Rep. Barbara Lee Faces Challenge From Ex-Green Official
Published on Thursday, October 18, 2001 by the Associated Press
Rep. Barbara Lee Faces Challenge From Ex-Green Official
by Karen Gaudette
SAN FRANCISCO –– The political fallout has begun for the only member of Congress to oppose a resolution granting President Bush authority to use force against terrorists.

Former state Assemblywoman Audie Bock announced Wednesday that she plans to challenge Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee for her northern California congressional seat in 2002. Bock said it was Lee's lone dissent that prompted her decision.

"I think that an elected official at the national level has a responsibility to represent the feelings of that district and to serve the national purpose," said Bock, who once was the nation's highest-ranking Green Party officeholder. "I began to feel that Ms. Lee has not done that."

Lee's office did not immediately return calls for comment.

Lee was elected to the House in a 1998 special election to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Ron Dellums. She has explained her recent dissent as an appeal for restraint.

"We must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target," Lee told her colleagues last month. She later voted to spend $40 billion on anti-terror and disaster relief.

Bock, now a Democrat, said she thinks Lee's decision has made the rest of the country perceive that California's 9th district, which encompasses the historically dovish cities of Oakland and Berkeley, does not empathize with the rest of the nation.

Bock began her political career as a Democrat, but left the party in 1993. She won a special legislative election in 1999 to represent the 16th District, becoming the top Green Party officeholder.


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