Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Independent-Minded Democrats" Today Is What "More And Better Democrats" Was In 2008


Being embraced by the DCCC doesn't automatically disqualify a candidate from being endorsed by Blue America-- Ann Kuster and Joe Miklosi are on their Red-to-Blue list-- and both are also Blue America endorsees. Being on that list could mean, potentially, the kind of financial support candidates need to be able to battle heavily financed Republicans. But when the DCCC gets behind someone early, it usually means that person is conservative politically and, at minimum, suspect ethically. Ann Kuster and Joe Miklosi are neither. We know that; we check. But most of the people on the list are the worst kind of trash-disguised-as-Democrats, from lifelong Republican and Mitt Romney donor Patrick Murphy to a bevy of typically reactionary, bigoted Blue Dogs (Nick Lampson, Hayden Rogers, Pam Gulleson, Gary McDowell, David Crooks, Charlie Wilson, Brendan Mullen) and shills for Big Business like New Dems Shelley Adler, Ron Barber, Val Demings, Bill Foster, Denny Heck, Dan Maffei, Patrick Murphy, Scott Peters, Brad Schneider, Julian Schreibman, and Jamie Wall. These are some of the examples of the just-as-bad-as-Republican garbage "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel is dead set on larding up the House Democratic caucus with again (not having learned in the 2010 Great Blue Dog Apocalypse that normal Democratic voters don't want to vote for anti-family conservatives even if they are wearing blue shirts.

Let me just pick one out at random-- eeny, meeny, miny, moe... Hayden Rogers, a virulent anti-gay, anti-Choice corrupt corporate hack recruited personally by Steve Israel for NC-11. Though he has absolutely zero chance of winning, he's on the DCCC Red-to-Blue list and God-only-knows how much money will be wasted on him... money that would be much better spent next door in NC-10. On the same day conservative DC insider Hayden squeaked through to a primary win, progressive state Rep. Patsy Keever rolled up an impressive victory against another conservative hand-picked by Israel. So, of course Rogers gets the Red-to-Blue nod and Patsy's left out in the cold by the DCCC. And that's despite a gerrymander by the Republican-controlled state legislature that made NC-11 impossible for a Democrat to win, mostly by dumping Democratic Asheville into... NC-10-- and making it slightly more possible that the right Democrat-- say Rep. Patsy Keever-- could beat nasty and unpopular little Republican Koch-head Patrick McHenry. Under the new boundaries Obama performs 6% better in Patsy's district-- and 7% worse in Rogers'.

Neither Rogers nor Patsy toes the party line. If Rogers is elected he will distance himself from Democratic principles and values, will be an icon for anti-FDR strains and won't even commit to voting for President Obama, let alone Nancy Pelosi. And late last week Patsy Keever, when expressing a very different kind of independence, got tarred with that same kind of Hayden Rogers brush. Unlike slimy North Carolina Blue Dogs Mike McIntyre, Larry Kissell and Hayden, Patsy is eager to attend the Democratic National Convention and is certainly voting for President Obama with the same degree of enthusiasm most progressives feel. Her exact quote, in fact, was: “I am a Democrat, and I will vote for President Obama, but I’m not willing to hand him, or any president, my vote in Congress. I will stand with the people of my district and cast votes that are best for them.” That's the kind of attitude Blue America is hoping all of our candidates feel with their hearts and souls. The same reporter semi-corrected his misinterpretation of what she said the following day, although he claimed she did it because she was "under pressure from supporters" and would now endorse Obama. Fortunately the readers of the Asheville Citizen-Times are cooler than the reporters. The Letters to the Editor section showed a lot more ability to understand what's going on than the articles.
Regarding “Keever won’t endorse Obama” AC-T July 11: Oh, my. What a misleading headline I read on the front page on Wednesday: “Patsy Keever won’t endorse Obama.” Have you seen the signs in her campaign headquarters, or the bumper stickers on her car? Of course, she supports the president and his bid for re-election. Patsy is a loyal Democrat with an independent mind and an informed conscience. She currently serves the people of her district in the N.C. House, not the bidding of our Democratic governor, so why would she promise to hand any president her vote in Congress? She puts people first, and will serve everyone in District 10, including those who do not vote for her. Patsy is a patsy to no one; she is a public servant who listens to the people. How fortunate we are to have this woman of amazing character running for Congress.

Sarah York, Fairview

* * *
I was amused to read in today’s paper, July 12, that our Democratic candidate for congress, Patsy Keever is now going to endorse our president, Mr. Obama, for re-election. In yesterday’s paper, July 11th, she was not going to endorse him. What a sudden change of heart. This is typical of most of our elected officials-- what is best for them and not our country.

Charles D. Owen Jr., Asheville

* * *

I am a Patsy Keever supporter and volunteer and the story on her stand in relation to President Obama took me by surprise. I had to study on it awhile until I realized that the headline regarding “endorsement” of the president did not reflect what she actually said in the body of the story.

She is running in a largely conservative district against a strict GOP party-line incumbent. Her pitch all along has been that she will represent all of the people in the new 10th district, from Asheville to Gastonia.

Her comments Wednesday are a clear message assuring voters that she will not just vote along party-lines or blindly follow the Obama Administration’s direction, but will support legislation that she feels is in the best interest of the people in all seven counties she is representing.

Her motto is “Putting People First.’’ I truly believe she will do just that.

Sharon Schuster, Arden

I reached Patsy last night on the phone and asked her to give me the straight and narrow on this. And she did:
Plenty of fine men and women in Washington are doing their best to serve our country. But too many of their votes support the interests of big contributors and lobbyists rather than the citizens of this nation. What we need in Congress is more members working together for the good of everyone.
I spent my career as a public school teacher helping my students reach their academic and human potential. I also served my community for 12 years as a county commissioner, and I am now a state representative. I'm running for the US House of Representatives now because I have an abiding belief that our political system and our government can work if we are willing to find common ground on which to stand.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for President Obama. I voted for him in 2008, and I will proudly vote for him again in November. That doesn't mean I agree with him on every single issue. The Affordable Care Act, for example, needs tweaking. It has some excellent components that are already making people's lives better, such as the ability for parents to carry their dependent children on their health insurance until age 26. That is a huge boon to young people starting out in jobs that don't include health insurance. Eliminating pre-existing conditions is another excellent aspect of ACA. When I get to Congress, I will work with my colleagues to strengthen the Affordable Care Act so that its benefits reach even more people who need them.
The bottom line is this: We need people in Congress who understand the needs of the middle class and working people throughout this great land. Our success as a nation depends on it.

Easy to understand? That's an independent-minded Democrat-- in the best sense of the term. That's why she's on the Blue America list.

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