Saturday, May 31, 2008

This Tuesday: Ed Fallon-- BETTER Democrats, Not Just More Democrats


Tuesday is the Iowa primary. The one key race is between Bush rubber stamp and Blue Dog incumbent-- one of the worst of the retroactive immunity enablers-- Leonard Boswell and the Blue America-endorsed progressive grassroots candidate Ed Fallon. Yesterday's CQPolitics showed its utter lack of depth in understanding the importance of primaries with a hackish article by staff writer Greg Giroux. Latching on to the corporate media narrative of referring to Bush rubber stamps as "centrists," Giroux manages to misrepresent why this primary-- like Donna Edwards' against Al Wynn and Regina Thomas' against John Barrow-- is so important.
Liberals are upset with some Democratic lawmakers of more centrist orientation who they think haven’t opposed President Bush’s policy positions vigorously enough. And in a handful of places, the party’s activist wing is sponsoring serious primary challenges to Democratic incumbents. Six-term Iowa Democratic Rep. Leonard L. Boswell, whose 3rd District in central Iowa includes the state capital of Des Moines, is one of these targeted members.

Boswell is opposed in Tuesday’s primary election by Ed Fallon, a former state representative who lost but staged an unexpectedly competitive bid in the Democrats’ 2006 primary for governor. Fallon is running to the congressman’s left on the Iraq War and other issues.

Boswell is “out of step with Iowans on so many issues,” Fallon charged Thursday morning on the radio program of conservative host Jan Mickelson, broadcast on Des Moines station WHO.

Fallon’s campaign Web site highlights the challenger’s differences with Boswell on issues, of which the biggest appears to be the ongoing war in Iraq. Boswell voted for the original 2002 resolution that authorized Bush to wage military operations in Iraq, which placed the congressman among a sizable minority of Democrats who sided with nearly every House Republican in backing the administration’s position. In June 2006, Boswell was one of 42 House Democrats who backed a non-binding Republican-authored resolution that said in part that “it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment” of troops.

Fallon and his allies argue that Boswell’s positions run counter to a strong majority opinion among Democratic voters in the 3rd District and nationwide that favors an expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq.

...In terms of financial resources, Fallon has restricted his campaign somewhat by not accepting money from political action committees (PACs). He says that decision rids him influence by “special interests” who Fallon says are funding Boswell’s campaign. But it also has limited him to about a fifth of the money that incumbent Boswell has raised. Boswell reported raising $1.2 million from the beginning of last year through May 14; Fallon, in his pre-primary report, showed a total of $245,000 in campaign receipts. The congressman had $710,000 left to spend at the middle of this month to just $28,000 for Fallon.

Now for a real understanding of why it is so important to defeat old school reactionaries like Boswell, take a look at whoreallyownscongress and immerse yourself in the typical Blue Dog worldview of taking big bribes from corporate special interests and then voting for them against the interests of your own constituents (and oath of office). Blue Dogs like Boswell are more like Republicans than they are like actual Democrats. If the citizens of MD-04 could rise up and wash Al Wynn out of the House, Iowans can do the same thing on Tuesday.

Boswell personifies the bad old politics we need to get beyond. Unlike the district, which went for Obama, he's a Hillary Clinton dead-ender; Fallon supports Obama. Boswell has consistently refused to debate Fallon, relying instead on the most vicious Rove-like attack smears (implying he supports child molesters). Boswell has no ideas, no accomplishments and no reasons to offer the voters for why they should return him to Congress. So he lays low, counts on the Democratic Party Incumbent Protection Racket to save his ass, and prays Fallon can't raise enough money to get his message out. So while the man who nearly saddled us with Joe Lieberman as Vice President croaks out a knee-jerk endorsement of Boswell, grassroots Iowans have put out a strong GOTV program for Tuesday.
“What Leonard Boswell is selling, the voters aren’t buying.” said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. “Races like this are won at the door and over the phone. Ed Fallon’s grassroots campaign understands this and that is why he is going to win on June 3rd.”

Democracy for America will use its grassroots infrastructure in the 3rd District to turn out hundreds of volunteers to participate in get out the vote activities in support of Ed Fallon. DFA and its members have, time and again, shocked the political establishment by focusing on the neighbor-to-neighbor outreach that is crucial for victory in tough races. Earlier this year, DFA and its members were instrumental in helping Donna Edwards defeat incumbent Congressman Al Wynn in Maryland.

Ed Fallon’s campaign which is funded by small donations from individuals contrasts with Leonard Boswell’s campaign which is dependent on large contributions from PACs like AT&T and Wal-Mart. Ed Fallon has excited and energized voters from across the District who have volunteered in large numbers to drive his people-powered campaign to victory in the primary. While Ed Fallon talks about bringing high-paying jobs to Iowa and fixing our country’s broken health care system and ending the War in Iraq, Leonard Boswell lashes out in a pathetic and vain attempt to confuse voters about his own shoddy record.

“Leonard Boswell has had his chance and he has failed. Leonard Boswell has failed on education, on the environment, on farm issues, and on the War in Iraq,” said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. “Ed Fallon has the grassroots support and understands the issues that matter to voters. That is why Ed Fallon was endorsed by the Des Moines Register and why Ed Fallon will win on June 3rd.”

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At 10:36 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Actually, I agree with a lot of what you've said about Boswell, but you picked the wrong guy to back. Fallon betrayed the Democratic Party and America when he supported Nader in 2000 and helped put Bush in the White House.

I will never forgive him for that. I live in the district and will be voting for Boswell on June 3rd.


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