Sick Of Millionaire Politicians Voting For Tax Breaks For The 1%? Meet Sue Thorn (D-WV)
Last cycle the DCCC was very excited by an über-conservative candidate in West Virginia's first CD, Mike Oliverio, who had beaten 28 year Democratic incumbent Allan Mollohan in the primary. It was almost as though the DCCC was rewarding Oliverio for using right-wing talking points and GOP accusations of corruption to defeat their former colleague. The DCCC spent over a million dollars trying to elect Oliverio, who opposes almost every single value Democrats hold dear, $1,264,732 alone on ads attacking his opponent David McKinley. Despite a 191,258-127,114 Democratic registration advantage-- Mollohan ran unopposed in 2008 and beat his GOP opponent 64-36% in 2006-- Oliverio's Blue Dog message discouraged Democrats from voting in the general election and McKinley won the seat, the first Republican to do so in living memory. Oliverio isn't running again this year. In the West Virginia primary Democrat Sue Thorn took 49,203 votes and, ominously for McKinley, only 36,107 Republicans showed up to vote for him. Sue is the Democratic Party nominee, a genuine populist bristling with progressive values and laser-focused on the plight of working families in the district. The DCCC must wish they had a corporate shill like Oliverio running again; they're sitting this one out-- like they are most races that involve progressive candidates across the country. Sunday we saw how a Blue Dog-related PAC close to "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, chairman of the DCCC-- which should just change it's name to the BDCCC-- is running support ads for McKinley, the far right Republican incumbent.
Sue isn't thinking much about the DCCC or the Blue Dogs or the Washington political establishment. She's an independent-minded FDR type Democrat and she's running for office to serve the needs of the residents of northern West Virginia, not the corrupt political class in DC... not of either party. This month at the West Virginia Democratic State Convention, the state party passed a resolution that all Democratic elected officials must support the whole ticket, from the top to the bottom, which was spurred by Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin saying they did not know whether they would vote for President Obama.
We added Sue to our ActBlue page and she's going through the Blue America vetting process now. I asked her to introduce herself to DWT readers and tell us how she plans to beat McKinley. This is her first guest post for us:
I’m Sue Thorn and I’m a lifelong Democrat running for Congress in West Viriginia’s 1st District. Since being asked to run for Congress last summer, I’ve traveled the district nonstop, talking to people about the issues that impact their lives. West Virginians have grown frustrated by partisan politics and corruption in Washington, and they’re hungry for a representative that truly represents us as working people. As I travel the state, every day I speak to residents who say we need to elect a populist, someone who will fight for the middle class, not someone in the pockets of the 1% and of the wealthy coal barons that influence our state. I’ve amassed an army of volunteers, eager to see a real Democrat stand up for poor and middle-class West Virginians. Nearly a year before the election, hundreds of ardent supporters drove hours for my campaign announcement in Morgantown before a standing-room only crowd of nearly 200 people. And in the May primary, I garnered 13,000 more votes than my Republican opponent. Our campaign offices are fully staffed, and every day, I’m out there meeting voters.
Our campaign is on fire. Our volunteers aren’t stopping. Excitement is building. There’s just one catch.
I’ve raised $85,000 for my campaign. My opponent, a conservative Republican, has built up a campaign coffer of $1.2 million, thanks to seemingly unlimited contributions from the wealthy CEOs that run coal and energy companies throughout Appalachia. Rep. McKinley is a millionaire who has plenty of his own money to contribute as well, and his votes often reflect his 1% values at the expense of the middle class.
We have an uphill battle facing us. But this campaign is different. People believe in the message because it connects with what they are experiencing. Our people are tired of career politicians, coming home every once in awhile, telling us what they think we want to hear, then heading off to Washington to promptly forget about the poverty that plagues our state. They’re sick of millionaire politicians, voting for tax breaks for the 1% while our people are hurting. They’re frustrated by DC insiders who claim to represent the Democratic party, but whose votes are meant to appease corporate greed.
We’re not going to win this by outraising my opponent. And I wouldn’t accept dirty money that comes with the expectation that I’ll vote for company profits over people. We’re going to win this with people-power and good old-fashioned grassroots organizing. That’s why 95% of my contributions are small donations from individuals, not special interests. And that’s why every day, volunteers fill our campaign offices, make calls, register voters and knock on doors, spreading the word about our campaign. People throughout the District asked me to run for Congress because they wanted a middle class representative. And those same people who asked me to run for Congress are going to make sure I get there.
I’m not ready to give up on our democracy just yet. I know that when people deeply believe in something, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish. If you agree, and you think that we need real representatives of the middle class in Washington, I hope you’ll take a look at our campaign website, www.thorn2012.com, and help us spread the word about this campaign. It’s about time our representatives in Washington truly represented us!
Like I said in the introduction above, the DCCC and corrupt Beltway Dems are ignoring WV-1 this year. If we want to see populists and progressives like Sue Thorn beat back obstructionists like David McKinley, we'll have to do it without them. You can help here.