Inconvenient Truth: Why Plame had to Go

Original Publication Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. - John 8:32

There is no doubt that the Bush Cheney neo-con cabal believes in an unfettered marketplace. Certainly, in the case of selling a war to Congress and the public, they believe in a marketplace, though one unfettered by truth.

Which is why, when selling the war in Iraq, and with an eye to the distant but upcoming war against Iran, Valerie Plame Wilson had to go.

Valerie Plame Wilson was working on counter-proliferation of nuclear arms in Iraq and Iran until she was outed by someone in the White House. When her cover was blown, so was the entire "brass-plate" cover operation she worked for - Brewster-Jennings.

With the destruction of Brewster-Jennings, so went the career of a key player in the CIA's human intelligence apparatus, her value investigating nuclear programs in the Middle East went with it also. -- This, more than revenge against Joe Wilson, appears to be exactly what the neo-con cabal in the White House wanted.

Bill Winter - Page 3

Original Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

BW: We need a comprehensive plan that provides full medical coverage for every American! Right now we have over 100 million Americans who are underinsured for health coverage, 44 million Americans who do not have health care coverage at any given time, and at least 20 million who do not have it permanently. I'm one of them. I don't have any health care coverage.

Almost two years ago I donated a kidney to my sister in law because it was the right thing to do. Now I'm considered to have a pre-existing condition and health care coverage costs more. I can't afford it. That's wrong on many levels, the most obvious being that we shouldn't punish people for being organ donors.

But health care is a crisis in a much larger sense and the Republican Party has no answers. Health care premiums for the average family in America increased by an average of 9.5 percent in 2005. That growth is more than three times the growth in the average American worker's earnings. People look at CD-6 and think everyone here is wealthy, and it's true that this is, per capita, one of the wealthiest Congressional districts in the entire country.

But the truth is that many people in this district are struggling in this economy. They have mortgages, and kids in college, and younger kids, and they have to pay for gas, and their heating bills are going through the roof. And on top of all that, the money they pay for health care keeps going up. Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial Corporation (, says "if you're rich, this is a great economy to be in, but other than that, it's not great."

Bill Winter - Page 2

Original Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BW: Let's start with the thought that Mr. Tancredo grabs headlines for things that I don't believe represent the true feelings and beliefs of the people of CD6. Once again we see the theme that this district is not represented in Congress, and that needs to change. I grew up in this district, and the people I know don't want to "nuke Mecca" or take medical care away from children. You know, Tancredo said we should nuke "their holy sites" in response to a terrorist attack. The top three holy sites for Islam are Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. I wonder if Mr. Tancredo is truly advocating a nuclear attack against Jerusalem as an option?

But I digress--I do that sometimes. You asked how I can get media attention. Well the answer is I'm already getting it. On December 28th I was featured in a major front page article in the Denver Post about the 35 Veterans running as Democrats for the U.S. House of Representatives this year. That same morning I did a live interview on the radio station KGNU. On January 10th I was featured in a live interview on Air America radio's Majority Report. It was the latest in an ongoing feature called "Fighting Dems," which features the Veterans running as Democrats. I believe that the coalition of Veterans running for Congress as Democrats is going to be a major story this year, and will certainly lead to a great deal of media attention.

But we will do many other things to catch the media's attention and we are already working hard on it. One advantage we have is our opponent, who is guaranteed to say or do something controversial—and almost always indefensible—every three months or so. We will very soon get to the point where the media contacts me for a response, and I will not hesitate to offer them. We will also work hard to reach out to the media in all its forms to get our message to the people.

And I fully expect the blogosphere to be a big part of that. I will make myself available to bloggers and will answer your questions. I hope to be able to have as much of an impact in this way as [Ohio Senate candidate] Paul Hackett has, if not more!

ePMedia: You say "It's time we stopped saluting donkeys and elephants and started saluting the flag again." What steps will your campaign take to end divisive politics?

Tackling Tancredo: Bill Winter, Candidate for Colorado's 6th Congressional District

Original Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bill Winter is running for Congress in 2006, against incumbent Tom Tancredo in Colorado's 6th district. In one of the most conservative areas of an independent-minded state, he is running a progressive grassroots campaign that tries to appeal to voters of all stripes. Mr. Winter joins over forty other veterans who are Democratic candidates for Congress this year, the so-called "Fighting Dems."

In January, Mr. Winter took time to answer some questions via email from ePluribus Media.

ePluribus Media: Coloradans gave Democrats the State House and Senate in 2004. In 2005, we passed Referendum C to suspend TABOR budget restrictions, despite opposition from many on the far right. Republican State Representative Joe Stengel recently lamented "I think we now have become a blue state, frankly."

But Mr. Stengel exaggerates, and the wealthy suburbs south of Denver where you live remain solid GOP territory. How can you win in CD-6?

Bill Winter: I don't know whether Mr. Stengel exaggerates or not. I think Colorado is, or is about to become, a blue state, and I think the reason is because Democrats offer actual solutions, where elected Republicans in Colorado have offered nothing but hate, division, and fringe issues. Republicans like to say that Democrats took back the State House and Senate because four millionaires spent so much money. That's either a distortion of the facts, or misses the point entirely. The fact is that when Republicans held both houses they spent all their time on things like trying to hang the Ten Commandments in every public building, or forcing prayer into schools, and generally telling Coloradans how to run their lives. And they lost the State House and Senate as a result.

Keeler Leads Gate Crashing in Run for Office

Original Publication Date: 
Monday, August 21, 2006

If the name Brian Keeler rings a bell or two, don't be surprised. He's one of the founders of ePluribus Media, and while working under the blogging name of NYBri, his has been one of the leading voices at Dailykos, Political Cortex -- another site he participated in founding -- and all throughout the left side of the blogosphere..

Keeler, 53, has spent most of his life as an actor, teacher and writer. He has lived in Hopewell Junction, NY with his wife, Peggity Price-Keeler for the past 17 eyars, and, after becoming involved in online activism and then reading Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga's' Crashing The Gate, he decided to be one of the first front-line bloggers to run for political office. Thus his race for the 41st State Senate seat in New York was born.

Keeler sat down with ePluribus Media correspondent Timothy D. Smith at YearlyKos last June, and engaged in what Keeler later called one of the oddest experiences in his life. "I'm so used to being on the other side of this," he admitted, "and I'm used to being the one asking the questions. I'm even more likely to ask questions on the campaign trail, because I'd rather know what other people need than tell them what I think they need." For more information about Keeler's campaign, visit his website at

This is ePluribus Media's only interview with a candidate for a state office. We couldn't pass on the opportunity to speak with one of our founding members who has chosen to run for public office.

ePluribus Media: Hello, Brian. Thanks for sitting down for this interview.

OH-14 Katz plays David to LaTourette's Goliath

Original Publication Date: 
Monday, October 30, 2006

Lewis KatzePluribus Media: We're here with Lewis Katz, who's running in Ohio's 14th District against the moderately conservative Steve LaTourette, one of the members of the GOP class of 1994 that took control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats. Lewis Katz, tell us, first off, why on earth would you run against Steve LaTourette?

Lewis Katz: Because I think he's let the people of the 14th District down. He's tied in to every wrong vote in Congress in the last six years, he's linked to all of the special interests, and he's broken his promises to the people of the 14th. He promised he'd serve four terms, eight years. Five years ago he promised 2000 would be his last term. It wasn't. He promised he'd vote against CAFTA, up to and during the day of the vote and they twisted his arm, and he lined up with the Republicans, just the way he did on the Budget bill last December. On both of those he was the deciding vote.

ePMedia: Let's talk about the CAFTA vote. How did that impact the people of the 14th?

LK: I think the CAFTA vote will impact the district for years to come. I think that it will end up costing jobs in the district and the state, and Ohio leads the way in losing jobs in this country. Our manufacturing base is being destroyed, and the Free Trade agreements are playing a big part in that. You know, there's another one making the rounds with Thailand.

ePMedia: They haven't voted on it yet?

LK: No, it won't come up until after the election. But if it passes, it'll end up with cheap pickup trucks being dumped on the US Market.

An interview with Fighting Dem David T. Harris, Democratic Candidate for US. House Seat TX-06

Original Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kay Shepherd brings us another live candidate interview from YearlyKos.  She and Timothy Smith team up to record Tim's live interview with Fighting Dem David T. Harris who is running for the House of Representatives seat from Texas - Congressional District 6 against Joe Barton. Visit David's campaign site.

David T. Harris podcast interview

The index of earlier podcasts is at ePMedia Libsyn

David T. HarrisKay Shepherd ePluribus Media: Greeting citizens and welcome to another edition of the ePluribus Media podcast. It’s Thursday, June 22, 2006, and I am your host Kay Shepherd.

Today we bring you another interview recorded at Yearly Kos 2006 in Las Vegas. Fighting Dem David T. Harris, a graduate of the US Army Ranger and Airborne schools who has served 14 months in Iraq with his reserve unit, is taking on 20-year incumbent Joe Barton in Texas’ 6th District.

Barton has represented the Texas 6th since 1985 and, as chair of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, was the primary author of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the final version of which the Washington Post called a “pinata of perks for energy industries.” Those perks included tax breaks, subsidies and exemptions from environmental standards laws -- and this was after the bill’s infamous provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge were stripped out.

More recently, Barton has co-authored, with Illinois’s Bobby Rush the 2006 the Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act (aka COPE) which faces opposition for potentially gutting Net Neutrality, the principle by which networks make all web data equally available, at least in theory, regardless of its providers. The elimination of net neutrality, opponents argue, could lead to a cyberspace in which the most accessible Web sites will belong to the content providers who can pay the high speed tolls determined by telecoms.

An interview with Charlie Brown, Democratic Candidate for US. House Seat CA-4

Original Publication Date: 
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Timothy Smith interviewed Fighting Dem Charlie Brown at the first annual YearlyKos Convention. Brown is running for the House of Representatives seat from CA- Congressional District 4 against  K Street superstar John Doolittle.

Kay Shepherd hosted the podcast interview for ePluribus Media, which can be heard at Charlie Brown 06-10-06 podcast interview

The index of earlier podcasts is at ePMedia Libsyn

Kay Shepherd for ePluribus Media: Greetings citizens and a big shout out to all you Kossacks. Welcome to the ePluribus Media podcast. It’s Saturday, June 10, 2006. I am your host, Kay Shepherd and you are listening to our third edition from the YearlyKos Convention in Las Vegas.

Today at the booth, ePluribus Media correspondent Timothy D. Smith talked to retired Air Force officer and current congressional candidate, Charlie Brown.

No, not that Charlie Brown.

This Charlie Brown is running against Republican incumbent John Doolittle in California’s Fourth District. Now what you may know about Doolittle is that he’s been something of an overachiever in the current Republican scandals; to date he is the only congressman who has been swept up in both the Tom Delay-Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham-Brent Wilkes affairs. Tim talked to Charlie today about what he is running on and the difference he intends to make in congress. Let’s listen.

Timothy D. Smith for ePluribus Media: You have met a lot of people. What do you think about what is happening here?

Charlie Brown: I think the most exciting thing about this is the wide variety of people who are here. This is -- a lot of people when they think of blogging think of young college kids or computer geeks – and this is a group of all age ranges, all walks of life, all shapes, sizes, and to a large extent, a lot of different political backgrounds.

TDS: So tell us about the Fourth District. Describe the Fourth, if you would, for us.

Tony Barr Hopes to Unseat Bill Shuster in the 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania

Original Publication Date: 
Sunday, October 8, 2006

Tony BarrePluribus Media: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Tony Barr. You are running for Congress in the 9th district of Pennsylvania against Bill Shuster, who inherited the seat from his father. If you would, could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself, your family, and what brought you into politics?

Tony Barr: I was brought up by my parents to value family, hard work, education, and to look out for everyone in the community. My first professional job after college was as a Teacher/Counselor at a wilderness school for juvenile delinquents. I worked shifts of five 24-hour days per week. Two of the five days of my shift, I was worked alone with 10 youths who were adjudicated for stealing cars, sexual offenses, beating people up, etc. At the wilderness school, I learned the importance of solving problems. Little problems not effectively solved early led to much larger problems later on. At present, I am a school teacher at Everett High School where I have worked for the past ten years. As a school teacher, there is not a social or economic issue that does not walk through my doorway every day. I know what average people are facing. I believe that their government should work for them not against them. I have been married to my wife Liz, also a school teacher, for 5 years. We have two sons, Silas (4) and Zeke (2).

ePMedia: You present immigration reform as having three aspects: 1) Securing borders by creating more equitable cross-border conditions, 2) Providing opportunities for illegal immigrants already here, and 3) addressing the root economic problems outside of the US. Numbers 1 and 3 are, in some ways, one and the same, so I am going to combine them, asking only two questions relating to immigration:

First, what sort of specific programs could the US sponsor that would have a significant impact on the "working conditions and living standards" in neighboring countries?

Wendy Wilde: Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District

Original Publication Date: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cross-posted from Minnesota Campaign Report

Wendy WildeThis is the third interview I've conducted with a DFL congressional candidate (fourth if you include Gail Dorfman, who lost the CD5 DFL endorsement to Keith Ellison), but the candidate is in perhaps the most interesting position of any with whom I've spoken.  Wendy Wilde is not an elected official, and hasn't been running very long - and projects that in terms of partisan voting patterns, 2006 could be an extremely interesting election in Minnesota's Third Congressional District.  We talked about the district, issues, and the eye-catching campaign slogan you may have seen on bumper stickers here and there.

MNCR:  Tell me a little bit about your background - where did it all begin?

WW:  I grew up outside Eau Claire, Wisconsin, but spent some of my childhood in the Twin Cities with family here.  As a child I got into radio really early, and actually convinced my family to let me get out of Catholic high school so I could go to a public school with a radio club.  I got into that, and have been doing radio for about thirty years now.

I started on WCCO in 1997, and in 1998 the Clinton impeachment proceedings started, but there was something funny about it - even in Minnesota, with this great liberal tradition, no one, and I mean no one on talk radio was even questioning impeachment - why were seven investigations of our President performed with zero indictments?  Didn't the FBI have something better to do than investigate President Clinton?  One point that I'm still proud of is that I was asking that question in 1998, and only later we found out that in 1998 Al Qaeda terrorists were already in the country learning how to fly planes...

MNCR:  It was a relatively late start on this campaign for you - how did it all come about?


Original Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Editors' Note: On the first year anniversary of Katrina, Louisiana resident and writer, Polydactyl reflects on her in-the-moment journals and diaries to remind us of what it was like in the eye of the storm.

about the author: Polydactyl dons her blogger's hat in Central Louisiana between shifts as a wife, mom, cat-herder and computer healer.