October 15, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Wisconsin, United States (October 15, 2013): According to USAToday: [t]he son of a Wisconsin Sikh Gurdwara Sahib leader who was among those killed last year by a white supremacist says he intends to run for Congress and challenge House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
Amardeep Kaleka reportedly told the Associated Press (AP) that he wants to bring accountability and transparency back to Washington, and blames Ryan and his fellow Republicans for the partial government shutdown. Kaleka has been a staunch advocate for gun control, and called on Congress to impose stricter background checks on gun owners.
There’s a fever in the country, and specifically in this district, for our leaders to stop playing politics and do their jobs, Kaleka reportedly said in his AP interview. “All I want to do is bring democracy — a government of, for and by the people — back to America” he reportedly added.
Kaleka’s father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was the founder and president of the Milwaukee-area Sikh temple where six people were killed. Wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh Gurdwara Sahib of Wisconsin in August 2012 and opened fire on several priests and worshipers. Page, who played in neo-Nazi bands, fatally shot himself after he was wounded in the parking lot by responding police.
Kaleka, 35, intends to run as a Democrat and file his paperwork Wednesday to form an exploratory committee. He helped organize a candlelight vigil this summer to mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting.
Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, has been targeted by Democrats before in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. He easily won an eighth term in the House last year, even as he and Mitt Romney lost the presidential election.
Ryan marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., with a statement condemning the “senseless act of violence” and praising retired Lt. Brian Murphy, the first police officer to respond to the scene.
“Since that fateful day, the people of Oak Creek have come together,” Ryan said in his statement. “They refuse to let violence shake their community.”
A Senate bill to expand background checks on gun owners was rejected this spring, and is unlikely to come up in the Republican-controlled House.
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