There is no such thing as a little bit pregnant. In America's past you were either for or against equal civil rights for all citizens, for or against a women's right to vote and for or against slavery. It is the same for Single Payer health care reform. You are either for it or against it. However, the American Federation of Teachers is trying to be both, an untenable position.

The AFT passed a resolution supporting Single Payer. The OSEA, Oregon School Employees Association does NOT support Single Payer. And yet, the AFT and the OSEA have united in a joint endorsement process for legislative candidates. With opposing views on the most important and contentious issue on the political agenda, one must ask, How can that be?

A questionnaire was sent to me and all other legislative candidates running in the May 18, 2010 primary. There wasn't a single question asking whether the candidates supported Single Payer? How could that be?

Every question was designed with a self-evident right answer. More of a tutorial than a test. So what is the point of asking? The theme, as in every special interest criteria practiced by Wall Street Banks, Health Insurance Companies etc. is the same, Will you promise to give us more of the limited state/federal resource pie? Business as usual in our American political process. 

My question to AFT, why are you in bed with an organization that opposes Single Payer health care reform?

My question to AFT, why isn't this the first if not the ONLY question you should be asking legislative candidates?

Topic - Health Care

The American Federation of Teachers has passed a resolution supporting a Single Payer solution to America's and Oregon moral and economic health care crisis. We have been very disappointed that neither the U.S. House of Representatives, lead by Democrats, nor the U.S. Senate, lead by Democrats, nor President Obama, a Democrat, have allowed any member of congress to vote on Single Payer legislation. President Obama is demonstrably more interested in signing any bill with the words "health care" in the title than he is in even mentioning his previous support for Single Payer when he was a state senator.

The Oregon legislature, lead by Democrats, has passed a Billion dollar health care bill which is illegitimate because it undemocratically and cynically denied Single Payer supporters entry into the capitol building much less a seat at the legislative table. AFT, as well as all those who support Single Payer, must make every effort to repeal this faulty, indefensible and unfair legislation and begin anew by not just allowing but encouraging Single Payer advocates to be the first to present their bills and testify in support of their solutions to Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis.

A Single Payer solution and perhaps any health care reform is DEAD in the U.S. congress. But the AFT is undaunted. We will carry the battle to the state legislatures where the real Single Payer war was always destined to be fought

A Single Payer heath care system is AFT's most important public policy position because it benefits not only our members but every citizen of Oregon and America. Please indicate your answer below.

A. I support AFT's Single Payer resolution.

B. I do not support AFT's Single Payer resolution.

Candidate Richard Ellmyer's answer: A loud, forceful and unequivocal, I SUPPORT AFT'S SINGLE PAYER RESOLUTION. 

Candidate Tina Kotek's answer: I do NOT support AFT's Single Payer resolution.

What else is there to know?

If AFT is ON the Single Payer bus then it must:

1. Gather 300 signatures by February 26 in support of placing Richard Ellmyer's candidate statement which supports AFT and its Single Payer resolution in the Voters' Pamphlet.


Immediately send Richard Ellmyer a contribution of $750 to pay for placing his candidate's statement which supports AFT and its Single Payer resolution in the Voters' Pamphlet.

2. Endorse Richard Ellmyer as the candidate for the North Portland House seat that will carry the Single Payer flag for the AFT on the field of legislative battle and bring AFT into the health care conversation as a Single Payer proponent starting in the 2011 session.

3. Send out a revised questionnaire that includes or is limited to the Single Payer question above.

If AFT is OFF the Single Payer bus then it should pass a resolution repealing its Single Payer resolution so that its members and the public know that AFT has reneged on its Single Payer stand and endorse Richard Ellmyer's opponent, Tina Kotek, who has a long record of NOT supporting a Single Payer solution to America's and Oregon's moral and economic health care crisis.

The citizens in my district do NOT care if Richard Ellmyer supports more in-service training for OSEA members. They care about the health of their families especially those who have lost their jobs or can't afford health insurance even if they have a job. They care about being denied coverage by corporations who have a legal mandate to secure profits for their shareholders not improve the health of their clients. They care about not going bankrupt because of medical bills. They care about having affordable, quality HEALTH CARE as good as any member of the Oregon legislature and any public employee not merely catastrophic health insurance.

AFT members have better health insurance coverage, paid for by taxpayers, than most Oregonians. Certainly better than mine. Was AFT's Single Payer resolution just a public relations ploy to appear "progressive" to offset the fact that AFT member's are quite well covered at taxpayer's expense? As AFT leaders, lobbyists and anyone minimally observant of health care politics would know, a Single Payer solution would most certainly fail at the federal level. This means that all those who seriously support Single Payer understand that Single Payer can ONLY be achieved at the STATE level. If AFT, and others that purportedly support Single Payer, don't actively and aggressively pursue Single Payer at the state level then their so-called commitment to Single Payer is disingenuous at best and fraudulent at worst.

AFT's credibility with the public is on the line. 

Regardless of whether I am elected or not I will continue to speak out in support of Single Payer, the foundation of my campaign, and praise those who embrace it as well as condemning those who reject the common good and pursue only their own special interests by opposing Single Payer.

Those who support my candidacy because they support Single Payer will be enthusiastically welcomed and celebrated by me in any and all public venues in which I participate. Those that do not support my candidacy because they oppose Single Payer will be treated accordingly.