SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
Indybay About Contact Newsletter Calendar Publish Community

Santa Cruz Indymedia | Government & Elections

Sam Farr's Town Hall in Santa Cruz: Is the problem Farr or the system?
by Paz
Thursday Aug 24th, 2006 1:17 PM
While attendees brought up a myriad of issues, the people's concern for the U.S. Bombings and invasions of other countries overwhelmed the dialog. This meeting testified to the disconnect between federal Democrats and their constituencies. Farr did sign the Declaration of Peace, but did not offer other hopes to end U.S. Driven war. He claimed consistently, “The Republicans have the majority,” and, thus, the Democrats, and what he supports, is squelched by the all powerful Republicans.
Congressman, Sam Farr, held a “town hall” meeting on Monday in Santa Cruz at the Vet's Hall. This is a summary of the evening. It appeared that he showed up to rally his Democrat supporters, however, it was very clear that Farr was mostly at odds with the crowd in attendance.

While attendees brought up a myriad of issues, the people's concern for the U.S. Bombings and invasions of other countries overwhelmed the dialog. This meeting testified to the disconnect between federal Democrats and their constituencies. Farr did sign the Declaration of Peace, but did not offer other hopes to end U.S. Driven war. He claimed consistently, “The Republicans have the majority,” and, thus, the Democrats, and what he supports, is squelched by the all powerful Republicans.

Farr started out by boiling down his perceptions of the political and financial situation in the U.S. Farr said the political situation, or what he calls, “the superbowl of politics,” is that the Republicans rule right now, and therefore, the Democrats cannot push any of their legislation and Democrats must compromise for anything they support to be passed. In his summary of the American financial system, Farr reminded his constituency that if the federal government was to pay off its debt right now, that each American citizen would owe $130,000 each. In giving, his history “positive” policies Democrats, such as Bill Clinton, employed was not met with any applause, as the crowd remained silent and clapped at the end of Farr's opening remarks.

Farr received most applause at the beginning of the question/comment period when he signed the Declaration of Peace. In signing this document Farr committed to endorse H.R. 4232, and co-sign H.Con. Res. 197. H.R. 4232, the End the War in Iraq Act of 2005, would cut off all funding for IU.S. Military action in Iraq, “while providing a safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. Troops.” Additionally, this bill allows other agencies then the Department of Defense to reconstruct. H.Con.Res.197, No Permanent Bases in Iraq prohibits the U.S. From entering into any military base agreement with Iraq that would lead to a permanent U.S. Military presence in Iraq. So if you support Sam Farr make sure he sticks to his promises!

Many people thanked Farr for coming and then grilled him on his yes vote for supporting Israel's bombing of Lebanon and not collaborating with Republicans and Democrats to get U.S. Military out of Iraq. Some people were satisfied that he supports ceasefire and legislation to end the invasion of Iraq, but many attendees did not think that was enough since violence continues is both regions, despite his efforts.

Throughout the evening Farr urged attendees to ensure the Democrats win more seats this November. One woman asked Farr for names of campaigns and democrats in other areas to which Farr responded, “This is a non-partisan night and that is a campaign issue I cannot speak to that...” Therefore, even those people who wanted to do as Farr asked, help elect Democrats, left the Hall with out the information to do so.

This meeting reminds us of the limited power our elected officials have to change policy which we are concerned about, such as ending U.S.-led war, such as in Iraq, and violent occupations, such as in Palestine and Haiti, or other issues such as higher education budgets and a violence-free and welcoming immigration policy. Is it the system that fails? Is it Farr that fails? What are we going to do?