Tag Archives: Rep. Mike Thompson

Rep. Mike Thompson: ‘Trump an enemy of the state’ following ‘armed insurgence, treasonous effort to topple our government’

Congressman Thompson: ‘Trump an enemy of the state’

Hopes 25th Amendment, impeachment ousts president

Vallejo Times Herald, by Richard Freedman, January 7, 2021 UPDATED: 6:24 p.m.

With 24 hours to take a breath, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson hasn’t wavered. He wants Donald Trump ousted, no matter that the one-term president’s time expires at noon, Jan. 20.

After Wednesday’s siege by an unruly mob at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the congressman Tweeted that he’s “calling on the Vice President to initiate proceedings under the 25th Amendment to gather the Cabinet and remove the President from office. On this dark day for our nation, we need to stand up and end this immediately. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake.”

In a 20-minute phone interview Thursday afternoon, Thompson reiterated that he “absolutely” wants Trump’s reign finished immediately.

“We need to do whatever we can to remove him from this position of power,” Thompson said. “In addition to that, he needs to be impeached for a second time. The articles of impeachment have been drafted and I’ve signed onto that effort. I believe it should be done as quickly as possible.”

There’s no waiting out Trump’s term, Thompson emphasized.

“You saw how much damage he did yesterday — one day. I’m frightened to think about what else he could do,” Thompson said.

Rep. Mike Thompson. (Rich Freedman–Times-Herald)

Trump “is completely off the rails. He’s become an enemy of the state,” said Thompson, believing the president incited the rioters to seize the Capitol building “to try and prevent a peaceful transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden.

“He set up a coup attempt yesterday (Wednesday), trying to encourage the vice president to steal this election,” Thompson said, calling the siege aftermath “a sad, sad day in this country.”

Trump “encouraged people to break the law, take up laws against their own country and march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transition. He asked them to march with him, but when they started marching, he went back to the White House,” said Thompson. “That speaks volumes to what kind of person he is.”

Explaining the lack of law enforcement to help thwart the Capitol siege “is the $64 million question,” said Thompson, adding that he sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “asking to do a top-to-bottom review to find out what went wrong and that we ensure it never goes wrong again.”

Thompson said he also sent Pelosi a text Wednesday night requesting the head of the Capitol State Police be terminated.

“Folks that run security should be fired by morning,” Thompson said. “Whomever was in charge not only put our institution of representative government at risk, but put at risk of the lives of every person in that Capitol building, every staff person, every member of the House, every janitor. And they put the life of every cop at risk by putting them out there ill-prepared to do the job they were asked to do.”

Thompson said he was safely in his office when the mob entered the Capitol, though he was evacuated once when “some kind of explosive device” was located and a second time when shots were fired.

“When hooligans broke through security, I was over in the library,” Thompson, managing to quip, “I don’t think they could find a library with a GPS.”

Seriously, added Thompson, “they need to arrest every one” of the infiltrators “and try them for treason.”

“They call themselves ‘patriots’ but they are really traitors,” Thompson said.

Four people died during the siege, including one woman by gunfire.

“I think the president bears full responsibility for what happened,” Thompson said. “He did this. He did this whole thing. He convinced people to participate in a coup. That’s why he needs to be impeached.”

Thompson said Trump will “definitely be impeached by the House, I’m sure of that. I hope the Senate drums up some courage since they didn’t last time.”

Thompson sees a window of opportunity.

“The dam is starting to break. Some Republicans are calling for his removal. I move to convict him,” Thompson said.

Though 9/11 and school shootings “were terrible, this is in a different league,” Thompson said. “It’s armed insurgence with a treasonous effort to topple our government. It’s an attack on the institution, an attack on democracy, an attack on our republic.”

Almost lost in the scuffle — Democrats flipped the Senate earlier this week, thanks to Georgia, with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff emerging with run-off wins.

“That’s a shining light in all of this,” Thompson said, reflecting on 500-plus bipartisan bills languishing on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s desk.

With McConnell on the verge of becoming Senate minority leader and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaker in a potential 50-Democrat, 50-Republican vote, “it’s now a different story,” said Thompson, awaiting the Inauguration Jan. 20.

“Everybody I know — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — don’t want a revolution. They want a return to normalcy,” Thompson said. “It’ll be a much better world.”

COVID-19: Mike Thompson survey suggests constituents want caution in reopening

Strong support for more Fed funding for public services also noted

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson listens to a question from one of his constituents at the Lower Lake Coffee & Cream Cafe in 2019 during a question and answer event.
Vallejo Times-Herald, by Lake Co Record Bee, May 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) has released the results of a coronavirus relief survey that polled constituents about their experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey was conducted from May 1 through May 8 and results include answers from 4,605 respondents. The survey was emailed out to constituents via Thompson’s mail records list as well as circulated via press reports and Thompson’s social media accounts. Respondents were chosen by self-selection.

Among other things, results suggest a majority of Thompson’s constituency is in support of “cautiously” reopening the economy to prioritize public health, while a significant minority is in support of opening up more quickly to benefit businesses.

“Despite social distancing guidelines that keep us apart, I want to ensure I am doing everything I can to connect with people in our community and ensure their needs are met during this crisis,” said Thompson in a statement. “That’s why I launched my Coronavirus Relief Survey and why I am glad to have input from more than 4,000 people in our district. The results are clear—people want more support from the Federal government. Nearly everyone polled supports expanding the programs started in the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the expanded unemployment insurance program. The vast majority also favor a cautious approach to opening up our community to ensure the health and safety of our neighbors and friends. Know that these results will inform my continued work to bring Federal relief back to our district.”

Full results of Thompson’s Coronavirus Relief Survey are as follows:

Have you been hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Yes, somewhat: 43.8%
  • No, not at all: 30.2%
  • Yes, very much: 26%
Have you received a stimulus payment?
  • Yes: 42.3%
  • No, but I’m expecting a payment: 30.5%
  • No, I’m not eligible: 21%
  • No, the IRS website is unable to find my information: 6.3%
If yes, have you experienced any issues receiving the amount for which you are eligible? If you answered no to the previous question, skip this question.
  • No: 76.5%
  • Not sure:14.9%
  • Yes: 8.7%
Which CARES Act programs (if any) have helped you or your family?
  • Stimulus payment: 35.1%
  • None: 33.8%
  • Expanded unemployment insurance: 10.7%
  • Small business assistance (PPP, EIDL, etc.): 7.1%
  • Student loan relief: 4.7%
  • Not sure: 3.9%
  • Mortgage forbearance: 3.2%
  • Other: 1.7%
Which CARES Act programs (if any) do you think should be extended or increased?
  • Small business assistance (PPP, EIDL, etc.): 22%
  • Expanded unemployment insurance: 21%
  • Stimulus payment: 16.8%
  • Student loan relief: 15.6%
  • Mortgage forbearance: 15.6%
  • Not sure: 3.3%
  • Other: 3%
  • None: 2.6%
Are you waiting to hear back on any CARES Act relief you have applied for?
  • No: 65.9%
  • Yes, waiting for information or a check from the IRS: 15.1%
  • Yes, waiting for information on unemployment benefits: 10.4%
  • Yes, waiting to hear back on a small business loan: 8.6%
How would you like to see the “re-opening” of our communities play out?
  • More cautiously to prioritize protecting public health: 69.3%
  • More quickly to prioritize getting people back to work: 23.9%
  • Not sure: 3.8%
  • Other: 3%
Do you think Congress should provide more funds to help schools, hospitals, paramedics, police departments, and other services in future coronavirus legislation?
  • Yes: 74.8%
  • Not sure: 12.9%
  • No: 12.2%

COVID-19: Extended deadline, new guidelines for area high school art competition

Rep. Mike Thompson pushes back art competition because of COVID-19

Submissions still being accepted

By VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD, April 8, 2020

Rep. Mike Thompson, California 5th District

Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena announced this week that he has pushed back the deadline and changed the guidelines for high schoolers to submit artwork as part of his 2020 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition.

These changes reflect the shelter-at-home and social distancing guidance issued by local and state authorities, according to a news release from his office. Students will now have until May 28 to submit their work, which they can do electronically.

“Our incredible local artists continue to create despite the uncertain times we are now facing, which is why I’ve updated the deadline and guidelines for high schoolers to participate in my Congressional Art Competition this year,” Thompson said in a statement. “This will allow students for extra time to submit amid the many changes they are facing with this year’s school calendar and allow them to comply with important public health guidelines…I can’t wait to see our great local art again this year!”

Students who wish to participate must submit a high-quality photograph of their art along with scanned or photographed copies of submission paperwork, which can be found by visiting house.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/2020-Student-Release-Form-Fillable.pdf

Submissions can be emailed to CA05Art@mail.house.gov. This is in place of the usual physical submission.

The winning art piece from the district will be sent to Washington D.C. to hang in the United States Capitol for a year. To be considered for the grand prize, students must follow the official rules, which they can read by visiting www.house.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/2020-Rules-for-Students-and-Teachers.pdf

California’s 5th Congressional District includes the cities of Vallejo and Benicia in Solano County, all of Napa and parts of Contra Costa, Lake, and Sonoma counties.

Vallejo Times-Herald: Thompson introduces act addressing crude by rail

Repost from The Vallejo Times-Herald
[Editor:  See also coverage in McClatchyDC News.  – RS]

Thompson introduces act addressing crude by rail

By Irma Widjojo, 04/15/15, 8:06 PM PDT

Another bill concerning the transportation of crude oil by rail was introduced Wednesday, following at least two others in the past month. With a pending Valero Refinery crude-by-rail project in the works, concerned Benicians and activists said though they acknowledge the effort in the bill, they’d like to see more.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, coauthored the Crude-By-Rail Safety Act, which would “establish new, common sense federal safety standards for railcars transporting oil across the country,” according to a release from Thompson’s office.

The act would take on a number of factors, including maximum volatility standard for crude oil transported by rail, higher fines for violating volatility standards and hazmat transport standards. The act will also seek to remove 37,700 unsafe cars off the rail network and recommend other measures to increase the safety of crude by rail.

“Public safety is priority No. 1 when it comes to transporting highly volatile crude oil,” Thompson said in the release.

There have been four derailments of trains carrying crude oil in the United States and Canada in under a month earlier this year — in Illinois, West Virginia and twice in Ontario.

Thompson said he has been working on the Crude-By-Rail Safety Act for about a year. The proposed legislation was also authored by Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and Nita Lowey, D-NY.

“Folks in the district had concerns,” he said. “Explosions have people worried.”

The bill will still have to go through its due process before it could get signed into law, and that could take some time.

Activists said these procedures won’t come in time before another possible disaster strikes.

Marilyn Bardet, a Benicia resident and environmental activist, said that even if the policy was put in place, it wouldn’t be done before the pending Valero’s Crude-by-Rail project is underway.

“That is a huge concern,” Bardet said. “Valero talks about their safety record, but they are talking about the safety of the refinery. This is really the project of the railroad.”

Benicia is currently processing the use permit and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. The Recirculated Draft EIR is anticipated to be released for public comment June 30. It will have a 45-day comment period. After the comment period closes, the city will complete the final version, which will include responses to all comments.

Bardet said she’s glad to see an effort from congress to address the Department of Transportation and the issue, but said from her initial perusing of the act she found that there were missing components to it.

A few of her concerns that are not mentioned in the proposed act are speed reduction, plans on dealing with explosions and derailment in remote areas and the safety of bridges.

“There are derailments on a regular basis, and historically they have not been shipping oil in hundreds and hundreds of (train) cars across the country,” Bardet said. “They are doing this at the risk of people’s safety and the environment.”

A spokesman for Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, an advocate group against the crude-by-rail project, agreed with Bardet’s sentiment.

“In general we’re glad to see our federal representatives are paying attention to the critical issue that impact communities around the country,” Andrés Soto said.

However, Soto is doubting the passage of the bill.

“I think that there’s going to be a major challenge to get this legislation passed,” he said, adding that he would like to see more transparency from the refineries and railroad companies.

Thompson said he doesn’t know if he’s going to be met with pushbacks on the proposed bill.

“I’m trying to do what’s right, and not what’s easy,” he said.

Soto said the only way to ensure the community’s safety before a policy is set is by having a national moratorium on the transportation of these crude oils, especially of more volatile kinds like Bakken shale oil.

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson, an outspoken advocate of rail safety, calls the bill “a good start” and is “a comprehensive way to address rail safety.”

Speaking in a general context of the issue, Patterson said she is glad to see that “the dots have been connected between the issue of volatility of some of the products and transportation.”

She shared some of the few questions that the activists had, including waiting for a set of standards.

“What’s the rush?” Patterson said. “Why not take some time out and get our house in order in terms of federal regulations, and the response to accidents?”

She also said she would like to see funding in place for the response to accidents and training for local governments and public safety personnel.

“The response equipment doesn’t exist in most routes,” Patterson said. “The funding needs to be there.”

Paterson acknowledged that the bill is still in its early stages.

“I imagine there would be a lot of comments,” she said. “It’s a good first start, I wouldn’t want to see anything less. It shows that (Thompson) has been listening to the public, and he’s responded.”

To read the proposed act, visit mcdermott.house.gov/images/pdf/crudebyrailsafetyct.pdf.

A similar senate bill was also introduced last month by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, also authored a legislation, H.R. 1679, in March, which would prohibit the transport of crude-by-rail unless authorities have reduced the volatile gases in the oil prior to transportation.