THIS IS A GUEST POST BY LAWRENCE LAFERLA, BROTHER OF 1st CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, DR. JOHN LAFERLA, REPONDING TO CONSERVATIVE EASTERN SHORE BLOGGER, MIKE SWARTZ, WRITING ON “MONOBLOGUE.”
Right-wing blog supports so-called “patriot” groups
Blogger Michael Swartz appears to deny that Andy Harris has in fact endorsed gun extremists who advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. But the second-term, “tea” congressman actually has endorsed gun extremists who do advocate the violent overthrow of our freely elected government. In an open society such as ours, that’s close to treason. It’s simply a fact that Andy Harris supports gun extremists who can be fairly characterized as part of the “Timothy McVeigh wing of the Republican party.” It’s a fact that Andy addressed their right-wing gun rally. They talked of praying with guns in their hands and described our twice-elected president as a “dictator.” Andy gave them his blessing. It’s not unfair to point out that Andy Harris pals around with anti-government extremists.
It’s funny how right-wingers project. Who’s more “despotic,” the president or Congressman Harris? Evidence points toward the latter. Here you see Andy Harris preventing cameras from recording his fracking hearing (as if Andy’s big energy owners actually owned not just the congressman but our entire House of Representatives). Talk about despotism!
Okay, back to the topic of sensible gun policy. I can’t claim to know exactly (as of this writing) what my brother John LaFerla’s position is on gun ownership. (It’s too late in the evening to phone him, and it isn’t stated anywhere on the campaign site.) But we can safely presume that it’s in line with the mainstream. Protect property? Yes. Hunting? Yes. Fight despotic Royal Army? Sure. Overthrow our freely-elected U.S. government? Hell no — are you insane?
That was not in any way part of the intent of the drafters of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that were adopted in 1789, nor is any right of domestic insurrection to be found in the literal wording of the Amendment. Furthermore, the “militia” that were referred to in the Amendment were supposed to be like juries, with participation from all citizens, not just gun enthusiasts. How do we know? If you have any doubts about this, read the entirety of this excellent exposition on the Second Amendment. And the “well regulated” part means public oversight. You don’t get to proclaim yourself a militia any more than you can proclaim yourself a general or a judge. True citizens militia would have rolling public conscription, like with juries, and would follow state and federal regulations enacted by duly elected public servants. You don’t just form your own little army and make your own rules. When our big army crushes your little army you’re going to cry about “tyranny.” But most Americans won’t call that tyranny. We’ll call it justice.
If you form a right-wing militia, who are you protecting? All of us? Akhil Reed Amar gets it right. Your militia doesn’t necessarily represent my interests as a citizen. You’re just a gun club. Nothing intrinsically patriotic about your gun collection. Nothing at all. And having a gun doesn’t put you in charge of the populace. It doesn’t make you more of an authority than any unarmed citizen. Might doesn’t make right. We have democratic processes in our government of, for and by the people.
Our current President, that thoughtful, decent, moderate, public servant, whom we elected twice with strong national majorities, speaks the truth when he notes that “the government’s us!”
Archive for the ‘John LaFerla’ Category
It is a sad day for the Eastern Shore, to have a liar and a sham, like Andy Harris, be re-elected. I was so hoping that this, my first post after the election, could call for a coming together of the “right” and “left.” But, upon hearing Harris’ comments after his win, I am more committed than ever to replace him as our Representative.
He lives in a ‘bizarro’ world, claiming to have “reached out” to Democrats, when we know that he has voted against any proposals put forth by House Democrats or the White House. His approach has even earned him the nickname, “Dr No”, because that has become his standard vote and position! And, according to his post-election comments, he will continue to live by his moniker and obstruct any progress in the House.
I am not whining about Harris’ win; the former Democratic candidate, Wendy Rosen, certainly didn’t help, by resigning a week after the deadline to remove her name from the ballot. As such, Dr. John LaFerla could only run as the Democratic write-in candidate. I am just astonished by the failure of the commonsense Eastern Shore voter to see through the disguise and insincerity of Harris’ campaign. He is definitely a “RINO” (Representative In Name Only)!
When Harris holds himself out as a “great communicator”, saying that he is bringing both parties to the table, it just doesn’t fit with his history and performance, whether in the State Senate or in Congress. In fact, Harris has been a major roadblock to both, the Maryland delegation and the House, where there have been multiple efforts by the Democratic leadership and the White House, to repair the economic mess perpetrated by the previous administration.
Harris lies when he talks about helping farmers, since he has voted against the Farm Bill, introduced by his own Party! Without its passage, our farmers will be hurt financially. He has voted against education, medicare, social security, job creation, health care and protecting our air and water, or the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, only 4 bills were introduced (and passed) by Harris in his 2 years as Congressman. They dealt with reducing the tariffs on foreign-made men’s and women’s shoes! While millions of Americans were still unemployed and suffering, Andy embraced a foot fetish!
Aside from the sound bites and clichés he has come to rely on, Harris cannot point to any real action on his part, to help our district or its residents. He has failed to spur job creation, being more interested in expanding ‘fracking’ even though it has been shown to be destructive and dangerous, than he is in cooperating on solving our “Fiscal Cliff.”
He is a pawn of his corporate campaign contributors, mostly from out-of-state, and the sooner 1st district voters open their eyes, the sooner we will get a Representative who truly represents our interests. Until then, “Dr. No” will continue to be the obstructionist and do-nothing elected official, that he has been since his days in the Maryland Senate!
This was my response to the StarDem article, regarding the League of Women Voters candidates’ forum, held at Chesapeake College, on Sunday, October 21, 2012. Three candidates appeared: Muir Boda (Libertarian), Dr. John LaFerla (Democrat), and Michael Calpino (unaffiliated, but sounding like another Libertarian). Wait…isn’t there a Republican candidate in this race? Yes…Andy Harris, the incumbent, was conspicuously absent, refusing to debate what he referred to as “write-in candidates.”
First, it is a telling commentary that Harris has refused to publicly face off with those running for the same office. His lame excuse is that he still considers Rosen as his opponent, since her name is technically on the ballot. This attitude shows exactly the kind of personality Harris possesses…one of diversion, issue avoidance and lies.
The truth is that the State Democratic Party (along with all the Counties in the 1st District), voted to replace Rosen with Dr. LaFerla, naming him as the official Democratic candidate. Harris’ refusal to face the public and his opponents is another attempt at his failure to accept responsibility for his poor performance while in office. He has one of the worst environmental records, both, while in the State Senate, and now as Representative. He should be ashamed of himself.
Dr. LaFerla deserves kudos for his dedication and integrity, stepping in to become the Democratic write-in candidate, even though his campaign is in an uphill battle this late in the race. Add to that, Harris’ refusal to let the voters hear the truth, plus the almost impossible odds to raise substantial funds this late and you can understand why Dr. LaFerla is a longshot. All the more reason why it is important for the voters to come out and write-in his name.
Harris is more interested in “telling” people what to do, rather than “listening” to what the people say. He has lied outright on many occasions, twisting facts, ignoring the truth and using people’s fears to gain votes. He has argued that “the government is attacking our freedoms.” Tell us, Mr. Harris, what freedoms have you voted to take away? FDR referred to the “freedom from want”, which translates into not going hungry, not being homeless and even, receiving basic medical care. These are all ideas you’ve voted against, as well as defunding assistance to the chronically ill and long-term care patients. It sadly sounds like the Nazis of the 1930s, who sought to divest German society of “the undesirables.” Where did this philosophy, the foundation of your tenure in Congress, originate? They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
As far as Boda and Calpino are concerned, neither one has a real understanding of history, freedom or what Americans need right now. Theirs is a campaign of ideologies, not a campaign geared towards helping people in the 1st District.
Calpino’s statement, “We got along fine without the EPA until the ’70s”, would be laughable, if it wasn’t such a serious misstatement of history. The truth, for those of us who weren’t around in the ’50s & ’60s, is that we were NOT getting “along fine”, as Calpino says. Our water and air had become polluted to the point that children were dying, emphysema and other lung-related diseases, including cancer, were rising at record levels, and big corporations had free rein over the environment, to destroy as needed…for progress and profit! Many people forget that the EPA was started and supported by a Republican administration…Richard Nixon. BTW…the same President who said that he wanted to see Congress pass a National Health Insurance bill.
Boda’s statements are also laughable, especially his belief that all is well with the world since his employer, Walmart, pays men and women the same for equal work. Somehow, Boda has conveniently forgotten that Walmart was the target of several major lawsuits, alleging pay discrimination. He also ignores scores of studies that have shown the pay disparity that exists between men and women in America. His, “everything-would-be-fine-if-government-just-stayed-out-of-it attitude, is simplistic at best and an outright lie, at worst.