What Is With These Corrupt DC Democrats Who Back Anti-Family Conservatives?
The 15 second web-ad above makes the point that reactionary Blue Dog Tim Holden of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania isn't really a Democrat. In past years-- when Holden's 17th congressional district meandered south and west from Schuylkill-- into solid red territory-- Holden would have been happy with the meme. McCain won his old district with 51% and Holden was fine when the local media informed the voters that Holden was a steadfast ally of George W. Bush and his toxic, destructive agenda. But now the 17th has shed the GOP counties in the south and heads north and east into blue territory where Obama racked up solid victories. Holden's reactionary Republican record is a poor fit for the voters of Luzerne, Carbon, Lackawanna, Monroe and Northampton counties. Obama won Pennsylvania with 55% in 2008. Lackawanna County is the base of Matt Cartwright, the progressive Democrat challenging Holden and Obama won there with 62%. At the same time Obama lost Schuylkill, Holden's base, with 45%.
"Tim Holden says he's a Democrat," reads the ad, "but he votes Republican. He voted against affordable health care; voted to give tax cuts to the rich; and a pay increase to himself." And this year when the Democrats are talking nonstop about the Republican War Against Women, it turns out Holden was on the wrong side of those lines too. A fanatic anti-Choice zealot, Holden has been a solid supporter of all the worst crap Boehner and Cantor have thrown against the women, especially poor women, that the Democratic Party claims to be opposing. But they're not opposing Tim Holden-- even though Matt Cartwright is pro-Choice and has a long record as an effective advocate for working families and for women. Are they hypocrites? Well, sure. The Inside-the-Beltway Democratic Establishment bigwigs like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel, Joe Crowley, Allyson Schwartz have no principles or values. To them the Republican War Against Women is a convenient cudgel to use against Republicans in an election cycle but when Blue Dog "Democrats" like Holden vote the same way as Republicans... not a peep out of any of these villains.
According to ProgressivePunch, in the 2011-'12 congressional session, Holden voted against the progressive positions-- in crucial roll calls-- 63.75% of the time. He voted with the Republicans about as frequently as Ron Paul (R-TX) bit not as frequently as Walter Jones (R-NC). And Holden wasn't even the worst of the Blue Dogs! 10 Blue Dogs scored even lower than Holden. The two worst, Oklahoma's Dan Boren (85.66%) and Arkansas' Mike Ross (83.27%) are retiring from Congress and crossing the street to become corporate lobbyists. But corrupt Blue Dogs Jim Matheson (UT- 81.34%), Jason Altmire (PA- 77.41%), Collin Peterson (MN- 76.87%), Jim Costa (CA- 75.57%), John Barrow (GA- 75.09%), Senate candidate Joe Donnelly (IN- 72.96%), Henry Cuellar (TX- 70.9%) and Ben Chandler (KY- 67.42%) are all being supported in their bids to stay in Congress, despite their voting records, all of which have been helpful in the Republicans' War Against Women-- and in the Republicans' War Against Working Families.
My own congressional district-- one of the most liberal in America, the 28th-- has just been assigned a Blue Dog. Adam Schiff is far too right-wing to be representing Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Feliz, Atwater and Silverlake. McCain only managed to win 26% in the new boundaries but in a district with a bigger LGBT community than San Francisco's, Schiff, a deranged war-monger and bigot, has routinely voted against gay equality over and over again. His crucial lifetime progressive score on LGBT issues is an abysmal 28.57, one of the lowest of any Democrat in Congress.
It's a cruel joke that the Democratic Party has a homophobic asshole and AIPAC advocate for endless wars representing West Hollywood. That's something that will have to be worked on. And all over the country-- especially since "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel has taken over the DCCC-- the Democrats have backed absurdly conservative politicians whose views are at odds with Democratic ideals and with the interests of their own constituents.
And sooner or later these right-wing Democrats, especially in Republican areas, decide to stay on the same side of the aisle where they find themselves voting. Conservative Democrats in the Texas legislature, for example, keep doing it. One sleazy right-wing anti-women Blue Dog type, José Manuel Lozano, looked at the way his district had been redrawn-- giving it a redder tint-- and BOOM! he crossed over to Darkness. An ally of Cuellar's, Lozano is now officially a Republican, bad-mouthing the Democratic Party that nurtured his corrupt career at every opportunity. "This is not San Francisco. This is Texas," the anti-working family reactionary told the media.
Lozano’s district formerly included Kleberg, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kennedy, Willacy and part of Cameron counties, Latino heavy counties that are predominantly Democrat, based on an analysis of the 2008 and 2010 elections. These areas are now in District 31, represented by Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City.
Lozano’s new district includes Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg and San Patricio counties, which are also heavily Hispanic (63 percent), but which are more evenly contested. President Barack Obama carried Jim Wells and Kleberg counties, while Senator John McCain carried the other two by more than 55 percent in 2008.
The interim bipartisan map, approved on February 28 and negotiated by several U.S. representatives and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, also created two new districts that are Republican-leaning and Latino-dominated in the Dallas-Fort Worth areas, and one in each of the San Antonio and Austin surrounding areas.
...Lozano is the third Democrat to switch parties since late 2010, and the second Latino.
"I wish he wouldn't have switched," said US Representatives Henry Cuellar, whose district also changed during redistricting.
Cuellar said that Lozano was a conservative, Blue Dog Democrat like himself.
The two were supposed to work together in a proposed Blue Dog session for state and federal representation. But the animosity on the floor from the Democratic leadership was such, Lozano said, that it just was not possible to follow through with plans for the Blue Dog caucus.
"I admire him because he works with everyone," Lozano said of Cuellar. Yet, he said the Democratic caucus was oblivious to his constituents’ needs.
"It's wrong," he said. “I tried, but the party leaders chose to turn a blind eye to the Hispanic community."
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie, in a prepared statement, called Lozano’s decision to switch parties “unprincipled and cowardly.”
“Just 15 months ago, Lozano was elected to office as a Democrat. The instant things got tough, Lozano jumped ship and joined a party that has betrayed his constituents,” Richie said. “He’s proven he has no core and stands for nothing, but his quest to grab and hold power.”
And Lozano, of course, had been part of the Republican War Against Women. He was one of the only Democrats in the Texas legislature to support a controversial bill requiring women wanting an abortion to have a complete sonogram. But there was not a peep out of DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who tweets her condemnation of Republicans 20 times a day for the same offense. I'm surprised Steve Israel didn't try to recruit Lozano to run for Congress against a progressive somewhere. Now if Lozano manages to survive two Republican primary challengers, he'll have to face either former state Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles or newcomer Gabriel Zamora from Agua Dulce, both Democrats.
The real problem for Democrats is that corrupt conservatives like Israel, the Blue Dogs and Joe Crowley (head of the New Dems) are frantically working to fill Democratic ranks with more Tim Holdens and more Adam Schiffs and more José Manuel Lozanos. The last time the Dems tried that-- under Rahm Emanuel-- it led directly to the Blue Dog apocalypse of 2010 that cost the Democrats control of Congress and gave us Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and the horrifying agenda they've rammed through Congress-- with the help of what was left of the Blue Dog caucus (like Holden).
Watch the video up top again and then, please consider helping progressives replace Tim Holden with Matt Cartwright, which you can do here or just send a general overall message to DC Democrats that if we wanted to support conservatives we'd be Republicans.
UPDATE! What A Great Press Release-- Cartwright Is Beating Corrupt Blue Dog Tim Holden
Holden's deceptive, vicious ads and sneaky campaign isn't fooling anyone in the 17th CD. Brand new polling shows Matt Cartwright leading Holden with less than three weeks until the primary. Three more giant Blue America billboards went up today in Northampton and Lackawanna counties.
Matt Cartwright now leads 42-36 against the 20-year incumbent. The Cartwright campaign has not yet mentioned Holden in any advertising, while Holden has started his second negative ad, an obvious result of his own polling. Just as troubling for Holden is the fact that he is running in a district where his vote to create the Halliburton Loophole and his vote against President Obama’s groundbreaking Health Care Reform are highly unpopular.
“While I’ve been focusing on issues that affect the lives of the people I seek to represent, Tim Holden has focused on me,” points out Matt Cartwright. “He can’t win on his record, so he wants to tear me down. This is politics at its worst. The say anything, do anything approach to win at all cost. I learned from my father to always tell the truth and to never tear down another man just to build yourself up.”
Tim Holden has refused to hold any debates. He is in the middle of a two week congressional recess, yet his website lists an office opening on March 31st as his most recent campaign event.
“Again, if he discusses his voting record, he loses,” says Cartwright. “So he hides behind nasty TV ads. The people of northeastern Pennsylvania deserve better.”