Friday, March 29, 2013

Far Right Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Is Lusting For A DC Comeback


The shady lobbyist husband wants the shady wife politician back in Congress

Blue Dogs like to say they're "just" fiscal conservatives. They are fiscal conservatives and almost always vote against economic justice, against the interests of working families and in the interests of the Wall Street banksters and corporations that subsidize their cushy careers. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was a 3 term Rep from South Dakota and Blue Dog chairman until she was defeated, 48.1% to 45.9%, in the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010. She managed to amass one of the most right-wing voting records of any Democrat in Congress-- and not just on fiscal conservatism. She could almost always be counted on to back the Republicans on nearly their entire reactionary agenda. Let's take LGBT equality, since it's so much in the news lately. She's wasn't just against equality. There is no other way to describe Stephanie Herseth Sandlin than as a vicious homophobic bigot and hatemonger and dedicated, gratuitous enemy of LGBT families.

In September, 2004, soon after Herseth was elected to Congress, the Republicans proposed a Constitutional Amendment to prevent gays and lesbians from ever marrying anywhere inside the United States, regardless of what any states decided. It failed to get a 2/3s majority in the House but did "well," 227-186. 191 Republicans voted for it and 27 Republicans voted against it. 158 Democrats (+ Independent Bernie Sanders) voted against it and 36 Democrats voted with the GOP majority. Herseth was one of them, of course. Almost all of the Democratic bigots and hatemongers who voted for the amendment that day have since been defeated or otherwise driven out of politics, some in primaries, some in general elections and at least one so he could serve time in prison on bribery charges, conservatism and corruption being historically inseparable.

The only Democrats still serving in Congress today who voted for the Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment are Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog/New Dem-TN), Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Nick Rahall (WV), David Scott (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA), and Bennie Thompson (MS). The rest no longer have political careers (unless you consider lobbying a political career). At the time Herseth was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that "I agree with the President [George W. Bush] on this issue. Marriage should be between a man and a woman."

And the Republicans and their allies didn't give up in 2004. Two years later, hatemonger Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) was back with another constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. Herseth was still waving her "I Hate Homos" flag from the backbenches and was one of 27 Democrats-- again almost all Blue Dogs who, like herself, went on to defeat at the hands of grassroots Democrats unwilling to bother voting for reactionaries in 2010.

Of course, it's not just on equality that Herseth Sandlin is unqualified to run for office as a Democrat. She worked with the GOP to try to sabotage both health care reform and environmental legislation, voting against both the Affordable Care Act and Cap-and-Trade, and she was a shill for the NRA the entire time she served in the House. They gave her $5,000 during her 2004 campaign and supported her with hefty contributions against Republicans every time she ran. Besides giving her money flat out, the NRA Political Victory Fund endorsed her and spent $16,889 in 2010 on independent expenditures for her. Yesterday Greg Sargent did a column about wealthy Democratic donors who have had it with NRA shills like Herseth Sandlin and would no longer contribute to their campaigns. Kenneth Lerer of NY and David Bohnett of L.A. are done being suckered by right-wing, pro-NRA Democrats and the money faucet is shut. Hopefully, they're both savvy enough to figure out when they donate to the DSCC and the DNC that money goes right into the campaigns of faithless Democrats like Herseth Sandlin. Last year alone, Bohnett contributed $219,500 to Democratic candidates and PACs. In the same period Lerer gave over $80,000, including $30,800 to the DNC.

Normal Democrats in South Dakota, including several county chairmen, are circulating a petition to draft U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the son of Senator Tim Johnson, who's stepping down, well aware that Herseth Sandlin is a proven loser who, as a candidate, will simply hand the Senate seat over to the GOP.
We believe that South Dakota needs someone in the U.S. Senate who will continue and expand upon Sen. Tim Johnson’s record of fighting for everyday people in Congress – even when that means standing up to big health insurance companies, Wall Street executives, Ag corporations, and oil tycoons.

We need a senator who will stand up for core Democratic values-- someone we can rely on to do the right thing without fear, especially when it comes to fighting for people who work for a living.

We need someone who believes that the role of government is to help people, and who is not afraid to ask the rich to pay their fair share. Someone who will make smart investments in our future and grow the middle class.

We believe Brendan Johnson should run for Senate.

As South Dakota’s U.S. Attorney, Brendan is our state's chief federal law enforcement officer. He has used that power to fight for the little guy.

Under Brendan Johnson’s leadership, South Dakota is the national leader in cracking down on deadbeat dads-- with over 50 percent of the nation's total federal prosecutions happening in South Dakota. Brendan Johnson was named 2013 Prosecutor of the Year by groups combating violence against women. And Johnson has played a national role in fighting on behalf of Native Americans.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 8:05 PM, Anonymous me said...

conservatism and corruption being historically inseparable

That is oh so true.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger caheidelberger said...

I'm from South Dakota. I was unhappy with SHS for each of the votes you cite above.

That said, I haven't heard Brendan Johnson's public positions on gay marriage, PPACA, or cap-and-trade. Can you provide some evidence that he won't speak Blue Doggerel on those issues just like SHS?

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous grudznick said...

I'm from South Dakota and respect Mr. H who posted above.

I was happy with young Ms. Sandlin for some of her votes. But she won't win here again.

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Jon C. said...

Brendan Johnson is definitely the progressive alternative and we need to urge him to run for U.S. Senate in South Dakota.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger caheidelberger said...

Jon, I hope Brendan is a progressive alternative. Can you point me toward some public statements that support that claim... or does Johnson's current job make it impossible to ask him for such political statements?

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Jon C. said...

Well we sure don't want a George W. Bush Democrat in the Senate - essentially another Joe Lieberman - and that's what Stephanie would be, just as she was in the House.

My understanding is that Brendan Johnson does have to refrain from taking public stands while still serving as U.S. Attorney. However, talking to people who know him convinces me that he has very different and much more progressive views than Stephanie.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger caheidelberger said...

I've met Brendan. He's a good guy. If he steps out from his job and takes the right progressive positions, I'll jump up and down for him.

But before we get all fired up, let me remind you of the 2012 campaign. A very similar Draft Varilek campaign got Dems excited about Matt Varilek (also a good guy). Then during the primary season, he expressed support for Keystone XL (so did Jeff Barth, his primary opponent). Then, a week after President Obama declared his big swing to support gay marriage, Varilek said he did not support efforts to redefine traditional marriage... which position lost him the support and donations of some progressive SD Dems, and which position likely would have incurred some of the harsh rhetoric Mr. Klein above dishes on SHS.

I'm not saying Brendan will disappoint us. I'm just saying we don't know his positions enough to declare him the great SD progressive hope.

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Kathy said...

Another SD voter here. I didn't vote for Herseth-Sandlin (or Noem, either) last time and I won't vote for her if she runs again. My votes go to Democrats not "dogs."


Post a Comment

<< Home