Today two of Kingwood Area Democrats members (Karen Menke and Egberto Willies) were interviewed and quoted in yourkingwoodnews.com. The entire article may be read here. It was authored by Stefanie Thomas from the Kingwood Observer.
The rally organized by moveon.org was attended by Kingwood Area Democrats and other Kingwood are Progressives. Some of those attending were Sue Pilko, Deborah Mowery, Michele Michon, Karen Menke, Egberto Willies, Pam Spivey, Demitria McNaulty, among others.
The rally was a success and was also attended by the Kingwood Tea Party.
Monday’s stalemate in Congress over the debt ceiling prompted a protest at Congressman Ted Poe’s office in Kingwood on Tuesday, July 26, following a call to action by MoveOn.org, a national non-profit organization that claims to have a focus on nonpartisan education and advocacy.
Egberto Willies, president of the Kingwood Area Democrats, and approximately 20 supporters staged a peaceful protest to voice their concerns about a possible cap to the debt ceiling by Congress. The assembly faced a counter-protest initiated by leaders of the Kingwood TEA Party, which appeared with more than 30 followers.
“The debt ceiling debate that’s going on right now is really a joke. The reality is there is no crisis. This is a manmade crisis to use the debt ceiling as a way to hold America hostage,” Willies said. “They want to cut social programs, and they intend to use the democratic president to make this change so that in 2012 they can say a Democratic president was in concert with the Republicans to reduce entitlements.”
Karen Menke, a longtime Kingwood resident who relies on government programs like Medicare and Social Security benefits, says she is deeply troubled at the thought of what drastic cuts in those areas might do to her, but also her children and the country as a whole.
“These programs are vital. They are a safety net for all of us to keep people from the edge of poverty,” Menke said. “Some cuts are fine. They can tweak them, but to really cut them? The debt ceiling has to be raised because if we default, it’s going to be several years before the country can recover. Mortgage rates will go up, it will affect the world economy, people won’t want to loan to us. The debt ceiling has to be raised now and they can work on the budget afterward. To bring the country down like this is absolutely unconscionable. I can’t believe they would do this.”
According to Willies, the Republican Party’s plan to cap the debt ceiling is a clever attempt at manipulating the people to vote against their own interest, one he compared to the manipulations of oligarchs in his home country in Central America. Willies wasn’t shy to criticize the Kingwood TEA Party members attending the counter protest.
“As Democrats, we don’t stand for reduction of entitlements. We stand for responsibility, appropriate taxation. We stand for prosperity for all. But these guys stand for what I would call a selfishness that isn’t quite obvious – a Christianity that isn’t Christian, a morality that isn’t moral,” he said. “Most of these people are good people, but they’re so indoctrinated, they’ve been given a narrative that actually makes it look like what they’re doing is good for the country. But all these people here are voting against their own interest, and most don’t know it. A lot of the people here live paycheck to paycheck. They don’t realize that the economic decline that comes from the reduction they’re trying to get will have a material effect on their own pocketbook. They are misinformed. Ted Poe needs to let the Boehner plan fail.”