Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Why I am voting for Hillary Clinton on March 1

In her letter to the editor, Tela Zasloff of Williamstown writes: "Her 24 years of experience in national and world politics have transformed Hillary into the one and only candidate who is presidential."

To the Editor:

I first met Hillary Clinton in 1992 in Pittsburgh at a Bill Clinton rally during his first presidential campaign. Hillary shook my hand warmly with both of hers and thanked me for attending. For the next 24 years I watched her campaign for Senator from New York, her run for the presidency in 2008, and her service in the Obama administration as Secretary of State from 2008-2012.

Her New York Senate campaign was admirable for the way she listened carefully to the voters as she traveled up and down the state and responded to their questions sensibly and forcefully. Her 2008 presidential campaign was fraught partly with her natural attack mode and partly the result of bad advice from her advisors. Her service as Secretary of State was impressive and unique, for the version of our country’s principles and power diplomacy that she carried to the rest of the world.

Now, in her present campaign for the presidency, as she speaks across the country, those 24 years of experience in national and world politics have transformed Hillary into the one and only candidate who is presidential. For the first time in the 40 years I have worked in presidential campaigns, I actually enjoyed watching the Democratic debates.

Here’s why. In her determined and practical style, she makes clear where she stands:

Education: Make public college debt-free. Fund universal pre-K. Close tax loopholes for the wealthy.

Guns: Ban several types of assault weapons. Repeal protections for gun makers. Create a comprehensive background check system and close loopholes.

Healthcare: Give the government a role in setting insurance rates. Expand Obamacare.

Immigration: Continue and expand Obama’s programs to waive deportation. Give undocumented residents a path to legal status. Close all private immigration detention facilities, allow the undocumented to buy into Obamacare and encourage states to offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.

Jobs and Wages: $275 billion infrastructure/stimulus plan to improve roads, bridges, railways, airports and FAA technology. Tax credits for job provision. Raise federal minimum wage to $12 an hour and encourage states to raise it to $15.

Social Issues: A staunch supporter of legal access to abortions, of family planning, and of same-sex marriage. Lifetime advocate for minorities and women.

Taxes and Income Equity: Tax credits for the middle class, including for those caring for sick or infirmed family, for high out-of-pocket medical costs, for higher education, for businesses hiring apprentices and for businesses hiring felons. Raise capital gains taxes.

Israel: Work toward a two-state solution. Do not necessarily freeze settlement building.

Iran: Support framework for nuclear deal. Continue diplomacy efforts and some sanctions.

Islamic State: No boots on the ground. Use regional troops.

Trade: The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, as it currently stands, does not meet her bar for creating jobs, raising wages for Americans and advancing national security.

Let’s make sure Hillary is the Democratic nominee and our next President. Vote for her in the Massachusetts primary on March 1.

Tela Zasloff

Williamstown, Massachusetts

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