I visited the Kirk Street headquarters of Niki Tsongas last night after the polls had closed. Once it became clear that Jon Golnik would win the Republican primary, Tsongas wasted no time in bringing the fight to her opponent, highlighting Golnik’s failure to vote in local elections for eight years, his past employment on Wall Street with AIG, the big insurance company that received a huge Federal bailout, and his support for privatizing social security and granting deficit-creating tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Here’s what Niki had to say:
I want to congratulate Jonathan Golnik on his victory tonight in the Republican Primary, and to let all of you know that now that we finally have an opponent, I am raring to go!
Over the next seven weeks leading up to Election Day, the voters of the Fifth District will have a very clear choice in the race for Congress. They’ll have on the one hand a choice between someone who has raised a family here, worked as a social worker for Catholic Charities and as a Dean for Middlesex Community College here, practiced law here, volunteered for the United Way here and has put heart and soul into the revitalization of the Merrimack Valley. Someone, in other words, who has spent her adult life making a commitment to the civic life of this district.
On the other hand is someone who since moving to the District nine years ago, didn’t care enough about the future of our communities and our nation to even bother to vote for eight of those nine years.
The voters of this district will have a choice too between someone who on the one hand, along with both Senator John Kerry and Senator Scott Brown, supported reforming Wall Street so that the risky behavior and reckless abuses that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression can never happen again.
On the other hand is someone who is a creature of Wall Street, who worked in an executive position for one of the greatest offenders – AIG – and naturally enough opposes those critically needed reforms.
The voters of this district will have a choice between someone who, on the one hand as a member of the Budget Committee, knows we cannot continue to mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren by charging government expenses on the national credit card. That is why I haven’t taken a pay raise since I was elected, it’s why I support cutting pay for members of Congress, and it’s why I support repealing the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthiest of Americans.
And on the other hand someone who wants to grow the national deficit by another $700 billion by saving and making permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and giving an average $100,000 each to people who make at least ten times that every year.
And the voters of this district will have a choice between someone who will on the one hand do everything in her power to protect and strengthen Social Security, not just for today’s seniors who worked so hard to earn it but for future generations who have been promised that in their retirement years the system they paid into will guarantee them some security in return.
And on the other hand, is someone who supports privatizing Social Security. There is no surer way to gut the Social Security system than by diverting funds from that system into personal accounts. And that’s not the only problem with privatizing Social Security. Just imagine if Social Security benefits had been invested in the stock market during the Wall Street crisis: Seniors would have lost billions of dollars in Social Security income along with any retirement savings they had when the economy collapsed.
I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in Congress with your support over the last three years: leading the fight for tax credits for small businesses to create new jobs, authoring bipartisan legislation to develop lighter body armor to better protect our service members on the battlefield, ending preexisting conditions as a bar to getting health insurance, restoring consumers’ access to their credit ratings, successfully advocating for equal pay for women, passing tighter fuel efficiency standards for our cars, and pushing for the long overdue end to “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
So the choice could not be clearer. If you want someone who will stick up for Wall Street, who would privatize Social security, who puts tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans ahead of starting to bring down the deficit and who hasn’t even been committed enough until just last year to the civic fabric of our communities to vote, then I am certainly not your candidate.
But, if you want someone who will stand up to Wall Street, who will protect and strengthen Social Security, whose priority is preserving tax cuts for those who need them most in this tough economy, and who believes and has shown by her actions that if you want to solve problems you can’t sit home on Election Day, or any other day, then join me and on November 2nd together we will celebrate a great victory, not just for ourselves but for the priorities we believe in: job creation, strengthening small business, advancing the middle class, energy independence, educational excellence, and a secure retirement for all our citizens. A victory in other words for the men, women and children of our district on November 2nd!