We are facing huge long-term problems: a real unemployment rate of 18%, dysfunctional banks that are "too big to fail", a regressive tax structure that's stifling economic growth, prisons that are bursting at the seams, urban schools that are struggling, a health care system that still needs major reform, the lack of a coherent national energy policy that will protect our economy and the environment, and a government that has been encroaching on our civil liberties. For decades we have lived with irresponsible public policies from career politicians in Congress who care more about increasing their party’s power and getting re-elected than they care about solving long-term problems. They haven’t been honest with us, and they have been lousy public servants.
I’m different. I do not want to be a career politician. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a Problem Solver. I want to force members of Congress to be responsible, and implement sustainable solutions to real problems. Please read the positions I present on this website, and spread the word to friends and family.
Monday, October 19, 2009
CNN article about John Mertens and the CFL
Here is the same response that I posted to other similar articles (Hartford Courant, Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate, Fairfield Weekly).
It would be nice if one reporter would go to the Connecticut Secretary of the State office and look at the CFL file. They would discover that many of the claims by other people in these articles are false.
First, some factual information:
I began working closely with John Orman and the CFL in the summer of 2007. I contacted him in July 2007 because the Secretary of the State (SOS) refused to issue a petition to collect signatures to allow the Independent Party ballot access in 2006. (While, of course, they issued Joe Lieberman a petition. We later defeated the SOS on this issue in 2008.) I explained to John that I had been the Independent Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, and that we had been refused ballot access, and that he should take control of the CFL more seriously. “John, the CFL has real value. It has a ballot line for U.S. Senate. You need to file real party rules.” The party rules that John had filed with the SOS had no procedures for electing officers or nominating candidates. John supported the use of the CFL to run for office and fight for good government, and John said “I want you to become chair.” I reluctantly agreed, worrying about how much work it would be. I wrote real party rules, created the CFL website, and held a statewide party caucus in March 2008. (An invitation was mailed to every registered member of the party, and more than 50% attended. Note: the members voted to endorse Barack Obama for President, NOT Sen. Dodd, as claimed by Sue Henshaw in a recent Hartford Courant article.) At that meeting I gave a short speech, in which I spoke about “turning this party into something real.” I was humbly surprised by the spontaneous applause that it elicited. (Sue Henshaw and Ed Anderson were present, and heard this speech.) I was elected unanimously as chair, and we ran five people for state rep. in 2008. We had another statewide caucus in early 2009. John Orman again voted to elect me chair. (Ed and Sue were no longer members of the party.)
A few months before John Orman passed away, he called me and said that he wanted to run for U.S. Senate against Chris Dodd in 2010, and/or Joe Lieberman in 2012. I explained that I had been working to get third parties to work together in 2010, and that I was going to seek the CFL nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010. He said “OK, you run against Chris Dodd in 2010, and I’ll run against Lieberman in 2012.” My friend John Orman knew exactly what was going on, and supported it. I wish he was here today to participate in what we are doing. He is sorely missed, and was one of the real good guys.
My motivation is not selfish. I have been an educator for a long time, teaching engineering, public policy, and environmental science, and volunteering in Hartford and West Hartford schools for 18 years. I want to educate voters, especially young voters, to not be “Good Democrats” or “Good Republicans”, and instead insist on Good Government. It’s time for us to stop supporting any career politician just because they wear the label “Democrat” or “Republican”. I will tell the unadulterated truth about the huge, long term problems that we face, the real issues that career politicians refuse to address because they care more about getting re-elected in two, or four, or six years, than they care about doing what’s right for us, the people.
I am running a serious campaign to bring real problem-solving to government. I urge all of you read the 30 detailed position statements and solutions to long term problems that I present on this website. Until you do so, I would argue that you should not criticize me or suggest that I should not exercise my democratic right to run for office. I would wager a great deal of money that you will agree with my positions more than those of any other candidate in the race. And I ask that you elect me to U.S. Senate in 2010.