From the Paula Bradshaw campaign:
In the second full Congressional debate held in Marion, Illinois last night, Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw established herself as the clear choice for all Southern Illinois voters who would like to see the region and the nation move forward, not backward – on the economy, social issues and the environment. Specifically:
- While Bradshaw and Democratic contender Bill Enyart both addressed the need for greater tax fairness, Bradshaw was the only candidate to address the federal government’s responsibility to directly employ jobless workers and achieve full employment, through a mass mobilization, on the scale of World War II, but directed toward producing the weapons to fight global warming, the end of cheap oil and a crumbling infrastructure, through her Green New Deal proposal.
- Bradshaw was the only candidate in the race to categorically oppose horizontal drilled hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” – recognizing that the practice cannot be made safe through regulation, and that the economic harms outweigh the claimed economic benefits, since most of the jobs created will not be local, and the environmental impacts will harm tourism, recreation, farming and the natural resources on which the economy depends.
- Bradshaw was the only candidate to squarely attack our reliance on fossil fuels generally, noting the urgent need to immediately invest major federal resources in renewable energy and sustainable transportation now – both to benefit our economy and combat global climate change.
- Bradshaw was the only candidate to call for the repeal of NAFTA and other so-called “free trade” policies, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, that harm labor in our own country and created much of the surge in immigration by devastating the Mexican economy.
- Bradshaw was the only candidate who rejected the premise that Southern Illinois should be reliant on prison jobs, attacking the prison-industrial complex and the over-incarceration of Americans for nonviolent offenses.
- Bradshaw was the only candidate in the race who called for cutting military spending as a means of redirecting our resources to meet our needs at home, instead of spending titanic sums on illegal and unconstitutional attacks on other sovereign nations. [Correcting one misstatement: The actual sum spent on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to date is $1.371 trillion — equal to $68.55 million for each of the 20 million unemployed and underemployed workers in the U.S. today. Bradshaw’s point is that, if we could afford these wars, we can easily afford full employment, while addressing the real national security issue of global climate change.]
- Bradshaw was the only candidate to support the right of same-sex couples to marry, noting that the legal right to marry does not interfere with religious freedom, since it does not require any church to perform same-sex ceremonies. The Democratic and Republican candidates both came out in opposition to the equal right of same-sex couples to marry. While Enyart claimed that he wanted to focus on important economic issues, he failed to acknowledge that the right to marry is a major economic issue to those affected, since marriage brings with it tax, health-care, pension, and other benefits and consequences.
Finally, Bradshaw demonstrated that she was the candidate best qualified to represent the 12th Congressional District by maintaining civility throughout the debate, focusing on answering the questions asked with substance, and never resorting to personal attacks.
Bradshaw’s poignant opening and closing statements have been made available on her website, here.