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My Left Nutmeg

Please welcome Jim Himes!

by: Maura

Thu Apr 19, 2007 at 13:24:29 PM EDT

We are very fortunate to be joined live here today by Jim Himes, a Democratic challenger to Chris Shays here in CT-4 who formally his statement of candidacy with the FEC yesterday.  We've been writing about Jim here at MLN for some time now (see MattW's great roundup here) and we're very lucky that Jim has chosen to join us here today on the very first day of his campaign!

Jim will be joining us in the comments, and here's a message that he sent to all of us today:

Thank you for joining me here today and for the encouragement and ideas that you have given me in the past few weeks while I was weighing my decision to run against Chris Shays.

I'm reaching out to voters here in the 4th District online today, the first day after I filed notice of my candidacy with the FEC, because I've seen how community blogs like My Left Nutmeg have brought more ordinary voters in Connecticut into the political process.  Blogs have given all of us a mechanism to create and use communities to drive ideas and change in our nation.

Many of us have never met, so to introduce myself, please feel free to read my biography on my campaign Web site.

I'm eager to hear from you about about the issues that are most important to you, the qualities you take into consideration when you choose a representative, and the ideas you have for the kind of campaign that we need to run here in the 4th District.

If you're new to My Left Nutmeg, please feel free to create an account and join the conversation!

Maura :: Please welcome Jim Himes!
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Welcome! (4.00 / 2)
Jim, I only have a moment and then I've got to go to work.

Congrats on the announcement, and thanks for showing up at MLN today.  I look forward to talking to you tomorrow night, and hopefully we'll get some awesome video to post on the blogs.

Connecticut Bob

Thanks (3.67 / 6)
Thanks Bob, you were there at the beginning, and I think you do great work! Looking forward to working with you over the next 18 months.  See you (and your camera) at the JJB.

[ Parent ]
This is going to be a great campaign! (3.60 / 5)
Welcome, Jim!

Thanks (4.00 / 1)
Thanks, Kim. Your hard work and commitment are an inspiration to us.

I first met Kim when she raised her hand to run against a long-unchallenged Republican incumbent. A model for more of us to follow.

[ Parent ]
Welcome Jim (3.75 / 8)
Yesterday I asked all of CT's Congressional delegation for their thoughts on the Supreme Court's ruling on partial birth abortion.  What's your reaction to both the 2003 bill, and the court's decision to uphold it?

SCOTUS (4.00 / 3)

I've thought about the abortion issue for decades. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a hugely serious one, that draws on an individual's beliefs, values and specific circumstances, which is why that decision belongs nowhere other than with that individual. I'm disappointed by the Supreme Courts decision, and I think this is an example of the follow-on effects we will feel from the Bush presidency for a long time.

Chris Shays was the only elected representative to vote for this abortion ban, which is particularly dangerous because it makes no exception for the health of the pregnant woman. The voters of the Fourth need to hold him to account for this.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for joining me (3.78 / 9)
Hi everybody, thanks for joining me for this live blog. I'm tuning in from my office at Enterprise, and am eager to hear what you think and talk about this exciting race.

Welcome to MLN Jim (0.00 / 0)
I'm looking forward to following your campaign and I'm looking forward to seeing you at the JJB.

I'll save my questions for tomorrow evening.

Thanks (0.00 / 0)
Look forward to meeting you tomorrow night. I'm a fan of Hat City's coverage.

[ Parent ]
Iraq War (4.00 / 2)
Please remind the voters, often, that Chris Shays was an early and consistent cheerleader for the Bush/Cheney/Neocon War in Iraq.  It has long been obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, yet Shays continues to make that connection.  We are paying a huge price for his duplicity.

Could not agree more (4.00 / 5)
Chris Shays has alternated between promoting the Bush administration's deceptions and malfeasance on Iraq and using flip-flops for his political gain. Given his pre-election statement on supporting milestones, voters in the fourth need to hold him accountable for being an aggressive supporter of the surge.

He just got home from his 16th trip assuring us (a la McCain) that the surge is working, but my morning paper showed 171 dead in Baghdad in five horrific explosions yesterday.

I'm also outraged that he calls a withdrawal "defeat". We cannot occupy Iraq forever. We will withdraw--it is a question of when. By calling our inevitable witdrawal defeat, he both damages our best leverage with the Iraqi government and demeans the spectacular and heroic work of our military.

[ Parent ]
great news, good luck (4.00 / 1)
Nicholas with ACORN here. Our members are excited about a great grassroots campaign, we look forward to working with you.

ACORN is a fabulous organization! (0.00 / 0)
Glad you're here.

[ Parent ]
Challenges (4.00 / 5)
Thanks for your good wishes. My work at Enterprise on affordable housing has given me a huge respect for ACORN's ability to stand up for the disenfranchised and voiceless. Keep up the good work. I look forward to working with you.

For those who are unfamiliar with Enterprise, we seek to provide economic oppotunities for low income Americans through affordable housing. In the last three years, Enterprise has helped build 7,000 units of affordable housing in New York City.

I'm staggered by the magnitude of the resources we have in the Fourth--great minds, creative thinkers, dedicated people, huge wealth--and all of those resources sit right next to some of the most severe problems around: poverty in our cities, hard working families that can barely afford to live in the district, some of the worst air quality around . . . . I'm committed to leading, mobilizing and innovating our way to solutions for these prolems.

[ Parent ]
Transportation (4.00 / 2)
Transportation is a huge issue in the 4th.  Traffic on 95 is terrible, and the metro north train cars are ancient just to name a few problems.  What role can the US Congress play to improve the situation?  If you are elected will you seek a position on the Transportation committee?

Transportation (4.00 / 2)
I live between the Merritt and 95, and sometimes feel like I spend more time with other peoples' tailights than with my family. I also commute by train into New York and get a daily reminder of our absurd underinvestment in transportation infrastructure.

This is a huge topic, and the solution is regional, involving investment in rail lines up and down the coast, a serious effort to better use our waterways, incentives to encourage Greener practices and use of mass transit, and business and housing siting decisions. Problems of this complexity and magnitude do not get well addressed locally, or even, as history has shown, at the state level. We need a regional plan backed by federal resources.

As a member of Congress I would make this a high priority--I would seek a seat on the Transportation committee. Given the importance of this to our district, I'm disappointed that Congressman Shays has never done so.

[ Parent ]
Thanks Jim (0.00 / 0)
Hope to see you tomorrow night at the JJB.  And I look forward to following your campaign.

[ Parent ]
Welcome! (4.00 / 4)
Thanks for coming by today. I have two questions. First, what do you think needs to be done in terms of campaign finance / lobbying reform at the federal level?

Secondly, given your background in Latin America, what are your thoughts about NAFTA and free trade - should the President be able to fast-track deals? What can we do to encourage companies to act more patriotically and invest their operations (and dollars) in communities here in the US?

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." - Warren Buffet

Reform (4.00 / 3)
I've spoken with probably 50 people about running for Congress. In those 50 conversations, the first or second question is always "How much money can you raise?" That can't possibly be what the framers had in mind for our country.  We've reached the point where dollars matter more than ideas and where access to policy makers has a clear and explicit price tag. I think we can move away from that with sensible campaign finance reform. I'd love to hear your ideas about what that might look like.

On trade, I would say two things. First, trade, over time, makes the participants wealthier. Second, trade does not in any way address the inequities that we see develop when it is imbalanced, or when the fruits of trade go to a small number of winners, as has happened too often in Latin America. Trade that simply takes advantage of lax environmental standards, child workers, or unfair labor practices is detrimental to all of us.

This is not the forum for an in-depth discussion of how we achieve fair trade, but that must be the objective, and I look forward to learning more about the expectations and concerns of voters in the Fourth on this issue.

[ Parent ]
Interesting to note (4.00 / 2)
that in all the questions asker here to this point... not one was

"How much money can you raise?"

It's the difference between people who have a passion for the issues, and those that think a campaign is a business for employing a congressperson.

The question is not what you are, we already determined that, we are now negotiating price.
electrealdemocrats.com Online since 3/07 -- TimetogoJoe.com Online s

[ Parent ]
My thoughts (4.00 / 1)
I think we should definitely move towards public financing, but what I personally would really like to see would be some barrier to the revolving door where ex-lawmakers get cushy lobbying jobs and persons with very close ties to corporate interests get access to lawmakers.

I guess if I can simplify it down to a theme, that theme would be openness. When Ned Lamont ran, one of his pledges was to provide a list of all meetings he held on a website - I think this type of approach is a great idea and this type of information should be part of the public record. (How many oil executives did Dick Cheney meet with again?)

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." - Warren Buffet

[ Parent ]
Use Free Public Airwaves for Political Speech (0.00 / 0)
Political ads drive up the cost of campaigning. I think we should ban them.

To accommodate free speech, open up the public airwaves to candidates for free. Create a "Candidates Network," and allow every candidate to air their stump speeches, town hall meetings, debates, forums, etc. for free.

[ Parent ]
I like it! (0.00 / 0)
That idea makes so much sense, it could never happen ;-D

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." - Warren Buffet

[ Parent ]
Congrats! (0.00 / 0)
Jim, congrats and glad to hear you've announced.

-Joe Dinkin.
Take the pledge at www.ct-workingfamilies.org

Two questions (4.00 / 4)
First off, what would you do differently from last year's Congressional race in the 4th CD?

Secondly, how will you describe your work in affordable and green housing such that it resonates with urban and suburban voters alike?

Welcome! (4.00 / 1)
Thanks for taking on this challenge of running for office, and for taking the time to answer our questions.

On your website you say that you want to: Work to make sure each and every American child receives an education that will enrich his or her life in every way.

Education is funded by local property taxes, which have been going up as the Federal Government has reduced educational funding to states while increasing costs through mandates like those in NCLB.

How can we improve schools and education without significantly raising property taxes?

Education (4.00 / 1)

Your question is a very good one.  Voters in the fourth feel a tremendous property tax burden, in addition to the premium they pay for food, gas, etc.

I'm much more interested in programs such as Head Start, which have a demonstrable impact on educational performance than I am on testing per se. Spending to get children ready to learn is a no-brainer from an investment standpoint. NCLB was an unfunded mandate that put a significant new burden on our local school systems. Monitoring progress and accountability are important, but our resources must be focused on those programs that have demonstrable success.

In some of our cities, fewer than half of high school students graduate on time. More tests won't inspire them to stay in school.

[ Parent ]
Open comment (0.00 / 0)
Has anyone else announced as a candidate to challenge Chris Shays, or is said to be mulling it over?

And if any other democrat enters the race will you [Mr Himes] continue to contest a race until a democratic primary?

Can anyone comment on that? (0.00 / 0)
I don't know how open comments work :)

Anyway, I know Jim Shapiro has made his mulling public, though I've heard that if Malloy stepped down, Shapiro would be a likely mayoral candidate.

I haven't heard of anyone else even openly mulling, apart from the various celebrities that've been suggested.

[ Parent ]
Oops...meant "open question" (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Other possible candidates... (0.00 / 0)
An article in The Stamford Times talks about a possible run by Jim Shapiro:

DiNardo said she is open to other Democratic contenders and Himes may face competition for the party's nomination. State Rep. Jim Shapiro, D-148, has also expressed interest in a congressional run and said Wednesday he will make a decision "sooner rather than later."

"I want to make sure I talk to everyone I need to talk to," Shapiro said. "I also have some personal and family decisions (to make)."

Richter decided not to run, so right now, it appears as if Shapiro is the only other probable candidate.

[ Parent ]
Please list the (0.00 / 0)
top five things you are commited to doing in your first year in Congress. An example is provided below:

  To invest in reasearch and development of green power
  Research always pays off. Not always in the way it was intended, but also in the throwoffs from that research. By investing in green technology research we may directly develop new ways to turn the sun, the wind and the water into power, but we will also see new developments in power storage technology, new ways of insulating our homes, and who knows what other commercial developments and benefits. When we went to plant mankinds foot on the moon, no one envisioned a personal computer in every home. Yet one was a direct step to the other. Green power is also a national security interest as we losen our dependence of foreign sources for our power needs. Finally, green power makes sense, as this planet is our only home, and our current power generation needs and usage are destroying it for our children and their children.

Keep it simple, and short. But I would love to see the top five points and the talking points for each one.

The question is not what you are, we already determined that, we are now negotiating price.
electrealdemocrats.com Online since 3/07 -- TimetogoJoe.com Online s

Priorities (0.00 / 0)

Unfortunately, you got me with the biggest question of them all with no time left. I would encourage you to check out my website www.himesforcongress.com for an introduction to the issues I am particularly focused on. I look forward to getting in much more detail on these in a forum that allows for that.

I really appreciate the question though.  What do you think the top priorities should be? Do you agree with the ones on my website? I'll check back.

[ Parent ]
Since you asked for my input, you'll get it. (4.00 / 1)
So everyone knows what I'm working from, the text that is blockquoted comes from your website.

I believe that it is time for America's leaders to set aside partisan posturing and start solving our nation's problems and seizing the spectacular opportunities we enjoy.

Partisan posturing? You really want to embrace Lieberman's frames? Everything is "partisan". It's called taking a stand on an issue. If you are a Democrat you take one stand, if you are a Republican you generally take another. Most of us decide to be partisan, we join a political party. We do that because we share common vision and common ground. Partisan? You bet.

Our health care system serves far too few people far too expensively. Our educational system lets down too many of our young citizens. Our transportation infrastructure is a neglected embarrassment for an economic superpower. Most importantly, our national security has been terribly hobbled by a poorly conceived and incompetently executed war and held hostage to politics.

That should be your opening paragraph. Health, Education (our kids), Infrastructure, Security. The only thing missing is a common thread to tie it all together. Gore has the environment. Edwards has his two Americas. You have a foot in both camps with what you have been doing with affordable green homes. So, the next paragraph should tie it together.

With this election we have an opportunity to challenge ourselves and our government, to expect more from our elected officials, to reach higher as a community. When elected, I intend to:

This is commonly referred to as a missed opportunity. People don't want to challenge themselves and their government. They don't want to "expect more" from their elected officials. They don't want to "reach higher as a community". What they want are the four things in the prior paragraph. While there is a lot of flowery language there, it only weakens the presentation.

  * Work on responsible national security. We are faced with a very real threat from Al Qaeda, Iran, and other illiberal states. Invading Iraq did not even indirectly address that threat, and inflamed the Muslim world against us. It is time to work with our fellow democracies around the world to stop extremism at every turn. It is time to push scarce resources to the real front lines: our ports, our intelligence infrastructure and the rebuilding of our heroic but badly bruised military.

Please, tell me what the immediate threat from Iran is? South Korea is far closer to going nuke. The threat from Iran is? Let's just embrace Bush's axis of evil frame and hug it close?

Immediate threats are things like forclosures are at twice what they were last year for the first quarter of the year. There are millions that can not afford healthcare today, and as more lose their homes there will be millions more added to the rolls. With the forclosures homes will be dumped on the market lowering comps, this will mean that the key way the economy was being driven (people pulling equity out of homes increasing in value) will no longer be able to be done. The economic engine has been moved to neutral and is headed to reverse. That is an immediate threat to our economy far more real than any percieved threat from Iran.

Yes, we have national security concerns, but they aren't from nation-states, they are from terroists and that is a criminal justice matter. That is about beefing up security and funding the FBI. And we also need to refund the FDA. The last five major threats to Americans were all from the food supply. The FDA has been getting its budgets wacked as the Bush regiem believes in letting them police themselves. They have failed. The greatest threat to our security has come by letting our government fail the people. From the ports to the FDA, from working for the benefit of large corporations rather than the public good, government has failed to secure us for the last five years, and that has to stop. Now.

  * Work for responsible reform of our health care system. Many of our corporations and governments are staggering under the weight of health care costs. That makes no economic sense. Real health care is not available to many of our citizens. That is morally intolerable. We need to take costs out of the system and make sure that everyone has access to basic healthcare.

Explain the difference between "responsible" and "not responsible" reform. Rather than a passive statement why not just "Reform healthcare." And while moral outrage is a nice thing to have, it doesn't mean squat. You are in the insurance state, and this will piss them off, but how about offering anyone the option to join Medicare. Right now, without changing how healthcare is delivered, how it is funded, how it isn't working, you have a clear position that states that anyone who wants healthcare can have it at a reasonable cost. Then you might go so far as to say that as an employee of the American people your constituants should have all the same healthcare options you have available to you made available to them at your group rates. There you go. Immediatly two key things to fight for that differentiate you from everyone who is talking about "fixing" the system. Getting people on health care now, and also address what changes have to be made to make it work better, but do something NOW that has an effect on Americans now.

  * Work to make sure each and every American child receives an education that will enrich his or her life in every way. How is it possible that almost one-third of our high school students fail to graduate on time? What kind of life will a high-school dropout live in 21st century America?

Talk about open ended. How is the government ever going to be able to provide an education that enriches each and every childs life in every way? How about using simple yardsticks. PISA (or Pisa) comes to mind. Where do US Students fall in relation to our peers in the world? We are 28th in Math. Between Latvia and the Russian Federation. 8 below the "average". How about setting a simple goal, to increase our standing to the top 10 worldwide in Math (with Hong Kong - China, Finland, Korea, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Japan, Canada, Belgim, Macao-China, and Switzerland). And yes, this won't be done with more "testing after the fact", but by doing three simple things. First we have to pay a professional teacher what they are worth. Second we must hold teachers and administrators responsible for teaching and allow them to break the molds and try new ways of teaching, because what we are doing now isn't working. But in that same breath, if they fail the kids, there should be consequences for that. And third, we have to fund K-6 education in such a way that there is no excuse for failure. Why K-6 and not K-12? Because in K-6 the basics are taught which are the foundations for the future. Iif you miss these there is no way anything after that matters. Additionally, in K-6 one of the key things that is taught is "how to learn" and as we fail to teach that we fail to give the students the tools they need to succeed in 7-12 and beyond.

  * Work to make America a responsible steward of our environment. A nation that can put men into space can devise ways to generate plentiful energy in a sustainable way. The private sector knows this and is investing heavily. Government needs to help lead the way.

Again with the "Work" thing. Yoda said it best. Either do or do not. You don't "work to make affordable green housing" you do it! One of the goverments best roll in this is to increase funding and grants for research. A better place to be would for the government tomorrow to state that every government building will use solar power to provide 100% of it's daily needs. This will cause three things to happen. One, the solar industry would take off. Two, prices for solar components would drop. Three, R&D in solar would increase and prices would come lower still while technology would boom and output per panel would increase.

How do I know this with such assurence? Look at flat panel TVs. Consider what you could get just five years ago and at what cost. But there was a consumer market for it and because of that consumer market R&D went into all parts of the manufacturer. This lowered the costs and advanced the technology. A simple plan to create a consumer marketplace by having every government building being 100% electric served by solar produced by that building will jumpstart that industry and the same thing you saw happen in flat panel TV will happen in green energy. When those prices drop there will be a rush from the private sector to get those benefits too (today it would cost me $30K to solar my home and I would get $6K in rebates from the government to do it. It would take 20 years for those costs to offset the cost of not going solar - 15 years if you add in the value of the home at resale. But increase the output per panel and lower the cost per panel and suddenly it starts to make real economic sense.). That is how government can help push the greening of America right now, saving the government money and lower costs and expanding technology for all Americans.

Now is the time to act. Let's look at this campaign and this election as the first step toward living in a stronger world that we will be proud to leave to our children.

Okay, that's a nice close.

I guess my point is, as a campaign consultant I see lot's of feel good here, but don't see clear stands that you can make that can be explained in simple terms to people on (1) where we (Shays) have failed and (2) how we are going to correct it. I like to see a clear statement of one incremental step that can be taken once you get into office to address the issues and that has both a long term and short term purpose.

My 11 year old daughter is starting a project called greenlightkids in which she is working with a local distributor to get florescent bulbs at cost. She is asking large business to donate money for the purchase of the bulbs. Then she and a bunch of other kids are going to pack up the bulbs and do a door-to-door bulb exchange where they will trade you all your incandecent bulbs for florescent bulbs at no cost (they will ask if you want to help the program by donating, but it is not required). It's not enough to say you want to make a difference, you have to put together a plan of attack, make it clear and focused and then take action on the plan. It will work, or it won't. But "feel good" doesn't work every time.

Your issues page reads very nice, like a "girl with a great personality", it's not what people really want. People want someone who is making a call to action, for themselves and for all of us. You need to take a stand, and tell us what it is in clear terms. What are YOU going to do about it.

As an aside, I really like where you are coming from. I like the positions you feel are important, and by looking at your choices in your lifes work, I can see that this is not something you are saying to get elected, but you have lived your life with these beliefs and they show in your lifes work to date. That's a good story, and you shouldn't weaken it with a passive voice.

So go after Shays. Shays has been to Iraq umpteen times and we are still pissing away treasure needed here at home in the middle of a civil war that didn't need to happen, but one he supported from the get-go. The answer is to say "Shays doesn't have to go to Iraq to see the failure it has become, just drive to Dover and look at the honors we pay to our fallen, or go to Walter Reed and see what this administration has done to Americas finest, and how it treats them. Failure is not an option, but six years of Chris Shays war is a failure, and we need to stop this national bloodletting. A year ago Chris Shays voice said he wanted out, but his actions are to continue driving America over the cliff. It's time to start believing your lying eyes rather than his honeyed words."

I do wish you all the very best of luck. Be strong and you will win.

The question is not what you are, we already determined that, we are now negotiating price.
electrealdemocrats.com Online since 3/07 -- TimetogoJoe.com Online s

[ Parent ]
Great feedback (0.00 / 0)
Someone should have warned Jim that you wouldn't hesitate to give real substantive feedback when invited.  :-)

I'm really impressed by the substantive thought you've put into this commentary, and think your points are spot-on.  I'm glad to hear that you have some positive comments, too, because I know what a tough critic you can be!

[ Parent ]
It's just that I am tired of (4.00 / 1)
"wimpy wimpy wimpy" (as the commercial used to say).

Jim has a great personal story. That's nice. Jim seems to have great passion for many of the progressive issues. That's nice too.

I'm not Jims campaign advisor, but he asked me for my input, and that is something I will do, and I'll do it as straight here as I would if I was sitting in Cos Cob with him. I don't pull my punches with my candidates and I won't pull my punches here.

A passionate person with public speaking skills far less than a Wilton HS drama student showed that passion, a strong stand  and a strong clear message on the issues could unseat a sitting Senator. His progressive resume didn't come close to matching Jims. Jim has a great chance to be the next Representitive from CT-4, but he can't do it by hunting for the middle and a passive voice. He can't do it on anger or moral outrage. He has to stake a position, define why Shays has failed and clearly show the options that are available that Shays can't and won't follow. He has to give people a reason to vote FOR him as well as show why they need to vote against Shays.

The question is not what you are, we already determined that, we are now negotiating price.
electrealdemocrats.com Online since 3/07 -- TimetogoJoe.com Online s

[ Parent ]
Energy (4.00 / 2)
Welcome, Jim.  I'm glad to see you taking on Shays.  You can count on my support.  I hope in the campaign you can address the confluence of peak oil, global warming and national security. 

energy (4.00 / 1)
You bet. I thought Friedman's article in the Sunday NYT was right on.  Green is no longer the preserve of lefty hobbyists. It's a matter of ethics, economics and national security.

[ Parent ]
Good Framing (0.00 / 0)
I like the catch phrase: "a matter of ethics, economics and national security". 

[ Parent ]
Iraq (4.00 / 1)
I recall Chris Shays saying he was voting for the resolution to empower Bush to go to war in Iraq "even though 90% of my constituents are opposed" to this war, or words to that effect.  That was back when most people assumed any war would be short and not costly.  By some estimates, the war will cost over a trillion dollars including medical rehab, if it ends now.  Do you think the voters will finally hold Shays accountable for this quagmire? 

Since mbair is here (4.00 / 1)
...who's done a video series on the subject...

What about New Orleans?

Federal Budget (4.00 / 2)
Our federal budget includes about $400 billion in interest on the national debt, along with and $500 billion for Defense, and a similar amount for Medicare/Medicaid.

By comparison, we spend only $40 billion on Education, and less than a half billion on alternative energy. Also, Russia, the world's next biggest defense spender, allocates only $7 billion to defense. China spends $5 billion on defense.

Which of our big ticket budget items -- Interest, Defense, Medicare/Medicaid -- should we cut first, or the most, if any, and how do we go about doing that?

Defense (4.00 / 1)
Hey Jim. Great to see that your in the race. My question is: How do you think you could help save our all-volunteer military? With Iraq stretching us thin and our overuse of the national guard, which leaves us vulnerable at home, our military seems to be in disarray. What if we had another Katrina or what if we had to defend South Korea, for example?  Right now, we are in no position to deal with an emergency at  home or abroad. And if we care about any sustained effort in Afghanistan, we should seriously consider saving our all-volunteer military from the brink of collaspe. Any thoughts would be welcomed. Thanks.

Thanks (4.00 / 1)
Thanks, all. I'm out of time, but will promise to do this again, and soon. Your thoughtful questions are a big breath of fresh air after so many tactics/process/money conversations over the last few weeks. I'm really excited to meet you all in person soon. Perhaps at the JJB Friday.

Please stay in touch with me and my campaign. I can win this thing with your thoughts, ideas and support.

Thanks for joining us! (4.00 / 1)
Jim, thanks for throwing your hat in the ring and thanks for taking your time to come have this discussion. I'm really sorry I missed you, but hope that you'll be back again soon.

Best of luck with your campaign and keep us posted on how we can get involved. I'm sure you'll always have people with opinions here at MLN, so if you ever need advice, don't hesitate to stop by and ask.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

If I am wanted (0.00 / 0)
I look forward to getting another Shot at Congressman Shays.

[ Parent ]
Thanks, Maura (0.00 / 0)
Good job coordinating this. It will be great to have a bright guy like Jim as our representative in the 4th CD. I'm looking forward to helping out with the campaign.

Thanks (0.00 / 0)
There wasn't much organizing involved on my part.  :-)  I'm just really thrilled that Jim stopped by to spend some time with us.

Jim mentioned the travesty of "pay to play" access to politicians and policymakers nowadays that is our campaign finance system...and in the absence of real campaign finance reform that addresses those issues, I think this kind of meaningful (free!!!!) dialogue between a candidate and real voters is priceless.  And it says a lot about Jim's commitment to grassroots outreach that he has come here to talk with us on his very first official day as a candidate.

[ Parent ]
sorry I missed Jim...... (0.00 / 0)
but he sounds just like what we need to run against Shays.  Intelligent, Progressive, caring about the people and their rights and the Constitution.

What has always gotten me about guys like Lieberman and Shays is,  When the majority of their constituents express an opinion on an important subject like this Iraqi Invasion---WHY do they ignore those they are supposed to represent and do exactly the opposite?  Who do they think they are to totally disregard us? 

I have a feeling that Jim will consider our views more carefully than Shays has.

Just flew in from Florida (0.00 / 0)
and would like to welcome Jim to MLN. Coming from a long line of Greenwich Dems, any person with moral courage to run as a Democrat in Greenwich has my support.

Catching up on my newspapers, (0.00 / 0)
and I notice that he is on the Board of Directors of Aspira in Bridgeport. That seals it -


Although he lives in wealthy Greenwich, Himes has ties to Bridgeport and an interest in issues of concern to low-income families.

He serves on the board of directors of Aspira of Connecticut, which runs after-school programs for Latino youths in Bridgeport and is an advisory board member of Bridgeport-based Family Assets.

"Maybe more than any district in America, the 4th District is one of incredible resources but unbelievable problems. Yet, Congressman Shays for five years has single-mindedly been a cheerleader for the war on Iraq. I'm ready to lead on issues important to the district," Himes said.

Lorenzo is goin' in!

sorry I missed the live blog (0.00 / 0)
but I did just go through all of the questions and answers and I'm really happy about Jim Himes jumping into this race.  I will definitely want to help him.

BTW, what is the JJB and is this open to the public tomorrow night to meet Jim Himes?

State party fundraiser (0.00 / 0)
Hi, Harriet -

So glad you could stop by!  Better late than never.  :-)

The JJB is the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner, which is the state party's big annual fundraiser up in Hartford.  It's tomorrow night.  Tickets are $175 for cocktails and dinner.  I'm not sure if it's still possible to buy tickets (since the RSVP card asked folks to reply by April 12) but you can get more information at the CT Dems Web site.

If you can't make it, though, don't worry - Jim will be doing lots of events and meetings in the coming months, so you'll get to meet him very soon. 

[ Parent ]
Annual CT Dem dinner (0.00 / 0)
A date with Nancy Pelosi and 2500 of her closest friends in Connecticut. For $175 you can be her friend too.



[ Parent ]
You should get a press pass (0.00 / 0)
It'd be great if you could come! I missed you and Dan at the movie night this month.

[ Parent ]
I know that Sarah Merriam has been helping with blogger press passes (0.00 / 0)
Harriet - I will e-mail you Sarah's e-mail address if you want to try and get a press badge.

[ Parent ]
Belated "Hooray!!" from the House of Mouse (4.00 / 1)
where I've been exhausting myself, kids and most especially my wallet for the last week...

but Jim, I'm thrilled you've "gone official" and we're lucky to you as a candidate.

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