Monday, April 19

Contact Congress TODAY and Get them on Record about Non-Violence

I just got off the phone with the Offices of all three of my Congressmen (Women) Senator Boxer, Senator Fienstein and Rep Waters in order to ask them a very specific question...

Does the Congressperson Unequivocally Renounce and Denounce All Forms of Political Violence?

The Following are the Answers I Received

I just got off the phone with the Offices of all three of my Congressmen (Women) Senator Boxer, Senator Fienstein and Rep Waters in order to ask them a very specific question...

[b]Does the Congressperson Unequivocally Renounce and Denounce All Forms of Political Violence?[/b]

The Following are the Answers I Received
The reason i made this call was because of what day it is today, the 17th Anniversary of the Tragic End of the Waco Incident and the 15th Anniversary of the Bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building.

In recent weeks and months there has been a clear uptick in incidents of violence against the Government, threats and vile epithets against elected leaders.

We need to know where each and every one of our elected representatives stand this issue - oddly enough [i]their[/i] lives might depend on it in the end. The question isn't one about War, which some could argue is a form of Political Violence - but that's not the question I'm asking because that general occurs between nations, and could be more accurately described as [i]Diplomatic Violence[/i]. War is what happens when the negotiations and Diplomacy have completely failed. No, what I'm really talking about here is Terrorism and Intimidation. Domestic Terrorism and Intimidation, regardless of partisanship.

I did not address whether this violence is coming more from the left or the right giving examples such as the recent Death Threats against Speaker Pelosi as well as GOP Whip Cantor.

McVeigh's Truck Bomb didn't ask which political party you belonged too.

I didn't ask whether the Senators and Reps felt that Extreme Rhetoric from the Tea Parties was necessarily contributing to the increase in threats and actual violence, as that is a Free Speech Debate.

The question is simple:

[b]Does the Congressperson Unequivocally Renounce and Denounce All Forms of Political Violence?[/b]

The question isn't a trick, it's either "Yes" answer or "No, with qualifications/excuses..."

I first spoke with [b]Sen Boxer's Office[/b] and in pretty short order received an answer of "[b]YES[/b]" from the staffer on the phone. It was quick, it was painless, it was unequivocal.

I then called [b]Senator Feinstein's[/b] Office and asked the staffer on the phone referred to the Press Office where I repeated the question, with some background as to why I'm asking it - [i]On this day[/i] - including who I was and what I planned to do with the information (Post it here and on my Facebook). [b]They took my contact information and said they'd get back to me today with an Official Position.[/b]

In the midst of this back and forth I speculated with them on her answer as likely to be "Yes" considering the fact that Sen Feinstein was President of the San Francisco Supervisors Office when both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were brutally gunned down in the San Francisco City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White. She's the one who discovered Harvey's body.

Although that was years ago, I could understand why her office might want to be double certain about getting her answer right. We'll see what she says.

Lastly I called [b]Congressman Maxine Waters[/b] Office in DC, and received a busy signal. I then called her local office and after attempting to grapple with the question in her own opinion the staffer said "there might be some circumstances where..?" I asked "So that not an unequivocal "Yes' is it?" Ultimately like Fienstein's Office they suggested I talk to the Press Office in DC. A staffer picked up when I called back to DC the second time and I presented the question. Ultimate the answer was..

[b]"There are no circumstances where violence is called for"[/b] (which is admittedly a paraphrase, but I took as a "[b]Yes[/b]")

That answer didn't come from the Press Office, but I'll take it for now. I had short conversation after this point about various incidents which have occurred at the Capital, and after admitting that things had recently "calmed down" it was clear that their is an edge of fear on Capital Hill.

"We hope that Law Enforcement is able to protect us all, but all it takes is that one lone person that no one can predict..." he said.

Amen to that.

So while I'm waiting for the Call Back from Senator Fienstein I'm asking you all to do the same thing. Call your Representatives and Post Back their response to this question - I'll tally the answers and post them on the new [a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Democratic-Non-Violence-Project/116830241662091"]Democratic Non-Violence Facebook[/a] Page and shows what the results are.

Do our Reps Denounce All Political Violence, or do they make excuses when it's politically adventagious the way the [a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/15/857662/-Rep.-Steve-King-Blows-Up-over-his-Justification-of-IRS-Attack"]Rep. Steve King[/a] did when he was asked about the plane flying into the IRS office in Austin Texas? Or try to excuse the attack the way the [a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/18/scott-brown-terrorism-yawn/"]Senator Scott Brown[/a] did.


Let's put them on record people.

Senate [a href="http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm"]Contact Info[/a]

[a href="http://www.house.gov"]House.Gov[/a]

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