(Daily Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2014. Open source and free to use with link to www.thedailycall.org )
He Is Supposed To Be Our Representative, Not Our Debating Opponent
(Editor’s Note: Daily Call reader Cathy Van Maren sent along the letter she recently had in the LaCrosse Tribune. She included the following comment to me with her letter: “I am so sorry I ever worked to help elect that weasel!” I couldn’t agree with you more Cathy, but please, let’s go easy on the weasels! — Mark L. Taylor)
Representative Ron Kind’s Onalaska listening session was frustrating. Several people spoke against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade bill opposed by thousands of groups and individuals from across the political spectrum. TPP cheerleader Kind gave deliberately misleading responses to constituents’ concerns.
He implied Trans Canada’s recent lawsuit over the Obama Administration’s denial of a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline wasn’t related to the NAFTA trade agreement. But he knows that two suits were filed and one seeks $15 billion in damages under NAFTA rules.1
Kind said the TPP includes strong environmental standards. But major environmental groups say that, “Many provisions … are toothless and fail to offer any of the protections proponents … have touted.”2
Kind dismissed concerns about the secrecy of negotiations. But even members of Congress were not allowed to analyze the text as it was being negotiated. 3 Under fast track authority, the bill may not be amended, only voted up or down.
Most TPP negotiators represented multinational corporations. 4 Administration negotiators received multimillion dollar bonuses from big banks.5 The TPP says nothing about climate change. It’s “an act of climate denial,” according to 350.org.6 The Economic Policy Institute concludes the TPP will mean more US job losses and lower wages for most Americans.7
Kind is our representative not our debate opponent. He should be honest about the TPP’s terrible effects on environmental and labor standards, wages, jobs, and our democracy. Kind must oppose the TPP. And if he doesn’t, we must oppose him.
— Cathy Van Maren