August 30-September 6, 2006

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Nūz: Santa Cruz County News Briefs

A Bridge to Farr

Sam Farr got hugged, Sam Farr got sung to, Sam Farr got yelled at, thanked and given handfuls of signed postcards. Some asked Sam Farr to stop wars. Some told Sam Farr he wasn't doing enough. Some walked up to shake Farr's hand. A Vietnam veteran asked Sam Farr to give him a plane ticket so that he could fly to D.C. and tell George Bush something important.

Sam Farr got what he asked for last Monday, Aug. 7, and that was a Santa Cruz Town Meeting.

"I asked that the podium be brought down, because when we're in congress, when we want to speak we go down into the well, we don't go up on the stage, and I felt much more comfortable being in the well with the people rather than being on the stage up there," said Farr. "The stage is just not the best place to have a conversation, and that's kind of what we're going to do."

Among nearly 200 people gathered in the Vets Hall, Farr drew attention to the nation's fiscal situation, calling it "the worst fiscal situation we've ever been in in America," and next he moved on to the troubling political situation, emphasizing Republican domination of the country, rendering Democrats virtually impotent to change many things, including international conflicts.

While many Santa Cruzans expressed gratitude for, well, Farr's being a generally good guy, others asked what he's doing to end the war in Iraq, or to facilitate peace between Israel and Hezbollah. The answer, he offered, was to get more Democrats elected.

Liz Chamberlain, a Santa Cruz Democrat, spoke on behalf of the Citizen's Declaration of Peace in Iraq, a group "petitioning Congress to establish by Sept. 21, 2006, a concrete and comprehensive plan for a rapid end to the U.S. war in Iraq."

She asked any people in the room who had signed this document or felt solidarity with their requests to stand.

Nearly everyone in the room rose from their chairs.

Farr then signed her document, saying, "I'll do more than that, I voted for all those issues, and I will continue to do so," reminding the people that he was one of 10 members of Congress to vote against funding the war early on.

Earlier in his talk, Farr cited Thomas Jefferson's well-known adage that the power of the elected lies in the hands of the people.

Too bad most don't even vote.

Nūz just loves juicy tips about Santa Cruz County politics.

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