It’s not that Ed Towns is always wrong, as his progressive voting record attests (see page 11), it is that the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn deserves better than easy votes on issues popular in the district. Most progressive candidates would make those same votes. Charles Barron certainly would, so nothing is lost there in a change. What would be gained in the district would be a Congressman who makes a difference for the better on key votes that can change lives. On those deciding votes where a real difference is made, such as his vote on Net Neutrality which went against equal access to the internet, and allowed firms to practice content discrimination on the basis of price or speed, Ed Towns has been on the wrong side.
In 2005, The Working Families Party and union leaders wrote to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying, “We urge you to remove Reps. Meeks and Towns from their seats on the Financial Services and Energy & Commerce committees, respectively. They have used their committee membership cards to access corporate America’s ATM at the expense of working families for far too long. It is time for Meeks and Towns to turn in their cash cards.”
The Working Families Party in 2005 announced, “Meeks and Towns had an opportunity to act on behalf of workers here in the United States and across Central America by stopping CAFTA. Instead they voted on the side of multinational corporations that want to sell off U.S. jobs to the lowest bidder while doing nothing to improve the lives of workers anywhere…..In addition to sending jobs overseas, Towns has supported shifting the tax burden from the most affluent to working-class New Yorkers.”
They were also fiercly unhappy with Towns’ vote on the Estate Tax , which WFP called “Robin Hood in Reverse.” The vote was to “completely eliminate the federal estate tax, providing an unjustifiable tax break for the very wealthiest Americans. Rep. Towns was one of only 41 Democrats to vote for this legislation.”
It is in areas such as these and others, where votes are cast for a corporate constituency, that the District deserves better and a change in the congressional office.
In 2005 the Working Families Party and major unions were making much noise about how they would hold Ed Towns “accountable,” but now in the election season when the time comes for the accounting, they are not to be seen, exposing their strong language of 2005 to be the empty rhetoric of 2006 when their action would matter.
Ed Towns failing to receive 50% of the vote in the Primary, is an indication that his voting constituents know something is missing. A write-in vote for Barron would show that unlike the WFP or the major union leadership, voting constituents have a longer memory, and do not want either the Democratic Party or their elected representative to take them for granted. A strong write-in vote would make that point. Afraid of machine not counting your vote? Write it in for Charles Barron. It will be two more years before you can send a message that matters, send this one now.
(See call for volunteers, Page 14)