RobbDogg's Rips

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Friday, July 29, 2005

My Op/Ed on Duncan Hunter

Okay readers, this Op/Ed is going to shock you. This time, I'm playing nice because Duncan Hunter (R-CA) did something unpredictable Thursday morning during the CAFTA vote.

He kept his word.

The following Op/Ed will appear later this morning on Radio News America, and was recorded for a future NorthSouth broadcast on Unfiltered News Network. It explains everything.

Common Ground
Original Op/Ed by Robbie Michaels
July 29, 2005

It’s not often that I agree with Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). As a matter of fact, I could almost go as far and say I’ve agreed to disagree with him on just about any political issue. However, Thursday marked a special day in our relationship. For the first time, we found common ground on an issue we are both passionate about.

On June 29th, I posted a link on my blog for readers and listeners to sign Care2’s petition to urge their representatives to vote no on CAFTA. I was among over 15,000 people who signed the petition, and two weeks later I received a form letter from Duncan Hunter.

When I arrived home from work and opened my mailbox, I instantly recognized his letter on top of the pile of fast food restaurant coupons and unsolicited credit card offers. The “U.S. House of Representatives” printed in boldface on the left-hand corner, as well as Duncan Hunter’s signature on the opposite side, drew my attention as I laid the mail on the kitchen counter.

I leaned against the counter, reached for a steak knife and sliced the envelope across the top so I could grab the letter. I unfolded it, expecting to read the usual drivel about how Duncan’s happy to hear from me, and then explain in detail why he voted for a bill that I opposed.

I read the contents of the letter, and the first two paragraphs sounded the same as the previous letters I’ve received. However, the third paragraph made my heart stop. While I read each sentence, my hands went numb with shock, and the letter nearly slipped through my trembling fingers into the kitchen sink. After I regained my composure, I couldn’t hold back the smile that crossed my lips.

In his letter, Duncan stated he was very concerned with CAFTA and the effects it would have on American jobs in the textile and agricultural industries. He also stated the fact that CAFTA is based primarily after NAFTA, and he believed that this trade agreement should be opposed.

After all the dissenting form letters I’ve received from Duncan Hunter in the past, I finally got one in which we agreed on a political issue. I was pleasantly surprised to read Duncan’s words that evening, but I was still concerned about the possibility that he would not keep his promise when it was time to vote on CAFTA.

Just after midnight Thursday, the House passed CAFTA by a narrow margin. Immediately, fellow progressives wanted to know the names of Democrats who turned their backs on their constituents and voted for the trade agreement. On the other hand, I wanted to know how my state’s representatives voted.

On Yahoo! News, I found the House Roll Call on CAFTA and scanned down the alphabetized list of states until I found California. As expected, every Democrat voted against CAFTA. On the Republican side, all but one representative sold out the future of blue-collar America.

Duncan Hunter cast that one dissenting vote.

Although Duncan and I are polar opposites on the political spectrum, it is satisfying to know that a Republican who represents me in the House of Representatives had the courage to vote with their conscience and not tow the party line. Even though we didn’t stop CAFTA from passing, I appreciate Duncan Hunter’s efforts, and I won’t forget he kept his promise to me and other constituents who voiced their concerns on this issue.

To show my appreciation, I’m serving lemon-baked fish, fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, and rice pilaf at my friend’s upcoming dinner party. No pun intended.


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