Editorial Endorsement: We like Mike, for Congress

From staff reports  Updated:   05/09/2012 

By Editorial --

The Lake County Publishing Editorial Board is proud to announce its endorsement of Congressman Mike Thompson for California's Fifth District.

Thompson knows Lake County, not just the issues, but the people.

He has an accessible, active and proactive presence in Lake County.

He is here year-round, not just around election time, addressing the challenges of a rural area that often has a muted voice.

We appreciate his dedication to the county and its needs.

Mike Thompson was first elected to represent California's 1st Congressional District in 1998.

He is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.

Thompson is the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus, member and former co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and the Blue Dog Coalition, which is composed of moderate Democrats committed to bipartisan problem solving.

He was the first Vietnam veteran elected to the California State Senate. He served in combat with the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant/platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade where he was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He was also an instructor at the Army's Airborne School. He is a longtime supporter of the V.A. clinic in Clearlake.

He is an advocate for education.

"I firmly believe that education is not only the foundation of opportunity, but the key to our country's future success. We must continue to ensure all of our students have equal access to education, while supporting our hard-working teachers. Although we face many challenges in education, we must work to improve educational opportunities for our children, helping create a stronger and more competitive workforce," Thompson stated.

He is a co-chair of the Congressional Rural Education Caucus. The caucus serves as an informal, bipartisan group of members working together to promote greater awareness of the needs and functions of rural school systems. He understands the needs of rural schools and visits the Lake County Schools regularly.

Thompson is forward-thinking. He is a member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, he supports policies that encourage the development of clean and renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, biodiesel, and wind power.

He is a co-chair of the Congressional Veterans Caucus, providing a voice for the 20 million military veterans of which 50,000 are in his district.

Thompson is a co-sponsor of H.R. 992, the Building American Jobs Act of 2011, which extends eight successful bond, tax credit, and loan guarantee programs to help finance infrastructure improvements.

He introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1982, The Community Forestry Conservation Act, to help preserve the working forests in California that people depend on for employment. This legislation provides a financing mechanism to protect forests for future generations and preserve and create jobs in rural communities such as ours.

As a member of the Blue Dog Task Force on Oversight and Regulatory Review, he is working to identify and modify burdensome federal regulations that could stifle economic growth and job creation.

"Federal government agencies issue over 8,000 regulations a year, often times without consulting other agencies that might have issued similar or possibly contradictory measures. The task force provides oversight to identify regulations that might hurt the creation of jobs," Thompson stated.

Thompson makes sure Lake County has access to information from Washington, D.C. immediately.

Following the Last State of the Union Speech, Thompson called our newsroom first to provide reaction and let people here know how the issues addressed on the Hill would impact Lake County residents.

He thought of Lake County before going out to celebrate his birthday that night.

Thompson returns calls and answers questions with a sense of directness, confidence and candor.

He is here when it counts, without the motivation of counting ballots.

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