Rusty Tomlinson

Q: Of the Green Party's ten key values, please list the three you feel are the most important and what relevance they offer to Texas voters.
A: All of the ten values are so important, that it is hard to pick three as more important than the others. For that reason, I am taking the liberty of combining some that I see as indispensable. Non-violence is central to my philosophy.. I have been a non-violent antiwar activist since 2003 and am currently a member of the High Plains Circle of Non-violence. Texas has an old west mentality, which is much worse here than where I used to live in Dallas. I think the one right people here would be most willing to die for, with the possible exception of the right to secede, would be the right to bear arms. It's scary to think of teachers or college students packing. As a retired teacher, I know that there is nowhere a determined student can't get into. This is also a very pro military district, and the congressperson, I would like to oppose chairs the House Armed Services Committee. I want to present and promote alternatives to military aggression, such as dialogue, and negotiation. The military budget is obscene. What we could do with the half a trillion, give or take, to help the needy and build a more sustainable world, even after we retrain defence contractors, is mind boggling. I will propose that the military budget be not cut, but slashed. Of course, non violence is not just the absence of violence, but a well integrated system of resistance using the tools of picketing, non compliance, boycott and all the others. MLK said, "We are going to win, and when we do, you will be glad we did." For that reason, change through non violence, is very preferable to change through violence. Now, for the values I want to combine. I think social justice and equal opportunity is another value that can't be dispensed with, but, of course, it must include feminism and gender equity, and respect for diversity, so I would like to group them all together. The disparity between the earnings of white men, on the one hand, and minorities and women, is totally unacceptable. We must make it a priority to battle sexual and other violence against women (and children also), including verbal and mental abuse. We must fight racial profiling, which is commonly practiced by the Amarillo police. We must welcome people of various races and nationalities, and make sure that they are provided with all the opportunities that we are able to provide. This is part of what I would use the money slashed from the defence budget for. Close the detention centers where immigrants are held without being charged Ecological wisdom; Scientists are saying we are in the middle of a major extinction event, which will probably include humans, and both the world temperature and sea level are rising faster than was foreseen This issue won't wait. This area is heavily into both oil and gas exploration, including fracking. The Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant has high explosives seeping towards the Ogallala Aquifer, which has already been found to contain uranium. Fortunately, there is also a lot of research into wind energy here, but as I said above, this is an issue that won't wait. We have to fund the research, so that it can become general use instead of research. We have to speed the replacement of gasoline powered vehicles and force industries to drastically cut their emissions. We are past the point of asking.


Q: Do you disagree with anything in the GPTX platform? If so, please explain why you disagree.
A: No


Q: What is your experience with the consensus decision-making process?
A: I first learned about consensus from Joy and Esther, two very active members of the Dallas County Greens. It's much more democratic than voting and it is fascinating to watch a disagreement move through compromise to something much better than either of the original ideas.


Q: Do you believe Greens have relevance in the USA? Please list why you believe/don't believe a third party possesses relevance in the US electoral system.
A: Both of the major parties are bought and paid for by the corporations, so that neither is going to fight for peace, the environment, human rights, or anything else that will hurt the corporations' bottom lines.


Q: Are you active with your county Green Party? Please list why if you are not. If you are active, please list your primary activities with your county party.
A: There is no county party here.:(


Q: In your race, please list the top five talking points that you would cover in a debate with your opponents. With each talking point, please show how the Green Party's ten key values or platform would provide a solution.
A: 1). Mr Thornbberry chairs the House Armed Services Committee In any debate, I would oppose his insistence on increased military spending and increased employment by military contractors in the district. I would push for diversion of the military funds to sustainable forms of energy, such as wind and sun, of which there is an abundance in the district, I would divert the funds to free public education through college and to helping those most in need. From the platform, it would support a sustainable economy. From the Ten Key Values, it would promote ecological wisdom, non-violence, community based economics, global responsibility and focus on future sustainability 2). Considering the dire condition of the planet, I would push for massively increased funding into sustainable energy, industry and transportation, a massive education program into ecological responsibility and negative population growth. Industries would be given deadlines to switch to sustainable energy sources. This would promote the key values of ecological wisdom, global responsibility and future sustainability. 3) I would push for the United States to give up its drive for global dominance and hegemony, and strengthen the United Nations to enforce the requirements of its charter and to be the final arbiter in international disputes. I would push for the elimination of the five permanent members of the security council and remove their veto powers. This would support the Key Values of non-violence, respect for diversity and global responsibility. 4). I would make it a national priority to have the United States meet its obligations under Article 6 of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, by entering into sincere and good faith negotiations to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal by the 2020 review conference. This would support the Key Values of non-violence, and global responsibility, not to mention the damage being done to the environment by the nuclear weapons industry. As far as nuclear power plants go, they would be eliminated under the switch to sustainable energy, mentioned above.  5). I would push for the creation of citizens' advisory groups, made up of females, the disabled, ethnic and racial minorities and people with alternate sexual preferences, and activists from these groups. They would have the power to suggest and push for legislation affecting their groups. This would support social justice and equal opportunity, feminism and gender equity and respect for diversity.


Q: List your constituency's characteristics and three ways you will reach out to them.
A: My constituency is a largely rural one, with the cities of Amarillo and Wichita Falls. They are the descendants of pioneers, with strong attachments to their values of rugged self sufficiency. One of their most cherished rights is the right to bear arms. They are strongly Republican. There is a great discrepancy between the wealthy and the poor. They are very supportive of laissez faire capitalism. They are strong supporters of the military. There is still a lot of segregation and racial prejudice. 1) I want to reach out to the untapped poor in this district. As I said, they are numerous, they live in the parts of town that the wealthy. never see. They could be a major power for change. I propose events which would integrate diverse groups letting them know that they are not so different.. 2) I would like to turn the people away from their support of the military and military contractors. I propose to do that by pushing for dialogue, compromise and an appreciation of the diversity around the world, even the diversity of ideas and positions. As MLK said, "We must use the weapon of love." 3) As I said above, windmill generators are already sprouting up around the prairie. I propose to educate the constituency on the damage done by the petroleum industry and accelerate the switch to wind and solar power.


Q: List your opponents, their strengths and weaknesses and what is needed to win against them.
A: As of yet, there is no Democratic candidate. The only candidate running is the incumbent, Mac Thornberry. His district has been rated as the most Republican district in the country by the Cook Partisan Voting Index. He has a ranch outside of Clarendon. He serves on the Council of Foreign Relations and chairs the House Armed Services Committee. He is critical of Obama's fight against ISIS, the Iran Nuclear Deal and the "pivot" to East Asia. Thornberry's voting record has been staunchly Republican. Shortly after the attacks of 9/11, he wrote a bill to create a Department of Homeland Security. In 2011, he chaired the House Armed Services Terrorism Panel. In 2007, he criticized Obama's arms control treaty with Russia, for outlawing the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. He proposed the repeal of the estate tax and got tax credits for oil producers with marginally producing wells. As a rancher, he wrote a bill that would have given ranchers $40 billion in savings, but it died in the House. Thornberry favors the use of oil, gas, nuclear and alternative energy. He has voted for drilling on the outer continental shelf and to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. I would open my campaign by stressing the need for dialogue, trust, compromise and tolerance between nations with differences. I would promise to drastically reduce the size of our military and its budget. I would work to change our nation from the world's only superpower, to an equal partner in the family of nations, ready to work as a an equal. I would work to join the Kyoto Accords. I would educate the electorate about the precarious position of our world, and promise to work for the elimination of fossil and nuclear fuels, increase public transportation and drastically cut the amount of emissions industries are allowed to emit until fossil fuels are eliminated. A growing portion of the Texas population is ethnic minorities and other economically deprived groups. They are soon to be a plurarity, and I would like to work to get them to be an active part of the electoral process. So Thornberry's strength would be the strong Republican district and his strong Republican voting history. His weakness would be the groups I just mentioned, the growing group of have nots created by his Republican economy.


Q: List the name of your treasurer and any other campaign workers you plan to have working with you.
A: My campaign treasurer is Aaron Simonds. As of yet, there is no one else working on the campaign.


Q: How do you plan to raise money for your campaign? How much money do you plan to fundraise? Please include a copy of your prospective budget(s).
A: I certainly plan to stay away from corporate contributions! I plan to set up a Facebook page, on which I will solicit contributions. I intend to use grass roots methods to raise money, such as selling t shirts and buttons, veggie burger and dog cook outs, although I won't charge $500 per plate. Maybe I could charge some of these conservatives to throw balls at me in a dunking booth. We have no budget yet.


Q: Please provide a profile with background information that is not addressed by the above questions. Feel free to list alma mater, employment, family, hobbies, etc.
A: I am a 63 year old retired special education teacher. I taught students classified as emotionally disturbed/behavior disordered, who were unable to function in the regular classrooms. I attended the University of Corpus Christi, New Mexico Highlands University, where I earned a BS in psychology, and West Texas A&M, where I earned my Texas Elementary and Generic Special Education Teachers' Certificates. I taught in Fort Worth and Dallas. While in Dallas, I was active with North Texas for Justice and Peace, the Greater Dallas Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Cesar Chavez Task Force, the Crawford Peace House and Camp Casey. While in Amarillo, I have been active with Occupy Amarillo, the Peace Farm, the High Plains Circle of Non-violence, the NPT Article 6 Coalition, Your Second Coat, an organization to help the homeless and Amarillo Citizens for Open Government, an organization dedicated to set up a citizens' review board to monitor police behavior. I have also been on a Christian Peacemakers' Team delegation to a depleted uranium plant in Jonesboro, TN. In 2006, I filed to run as a Green against Kay Bailey Hutchison and Barbara Radnofsky, but we didn't get enough signatures to appear on the ballot. Currently, I am writing a history of the antiwar movement in Crawford, TX.

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