Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weisser for US Congress July 2012 Newsletter

The “Ask for Money” Portion
My, it has been a long time since I sent out a letter to everyone, hasn’t it? To those of you who thought I had dropped off the face of the earth, or out of the campaign, rest assured, I have never been busier. In fact I have been so busy with SO many things, I let our communications slide this past month. My apologies. Thx for your continuing support.
 Those of you expecting that this letter would be an “ask,” a fundraising instrument were entirely correct. I know you are wondering why you should do it. Here’s why: Our campaign is bringing life back the Democratic Party in Western Arizona at a time when we need it more than ever. Talk to Yavapai County chair, Lindsey Bell, Mohave chair Ed Pyrzynski, or Chris Tilley out in Payson. When I come to talk, people get excited.  As I’ve traveled the state cheerleading and aiding local candidates, talking tough and taking on the opposition, Democrats around the district are coming out to events, rising to their feet, running for office, putting up signs and being excited again about believing in Democracy once more. That is what you are investing in when you contribute to my campaign.
As the campaign prepares for our final month before the primary, we are need to finish strong, to continue making those public appearances and cheering on the home team. Even more importantly, we hope to use this final month of campaigning to build into the following week when our campaign will join thousands of other hard charging Democrats at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina to prepare to mount our best possible battle against the GOP nominees.
But there’s more to it than this. Though I am not greatly worried about my primary, the GOP are and they are already starting their attacks against me. Last week in Salome at a Chamber of Commerce candidate forum, GOP state senate candidate, Dr. Kelli Ward and state representative candidate Ronny Borrelli, led an elephant parade of GOP bullies who used their time at the mic to call for my firing as a teacher because as Ward phrased it, I had espoused “Democratic Talking Points.” Ward and Borrelli used these words as applause lines and the audience cheered them on. To be absolutely sure about what this means: to Ward and Borrelli, to the rank and file GOP, simply being a Democrat or even talking about Democratic ideas is all it takes for someone to want you silenced and have your life ruined. Throw in last week’s hate-mail that was so intense the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is forwarding the case onto the FBI and we are no longer dealing with a mere fashion choice of red v blue. America is engaged in a culture war and the other side is collecting bullets.
While it is a bit unnerving to see GOP candidates running on a platform of calling for my firing, this is actually an unfortunate though necessary phase in the process of challenging the rightwing dominance here in CD-04. The harder they work to demonize our campaign, the more the public will get a chance to see how awful we already know they are. This month will see candidate forums across the district and similar battles. Without your help the GOP attack dogs will go unchallenged and their poison will be the only voices heard by the voters. With your help, we can afford to fight back.

The “More Like a Regular Newsletter” Portion
So, that’s what’s ahead. But just where have I been for the whole last month? Well, I have been from coast to coast, to our nation’s capitol, the cradle of the Revolution, and to the birthplace of Liberty. Translation? After an unexpected overnight lay-over in Boston (by way of Long Beach & NYC), the month opened with the National Education Association convention in Washington DC and the 99% Delegation’s Continental Congress 2.0 which coincided with the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. I spoke to the Arizona delegation and the Peace and Social Justice Caucus at the NEA convention. That same week in Philly, I chaired the committee on and wrote the section about immigration at the 99% convention in addition to authoring the passage on media monopolies. I was one of the speakers at our public petition for redress of grievances at Independence Hall in front of the monument to the First Amendment and am still on the continuing committee on education. Earlier in the week I led 100s of Veterans for Peace, Occupy protesters and police in riot gear in singing “This Land is Your Land” at that same spot.
Later after returning to DC, we dropped in at the Democratic Party National headquarters and caught a meeting with western regional director, Andrew O’Leary. Next came the most important part of trip when we stopped in Central Illinois to visit my little nine month old grandson for two days before leaping back onto the campaign trail. Since returning, we have appeared in Dolan Springs, Payson, Cottonwood, Prescott, Phoenix PDA, Bullhead City, Wikieup, Tempe, Salome, and Seligman. I glad-handed it up at the AZ Capitol Times candidate event, appeared twice on Phoenix talk radio and been interviewed twice on DC shows and once on a show from NYC, telling the world that Arizona has Democrats worth cheering for.
In addition to paying for all those travels, many of you have noticed we are beginning to hand create and post signs around the district.  Signs are posted in So-Hi, Kingman, Dolan Springs, Whitman, Wickenburg, Wickieup, Aguila, Salome, Cottonwood, Payson, Ponderosa Park, Prescott, Circle City, Chino Valley, Paulden, Bullhead City & Fort Mohave. The fans in Phoenix are rocking them as well even though it's out of the district, just for the Indy cred. So far, we have 86 signs, mostly double-sided, but aim to create and post 150 prior to the primary.
Gas, signage, truth talking with that special touch of smart-ass? It’s true I am a hard driving man with a noble goal and all the spheroids one man can carry, but I can only do so much alone. $10 bucks buys 10 signs worth of paint, $30 a round-trip to Dolan Springs, BHC or LHC., $60 for PHX, Prescott, Payson, or Yuma. $100 keeps me in business cards. Your good will keeps me going. How far is up to you. If you feel this campaign is making a difference, I ask you to contribute now.
Either way, I hope you continue to work your hardest to make this difference. I promise you all I will.
Mikel Weisser for US Congress

Mikel Weisser
4490 Sundown Drive
So-Hi, AZ 86413

Democracy for America:
99% Declaration:
Act Blue:

Campaign Updates:
Talk Show Appearance (7/8/12)
Candidate Forum (6/20/12)
Phone-in Talk Show Guest Appearance:


Political Humor Archive:
On My Opponent, Paul Gosar:
LGBT Issues:
Tea Party Rebuttal:

Spoken Word (profile):
Spoken Word (performances)


paid for by mikel weisser for us congress

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ADP Payson State Party Speech July 21, 2012

I put this stuff here because I want you to think about this message. Not the Weisser for Congress part. Though that’s cool, Weisser for Congress, I love the idea. But I want you to think about this part: The “Tell the Right They’re Wrong” part. Think about it, then we’ll get back to it later.
Howdy ladies and gentleman, thanks for coming out to Payson. My name is Mikel Weisser and I want to be Payson’s democratically elected Democrat in the US House of Representatives for Arizona’s brand new Congressional District Four. You guys know CD-4 right? I call it the Left Coast of Arizona, though admittedly that’s a bit harder to explain when you’re right next to the Mogollon Rim, but basically it runs Yuma to Utah, Parker to Payson. Seven Counties, 7 or 8 LDs, Mohave-La Paz-Yuma-Yavapai-almost all the parts of Maricopa where they don’t have people and then throw in major portions of Gila and Pinal County just for the sport of it. It’s about the size of Illinois. I have traveled 45,000 miles since announcing my campaign at the end of January and I see something new each trip. CD 4 is as beautiful as it is immense and it is just about as red a district as you could find.
Before we even had candidates announced the handicappers had the Rs with 65% and the Ds with 35%. Generic candidates, it didn’t matter who. John Wayne Gacy versus Santa Claus. If Santa had the D on his chest, Christmas might have trouble. In fact, the word was there wasn’t a Democrat in Western Arizona with the balls enough to even take on the big red machine out our way. And as soon as I heard that, I thought, well, hmmmmmmmmm. I reached down and well look-ey here. And it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
I am a first time candidate, still learning when to say please and how to say thank you. Any other first time candidates in the room? I want you all stand up and give all your first time Democratic Party candidates a big hand because they are your Democracy in action. They are why we’re here. I tell you this is absolutely, bar none, the most thrilling experience of my life. I am so much better a person for taking this challenge. I wish each of you could experience this for yourselves. In fact, I hope you try it and get to enjoy even a fraction of the rewards and blessings this path has brought to me.
For example, I’ve only been here in Payson three times and already I’m their favorite son. Last night when we came in, this little old lady came up to me with her even littler older lady mother and said, I wanted my mom to meet you. A couple of months ago I found a piece of your campaign literature stuck on my windshield and I love what you’re doing, so I wanted my mom to meet you. I tell you it doesn’t get better than that. There’s a bunch of us first-timers this year and they are putting their lives on the line for Democracy and for the Democratic Party and have put their lives in your hands in many more ways than you realize, just saying. But they’re doing what they can. They are proof the system can make a difference. Reginald Bolling is proof teachers can change the world both inside and out of their classrooms. Doug Ballard is proof progressive activists aren’t just all talk and no action and my personal hero, Dr. Janie Hydrick, is proof that our nation of immigrants has always been enriched when we welcome newcomers with open arms and open minds.
I’ve been a life-long Democrat. I am so Democrat, I was a Democrat in utero. I remember when I was 9 years old I was watching when my hero Bobby Kennedy won that California primary. And then walked into that kitchen … and I was watching later that same year when the election came around and even as a little kid, I could tell Nixon was a crook. I mean Richard Nixon? The guy was a dick right? I was so certain of it, the night before the election I got a piece of chalk from the school, went out in the middle of the street in front of my home in Raymondville. TX and scrawled, “Humphrey/Muskie is our man, Nixon in the Garbage Can!” I was sure it was going to make a difference, but did America listen to me? No! And look where we are today. Look at what they’ve done to us. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, look what they’ve done.
Notice the sign.
Yeah, they’ve done quite a bit of damage. But I think it is not too late for us to turn that tide and bring America into the 21st Century. America is a still great place for now. That a guy like me can find myself in front of a crowd like this. I know there is a lot of love these days in the AZ Democratic Party for homeless folks, what with the amazing life stories of Dr. Richard Carmona and Kyrsten Sinema. I too was homeless, first as a teen runaway, later a homeless vet. And now? Beautiful wife, lovely life, college degrees, house and chickens and cats and dogs.
You know how I got those things? Yeah, because I’ve got some skills and a huge mountain of good luck. Sure. But I have the American Dream, because the America I grew up in wanted to make sure I had a chance to reach for its dreams. They wanted to create a great society. They wanted all people to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of our skin. They wanted the old and sick to be cared for, they wanted the poor to be comforted. They wanted all us children to be educated to be the best and the brightest. We were supposed to reach for the stars!
Some folks say those days are gone forever. Now I know my country has never been perfect, but the America our kids are going up in, the country we are going to grow old in, is not the America I once knew. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I want you all, to seriously think about this message. This is what I have learned as a first time candidate and life-long Democrat. The Right are Wrong. This isn’t a simple choice between pick red or blue. The people who tell you they can’t see a difference between the two parties are at least half blind. Their so-called “conservative values” agenda that has been driving our nation has been driving it into the ground, 28 of the last 40 years we’ve been battling their poison to our nation.  As a school teacher in a state where the GOP have cut 1.6 billion out of K-12 ed in just the past four years, I can assure you they want your children be ignorant. They want to public to stay sick and poor and fearful, because if you can keep a people ignorant and sick and poor and fearful then they are easier to control!
See? Wrong! They’ve been wrong on social issues. Move mountain and mole hill alike to save Terry Schiavo but vote 30 times to throw 30 million Americans under the bus, because they have to repeal Obamacare. Abstinence only sex-ed in the country that leads the world in unwed teen pregnancy. Make sure the LBGT community is forever made sure to always feel Queer. Cut arts funding, cut ed funding, cut veterans benefits, decimate the social service network in our country and brag about their morality? Throwing 800,000 Americans a year in jail for cannabis possession and then installing the world’s leading opium producers, the Karzai family, into office in Afghanistan. Newt Gingrich gonna lecture me on morality? Wrong. Serial executioner Rick Perry gonna teach me about the sanctity of life? And icky old Ricky Santorum gonna tell me how to love Jesus by listing all the people he wants me to hate. Come on folks, from the first time you saw him fail to properly rock a sweater vest, you knew the guy was stark raving wrong.
They’ve been consistently incredibly wrong on fiscal issues. Yeah, Romney? Gonna run our country the same way you ran Bain-Capitol. Who you gonna downsize this time? Wisconsin? Deregulation of Wall Street, deregulations of banking, Chicago School type shock doctrine, quote “Free Market Capitalism” cut your way to prosperity, while their corporate donors export all the good paying jobs then whine because of our sluggish consumer spending. Chuck Glass-Steagall and let banks gamble with grandma’s pensions? What could possibly be a problem with that, huh? AND, how is it that when they ran back in 2010 promising to save the economy, what they gave us instead was 900 statehouse bills to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Yeah that’s creating jobs, con jobs.
And when it comes to foreign relations, they have been dead wrong. Don’t forget that these same guys who want to sell you Ryan Budget, and the Norquist pledge once tried to sell you 900 lies about weapons of mass destruction. I could go on and on, but then Jackie Adams would throttle me, besides, I know, I’m preaching to the choir. What I don’t know, my fellow Democrats, is what you are going to do about it. I know there are lots of campaigns and they’re always asking for something, sometimes it seems all we want is your money (and don’t get me wrong: if you try to chase me down with a fistful of hundred dollar bills I will let you catch me). But that is not what I am asking for here. I am asking each of you to start your own campaign about whatever you can campaign about and get out there save America, while we still have a chance. I cannot guarantee you little old ladies will bring you their moms to gawk at you, but it could happen. I can guarantee you every time anyone of us try to save the world, it does get that iota better and each time we do nothing, the other side just makes it worse. Like my hero Howard Zinn said, the people have the power. This disaster is still ours to avert. Let’s make this difference. It may be our last chance. Please and thank you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Declaration of the 99%Delegation's Continental Congress 2.0

If you had been wondering why I have not been posting more material lately, in part it was because I spent 11 days out of town in various travels, including a weekend with my son, daughter-in-law & sweetie of an 8-month old grandson, + a trip to the NEA national convention in DC (where I got to speak to the AZ delegation and to the Peace and Justice Caucus). But mostly I spent three days in Philadelphia as an elected representative for this part of the state of Arizona to the 99% Delegation's convention, where we drafted a petition for redress of grievances which we read at Independence Hall on July 4th complete with parade permit and some press. Originally intended to be a formal arm of the larger Occupy Movement and taking place at the same time in the same city as the Occupy National Gathering, the 99D convention brought together 70+ delegates from local Occupy movements from across the country to visualize what the main challenges are that our country is facing and how to address them. We had some brilliant minds from various fields, and from various political stripes, all learning how to work together for the good of our country. As such it was a noble experiment in and of itself; but i am profoundly impressed with the work we accomplished and this short public announcement is a good summing up of the larger document we created that proposes solutions to these grievances. The full length project is still being refined and our work to promote these goals goes on. But here is the text that was read on the 4th with flags flying and crowds cheering.

I worked explicitly on the section on immigration, but helped out with a couple of other committees and am still serving on the ongoing Education committee. I post this here as a way of spreading our message and encouraging us all to take a stand to save our country from the disaster that's been made of it. As the original Philadelphia Declaration exhorted us: it is the duty of the citizens to alter, or even abolish a government that is detrimental to our citizens. If ever there was a time to call for the reforming of a more perfect union, this is it:

 Continental Congress 2.0
Petition for a Redress of Grievances

A New Declaration

The people have the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT WE, THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the People, have convened a NEW CONTINENTAL CONGRESS this week of July 4, 2012 in the City of Philadelphia. We, the people, have deliberated, drafted and ratified a PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES to be served upon the United States Congress, Supreme Court, and President, prior to November 6, 2012.
Our country is beset by problems too large to fit comfortably under rubrics like liberal, independent, or conservative.  

No single label fits, and no single ideology suits, but what we all have in common is that we are all (left, right, and center) being marginalized and defeated by the moneyed interests of the 1% as we struggle for life, liberty, happiness, comfort, and health.  The 1% have enjoyed inordinate power and influence over our lives as they spread propaganda through the corporate media, and extract our nation’s wealth, only to deposit it out of the country.  All the while, the 1% are delighted by our inability to recognize and address our common plight in any meaningful way.


We are the truckers, the teachers, the first-responders, the engineers, the self-employed and unemployed, the off-grid and organic farmers as well as the cutting-edge, fully-wired, 4G digital entrepreneurs. We are the butchers, the bakers, the builders and the makers.  We are the foundation of our country!  

We gather in Philadelphia for a cause larger than ourselves. If we are to succeed in taking back our country we must put aside the petty partisan differences that might divide us.  We must recognize that many of those differences have been created and demonstrated by the 1% in their efforts to maintain control and profits at our expense.

We will not agree on everything and that is to be expected.  We only need to agree on ONE THING:

American Government cannot continue to be sold to the highest bidder.

Another group of Americans joined together in Philadelphia over the days leading up to what we now proudly call Independence Day.  Those Georgia planters, New York bankers, Massachusetts lawyers and Virginia scholars had radical differences and little in common when they began, but they finished by signing a Declaration that gave birth to our great nation and changed the world.  We, too, can change the world by renewing their vision and our democracy.

We petition the government for redress of the following grievances:

Our government has allowed organizations to have undue influence over policy decisions affecting the people.   The rights of organizations, including corporations, nation states, labor unions, and other collected bodies, are not the same as living human beings.  No single organization shall have more influence over our government than that of an individual citizen.  Corporations are not people. 

Our government has allowed freedom of speech to be corrupted by the influence of money.  Money is property, not speech. 

Our electoral system has been unjustly weighted in favor of two major political parties.  This, in combination with enormous campaign expenditures has subverted our democracy and discouraged citizens from participating in the electoral process.

Our current political system allows for the legal bribery of our government officials.  They have been part of a “revolving door” with the private lobbying sector and have engaged in insider trading with the very companies they are charged with regulating. 

Mainstream media, with no regard for the public they are meant to serve, have misled and misinformed the people, suppressing informed debate and crippling democracy in their single-minded pursuit of profit.

Our privately-controlled and exploitative monetary system, unjust trade policies, and regressive tax system, which greatly favor the 1%, are increasing inequality and eroding the American dream.

Our congress has aided and abetted a massive fraud by predatory lenders, bankers, speculators, and financiers which has deprived millions of Americans of their homes, property, and livelihoods.

Our government has not recognized our right to clean air, clean water, untainted soil, and safe food.  It has failed or refused to enact and enforce laws preventing the destruction of our natural ecosystem, willfully ignoring empirical evidence of significant harm caused by human interaction with the environment.

Our government has failed to protect essential civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. American citizens should not be indefinitely detained without due process of law. Their rights to privacy and freedom of speech on the internet should be ensured, and the choices of romantic partners must not be restricted by the government.

Our country imprisons more people per capita than any other country in the world to feed the profits of the growing private prison-industrial complex.  Many people are imprisoned for non-violent drug crimes causing harm only to themselves while white collar criminals, who have defrauded the American people, walk free.

Our congress has abdicated its responsibility for the declaration of war, allowing the United States military to engage in unconstitutional military actions and occupations abroad.  There is an unacceptable lack of transparency in negotiations between the military and multi-national industrial contractors who profit from perpetual war.

After Congress has allowed or required our men and women to be sent into military action, it has failed to uphold its promises of benefits and medical care to those who have served unless they have been physically injured.  This is not right.

Our government has failed to prevent healthcare, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies from profiteering off of the illnesses and injuries of the American people.  The for-profit healthcare system is immoral and economically unsustainable.

The current state of our education system is abysmal and under-funded.  Without a well-educated populace, a democracy cannot adequately provide for its own common defense or promote the general welfare.

Our government has been derelict in its duty to substantially and equitably invest in the productivity of its people by supporting job training initiatives that will create more domestic employment opportunities and enable our workforce to transition to an independent renewable energy economy.

Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and the United States territories’ have been disenfranchised as voters.  This is incompatible with American representative democracy.  We recognize the right of Puerto Rico to become a state of the Union.

Citizens of the District of Columbia have been unjustly deprived of their right to determine their own governance.  They have been denied congressional voting rights and control over their own local affairs.  We recognize the right of the District of Columbia to self-determinative government.

Our current immigration laws have created a second class of underground human beings and led to the exploitation of millions of workers. These laws promote racism, create a culture of fear and distrust, and betray our proud tradition as a nation of immigrants.

We will be delivering the forgoing list of grievances, along with suggestions for their redress, to all branches of the federal government in the coming weeks.  The American people expect a timely response.  If our grievances are insufficiently addressed, we will take legal action in federal court seeking injunctive relief. 

The sovereignty of the United States derives from WE, THE PEOPLE. 

We will be heard.

And…in time -- pushing through obstacles, overcoming set-backs, and basking in hard-won victories -- we WILL restore our democracy.