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Pro-war Democrats 'cowards,' Greens charge; Lawmakers ignore pleas of mothers of dead soldiers, refuse to support measure calling for return of National Guard from Iraq

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (August 18, 2006) - Green Party candidates for state Assembly today called Democrats "cowards" for refusing to support - one Democratic Party lawmaker even ran from the committee to avoid voting - a measure calling for a return of the California National Guard from Iraq.

Assembly Joint Resolution 36 (Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley), failed in the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs late Wednesday on a 3-3 vote. It asked the Governor to call on the President and Congress to "initiate the return" of the National Guard "to the state." Hawaii and Montana have passed similar resolutions.

Mothers of slain soldiers in Iraq, or who have sons in the war zone, pleaded for the lawmakers to "send a message" that the National Guard is being abused in the war and needed to fight fires and floods. More than 2,000 California guard, and 100,000 guard overall, are in Iraq/Afghanistan, serving much longer tours than regular Army.

But Democratic Party leadership held the measure for nearly a year before even allowing it a committee hearing, and three Democrats either failed to vote or refused to attend the session, including Joseph Canciamillia (11th Dist, Martinez), Jenny Oropeza (55th Dist, Carson) and Ed Chavez (57th District, Industry), who fled the room to avoid voting.

"The actions of the Democrats on the committee demonstrates clearly that at the very best they are cowards; the worst is that they are thoroughly complicit with the Bush regime, and in some ways arguably more obscene," said Ricardo Costa, Green Assembly candidate (44th District, LA).

"I urge citizens to call the state legislature to account for opposing the will of the people of California. The majority of Californians oppose the war in Iraq. Our national guard should protect Californians rather than be used to further terrorism in other countries for the sake of corporate profits," said Cat Woods, Green Party State Assembly candidate (6th District, Marin/Sonoma).

"It is time for voters to take back control of a political and economic system that has become beholden to the very military industrial complex former President Eisenhower warned us about," said Peter L. Thottam, Green Assembly candidate for Assembly (53rd District, South Coast).

"The back-door draft must be stopped and the states can best do that. This Assembly needs a whole new group of elected leaders and true peace candidates in the Green Party can do that job," said David Minton Silva, a candidate for Assembly (34th District, Visalia).

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Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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