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I will not claim to be an expert – far from it – my life does not revolve around political circles. I actually have a life. But personally, I’m already sick of the U.S. House of Representatives race in our district. 

Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner sent out a notice Monday night essentially stating Rep. Steve Watkins voted against Israel by voting yes on the bill. Well, according to Watkins’ camp, that is not the case. 

To find out the reasoning behind his vote, I fired off a text to Watkins’ media person, Ron Kovach, and received an answer to the vote.

To begin, The Washington Post ran an article titled “Rebuking Trump, House Backs Measure Endorsing Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution” Monday. In a nutshell, which is generally not recommended when dealing with something as complicated as Israel and Palestine, the story began, “The House passed a symbolic measure Friday backing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – an implicit rebuke to President Trump that passed mostly along party lines.

“The measure was the latest example of House Democrats wading into the divisive realm of U.S.-Israel relations, an outgrowth of a broader controversy over the party’s weakening support for Israel’s right-wing government and its willingness to police seemingly anti-Semitic remarks by members of its ranks.”

The story continued, “Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), a Palestinian American who opposes separate states for Israelis and Palestinians, compared the notion of a two-state solution to racial segregation in the United States.

 “‘This resolution not only endorses an unrealistic, unattainable solution, one that Israel has made impossible, but also one that legitimizes inequality, ethnic discrimination, and inhumane conditions,’ she said. ‘Separate but equal didn’t work in our country, and I can’t see it (being) possible in other countries. Given our nation’s history of segregation, we should recognize when such injustices are occurring.’

 “‘If a Jewish American from Queens and a Palestinian American from Detroit, both proud Americans, can find common ground about the need for all people … to live in peace and security with the same rights to self-determination and dignity, that fills me with hope,’ (Rep. Alan) Lowenthal (D-Calif.) said.

“Joining Tlaib in opposing the measure were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).”

Kovach sent Watkins’ reasoning for voting the way he did on the Israel bill and stated, “Congressman Watkins voted in favor of the bill because of the inclusion of an amendment that would guarantee a commitment to ironclad support of $38 billion in military aid to Israel with no conditions. The five Republicans who supported the resolution were Reps. Tom Reed (N.Y.), Francis Rooney (Fla.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Bill Posey (Fla.) and Steve Watkins (Kan.).”

I try to stay middle of the road where politicians are concerned, and I deeply subscribe to the theory of peeling the onion to try to get to the reason people do the things that they do or vote the way they do.

One of LaTurner’s trusted staff members was formerly one of Watkins’ staff members, and, knows anything about Watkins that can be turned around or used against the incumbent. People read information, right or wrong, on Facebook and other platforms, and believe that information is correct. 

There is more to it, readers: Do your homework. Call your representatives; read multiple articles. Don’t always assume what you’re reading is the real deal – often it isn’t.

It’s only going to get deeper and dirtier, and we the people are in the splatter zone of the mud.

Jackie Taylor

Linn County News


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