Tuesday, May 6, 2014

AL.com editorial board candidate endorsements

From: Edward Bowser <EBowser@al.com>
Date: Tue, May 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Subject: AL.com editorial board candidate endorsements
To: "rdshattuck@gmail.com" <rdshattuck@gmail.com>

Good afternoon, Mr. Shattuck, I hope you’re well.

I’m Edward Bowser with AL.com, representing our Editorial Board. We’re in the process of endorsing candidates and we need your help.

Could you provide six to 10 issues that you feel are key to this election, and provide his stance on those issues? We’re presenting those issues directly to readers, and that feedback with help us make our final decision on endorsements.

If possible, we’d like to have your response by close of business today, around 5 p.m. or so.

Thanks so much for your help and please reach out to me here or at my number below if you have questions.

Edward Bowser
Community Engagement Specialist
Alabama Media Group

From: Rob Shattuck <rdshattuck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, May 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: AL.com editorial board candidate endorsements
To: Edward Bowser <EBowser@al.com>
Cc: "gp1494@att.com" <gp1494@att.com>, "chad@drmathisforcongress.com" <chad@drmathisforcongress.com>, "will@votewillforcongress.com" <will@votewillforcongress.com>, "tomv@tomisforyou.com" <tomv@tomisforyou.com>, "pdemarco@pljpc.com" <pdemarco@pljpc.com>, "dean@drmathisforcongress.com" <dean@drmathisforcongress.com>, "billy@votewillforcongress.com" <billy@votewillforcongress.com>, "vic1baker@aol.com" <vic1baker@aol.com>, "jpudner@concentricgrasstops.com" <jpudner@concentricgrasstops.com>, "rjourney@rickjourney.com" <rjourney@rickjourney.com>, Scott Beason <senatorsbeason@gmail.com>, "jon@palmerforalabama.com" <jon@palmerforalabama.com>

Dear Mr. Bowser,

This is in response to your above email.

Issue #1

The problem:

My campaign has been charging that, in Washington DC, there is not government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and that Congress has basically stopped functioning in the way it is supposed to for the American people. Further, I don't see any reason to think that Congress is going to regain functioning for the American people, unless the American people take needed action to force Congress to change how Washington works.

I think there are numerous important matters that Congress should address for the American people, including the debt, entitlements, health care, tax reform, and immigration. Looking at how Congress has performed or failed to perform its job for the American people during the past five to ten years, and how it has largely been unable to address these matters, I don't see Congress being able to address the matters in a proper way for the American people during the next two to four years (unless a start is made on forcing the aforesaid change of the way Washington works).

Thus, my Issue #1 is that the American people need to do what is necessary to get Congress to change the way Washington works, so that Congress can resume functioning properly for the American people again. 

This entails first diagnosing, if possible, why Congress has stopped working properly for the American people, and then seeing whether there is a way to try fix that. Until a start is begun on that, Congress will continue unable to address the important matters mentioned above and other matters.

I think, in deciding how the Editorial Board evaluates this issue #1, the Editorial Board should take into account that the other candidates have declined to discuss my charges. Does that mean my charges are baseless? Does that mean the other candidates are unable to discern something that is very important for the voters in the 6th Congressional district? In making a decision about endorsement, I think the Editorial Board needs to answer the foregoing questions for itself.

My diagnosis and solution:

To use a short hand term (and this is very shorthand and deserving of several pages of explication), my diagnosis is that of a "money monster" in politics. Under my diagnosis, there is no way Congress is, of its own accord, going to undertake what is needed to try to fix the problem, and only the voters can force Congress to do that.

I fully acknowledge that the reality is that it is a long shot whether voters will be able to force Congress to fix or try to fix itself.

In deciding about its endorsement, the Editorial Board may conclude that, yes, there is a very significant problem about Congress not functioning properly for the American people. but it is virtually impossible that a fix can be accomplished, and therefore Candidate Shattuck's issue #1 needs to be disregarded in the Editorial Board's reaching its endorsement decision because nothing can be done about the problem.

I hope the Editorial Board will at least be explicit with itself about this, if it chooses not to endorse me.

Issue #2 -- My American Lawmaker's Creed

I think there is a discrete component in the problem discussed in issue #1, which I think warrants being identified as a separate issue for the voters to consider relative to which candidate will endeavor to push on the issue.

A problem for democratic government (and the problem becomes bigger the bigger government is and the more pervasively it intrudes in the economy by taxation, spending, regulation and other governmental action), is that actors in the economy fixate on the respective niches in which the government affects them and which are very significant for them (let's call this the "special interest" phenomenon).  This results in these actors being concerned only about how they are affected in their particular niche and being indifferent to whatever else the government does which things outside their particular niche.  This in turn is associated with campaign contributions being linked only to laws or governmental action affecting a particular niche of the "special interest", and the politicians accommodating, or trying to accommodate, many "special interest" in their particular niches, to the detriment of more general interests.

In my campaign, I have discussed how lawmakers are frequently confronted with a matter in which the people have general interests on opposite sides at the same time, and in which a very small group of persons have a special, one sided interest. See My American Lawmaker's Creed,  I have said that, in these situations, lawmakers should make their decisions virtually exclusively on the basis of balancing the two generalized societal interests that are on the opposite side, and should disregard the special, one sided interest of a small group.  See The GM faulty ignition recall.  In the first cited link, I conclude by saying, "There are hundreds of potent one sided, special interests, which are hard at work in Washington, and their fundraising, campaign contributions and other activities are significant contributing factors to the defects in governance that my Congressional campaign is about."

So, I make as issue #2, which has far reaching ramifications, that I hold myself out as a candidate who, if elected, will endeavor to practice, and to advocate to my fellow Congressmen practice, My American Lawmaker's Creed.

To my knowledge, none of the other candidates has evidenced giving any thought to the this issue #2. I think this issue #2 is an issue that should weigh significantly in my favor in the Editorial Board's endorsement decision.

Issue #3 -- Health care

The other candidates have blamed Obama and the Democrats for The Affordable Care Act, and they bang on "repeal and replace."

I believe The Affordable Care Act is a monstrosity, I blame it more on the above described "problem" and the "special interests" having all been hard at work to make sure they were ok in their respective niches (per the discussion under issue #2).  Also, I ask, where were the Republicans in Washington during 2001 to 2007, when they had the Presidency and the House and Senate, and it was known that some health care reform was needed, and they could have tried for reform more to their liking?

In short, I think the Editorial Board should decide which of the candidates has a better understanding of the problem of why the United States has The Affordable Care Act, why it is likely to remain the monstrosity it is, or be replaced with a comparable monstrosity, and that the American people will best make headway in getting the monstrosity meaningfully changed or replaced by forcing Congress to change the way Washington works.

Issue #4 -- The national debt, pro-growth energy policies, less intrusive government

I have argued that average Republicans, average Democrats, and average independents are very similar in their desires and goals regarding these important issues, and that the political class in Washington is the common enemy of such Republicans, Democrats, and independents in having a Congress that is functioning for the American people and that will address the issues.  See the discussion under "Brooke question regarding Federal budget" in the entry Let's deconstruct what the other answers will be, and also the entry MAKING SENSE OF THIS.

I consider what we have witnessed in Washington DC in recent years to be Kabuki Theater, in which the two sides push around issues as will keep their respective sides agitated, with the prime objective of keeping the electorate divided and maintaining their powers and riches in Washington, with little concern for the best interests of the American people.  The other candidates only offer to enable further this Kabuki Theater.

Issue #5 -- Cultural issues
I consider many of the cultural issues, which are important to the voters in the 6th Congressional district and also important in different ways to other persons, all to be part of this Kabuki Theater.

Issue #6 -- My "open" Congressional office idea

I think the voters should take into account important benefits that would flow if my "open" Congressional office idea was implemented.  See "Press release" re suggestion for improving Congress.


The voters have been ill-served by the refusal of the other candidates to discuss the foregoing things which I have been talking about in my campaign. 

In light of such disservice, whether or not the Editorial Board endorses me, I hope the Editorial Board will go out of its way to give to voters the benefit of what the Editorial Board thinks about these matters which the other candidates have refused to discuss.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this letter to you.

Rob Shattuck
Candidate, 6th Congressional district

SUPPLEMENTAL SUBMISSION: The above was supplemented on May 9 th by means of the below email:

From: Rob Shattuck <rdshattuck@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM
Subject: AL.com editorial board candidate endorsements -- Supplemental submission
To: Edward Bowser <EBowser@al.com>
Cc: [omitted]

Dear Edward,

Today I made a response to a request from the 60 Plus Association for me to make a pledge regarding repeal of death taxes. I have posted the response I made in this campaign website entry:

I wish to make a supplemental submission to the AL.com editorial board in its candidate endorsement process of the statements I make in the above link.

Thank you.

Rob Shattuck

No comments:

Post a Comment