Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) answers questions from reception guests as Event Chairman Nick Larigakis (on left) listens on.
Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 5, 2006, the Greek American Friends of Senator Tim Johnson hosted a cocktail reception and fundraiser at Ozio Restaurant to help back his next run for reelection in 2008. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) has played an important role in supporting the rule of law as it applies to a range of issues important to the Greek American community, including Cyprus and the name issue associated with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
In his remarks to the group gathered for the event, Senator Johnson commented on the importance of bipartisanship in the current politically charged environment, and underscored the need for the U.S. to follow a multilateral approach in foreign policy by seeking to repair bonds with its allies. He also emphasized Hellenism as a philosophy from which important values can serve to reinforce government and society.
Hailing from a predominantly Republican state, Senator Johnson pointed out the necessity of increased bipartisanship and highlighted his role as a bridge builder. “We can either govern from the extremes and wind up with gridlock and polarization and a lot of unhappiness, or we can try to find common ground where we can, respecting that there are some areas where you just can’t find it. But we need to be finding the ways that we can,” he said.
Also in terms of seeking increase cooperation, the senator was critical of the unilateral approach in international relations that has been favored by certain circles in the current presidential administration. He acknowledged that the U.S. is the world’s foremost economic and military power with an important role to play.
“But I think that we also need to respect the wisdom and the dignity of our allies around the world as we try to find those areas of common ground and multilateralism,” Senator Johnson added. “I’m hopeful that, with a new administration at least, we can begin to rebuild those strong relationships with other countries that are committed to democracy, and civil liberties, and to a Western point of view. Obviously among them is Greece.”
In concluding his remarks to the Greek American group, Senator Johnson praised Hellenism as a philosophy from which the values of democracy, civil liberty and individual freedom are drawn:
Following the reception, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is pictured with members of the event host committee: (l-r) Event Chairman Nick Larigakis, host committee member Christine Warnke, Senator Johnson, and host committee member Manny Rouvelas.
“Being a Hellene is not a geographical or ethnic description anymore. It is a state of mind… That being the case, just as John F. Kennedy remarked about being a Berliner, we are all Hellenes in terms of where we want this world to be in the kind of values that we all share.”
The event chairman was Nick Larigakis. The event’s host committee included: Kostas Alexakis, Gus Andy, Thanos Basdekis, Nick Chimicles, Nick Karambelas, Jim Lagos, James Marketos, Peter C. Pappas, Jim Pedas, Ted Pedas, Andreas Pericli, Gene Rossides, Manny Rouvelas, Esq., Savvas Savopoulos, Ted G. Spyropoulos, and Christine Warnke.
For additional information regarding the activities of the Greek American Friends of Senator Tim Johnson, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 285-7726 or ChrysoulaE@hotmail.com. For additional information on the Johnson for U.S. Senate Campaign, please contact Ryan Howlett at (202) 547-8866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.