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Stop Taking Our Votes For Granted!
Send a Message -- Make your vote count on April 27th
by Pennsylvania State Representative Harold James
April 7, 2004

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The following statement by Philadelphia State Rep. Harold James was released to the LaRouche in 2004 Presidential campaign on April 7, endorsing Lyndon LaRouche for President. Rep. James will be joined at his press conference by supporters and community activists.

Currently, the Democratic Party has begun to rally behind the banner of Senator John Kerry, who is no doubt a better man than what we have in there. However, the Democratic Party is continuing to take many of its leading constituency groups for granted, such as African-Americans, other minorities, labor, and others. Our concerns, at this point, are not being adequately represented by the Kerry campaign. We must remedy this problem, so that we can mobilize a massive turnout of the Democratic Party base, and remove the Bush/Cheney administration from power this November.

For these reasons, and after serious soul searching and consideration, I have decided to extend my personal endorsement to the candidacy of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. in the April 27 Democratic presidential primary here in Pennsylvania. Fifteen percent of the vote or more for Mr. LaRouche in any congressional district, will elect LaRouche delegates to the Democratic Party national convention, and guarantee that our voices will be heard at the very highest levels of politics in this country.

This is how we can make our votes count, and send the most powerful message to Party leaders that our issues and concerns must be addressed. As the distinguished African-American scholar Ron Walters has argued, "In order to move the system, Blacks have to look after their interests first, not the Party's. That requires both courage and savvy. We must decide whether this time, it is worth pushing the envelope to make Kerry accountable or to trust him and the system to work it out and look after our interests. Our history tells us not to trust the system, to fight for every inch of advantage and to be proud of that fight."

Note that Mr. LaRouche is one of only three active candidates that will be on the primary ballot here, (Rev. Sharpton is not running in Pennsylvania) and has one of the largest bases of support of any candidate. As of the Federal Election Commission's latest March 2004 report, Mr. LaRouche leads all of the Democratic presidential candidates in the cumulative number of individual itemized contributions. LaRouche has 37,867 individual itemized contributions as compared to 35,337 for John Kerry. The statistics are even more remarkable in Pennsylvania, where LaRouche has 2,942 such contributions, to Kerry's 926! By the time of the Democratic National Convention, Mr. LaRouche will have appeared on the ballot in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Also, as of the February FEC report, Mr. LaRouche had raised $6,735,378, and he qualified for federal matching funds.

When it comes to the concerns of our communities, Mr. LaRouche's track record has been second to none. Over the years, when I have asked Mr. LaRouche to become involved with issues that will improve the conditions of my community, he has responded, not with words alone, but with action.

Several years ago, when it was revealed that Black elected officials were being systematically targeted and harassed by the Department of Justice, Mr. LaRouche sponsored hearings and circulated crucial material exposing that horrible injustice. Those hearings were dedicated to the memory of our late, great, state representative Dave Richardson, whose tragic, untimely death precluded his planned participation.

When the Democratic National Committee failed to sponsor hearings to establish a fair and just platform in the 2000 campaign, Mr. LaRouche called for Democratic platform hearings. My colleagues and I participated in these historic hearings which addressed the critical issues of health care, jobs, economic injustice, and government harassment.

When I asked Mr. LaRouche to help last fall, after it was discovered that Attorney General Ashcroft had authorized the wiretapping of the office of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, in an attempt to influence the outcome of the election, Mr LaRouche responded. He personally supported Mayor Street, and authorized hundreds of young people to help in that election. That effort helped to insure the mayor's re-election by a landslide. While I invited all of the Democratic presidential candidates at that time to speak out against that injustice, only two candidates, Mr. LaRouche and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, responded.

Several years ago, when Washington DC general hospital was being shut down as a prelude to the closing of trauma centers and full service hospitals in urban areas across the country, Mr. LaRouche took up the challenge to defend public health in the nation's capital. I joined that fight. Today, Mr. LaRouche is pledged to upgrade our health care as a national security issue of the highest magnitude, and I salute him on that. Mr. LaRouche has championed the cause of universal health care. Health care is a right for all Americans and not a privilege for some.

In echoing the voice of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mr. LaRouche has called for defending the rights of America's forgotten men and women, and promoting the general welfare of the entire nation.

Moreover, he has fought vigorously on behalf of the rights of the forgotten men and women of the world. He has waged a relentless campaign against the silent genocide which is ravaging Africa, while others have failed to adequately address this issue.

Without Mr. LaRouche's input and delegates, I am concerned that these issues will not be adequately raised or addressed at the Democratic Party national convention in Boston this summer. This is why I personally endorse his candidacy in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary, and urge the community to cast their votes for Mr. LaRouche.

I am encouraging people to participate in a strategy whereby their voices will be heard as we develop our agenda for inclusion, participation and justice. Fifteen percent of the vote is the threshold in each congressional district, which allows Mr. LaRouche to accumulate delegates who will raise our agenda on the floor of the Democratic convention. By addressing the crucial concerns of our community, we can insure maximum voter education, participation and turnout to guarantee victory for the Democratic Party and our presidential nominee in November.

Representative James was elected to the Pennsylvania House in 1988 from the 186th Legislative District in Philadelphia, and is currently running for his ninth consecutive term. Former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, he now serves on the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL); he was appointed Special Assistant to the NBCSL President and Region II Chairman, NBCSL (New York and Pennsylvania).

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