OAKLAND, CA: The press office for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the only
member of Congress to vote against using military force to retaliate for
last week's terrorist attacks, has spent all week responding to intense
"I have agonized over this vote," Lee said to Congress. "This
unspeakable attack on the United States has forced me to rely on my
moral compass, my conscience, and my God for direction."
Newspapers across the country published stories focusing on the "lone
voice" opposing Bush's military plans.
The San Francisco Chronicle has received and published angry communiques
from her constituents across the country. "Perhaps if the planes hit the
Oakland Coliseum during a Raiders game, her 'moral compass' might guide
her differently," wrote one New Jersey resident. Lee's own East Bay
district posted mixed reactions.
Lee's press office has focused its attention on responding to local
press rather than the national media. The Chronicle, Los Angeles Times,
and other California publications have interviewed her.
"She obviously didn't make this vote to increase her media coverage,"
said Andrew Sousa, Lee's press secretary. "So we haven't been doing a
lot of national media." Sousa added that the interviews have resulted in
positive coverage of her vote, while the national media, which has not
been able to interview her, has been more negative.
Lee's office has received 20,000 emails and phone calls since the vote
last week. But "the positives outweigh the negatives," Sousa said.