Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beware of politicians/opportunists

There is no secret that I am an advocate for responsible health reform. I am especially an advocate for caring for the elderly.

I believe that many physicians (and even families) effectively

1. dump their patients/loved ones in nursing homes,

2 in some cases, families leave the state of the dumping and in some cases physicians never return families' phone calls,

3. move on with their lives and

4. perhaps show up for a funeral after virtual strangers (certainly not the physician or family) held their loved What happens to elderly people is called "rationing of care" and it is on the horizon to happen to all of us under Obama's plan.

I wanted to make a change. I volunteered for Campaign for Responsible Health Reform and other health care related groups before "health care was cool."

As I was carrying for my very ill dad, I was approached by a United States congressional candidate and asked to assist in the campaign.I told the candidate that I am passionate about health care. He expressed that he too was passionate. So I decided against my better judgment to (temporarily) leave the grassroots, Glenn Beck movement and join a establishment political party - Republican.

This past week, I learned/realized/accepted that the candidate is apparently not as passionate about health care as I expected. As campaign manager, I scheduled the candidate to attend a forum for physician candidate. It was arranged by an incredible organization: United States Chamber of Commerce Campaign for Responsible Health Reform (#RHR).

The candidate is not a physician but I wanted him to support the program and the physician candidates. The candidate called me and actually snapped at me "why am I here if I do not get to speak"? Wow. At that moment and with the angry tone of voice, the candidate's question spoke volumes about his motives and his interest in assuring that our country is safe from nationalized health health care.

The grassroots efforts are important. Last summer, we made people listen. But perhaps like many of you, I gravitated to a congressional candidate that at some point cared less about the big picture of what was going on in our country and more about himself and the petty and predictable squabbles among campaign workers.

We actually had a meeting yesterday where the candidate set me up to be (in the Easter season) stoned by the people who are supposed to work for me and follow my directions for the campaign.

1. The campaign's treasurer (who told me he has a "still" and brought Moonshine to a republican debate) told me he did not trust me because I filed an FEC document to change the name of the Treasurer two times. The candidate (who professes to be a Christian and knew about the Moonshine) actually allowed this inexperienced man to yell and me. I was in tears.

My father died in January 2010 after my caring for him for 3 years. I gave that campaign my entire heart and soul. I was horrified that men were being allowed to yell at me about ridiculous items when I was the engine driving the campaign.

The treasurer records are chaos.

2. The campaign's campaign field operations (who has a temper that actually scares me) yells at me because I did not make enough telephone calls to invite people to an event 8 weeks after my dad died.

Again, the candidate just sat there as the man continued to yell at me for forgetting to bring palm cards or flash drives to events. The candidate knew I cared for my dad for three years every single day and that I did not miss a beat helping with the campaign after dad died.

I made the personal sacrifice because I believed this man was really grass roots and was different. I was mistaken.

The candidate knows I have delayed continued cancer treatment (the cancer did not "return" - it just remains) and orthopedic surgery until after the May 4 Primary because I believed with all my heart that the candidate cared about health care and would be a candidate for the people. He knows I take medicine for the cancer and orthopedic pain. Despite that knowledge, he yelled and encouraged other campaign member to do the same.

How does allowing men to yell at the campaign manager build a campaign team? How does that change Washington DC? It doesn't. I am heartbroken that I was apparently mistaken about the man who wants to represent my 13th District of North Carolina. I fear that we will be subjected to Brad Miller again.

My warning to grassroots and true patriots --- just because someone comes to your tea parties and yells in your bullhorn does not make them a true "founding father" style patriot. It makes them an opportunists. 

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