People matter…People matter more than oil companies, more than Wall Street banks, more than big corporations, more than insurance companies.
That was the point emphasized by Rick Nolan when explaining his decision to run against the 8th District’s Tea Party Representative-From-The-Metro-Area, Chip Cravaack, in 2012.
Labor leaders, long-time party activists and college students gathered in the Great Hall of the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday morning to show their support for the former 6th district congressman, whom Jim Oberstar often referred to as “the conscience of the Congress”
The Brainerd native (and he has the birth certificate to prove it, he joked) had a simple message:
We need to restore the middle class, we need to restore social and economic equity, and we need to restore the American dream.
Balancing the budget is a matter of priorities, Nolan said
Do we continue to spend trillions of dollars on wars in the Middle East and on maintaining a military footprint of hundreds of thousands of troops and military bases in countries that pose no threat to us? Or do we end those wars, bring those troops home and re-invest those trillions in roads, bridges, railroads, schools and low-interest loans to small businesses to create real jobs again in America?
Do we continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans at a cost of trillions of dollars over the next decade? Or do we reform the tax code to require the rich pay their fair share and give the middle class a break for a change?
Nolan was critical of the current proposals by the Obama administration and Congress that jeopardize social security and Medicare. “Compromise,” he said, “is not a four letter word in politics” but echoed the frustration with the current administration felt by many liberals:
The problem is that too many democrats are compromising before the negotiations even begin.
Medicare and social security are a compact with the American people…I will never abandon Medicare and all the benefits it provides. I will never abandon social security and the benefits it provides.
Nolan gave an impassioned speech in defense of organized labor, senior citizens, the middle class and those who are struggling that is reminiscent of Floyd B. Olson, Orville Freeman, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone. His back-to-the-basics DFL message is likely to resonate with those groups who are finding themselves increasingly coming under attack from the right…and unfortunately even from the left as well.
Nolan joins former State Senator Tarryl Clark of St. Cloud and Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson of Ely in seeking the DFL endorsement.
The Nolan campaign has notified me that there will be a meet-the-candidate reception at The Reef bar (located above the Duluth Labor Temple) at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14.