I love this quote from Ezra:
“Word is that Congresswoman Hilda Solis is to be named Labor Secretary. I’d write a long post on this, and maybe I will later, but I think most of what I’d say is better expressed by the fact that Harold Meyerson just ran into my office doing everything but clicking his heels in the air.”
I love this anecdote from Harold Meyerson even more:
“In 1996, when she was a back-bencher (and the first Latina) in the California State Senate, Hilda Solis did something that no other political figure I known of had done before, or has done since: She took money out of her own political account to fund a social justice campaign. Under California law, the state minimum wage is set by the gubernatorially-appointed Industrial Welfare Commission, and California’s governors for the preceding 14 years, Republicans George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, hadn’t exactly appointed members inclined to raise that wage. So Solis dipped into her own campaign treasury and came up with the money to fund the signature-gatherers to put a minimum wage hike initiative on the California ballot. The signature gatherers gathered the signatures, the measure was placed on the ballot, it passed handily in the next election, and California’s low-wage janitors and gardeners and fry and taco cooks, and millions like them, got a significant raise.”
Even if you don’t like the minimum wage, you have to like a politician who’s willing to spend money from her campaign account on a cause other than herself. I find that incredibly heartening.
The main reason for this post, though, is to give me an excuse to post this picture of Tom Vilsack dressed as the crocodile from Peter Pan:
He’s dressed up this way for a literacy event hosted by his wife. I may not like his views on ethanol, but I do like anyone who is willing to look silly in a good cause. Far too few politicians are.