|By Scott Waguespack (kituione) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 11:29 am: Edit Post|
I am presently working on Hank Perritt's congressional campaign in Illinois, so my opinion leans towards the passage of the Farr bill. I also want to make you aware of some of the background of Mr. Kirk's PC bill introduction. I am not promoting my candidate's election in this message. I am speaking as an RPCV.
Roger Landrum, Dave Hibbard and many others PCVs and RPCVs have put much time and effort into working on a new vision for the Peace Corps, yet it seems that Congressman Kirk has not absorbed any of those ideas.
Kirk's bill is election year padding that serves no purpose in promoting the values of the Peace Corps.
Instead of talking about the need to keep separate the Peace Corps from the TIPS program, he recently praised the idea of vols being "deployed" around the world and spreading democracy.
In forums, he claims to be the one who drafted the bill that expanded the Peace Corps in the mid-nineties, but Kirk has also promoted increased funding for the military in Columbia, for cutting back on AIDS assistance in Africa, and for funding star wars type missile programs.
If he cannot understand and consistently talk about the core issues regarding the Peace Corps, I don't think he should be using this bill as padding to show his "peaceful" side.
We need to actively support Representative Farr's bill. Farr's bill far outdoes Kirk's in many respects and shows a clear and concise understanding of the needs of volunteers in the field.
If we do not stand up, Kirk's bill passes easily and muddies the water for every future volunteer working to maintain Peace Corps independence.