Tim Carpenter had been the longtime face of progressive politics in Orange County before leaving in 2002 to become a top organizer for Dennis Kucinich's presidential bid followed by his current post: national director of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), which is based in Carpenter's new home state of Massachusetts. The PDA's "Health Care NOT Warfare" campaign brought him back home to Orange County in October, when he campaigned for local Democrats, including Debbie Cook and Steve Young, who shared that vision.
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Neither Cook nor Young won their congressional races in November, but President Barack Obama's victory kept the PDA's hopes for single-payer healthcare alive, so much so that the group is making a California swing that ends Saturday at the Democratic Party's state convention in Sacramento.
And so, Carpenter will be back Tuesday evening in the same Orange union hall that hosted his last PDA visit, and he'll be surrounded by pretty much the same cast of characters. The Town Hall Meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. at Teamsters Local #952, 140 South Marks Way, Orange, features as speakers: Carpenter; Teamsters Local #952 Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Officer Patrick Kelly; 44th Congressional District candidate Bill Hedrick; and PDA California/OC Chapter leader Dr. Bill Honigman.
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee has joined PDA in sponsoring the Golden State trip, which has been endorsed by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), who is carrying legislation to set up a single-payer healthcare system in the U.S.
Carpenter maintains that the experience of other countries shows that single-payer is the only system that can provide universal care while lowering costs, and that it would create an estimated 2.6 million jobs in health-care and related industries in the U.S. "PDA remains committed to the single-payer solution," says Carpenter, "and we will continue to push for it inside and outside the beltway."