Tuesday, March 20, 2007

California Connections

I thought it appropriate to insert a summary of recent actions that involve our California Congressional Delegation. These will probably not have made a dent in any of our major newspapers and I know were not covered on television.

Los Angeles Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman has been holding a series of hearings on "scientific integrity" in government. In yesterday's session, Waxman was looking at the Bush Administration's political interference in the science of climate research. The key witness was Dr. James Hansen (NASA). The session was covered by Seed Magazine journalist, Chris Mooney and you will probably find Mooney's commentary at Huffington Post worth some time to read.

Mooney concluded:
In short, [this hearing] adds one more drop in the overflowing bucket of evidence suggesting that the Bush administration was quite consciously using PR tactics to control the "message" on global warming--rather than allowing taxpayer funded scientists, like Hansen, full access to the media.
While the facts of climate change have become part of the accepted progressive background, the time scale on which it is playing out takes away the urgency for action now, and then we have global warming as background noise rather than the informed background driving meaningful action within the Green Party.

And here is another item that is far from the public spotlight, focused as it is on Alberto Gonzales or the War in Iraq.

While all of this is going in public, major decisions are being made about the way the government spreads our taxes throughout the budget. The Center for Rural Affairs is making a major effort to get people to take action now. I received the following in an alert this morning.
This is critical. Your Senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, are key swing votes on the Grassley-Dorgan amendment to the federal budget. It calls for trimming over $1 billion by capping payments to mega farms and shifting the funds to critical conservation, rural development and food programs.
If there is one aspect of rural economics that the Green Party is against, it is the mega farm, industrialized agriculture infrastructure we have in place. This seems to be a sensible act to take, whether or not you live in a rural district. California has a larger agricultural economy than any other state. You can believe that the representatives of Big Ag are camped in the hallways of the Senate Office Building. But, where is our voice.

Here are the contacts for Boxer and Feinstein.

To reach Senator Boxer's office, please contact Brian McKoen at (202) 224-3553 or email Brian at brian_mckoen@boxer.senate.gov

Updated: thanks to the feedback in the comments on this post.

Contact Chris Thompson at Sen Feinstein's office:
(202) 224-3841 or email Chris at chris_thompson@feinstein.senate.gov

Voting on this issue will probably be tomorrow (March 21).


Anonymous said...

For Senator Boxer, you should contact Brian McKeon at brian_mckeon@boxer.senate.gov

Anonymous said...

The contact at Senator Boxer's office is incorrect. The previous post is correct; Brian McKeon is the appropriate contact - I guess Grant Kope either doesn't work for Senator Boxer any longer or the name is incorrect.

Wes said...

Thanks for the correction. Since Kope's name came to me today as a "correction" I will check it out.

-- Called Boxer's office in Washington. DC. It is impossible to get through, but there was a recording which referred me to San Francisco Office - (415) 403-0100. I called the office in San Francisco and they refused to specify a name of anyone in Washington. I left my comment on the Grassley - Dorgan bill with the person answering the phone in San Francisco.

It isn't always easy to communicate with your representatives, as those who camped on Pelosi's doorstep found out.

Anonymous said...

i sent Chris Thompson in Senator Feinstein's office an e-mail and he called me and was more than a little rude about it, i guess he doesn't like getting e-mails from constituents - or maybe it was the issue, it was tough to tell