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Lois Herr for Congress in PA

Hi everyone! My name is Lois Herr, and I'm the Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 16th District.
In my view, policymaking in Washington has become severely disconnected from our sense of right and wrong. Instead of caring for the least fortunate among us, we push the poor off Medicaid rolls and give tax breaks to those who don't need them. Instead of investing in clean, renewable sources of energy and keeping the environment safe for our children, we pass out massive giveaways to oil companies. And instead of considering issues of war and peace with the utmost humility and deliberation, we swagger into conflict unprepared and indifferent to the aftermath. We can do better, and we must - we're all in this together.
I look forward to our conversation, everyone! In the meantime, please check out my website - www.loisherr.us - to learn more about the campaign.


Posted by Jessica Falker on June 12, 2006 at 02:52 PM | Permalink


Welcome Lois! - and thanks for joining us tonight. It sounds as though you're "right on" with describing the current administration in DC. But let's go right to the matter here - how do you see working with oil companies, amongst others, to use their huge profits to benefit society in general? Is there a right or wrong strategy - and how might you initiate any change?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 7:23:14 PM

Having years of corporate experience, I know that a corporation can be socially responsible. However, it seems that currently, that's out of vogue, especially in the oil industry.

We need to address the larger question of energy for the future, and that involves funding research and development in alternative energy. Wise corporations should see this as an opportunity, not a threat.

Posted by: Lois | Jun 12, 2006 7:55:16 PM

I'm often asked the question, "How can an underdog win?" We will win because people recognize the need for change. They are not happy with the national debt. They are angry with a government that cares more about profits for oil companies than it does for the welfare of average workers.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:02:42 PM

Lois - I think many corporations "are" seeing that opportunity and are actively engaged in research as well as cornering the "future" markets. Solar, wind and hydrogen fuel cells come readily to mind, but also biofuels - so that when the oil market collapses - they're already there to fill the void. This doesn't change the business for "us" only them.

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:03:40 PM

Here's another issue: is anyone paying attention to Social Security? The Republicans are still trying to privatize it. Social Security means what it says: it's social, not private.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:04:39 PM

When you say people are angry - how do they vent that anger - and how would you redirect that anger toward positive change?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:11:31 PM

Good point! We can do lots of things on our end, too. We can stop incentivizing oil drilling, and we can provide tax incentives for alternative energy development and deployment. Oh, and by the way, another thing we need to do is redirect funding to mass transit.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:11:33 PM


I appreciate the discussion that you are willing to undertake during a campaign. It is a rare candidate willing to voice their opinion when it is contradictory to what the masses wish to hear.

Swaggering into war is exactly what most of our politicians did for fear of having the wrath of public opinion speared by the Republican Party machine.

Posted by: Charlene | Jun 12, 2006 8:12:52 PM

To answer your question about voter anger: it's clear that activists are focusing their energies on electing progressives who will represent their point of view. In Pennsylvania in particular, voters recently expressed their displeasure by throwing out established incumbents. I want to work with these people within the political process, to bring them in to the process and show them that politics is a viable means for change, and not just a source of aggravation.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:15:47 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Charlene! Howard Dean pulled me into politics with his stand on the war, as well as his positions on social issues. While this country was on the brink of war, I heard Ted Kennedy eloquently describe what a just war is, and he came to the conclusion that the Iraq offensive could not be so justified.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:18:07 PM

Lois, What's the news on the street about the Republican's trying to still privatize social security?

Posted by: Charlene | Jun 12, 2006 8:19:43 PM

Charlene, in your part of the country, do you see a change in attitudes, a reflection of the national trends that we're seeing that put the president's and Congress' approval ratings so low?

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:21:51 PM

I suppose that gets us back to the young voter. Once again I was reading about Pierre Elliot Trudeau's rise to power in Canada. It was the youthful energy that excited the young - which followed him to victory - actually making politics interesting and exciting! So now we have "anger" and "exciting" as possible means toward an end. How do you see your campaign reach out and "excite" the voter?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:22:43 PM

Hey Charlene - about Social Security: while national news coverage has moved on to other issues, Republicans in the House are still working hard on legislation to privatize Social Security, and the agenda remains the same. The way to ensure that this issue doesn't come up again is to make sure that we have a Democratic Congress.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:24:08 PM

Good question, Bob. We're going to do this in big ways and small ways. In all our efforts - at events, on the web, and everywhere else - we're going to be very clear. We're going to speak plainly and honestly about the challenges we face. The other way we're doing this is by meeting people where they are - in small groups and housemeetings that foster honest, frank exchanges about our collective challenges and motivate people to be involved in the process. Our focus on young people will peak in the fall, when students come back to area colleges. (F&M, West Chester, Millersville, Elizabethtown, and others.) We're going to work closely with their Democratic clubs. In '04 and '05, students played a major role in getting out the vote here in the district.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:29:21 PM

Lois, I'm a fellow Dean supporter as well; I used to live in Vermont. Now, I live in Massachusetts; so I'm much better represented than many MViMV members.

I'm proudly represented by Congressman Tierney.

It's amazing to me that there are still so called Democrats out there supporting truly Republican moves, most recently: drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and giving away a municipality's rights to franchise the use of their rights-of-way for video/cable services. They both stink of corporate pandering!

Posted by: Charlene | Jun 12, 2006 8:33:18 PM

Speaking of Dean, I'm currently ranked in the top five in Democracy for America's ongoing online poll to determine who earns their next national endorsement. Charlene, I'd very much appreciate your vote!


Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:37:20 PM

Let's look at mass transit for a minute. I see this as a "have your cake and eat it too" mentality. TV adds continue to try to convenience us that we can continue with our old ways by using more efficient vehicles - of course that's only if you already own a gas guzzling monster of a machine. We're not changing behaviors - only making excuses to continue on our merry way - "thinking" we're doing something for the environment - not!! Mass transit is a "think" emotion - I want to "really" get rid of or change my travel patterns - my work situation, my social life - "but" only if "everybody else" is doing the same. How do we go about changing that?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:38:34 PM

Sorry, I'm a little slow keeping up with the conversation tonight; trying to watch the Stanley Cup too. ; )

Bob brings up a good point that exciting people is what it takes to get people to the poll. Too many folks have become disenfranchised through the years.

Lois, you mentioned that you've got corporate experience. Can you elaborate? Thanks!

Posted by: Charlene | Jun 12, 2006 8:40:06 PM

The primary defeats suffered by incumbents in Pennsylvania should encourage new candidates, people who have never run for office before, to get involved in the process. It's clear that voters want new faces and new voices. This is clearly a channel for our anger and energy. We can make a difference.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:40:53 PM

Bob: In Lancaster County, I was part of the growth management task force, which worked hard these past two years to develop a plan for smart growth. We see that one of the keys to avoiding sprawl is the revitalization of our cities and towns. We need local regulations that encourage mixed-use development and walkable communities and discourage development in rural areas. This is an issue I care a great deal about.

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:43:17 PM

Lois - great work with the DFA polling! I think I've been on your bandwagon for several years and continue to see you grow with your message. Let's hope that Pennsylvania "sees the light" and lets you go to DC and fight to make those changes. Your current polling is pretty impressive!

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:43:39 PM

Sure, Charlene. Over a period of 26 years, I worked for Bell Laboratories, AT&T, New York Telephone, and NYNEX. My roles varied from running telephone switching offices in Manhattan to leading executive discussions about the future. Based on my experience in corporate life, I wrote a book entitled, "Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace."

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:46:13 PM

Charlene - The Rexell Place is "indeed" intimidating - but I thought game 3 was pretty lame...;} Oil $$!!!!!

Posted by: Bob | Jun 12, 2006 8:46:27 PM

Thanks for the compliment, Bob, and thanks for the opportunity to do this tonight!

Posted by: Lois Herr | Jun 12, 2006 8:48:38 PM

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