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Why I like Mike…Lapointe, that is, for Congress | As I See It
By Tom Munsey
The proposed Cherry Point coal terminal in Bellingham and the growler jet noise on Whidbey Island are issues that make us angry.
We wonder why no one in a position in authority is addressing them. Now is our chance to install someone who will do something: Mike Lapointe, independent candidate for Congress
Mike Lapointe is an independent from Everett. Mike has been a machinist and a union officer with the Electrical Workers Union, he has worked at a shelter for teens, he was involved with the Occupy Movement, and he is currently co-owner of a wonderful coffee shop in Everett called the Firewheel.
He started the coffee shop as a community meeting place for organizations; it has musical performances and open-mic nights, and it can also be used for weddings and “Sweet 16s”.
Teenagers from the shelter where Mike used to work are brought there to receive work experience.
Mike ran a campaign for the same seat two years ago, but most of us have probably not heard of him before. He is really just a regular guy who wants
someone to represent us regular folks, and he is willing to step up and be that person.
He believes that the two major parties are pretty useless, at least at the national level, as they are bought and paid for by large campaign donors.
As a result, he is running as an independent to represent the 99 percent of us who are not large campaign donors. He accepts no corporate contributions.
If he happens to receive one, he will hold a ceremony where the check is publicly cut into small pieces. So his whole campaign will be financed by people like us.
Here is what Mike would do on our two major local issues:
— Growlers: Mike would go to the Navy to stop the flights. Mike wants to represent what is best for the people, and he will not be tied to defense contractors as he will accept no corporate contributions, so he would do everything he could to end this.
— Coal terminal, oil trains: Mike is against these and would do everything he could to stop them. Here are some of Mike’s positions on other important issues:
Minimum wage: favors $15 minimum. He says that this actually isn’t enough, that it should really be $22 to be livable.
Tax reform: needs to be more progressive, fewer corporate tax breaks, move subsidies from fossil fuels to green energy.
Immigration: needs amnesty and a pathway to citizenship.
Death penalty: opposes.
Foreign policy/defense: no more war, bring troops home, provide jobs for them, cut defense spending but increase VA spending.
Campaign finance: overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon, also favors instant runoff voting.
Women’s issues: women and minorities need opportunities to address inequality; women are entitled to medical treatment without government coming between a woman and her doctor.
Free trade treaties: dump them. Workers in other countries should also have rights; it’s not OK for U.S. companies to go there and treat workers like slaves. Mike says that Rep. Larsen wants U.S. corporations to go to China to employ Chinese workers to make things. Mike wants U.S. corporations here.
Guns: would get rid of assault rifles, require registration of other guns, but says we need to have a national conversation about gun violence and the reasons for it, like stress and lack of jobs. Mike says that gun violence is a symptom of what is wrong with our society.
Social Security: don’t privatize.
The Post Office: don’t privatize, get rid of prepaid benefits requirement which is just a ploy to bankrupt it so it can be privatized.
Mike is in this to be a representative of the people. If elected, he would want input from as many as possible, because he regards the seat as the people’s seat. He plans to operate on issues, and when he believes he is right on an issue, he will not compromise or make concessions.
— Editor's note: Mike Lapointe, 2nd District congressional contender, will be at the Friday Harbor Grange, July 27, beginning at noon, for a presentation and to answer questions at a meeting of the SJC Democratic Party; Rep. Rick Larsen has been invited to do the same.
— Tom Munsey, a San Juan Island resident of 16 years, is manager of Friday Harbor Public Access TV, Channel 19.