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I sent this letter this morning to my neighbors here where I live in Bart Stupak's Michigan congressional district. I thought I would share it with the rest of you -- and please feel free to share it with others you may know in Michigan:
Dear Northern Michigan Democrats, Independents, and recovering Republicans:
It would be one thing if our Congressman, Bart Stupak, was just the laughing stock of the country -- which he is -- but, by default, this makes us who put him there the laughing stock, too.
Yet, worse than this personal humiliation that we share as residents of Michigan's 1st congressional district is the fact that this one individual just may succeed in the next 12 to 18 hours in cementing the status quo of American health care -- i.e., the murder-by-no-health-insurance each year of 45,000 of our fellow citizens who can't afford to see a doctor and are left to die. In other words, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO LIFE.
I am writing this letter not to talk about Bart Stupak but to talk about us. Who are we? WE are the people who have placed this power in Bart Stupak's hands to do the damage he is about to do. AN ENTIRE COUNTRY THIS MORNING IS LOOKING TO US HERE IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN. What are WE going to do about this? In the end, WE will be at fault, not the out-of-control man who chose to live in a house on Capitol Hill where other members could have affairs and where he could have his room subsidized by a cult called "The Family." Unbelievable.
For years now, we have turned the other way when Stupak has taken the Republican position, time and time again. We did so because we rationalized to ourselves that he "had" to do this in order to get elected in a "conservative" district. This is OUR fault. Northern Michigan has changed and we've failed to acknowledge that! How else do you explain Mancelona -- about as poor and white and working class as you can get -- voting by a majority for Obama?! Or more than half of the Upper Peninsula going for Obama?! Benzie County voted for Obama, as did Leelanau County, Manistee County, Roscommon County, Claire County, etc., etc. Does it need pointing out that THESE counties voted for an African American?!
I think that we've been stuck too long on this old and dying notion of what "northern Michigan" is. This has to stop.
No more of Bart Stupak! And no more Bart Stupaks in office representing us!
Only we can stop him -- and we must do it now. His office is only answering calls where the caller ID shows a Michigan phone number. Call his direct line number on Capitol Hill today (Sunday):
Or try this toll free number (from Michigan only):
(Some people have gotten through, but his voice mail fills up quickly)
EMAIL: If you live in Bart Stupak’s district, you can email him here using his official webform email.
If you live near any of his seven district offices in Michigan, you can try their phone numbers or fax lines (or organize a spontaneous Sunday protest at these addresses below -- be sure to call the local media and post photos of it online AND email the link to Stupak at the above email address):
111 E. Chisholm
Alpena, MI 49707
(989) 356 0690
(989) 356 0923 - Fax
Contact: Sheila or John
Iron County Courthouse
2 South 6th St., Suite #3
Crystal Falls, MI 49920-1413
(906) 875 3751
(906) 875 3889 - Fax
902 Ludington St
Escanaba, MI 49829
(906) 786 4504
(906) 786 4534 - Fax
Contact: Ann or Sue
616 Sheldon Ave. Room 213
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 482 1371
(906) 482 4855 - Fax
1229 W. Washington St.
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 228 3700
(906) 228 2305 - Fax
Contact: Tom or Julee
Emmet County Building
200 Division St., Suite #178
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 348 0657
(231) 348 0653 Fax
Contact: Roger or Sue
575 Court Street
West Branch, MI 48661
(989) 345 2258
(989) 345 2285 Fax
Act now. How he votes will be on our conscience, fellow Michiganders, and no one else's.
"Represented" in Congress by Bart Stupak
P.S. If you're readig this letter and don't live in Stupak's district, but want to contact your member of congress, click here.
P.P.S. From a constituent: "Bart Stupak believes that being a woman is a pre-existing condition." Amen.
P.P.P.S. Hey Bart, just so you know who you've aligned yourself with, check out this story from this morning's New York Times:
Spitting and Slurs Directed at Lawmakers
By ROBERT PEAR
New York Times website
March 21, 2010
Thousands of opponents of the health care legislation circled the Capitol on Saturday waving signs and chanting slogans.
And while most of the invective was directed at the health care bill itself, several House members said there was an ugly tone to comments made by some demonstrators against three black lawmakers: Representatives André Carson of Indiana, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and John Lewis of Georgia, all Democrats.
An aide to Mr. Lewis, a leader of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, said that as he walked to the Capitol, Mr. Lewis was called racial slurs. A spokesman for Mr. Cleaver said that a protester spat on the congressman as he was walking to the Capitol for a vote.
Democratic aides said some demonstrators made anti-gay remarks to Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, who is gay.
The No. 3 Democrat in the House, Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, said, “I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus.”
Mr. Cleaver’s office issued this statement:
For many of the members of the CBC, like John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and for Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on during turbulent times.
This afternoon, the Congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The Congressman would like to thank the US Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care. After all the Members were safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the US Capitol Police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police.
This is not the first time the Congressman has been called the “n” word and certainly not the worst assault he has endured in his years fighting for equal rights for all Americans. That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name calling and spitting. He looks forward to taking a historic vote on health care reform legislation tomorrow, for the residents of the Fifth District of Missouri and for all Americans. He believes deeply that tomorrow’s vote is, in fact, a vote for equality and to secure health care as a right for all. Our nation has a history of struggling each time we expand rights. Today’s protests are no different, but the Congressman believes this is worth fighting for.
The Democratic majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, issued a statement condemning the remarks:
Today’s protests against health insurance reform saw a rash of despicable, inflammatory behavior, much of it directed at minority Members of Congress. According to reports, anti-reform protesters spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, yelled a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank, and addressed my dear friend, Rep. John Lewis, with a racial slur that he has sadly heard far too many times. On the one hand, I am saddened that America’s debate on health care — which could have been a national conversation of substance and respect — has degenerated to the point of such anger and incivility. But on the other, I know that every step toward a more just America has aroused similar hate in its own time; and I know that John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has learned to wear the worst slurs as a badge of honor.
America always has room for open and spirited debate, and the hateful actions of some should not cast doubt on the good motives of the majority, on both sides of this argument. But Members of Congress and opinion leaders ought to come to terms with their responsibility for inciting the tone and actions we saw today. A debate that began with false fears of forced euthanasia has ended in a truly ugly scene. It is incumbent on all of us to do better next time.
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