Sunday, August 16, 2009

Could 2010 Bring An Independent Caucus In The Senate To 4?


We've seen enough of these 2 clowns

In 2006 I figured that one of the best ways progressive bloggers could be of service would be to help drum up some kind of challenge to Nebraska's arch-conservative Ben Nelson, a putative Democrat who has been voting with Republicans on substantive issues for years and years. According to ProgressivePunch Nelson has voted more frequently with Republicans on crucial votes, both this year and during his entire career, than any other Democrat. Worse yet, his current year's cumulative progressive score is actually closer to those of Republican senators like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter than it is to any of the next most conservative Democrats, Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln and Max Baucus! But I couldn't find any allies who wanted to take on Baucus and the sensible decision was to try-- successfully, as it turned out-- to elect enough Democrats to win back the House and Senate. That year, with endorsements from anti-Choice groups, the NRA, the US Chamber of Commerce, the viciously anti-union BIPAC and all kind of groups that always back conservative Republicans, Nelson took 64% of his state's vote against a hapless Republican multimillionaire from Wall Street, Pete Ricketts, even winning votes from 42% of Nebraska Republican voters. Next time Nelson is up for a possible primary is 2012.

Last year I was gung ho to back races against conservative Democrats Mary Landrieu (LA) and Mark Pryor (AR). Instead the netroots yawned and got behind right-leaning Democrats like Kay Hagen (NC), Mark Begich (AK), Mark Udall (CO) and Mark Warner (VA). Next time any of them, despite atrocious voting records, can be held accountable is 2014.

This year Arkansas' corrupt corporate senior senator, Blanche Lincoln, is up for re-election-- and fairing increasingly badly in approval surveys. She has vowed to join the Republicans to filibuster the Employee Free Choice Act, she has come out against climate change legislation, and she has been a prime behind the scenes operator in replacing progressive initiatives in health care reform with the self-serving agenda drawn up by her generous campaign donors among CEOs and lobbyists from Big Insurance. This week, according to the Arkansas Times she told demonstrators at a health care town hall in Benton County that she opposes the public option because "We cannot afford it" and then went on citing Republican talking points prepared by Insurance Industry lobbyists about how the post office and Medicare are screwed up. Although Blue America has been running cable TV spots about her anti-health care positions few among progressive groups-- most of whom say they hate her-- are interested in helping. [If you'd like to, that link in the last sentence is the place to do it, by the way.]

Labor unions and progressive groups have scoured the state looking for a plausible Democrat to challenge Lincoln in a primary. More than a few Democratic office holders dislike her and abhor her corruption and her conservatism but, so far, no one has had the cajones. We've been talking with the Green Party candidate who drew 20% against Pryor last year and there's a chance she might do it. Far less plausible for progressives-- at least at first glance-- is Trevor Drown, an earnest and straight-talking former Green Beret who's never run for office and is mostly known for having spoken at a wingnut tea party. I called him up and asked him if he's a teabagger. He isn't. Nor is he a Republican-- and like many independents has very low regard for the GOP. He turned down Republicans asking him to run against Lincoln on their ticket. He's an independent-minded problem solver who is essentially non-partisan. If he's elected to the Senate, is he going to vote with the Democrats on key issues more frequently than Lincoln? Possibly, but I'm not fooling myself about the likelihood of Drown, though a union member (Teamsters) himself, turning into a Jeff Merkley or a Bernie Sanders. But I'll tell you what the differences are that I see between him and Lincoln:

1- he isn't corrupt and he won't have his head up the asses of every corporate CEO waving a check under his nose;

2- he genuinely cares about ordinary American working families and will look to put their interests ahead of the special interests;

3- no matter how he votes on issues, he won't be working behind the scenes to undermine progressives within the Democratic caucus-- since he won't be in the Democratic caucus;

4- no one trying to persuade him about the merits of a progressive stand on an issue is going to face a closed mind or a door closed to all but corporate donors.

At his new Dare To Make A Difference website, Drown a fascinating blog that bills itself as the philosophical third party opposition to the two-party system. They cover everything from the Working Families Party, the Socialist Party and even the Communist Party to the Conservative Party, the Libertarians and The Whigs and currently is covering the races of two independent former Republicans, Lincoln Chafee and Tim Cahill, respectively running credible campaigns for governor of, respectively, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I want to go in entirely different direction though: south-- from Arkansas. That would be Louisiana.

Louisiana's big election next year is the junior senator seat, currently held-- very tentatively-- by extremist Republican hack and hypocritical whore monger David Diapers Vitter. Democrats must be salivating at the prospect of knocking off a mindless obstructionist like Vitter and they appear to be putting up someone nearly as reactionary, corporate shill and Blue Dog, Charlie Melancon. An ice-cream man before getting into politics, Melancon boasts to his constituents that he's anti-choice, anti-gay and pro-gun. Republicans are so happy with him that they didn't even bother to run anyone against him last year, even though McCain took the district with 61%-- a significantly higher percentage than Bush won in 2000 or 2004.

I've been more interested in the independent race of adult film actress Stormy Daniels, which is probably not going to happen. This week, however, another Independent, one who sounds, in some ways, something like Trevor Drown, officially declared that he is running for the seat. Bob Lang is also a combat veteran and a strong defender of the Second Amendment. He doesn't seem nearly as open-minded about the issues facing the country and from what I can gather, this one really could be a teabagger.
"This country, in my opinion, is on the verge of a financial calamity and changing from a constitutional republic to a socialist/communist form of government. If the United States Congress and president continue to spend in such an insane manner and borrow at least half of everything we spend, that will be a guaranteed recipe for national suicide and nation failure.

Citizens who believe in a small and sovereign federal government, a strong sovereign state government and all of the power in the hands of the people have to come forward now to stop this out of control socialist train that is flying down the tracks at warp speed."

Like Drown he's a committed Christian but unlike Drown he's an anti-Choice fanatic and a xenophobe. I have a feeling he'd like to bring back the gold standard and he's running a campaign at least partially based on Vitter's moral failings: "I give you my word," he tells voters, "that I will not embarrass the citizens of Louisiana with immortal [though I think he means immoral] behavior while serving as your U.S. senator. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 2, 2010." Gee, I hope Stormy decides to run!

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At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Dems like Conrad pronouncing the death of the public option (much less the single payer) I am thinking I will drop my Dem affiliation and become an Independent. They seem the beeter candidate much of the time.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, to be fair Mark Warner didn't have a voting record in 2008 at any level.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I do not understand why nobody follows Vitter around with a box of Pampers...or place boxews of them strategically where they'll be seen and perhaps photographed.

I don't think him capable of embarrassment, but I do think he could be humiliated by a concentrated enough effort...

Louisiana 'machismo' wouldn't tolerate Vitter being the continuous butt of a dirty diaper joke...

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous d.eris said...

Hey DWT, thanks for the shout out to Poli-Tea, which has been featured at Drown's website for the last few days. As you note, I generally follow third party and independent news and issues across the board, and wanted to make one minor correction: in MA, Treasurer Tim Cahill is a former Democrat, who has not yet announced that he will run for governor, though it is widely assumed that his withdrawal from the Democratic Party was the first step toward an independent bid for the governor's seat.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drown is an egotistical tool and if he got 10,000 signatures (god forbid!), I would be thrilled to see what happens when some one looks into his true military background and not his "heroics in Afghanistan" that he'll spend hours talking to you about.

By the way, I've had the unfortunate opportunity to not only listen boringly about his military adventures, but also his political views and motives. Don't drink the kool-aid!!!

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow what a Judas. You obviously have some issues with him. Must be one of the weak soldiers that has an axe to grind. Obviously, you never served a combat tour or served with him as your leader. Here is one guy that did. I think it says it all. Victor

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I've served two bout you. Oh, and just because I think he likes to talk about himself too much (which he does) that means I'm weak? For every quote you dig up that shows how awesome he is, I can find you just as many people that will tell you what a fraud he is at his Guard unit.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Samuel said...

I checked out his facebook page - favorite book - Common Sense by GLENN BECK. Drown sounds like a tool.

However, despite being a Democrat, I am not voting for Senator Lincoln in November. She voted against the public option, so she has lost my vote. I hope Drown is for it.

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone share more info about Drown and his Reserve or Guard Unit
We truly need to know more specifics about him. Has he ever served in public office or been a candidate for other offices. He says there are over a million independent registered voters in Arkansas - Well, Arkansas does not have party registration for political parties. Army Ret Lt Col

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, mud slingers and those who's mantra is "he'll just split the vote are what you will see. Ask that jealous a**hole who claims he "served" two tours if he was Special Forces or Grunt or was he Rear Echalon MoFo. He best not mess with the grunts or SF with his BULLSHIT lies. I heard many say they served - the net is full of these pukes who want to add credence to their BS words.. have him checked out by 90 percent of those busted as wannabe's served in more oft than not, a non combat role, but that wasn't good enough, and some who could never endure and qualify for SF bad mouth those who made the trip as thats all they have to "prove" they own some kinda imgainary family jewels 10% of wannabe's nusted never served.

Don Bendell just threw his green beenie in with Trevor Drown and has donated.

If Don's for him only wannabe's and REMF's or those who could never make it through the "Q" course will smear him.

and dats da truth homies.


Each voter is encouraged to research the available candidates thoroughly and come to their own independent conclusions as to the best candidate in each race.
-- Trevor Drown
Trevor Drown's Web Site - Click Here

At 9:26 PM, Blogger EagleII said...

Butch.. crude and rude grunt you are, sick, perverted and twisted, I kinda like that. You add a certain type of spice to forums.. only those who have lived protected lives will never understand.

You off your meds?

In my opinion Trevor Drown deserves as much press as any of the others with deep pockets backed by the mind-bending machines.

Dear Arkansas Voters and supporters from around our nation:

It will be a major victory for powerful interests in both the Democrat and Republican party that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans if either party wins this seat.

Their goal: elect the people who will do their bidding, while defeating those who won't.

While we work on a shoe box donation budget, businesses, labor and special interest groups will dole out unfathomable amounts of money in campaigns nationwide to support those in political power we once placed in our trust and faith with our individual votes. It's time for Arkansas to lead our nation once again. I am asking you for your trust, faith and for your vote.

If you have been asking yourself what you can do to reclaim the principles of liberty that laid the foundation of Arkansas and America then joining our grassroots campaign is a great start.

Electing me, Trevor Drown to the United States Senate presents an opportunity for you to tell the chosen few in both parties, that you've had enough. For you to tell the liberal leadership in Washington and our liberal Senator in Arkansas who voted against the people of this state that you’ve had enough of the hypocrisy and false promises they offer while we are faced with unemployment, more and more taxes, liberal health care reform and national security concerns, trillion dollar debt while ever increasing salaries are being paid to growing numbers of government employees with the tax dollars of recession-battered citizens of our Arkansas.

There’s too much at stake for you and your family not to get involved. Join us in holding Washington's feet to the fire, make them accountable as you send a strong message that you've had enough..

VOTE Trevor Drown, US Senate in 2010
Dare to Make a Difference!!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger EagleII said...

The "your splitting the vote" was created by the parties to insure their dominance and so they will not be forced to improve and accept the values of the people it is supposed to represent. Personally I think the nation would be better off with 2 more years of the socialist if it forces the Republicans to their knees and gets some testosterone back in the party. It will be stupid for the republicans to oppose conservative independents because they will be caucusing with the Republicans anyway. The difference is they won't be obligated to the party and they don't have to tie themselves to the party's corrupt and destructive behavior. Until we get passed the fear of "your splitting the vote" the republicans will always look at us as "sure votes" and treat the conservatives like a neglected spouse while they go out with the more attractive mistress. Adhering to the "your splitting the vote" mentality will keep conservatives marginalized for ever.

Never Forget - Never Forgotten
What Price Freedom

At 9:29 PM, Blogger EagleII said...

GOP is a corrupt bunch in bed with the Dems. (it's no secret) and they're extremely weak. Their coffers are empty, and they don't even run a candidate against most Democrats unless they see the writing on the wall as they have with Blanche Lincoln. We currently have 9 GOP candidates for her position (at last count). No one ran against Mark Pryor (our other Senator) last year, nor against Marion Berry or Vic Snyder (U.S. Reps.) in their last elections. As of now, they haven't announced anyone to run against the Dem. Governor, Mike Beebe; if they don't do so by March, they'll lose their status as a major party. Arkansas has only elected one GOP U.S. Senator in the past 132 years, and he wasn't re-elected. Before that, Stephen Dorsey was the last GOP Senator and his last year in office was in 1879; there have only been 5 GOPs in total, and none were re-elected. Add up all the years since Arkansas became a state and multiply that by 2 for the two Senators, and you get 348 years. Republicans have only held U.S. Senate seats for a total of 28 years! Where were they the rest of the 320 years? What makes anyone think a Republican can win now? Does anyone think Blanche Lincoln has been the only unpopular Democratic senator we've had over all those years? The problem is the old-school Dems. in the state who will never vote for a Republican (an old mindset that is a hold-over from the civil war). Since there are more Dems. that Republicans in the state, they are always out-voted. Besides, Trevor isn't a "3rd party candidate"--he's an Independent. There is a difference--he can be anything he wants at any time. As for the polling, to my knowledge, they haven't even included him in the polling yet. Until the GOP primary takes place, they haven't even given a thought to the Independent.

Never Forget - Never Forgotten
What Price Freedom

At 9:36 PM, Blogger EagleII said...

The GOP wants to SMEAR Trevor Drown..even before he's on the Ballot.. why? they know 90 percent of Arkansas is Independent.

Note this - from moderate/progressive Steele and others..

Monthly Political View -August 20, 2009 – Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele’s instructions today to the State GOP about strategies on how deal with independent US Senate office seeker Trevor Drown have many local republicans unhappy. Steele, in Little Rock today, met with Doyle Webb and other members of party leadership. First item on the agenda: secure the US Senate seat held by democrat Blanche Lincoln. Polls show Lincoln, who is running for her third term has little to no support across all groups. Normally this would provide the GOP the ability to pick up a senate seat. But there are problems. The first is a major negative view across the state for republicans. The current 5 to 8 possible candidates include everyone from a ultra-conservative who has ties to former Governor Huckabee to a recently retired Army Colonel. In between a tea party boat builder, a FedEx driver/real estate investor and a few other odds and ends who are still deciding. Adding to their problems are continuous racist comments, and a lack of focus. There is also concern the state party is in the red, and may be in financial trouble with a net loss of $108,000 in the last 12 months

Another key player in this election will be the Green Party. The past three Federal elections, Greens have done something Republican’s have not done. Provide a candidate to run against the incumbent. This continues to be a problem statewide as republicans fail to recruit anyone at various state level and higher offices to run including taking on the very popular Governor Beebe. Failure to provide someone this time could result in the Republican Party downgraded to a minor party. This will result in the of an automatic position on the 2012 ballot without gathering from 2,000 to 10,000 signatures.

Speaking of signatures, according to inside sources present at the meeting, Michael Steele named former Green Beret Trevor Drown, the number one threat to the Republican Party. He has the looks, brains, leadership style and the support of the people in Arkansas. A grassroots movement, already underway has worried many GOP leaders since it is expected he will easily get the required 10,000 signatures by May 2010. When it was discovered members of party leadership had tried to recruit Drown and he turned him down, heads were shaking and many at the meeting heard Steele mumble that was “bad, very bad.” Things got a little heated when it was discovered once he had turned them down; members of the party attempted to discredit Drown. These two also hold statewide offices and combined their efforts with a local blogger to discredit Drown.

One staffer from the GOP D.C. office was heard to say, this is what is wrong with you people. You still think this is the 19th century. You need to ignore, him, never mention his name never acknowledge him. If you recognize his existence you elevate him to our level. The need to take him out will happen only if he gets the signatures next May.

There were a few moderate republicans unhappy with how the state party has handled the Drown affair. Targeting a veteran of the Global War on terror did not sit well with them. Internally, party support is already waning and infighting is increases daily due to the GOP’s silent nod of approval already given to Curtis Coleman.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger EagleII said...

I feel there is not much more I can contribute, and, despite the burrs that seem to be present in conversations, I hope what we have stated here was a contribution, be you pro or con.

I want to leave with a letter that just came in a few days back that states more than I could ever state. This letter was written by a house wife and resident of Arkansas, aqnd though it does not encompass all, it says quite a bit.

God Bless and Good Luck with your choices. My prayer is that your choice will be for the good of Arkansas and our nation vs opinion
that ens up fired by ego to prove ones "right".


I've decided to stand up after a year of watching this country under the "leadership" of BHO. I get so overwhelmed by politics sometimes that I just want to stick my head BACK in the sand. As a 42 year old wife for 22 years, a mother of 3, and a "Gammy" to 2, I've just been otherwise preoccupied. However, that has all changed. I'll admit I'm slow to get in the game, but that sand is oh so warm and safe! It's scary and intimadating out here for me, little old sheltered me, BUT, I do belive every vote counts and that mine does matter. So with all that being said, where do I start? Well, I got my start with Glenn Beck. Long car trip, satellite radio and boom here I am. I consider myself a very compassionate and fair person. I pride myself in listening to both sides, and not passing judgments on people for the color of their skin, religion, or political affiliations. Thats how my mama raised me!

I've joined Smart Girl Politics (where I feel very inferior) I've attended tea parties, I am a fan of Heritage House, and of course FOX news. I found a link to TrevorDrown for senate on my Smart Girls page, and after reading about him, decided I liked what he stood for. I know that I would have loved to vote for Jon Paul this past election but was afraid to for fear of that old vote splitting. I'm not scared anymore. I'm sick of the democrats, I'm sick of the republicans, I'm kinda sick of the whole mess. I'm not good with "facades" and pretending I'm someone I'm not, so I could never go into politics....No offense intended Trevor, but I do know that I want someone in office that cares about the same things as me. OK THAT being said, I now have a page here on which I'm supposed to post. Wow? Can I do this? Well, we'll see if anyone reads this.

I'm going to Lowes this afternoon for some sign "building" equipment and some more ink for my printer. While I might not be able to donate much to his campaign, I can put signs in my community, make some flyers, and do a lot of emailing. I come from a mostly democratic family, but you'll be thankful to know they all live in Oklahoma, so we don't have to worry 'bout them. I've already been admonished by one aunt who "doesn't appreciate Anti-Obama emails." Hmmmmm. Ok then. Shes off the list.

I've posted Trevors link on my facebook status where it will stay, even if I have something non-political to say that day. People will surely get curious enough to check it out.

Gonna get my flyers made and put them all over town, and once I get my petition I will go door to door and start getting signatures. WOW? CAN I REALLY DO THIS? Yes, I CAN. I WANT CHANGE. And if I sit on my butt and do nothing at all, then I have no right to gripe when there is no change made. Or that change is one that takes away my freedoms and liberties.

So I guess the main message in this long ramble is this.....If I can do this, get actively involved in an election process, then ANYONE can do this.

Ok...I'm going to work the courage up and push that post button now.


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