Recent Articles

Call for Congress! Jason Call

Dianne Foster explains why, after 21 years, Rick Larsen has got to go!

Dianne Foster explains why, after 21 years, Rick Larsen has got to go!

By

Why Vote Jason Call for Congress:

Jason Call is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District against incumbent Rick Larsen; this primary is key to that campaign, and ballots will drop in the mail July 13th. Jason will fight for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Climate Action, fair trade, racial and gender equity, housing as a human right, criminal justice reform, rethinking policing, and an end to endless wars. As a math teacher, musician, lifelong peace activist, and former Washington Democratic Party central committee member, Jason is a refreshing alternative to the incumbent who has voted consistently to fund the Pentagon over human needs. Jason’s campaign consists completely of individual donations.

Wall Street vs. Main Street:

Rick Larsen is a corporate Democrat who’s been in Congress since 2001, 21 years. Larsen voted against regulating big banks, and in fact, in 2018 he voted to weaken the Dodd-Frank Amendment. Earlier, in 2004, when he voted for the credit card industry’s bankruptcy bill, it cost him the endorsement of the Whatcom Democrats. Larsen voted for the George Bush repeal of the estate tax, and during the Obama years he joined the Tea Party to further cut programs in the name of “deficit reduction.” He also favored a tort reform bill that limited consumer’s rights to sue for damages or medical malpractice.

Climate and coal terminal:

Larsen’s history of involvement with the Gateway Pacific Terminal (the defeated Cherry Point coal terminal) goes back to February 2011, when he said, “I am pleased to see an in-district company making a major private investment in our nation’s export infrastructure.” In 2015, it was reported that Larsen supported an amendment that would allow reviewers to disregard concerns brought forward by Lummi Nation regarding the development’s violation of treaty rights. The amendment was agreed upon by voice vote. Democrat Frank Pallone of New Jersey rose against the amendment specifically identifying its violation of treaty rights the Lummi Nation has with the U.S. Finally, in 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers declared that indeed, the GPT did violate their rights, but Lummi Nation got  no help from their own Congressional representative, Larsen, who was busy palling around with donors who sought to profit off the project. Larsen’s PAC donors include: SSA Marine: $6,000 by 2011, followed by $28,000 since; and Goldman Sachs: $5,000 in 2011. Goldman Sachs had been an investor in the GPT until major protests signaled its demise.

Foreign Policy:

Starting with a series of votes in 2001, Larsen has helped keep the U.S. from becoming a member of the International Criminal Court. According to Wikipedia, “…the ICC is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal seated in The Hague, Netherlands. It is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression." Further, Larsen consistently voted to fund the Iraq War, even as constituents pressured him to take a stand against it. In 2005, he voted against ending the war, and voted for a resolution “to express the commitment... to achieving victory in Iraq.” Not coincidentally, he received at least $635,500 from 38 companies with PACs linked to the military-industrial complex: Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Raytheon, United Technologies, Honeywell, Boeing, and multiple others. He gives unwavering support to Israel, to whom Boeing sells fighter jets for its war on the Palestinians, and voted for Mike Pence’s amendment against humanitarian aid to the later. In 2020, he attended an American Israeli Public Affairs Committee conference that was later determined to have been a “super-spreader” event. A staff volunteer has admitted that after peace activists leave Larsen’s office, he makes fun of them.

PACs:

Since 2014, a majority of Larsen’s funding has come from corporate sources, including $15,000 from Koch Industries; $1000 each from two tobacco companies; and at least $433,699 from the fossil fuel industry; including BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Marathon Oil, and others. In 2011, he voted to undermine federal gasoline emissions regulations. By 2014, he voted to cut the EPA budget by $8.5 million and instead redirect that money to grants for police.

Free Trade vs. Fair Trade:

Rick was a staunch supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a “trade agreement” written in secret by 600 corporations, many of whom are his donor base. This treaty proposed to give corporations the power to sue governments for regulations that interfered with their right to make a profit in any participating member nation. Though the entire Democratic base, all labor unions, and environmental groups such as Sierra Club opposed this measure, Rick would not be moved. Therefore, we were forced to hold a  sit-in in his office. The TPP was ultimately defeated by the Trump election. However, when Trump re-wrote the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as promised, it was worse than the original. Rick supported NAFTA 2.0 - “TrumpTrade,” as well as the TPP, (though most likely the Donald had been elected because of bad trade agreements that outsourced good American jobs to slave labor countries).

Healthcare:

Larsen has always opposed single-payer or Medicare for All, given his many donors from the private insurance sector. He recently posted a photo of himself hobnobbing with insurance company lobbyists in D.C.! Yet tens of thousands of people died in the pandemic due to lack of insurance. As a retired Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), I am speechless at this hubris. Here are a few of his pro-insurance donors: American Dental Association - $55,500, Premera Blue Cross - $35,000, McKessen (pharmaceutical and medical supply corporation) - $34,500, American Hospital Association - $31,000, American Medical Association - $23,000. My source is the Federal Elections Commission.

Constituent experiences:

On every occasion I have met with Rick Larsen, I have come away angry and discouraged. Perhaps the worst episode was a get-together of the 4th Corner Coalition, made up of Whatcom Peace and Justice, Community to Community (farmworker justice), Occupy Bellingham, and Veterans for Peace. One of the issues we raised was comprehensive immigration reform. Larsen had previously voted for a watered down version, and when Edgar Franks from Community to Community introduced his more comprehensive bill, Larsen looked at him and said, “Why can’t YOU PEOPLE get your act together?” Meaning, why can’t they be just as neoliberal as One America (an immigrant rights non-profit) whose requests are minimal. My biggest regret is not walking out with Edgar after that insult.

I have been targeted by Larsen’s sarcasm as well over the years, and especially irritated by his “pivot trick.” That is, when you bring up a subject, he redirects the conversation back to you, which thereby avoids the point. For example: In February 2014, our 4th Corner Coalition wanted to know why the U.S. was installing a neo-Nazi government in Kiev, which would be certain to provoke a Russian response and cause undue suffering to the Ukrainian people (a position in hindsight that was prophetic). Larsen turned to me and said, “Do you know anyone that’s Ukrainian?” Before I could answer, “Yes, I work with a Ukrainian doctor,” Larsen butted in, pivoted the conversation, and wouldn’t let me finish.

We need a representative who represents us. Vote Jason Call for Congress. https://www.callforcongress.com/

Related Links

Comments by Readers

Satpal Sidhu

Jul 05, 2022

Hi Diane

It would be nice to know more about Jason Call and his past work and accomplishments. Just denouncing Rick Larsen is not enough to ask people to vote for the other candidate.

Read More...

Dianne Foster

Jul 05, 2022

Satpal,

Here is Jason’s website: www.jasoncallforcongress.  

He was a math teacher and lifelong peace activist who was on the Washington Democratic Central Committee.  He campaigned two years ago as well,  and I have been a donor ever since.   He represents the public interest over private, for-profit corporate interests.  I recieve his emails daily, which are in-depth essays on the relevant topics of the day.  He understands the desperation of people with inadequate health insurance, as his mother died from complications of a routine surgery, when she requested one more day in the hospital but her company denied her request.   She was sent home to develop a secondary infection that was ultimately fatal.   He believes in healthcare for all, not just some.  He believes Democrats like Larsen have had 20 years to codify Roe, but didn’t take the leadership.   While President Biden just appointed a privatizer to the Social Security board,  I have never seen Rick break rank with a corporate Democrat in office.  We are drifting toward the neoliberal dream of privatization, de-unionization, de-regulation, and “free trade” agreements.  That drift needs to be halted by electing as many local officials as possible who will take leadership.  If you would like to meet him in person and ask questions,  I would be delighted if you attend the meet and greet sponsored by myself and Barbara Rofkar next Tuesday, July 12th, at Squalicum Boathouse, 5:30-7:30.  You can ask your questions directly at that time. 

Read More...

Carol Follett

Jul 05, 2022

Thanks, Diane! It would be great to have him in. His website is:https://www.callforcongress.com/

 

Read More...

Call for Congress! Jason Call

By Guest WriterOn Jul 05, 2022

Dianne Foster explains why, after 21 years, Rick Larsen has got to go!

3 comments, most recent 3 hours ago

The 4th.  The Declaration.  Let’s Read It.

By Dick ConoboyOn Jul 02, 2022

How does our Declaration of Independence speak to us today?

13 comments, most recent 1 day ago

Sharon Shewmake: Corporate Democrat, Riveter, Tied to Big Telecom

By Jon HumphreyOn Jun 13, 2022

Still No Dig Once Policy? Here’s Why

14 comments, most recent 1 day ago

An Obligation to Speak Up

By Guest WriterOn Jun 13, 2022

Satpal Sidhu writes on sensible gun laws. This is not freedom that we love, this is anarchy.

5 comments, most recent 2 days ago

Bellingham City Club Presentation on Medicare Privatization

By Dick ConoboyOn Jun 10, 2022

Building awareness of proposed privatization efforts is extremely important. Don’t miss this valuable talk.

2 comments, most recent 2 days ago

Greenwashing: The Filter on a Cigarette

By Jon HumphreyOn Jun 09, 2022

Green Ribbon Schools, clean hydrogen, and recyclable plastics are propaganda campaigns

The Constitution. The Second Amendment. And blah, blah, blah, blah…

By Dick ConoboyOn Jun 02, 2022

If we are not including repeal of the Second Amendment in our national conversation, we are not serious about stopping gun violence. For therein lies the solution.

27 comments, most recent 2 days ago

Is 22 North Going South?

By Dick ConoboyOn May 31, 2022

The supportive housing building at 1022 North State St. is having severe control problems with drug use, unsanitary conditions, and daily police interventions.

8 comments, most recent 3 weeks ago

Letter: DCEs and Privatization of Medicare

By Letter WriterOn May 29, 2022

Lynda Hanscome writes about being notified she is now included in a DCE

Memorial Day and Donut Dollies - They Wore Dog Tags Too

By Dick ConoboyOn May 28, 2022

Truth be told, most of these young women were in as much danger as many soldiers. Hostile fire is hostile fire. Agent Orange was everywhere.

Webinar on Fighting Medicare Privatization Crashes Website

By Dick ConoboyOn May 24, 2022

An overwhelming response to a webinar on fighting the privatization of Medicare crashed the website of the sponsor, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)

Fiber vs. Cable vs. Wireless

By Guest WriterOn May 23, 2022

We know internet access is a big deal. We know about the digital divide. 5G is rolling out. Do you understand what’s going on? Leslie Shankman explains beautifully.

Geneva Cell Tower Protest

By Jon HumphreyOn May 18, 2022

Board member acknowledges illegal contract

3 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Seattle City Council Reacts To Medicare Privatization

By Dick ConoboyOn May 16, 2022

Bellingham and Whatcom Councils should follow suit to protect their citizens from corporate control.

130 Foot Cell Tower Approved for Geneva, Neighbors Blindsided

By Jon HumphreyOn May 16, 2022

Tower to be built in residential neighborhood, near two elementary schools

5 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Death of the Golden Goose

By Guest WriterOn May 13, 2022

Taimi Gorman guest writes a Grim Fairhaven Fairy Tale

15 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The Hype vs. the Reality

By Jon HumphreyOn May 11, 2022

Feds announce discounted/free high-speed internet, but the devil is in the details.

CityView Appeal Window Has Closed

By Dick ConoboyOn May 07, 2022

The baton has been passed to the developer to perform on this private dormitory complex. We shall see…

Letter: Local Governments and the Environment

By Letter WriterOn May 03, 2022

Liz Marshall writes about her concerns of our local governments and their environmental actions

Medicare Beneficiaries to Uncle Joe: “Thanks for stopping by.”

By Dick ConoboyOn Apr 27, 2022

Biden missed a chance to truthfully address his administration’s actions to privatize Medicare.

4 comments, most recent 1 month ago