Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everyday Should Be Connie Saltonstall Day

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Today is the infamous "end of the quarter" for congressional filings. "OMG!" candidates will tell you. "It's now or never!" If only! Tomorrow is even more important-- the first day of the even more crucial next quarter. Screw the DCCC desperate e-mails trying to get you to donate money on behalf of healthcare and Wall Street reform only to see them channel virtually all of it to understandably unpopular conservative Blue Dogs and other faux Dems who have brazenly voted against healthcare reform and against bankster reform, from Larry Kissell (NC), Bobby Bright (AL), Walt Minnick (ID), John Adler (NJ), and Suzanne Kosmas (FL), to John Barrow (GA), Travis Childers (MS), and Glenn Nye (VA). And then there's Bart Stupak. North Michigan conservative Bart Stupak has become a cartoon character villain for progressives nationally, primarily because he was willing-- even eager-- to work with Republicans to tank healthcare reform if he couldn't use it as a vehicle to impinge on women's right to choice and privacy based on a bizarre set of cult-like "religious convictions" he shares with some of the most dangerous far right elements in the country.

As you may know, Blue America has a page dedicated to sending Democrats a message and contributing to Connie Saltonstall's primary campaign against Stupak is a music it is very healthy for Inside-the-Beltway Democrats of all stripes to hear. This morning I spoke with Connie and asked her if she'd do a guest post about why her race is more important than ever, even though pressure from Democrats forced Stupak to eventually vote for the healthcare reform bill. This is how she put it:
We all know by now that Bart Stupak finally gave in, dropped the ‘Stupak Amendment,’ and voted for the healthcare bill. While I applaud his vote, it does not change my determination defeat him in the Michigan primary on August 3rd.

Representative Stupak’s reluctant support of healthcare reform came at a very high cost.

Mr. Stupak’s dogmatic insistence on inserting his own religious views into the legislative debate and threatening to deprive his constituents of needed healthcare reform eroded people’s trust in him. Throughout the debate there was the sense that our Congressman let us down and that sense has not disappeared with the change in his vote. For me and so many of his constituents, he crossed the line with his grandstanding.

My campaign is about getting past the kind of political obstruction that marred the healthcare debate. I look forward to working in Congress to represent the Democratic values of the First District-- affordable, accessible healthcare for all, healthcare that allows women the opportunity to make responsible life decisions for themselves and their families, protecting our Great Lakes and other precious natural resources, and fighting to put people in our district, so hard hit by this recession, back to work.

Since announcing my candidacy I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the enthusiasm, support and outreach for my campaign, both nationally and locally. People from all over the district are calling daily offering to donate and do anything they can to help. Political pundits like to say that someone from the lower peninsula cannot win in Michigan’s First District. I don’t believe that. I have heard from people all the way from Gogebic County in the Northwest of our district to Bay County in the southeast of our district. We are all Michiganders and our commonalties are far more important than our differences. I am here to give the people of Michigan’s First District a choice!

And Blue America wants to help her do just that. Please consider helping Connie, not because this is the last day of the quarter, but because we just have to save the Democratic Party and our country from characters like Bart Stupak.

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