(I was encouraged by some posters at DailyKos to post this diary over here)

4 years ago I never imagined I’d be doing something like this, but I also never imagined my brother would be killed in a terrorist attack with nearly 3,000 other people, and then the Republican Party would exploit it for a dramatic, un-American agenda- and be so arrogant about it.

I went to D.C. in late Sept. 2002 with about 9 other 9/11 relatives to lobby members of Congress to vote against the war authorization vote. We were invited by the Rep. Kucinich and the Progressive Caucus (the biggest caucus in the House by the way). Kucinich and about 20 members of Congress arranged a press conference with us on the steps of the Capitol. One Congressman told us that they “needed us” to help them stop the drive to war. That gives you an idea of how bad the climate was leading up to the mid-term elections of 2002. Rove was brilliant then, not so much this week (which I’ll get to in a minute).
About 90% of the press who covered the Press Conference was foreign. This was covered in a documentary called ORWELL ROLLS OVER IN HIS GRAVE. We then spent the next three days lobbying “fence sitting” members of the House. It was clear that holding our representatives accountable had become very difficult given how effectively the GOP was playing 9/11 against their political opponents. It is my opinion that most Dem. members of Congress knew they were being played by the Bush Adm. about the war, but could do very little about it, and were afraid of going against them and then being voted out of office in massive numbers in Nov. 2002 (two months later).
This was the first of what has become many frustrating experiences over the past 3 years with the limits of advocacy work from the outside. It is important work, but given how bizarre the post-9/11 political climate is I feel the most important work we can do as progressives is learn how to win elections. That may seem obvious, but as long as they hold the power they will continue to govern how they want to, and overreach. They are compulsive and will eventually pay a political price, but also do much damage in the process.

An opportunity presented itself here in Oklahoma City (where I grew up and moved back to from NYC after 9/11 to counter the extreme right wing dominance here) to have a viable chance to be elected to a seat at the table. This way these people will have to deal with someone like me on the inside. Up until now, it has been: a smile, a handshake and they close the door behind you.

The State Senate District I’m running for, District 46, is a the 2nd “bluest” district in the State. The precincts that make it up voted for Kerry last year, and the district performs “Democrat” very strongly. So this is not a futile race, it is very viable– and I am lucky to have a lot of good support because of the work I’ve been involved with here.

Here is a link to “Why I’m Running.”

Some posters also felt readers would be interested in the British Exhibit THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT that covers my story and many others from around the world. You can visit that site by the link on the left side of the “Why I’m Running” link above. I will write a diary at a later point about my meeting with Zacarious Moussaoui’s mother and the rest of the FORGIVESNESS PROJECT profile, history, objective, etc…

As for Rove’s desperate comments: they only reach an already converted, delusional crowd. Many Independents and Moderates are offended by such blatant politicizing. The people who love that Dem=weak stuff are not going to swing our way anyway. Yes, they were offensive remarks, but it is par for the course with these people, and myself and other 9/11 family colleagues are so used to it now. Put it up there with having former Bush, Jr. Adm. official and former Condi Rice asst. Zelikow being the Executive Director of The 9/11 Commission (the true position of power with the Commission, not Kean) in what was an arrogant disrespect for our nation’s need for an independent commission. They’ve done so many things to blantantly try and use 9/11 to discredit their opponents. The difference is that now it will not play as strong as it did even a year ago.

Get revenge by giving to the DNC, DCCC or MoveonPAC. We can send petitions and make calls, but the I think the real opportunity is to utilize a shift in this country away from the GOP to make sure we make electoral gains in 06.

Please take a moment to check out the rest of my campaign website and spread the word about my campaign.

I am a Reform Democrat and I am one of many who will be winning in 2006.

-Andrew Rice

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