On 9/7, I participated in a press conference and rally with Robert Rodriguez who is a candidate for the 25th District.
Robert explains his tax plan to supporters and the media.
(That's me standing directly behind his outstretched hand.)
The event which was held in front of H&R Block was to call for tax relief for working class Americans. Robert, the son of a rail road worker, was born and raised in Barstow and understands the plight of working class families in Barstow on a first hand basis. He called the press conference to introduce his new tax plan. He told the crowd gathered that: "Median incomes have come down by $1,500 since 2000 while congressional salaries have increased $20,000 in that time. We are calling on Congress to give up their $20,000 in raises."
"They are supposed to be representing us, but if we're making tough choices with higher gasoline, education and health care costs, they should feel the pinch, too. And they are not. They get their salaries increased while real Americans can't vote on that; we're not fortunate enough."
The plan calls for everyone earning under $75,000 a year to get a tax credit averaging $1,500 and to take the money out of the pockets of people in Congress. He is calling on members of Congress to roll back their pay increases to help pay for the tax credit. "For Americans who make $75,000 or less, middle class America, a $1,500 tax credit would help restore that $1,500 in wages they lost since 2000. Congressional salaries," he said, "go up every year, but ordinary Americans see their salaries flat or going down."
"That's not fair," he said. "People work hard in this community, and it's our taxpayer money that's funding those congressional salary increases. That's wrong when those in Congress say they are representing up."
Robert Rodriguez, 29, is a 1995 graduate of Barstow High School. He recieved a Political Science degree from UCLA and a master's from Harvard in 2002. He got some valuable experience working for Senator Boxer and Representative Sanchez. He is running against the incumbent "Buck" McKeon for the 25th Congressional seat.
I feel that Robert is a great candidate in general but especially for the people of Barstow. Robert really understands the people of Barstow and the issues that face our community. His opponent, "Do Nothing Buck" has done nothing for the citizens of Barstow. We face major water quality challenges which is a federal issue but "Buck" has done nothing to improve our water quality. He has done nothing to improve the quality of life for our military community. Barstow is home to the CA Veterans Home and yet what has "Buck" done for our vets? Recently, "Buck" was named Chair of the House Education Committee. But if you look at the deteriorating condition of our schools in Barstow, it's easy to see that "Do Nothing Buck" has done nothing for our schools. He did just raise the interest rates on student loans after getting major donations from FannieMae.
In general, here in Barstow and throughout the 25th Congressional District, voters should be asking:
Where's Buck? What's Buck done for Barstow? What's Buck done for the 25th District?
What the BUCK?
"Buck" has no Congressional office in Barstow. He comes through every blue moon. But have you ever seen him? He may be friends with our "Do Nothing Mayor", but that doesn't help us. He periodically has his PR field representative come to a Council meeting and hand out plaques. Big deal. The last time was for the photo op recognition that Mayor Dale had for his recently recalled buddy ex-councilman Luellig. "Buck" sent his field rep Lew Stults to give Luellig a proclamation. Now I ask you, are we suppose to line up and vote for "Do Nothing Buck" because he sent his PR agent to join Mayor Dale in praising the ex-Councilman that voters just threw out of office? This is not representation! We need more. We must demand more out of our elected officials!
The BUCK stops here! The BUCK stops now!
Please Join Me in Voting Robert Rodriguez for Congress on November 7!!!