The following is a statement from Ted Ankrum, candidate for the 10th Congressional District. I sent an email to Paul Foreman asking for a statement from him as well but never got a reply. I confess I'm not too broken up about that, since I think Ankrum is the better candidate. Nonetheless, if I ever do get a response from Foreman I will print it. In the meantime, here's Ankrum's statement.
Why should you vote for me, instead of Paul Foreman? I've spent all my time in this primary running against the Republican incumbent, Mike McCaul, not Paul Foreman; but I have to change that for a runoff. Every major newspaper in the District has said that I'm the only Democrat that has a chance of beating McCaul.
When I was serving four tours in Vietnam, I learned that Democracy was not a gift to be bestowed by the American government, and that American troop's sacrifices would not make any difference in the outcome of another country's civil war.
When I was Chief of Environmental Compliance at NASA, I learned first-hand how corrupt Tom Delay was. He tried to pressure me into allowing a contributor to do a job at Johnson Space Center with equipment that violated the Montreal Treaty to protect the earth's ozone layer. He didn't stop until I threatened to go to the Washington Post newspaper.
When I was Head of Conservation and Renewable Energy Commercialization at the Department of Energy, I started the government energy efficiency standards that have doubled the US's energy efficiency since 1980. I have a letter on my wall from Jimmy Carter thanking me for helping get the "Wind Energy Act of 1980" through Congress.
When I was Deputy Head of the Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup Program at EPA, I learned how lobbyists can destroy the effectiveness of a good idea. All the Superfund money is now spent, much of the money went to legal fees, and most sites haven't been cleaned up.
When I was Chief Quality Inspector at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, I had to go public in the Wall Street Journal about quality breakdowns at the Commanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant outside Dallas, to get the utility management's attention to fix the problems. I had to look for another job, after that.
When I was a Diplomat in Australia, I studied a country with a Universal Health Care System that combined "Medicare for All", with inexpensive private health care insurance; and is an excellent model for the US. I also saw a country with a "Living Wage". Both of these things help make Australia the very good place to live, that we have all heard about.
What was my runoff competitor, Paul Foreman, doing while I was learning those things and a lot of others? Running a bookstore in Austin and writing poetry. These are admirable things, but they don't do much to prepare you for dealing with the important issues in Congress, today. Evidently others agree, since I received the endorsement of every newspaper Editorial Board and Democratic club, after head to head debate. Austin-American Statesman: "One of the four Democrats, Ted Ankrum, is clearly the best Choice." Houston Chronicle: "The Chronicle urges voters to support Ted Ankrum." Austin Chronicle: " It is Ted Ankrum who offers the best chance."
Why the runoff, then? Paul Foreman says it is because he is "promising to impeach George Bush when he is elected, and Ted Ankrum won't." Every Democrat may want this, but winning in this normally Republican District means you have to get crossover votes from Republicans or, at least, keep the far right conservatives at home If a Democrat has to make this promise, the nomination isn't worth having, because it's a sure loser in November. So, I haven't made it. Our Democratic Congressional leadership is saying that we should keep quiet on this subject until the election is over, and this might be one of the few things on which I agree with them. If Paul Foreman can't resist trading off his own personal interest in this runoff primary with that of a Democrat winning in November, Democrats should take notice.
I ask Democrats to vote for me, because it is so important that a Democrat be elected in November.