Those who know Former CD6 Candidate Hank Eng, know he is a man of integrity and few words. Hank rarely grabs the media spotlight for himself. Last night, Hank sent this message, and gave me permission to distribute it. The letters in bold are my emphasis. ~ NC
Friendship and Conscience – By Hank Eng, Former Congressional Candidate CD6
Friends and friendship are things we cherish and nurture. This is a normal part of being human. We will do anything for a friend, right? Well almost anything. This is where another human trait enters the picture; that is conscience. As human beings we all have one. As much as we may want to suppress a conscience, it is what tells us right from wrong, good from bad and helps us navigate our behavior throughout life.
By now many of you have read the Denver Post article reporting that Steve Farber, a well-known Denver attorney and registered Democrat will co-host a fundraiser for 6th Congressional District Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman. Fundraisers are not unusual. It is that political season once again. What is a bit of a shock is the fundraiser is being co-hosted by a Democrat for a Republican, and hence this commentary.
Steve Farber is an unquestionable leader in our community and commands a great deal of respect including mine. Although Steve has never held public office, he has been in public service. He has been appointed to numerous public commissions by both Democratic and Republican Governors. He could always be expected to conduct his work in an ethical and non-partisan manner.
He has hosted or co-hosted many fundraisers for the community at large. I have attended some of these fundraisers in part because I wanted to learn more about causes being championed by a community leader and in part because these were causes I believed in too. And so we come to this particular cause.
Representative Coffman has served two terms in Congress. In 2008, he did not bother to campaign taking for granted his electorate and the election. In 2010 he again counted on a district that was still highly tilted in favor of a Republican in a year in which anti-administration sentiment fostered by faux grass-roots (AstroTurf) groups and general disappointment by Independents and Democrats with the pace of economic recovery slowed by a Republican more interested in culture wars than creating job. Now facing an election is a highly competitive district due to redistricting, Representative Coffman is calling on friends for help.
Mike Coffman voted for the Ryan plan which would end Social Security as we know it. In fact he has voted along party lines over 90% of the time he has been in Congress. He supports the Republican agenda to roll back affordable healthcare, defund Planned Parenthood, declare war on women health, and cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class. He may not have voiced outright support for this agenda, but he has not voiced opposition either. Campaigning on job creation, he has joined the majority in culture wars. Rather than cherishing the right to vote, he has made it more difficult for Americans to do so. He has voted for the narrow interest of the reactionary right against the better interest of all his constituents, which brings many of us to the dilemma we face.
Usually when a community leader such as Steve Farber calls for a fundraising event, we heed his call. This is the respect he commands. However, this is not a non-partisan event for a friend. It is a Republican fundraiser pure and simple for someone who already has the backing of powerful interest in Washington whose unlimited funding due to Citizens United, can buy an election. You’ve seen the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad that spread the Republican talking points on behalf of Congressman Coffman. Undoubtedly we will see more of these disinformation ads come out as we move into this election cycle. So how do we reconcile attending a fundraiser co-hosted by a community leader we respect and the cause for which Democrats and many Independents cannot support?
If conscience plays a part in your decision, you can show your support as a Democrat by contributing the $500 minimum to attend Steve Farber’s fundraiser to the campaign of Joe Miklosi. Of course any amount contributed, large or small will be welcomed if we are to counterbalance the advantage an incumbent always holds. For Independents and Democrats you have more options. One is to contribute to Joe Miklosi’s campaign if you believe we must take back our country from those wanting to destroy the middle class. Another is to make a contribution to Planned Parenthood. Both organizations are in need of your support.
2012 will be an important election year. There is much at stake. We can see what issues are front and center for the Republican. It is playing out in news story after news story. It is culture wars that divide us as a nation and not job creation that will bring us together. In fact, there really is no dilemma. I know where my conscience will lead me.