"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hoffman Battles On Also In Maine

Hoffman Battles On!

For more information, contact:
Herbert Hoffman info@hoffmanforsenate.us 207-646-5431



My name is Herbert J. Hoffman, and I am STILL running for U.S. Senate as an independent in Maine, running against U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Tom Allen.

I have today filed my intentions with the Secretary of State to be a write-in candidate on the November 4 ballot.

I am still running at the request of a number of my supporters, who have reported to me they have been insulted, dismayed, disgusted and violated by the actions of the Maine Democratic Party, the Maine Secretary of State and the state and federal court system which collectively acted to remove my name from the list of qualified candidates for office.

These supporters have told me they want a choice other than the candidates of the duopolistic, power-and-money-driven, two-party system that now dominates and controls our life, our liberty, and -increasingly - our ability to pursue happiness. Because of the two-party system our government is broken, and it is only because of the strength of our people and what remains of our Constitution that our country isn't completely broken as well.

If we are to give our people the opportunities they deserve - true universal health care; educational opportunities in a time when knowledge is growing exponentially; an economy that provides a fair day's wage for all those willing and able to do a fair day's work; an environment that our children can live and breath in; peace - if we are to give them these things, then we must fix our government, and fix it fast. I do not believe the two-party system has the will or the desire to do this, which is why I worked very hard to place my name on the ballot.

Now, sadly, even though I submitted enough validated signatures to qualify for ballot access, I must go forward as a write-in candidate because of the extraordinary actions taken against me in the past months by the Maine Democratic Party, the Maine Secretary of State and the state and federal court system.

My Constitutional rights, the rights of those who signed my petition, and the rights of those who planned to vote for me were violated by these actions. A write-in campaign is now the only option left to protect those rights. I think it is significant that I am the only independent challenger to Tom Allen, out of the five he has faced in his federal political career, who has been subjected to such heavy-handed, libelous, and litigious treatment.

Tom has had independent challengers in three of his six races for Congress and there was another declared independent candidate in this U.S. Senate race whose nomination petitions came up short. I am the only candidate Tom Allen and the Democratic Party have gone after in this way. Why?

When a supporter of mine asked Tom Allen that question a few weeks ago at a public meeting, he said simply, "because we want to win." Think about that. I am still running, despite the complicity of the Democratic Secretary of State, who, after I was accepted as a qualified candidate, adopted a new standard for the collection of nomination petitions and applied that standard retroactively to my petitions, and my petitions alone, a standard which he did not apply to any other candidate.

Let me be very clear -- had that standard been applied to the nominating petitions of Congressman Tom Allen, he, too, would not have qualified for the November ballot. I am still running despite what I consider a gross injustice perpetrated by the Maine Supreme Court, in a case where we were neither the defendant nor the plaintiff, but an intervener. A case in which that court refused to recognize the potential unconstitutionality of the retroactive application of that new petition standard, and ordered enough of my petitions voided that I lost my ballot status.

Our final appeal to the U.S. District Court last week was then summarily denied because we did not have the foresight to predict that the Maine Supreme Court would waive away my constitutional rights. Our motion was denied because we had not argued vociferously against what my attorney and I both thought was a constitutional issue so obvious that the Maine Supreme Court would of course render a decision that was protective of my constitutional rights.

That's what courts are supposed to do, right? I am still running for U.S. Senate for the same reasons I jumped into this race last winter - my dismay at the failures of both party candidates, one a sitting U.S Senator and the other a sitting Congressman, to hold this administration accountable for its illegal and immoral actions. And my anger at their dismal records of accomplishment by each in their 12 years in Washington.

They both have shown themselves to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. My anger at Senator Collins' speaks to her vote to authorize the Iraq War, to deny habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees, her vote for the Military Commissions Act, the Patriot Act, not once, but twice, the FISA bill authorizing warrantless wiretapping and immunity for telecoms, and much more.

Her recent feel-good political ads have shown her so concerned about diabetes in children, yet she is opposed to a national health care plan. One ad highlights her efforts to tackle our energy crisis - by voting against an August recess. And one has her literally raising people from the dead, as a result of a bill that put heart defibrillators in the hands of rescue workers. But how many people, how many thousands of our good military men and women and how many hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children, have died or have suffered irreparable and lifelong wounds, both mental and physical, as a result of her complicity with the Bush administration war machine and the implementation of the perpetual war mentality gripping this nation?

And then there's Congressman Allen. After an initial courageous vote against the Iraq War Resolution, one he himself touts as the best vote he ever cast, he repeatedly voted to fund that war -- until, of course, he announced his candidacy for higher office last year. But that's not all. He, along with Susan Collins, voted for the Patriot Act -- twice. Tom Allen says in one of his recent ads that we need a change in Washington. He's been in Congress the past twelve years, and the Democrats currently control both houses of Congress.

Where's the change?

He lambastes Collins for voting with George Bush 81 percent of the time, but he is running on the promise of becoming one of 60 Democratic Senators, so he can vote in lock-step with the other 59 members of his party to pass whatever it is they want passed. And notice in another ad, Tom Allen promises, when elected to the U.S. Senate, that he will get a bill passed to allow a $2,000 tax credit to homeowners to help with their fuel bills. Think about that. If he's elected in November, he won't take office until January, and there is no guarantee that his idea will fly at all in the middle of an economic recession, let alone in time to keep people from freezing this winter. Tom Allen is a sitting member of Congress.

Why hasn't he sponsored and pushed through that bill already, now, before winter? It's just like his health care plan. I have long favored a single-payer health care plan, Medicare for all. It is well past time we joined the other industrialized nations of the world in guaranteeing basic health care for our citizens. Tom Allen told a good friend of mine last September, a year ago, that he had a health care plan worked out, one that wasn't single-payer, but would be an incremental step toward that end. He finally submitted his health care bill in May, eight months later, well into the campaign season and timed so that it had no chance to be adopted before the November election.

But it looks good on a campaign flyer, it shows that he's on top of the issue. Right. But that's not his worst modus operandi. The one issue that almost single-handedly drove me into this race was Tom Allen's position on impeachment, on his refusal to hold this administration accountable for numerous infractions, from the Iraq War to warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, and beyond. The U.S. Congress, the House of Representatives, is the body in Washington where impeachment resolutions are first brought. Tom Allen is a sitting member of Congress who has stated publicly that he thinks this administration has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors." Yet he has refused, as a sitting member of Congress, to sign on to any impeachment bills or to initiate one of his own.

I consider that a dereliction of his duty as a member of Congress, a violation of his oath of office.

So, I am STILL running for U. S. Senate as an independent, now as a write-in candidate. I decided to run as an independent, after 52 years as a Democrat, when I realized that both parties have failed us as a nation. The Democrats elected all across the country two years ago, in 2006, were supposed to stop the war and provide health care for all Americans once they attained the majority. They haven't.

The Democrats were supposed to stop this administration from wrecking our economy, our military, and our standing in the world. They haven't.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately declared impeachment to be "off the table," and thus the shredding of the Constitution continues -- the war continues. Now it's the Democrats' war, even though they insist it's not, as they keep funding it. Susan Collins keeps touting the idea of bipartisanship, as if it does not now exist in Washington. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bipartisanship in Washington.

It takes both parties to keep our invasive wars going. It takes bipartisanship to keep Guantanamo Bay in operation. It takes bipartisanship to prop up this failed administration, even in view of the worst Constitutional offenses in the history of this nation. It takes bipartisanship to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy in place, while the rest of us are denied government services, good roads and better schools for lack of money. It takes bipartisanship to run up the biggest national debt in our nation's history, largely due to our expansive empire building.

So. I am still a candidate for U.S. Senate. But I cannot be, and will not be, a U.S. Senator unless I get a lot of help from four major voting blocks here in Maine. Those voting blocks are

1. True Progressives

2. Greens,

3. Independents who love this country but can't stand the games that political parties play,

4. Disaffected Democrats, and disgruntled Republicans. These days that's a big percentage of the vote.

Progressives, real progressives, are the losers in all this.

If they are still Democrats, they are being forcibly marginalized by their party. Look what the Democratic Party did in 2006 to Ned Lamont in Connecticut, to Jean Hay Bright right here in Maine, and this year, to two members of their own Maine Democratic Party executive committee who dared to express support for my candidacy.

Ned Lamont, you will remember, won the Democratic primary in Connecticut two years ago, defeating long-time Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

It was an astonishing defeat within his own party, especially for a man who had been the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, on the ticket with Al Gore, only six years before.

What did the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, headed by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, do in light of this humiliating defeat for Lieberman? Schumer announced that he fully supported Lieberman's run as an independent. Still functioning as the chair of the DSCC, Schumer proceeded to hang his own party's Connecticut U. S. Senate candidate out to dry.

Lieberman of course won reelection as an independent.

He has since gone on to support not only Susan Collins in this race, but he is now the darling of the Republicans. Lieberman spoke at their convention last week, and he was reportedly on the short list of possible GOP vice-presidential picks.

Thank you Chuck Schumer.

And those progressives who were paying attention two years ago here in Maine know that, at the same time, Chairman Schumer, despite record contributions to the DSCC, refused to help Maine's Democratic Party nominee Jean Hay Bright in any way. Why? Because Olympia Snowe's politics were more amenable to the Washington DLC Democrats than were Jean's.

Not wise to have a real progressive in the Senate. She couldn't be trusted to toe the party line. This year, in contrast, the DSCC is pouring money, millions of dollars, into this state in support of Tom Allen. They are even running expensive TV ads on his behalf. What more evidence do you need, other than Tom's own pronouncements that he intends to toe the party line if he is elected in November? Those progressives still within the Democratic Party should wake up, as I did earlier this year, and realize that they do not have a home in the Democratic Party.

You can still be a Democrat and support me, but I warn you, you may well suffer the wrath of your party officials. Two members of the state party executive board were summarily thrown off that board in August for daring to support my campaign. One of the two had collected a mere 12 signatures on one petition, nothing more. The other had circulated a petition for me, but had also collected signatures for Tom Allen, Mike Michaud and Tom Ledue. Didn't matter. They had not toed the party line. Out the door.

Independent thinkers not allowed. As for those progressives not in the Democratic Party, and I know there are many in Maine, I need your help, and I need it now. We will never get the government we know we need if we keep voting for people who don't share our values and expect them to change after they are in office. That's political co-dependency, and it is a losing strategy. Greens. The Maine Green Independent Party is alive and well, and I share their key values.

I understand that party rules do not allow them to endorse non-party candidates, but I welcome support from individual members. Independents. Independents, registered voters who are not enrolled in any political party, are the largest voting block in Maine, about 40 percent of the electorate. Independents are often the ones who pay the closest attention to the issues, to the details, who are more likely to vote for a candidate whose values they share.

Their votes will make or break any campaign. I share their disaffection with party politics, and I encourage their involvement in my campaign. Disaffected Democrats and disgruntled Republicans. Maine Democrats have been contacting me, telling me they do not like what their party has been doing lately, to me and to other candidates across the country. They do not like what their party has been doing, and not doing, in Washington, now that they hold majority status in Congress. I tell them they can express their displeasure and their principles by supporting my campaign. Disgruntled old-school Republicans, who don't like the religious fundamentalist take-over of their party, have a place in my campaign.

I, too, am in favor of rational discussion of our national priorities. I, too, am concerned about the breakdown in the rule of law and the abrogation of our Constitutional rights. And I think it more than a little ironic that the hurricane named after the Republican who warned us about the military-industrial complex, is mad as hell and is headed for our mainland.I urge people in each of these categories to join with me in these final weeks of this election cycle.

If you would have voted for me had my name appeared on the ballot, I want to make it very clear - YOU STILL HAVE A CHOICE. YOU CAN STILL VOTE FOR ME BY WRITING HERBERT HOFFMAN ON THE BALLOT AND CHECKING THE BOX NEXT TO IT.

Why would you do that?

Simple. To make a point, to make a statement. TO DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE.

If you really can't see yourself voting for either Collins or Allen, if you are, like me, disappointed in both of them for what they've done, and haven't done, the last 12 years they've both been in office, then let them know. Don't just skip that part of the ballot. Register your discontent - and your support for a candidate who shares your views - by writing in my name and checking the box next to that line on the ballot. Yes, this is an end-run around the ballot access process.

But it's one that has been forced upon me by the actions of the Maine Democratic Party and the Democratic Secretary of State. Think about that, about how they changed the rules after the fact, and applied them only to me. Think about Tom Allen's response when questioned at that public meeting, that they are doing this to me "because we want to win." Consider that they had to do it this way because they knew Tom Allen could not win this race if I were in the race on equal footing with him. "Because we want to win." It's the justification used by sports heroes who use steroids.

The justification for skater Tonya Harding knee-capping Nancy Kerrigan. And it was the justification used by Tom Allen for the Democratic Party's attack on my candidacy. I found out the hard way that we just can't trust the Parities anymore, and I want you to learn from my experience. We now know that we can't trust them to be fair, we can't trust them to be honest, we can't trust them even to play by the rules. And we've learned we certainly can't trust them to run the country in our best interests.

They are not interested in what is best for us. Don't let them get away with it. With your help, we can send the message, the message that it's our country, our vote, our future, and we aren't going to take it any more. If this is going to work, if this is going to be successful in even sending a clear message, we need to get people involved in this campaign, lots of people, and quickly. And we need their involvement, your involvement, NOW. If my name were on the ballot, people who did not know me but knew they did not like either Collins or Allen might just put a check by my name out of frustration.

But without my name on the ballot, I don't get any votes unless people actively write in my name. To do that, they have to know about me. And they have to know that they can actually cast a vote for me, and how to do it. Check Box, write in Herbert Hoffman That's where you come in. I need your help to spread the word.

Tell people about me. Send them to my web page: http://www.hoffmanforsenate.us/ Urge them to contribute a few - or many - dollars to support our effort - a true grass roots effort. The legal battle drained campaign funds, to the point that I had to loan the campaign money to keep the legal case going forward. I firmly believe that that was part of the Democratic Party's strategy, to have me eat up campaign resources in defending myself, and to discourage people from contributing to a candidate who might not be on the ballot.

So the simplest, and easiest way for people to help out is by sending us some money - not just to help pay down that loan, but to pay for basic campaign materials like bumper stickers, palm cards and lawn signs. We're hoping to post a few campaign videos soon, and run them as TV ads if we get the money. Any amount we receive will be used judiciously, I assure you.

Time is getting short. Less than eight weeks until the Nov. 4 election. We still can do this, but we have to make the most of that time. As a recent Democratic Party email said: "We all share responsibility for success in November. Don't look back and wish you had gotten more involved."