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Volume 34
Issue 31
 
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Former President Bill Clinton appears in Seattle to raise funds for Congressman Jim McDermott
Former President Bill Clinton appears in Seattle to raise funds for Congressman Jim McDermott
by E. Joyce Glasgow - SGN Contributing Writer

Former President Bill Clinton made a fund-raising appearance for Congressman Jim McDermott on July 31st at Benaroya Hall, entitled "We the People".

The event was Emceed by Thom Hartmann of Air America and the enthusiastic, sold out house of well-wishers enjoyed entertainment by Garfield High School Jazz Students, The Children of the Revolution, and a very special surprise appearance by international Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan.

Clinton talked about the differences in approach to government between the Republicans and the Democrats. He said that Republicans governed in a "secretive" and "unaccountable" way and that their methods are to "attack" to support their "ideology". They need a "divided" America to win and operate with a "tribal" mentality and sloganism. Newt Gingrich once told Clinton, "If we fought you fairly, you'd win all the time."

Clinton said that Democrats operated through "evidence" and "argument" and that they believe in government that is open, accountable and empowering with strong support of the middle class - unlike the Republicans who are determined to transfer wealth and power to the rich and corporations.

Clinton said that the Democrats had a more "philosophical" and "communal" approach. He spoke of the importance of revisiting global warming; "green" building; developing clean, renewable and affordable energy sources; raising the minimum wage; providing low-cost drugs; fighting childhood obesity and subsequent adult diabetes; the need for better, more efficient and affordable health care; the availability of college loans for all students; the empowerment of the ordinary citizen and the importance of the United States striving to live in the world in partnership and cooperation with the rest of the world.

McDermott was even more scathing in his indictment of the Republicans. "After ten years of Republican rule, America has empty pockets, empty gas tanks, and broken promises&They ignore the Constitution, toss aside the Geneva Convention, out an undercover agent, look over your shoulder at the library, tap the phones in your home, pick your pocket at the pump, and keep sending special interests on tax holidays paid for by the American people. Then, they go out for lunch and plot what they'll do to us in the afternoon!"

He went on to talk about the whistle blowing he did back in 1996 about illegal Republican plotting and chicanery involving Newt Gingrich, which led to an ongoing, very expensive, law suit that the Republicans have been waging against McDermott ever since. "That's why we're here tonight. I'm trying to defend the people's right to know, and I need a little help from my friends."

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