Monday, February 23, 2004

Special Guest Blogger - Tony Knowles

Busy day for me, but for now you can chew on this special guest blog post from Tony Knowles, former governor of Alaska and current candidate for Senate. Available polls show this one to be a close race, but Knowles having the slight advantage. In any case, here he is...

This has the potential to be a great year in American politics. People are demanding responsibility, accountability and honesty from their representatives in Washington D.C. While there have been disappointments in politics, at the same time we are seeing increased levels of discussion, resurgence and hope in the power of the individual.

Too often politicians in D.C. have decided to use dishonesty in order to confuse and misdirect the voters. The “blogosphere” has become a new watchdog in the fight for truth and it fuels the growing demand for change. I am posting this here to discuss my ideas and to ask for your help in my race for the U.S. Senate.

First, I would like to thank you for being part of this community that is changing politics and returning power to the people. You demand a free flow of information, you help expose hidden truths, engage thousands in the political process and you create an environment that thrives on participation. Your contribution is the most important one of all: your voice.

Thanks are also due to Atrios, who has generously allowed me to talk with you using his blog. I think we can all appreciate the contribution people like Atrios make to this process. By offering his time, input and hard work he provides another place where our voices can come together.

I don’t want to spend this time talking like a politician, telling you about my life and my experience, you can click here to read that if you like. I want to impress upon you why I am running and what excites me about the race so far.

I have said that if there were no Alaska, people would still dream about such a place, a great land where opportunity and freedom are a way of life. That also applies to the entire United States. Opportunity and freedom are at the heart of this country and yet we find them constantly under attack. This is unacceptable. The power to stand up against these attacks is ours.

As a Democrat and a Vietnam Veteran I believe in the importance of national security. But our long term security is jeopardized by unilateral action without imminent threat. We need to take the moral high ground and rebuild the respect of other nations through alliances in fighting terrorism and in addressing non-military issues of disease, poverty and the environment.

We must support our troops by doing more than saying that we support our troops. Supporting our troops means not cutting military benefits and keeping our promise to veterans. It means that we must stand up to John Ashcroft, the Patriot Act and other assaults on the very personal freedoms which our troops are fighting to protect.

Jobs, education, healthcare, civil rights are all at the heart of providing opportunity and securing our freedom. By slashing resources at every level for education, by failing to rebuild a crumbling economic infrastructure, by not fulfilling promises to provide affordable healthcare and by abandoning sensible fiscal policy we are turning our backs on the future. We must reverse this trend, and working together, I believe we can.

We can restore confidence in our economy by refocusing on small businesses, punishing corporate ethics violations and balancing our budget. We can invest in our nation’s future by educating our youth. We can provide affordable healthcare for all working families. We can return America to its role as a leader of nations. All this, and more, is within our grasp if we come together and fight for what we believe.

I am proud to have received Planned Parenthood’s earliest ever challenger endorsement along with the support of NARAL, KIDPAC and a variety of labor unions. Yet the real strength of this campaign so far has come from individual Alaskans. The support and words of encouragement I have received from thousands of Alaskans is humbling, and it reinforces my desire to serve both Alaska and this country in the United States Senate.

This ground swell of grass roots support for my campaign has allowed me to keep a steady lead in the polls. But this will be a close race. 140,000 votes will be cast for the winner in this election and that means that there is a real opportunity for me to deliver my message to each and every voter. I need your help to accomplish this task. To learn more or to contribute click here.

Please ask questions about my campaign and offer your thoughts on my race.

It's perhaps a bit early, but once the sun rises in the West some of the Knowles campaign staff, and at some point perhaps Knowles himself, will be reading and responding to any comments/questions you may have.