Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
8 comments

Life Arts

Former MN Senator Becky Lourey: Why Not Let Moral Principles Guide Governance?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (36 fans)

opednews.com


Coleen Rowley, Congressman John Murtha, Becky Lourey 2006 © G. Nienaber

It was late September 2006 and Minnesota was in the throws of mid-term elections. Coleen Rowley was waging an impossible uphill battle against incumbent John Kline for a congressional seat in the countryside south of Minneapolis. I was working the Rowley campaign, having taken six months off from writing to try to make a difference and help a real-life heroine. Rowley had consistently opposed the Iraq war since before it was launched, stating that there was no link to al Qaeda, as the Administration and her opponent, John Kline both claimed. Rowley was and is a 24-year veteran of the F.B.I. and Time Magazine “Person of the Year” in 2002 for her role as a whistleblower on intelligence failures prior to 9/11.

Congressman John Murtha was in town to give Rowley a boost, and the Rowley campaign staff had gathered at the Rosemount American Legion Post No. 65 that was literally bursting at seams with Rowley supporters. Congressman Murtha, Minnesota’s senior Congressman, Jim Oberstar (D-MN 8th), and Rowley were meeting with U.S. military veterans and the public.

Congressman Murtha, a 37-year Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who had served in the U.S. Congress since 1975, had recently taken the lead in Washington by proposing to redeploy American troops in Iraq with a resolution widely known as “The Murtha Plan.” FOX News was gathering for the kill, even though most local media was out covering the aftermath of a tornado that devastated a local community during the night .

But, someone else caught my eye. Virtually unnoticed, former State Senator Becky Lourey was standing quietly in the back of the room. Not months before, she had been the center of media attention as she bucked the party hacks in her quest for the gubernatorial endorsement. She lost that bid, and the media lights vanished in favor of the annointed DFL candidate who subsequently lost to current Republican vice-presidential option, Tim Pawlenty. But Lourey never lost the hard-earned moral high ground that had defined her political career from the beginning, when she became the first woman elected to represent her rural district in eastern Minnesota.


Minnesota Former State Senator Becky Lourey

During her run for governor, Lourey championed peace above all. Lourey had been a peace advocate even before her son, Army Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey, 40, died when his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. Matt was killed on May 27, 2005 over Buhriz, Iraq during his second tour of duty.

Well before Matt was killed, Lourey was adamantly opposed to the invasion of Iraq. A voice for the minority in the hopped-up days before the war, she authored an antiwar resolution signed by eighteen other Minnesota state senators in March 2003. She said she spoke out against the Iraq war because “this war is alienating us from the rest of the world, and I believe that this occupation in Iraq is making Americans less safe.”

Matt Lourey was a hero. He did not have to go back the second time and had also served time in Bosnia. After his death, Lourey received many emails from soldiers whose lives were saved because of him.

In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now after Matt died, Lourey made the point that needs to be made now as we consider our presidential choices and our moral obligations as citizens to be actively engaged in policy.

“We must have an honorable, honest commander-in-chief who directs the work that our armed forces do. There is a serious distinction between the irresponsibility of bad decisions by a commander-in-chief and the responsibilities that the army folks hold among themselves for protecting each other in conflicts like this,” Lourey said.

The irony of the diminutive farm woman with the huge convictions standing alone dressed in a navy suit with the Gold Star on her lapel was enough to take my breath away. There was only one thing to do, and I walked to the back of the Legion Hall, tripping over local FOX-TV television cables along the way, and guided her gently to a seat next to Congressman Murtha. Murtha was there to not only support Rowley, but to take on the mainstream network talking heads that were savaging him.

Even Tim Russert would go for Murtha’s jugular on Meet the Press weeks later and asked Murtha, “Congressman, when you heard those words, ‘Cowards cut and run, Marines never do,’ how did you feel?”

This, after Russet made editorial comment after editorial comment about how leaving Iraq would result in a “bloodbath.”

This past March 19, 2008, private citizen Becky Lourey gave a speech at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda. It was the fifth anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq.

Lourey's "Lost" Speech Asks Big Questions

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dian Fossey and the Gorilla Killings

Should the World Boycott the Beijing Olympics? The Horrific Story of the Falun Gong

Haiti Watch: Disease Threatens Infants and No Plans to Stop It

Fox-Owned National Geographic Uses Gorillas as Cover for Exploitation of Congo

"Sticks in Vaginas:" This Is What a Massacre Looks Like

Baghdad on the Bayou Redux: Tab Benoit Interview

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Thank you for bringing this admirable person to ou... by sometimes blinded on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 at 7:59:03 AM
I have given up on politics. Senator Lourey was pa... by Georgianne Nienaber on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 at 8:08:08 AM
She was the anti-Pawlenty, but the Dem party was a... by Kathlyn Stone on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 at 8:12:11 AM
We need people like her to inspire and uplift us a... by Georgianne Nienaber on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 at 8:16:58 AM
It is heartening to read this article. There must ... by Bonnie Phillips on Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 at 1:01:20 PM
Becky is a real ace.  I was hoping that she w... by Bryan Emmel on Thursday, Aug 14, 2008 at 2:31:40 AM
I absolutely reject ratings system. I don't ca... by Georgianne Nienaber on Thursday, Aug 14, 2008 at 2:10:58 PM
     Your work and writing sta... by mikel paul on Friday, Aug 15, 2008 at 12:39:28 PM