Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fighting for Alexis... So She Can Fight for Us

Well, we have been marching and rallying, we have been sending postcards and going to town halls.  We have been energized, then depressed and then back again.  We have been watching in horror as the right-wing fanatics, the wealthy, the corporations, led by Donald Trump, have been taking apart America, piece by piece.

Mick Mulvaney, former representative from South Carolina's 5th, now holds the purse strings to the country.  And like our crazy uncle, he plans on "draining the swamp" of anyone who needs the government to level the playing field, get back on our feet, exist day-to-day.  He, like the rest of the Deplorables, believes that to the victor go the spoils, meaning tax breaks for the rich, and draining "the swamp" of the rest of us.

But the good news is, Mulvaney's plum post leaves a vacancy in the House of Representatives.  And there is a primary being held on May 2.

SC's 5th Congressional District borders Columbia, Spartanburg and North Carolina.  It includes Rock Hill, which is the fifth largest city in the state.  I am happy to say that it also includes Union, home of the best burnt bologna sandwich I have ever had.

from Ballotpedia

As of this writing, there is the usual clown car full of republicans running in the primary, assuming that this district will be an easy win, you might say, a steal.  There are also a bunch of third party candidates throwing in their hats.  But we have a really exciting choice among the three Democrats that are running.

To be fair, let me run down all three.

Les Murphy is the newest candidate, and other than the fact that he is a former Marine, I can't tell you anything about him.

Archie Parnell appears to be the guy most people are going to be watching.  He's got the smarts and he has a lot of experience.  And he has the funding.  The thing is, what he has to say on the issues is pretty much what everybody says on the issues.  He is going to make the tax code shorter and simpler.  He wants to work for small businesses, not big corporations.  He knows a lot about budgets.  What Archie doesn't tell us is where he stands on things like:  health care, the environment, education, voting rights, minority rights, women's rights.  Oh, and he doesn't tell us that he was a senior advisor for Goldman-Sachs.

But wait!  The candidate we really need to take a look at is Alexis Frank.

She is smart, and she is on our side of every issue.  She understands about rural South Carolina because she grew up there.  She knows that the priorities are jobs, education, and health care.  She will fight to save the rights that are being attacked by the Trump administration and a right-wing, out-of-control republican congress.

I was going to summarize her positions on some of the issues, but thought it would be even better to just pass on what she wrote me:

Healthcare: I do not believe that the new Ryan plan is better than Obamacare. I acknowledge that Obamacare was not a perfect system, but this new plan is worse. I agree with removing the mandate, but replacing it with a 30% charge to your premium for the first year is craziness. Also, I do not agree with removing the medicaid expansion. Most parts of District 5 are rural, with hospitals providing most of the jobs in those regions. With medicaid not as widely available, jobs in those hospitals will also suffer. We are also talking about 10 million people losing coverage, how is that better?

Environment: I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed, but it was remarkably warm this winter. That is not a good thing, that is Global Warming. The fact that some lawmakers do not think that Carbon Dioxide contributes to global warming is completely unfounded. There are numerous scientific reports that back the fears that these gasses and emissions are causing our polar ice caps to melt. Also, placing someone in charge of the EPA who doesn't believe in global warming is nuts. And in no way, shape, or form should the EPA be dismantled or not continue to be funded.

National Security: Donald Trump himself is a threat to national security with his reckless tweeting and a need to host foreign leaders at Mar-A-Lago. He does not regularly consult his National Security advisors and putting someone as smug, and uneducated in national security matters like Steve Bannon on the National Security Council threatens the security of every American.

Taxation: I will admit, I am not as well versed in this as I should be. However, I know that we should not be allowing big businesses to benefit the most from tax breaks while middle class families that make 50,000 a year are paying 10-15,000 of that just in taxes. There should also be no discussion of not allowing homeowners to write off their mortgage interest or having to pay taxes on capital gains from selling their homes.

Worker's Rights: I believe that the minimum wage should be a living wage, but I believe that varies from state-to-state.  I believe that the federal minimum wage should be raised to at least $10/hour. However, depending on the economy of each individual state, it should be raised from there. The minimum wage in California should not match that of South Carolina simply because the economy, housing markets, etc. are completely different. SC is a right to work state; however, I believe that unions have a powerful purpose in helping workers fight for better healthcare, pensions, and other benefits. Also, in SC we need to understand that in many of our rural counties, blue collar jobs drive those communities. We need to make sure those jobs are available and that we are striving to find people to fill those jobs.

Small Businesses: Are the framework of the American dream. These entrepreneurs deserve the utmost respect and their businesses should not be run into the ground because of taxes and high costs of providing healthcare to their employees. They should benefit from lower taxes than big businesses, and allowed more tax breaks for situations like expansion.

Women's Rights:   I absolutely feel that women's rights are currently under attack. I would never choose abortion for myself but I stand with a woman's right to choose that for herself, and a woman should not be made to feel like a criminal or less of a woman for making that choice. I stand with Planned Parenthood because I acknowledge how much value the services they provide, bring to women.

And here is her background:

I was born in Hartsville, SC and I moved to Rock Hill when I was 15. But for my husband being stationed in Jacksonville, NC, I consider this place to be home. When my husband deploys, I come home. When he goes to extended training, I come home. I live here now, so that I can properly represent the people of this district. My ties here are strong. My mother teaches at Rock Hill High and my brother teaches at Winthrop. It is important for people to understand that me getting out to hear the people and talk to them face-to-face, is the best way, and the only way we will truly learn about the people of our district and their concerns. That is what I am here to do.

As you might guess, Alexis doesn't have deep pockets, and doesn't have the connections to big money that other candidates might have.  Rather, she is one of us.  So she is going to need our help and support.

While she is working on her Facebook profile and website, and until she has her ActBlue account up and running, you can donate at:

It really is time to make a difference.  If we don't live in District 5, we know people who do.  Chances are, they don't know there is a special election primary on May 5.  And if they do know, and if they have read the names of the candidates in the newspaper, they probably don't have the wealth of information you now have.

And I can guarantee that when it comes down to the issues, Alexis is going to be the candidate that the voters will want to see in the House of Representatives.

So spread the word in person and on social media.  Make a donation if you can.  Mark your calendar, and make sure your friends and family mark their's.

We have marched a few miles to change things this year, and now we just need to make sure we all march to the polls to take Alexis Frank to Congress.

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