Stephen Fournier

Attorney at Law

74 Tremont Street

Hartford, Connecticut 06105

Tel: 860 794 6718

stepfour@stepfour.com

 

I signed up with the Secretary of the State a few weeks ago as a write-in candidate for U. S. House of Representatives.  Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't support somebody like me.  I'm a known troublemaker and dissident, combative and uncompromising.  I resigned from a discredited Hartford Board of Education after 13 months in office to protest the misconduct of most of the other members.  A few months later, the Connecticut General Assembly dissolved that board.  It's a safe bet that Congress is no less venal a body, and I wouldn't expect to make a lot of friends there. 

My mission would be to confront the racketeers in government and bring them to a public accounting.  Real politicians can't do that sort of thing, because they have political debts, usually to these same racketeers.  I'm convinced that government is now organized principally to enrich privileged private parties:  war profiteers, government contractors, bankers, suppliers of critical services, like health care, and critical commodities, like energy, and other millionaires and billionaires. 

Congress can't act in the public interest, because these forces won't allow it, and they have the resources to back up their decrees.  Until members of Congress impose some accountability on their colleagues--miscreants like Tom Delay and Duke Cunningham and Dennis Hastert--the influence of corrupt wealth over government will increase, and the predation of the ruling class on ordinary people will continue.

I've taken many positions on many issues, and I haven't always been consistent.  A Hartford High/UConn education will do that for you.  I tend to be against war, but I did take the military oath, and I took it seriously, and I can't seem to shake it.  I wouldn't shoot anybody for the flag, but I like to think I would do it for the Constitution. 

I'm big on equality, but I want merit rewarded, too, and I demand that we recognize individual accomplishment, even at the expense of the mass of lesser performers.  At Hartford High, everybody had to go to the blackboard, and we were humiliated publicly when we failed there.  I wasn't for it then, but I am now. 

I've always opposed the death penalty, but I could support it if it were prescribed for grievous malfeasance. 

I love that we come from different cultures, and I know that ours would be a poorer nation if not for the preservation of ethnic values and traditions, but I'm also convinced that we fail without a social contract based on common values.  

I respect John Larson, the incumbent congressman, for standing up against the invasion of Iraq, but I think he's hobbled by political affiliations and doesn't have what it takes to restore government in the public interest.

I love driving, but I'm convinced that pushing a half-ton of metal around to transport one person is an irresponsible act. 

I hate nationalism, but I concede that we pass on a national identity to our children and that we fail at their peril to ensure the integrity of that legacy. 

I don't doubt the pressures applied to people who are trying to give a true account of events, but I believe the commercial news media have systematically disinformed us and that reporters have accommodated them in every particular.

I revere the rule of law, but I celebrate my criminal record.  I may be the only offender on my community service crew to frame his certificate of completion.  My criminal record was wiped clean, but I will always remember my two days on the chain gang, sweeping the gutters on Newton Street and clearing trash from a lot in Dutch Point.

I believe that the gravest social deficiencies—racism, ignorance, nationalism, poverty, violence—are rooted in corruption.

If I went to Congress, I would vote to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.  I would vote to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.  I would vote to repeal the so-called Patriot Act and to force the executive to obey our laws.  I would vote to resume the regulation of trade and industry.  I would vote to halve the prison population.  I would vote to phase out the combustion of fuel.    

I don't want to go to Congress, and I've been deferring this move every two years for a long time.  To get me to take the job, people would have to engage in an unusual act of citizenship.  I won't be on any ballot.  There won't be any yard signs or bumper stickers.  Voters will have to find out that I exist and remember to lift the little metal tab and write in my name.  It's almost impossible to get elected that way.  On the other hand, if you do get elected by write-in, you can reckon on a pretty strong mandate.  If I'm to be set loose in Washington, I'd better have the force of citizenship behind me.

I like to cast a write-in vote when I can, because I know it gets counted.  My wife Ruth works at the polls most years, and there's seldom much written on the roll of paper that shows the write-in votes, but they do get carefully counted, and that roll of paper is retained by the town as a permanent record.  And if you're a compulsive iconoclast like me, you'll be happy to have a write-in candidate available and the option to cast a protest vote on election day if you feel like it.

If you think this is a dumb idea, you’re not alone, and you can toss this letter in the basket.  If not, mention it to somebody you know in the Hartford congressional district.  Maybe pass a copy on to a neighbor, or stick it on the refrigerator.  You can find out what I do by following the links from my website, www.stepfour.com.  I'll speak to any group of one or more people.  I won't accept cash contributions. 

As I mentioned, I can't take this job except in consequence of an unusual act of mass citizenship.

 

Steve Fournier