Monday, January 07, 2008

Resonses from Harold Burbank & Russ Gilfix

Impeachment Folk and Greens:
Two new items in this debate running up to the Green nominating
convention. I am adopting the policy of posting statements in the
order in which they are submitted to me.
1) Harold Burbank submitted a statement at 10:39 a.m. this morning.
2) Russ Gilfix sent a statement at 12:34 this afternoon. I aim to read
and answer it by tomorrow.
Richard Duffee

1) From Harold Burbank:
Dear Fairfield Greens, Democrats, and other concerned voters:

I understand Green congressional candidate Richard Duffee is being attacked
in Fairfield County as an inadequate candidate for specious reasons.
I have read some accuse Richard of being too intellectual, too focused on
impeachment, too contrary, and too unwilling to compromise for "progress".
Sadly, such views clearly reflect the infantilization of current US politics
by virtually all US candidates who pander to voters who do not understand
the depths of current US and world crises, including unending illegal and
immoral US-driven wars in the mid east and elsewhere, wholesale shredding of
the Constitution by all government branches led by a criminal executive,
denial of planet dooming climate change, and obviously recession and perhaps
depression type US and even world economic status, to name an obvious few.
It is time for Fairfield County politicians and voters to wake up, and grow

Even our inadequate current field of US presidential candidates has stated
many times that the next election is perhaps the most critical in US
history, for it must
immediately address all of the challenges stated above. This maelstrom of
unprecedentedly conjoined crises is unique in world history and shows no
signs of abatement precisely because our government, especially our
congress, has refused to live up to its oath of office to defend our
findamental law - the Constitution -
against ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC. This can and must be done
immediatelythrough impeachment of President Busha and Vice President Cheney,
who have led an unprecedented attack on our Constitution, our laws, and our
cuture. They lied us into two unending wars of occupation in Afghanistan
and Iraq, and threaten to do so in Iran. They surveil our citizens without
warrants by executive orders alone. They ignore our domestic economy by
failing to regulate the home mortgage industry, causing unprecedented levels
of foreclosure, putting families on the streets. They refuse to join the
world to fight climate change, where our country is the biggest polluter.
For all of these reasons and more they must be held accountable by congress,
and could be immediately by impeachment, but have not been. Indeed congress
has been complicit in these wars, constitutional corruptions and and
planetary degradations. They sew seeds of humanity's, let alone America's
destruction by their hubris. They must be voted out of office.

The great black abolitionist Frederick Douglas is remembered for stating
before the civil war, that no opporessor's power was ever relinquished
Freedom must be won and refreshed, even in democracy. Many intelligent
writers across the political spectrum, especially people like the father of
Reaganomics Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, have not been so timid as to avoid these
issues. Writing in December, 2007, Dr. Roberts published an article stating
flatly that the current administration is fascist, that the Constitution
hangs by a thread, that congress is responsible for this, and barring a
"great awakening" of the public, America will become an overt police state,
which in substance, policy and law it already is. This is a compelling view
considering Dr. Robert has been a lifelong Republican conservative. But of
course, Dr. Roberts is also a brilliant, honest and brave American
conservative, who believes in American freedom, the Constitution, and rule
of law, which our current government does not. From a Douglas and Roberts
viewpoint, our current government oppresses our people. Our freedom, our
Constitution and our American culture must be re-won.

"Normal" politics got us into this mess, so normal politics will not get us
out of it. It will take leaders of uncommon brilliance, integrity,
tenacity, commitment to principle, courage and selflessness not seen since
our Revolution to regain the American way of life. It will take patriots.

Richard Duffee is a patriot. He loves his country. I am sure that he would
die for it many times for what he knows is wrong, and for what he can give
to make it right. I have not known Richard for very long, but frankly I
have met few people in this world like him. He has done and will gladly do
the intellectual and practical heavy lifting to make America the good,
decent and safe haven of freedom and liberty its Founders intended. You will
not find a finer candidtae for the work ahead than Richard Duffee, and I
urge all serious voters to elect him. If Fairfield County voters seriously
study the issues and understand what is at stake if congress fails us in
2009, they will have no choice but to vote for Richard.

Thank you for your attention.


Attorney Harold Burbank
Canton, CT

2) From Russ Gilfix:

We all evaluate candidates. My evaluation was not an attempt to demean
you, it was an attempt at a candid look at you and Mr. Himes as
potential nominees for Congress. I did not make assumptions about your
qualities as a lawyer. My comment about the depth of your rote
understanding speaks to your ability to identify and articulate
appropriate laws and procedures. My statements do identify that there
are other aspects to a candidate that I believe are deeply significant
and in my mind more significant. If that were not the case I would
regularly be taking the position that we should limit our candidates
to lawyers. Further, my statements do not pretend to evaluate your
effectiveness as a lawyer. I know I do not have the information to do
that, I am not at all interested in doing that and in any event it had
nothing to do with the points I was making. My reflections were made
strictly regarding the extent to which you might further the causes
you and I and other progressives agree on, reflections on your
qualities as a candidate for office, not attempts at attacking your
personal ethics or veracity.

You on the other hand seem to think you know everything about me,
personally, professionally, ethically, financially, etc. and if you
don't beleive you do you are amazingly at ease with drawing
conclusions anyway. You might consider for exampe that if my personal
responsibilities to the well being of my clients (some of whom rely
hugely on me for their financial well being) are taking more time now
than allows me to do justice to the job I was asked to do with DFA, it
becomes appropriate and right that I put my ego aside and do the best
thing for the organization and for the causes to which I have been and
continue to actively support. Predominantly that is insisting on
ethics in government and justice, equity and ethics in society at

The nature of your response is a fair example of some of the points I
would make regarding your candidacy - that you can articulate issues
and law but you sometimes arrive at hard to accept conclusions, leave
little to no room for disagreement and make incendiary statements,
even as some of those are baseless, to the point of often alienating
even those who AGREE with you. Your responses too often have the feel
of "the bully" in them. These are not traits that help convince more
voters. If you create divisiveness with many other progressive voters
how do we progressive voters think you are perceived - and therefore
how are OUR positions Received - by those who have not taken a
definitive position or have taken an opposing position? My conclusions
have not been that you were somehow ethically challenged as you have
portrayed me, but that you are simply not the best person to ask to
represent, as a candidate for office, progressive positions to the
public, your knowledge and abilities to articulate notwithstanding. I
hope you continue to speak out for all the causes we believe in but in
ways that help not hinder. This does not mean compromise your values,
just your personal hostilities. I believe that independents like
myself, members of the Green Party and other progressive voters have
every right and every reason to select individuals for candidacy who
can build confidence in the general public in our approach and in our
At this time one point on substance - you make the claim that "other
issues CANNOT be resolved without impeachment". While I agree that
resolving other issues will not resolve this one serious issue and
while I agree that allowing erosion and even suspension of
Constitutional law is both hugely critical and can effect so much
else, it is hard to accept that insuring accurate vote counts in
subsequent elections can not be accomplished with impeachment, hard to
accept that the harassment of voters such as in Florida in 2000 can
not be resoled without impeachment, hard to believe that establishing
a truer, more verifiable vote count than the Dibold machines would
generate is not possible without impeachment, hard to believe that all
problems of inequality and justice in this country can not been
addressed without impeachment, hard to believe that the critical
environmental problems we face can not be addressed without
impeachment, hard to believe that all the ills and woes of this state,
country, world can not be resolved without impeachment...
Again, if you would distribute my response it would be appreciated,
especially the comment below to Phyllis Mason as I do not have her
email address.

Completely separate from your response, I would like to address
Phyllis Mason's straightforward resposne:

Dear Phyllis, I agree that accountablitiy is always important, even
beyond the spheres of government. For me it is an essential underlying
requirement at every level and in every part of our society. I have
supported impeachment and have said so for a long time now. I also
agree that elected officials and candidates for office must have the
fortitude to hold others accountable and must themselves be held
accountable. I do not think we disagree on these points at all. I
believe Mr. Himes also agrees with this principle of accountability.
It appears to me, rightly or wrongly, that a key way in which he
differs from Mr. Duffee in that he does not give impeachment itself
the same standing if it would come at a time when the current
administration is no longer in office. A point Mr. Himes makes is that
the congressional seat we are discussing will be taken only after the
new administration is in office. It is also my understanding that Mr.
Himes beleives that there are many serious issues of accountability
whose practicle and legal relavence will not diminish with the
changing of an administration. This may not mitigate your choice of
candidate here. Personally I don't like the idea of a sort of de facto
statute of limitations considering the seriousness of the issues at
hand. Yet we each have to weigh the importance of so many issues that
seem to be "all important". I certainly respect everyone's right to
prioritize as they see fit - and I do not mean that in a way that
compromizes our ethics; in the real world the hard decisions come when
there are conflicting rights or when we can not accomplish everything
we want. Some things are not mutually exclusive, some are, even if
only for reasons of limited resources (time, money, man-power, etc.).
I might not see completely eye to eye with Mr. Himes on the lengths I
would take the idea of impeachment itself AFTER the administration has
left but I understand his reasoning and do not believe Mr. Himes is
fairly characterized by Mr. Duffee.