Friday, November 02, 2012

Corporate Shill Steve Israel Blocks Progressive Democrats Aryanna Strader And Syed Taj


In 2008 McCain beat Obama 51-48% in Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district. That district has been significantly altered by the Republican state legislature-- but they weren't looking out for longtime right-wing Congressman Joe Pitts. Under the new boundaries, which jettisoned some of the rural red areas and added solid blue Reading, Obama would have beat McCain 50-49%. What an opportunity for a House pick-up!

But that isn't how DCCC boss Steve Israel sees it. Described-- admiringly-- by Nancy Pelosi as "reptilian," Israel decided to commit DCCC money to backing reactionary Blue Dogs who are virulently anti-Choice and antigay and pro-corporate New Dems in districts Obama lost by wide margins rather than backing progressives in districts that Obama won. Aryanna Strader is not a Steve Israel type of candidate. She's a straight shooter and a reform-oriented progressive who has no interest in the kind of rampant corruption that reptiles like Steve Israel thrive on. The DCCC has ignored the race, entirely and worked hard to demoralize Strader (and other progressives around the country). But Strader, an Iraq War vet, isn't easily demoralized and she's buckled down, ignoring the DCCC and concentrating on voters in southeast Pennsylvania. Gigantically out-funded by Pitts, a notorious corporate whore-- exactly like Steve Israel-- Aryanna has run a grassroots campaign and has garnered significant support in the district, including a fulsome endorsement from the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, the district's #1 newspaper. So, while Steve Israel was busy doing the reptilian things that Pelosi so admires-- and that will guarantee Boehner another two years as Speaker, this is, in part, what people in PA-16 are reading this week:
After initially vowing not to serve beyond a fifth term, Pitts is now seeking an eighth term in Congress. He argues that his growing seniority gives him leverage in Congress to help constituents in the district.

Pitts favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He laments the lack of bipartisanship in Congress, yet he has voted with his party 95 percent of the time.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act, which has become an issue given that Pitts' biggest campaign contributors include Big Pharma, health insurers and health professionals.

His Democratic opponent, Aryanna Strader, is a software consultant and a veteran of the Iraq war.

She has run her campaign on a shoestring. She said that 80 percent of her campaign contributions have come from individuals.

Although she does not agree with all aspects of the Affordable Care Act, she would work to improve rather than repeal it.

Strader believes the president is correct to push for alternative energy sources and favors tax cuts for small business.

...Pitts deserves credit for his constituent service. But each year in Congress he has leaned further to the right. And his decision not to participate in a debate with all three challengers should raise concerns among voters.

Strader's first run for office will likely end in defeat. But she has struck a chord with voters. She expressed herself forcefully in the lone local debate with Pitts. She did the same when she debated Bednarski and Murphy.

She has our support in this election.
It probably wouldn't end in defeat if Steve Israel-- who as a founder of the transpartisan Center Aisle Caucus which vowed not to campaign against other members, regardless of party-- could also say "she has our support in this election."

Blue America has a mobile billboard, pictured above, traversing the highways and towns of the sprawling 16th district every day. Today it's spending half the day in and around Willow Street and half the day in Millersville. Tomorrow and Tuesday are all about Lancaster and Sunday and Monday, it's Reading all day, both days.

There are so many progressives where the DCCC hands-off posture is handing the districts to heinous Republicans. We've written a lot about how Steve Israel helps protect GOP leaders and senior committee chairmen, like Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Buck McKeon. One race that-- if not for a Muslim-unfriendly Steve Israel-- would be a slam-dunk for Democrats in the Detroit suburbs. MI-11 is a district Obama won handily in 2008 (54-45%) and whose incumbent, Thaddeus McCotter was recently caught committing election fraud and was forced to resign to stay out of prison. The psychotic teabagger who was challenging him in the primary, reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio, is now favored to win because Israel decided to starve the Democrat, Dr. Syed Taj, of funds. Even under the new boundaries, originally drawn by the GOP-dominated Michigan legislature to shore up McCotter, the district still leans blue and Obama would have beaten McCain 50-48%. This is a winnable district... if we had a competent DCCC chairman, instead of a reptile. This is what Israel is saddling Congress with:
The brother of Kerry Bentivolio says the Michigan congressional candidate, who's favored to win on Tuesday, is “mentally unbalanced” and could end up in jail.

"I've never met anyone in my life who is conniving and dishonest as this guy," Phillip Bentivolio said, according to the Michigan Information and Research Service. "He's my brother so it's hard to talk about this, but I believe that if he gets elected, he'll eventually serve time in prison."

...Kerry Bentivolio is a Santa Claus impersonator and reindeer farmer. He made headlines after old court documents surfaced quoting him saying he had a “problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio.”  He’s running against Democrat Syad Taj.

Philip Bentivolio said that in 1992, he helped his brother build houses in Arkansas and Kerry owed him $20,000. This month he told Kerry he would go to the media with the story if he did not get paid, and Kerry then said he called the FBI and the Little Rock Police Department.

“He told them that I told them that if he didn't send me money, I was going to kill myself," Phillip Bentivolio said. "I couldn't believe it."

Kerry Bentivolio said that his brother has “serious mental issues” and that the FBI was looking into his brother’s request for repayment 20 years after the fact.
Instead Israel is chasing a host of hopeless Blue Dogs in districts that have no interest in electing Democrats. And most of his candidates-- even if elected, would be nearly as dependable to vote against progressive legislation as the Republicans they're running against. Steve Israel-- Nancy Pelosi's worst mistake ever.

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At 6:30 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...


At 10:12 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And most of his candidates-- even if elected, would be nearly as dependable to vote against progressive legislation as the Republicans they're running against.

Reminds me of Rahmbo and his picks for 2006, like Heath Shuler.


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