Obama endorsed by Randall Edwards & Susan Castillo

We're a week late on this news, but somehow it only appeared on the Statesman Journal's "Legislature Watch" blog...

Barack Obama has picked up the endorsements of the State Treasurer, Randall Edwards, and the Supt. of Public Instruction, Susan Castillo.

From the SSJ:

“Barack Obama is the right person to heal this country and restore America’s standing in the world,” said Edwards, who is completing a second four-year term as treasurer this year. He is barred from running for a third term.

Castillo, the first Hispanic woman in statewide office, said she is endorsing Obama for his commitment to education. She has been a state schools chief, a nonpartisan office, for five years; she was a Democratic state senator for six years before that.

Of Oregon’s top Democrats, Gov. Ted Kulongoski and U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley have endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley and Oregon Senate President pro tem Margaret Carter have endorsed former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Others have made no public endorsements.


  • A. Rab. (unverified)

    Does anybody have a running tab on which Oregon official endorsed which Presidential candidate?

  • ToolMan (unverified)

    I just watched an old Tool Time (with "Tim the ToolMan Taylor") episode last night. In it was one of Jill's buddies, a guy name Randall. Randall insisted on everybody pronouncing his name "Ron Doll". Or Rahn Dahl. Very feminine like. Tim the ToolMan was not very impressed with Randall.

    Is that how Randall Edwards likes his name pronounced?

    Oh, and back on topic, does anybody really care who Randall Edwards has endorsed? I mean, really, who is gonna follow RonDoll Edwards anyway? Gov TeddyK, many will follow, but Randall Edwards? And has RonDoll even met Obama? And one more question: If Obama were asked today who the Treasurer of the state of Oregon was, would Obama even know the answer? Bonus question: Could Obama correctly pronounce Randall's name?

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    I'm glad to hear this! If you are the challenger, as Obama and Edwards are, it probably helps to have a bit of respect from the establishment. It probably also means something that if those who have power are willing to go out on a limb, especially to buck the system and endorse non-establishment candidates like Obama and Edwards, that also helps. And you may pay a price if your candidate looses, so it's not done lightly I would think. Let's face it, Clinton is the incumbent, it's deja vu all over again, Clinton Camelot 2.0., reruns of Dynasty. We had the Bush Dynasty, now we get to have the Clinton Dynasty,if we want it... And bein's that the Bushes and the Clintons are such good pals, won't that be wonderful! Barbara says that Bill is just like another son.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    A. Rab, I can report that Oregon State Legislators Chip Shields, Larry Galizio, and Ben Cannon have also endorsed Senator Obama.

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    House Speaker Jeff Merkley endorsed John Edwards awhile back. The Oregon President of the AFL-CIO Tom Chamberlain is also an Edwards supporter.

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    Merkley not only endorsed Edwards, but is co-chair for his Oregon campaign. Being someone who has been vacillating between Edwards and Obama (leaning heavily for Obama) I can live with that.

  • A. Rab. (unverified)


  • Gail Shivley (unverified)

    I am flying to Reno Thursday a.m. to pound on doors for Edwards, (one poll yesterday show him in a stong third- 28%) and will urge voters to consider Obama and Kucinich as their other choices. I am SO disgusted by the CLintons and their tactics that I would almost support Lieberman (if her were running) over her. He, too, is wrong on the war but at least has integrity. (See below)

    The Nevada caucuses are becoming a proxy for the racially tinged fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, with Barack Obama's campaign criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton's allies for a lawsuit that could prevent some minorities from participating.

    On Friday, six Democrats and a teachers union connected to Clinton filed a lawsuit claiming the rules enabling Las Vegas Strip waitresses, dishwashers and bellhops to caucus inside nine resorts violate state law and federal equal protection guarantees. Other caucus-goers lack the same access, the suit argues.

    The Clinton campaign has said it's not involved in the lawsuit. The Obama campaign says it may not be a coincidence that Clinton's allies are the plaintiffs.

    Obama also suggested the timing was notable, since the suit was filed Friday — two days after he was endorsed by the powerful Culinary Union. That group's 60,000 members make it the largest union in the state, and nearly 40 percent of its members are Hispanic, its leaders say.

    "Obviously the notion that some of the same people who helped to put together the caucus structure are now challenging it in the wake of the Culinary Union endorsement is a little troublesome," Obama told reporters Monday in Reno, Nev. "But we're confident that our people are going to show up, and I think we'll do very well."

    The Clinton campaign at first distanced itself but then echoed part of the lawsuit argument — a risky strategy in Nevada, where blacks and Hispanics make up nearly a third of the electorate.

    The nine special locations inside hotel casinos were meant to make it easier for employees in the state's biggest industry to caucus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — but were restricted to workers employed within 2.5 miles of the Strip.

    Bill Clinton on Monday defended the suit, saying the caucus rules unfairly favored one group over another.

    "I think the rules ought to be the same for everybody," the former president told more than 550 senior students at Green Valley High School near Las Vegas. "I would question why you would ever have a temporary caucus site and say only the people that work there, i.e., the people that we know are going to vote in a certain way or we think they will, (are) able to caucus."

    The plaintiffs are the Nevada State Education Association, its president, Lynn Warne, and five others. Debbie Cahill, the deputy executive director of the teachers' union, is a Clinton supporter and a member of the campaign's Nevada Women's Leadership Council.

    Two senior partners of the law firm handling the suit, Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner, Renshaw and Ferrario, have donated to Clinton in the past. Also, Clinton ally and former Rep. Jim Bilbray is an attorney at the firm.

    The state Democratic Party unanimously approved the caucus rules last March, and the Democratic National Committee signed on in August. Four of the six plaintiffs are members of the committee that approved the rules.

    Political consultant Dan Hart, who is a teachers' union operative, termed such speculation of a Clinton campaign maneuver to use the lawsuit to win the caucuses "political gossip." He said he heard the lawsuit was in the works and advised the teachers' union about a month ago.

    "I think everybody better start taking a look at this thing, figure out whether the process is fair and stop playing this political game of Clue — it's the Clinton campaign, in the library, with the candlestick," Hart said. "The questions should be, 'Does the suit have substance? Are there issues we need to correct and are we going to do something to correct them?'"

    Obama drew cheers at a Culinary Union event Sunday when he said the rules were fine until the union decided "'I'm going to support the outsider, I'm going to support the guy who's standing with the working people instead of the big shots.'"

    "You don't win an election and you don't serve democracy by trying to keep people out," Obama said. "You're supposed to try to bring them in and encourage everybody to get involved."

    Asked about the lawsuit while campaigning in Reno, Clinton said she was aware of it and hopes it "can be resolved by the courts and the state party because, obviously, we want as many people as possible to be able to participate. ... In the meantime, I'm just going to campaign as hard as I can here in Nevada."

    A poll released Monday by the Reno Gazette-Journal shows a statistical tie among Obama, Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards. © 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Have fun in Reno Gail! Hopefully I got to the doors for Senator Obama before you get there for Edwards! :-)

    Also, here is a report from Holly East, a Southern Oregonian who is volunteering for Senator Obama in Nevada right now.

  • naschkatze (unverified)

    Take that, guv'nor!

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    It's quite clear that the Clintons are responsible for the voter suppression effort in Nevada. That alone for me is a disqualifier for the presidency. Together with playing the Rovian fear card, the use of surrogates using racial innuendos to tarnish and diminish Obama, the unwillingness to say she was wrong in judgment about Iraq, are additional disqualifiers. Keeping voters from voting, that's at the top of the list for me. If she were the nominee, we're not going to have a conversation about Iraq and foreign policy, or about an economy that is predatory of the middle class, or the failure of our health care system. Instead it will be another campaign where the conversation is about Arkansas and the 90s and the personal corruption of Bill Clinton (who has been front and center in this primary.) Bill should have stayed a philanthropist and Hillary should not have waged a campaign of a Clinton restoration with these abhorrent tactics. Three or four weeks ago I would have said she is worthy of support, but now now. Campaigns are revelatory in that sense.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    I, too, am going to Reno tomorrow to volunteer for Edwards, although I really like Obama and Kuninich.

    How sad that there is a group of Democrats, including at least one union, trying to prevent workers from another union from voting. One of the reason that I, along with many others, despise caucuses is that they deny access to voters who are working at the appointed time, and there is no way to vote absentee. Hillary went out of her way to make that point in her Iowa concession speech. How would the teachers union react if Nevada voted on a weekday and there was a challenge to any effort to hold caucuses at or near schools??!!

    One of the reasons that NV was picked for an early slot was the relatively large % of union workers, and many of them work at casinos. They deserve the right to caucus at work.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    I agree w/ the concerns about voter suppression in Nevada. Is that really the way the Democratic party wants to go? I am h(0)peful, with a capital O, that Hillary will not get the nomination. If this is "false hope"--Hillary's phrase from New Hampshire, Dems may stay home in large numbers.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    Wow, just wow. Wonder if these people know that Obama has declared his undying admiration of Ronald Reagan?


    GAG ME!

    Reagan runs up record deficits, yet Obama says: "I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating."


  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Backbeat, I read the transcript. Obama is merely expressing an understanding of Reagan's historical significance. There is nothing in there that would indicate Obama admired Reagan's POLICIES. That's a huge difference.

    Its been a while since I read Obama's book "Dreams from my Father". But if I remember correctly, Obama was in college during the Reagan years and he actively expressed a distaste to say the least about those policies.

    I believe he was at Occidental College in L.A. in 1980-81 and that is where he first got up in public and began speaking out. Now I'm not saying that he challenged all of those policies publicly. But he has clearly been on the opposite side of the political spectrum from Reagan his entire political life.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    Well, here is the transcript:

    I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

    What "people" is he talking about? Certainly not me! The 1980's under Reagan were the most unaccountable, excessive in history except perhaps under GWB. Massive deficits, a build-up of the military industrial complex and more.

    Obama, where were you when Reagan was elected? I was at UO, crying in my beer. He generated HATE HATE HATE against people.

    I went home from Eugene right before the election to my rural red mill town. A dear friend who never left town was shocked that I was against Reagan. She quoted chapter and verse from his hateful talking points, "welfare queens, why should my tax dollars support these creeps, they have a victim mentality and want to live off me, blah blah blah."

    You really really blew it with this one Obama. There is nothing to admire about Reagan. Nothing.

    You lie down with dogs, even if they are no longer alive, and you get up jumpin with fleas.


  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    Oh, and that rural red mill towner LOVES her Federal government job now. So she'll have a nice, fat retirement.

    Bet she still hates on black people and welfare queens too.

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    backbeat12, ask yourself why didn't the Reagan Democrats come home when the economy finally improved in the late 90s, and far more than it ever was in the Reagan "the government is the problem" era...?

    It was because there was no counter-swing movement against it in the 90s because of the approach Clinton used in that decade. "Its the economy stupid" got Clinton elected (though not even by a majority, only a plurality), but it never changed the political landscape nor did it swing the country back form where Reagan moved it (which I think we all agree is nowhere near where the country ever has a business being).

    Obama is taking about dynamic and shift, not at all about embracing the GOP policy or agenda, which is vastly different than splitting the difference (i.e. triangulating) in order to simply hold onto your poltical viability.

    Obama wants to change the direction in the same widespread manor Reagan did, but in the other direction and tip the slope to get us going back up that hill, to undo the Reagan shift in the country which we are still sliding down under Bush.

    As Shaun Appleby insightfully noted over at MyDD a little while ago, "Senator Obama is unequivocal about his intentions, and he has vowed not to abandon progressive values, why wouldn't progressives find the apparent success and potential benefits of this approach exhilarating? The notion that an electoral opportunity like the one presented would be hazarded on a narrow win by an unrepentantly partisan, 'red-meat' candidate, though assuredly a victory for loyal, long-suffering activists, seems questionable. As a consequence of the 'change' narrative taking hold on the back of stunning turn-outs it seems obvious that the opportunity for a tectonic shift is highly promising, and both candidacies have adopted the brand of change as well as an optimistic outlook on the Independent, and even Republican, participation in subsequent contests. It is certainly troubling the minds of the fractious and fractured Republican base."

    If you don't think that Reagan didn't change the political landscape in the early 80s which we are still dealing with today, I suggest you are not looking back on modern AMerican political history with a clear eye. Having a "Progressive Reagan" if you will is what Obama is talking about. It has nothing to do with centrist or GOP policy points or agenda.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    John Edwards speaks:

    “When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people,” said Edwards.

    “He was openly – openly – intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment.”

    “I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.”


  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Well, that may be case Mr. Edwards, but how do you intend to bring the "Reagan Democrats" and Republicans into a sufficient enough coalition to make progress in Washington? Does your candidacy presume large enough Democratic majorities to make cooperating with the other side of the isle unnecessary? A large enough majority in the Senate to avoid filibusters?

    These are some questions that cross my mind when I hear his combative remarks. Combat only gets you so far in politics and isn't the best model for problem solving.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    Digby says it far more eloquently than I do.


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    The question that Barack Obama's rhetoric raises for me is whether he is too focused on "getting something done," such that it becomes in effect "getting anything done. Not all things are worth getting done. Many that could "get done" by Democrats making excessive compromises with Republicans are not worth getting done.

    Please note also that your argument goes against the Reagan comparison in the sense that Mitch has been defending it in his plausible reading of the Obama quote.

    Reagan was not a great compromiser. He was a great rhetorician & actor & highly persuasive, and a great refuser of compromise.

    It makes all the difference in the world to me whether Obama's aim is to reach out and bring people in to try a progressive tack, vs. whether he's going to try to compromise with the entrenched elitist Republican interests.

    If he's going to end up as another version of Republican Lite, he won't get anything done worth doing, & prove his black progressive critics like Glen Ford right.

    Filibuster threats can be fought successfully with a same party president who's willing to back it up -- just ask Mitch McConnell. It might be harder for Dems -- Robert Byrd & maybe some others would cross over on a "nuclear option" threat, doubtless, and in the case a few years ago I believe the Rs were threatening to carve out a fairly discrete set of votes for exception to the rules, on judicial nominations, & that might be harder to do for some Democratic priorities.

    What I don't like is that you're giving up the idea of fighting entirely and presuming loss ahead of time. If you really represent what Obama stands for, if Obama's position is never to fight, I don't want him.

    We need someone who's willing to fight when its necessary and smart enough not to when it's not.

    Some things are worth fighting for. What does Barack Obama think is worth fighting for? What things are "off the table" for compromise?

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    Chris, Obama worked across the party aisle in Illinois to expand health care coverage to more than 160,000 kids and reform the state's death penalty. Those are both tough issues, but certainly not bipartisanship or triangulation for its own sake. You can dig into Obama's positions at here to see where he stands. Obama's platform and substance of his campaign bears little resemblance to Reagonism. Obama opposed and spoke out against the so-called "nuclear option", btw.

    Back to the original post, I'm thrilled with these endorsements. Both Randall Edwards and Susan Castillo are dedicated public servants who know what it takes to win statewide. They're also part of a growing number of downstate Democrats who understand that Obama brings the type of leadership that will help the entire Democratic ticket.

  • Sadie (unverified)

    I've seen the clip this quote came from, and I would love to know what the question was that was asked of Obama to lead to this answer. It seems to me (and I don't know because I don't know what the question or the context was) he is talking about the overwhelming support that Reagn was able to draw from the electorate and the way he was able to bring the nation together in a way that hadn't been seen for a while. This isn't a random crazy statement, it is based on fact - look at the electoral votes! Reagn won 489 to 49 in 1980. In 1984, he won 525 electoral votes to 13. The simple fact is that Nixon couldn't do that and Bill Clinton against Bob Freaking Dole couldn't do that!

    I would love to have a Democrat who could bring the country together in that way - especially one who is running on a progressive platform, as Edwards is, and judging from what he has presented as his platform, what Obama is.

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    Arghh! Reaganism Sorry, typing to fast. Probably karmic retribution for linking to my old mock filibuster post. Hey, at least we tried.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Chris, I won't fall into the false dichotomy trap that some critics seem to suggest. For example, rhetoric, but no substance, great speaker, but no character, great organizer, but no leader, unifier but not a fighter. None of these false dichotomies work with Obama because he is so unique.

    His substance is overwhelming. Check out his detailed policy speeches and positions on the issues at barackobama.com under "issues" and "speeches". Watch his incredible wonkyness in a town hall. Watch his passion and the fight he has shown for the outsiders, the disadvantaged, the Constitution, ethics in government, etc. he has shown over his career.

    I have no doubt he will fight for the environment, alternative energy, civil liberties, peace, transparency in government and many other issues.

    We sometimes overlook his toughness, his fight, because he is ironically also fighting for a a more unifying civil tone in politics. But his skill in finding common ground and bringing people together to solve real problems does not negate that passion.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Well Lawrence, another Southern Oregon volunteer for Senator Obama, has just returned from Las Vegas and you can check out his comments here.

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    They're also part of a growing number of downstate Democrats who understand that Obama brings the type of leadership that will help the entire Democratic ticket.

    Randall Edwards, of course, is from Portland.

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    Yes, of course Randall is. I'm 0 for 2 with my comments tonight (hmm.. I what ever could be so distracting?). I actually meant to write "downticket" -- a point I also made here.

    John Edwards's campaign put out a false quote by Obama, btw. And the content of what Edwards was saying was totally disingenuous.

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    I wasn't suggesting that there has to be an opposition between being a unifier & a fighter. Reagan and FDR each in their own ways unified substantial majorities and fought hard against opponents. It would be nice if someone suggested to Obama invoking Roosevelt as well as Reagan btw, because if he's being misunderstood here, it's partly his own fault. Reagan is disliked by many "base" Ds who Obama will I suppose want to mobilize if he gets the nomination for his appallingly destructive and irresponsible policies & if Obama doesn't deal with that too he isn't really going to be bringing people together. But perhaps he cares more about reaching the out to the middle to the point of abandoning progressives. If that's so, the message he's sending me is that he's not interested in me.

    Of course, the possibility of being both applies to John Edwards too.

    But my question was not, could Obama be both? but will he be a fighter for some things? Has he articulated anything for which he will fight, and perhaps more importantly, against which he will fight in defense against attacks?

    Charlie, thanks for the substantive response, which is helpful, but the question isn't just his current positions but how far he's willing to compromise them. If he's all about compromise it's exactly the problem that I can't feel confident in what he says he stands for now, because I don't have any sense of the limits of change.

    In general: Obama is responsible for the impressions he creates just as anyone else is. If he only talks about compromise and bringing people together you can't blame me for taking him at his word and wondering how much he's willing to compromise.

    Sadie, Nixon won 49 states except for Massachusetts & DC 1972 for 520 electoral votes, very comparable to Reagan 1984. Large electoral college majorities don't make someone a unifier per se. And unity is not always good. Insofar as he was a unifier, Reagan was a rotten, destructive unifier who pulled people to bad ends. Unity is not a good in itself.

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    That's Reagan's appalling destructive policies btw, not Obama's, haste makes bad grammar.

    The other point about compromise that is worrisome here is whether Obama has honest partners "on the other side of the aisle," and what he will do if he finds out not, or not enough. Clinton's policy was to reward his enemies and punish his friends when he met stiff opposition, so the Rs always new the could roll him and then complain he was stealing their issues. Obama may well be different, but right now I can't tell and don't trust him as a result.

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    "knew they" not "new the" ...

  • Steve S (unverified)

    I Suppose who supports whom (original post) could be of some use to some folks, depending on their local alliances, politicos they trust, etc. I am not really sure that, to a lot of us, it makes a whole lot of difference unless the politico in question (Gov K was mentioned) is well-known.

    And, in Gov K's case, I believe he is dead wrong. Don't know about other left/progressive types, but I have always been wary of Kulongoski, especially after he came before our labor group (SEIU) and posed as a big pro-labor guy, but hasn't done much for us since...

    And, like some of the other commenters here, I find myself mostly for Edwards but curious about Obama. The thing with Obama is he is a very good orator; however, the question is: Is there any THERE there?

    At least with Edwards, there are some progressive ideas and, if not all rhetoric, there is a chance that the culture of Wash. DC could be changed by an Edwards administration. That alone would be a good thing, although possibly an Obama admin could also do that?

    Neither of them has a great deal of foreign policy experience, but latest 'Nation' magazine had good article about the advisors for the various campaigns, and Edwards has attracted the more progressive ones.

    I still have a problem with women who say that it would be such a historic sea-change if Sen. Clinton were to become president. Not more than a footnote or future Jeopardy question in my mind. Someday a woman will be US president, but Hillary?

    As some others have pointed out in these comments, Bill's administration was very centrist (and almost conservative in some matters), but that was the idea from the beginning: to compete with the R's by becoming more like them (i.e., pro-business, screw the invisible--and usually non-voting-- poor, etc.).

    The best thing I have heard so far in this campaign cycle was when John Edwards, in a recent CNN-moderated debate, summed up his response to a question regarding his criticisms of Hillary by stating, "What we don't need is to trade corporate Republicans for corporate Democrats." The line brought huge applause...

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Chris, understood. I was speaking more broadly than simply a response to your point. So many commentators try to put these candidates in neat little mutually exclusive boxes that don't really fit if you study the candidates.

    And yes Obama has indicated he would fight on the most important issues of our day. You can hear it in is words and the passion in his voice. Case in point, his speeches in Portland and Seattle talking about closing Guantanamo. There are many others.

    And remember, he will be able to take certain actions without a fight, like signing the executive order binding his administration to his transparent government reforms, telling his generals to start implementing the withdrawal from Iraq, etc.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    oh yes, the historic Clibama, check the votes, Democrats (if that's what you seem to claim). Corporate tools with "historic" spin. Keeeripes. Edwards barely passes a liberal/progressive smell test and those two? Who voted for the credit card lobbiest bill? Who voted for the bankruptcy bill? Who thinks/states the Bill of Rights only covers their favorite Amendments? Ooops, I forgot, Edwards is a white guy, so the corporations win again. Maybe it was him saying his health care plan is a step toward single payer not for profit...

    <h2>Never mind, I've seen the national character of the Demlican Party, I loves me some Ronnie era corruption and ... Can't be bothered to look at votes, root for gender/skin color.</h2>
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