Lieutenant Governor to challenge Blanche Lincoln for U.S. Senate and yesterday our hard work paid off.

As an Arkansan, I’d like to tell you why I’m supporting Bill Halter and what this race means for Arkansas and for America. Right now, almost everyone (save maybe the big business interests she represents) are mad at Blanche Lincoln and a lot of people are curious about Bill Halter.

Bill Halter (a former Social Security Administrator under President Clinton) ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006, against the wishes of the state’s party establishment. He defeated a right wing Democrat in the primary, and in the general election he defeated the religious right champion with 57% of the vote. Upon winning, Bill promised to use the office of Lieutenant Governor in a way no one else had, and he’s kept that promise, delivering results for the people of Arkansas that no other Arkansas politician, Democrat or Republican, has even bothered to do.

Will you join me and other Arkansans by supporting Bill Halter right now?

Arkansas is a poor state. Our future here depends on making sure future generations of Arkansans are guaranteed access to higher education.

But the state legislature refused to raise taxes to pay for scholarships. Meanwhile, states all around Arkansas set up state lotteries, funding scholarships in Missouri and Tennessee, and Arkansas money continued to poor out of state. A lot of people in Arkansas pushed hard to get the legislature to create a similar program, but the religious right and casino lobbyists from out of state worked overtime to keep the legislature in their pockets.

Bill changed that. He worked to get the initiative on the ballot and made sure proceeds would go to funding higher education while not opening the door for casinos in Arkansas. The initiative passed with over 60% of the vote in 2008. He worked his hardest to shape the final legislation and in the end managed to guarantee five thousand dollar scholarships to any Arkansan who wants to go to college and is willing to keep their grades up. That’s leadership.

Give Arkansans a voice and join me in supporting Bill Halter

Let me tell you something else that’s great about Bill. In 2008, when President Obama was nominated as the Democratic candidate, the party establishment ran away from him as far and fast as they could. Not Bill. He campaigned vigorously for Obama, firing up crowds of Democrats all around the state even as the Obama campaign decided not to compete here.

What’s more, in 2008 (the same year Bill’s lottery scholarships faced voters at the ballot) anti-gay hate groups managed to get a bigoted initiated act on the ballot, Initiated Act One, which banned any “unmarried, cohabitating couples” from adopting or being foster parents. Not only did this act discriminate against LGBT Arkansans, it endangered countless families, potentially denying even grandparents the right to adopt their grandchildren and leaving countless kids trapped in child services without homes or hope.

No Arkansas Democrat would campaign against it, except Bill. I remember him on the stump, saying, “I’ve got a proposal on the ballot but I’m not even gonna mention it… Work hard! Go out there and tell your friends and neighbors why they need to vote no on Act One! We need to protect our kids!”

Arkansans drafted Bill to run — now join us in helping make sure he wins

Bare with me, I’m almost done with my pitch for your support. 🙂

Last year, while Washington bickered over health care reform, Halter was still getting results for Arkansans. He intervened to bring a free clinic to Little Rock, providing care for thousands of Arkansans that lined up outside, desperate for treatment.

Meanwhile, Blanche Lincoln threatened to filibuster health care reform if it included the public option. While she was doing that, Bill was volunteering at the clinic and telling everyone who approached him with a camera “I don’t want to talk politics right now. This is more important.”

Blanche Lincoln is vulnerable in the primary and doomed in the general election. All her attempts to pander to the right wing have only made her more unpopular across the board. Not Bill Halter, he continues to get results without running away from Democratic values and beliefs, and his popularity in the state shows that even here in a place like Arkansas progressives can win and get results.

The state establishment has been out to get him of late, trying to scare him away from challenging Lincoln. So far, Lincoln’s allies in the state legislature have tried to cut his office’s funding (unsuccessfully), and one of our Democratic Congressmen fired off some vicious comments about him. Bill isn’t going to be able to count on the establishment’s support. But that’s okay — he can count on the grassroots Arkansans to back him — and I hoping, he can also count on you.

And when he wins, every Democrat across the country will be on notice that even in red America — if you want to win elections — you can’t run to the right and obstruct a good agenda like Blanche Lincoln has done.

Can I count on you to join me?

Your support gives Arkansans like me a voice in this election. Thank you for hearing me out.

– David

David Wayne McAvoy II
Arkansas DFA Member

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One Response to “Fw: Why I support Bill Halter”

  1. Wes Says:

    Halter Challenges Lincoln, Democracy Challenges Capitalism

    Since Blanche Lincoln started serving on Arkansas’ behalf on the Senate in the late 90’s 140 million American workers have been working harder and smarter raising their production per an hour steadily to keep this country running.

    Gains for the lower percentile of income earners have always fared worse under Republican administrations than Democrats but the 2000’s were the first cycle that the overwhelming majority of workers actually had less at the end than the beginning.

    How does Blanche Lincoln respond when she finally has a Democratic administration to work with?

    She sides with Republicans to obstruct. Opposing a strong public option in HCR, opposing EFCA and opposing Craig Becker’s nomination to the NLRB. Blocking efforts at every turn to shift policy away from a regressive, supply-side, dept funded consumption economy to a more progressive approach investing in real growth from the bottom up.

    Blanche Lincoln has apparently developed a connection to corporate contributors and their supply-side philosophy that she doesn’t believe is in her political interest to break.

    The real problem standing in the way of Americas progress and a sustainable economy with wide spread wealth are the senators like Blanche nestled in the big bucks of the consolidated status quo.

    We are fortunate to have a candidate like Halter ready to run. This will shape up to be a bell-weather race between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter for the fight among Democrats between a corporate, centrist or people-before-profits, progressive approach. And the larger debate about which should be driving economic policy; capitalism or democracy.

    Is our Senate working on behalf of regular folks, growing good paying jobs and the middle class?

    Or is our Senate working to prevent interference of wealth going unfettered straight to the top (small government), reserving the American dream for only those able to afford their own Senator.

    This will be an important contest that helps define the balance in the 21st century between democracy and capitalism, between consolidated wealth and grass roots people power.

    There’s no shortage of funding for Blanche and no shortage of will power from global industries headquartered in Arkansas to spend to defeat progressive policies that might interfere with there access to the profits of our productivity as their own personal ATM.

    Wall-Mart, Tyson and many, many others will spare no expense to defeat a pro labor, pro health care campaign. Needless to say I’m pleased to see this critical primary battle unfolding. I’m confident that Progressives will win as Arkansans struggle to pry our country out of the deadlocked grip of the status quo.

    Thanks Bill Halter for stepping up to the plate.

    Filed under: News , Capitalism, Challenges, democracy, Halter, Lincoln

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