Monday, September 8, 2014

Extension of Solicitation of Symposium before Nov. 4th

As described in the preceding entry Trying to get local Symposium before Nov. 4th, I initiated an effort to get a local symposium (having the suggested title  "The Condition of Our Federal Government, Campaign Finance, and Freedom of Speech"), by first proposing the same to Birmingham-Southern College. This was because the Democratic candidate in the Alabama 6th Congressional district is Birmingham-Southern Professor Mark Lester.

Whether anything happens with Birmingham-Southern remains to be seen. 

There is no reason not to extend this effort to Samford, UAB, University of Montevallo, and even the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Also, there are other organizations and persons which should be interested and be willing to participate and take this up.

I will accordingly make extension of my solicitation about this.

How important is this to justify the holding of a Symposium

I have endeavored to argue the importance of this for the past six months, and it is appropriate to review briefly this history.

I have said the chief questions are:

1. Just how "broken" or "dysfunctional" or "failed" or "kaput" is our Congress?

2. If your answer to the first question is "very" broken (or dysfunctional, or failed, or kaput), is there a diagnosis that can be made about reasons for the same?

3. If there is such a diagnosis, is there anything that can be done to fix (or significantly improve) the situation?

In my campaign in the primary election, I was unable to get past question 1 and basically could not get any thoughtful discussion about question 1.

The unwillingness to talk about question 1 extended to all of the following: (i) Senators Sessions and Shelby and Representative Bachus (as well as the rest of the Alabama legislative delegation in Washington DC); (ii) the other six candidates in the Republican primary; (iii) the sponsors of and questioners in numerous 6th Congressional candidate forums; and (iv) local media and political commentators.

With no answer being given by any of the foregoing persons or entities to question 1, no consideration of questions 2 or 3 was given.

Alternatively, some of the foregoing persons and entities may say that the answer to question 1 is obvious, everyone knows that Congress is very  broken, dysfunctional, failed, and kaput, and no time need be spent by anyone asking or answering question 1, and further questions 2 and 3 are pointless areas of inquiry. In this alternative, do you consider it satisfactory to say "everyone knows Congress is broke" and nothing more? I think that is highly unsatisfactory. What do you think?

This campaign website documents fulsomely the foregoing statements. Here are a few key links:

What do you think?

Besides what I have been saying and arguing, you have your own sources of information and political opinion.

What does your national news tell you? You hear about the abysmal approval ratings of Congress. You hear how fed up the public is with their Congress, the gridlock, the dysfunctinality, etc.

Listening to that, do you think it is satisfactory what I describe above about the past six months in the 6th Congressional district?

Consider POLITICO's recently released. "list of thinkers, doers, and dreamers who really matter in this age of gridlock and dysfunction," and that Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, the primary mover behind MAYDAY, is number 33 on the list. See The POLITICO 50. 

Doesn't someone owe the voters in the 6th Congressional district more than they have gotten thus far?

[Update 9/9:  The Senate has agreed that a vote may take place on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United case. Do you 6th Congressional district voters think should receive some discussion about this by Gary Palmer and Mark Lester? Do you think Senators Sessions and Shelby and outgoing Representative Bachus should offer to you the benefit of their views on this?]

Steps I am going to take

I am going to take steps to extend this solicitation for a Symposium as indicated above. I will update this entry to report the steps I take or have taken.

Update 9/11

I have sent solicitations for the holding of a Symposium before November 4th to the Provosts of Samford University, the University of Montevallo, UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham), and the University of Alabama.

Update 9/17

Here's how they do it at M.I.T.

Update 9/22

On September 9th, a link to this entry was emailed to those listed below. They are variously representatives of the local news and media, political commentators, sponsors of candidate forums during the Republican 6th Congressional district election from February to June 3rd, entities which sent out questionnaires to the candidates, the Republican candidates themselves, the Democratic and Libertarian candidates in the 6th Congressional district general election, and Representative Sewell. All of these persons know who I am. None of them have made any response to me.

Madison Underwood <>,
Thomas Allen <>,
news <>,
news <>,
newsdesk <>,
Ron Gholson <>,,,
"robert.thuston" <>,
Kirk Mancer <>,
chamber <>,
Alison Howell <>,
Cheryl Mathews <>,
Nathan Lindsay <>,
Jim & Dolores Fort <>,
Brandon Moseley <>,
mark <>,,
Apryl Marie Fogel <>,
mayers <>,
Edward Bowser <>,
ndavis <>,,,
Phillip Ohnemus <>,
Jim Stinson <>,
"Powers, Wade" <>,
"" <>,
"" <>,
"" <>,
"" <>,
Scott Beason <>,
"" <>,,,
emma <>

Update 9/25

On September 10th, Mark Lester, the Democratic candidate in the AL 6th Congressional district, posted the below video of highlights from a press conference he held about special interest money. Please note Professor Lester's opening statement that, "The most important issue in this campaign is that Congress is broken, and one of the great reasons that Congress is broken is that it is awash with special interest money."

Highlights from Mark Lester's press conference on special interest money

No comments:

Post a Comment