[Marxism] My former student on the front page of the New York Times

michael perelman michael.perelman at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 13:05:59 MDT 2011

I have been virtually incommunicado for a while, giving papers at 
conferences, having my electronics from my suitcase after I checked it 
in at the South Bend airport, and now trying to catch up with the 
backlog of deadlines.

I briefly awoke from my slumber with today's New York Times article 
regarding Congressman Mike Thompson, who was a outstanding student of 
mine.He also used to keep my tractor repaired and his wife would 
sometimes babysit for us.Both were very, very nice people.

Mike earned an internship with a powerful representative in the state 
legislature, who taught him the ropes.Later, he ran for state Sen. in 
our district against the Republican who should have been a 
shoe-in.Republican, however, got caught up in a scandal and Mike won the 
office.He later switched districts in order to be closer to his home in 
the Napa Valley.The congressional seat had switched back and forth 
between parties, ever since a long standing representative, Don 
Claussen, was defeated.Mike won and has held the office ever since.

He only contacted me a couple times many years ago and I have not heard 
from him since.He and Darrell Issa were the two representatives, who met 
with Saddam Hussein prior to the war, to see if hostilities could be 
prevented.I should have mentioned that he was also a Vietnam veteran.

I can't tell if the article is attacking him for being overly supportive 
of the wine industry or if he is self interested as a small wine 
grower.In reality, he was interested in the wine industry as a 
student.Consequently, nothing he says seems particularly scandalous.

I understand that Mike is a favorite of Nancy Pelosi.I recall that he 
identified himself as a blue dog.Our politics are obviously far apart, 
but I do remember him fondly as an excellent student and a friend, even 
though I'm not aware of any courageous stands he has taken, with the 
exception of the trip to Iraq.


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael dot perelman at gmail.com
Chico, CA 95929
fax 530-898-5901

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