I read with interest your revealing profile ("Congress: The Dating Game," March 15) of multimillionaire congressional candidate Stacey Lawson, but I wasn't planning to comment publicly until I read about her offensive voting record on the NCJ blog. Apparently she only voted four times during a five-year period in which there were 12 elections. She didn't even vote in the 2008 presidential election! Worse still is her excuse: She said she "felt disenfranchised."

I find it insulting that a wealthy corporate executive chose to describe her decision not to vote in that way. Disenfranchisement is being deprived of your right to vote. Generally, low-income and minority voters are the targets, as was the case in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. I have heard nothing that indicates Lawson had a legitimate reason to feel disenfranchised -- she simply chose not to vote.
We should never forget those who fought and died for the rights we now enjoy. As a local elected official, I know I wouldn't be where I am today without the courageous efforts of the suffragettes. Lawson's repeated refusal to vote shows a lack of respect for our history. As a businessperson and a congressional candidate, she wouldn't be where she is today if it were not for those brave women.

Lawson's attitude toward civic participation is typical of wealthy vanity candidates. Like failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Lawson didn't vote when she was an executive raking in the cash. Now that she has relocated from San Francisco to our congressional district to launch her political career, she's tapping her corporate connections in an effort to buy the election.

I'm supporting Norman Solomon, an independent progressive Democrat for Congress. He has been in the trenches for decades, doing the hard work of organizing for social and economic justice. In the interest of full disclosure, my partner is a paid field coordinator for the Solomon campaign, but this letter was inspired by Lawson's actions. I am personally offended by her disdain for voting rights. Solomon's commitment and integrity make him the best person for the job and the only viable candidate we can trust.

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Eureka

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