Monday, September 29, 2008

The Solution: Better Democrats-- Lots Of Them


Better Democrats: Darcy Burner and Annette Taddeo

Earlier today we highlighted Rep. Hilda Solis' reasons for voting against Paulson's bailout/giveaway. We've heard from many of our Blue America candidates explaining why they also opposed the bill. Annette Taddeo (D-FL), for example, explained to voters in Miami-Dade why she was against the bill:
“We must protect homeowners and taxpayers. This bill fails to address the collapsing housing market, the root cause of the crisis. I do not support spending $700 billion in taxpayer money on a flawed bill. I call on Democrats in Congress and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to draft legislation that protects the people and families of South Florida."
"While the proposed bill is a start, it is not complete until homeowners and taxpayers are protected, and there are mechanisms in place to assure proper oversight so this does not happen again."
“As a small-businesswoman and Past-Chair of the Coalition of Greater Miami-Dade Chambers of Commerce, I know what our economy needs to right itself. Congress should send President Bush a bill that includes real protections for homeowners and taxpayers.”

Now what's important is that Congress makes the bill better-- much better-- so progressives can support it. My fear is that there will be tremendous pressure to make the bill even worse so as to capture votes from the 133 reactionary Republicans who voted no. Andrew Rice, the Blue America-endorsed candidate for the Oklahoma Senate seat held by the most extreme right-wing fringe lunatic in Congress, James Inhofe, has some suggestions for how Congress should re-address the failed bill. Basically, what Andrew said is that he would only support a plan that includes: meaningful oversight; a stake for taxpayers; and hard limits on executive compensation. He looks at it as a bill that didn't do nearly to fix the broken system that allowed abusive and reckless loans, an explosion of risky investments and poorly understood financial instruments, and other excesses. Andrew:
"This bill gives too much away to the people who created these problems without guaranteeing that it won't happen again. Any bill would need to require much tougher consequences for Wall Street in order to earn my support."

"Taxpayer dollars should not be used to line the pockets of the corporate executives who helped create these problems. A message must be sent to Wall Street that reckless speculation and greed will no longer be rewarded."

I'd like to urge you to consider donating to the Blue America PAC to allow us to help elect progressive Democrats to Congress in November. This is the BETTER DEMOCRATS strategy, not the More Democrats strategy. We need Democrats like Hilda Solis, Donna Edwards and Carol Shea-Porter, who voted against Bush's bailout today-- Democratic challengers like Darcy Burner, Gary Peters, Mark Schauer, Larry Joe Doherty, and Annette Taddeo who are demanding a much better bill.

Most of our candidates echo what Mark Schauer had to say today:
"For years, Michigan has been struggling-- and there's been no bailout for us. No bailout for the Michigan homeowners who were losing their homes to foreclosure, no bailout for the Michigan workers whose jobs were being shipped overseas, no bailout for the middle class that kept getting hurt by George Bush and Tim Walberg's failed economic policies. More than that, Tim Walberg and his cronies in Washington have turned their back on us. This plan did not provide enough accountability, nor did it do enough to keep people in their homes, help small business, or bring jobs and economic development to our communities."

By all means, keep donating to the candidates on our list, but also please consider donating to our PAC so we can focus some last minute energy on the races that need them most-- and for the candidates who will be the real progressive leaders.

Meanwhile, join us over at Crooks & Liars at 3pm, PT for a chat with Texas Senate candidate Rick Noriega about this bill.

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