By Mike Gravel
In Latina Lista’s second installment of special blog posts penned by candidates in the 2008 presidential election, we welcome Senator Mike Gravel (GraVELL).
Senator Gravel moved to Alaska after he received his B.S. in economics from Columbia University. In Alaska, he built a real estate business before pursuing politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and was later elected to two terms in the U.S. Senate. He represented Alaska from 1969 to 1981.
While serving in the Senate, Senator Gravel was instrumental in getting the â€œsecretâ€ Pentagon Papers released, waged a five-month filibuster to end the military draft and introduced the amendment that authorized the construction of the Alaska oil pipeline.
He also founded several non-profit corporations dedicated to establishing direct democracy in the country â€œthrough the enactment by American voters of a federal ballot initiative called the National Initiative. The National Initiative proposes to let citizens vote for or against policy issues that affect their lives.
Senator Gravel announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential race on April 17, 2006.
Iâ€™m going to take the opportunity to tell you what no other politician has the guts to say.
Right now, Latino immigrants are Americaâ€™s new scapegoats.
I tell this to audiences around the country.
Senator Gravel explains to a young boy about the misuse of power by law enforcement.
Do you think itâ€™s a coincidence that our nation is in such a mess and our leaders are suddenly worried about undocumented workers?
Our schools are failing, we are in a disastrous war in Iraq, we have 2 million people in prison, our healthcare system is spinning out of control, and our economy is on the verge of collapse.
But our so-called leaders canâ€™t stop talking about â€œborder security?â€
Itâ€™s time to get real.
Like all immigrants, Latinos have made our country stronger. And we need to bring them into the system â€” not throw them out and bar the door.
We need an amnesty program so that all undocumented workers can be registered and protected.
We should no longer tolerate the underground economy that allows employers to avoid social security taxes and abuse their workers.
We need to get real about the â€œwar on drugs,â€ which is really a war on Latinos.
Latinos accounted for nearly half â€“ 43 percent â€“ of those convicted of federal drug offenses in 2000. Its time we stop the self-defeating drug war and devote those billions of dollars to treatment and education.
Whenever I say these things during the debates, the press calls me crazy. NBC even shut me out of the last debate because Iâ€™ve been challenging Hillary Clinton for supporting Bushâ€™s warmongering against Iran.
I urge you â€” if you want to hear me challenge the â€œreceived wisdomâ€ that targets you, please visit my website and give what you can.
Investing in the fight for your rights will always pay off.