Part of the Bay Area News Group

Is Harmer saying goodbye or hello?

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, January 7th, 2010 at 4:05 pm in 2010 election, Congress, Congressional District 10, congressional district 11.

David Harmer

David Harmer

This very curious email just came in from former Congressional District 10 GOP candidate David Harmer of Dougherty Valley.

It appears to be a message to the folks up on his campaign email distribution list. It’s a treatise on why he ran against John Garamendi, the Democrat who won the November special election.

It’s unclear why Harmer sent this message out now. But there have been rumors that the strong support he received in the CD10 race might push him to run in the neighboring GOP District 11 primary.

Here’s the message:

Already two months have passed since the election. Since then, I’ve been reflecting on why I ran, what we accomplished, and what lies ahead. May I share some of my thoughts with you?

When the vacancy occurred in California’s 10th Congressional District, I understood the odds. The district boundaries had been drawn to dilute Republican voting strength, dividing my city, my county, and my school district. It worked: fewer than 29% of the district’s registered voters were Republicans, and no Republican congressional candidate had gotten more than 35% of the vote.

But motivated by love for my family, our country, and the Constitution, and desiring to do my part to help preserve the freedoms that I perceived as under siege, I ventured to beat the odds.

I chose to run because I love freedom, and I’m alarmed by Congress’s encroachments upon it. Freedom means that we enjoy the fruits of our own labors, with government entitled to only the minimal share necessary to fulfill its constitutional duties. Freedom means that we make wise choices and enjoy the rewards of success, or make foolish choices and suffer the consequences of failure — but they’re our choices.

Now federal policy is trying to prevent failure. But we can’t suppress the freedom to fail without commensurate suppression of the freedom to succeed.

I am appalled by the bailouts begun under the Bush Administration and accelerated under its successor. In essence, the greatest failures in American industry stood arm in arm with the U.S. Treasury and said to the taxpayer: “We’re going to make you a deal you can’t refuse: heads we win, tails you lose. We’re going to take imprudent risks, employ extravagant leverage, or mismanage our businesses into insolvency. So long as the risks pay off, we pocket the profits. When they blow up, you cover the losses.”

The executives, shareholders, and bondholders who took imprudent risks should suffer the consequences. Instead, federal policy subsidizes them. When we subsidize irresponsibility and waste, we get more of them. When we penalize independence, integrity, industry, self-reliance, thrift, prudence, and discipline, we get less of them — and less freedom.

A similar dynamic is at work in the pending health-care reform bill. Suffused with mandates, taxes, and penalties, it illustrates Mencken’s dictum that the urge to save humanity almost always cloaks the urge to rule it.

Likewise, the so-called stimulus isn’t stimulating anything but federal spending — leading to record-shattering budget deficits and an unprecedented rise in the national debt, impeding economic recovery now and burdening generations to come.

I ran for Congress because I wanted to grow the economy, not the government. I wanted to balance the budget by controlling spending, not raising taxes. And I wanted to liberate small businesses from excessive taxation and regulation so they could once again prosper and create new jobs.

Most of all, I ran to be able to tell my children that when the opportunity arose, I did everything within my power to keep them free.

For your support in that endeavor, I am most grateful.

Sincerely,

David Harmer

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