Sunday, November 9, 2008

Congratulations to Democrat Rebecca Schneider for Running the U.S.'s Most Cost-Effective Campaign Against Extremist Do-Nothing Congressman Jeff Flake

Congratulations to Democrat Rebecca Schneider, who ran a brave do-it-herself campaign against extremist do-nothing Republican Congressman Jeff Flake in Arizona's Sixth Congressional District.

According to unofficial results, Rebecca received 103,930 votes, all the while receiving no money and no support from the Arizona Democratic Party, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or netroots blowhards like Markos Moulitsas on Daily Kos.

Instead, these Democrats concentrated their support and money to Third Congressional District candidate Bob Lord, who received only 102,215 votes - or about 1,500 votes fewer than Rebecca Schneider.

Rebecca received over 25,000 more votes than Democrat Rep. Ed Pastor in the Fourth Congressional District and more than twice as many votes as Jeff Flake's last Democratic opponent.

But Rebecca had only $4,890 in her campaign while Bob Lord, getting fewer votes, had $1,510,470, more than 300 times as much money.

Rebecca Schneider got more votes for less money than any unsuccessful Democratic U.S. House candidate in the country.

Congratulations to her on a brave and lonely campaign!

Unfortunately, telegenic but clueless Congressman Jeff Flake will, as he wrote after the election in the Washington Post, continue to be a right-wing extremist show horse, doing nothing but grandstanding for the voters of his district for the next two years.

But, Rebecca, you did good! We're proud of you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Worthless Arizona Democratic Party Won't Give Even Token Support to Rebecca Schneider in Her Race Against Extremist Right-Wing GOP Rep. Jeff Flake

I received this email from the campaign of Rebecca Schneider, who won our Democratic party primary for Arizona's Sixth Congressional District with 74% of the vote:

Greetings Arizona Democrats,

We have a big election coming up. Besides the Presidential Election, we have a lot of great local candidates. On every level, we are working hard to turn Arizona blue. We have 8 Congressional seats in the House, currently split between 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans. I live in Jeff Flake's district, CD-6. I have called Jeff Flake's campaign office now 5 times (480-415-0232), left my name and phone number, and no one has called me back. I want to know when the debate is between Jeff Flake and Rebecca Schneider. The "buzz" is that Flake feels he doesn't have to debate Schneider because she is not supported by the Democratic party. And lo and behold, I get this email from the Arizona Democratic Party, and two names and pictures are missing.

Rebecca Schneider CD-6
John Thrasher CD-2

So, yesterday, I give Don Bivens a call, and I am told it's not a "targeted race". The man practically hung up on me since he had the Attorney General on the other line, and I'm only a mere voter. Well, I live in CD-6, so for me this is a "targeted race" ! I called and left a message for Maria Weeg. No return call there either. Great, now both Republicans and Democrats are dissing me. Even if the Democratic Party does not want to pour money into this race, they could at least put the name and picture of the candidates for CD-6 and CD-2 on their "Early Voting Has Begun" email.

If this makes you mad too, here are some names and phone numbers:

Contact ADP Staff
Statewide Headquarters

Arizona Democratic Party Headquarters
2910 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 298-4200
Toll Free: 1-877-298-6837

Executive Director – Maria Weeg
Communications Director – Emily DeRose
Finance Director – Devin Rankin
Field Director – Daniel Graver
Deputy Political Director – Justin Unga
Deputy Finance Director – Vanessa Barrera
New Media Communications Manager – Jeff Goodman
ADC Coordinator – Sara Ahmad
African American Outreach Director – AJ Miller
Hispanic Outreach Coordinator – Ayensa Millan
Tribal Outreach Field Organizer – Arista La Russo
Faith Outreach Organizer – Adralyn Wendel
Office Manger – Amanda Jaksich
And here's the link to the head honchos:
Lots of email addresses on that link.
Thanks to everyone for all the work you do.

Peace, Janet

P.S. Feel free to forward to other Arizona Democrats

When I declared my candidacy for this seat back in mid-2007, I knew how this would be way the worthless Arizona Democratic primary would treat any nominee against Jeff Flake, so I can't say that I'm surprised.

I understand that our priorities must be to keep the seats of our first-term incumbents Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08) and Harry Mitchell (AZ-05) and to make sure we can win the open seat in AZ-01 with Ann Kirkpatrick. But even with an Arizona U.S. senator heading the Republican ticket as presidential candidate, these candidates seem likely to win in what's shaping up as another Democratic election year. AZ-01 may be the congressional seat in the U.S. most likely to switch parties.

And it's vital that we help Bob Lord defeat Rep. John Shadegg in AZ-03. This was a race that the national Democratic party didn't view as winnable, but it's becoming clear that Bob Lord has run a well-financed, flawless campaign and the Republicans are panicking - as they should be.

Now I don't think Rebecca Schneider has a chance to win against Jeff Flake in this gerrymandered district, any more than Republicans have a chance in AZ-04 or AZ-07. But not even to list the AZ-06 (or AZ-02) candidate on its "Early Voting Has Begun" email is reprehensible.

That isn't financial support; it's not sucking up any resources that could be better sent elsewhere.

It's just mere decency.

Shame on Don Bivens, Maria Weeg and the bigwigs of the Arizona Democratic party.

Meanwhile, I expect that Rebecca Schneider - unsupported by her party, running a campaign without adequate funding, with only the power of her convictions - will again shock everyone with the number of votes she will get against Jeff Flake, whose laissez-faire extremism is completely out of touch as his extremist ideology is repudiated daily with our financial meltdown.

Please support Rebecca Schneider.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Please Support Democrat Rebecca Schneider for Congress in AZ-06 This November Against Do-Nothing Extremist Republican Incumbent Rep. Jeff Flake

Please support activist Democrat Rebecca Schneider for Congress in Arizona's Sixth Congressional District this November against the do-nothing extremist incumbent, Rep. Jeff Flake.

Check out earlier posts here for shocking examples of Rep. Flake's terrible record of ignoring the needs of the East Valley's middle class families and you will see that he should be replaced by someone who will fight for regular people - Rebecca Schneider.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, This Is My Last Blog Post. You Won't Have Dick Grayson to Kick Around Anymore.

Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
-- "Slacker"

Just about one year ago, over 170 posts and 8200 pageviews ago, I began this blog as "Grayson for Congress AZ-06" with this:

I am a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's Sixth District. Thank you.

* * *
Last October, I started posting more regularly, as in this post, "Welcome to the Sixth Congressional District of Arizona, Bitch...Uh, Candidate!":

Arizona's Sixth Congressional District was created as a safe Republican House seat in the redistricting following the 2000 census, when the Cactus State gained two Congressional seats. It encompasses parts of Maricopa and Pinal counties. It is mostly made up of eastern suburbs of Phoenix, what we in the East Valley call "the East Valley": Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and my hometown of Apache Junction (though I've also lived and worked in Mesa).

It's one of the fastest-growing parts of the United States. Of cities over 100,000, Gilbert is the fourth fastest-growing and Chandler the ninth fastest-growing. Queen Creek's population is doubling every four years. In parts of the district, nearly all the buildings date from the 21st century.

According to Wikipedia:

It is currently represented by Jeff Flake, a Republican. George W. Bush received 64% of the vote in this district in 2004. The district has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R +12.
Population (2000): 641,329
Male 49.3%, Female 50.7%
Median age: 34.1
Median Household Income: $47,976
Racial Composition: 84.2% White, 2.1% Black, 1.8% Asian, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 8.2% Other, 17.2% Hispanic (of any race)

In 2002, Republican Jeff Flake won his second term with 65% of the vote. (He first won a Congressional seat in the old First District in 2000).

Deborah Thomas, the only Democratic candidate who's ever run in this district, got 42,653 votes, or 32%. Libertarian Andy Wagner got 3%.

In 2004, Rep. Flake won 79% of the vote against the Libertarian candidate, Craig Stritar, who got 21%.

In 2006, Rep. Flake got 74% of the vote to 26% for Libertarian Jason Blair.

Why did no Democrat run in the last two elections? Why am I pushing for some Democrat to run in 2008? Why have I so far been able to convince only myself to run? See future posts.

* * *
The day after Thanksgiving I posted this about AZ-06:

Call us the Speedy Gonzales District.

According to Reid Wilson's post at Real Clear Politics, the just-published edition of The Almanac of American Politics notes that Arizona's Sixth Congressional District -- hey, that's us -- is the fastest-growing in the nation:

Arizona Reps. Jeff Flake and Trent Franks come in at numbers one and two, and new residents of the state have registered overwhelmingly Democratic, according to the East Valley Tribune. Neither Flake nor Franks are in immediate danger, but a generation from now, the districts will not look the same as they do today.

Between 2000 and 2005, AZ-06 grew 36.3%. We Democrats need to at least run someone in 2008 -- are there any Latina billionaire businesswomen abuelas with civic experience in Mesa? -- but I will represent the party next November if no politician with potential agrees to run.

I am sure that Arizona's Sixth Congressional District, or whatever district replaces it in parts of the Southeast Valley after the next decennial census -- will one day shift from Republican to Democratic control. The demographics and history are on our side.

This do-it-yourself campaign by a non-politician is taking a hiatus for the holiday as we speedily run to the supermarket for tofurkey and trimmings. I'm incredibly grateful that I live in a country where, um, anyone can run for national office.

Happy Thanksgiving.

* * *
In early January, I wrote:

The New Year's Day column by conservative David Brooks mostly concerned Mitt Romney's presidential campaign but went on to make more general remarks about the political situation we are facing in 2008:

As Walter Mondale was the last gasp of the fading New Deal coalition, Romney has turned himself into the last gasp of the Reagan coalition.

That coalition had its day, but it is shrinking now. The Republican Party is more unpopular than at any point in the past 40 years. Democrats have a 50 to 36 party identification advantage, the widest in a generation. The general public prefers Democratic approaches on health care, corruption, the economy and Iraq by double-digit margins. Republicans’ losses have come across the board, but the G.O.P. has been hemorrhaging support among independent voters. Surveys from the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University show that independents are moving away from the G.O.P. on social issues, globalization and the roles of religion and government.

Since I filed to run as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in Arizona's Sixth Congressional District last May, I have not heard from anyone in the state Democratic party. For that matter, I haven't heard from a single Democratic voter in AZ-06.

I originally filed to run because I believe in contested elections and because I was frustrated that Sixth Congressional District Democrats like myself did not have a candidate to vote for in November 2006, when our party won back the U.S. House, or in November 2004, in a crucial election that got many Democrats energized.

All along, I have said I would happily step aside if a more credible Democrat would just step forward and run. That remains true.

Look, I know I am a horrible candidate for our party. I am no politician. Anyone glancing at the posts on this blog can see that. I am running only because no one else will.

I completely understand why state and national Democrats have little interest in AZ-06. It has the lowest percentage of registered Democrats of any congressional district in the Cactus State.

Our party needs to ensure that Rep. Harry Mitchell in AZ-05 and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in AZ-08 win their first re-election campaigns; their victories in 2006 brought Democrats 4-4 parity in the state's U.S. House delegation.

In 2008, we have an excellent chance of picking up the Republican seat in AZ-01 where an unpopular incumbent is retiring. We also have a very good chance to pick off another of Arizona's conservative Republican congressmen in AZ-03, where Bob Lord is a terrific candidate for our party.

Arizona's Sixth Congressional District should and must take a back seat to these eminently winnable races. But the national and state Democratic party should not abandon us.

I believe 2008 is the year, as Brooks said, the Reagan conservative coalition has come apart. The impending Republican primary fight between Rep. Jeff Flake and Russell Pearce in AZ-06 is a sign of this, as is the chaos in the GOP presidential race.

In my posts over the past few months I've tried to show that Rep. Flake is vulnerable to attack as a rigid right-wing laissez-faire ideologue at a time when this ideology is being rejected by many voters -- including those who have long voted Republican. If Russell Pearce somehow upsets the incumbent in next September's GOP primary, many more Republicans will join AZ-06 Democrats in seeking an alternative.

Please, leaders and members of the Arizona Democratic Party, let's build for the future in Arizona's Sixth Congressional District, the fastest-growing district in the entire nation.

Find a better candidate than Richard Grayson.

One who doesn't talk about himself in the third person would be a good start.

[campaigning children in the photo at top are supporting their father, Democratic candidate Alan Grayson in FL-08]

* * *
In mid-April, I posted some "GrEaT nEwS":

As Hubert H. Humphrey would say, I'm as pleased as punch to report that two new Democrats have entered the race to represent Arizona's Sixth Congressional District in Congress.

Rebecca Schneider of Mesa is a librarian at ASU who has the compassion sorely lacking in Rep. Jeff Flake.

Chris Gramazio of Queen Creek is a working man, married father of one (and one on the way), who has the common sense so foreign to Rep. Jeff Flake.

Either of them would be a vast improvement over the Sixth Congressional District's current pathetic excuse for a people's representative.

I started this campaign and blog last year because I was mad that I had no Democrat to vote for in the 2006 U.S. House race.

If either Chris or Rebecca, or both, successfully file their petitions to get on the September 2 Democratic primary ballot, I will gratefully step aside and enthusiastically vote for our party's candidate. If by some chance, neither gets on the ballot, I'll run as a write-in candidate.

Till there's clearly a Democratic candidate in November, I'm going to continue this furshlugginer blog, not trying to promote my own candidacy but explaining why Rep. Jeff Flake needs to be replaced by a progressive Democrat.

Good luck to both Rebecca and Chris. I am really, really happy you are running.

* * *
In this blog, I've posted a lot about what I feel are the failures of Rep. Jeff Flake. Often I used over-the-top language, meant as kind of a parody of the attack ads seen in what passes for political discourse over the airways.

I still stand by all my criticisms of Jeff Flake's record as a congressman (as well as my occasional praise for some of his forward-thinking actions), but I am sorry if the words I used offended anyone, particularly Rep. Flake or his family. I think he's a decent guy and a very intelligent man who happens to have a view of government that is out of step with our times.

After it was clear that other candidates were in the race, I changed the name of the blog from one promoting my "candidacy" to "Defeat Jeff Flake." Now, with Chris Gramazio having filed his signatures to get on the September 2 AZ-06 Democratic primary ballot and Rebecca Schneider filing her petitions next Tuesday, it's time for me to step aside and let a real candidate take over. I'm leaving to spend the summer in Brooklyn. Thanks to everyone who came to the blog.

* * *
Here is my final post:

I am no longer a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's Sixth District. Thank you.

Goodbye and good luck!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chris Gramazio Has Filed His Signatures to Get on the AZ-06 Democratic Primary Ballot. We Will Defeat Jeff Flake!

Good news comes in an email from Chris Gramazio. He has filed his petitions with enough signatures to get on the September 2 Democratic primary ballot so we will have someone to defeat Jeff Flake this November.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sneering Elitist Rep. Jeff Flake Takes Break from Bashing Middle-Class Families to Call for Killing of Cats

On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1464, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2008, sponsored by Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM), the next Senator from New Mexico.

Rep. Jeff Flake took a break from bashing America's hardworking middle-class families to express his hatred of defenseless and endangered cats by voting no.

As the astute blogger That's My Congress notes,

The legislation provides for the financial support of conservation programs around the world that protect endangered wild cats and dogs. In the case of wildcats, every species on Earth is endangered. Half of wild dog species, ranging from the red wolf to the arctic fox, are in danger of going extinct.

The bill was passed in the House of Representatives late yesterday afternoon, but only barely. With just a few more votes against it, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act would have been killed, and programs to conserve these magnificent animals would have been cut off from support.

119 members of Congress voted against this law.

Why? Why would anyone vote to deprive conservation programs for endangered species of support?

Could it be money? Could it be that 119 members of Congress decided that, as much as they like the idea of protecting wild cats and canids from extinction, it would be fiscally irresponsible to spend the money?

That explanation doesn’t hold up, if you do the math. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total expense for the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2008 in 2009 would be only 7 million dollars. Compare that to the supplementary war spending Congress is set to approve: 168.9 billion dollars. Remember that, as supplementarywar spending, that 168.9 billion dollars is in addition to the hundreds of billions already in the federal budget to pay for war war.

7 million dollars next to 168.9 billion dollars is like a grain of sand next to an ostrich egg.

It makes no sense for anyone in Congress to deny the seven million dollars in funding for felid and canid conservation, and then to vote in favor of throwing hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars away on war.

This was a bipartisan conservation bill, with some Republicans among the co-sponsors, and even more Republicans voting in favor. However, opposition to the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act was not at all bipartisan. Of the 119 members of the House voting against the bill, only one was a Democrat.

That's My Congress ends by nominating Jeff Flake for the Congressional Coalition Against Cats.

Obviously it's no surprise that a do-nothing congressman like Jeff Flake, who wouldn't lift a pinky to help struggling American middle class families, couldn't give a shit about helping members of the cat family.

Unless, of course, they're the Maker's Mark-swilling, cigar-chomping, arugula-eating Club for Growth fat cats who've lined elitist Jeff Flake's campaign coffers to the tune of a cool million.

This blog post is dedicated to the memory of Eisenhower, the best cat who ever lived on East 54th Street between Snyder and Tilden Avenues in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, in the 1950s.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lazy Do-Nothing Rep. Jeff Flake's Accomplishments for the People of Arizona's Sixth Congressional District: Less Than Zero

Lazy dilettante Rep. Jeff Flake has been in the United States House of Representatives for nearly eight years. Can you name one thing he's done for the families of our congressional district? Other than send out self-serving press releases and get his photogenic mug in the media?

OpenCongress details Rep. Jeff Flake's utter lack of accomplishments:

Not a single bill that Jeff Flake has sponsored has ever become law.

He ranks 419 out of 435 House members in the number of bills he's co-sponsored -- and that 435 includes members who've died in the middle of a session!

Worst of all, he ranks 424 out of 435 House members in getting the few bills he's bothered to co-sponsor to pass Congress.

Do-nothing Jeff Flake. When it comes to promoting himself, he's a dynamo. When it comes to helping hardworking families in his district, he doesn't lift a pinky.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Anti-Veteran Elitist Rep. Jeff Flake Favors Millionaires Over Vets, Votes Against New G.I. Bill

More good news from Congress yesterday. As the email I got from the hardworking group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), noted:
You did it. Just a few minutes ago, the House of Representatives passed the new GI Bill by a vote of 256-166, as an attachment to the emergency supplemental. Click here to view the full list of who voted for it and who voted against it.

Earlier this week, we told you that the new GI Bill was facing opposition from a small group of Representatives in the House, who were threatening the bill despite its deep bi-partisan support.

We asked for your help, and you stepped up to the plate. Thousands of you took action by calling your Representatives, signing the petition at, and spreading the word to your friends and neighbors. Today, your dedication paid off and together, we made history.

But Rep. Jeff Flake, on the wrong side of history, voted against helping vets.

As I wrote in a February blog post, "We Need a New G.I. Bill":
I'm sure anti-government extremist Rep. Jeff Flake opposes a new G.I. Bill for the same reasons he opposes any kind of government help for ordinary people.

But yesterday there was even more reason for an elitist like Jeff Flake who's constantly favored the interests of millionaires over those of struggling middle class families to vote against the G.I. Bill. As the New York Times stated,

Congressional Democrats began to put into practice their philosophy of asking the wealthy to shoulder more of the cost of government programs on Thursday as the House approved an expansive new veterans education benefit that would be paid for by a tax on affluent Americans.

In pushing the tax plan, Democrats are banking on the idea that most Americans will have no quarrel with requiring those on the highest economic rung to pay for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the equivalent of a free four-year college education at a public university.

The proposal is the most striking example so far of a Democratic refrain being heard increasingly in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail: Americans with significant financial resources need to contribute more to efforts to help those less prosperous.

Individuals earning $500,000 or more would pay a surtax of 0.47 percent on income above $500,000 and the tax would apply to couples on incomes above $1 million.

Democratic officials said one analysis estimated that about 440,000 people would fall under the new tax and would pay an average of nearly $9,000 a year.

“We are talking about people who are making over $1 million to make a small sacrifice to pay for this war when our military families are making a huge sacrifice,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois.

Middle-class-hating, millionaire-loving Rep. Jeff Flake sided with the people he's constantly favored in his eight pathetic years in Congress.

And our miserable excuse for a representative once again sided against hardworking regular people -- in this case, the brave veterans who've given everything they've got for America.

A creepy hypocrite like Jeff Flake talks about supporting veterans, but then when push comes to shove, he votes against them because he's more devoted to his ideology than he is to the needs of regular people.

Seriously, how can he sleep at night?

And even more seriously, how can we re-elect this sneering enemy of middle class families?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Out-of-Touch Greed-Worshipping Extremist Rep. Jeff Flake Tells Hardworking AmeriCorps Volunteers: Get Lost, Drop Dead

Rep. Jeff Flake is well-known on Capitol Hill for being a nasty foe of anything that smacks of government giving a helping hand to struggling working-class and middle-class families.

"You're on your own, folks," is the mantra of our do-nothing congressman.

His sponsors, like the anti-family Goldwater Institute and the greed-is-good elitists of the Club for Growth, have a perfect representative in the selfishness-worshipping Rep. Jeff Flake. Too bad those of us stuck with a congressman who makes Ayn Rand look like Mother Teresa can't say the same thing -- unless we've suddenly been thrust into Bizarro World.

Yesterday a routine resolution came before the House. It was simple: to honor the 542,000 American citizens who since 1994 haven taken the AmeriCorps pledge to 'get things done for America' by becoming AmeriCorps members.

These unselfish folks have served a total of more than 705,000,000 hours nationwide, helping to improve the lives of our nation's most vulnerable citizens, protect our environment, contribute to our public safety, respond to disasters, and strengthen our educational system.

Members of the House were asked to simply agree to this:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) encourages all citizens to join in a national effort to salute AmeriCorps members and alumni, and raise awareness about the importance of national and community service;

(2) acknowledges the significant accomplishments of the AmeriCorps members, alumni, and community partners;

(3) recognizes the important contributions to the lives of our citizens by AmeriCorps members; and

(4) encourages citizens of all ages to consider serving in AmeriCorps.

All Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans voted aye.

Horse's ass Jeff Flake voted nay.

Why does Jeff Flake hate AmeriCorps? Because it proves, time and again, that a little helping hand from the government can make some people's lives easier. And that contradicts the rigid ideology that Jeff Flake has sworn allegiance to, much to the detriment of his constituents with real needs.

Jeff Flake wants to get rid of AmeriCorps. As an editorial in the Everett (WA) Herald titled "AmeriCorps should be lauded, not threatened" explains:
Let's face it: Not everyone has the desire or the opportunity to go to college and pursue a traditional career in public service. That doesn't mean young people shouldn't get the chance to focus on doing good in their community. The federal AmeriCorps program is a great way to create a valuable pool of volunteers to do just that.

Even though it's billed as a volunteer program, participants receive awards once they complete their assignments. The grants are meant to be used to further volunteers' education or to pay off student loans.

The award - less than $5,000 - is hardly an incentive by itself to commit to a yearlong project. The partial-year stipends are even less, about $2,300 for between 300 and 900 hours of work. AmeriCorps volunteers are mostly in their mid-20s and make the conscious decision to put better-paying career paths on hold in order to perform admirable tasks.

Last week in the House of Representatives, AmeriCorps faced funding cuts from two different amendment packages. One, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), would have cleaved $25 million from its federal grant package, divided between a program focused on underprivileged youth and various programs for the elderly.

Stearns wrote a letter to others on the House Appropriations Committee in which he mischaracterized the nature of AmeriCorps, calling the stipend a contradiction for volunteers.

The other, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), would have removed all $226 million funding AmeriCorps receives at the state and federal levels, effectively ending the program.

Fortunately, neither of the amendments gained enough support to continue up the legislative chain.

Officials for Washington Campus Compact, a service learning organization housed at Western Washington University, said that $27 million in AmeriCorps grants have been spent at state schools. Locally, Everett Community College has seen $847,349 of that money and $583,570 has been used to finance education at Edmonds Community College.

For some people, public service means holding elected office. For others, it's tutoring adult literacy classes, working in a soup kitchen, doing clerical work for a health clinic or planting trees.

AmeriCorps volunteers do that kind of work because they believe in the causes and take pride in offering their time and skills. Government should commend them and the organization shouldn't have to worry about having to scrounge for donations in order to operate.

Shame on you, Jeff Flake.

And shame on us for having an enemy of hard-working American families as our congressman.

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