There is, said Patricia Fontes, who is challenging United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in the upcoming Democratic primary, a desperate need in the peace movement to reach a wider audience. “What we really need is something so unusual, something that’s so spectacular that it would draw public opinion and therefore we’ll get chance to put our position to a larger group,” said Fontes. “So in a way this candidacy of this 80 year-old lady is part of that idea.”

Though the wind interfered with the audio from time to time, I enjoyed a wide ranging interview with Fontes. In addition to the military we also spoke about Whitehouse’s commitment to natural gas as a “bridge fuel.”

“He never says it’s the bridge between what and what,” said Fontes. “I say it’s the bridge between ‘not yet’ and ‘too late.'”

On his environmental record, Fontes says Whitehouse, “…doesn’t have a record. He has a record of talk. Does he have a record of walking the walk? … If [Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo] says ‘Trust the process’ [Whitehouse is] going to adopt the ‘trust the process’ line, which everybody knows that people are not trusting the process.”

[“Trust the process” has become the standard response from Rhode Island politicians like Gina Raimondo and Sheldon Whitehouse to Rhode Island residents concerned about the Energy Facilities Siting Board’s ongoing process to decide on Invenergy’s proposed $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant aimed at the pristine forests of northwest Rhode Island.]

Whitehouse doesn’t resonate with the average Rhode Islander, says Fontes. Whitehouse, “would do himself a favor, it seems to me, if he showed himself not working in synchronization of people of the same class, the same background, the same universities – but would take the part of the ordinary people who elect him term after term,” said Fontes. “You don’t get the impression from Whitehouse that he is feeling what the grassroots feel.”

You can watch the entire video below, my apologies for some of the audio:

See also:

Pat Fontes is running for United States Senate

Pat Fontes for United States Senate

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Pat Fontes is probably a sincere and dedicated person,and we do need a stronger peace movement, but attacking Senator Whitehouse is the wrong priority and is counterproductive in that it wastes resources, makes the issue seem personal (“doesn’t resonate with the average Rhode Islander” whatever that means) and I think annoys most of the environmental community that appreciates his efforts in Congress. Attacking Whitehouse, one of the most pro-environment Senators in Congress, and generally a voice for moderation on foreign affairs also risks giving the seat to a Republican as the GOP thinks Whitehouse is somewhat vulnerable and they attack him in nasty ways whenever they can. That would be another vote for McConnell, the 5-4 Supreme Court right-wing majority, the repeal of health care, tax giveaways to the rich, unregulated guns, underfunding the EPA, transit, ….etc etc I’m strongly for Whitehouse, we don’t need another disaster as happened when… Read more »