Mark Wilson: Time to unseat Rep. LaMalfa | TheUnion.com

Mark Wilson: Time to unseat Rep. LaMalfa

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Mark Wilson

Since Mr. Trump, his revolving door of appointees, and the Republican majority Congress took the reins of government, our Constitution and our legal systems have been put to the test.

Almost immediately, Trump's national security aide Michael Flynn was forced to resign, having lied about conversations with the Russian ambassador. A few months later, Mr. Trump fired FBI Director Comey for investigating possible Russian interference in our elections. A week later, former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed, with bipartisan support, to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And now, as that investigation moves closer to Mr. Trump's inner circle, Trump appears to be on the verge of firing Mueller, as the Republican party seeks to retain their dominance by defaming anyone associated with the investigation.

Meanwhile, the new Congress, barely out of its swaddling clothes, broke the champagne on its first term by voting to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. It soon became clear why. They approved cabinet members to head departments where they had no experience, training, or education. They welcomed cabinet members who had expressed a desire to destroy the departments to which they were appointed. They voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act without offering any replacement, showing their willingness to leave millions of Americans without healthcare. They introduced legislation to terminate the agency that protects our environmental health, and legislation that would cut programs for struggling learners, rural education, and homeless students. And the supposed "fiscally responsible party" passed a tax bill that will increase the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion while giving massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

The swamp is far from being drained. Within federal departments, new appointees chip away at policies and programs set up over decades, under Republican and Democratic leadership, to protect Americans' health, safety, and well-being. Longtime federal workers with deep knowledge in their fields have been reassigned to areas where they have no expertise. Scientific results, funded by the American people, are erased from websites and reports because they don't align with Trump's political beliefs, as though we live under an autocracy. Immigrants who have lived here and contributed to their communities for decades are arrested and deported, putting a lie to the administration's claim that it is targeting drug dealers and other criminals. And daily, Mr. Trump makes irrational statements that are easily disproven with the most casual research.

And through it all, our congressman, Doug LaMalfa, has shown his allegiance is to his party, not the people he is supposed to represent. He has voted repeatedly to allow healthcare to be taken away from District 1 residents who have no other options. He ignores Mr. Trump's erratic and unethical behavior, which causes increased military tensions, stock markets to tumble, and an unstable business climate. And in a district where five of its 11 counties suffer from high ozone pollution that causes asthma, he voted to allow stricter ozone regulations to be delayed.

Fortunately, spring is here, which can only mean one thing — primary elections. It's time for us to send someone to Washington who is willing to buck the dysfunction, not support it. We're fortunate to have a rich choice of candidates for District 1, spanning three political parties. My favorite is Marty Walters. Unlike our current representative, she asks for input from District 1 voters, actually listens, and discusses the issues to find common ground and solutions that will work for our rural economy and culture. What's more, her campaign is volunteer-based in District 1, so when we send her to Congress, we know she'll be working for us.

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District 1 voters are energized, so we have an excellent opportunity to elect a congressperson willing to represent all the citizens of the district, not just an entrenched party. We face pressing issues — housing affordability, access to healthcare and reliable internet, living-wage jobs, educational opportunities, and others — that get short shrift in Washington.

However, these problems can be solved. We know that to make a life in a rural area requires hard work, ingenuity, and creativity, and we're ready to take on the challenge. Let's elect someone who can help us build on our strengths and protect us from the bad decisions being made in Washington. We've been ignored too long. Vote by June 5, and then vote Nov. 6 for Marty Walters for Congress!

Mark Wilson lives in Nevada City.

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