Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jill Derby is back...

And running for Congress. Her race is a re-match with Dean Heller for Nevada's second congressional seat. She narrowly lost in 2006, but I'm betting that the result will be different come November.

I recently had a chance to join Jill and her campaign manager on a conference call. I found that we had a lot in common, starting with growing up in rural areas and going to college in the Bay Area. I've always thought that those twin perspectives--small town and big city--have helped me understand the world a little bit better. Listening to her, I got that it's been a benefit for her as well.

Given the turmoil in the Middle East in general and Iran and Iraq specifically, I was impressed to learn that Jill lived and worked in the region for three years and that she learned to speak Arabic while there. That kind of first-hand knowledge of and familiarity with that part of the world and its peoples is something sorely lacking in Washington.

She just posted this diary at Daily Kos; here are some excerpts:

I am not a career politician. I am an activist like many of you, who got my start in politics fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Since then I have stayed active, serving on Nevada's Board of Regents, and later as Chair of the Nevada Democratic Party.

I have always taken a strong stand against the Iraq War. I opposed it from Day 1. When my good friend Darcy Burner called me to about a plan she was putting together to find a comprehensive solution to the Iraq War and the problems it had created, I was thrilled to sign on as one of its first supporters. The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq is committed to bringing our troops home from Iraq and repairing the damage done to our democracy by eight years of Republican mismanagement.

I stand together with many members of the Netroots community in supporting our civil rights and condemning the recent passage of the FISA amendments granting retroactive immunity to the telecom industry. Here in Nevada, we take our civil liberties very seriously. This abdication of the constitution by the Bush Administration, supported by my right-wing opponent Dean Heller, has let big telecom off the hook. This was wrong, plain and simple....

Nevada has the highest rate of home foreclosures per capita in the United States. We have a high rate of bankruptcy as well. I stand with my friends in organized labor in supporting a living wage, healthcare for all Americans, secure retirement benefits, and the right to collective bargaining. I am appalled by the assault on middle America, with gas prices rising and bankruptcy protections eroded at the same time that oil companies make record profits and Republicans--including my opponent--refuse to make critical investments in energy independence and renewables.

Since November of 2006, the Republican registration advantage in this district has been cut by a remarkable 40%, from 48,000 to 29,000. This 19,000 voter Democratic shift is more than 50% greater than Heller's margin of victory in 2006.

Here's a link to her campaign website.

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