2006 Fair Trade Congressional Candidates

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Chris Carney, Pennsylvania’s 10th District
Chris Carney Working families in Pennsylvania’s 10th District are lucky to have Chris Carney challenging 8-year incumbent Don Sherwood. Since 2000, Pennsylvania’s 10th district has lost nearly 12,000 good manufacturing jobs to trade deals. That has not stopped Sherwood from voting to export more jobs through China Permanent Normal Trade Relations in 1999, to Fast Track in 2001, to CAFTA in 2005 and Oman in 2006. Chris Carney, a Navy veteran and professor, is working to give working families and rural communities a stronger voice in Washington.

“Pennsylvania’s working families have gotten a raw deal under recent trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA. Good jobs continue to go overseas, while good benefits are harder to find with every passing year. I will be a strong voice for fair trade for our workers and for our environment. America cannot abandon the bedrock of our economy.”

Read more of Chris’ statements and also visit www.politicspa.com and Keystone Politics blog.

Patrick Murphy, Pennsylvania’s 8th District
Patrick Murphy Whether as a soldier, lawyer or community leader, Patrick Murphy has taken a thoughtful approach to policy decisions that affect families. He is challenging Mike Fitzpatrick, who despite acknowledging the harm NAFTA and other trade deals have had on Pennsylvania workers, folded to pressure from the Bush administration and was one of the last House members to vote for CAFTA.

“Pennsylvania voters can’t count on Congressman Fitzpatrick to keep his promises. The Oman Free Trade Agreement will make it harder for hard-working Pennsylvanians to find good jobs, and will even encourage dangerous agreements like the failed Dubai Ports deal.”

Read Patrick’s entire challenge to Fitzpatrick on the Oman Free Trade Agreement this summer. For more on this race, also visit www.politicspa.com and Keystone Politics blog.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s 13th District
Betty Sutton Ohio’s 13th District has since 1991 been represented by Sherrod Brown, a champion of fair traders, who’s now running for the Senate. Seeking to continue the 13th District’s fair trade leadership is Betty Sutton, who has earned a reputation as an independent leader and tenacious advocate for the people of Ohio through her career as a labor lawyer and in three local elective offices.

“If elected I will oppose NAFTA/CAFTA-modeled trade agreements and insist new trade agreements include binding protections for workers rights and the environment in the text of the agreement, using the same mechanisms used to enforce commercial provisions.”

More and more Ohio voters are saying Betty’s the real deal but NAFTA lovers are eyeing this seat as one they can steal this November. Also visit Buckeye State and the Chief Source.

Joe Donnelly, Indiana’s 2nd District
Joe Donnelly Joe Donnelly is challenging Chris Chocola, a member of the Ways and Means committee, which oversees trade policy. While Chocola has helped push through bad deals like CAFTA, Indiana’s 2nd District has lost more than 12,000 manufacturing jobs (13%) since 2002. Joe Donnelly, coming from a small family business background and years of public service, understands we have to change course on trade.

“Since this administration has come to office, we have lost three million good-paying manufacturing jobs in the United States. Our district has been especially hard-hit by failed government policies on trade. Existing trade policies export jobs and import economic weakness and heartache for working families. Standing for fair trade means standing up for American workers and voting against trade agreements that pit American workers against workers in countries with no labor or environmental laws – it’s not a fair fight.”

Read the South Bend Tribune’s take on Joe hammering Chocola on trade, Joe’s statements on trade and the economy and updates on this race at Indy for Democracy.

Bruce Braley, Iowa’s 1st District
Bruce Braley Iowa workers and farmers have been sold out to Bush administration trade negotiators time and again. As corporations move manufacturing job overseas and independent farmers, ranchers and small businesses struggle to compete, the fabric of our rural communities is becoming tattered. NAFTA alone has cost Iowa some 23,000 jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In Iowa’s First District – an open seat – Bruce Braley is fighting to give fair traders a new and stronger voice.

“Irresponsible economic policies in Washington have cost our state and our nation good-paying jobs. I will fight for fair trade agreements that foster healthy trade relationships and enhance our standing in the world community. I will oppose trade agreements with nations that allow egregious worker rights violations and disregard for the environment.”

Read more on Bruce’s trade position and the campaign at Blog for Iowa and visit the Rural Populist.

Chris Murphy, Connecticut’s 5th District
Chris Murphy Chris Murphy is challenging Nancy Johnson, a 12-term Republican who has not only voted for every job-exporting trade deal, but uses her seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee to help write the very rules that put the interests of multinational corporations far ahead of workers and communities. Connecticut’s Fifth District has seen up-close the decimation of good manufacturing jobs – some 1,200 workers have qualified for trade adjustment assistance just since 2002.

“As a member of the state legislature for eight years, I have seen first-hand the local consequences of decisions made at the federal and international levels. Without a seat at the negotiating table for trade agreements, state efforts could be undermined. I will oppose NAFTA/CAFTA-modeled trade agreements and work to ensure that new trade agreements include binding protections for workers rights and the environment.”

Read more of Chris’ great press and news from the campaign at My Left Nutmeg.

Larry Kissell, North Carolina’s 8th District
Larry Kissell Larry Kissell is challenging Robin Hayes, who cast the deciding vote for the two biggest trade votes of the Bush administration – the 2001 Fast Track and 2005 CAFTA. Larry Kissell worked in a textile mill for more than 20 years and has taught in the public schools. He understands the challenges working families face in today’s global economy and will advocate for a change from the status quo NAFTA/CAFTA trade model. Larry is running a creative grassroots campaign, earning the enthusiastic support of North Carolinian veterans, workers, environmentalists and fair traders.

“My district has been devastated by these trade agreements. My opponent was the deciding vote on both Fast Track and CAFTA. As someone who has worked in textiles for 27 years, nobody knows better than I do the difference that one vote makes. By defeating Robin Hayes in November, we will put a real voice for working families in Congress.”

Polls show Larry can beat Hayes, among other reasons, because of trade and gas prices. Read BlueNC for more.

Zack Space, Ohio’s 18th District
Zack Space Zack Space is running in the open Ohio 18th District seat currently held by Bob Ney. A lawyer who has focused on protecting consumer rights, Zack is also a small business owner who knows firsthand the obstacles any budding entrepreneur faces when multinational corporations have pushed for trade deals like NAFTA and China PNTR that encourage a race to the bottom in labor, human rights and environmetnal standards. Zack is running to restore integrity to the 18th District and fight for working families and small businesses.

“The loss of jobs to overseas markets is perhaps the most serious, long term threat to this country, and our way of life. I strongly support modifying current free trade agreements to impose restrictions on countries that do not play by the same rules that our own factories must contend with.”

Check out Zack’s campaign blog and more statements about the global economy.

Heath Shuler, North Carolina’s 11th District
Heath Shuler Heath Shuler’s skills and work ethic on the gridiron earned him accolades from teammates and coaches, from high school to the NFL. Since football, his leadership in the community has led him to challenge Charles Taylor in North Carolina’s 11th District. Taylor of course made the most infamous non-vote of this Congress. He claimed his voting card mysteriously malfunctioned when he cast his “no” vote for CAFTA. Not quite the leadership North Carolina working families and fair traders deserve in Washington.
“For far too long Congress has been working for the special interest lobbyists and big corporations, leaving working families to struggle for themselves. That must end. In Congress I will work tirelessly to make certain any future trade agreements are respectful to the rights of local and national businesses, workers and the environment.”

Despite Taylor’s reign in the district, this race is a toss up, and Taylor’s non-vote for CAFTA and trade’s impact in North Carolina is a big reason why. For updates, see BlueNC.

Eric Massa, New York’s 29th District
Eric Massa is running against Congressman Randy Kuhl in New York’s 29th District. A victim of corporate downsizing in 2001, Massa has intimate knowledge of the struggles faced by American workers. His opponent, Rep. Kuhl, voted in favor of CAFTA and the Oman Free Trade Agreement in his only two years in Congress. The residents of NY-29 deserve better

“NAFTA, CAFTA and China MFN have been a disaster for American workers. Like much of the country, this district has seen a steady exodus of jobs overseas, exported to countries with less restrictive labor and environmental practices than ours…Our current trade agreements must also be enforced and, if that does not work, overhauled or rolled back, to promote fair trade, not free trade, and ensure our American workers are protected.”

Jerry McNerney, California’s 11th District
Jerry McNerney is running against Congressman Richard Pombo in California’s 11th District. In Congress, Pombo has been a consistent rubber stamp for the so-called free trade agenda and Jerry McNerney is going to hold him accountable.

“I am deeply worried about the way this nation is plunging head-long into the global economy without a plan or a national consensus. New transportation and communication technology is transforming the world we live in and giving rise to an ever more closely connected world market. While this newly emerging global economy has benefited many large US corporations and investors, it has had a largely negative impact on local businesses and the average American wage earner. The de-industrialization of our nation has lowered our wage-base, and has been a major component of our growing trade deficit…We have to re-think how we participate in globalization. It’s clear we have to move in this direction, but we must do so in a way that does not damage our national community.”

Steve Kagen, Wisconsin’s 8th District
Dr. Steve Kagen has practiced medicine in Wisconsin’s 8th district for decades. He has watched from the outside as our leaders in Washington have increasingly handed over our communities to transnational companies over the last 10 to 15 years and he feels compelled to offer his leadership.

“Strengthen the Middle Class by renegotiating trade deals to make them Fair – instead of Free…by protecting the right of workers to form effective unions, everywhere in these United States; by defending collective bargaining, everywhere in the world.”

Jim Marcinkowski, Michigan’s 8th District
Jim Marcinkowski is challenging Congressman Mike Rogers in Michigan’s 8th district. In his six years in Congress, Mike Rogers has supported every unfair trade agreement, including CAFTA last year and OFTA just a few months ago. A state such as Michigan, which has lost thousands of jobs due to unfair trade over the last 6 years, deserves better representation. Jim Marcinkowski will provide the leadership Michigan needs.

“’Free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA are costing Michigan and its workers billions. We cannot and should not compete in a race to the bottom of safe workplaces and living wages. Rather than “free trade” agreements, which only take into account dollars and cents, we need fair trade agreements that will take into account pollution, child labor and local economic impacts, helping Michigan’s economic growth.”

John Barrow, Georgia’s 12th District
Congressman John Barrow is just finishing his first term in U.S. Congress but after just two years, he has already demonstrated a commitment to fair trade policy. Barrow voted against CAFTA last year and against OFTA this year, further strengthening his unblemished record of support for fair trade.

Unlike many other silent supporters of fair trade policy, however, Congressman Barrow recently blasted a local company within his district, Jockey’s International, for moving production offshore even after assuring him that CAFTA’s approval was necessary to create jobs in the district. Fortunately, Barrow didn’t buy Jockey’s International half-baked promises then, and he certainly doesn’t believe rosy free trade scenarios now.

Walter Jones, North Carolina’s 3rd District
Congressman Walter Jones has been a consistent Republican voice for fair trade throughout his 12 years in Congress. During the CAFTA vote, while many of his fellow North Carolina Republican legislators allowed themselves to be bullied by the Bush Administration into voting for CAFTA, Congressman Jones could not be swayed. Most recently, Jones joined with 27 Republicans and 176 Democrats in opposing OFTA.

After the OFTA vote, Congressman Jones said: “Since NAFTA, North Carolina has lost more than 251,000 manufacturing jobs. Since 2001, the U.S. has lost more than 2.9 million manufacturing jobs. Over that same period, the U.S. annual trade deficit nearly doubled, from $411 billion to over $766 billion. The American people are looking to Congress to protect our nation’s jobs, our sovereignty, and our national security. The passage of OFTA today is another unfortunate approval of an unfettered free trade policy that fails American workers.”