Thursday, April 04, 2013

Would You Like To See John Boehner Lose His Seat In 2014? Let's Get Started


When EMILY's List started they were the bee's knees-- an inspired organization meant to help put progressive women into political office in numbers more commensurate with their share of the population. In recent years, I've come to distrust EMILY's List as I see them backing horribly conservative and unqualified women against sterling progressive men who are better on women's issues-- and everything else-- than their miserable sadsack candidates. The worst example, though by no means the only, was in 2008 when they ran right-wing anti-Semite Nikki Tinker against Steve Cohen in Memphis. It was the beginning of the new untrustworthy EMILY's List model and it's something that has been repeated again and again. They frequently back very conservative and very corrupt women against progressive men. Last cycle, for example, they knocked out phenomenal progressive champions Eric Griego (NM) and Chris Donovan (CT) for two pathetic corporate shills, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Elizabeth Esty. Still, there's no denying one major contribution EMILY's List made in their glory days when they were part of the emerging progressive coalition they have since abandoned. The women who started it didn't name it for Emily Dickinson or Emily Browning. It's an acronym for "Early Money Is Like Yeast" (it raises dough). When the organization got going in 1985, they already knew that early money was one of the key ingredients to a successful campaign, but that it was missing for most grassroots campaigns. It's how campaigns get off the ground, hire staff and get a strategic plan into operation, very different from late money used to run TV and radio ads.

The DCCC tells Democratic congressional candidates that if they want to run, they have to bring in over $250,000 per quarter for the election cycle. That's why we're stuck with so many millionaires and multimillionaires in Congress-- even on the Democratic side of the aisle, many of whom don't see issues from the same perspective normal people do. It's why, even as Congress prepares to liberalize laws regarding marriage equality, marijuana and perhaps even gun safety, economic justice is still way at the back of the line.

Last year John Boehner (R-OH) raised $22,024,288 for the election cycle. His Leadership PAC raised another $3,715,270. And he didn't have an opponent! Between the PAC and his own campaign coffers he already has over a million dollars for next year. The DCCC has shown no interest whatsoever in challenging him or in giving a hand to anyone who does. In 2010 an Army vet and young father, West Point graduate Justin Coussoule ran against him. The DCCC didn't ignore the race; instead they went out of their way to humiliate and demoralize Coussoule and his supporters. That's a big part of why no one bothered to run against Boehner in 2012.

But one of those Coussoule supporters decided to run this cycle, Andrew Hounshell, a steel worker from Middletown who is also vice president of his union local. Another army vet and young father, Andrew was chosen by President Obama to introduce him at his campaign's big closing rally in Cincinnati last year. Andrew grew up in a Republican home but as he matured he saw through all the lies and hypocrisy, especially on issues like a living wage and fair trade. This is what he told me when I asked him about his, pardon the expression, evolution:
"There wasn’t one particular event that turned on a light bulb, but rather a combination of many: college, union work, community work, my father relying on the VA for health care, my mother relying on her Social Security to survive, in-laws going without health insurance because they can’t afford it after my father in-law was laid-off from Delphi, having 3 children at one time (the list goes on and on). I realized that through policy, our elected officials do have a huge impact on our livelihood. Through cuts in Social Security, appointments to the NLRB, cuts to the VA, immigration reform (or lack thereof), tax loopholes for corporations, subsidies to oil companies, etc., our middle class has been eroded and we are not taking care of those who can no longer take care of themselves. The Republicans I loved as a child, and I thought loved me back, were the very ones who were supporting this erosion."
Blue America didn't try to barge in while every candidate and every committee was frantic over the phony-baloney end of the quarter "deadline" last week. It's quieted down now and we're trying to help Andy raise that yeast-like money to get his campaign going. Can you kick in, even if it's just a small amount? The DCCC isn't going to lift a finger to defeat John Boehner or Paul Ryan or Eric Cantor; they never have. The NRCC always targets senior Democratic policy makers. Steve Israel has decreed that the DCCC will not do likewise. He makes sure GOP leaders have a safe and easy path to reelection. It's really going to be up to grassroots Democrats to help local candidates in Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia get rid of these three malefactors. Andrew is in early; let's help him build a strong campaign against Boehner. Here the Blue America contribution page for 2014 House candidates. There aren't many so far.

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At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah!


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