I was confused regarding George Hansel’s “progressive” stance while also being a member of the Republican Party, which I don’t consider progressive. I was curious about where he really stands on the issues that are important to me as a liberal. So I invited him to lunch to ask him directly.
Here’s what told me, to the best of my understanding, about where he stands. (If I have misunderstood him on any of these points I hope he will clarify.)
1. He said he doesn’t believe in government regulation for environmental issues and that individual businesses should be in charge of creating their own environmental policies.
2. He said he doesn’t think there’s as much money among the one percent as we think there is, and that he doesn’t think corporate tax rates should be raised.
3. He told me he supports immigration — we didn’t speak specifically about asylum seekers or DREAMers — (but his actions haven’t seemed, to me, to back that up).
4. He told me that he avidly supports abortion rights, but he also acknowledged attending an event where James O’Keefe (of the Planned Parenthood smear campaign) was the keynote speaker, not saying anything in opposition. (I’d love for Hansel to state publicly what he said to me: that he strongly supports abortion rights for women.)
5. Hansel also said he’s not a Trump supporter and that he’s in the Republican Party to improve it — to move it toward the middle of what he perceives as the extreme stances of both parties. But then Hansel told me that he has no interest in taking a “warrior” stance toward Republicans he disagrees with. (So, personally, I don’t see how he’s going to change the party.)
I concluded that his values, based on what he told me and what I know of his actions, don’t line up with mine.
What really bothers me about Hansel’s candidacy for mayor though, is the language he uses that makes him sound progressive, liberal and environmentally-minded — when in fact he actually aligns himself with much more conservative views and values.
That’s a matter of integrity, and party issues aside, I don’t want someone who, I feel, is not being completely truthful about his views, with an agenda I don’t like, to be the mayor of our wonderful city.
42 Douglass St.