I have felt a sense of optimism from the recent wave of pronouncements against sexual harassment and in support of victims. There has long been a need for a more in-depth, broader conversation of this issue, but I realize this discussion is not forthcoming. While women have universally experienced sexually inappropriate behavior, it is also clear that women are not united in our response to this issue.
I understand the desire of politicians to assume the moral high ground concerning allegations against Senator Franken, but I also understand the practical dilemma of failing to engage in the tough discussion and press for meaningful structural change in our political process and society. It is insufficient to define the issue as one of moral indignation. The circumstance surrounding Senator Franken offered us an opportunity to advance the broader discussion around gender discrimination, sexual violence, and domestic abuse. More fundamentally, it offered us an opportunity to advance the dialogue about the relationship between men and women.
In its original statement of purpose, the National Organization of Women declared their intent to “…take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American Society now, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof, in truly equal partnership with men.” Since then feminism has been undermined - at least perceptually - by an aggressive narrative of a man-hate rebellion. Feminism has become a conflict among women over divergent ideologies, competing with men for positions of power and influence while maintaining traditional social values around childcare, education, healthcare and social organizing. By demanding consequences without meaningful discourse around the relationship of men and women, I fear we have done little but reinforce that division, inviting a backlash that only serves to undermine the value of women’s social contribution.
I am dismayed by Al Franken’s resignation because I believe the ethics investigation would have placed a greater obligation on men to assess their relationship to the broader social narratives of women. I am disappointed that our most influential women leadership, Amy Klobuchar and Betty McCollum, have failed to take any public position on this issue. I do believe the ethics investigation should still continue.
There has been an interesting pattern developing in the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District campaign, where Paula Overby has been invited and each time has indicated willingness to attend sessions where voters are invited:
Both Angie Craig and Jason Lewis agreed to participate in the Farmfest forum then withdrew when the participant list was released. Paula Overby was given 5 minutes to speak to thousands of participants.
Angie Craig also refused the debate at St Olaf College organized by the League of Women Voters (a live stream event that would have reached thousands of voters).
Neither Angie Craig nor Jason Lewis appeared for the Veterans’ forum,
Neither Angie Craig nor Jason Lewis appeared at the Dakota County Chamber of Commerce forum,
Neither Angie Craig nor Jason Lewis attended the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce forum where they have Kids Voting,
Neither Angie Craig nor Jason Lewis attended the Lake City Chamber of Commerce forum (although Lewis did provide a statement that was read by someone else--- Minnesota House Representative Steve Drazkowski)
Angie Craig, Jason Lewis and Paula Overby were invited to screen with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. All three screened with the newspaper, but only Angie Craig and Jason Lewis were even mentioned in the Editorial screening. `
Many of you may have seen the Minnesota Public Television debate between Angie Craig, Jason Lewis, and Paula Overby. It was a reasoned debate that covered all of the major issues in the campaign because all of the people on the ballot were included in the debate. Oddly enough, Minnesota Public Radio did not include Paula Overby in their recent debate…
Contrast this with KSTP television debate between Angie Craig and Jason Lewis which occurred yesterday. You will notice one missing participant. Paula Overby, the Independent Party candidate, was told in advance by Tom Hauser that she would not be invited.
If any of your stations would like to invite Paula Overby to present her positions to the people who are actually voting for the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District, you are more than welcome to contact her at:
The current dysfunction of the political process is rooted in a lack of open, candid discourse between candidates and the voting public. A study from Princeton University (September, 2014), Testing Theories of American Politics, concluded that the U.S. is no longer a republic. “The US has become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy.”
My opponents have the support of powerful interests in the form of PAC's, Committees and Funds. I am the candidate who is solely funded by individual donations. As a result, I will represent you, the citizen; not the 40 or more PAC's that frame one of my opponents' campaign issues, or the many corporate sponsors who frame my other opponents' political positions.
I have traveled all over the district listening to the issues that are important to you. Summarizing these issues they would include: consumer protection; protecting jobs; preventing excessive regulation; protecting people from unfair banking and credit practices; ensuring patient centered health care; eliminating predatory drug pricing; protecting commitments to our veterans; protecting voters from unfair campaign practices; and protecting senior care. Solutions already exist but we need to start putting people first.
I pledge to you that I will make my office completely accessible to you as citizens, so I can have your issues and ideas to frame public policy in the United States House of Representatives. That’s what I can do to represent you fully in Congress…
Maybe Equal Pay isn't the problem
According to supporters of the Women's Economic Security Act, women want equal pay! Seems perfectly reasonable on the face of it. They also want maternity leave and an appropriate time and space to breast feed. A woman can't be fired if she has to take time off to care for her children. WESA supporters are thrilled. It's progress they say. There's also talk about paternity leave which would also seem to make things “more equal.”. Yet there remains the uncomfortable caveat that “we still have a long way to go”. If you embrace our current political process then the more important question becomes, “where are we going”.
I am one of those women. I'm a mother. I raised three children. I worked full time to provide for them. I made sacrifices in my career so I could care for my children. It was difficult for me to accept travel which was a major draw back in those days. I got bad reviews for the time I took off to care for my children. It means little to me that there is a law now that says I can't be fired for that. In these days of at will employment I wonder how I would enforce it. I was fortunate in not having to worry about equal pay. I was always at the top of my pay grade so generally I was earning more than many of my peers. What I wanted is what many women had; more time with my children, more time with my family, time to volunteer at their school and attend field trips and school events, more mommy play days. I wanted to be valued as a woman.
Women still provide most of the child care, most of the volunteer hours, most of the family organizing and care for aging parents, yet women are taking on an ever increasing financial burden. Women are now the primary wage earners in 40% of our families. That number jumps to 60% for Native American women and women of African heritage. What are politicians really offering to women: all day kindergarten and day care for children as young as three. That may seem like a welcome relief to women struggling to survive in minimum wage jobs but what does it say about our social values. Will the state raise our children so women can do service work. Quite honestly, what solutions are being offered on either side of the gender gap. If woman’s work doesn't pay a living wage how can they ever hope for economic independence. It is exactly this inequality of wealth that sustains the exploitation and abuse of women.
I am running for the U.S House of Representatives in the Second Congressional district because I believe women need representation that's focused on women's social values. The enormous inequality of wealth hurts women and children the most. Women should have the same economic opportunities as men but defining women by their economic worth does not respect women's social values. Globally, research has shown that ethnically diverse and divided nations that elect women rather than men to key national leadership offices end up with better economic performance. America now ranks ninety-eighth in the world for percentage of women in its national legislature, down from 59th in 1998. That’s embarrassing: just behind Kenya and Indonesia, and barely ahead of the United Arab Emirates.
If women believe themselves unable ot lead their own political organizations, I fear that it does not bode well for the future of women in politics.
Patterns of Democracy by Arend Lijphart
We don't need affordable health insurance. We need affordable healthcare.
There is a presumption that if a Republican is the problem then a Democrat must be the solution but problems in Washington run much deeper than that. Red or Blue, Washington is about Wall Street, focused on wealth and profits. That's good for a few wealthy investors but has not produced economic prosperity for the general population. For decades we have seen our local economies consumed by Corporate operations with declining wages and jobs disappearing overseas. Millennials know that they are not expected to do as well at their parents. That's not right.
In 2016, citizens of Minnesota's Second Congressional District have an opportunity to make a real difference at the polls. Paula Overby is a clear alternative to the political paralysis and polarization of a two party system that has failed to adapt to changing demographics, technology, and economic globalization.
Paula Overby stands for government of the people, open government, and restoring local community development and investment that promotes economic sustainability. Paula Overby stands for Personal Freedoms and Civil Liberties, opposing the massive global arms buildup, the costly and violent war on drugs, and our failed military engagements in the Middle East. Social engineering is not the role for congress and government prohibitions are not a solution to complex social issues.
Some say that I can not win. Others say that I already have. To believe in the impossible is the determination to make it so. Shall we believe that the failure of our two party system, and the gridlock will be resolved by a one party system. The benefit of course being that we won't have to bother with elections anymore
Why I support the Independence Party
Ever since I was a young child I have pledged my “allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” There has of course been intense debate about separation of church and state and even the challenge that a democratic republic built on freedom of dissent should not require its citizens to pledge allegiance to it. It certainly did little to protect thousands of Japanese Americans who were deprived of their liberties and their livelihood under suspicions about their loyalty.
We live under a government where corporations are recognized as people and women are not. That has given me serious pause to question, “to what exactly have I pledged my allegiance.” A recent study from Princeton University, Testing Theories of American Politics, has concluded that the U.S. is no longer a republic. “The US has become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy.” Would that not invalidate any pledge made to that republic?
For me these questions are rhetorical. Robert H. Jackson writing for the majority asserted in clarion words how such ideological dogma is antithetical to the principles of the country, concluding with: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.".
Political polarization is the fundamental failure of our two party system. It is emphasized in a recent Pew Reseach report, Political Polarization in the American. Public. “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.” Politics is becoming increasingly extremist and a majority of American citizens are becoming increasingly disenfranchised. That contributes to the power of the ruling elite.
The future of our Democracy depends not on our ability to concentrate wealth and power but on our ability to distribute power and create a shared sense of responsibility. The common good demands compromise that maximizes the worth of the individual. Too often negative consequences overwhelm any potential benefits. As a society we can not afford to limit the collective intelligence of our leadership to a minority demographic that lacks any shared experience with the majority. In a political environment where the wealth of a small minority can dominate the will of the majority, the most important voice in the room is the dissenting opinion.
Information I will be referencing on the KFAI radio show Catalyst with Lydia Howell on Friday October 24 from 9AM to 10AM
Media endorsements illustrating how a two party system effects bias in the media and eliminates voter choices.
Meda coverage with respect to ECM endorsement: Paula Overby ... leaves DFL in protest
Research references: An oath of Allegiance
The disenfranchised voter: Gallop Poll
Issues, Media links, blog postings: www.PaulaOverby.com