This morning on the Glenn Beck Radio Program on TheBlaze TV during a discussing of Seattle’s fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, Glenn brought up the … ahem … brilliant suggestion by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to hike the minimum wage to $26 per hour.

Lee was discussing the Seattle wage battle with Newt Gingrich on CNN’s Crossfire show last week. Here’s the relevant Crossfire transcript:

LEE: In California, more than likely, from what I remembered, a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American Dream was about $25, $26 an hour.

GINGRICH: Would you support that as a minimum wage for California?

LEE: Absolutely, I would support it for California. I think the regional factors –

GINGRICH: Doesn’t that effect unemployment?

LEE: Believe you me: You would have more productive work force. You would have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You would increase diversity in certain communities, where you don’t have diversity anymore.

Of course, no one is surprised to hear this proposal from a left-wing progressive like Lee, but she’s even worse than that. She’s a Communist-supporting lawmaker with a not-so-encouraging Black Panther history. When you combine that with her progressivism, Lee demonstrates why Oakland and other liberal-progressive cities stand little hope as long as they continue to elect these kinds radicals.

So who is Rep. Lee? Here’s a bit from Bay area native Larry Kelley’s feature piece, “Disaster by the Bay,” for Townhall Magazine back in April 2011 (emphasis added):

And for the past 40 years, while one-party rule has presided over the decimation of its once prosperous African-American families, Ron Dellums and his former assistant, Barbara Lee, have been the only two representatives sent to Congress from California’s 9th Congressional District, serving Oakland. Dellums, the man who once vowed to “take the CIA apart brick by brick,” was elected to Congress in 1970 and served continuously until 1998 when Lee—who, reports [David] Horowitz, got her start in Oakland’s political underworld as the onetime confidential aide to [Black Panther co-founder] Huey Newton—succeeded him.

In 1981, as chair of the subcommittee on Military Installations, Dellums went on his own fact-finding mission to Grenada to determine if the airstrip the Cubans and Russians were building there was being developed for military use. He returned to falsely assure Congress that it was not.

Both Dellums and Lee colluded with communist Grenada dictator Maurice Bishop in an attempt to cover up the fact that the Soviet Union was, in fact, building a military airport there. Even Wikipedia records that documents liberated from Grenada demonstrate that Dellums did commit what was arguably a treasonous act while serving as Oakland’s congressional representative. The documents also reveal that Lee was his messenger.

Kelley’s final analysis of the progressives who have been in charge of the area he calls home:

Having been ruled by progressive policies for years, the state is a prime example of the damage a government can do to a business climate. With one of the highest sales taxes, the fourth-highest capital gains taxes, one of the worst bond ratings and much more, businesses are leaving the state—which impacts a city on the downward slide like Oakland exponentially harder.

What’s worse: After years of progressive policies, the state is a prime example of the damage a government can do to a community and to families—and with liberal Democratic policies, it becomes a vicious cycle.

One can drive into the ghetto and marvel at the Victorian homes still standing there, built when Oakland was young and the West was still wild. But what is most immediately obvious is the squalid conditions of a once thriving, beautiful community.

This is what happens when liberals are repeatedly placed in charge: Lives are ruined. …

… It turns out that, for Oakland’s permanent underclass, the agents of their misery are the politicians whom they continuously vote to govern them: Lee, Dellums, Brown, President Obama and the rest of the far-Left progressives who are false prophets, who offer to subsidize self-destructive behavior and who are the creators of dependence.

For the members of Oakland’s dependent class, this current incarnation of democracy is not working—it is making their suffering worse. Their elected rulers surely know that whatever the government taxes and regulates—income and jobs—it will get less of.

When a leader like Lee opens her mouth to advocate a job-killing policy—not just the minimum-wage hike but a hike to $26 per hour—it’s important to remember her background, which exposes who she really is.

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