Thursday, April 02, 2015

As Republicans Have Learned, The Primary Strategy Is One Way Of Reshaping Congress


FL-18 voters should be able to improve upon this

There's a good chance Alan Grayson is going to run for the Florida Senate seat currently occupied by Marco Rubio. In fact, Blue America is encouraging him to do just that. Having Grayson in the Senate could be transformative not just for Florida but for the whole country... although the short side of the equation is that we won't have Grayson in the House any longer. The other Democratic candidate for the Florida Senate seat, albeit barely a Democrat at all, is Patrick Murphy. Murphy is a shady right-of-center New Dem and Wall Street shill. Having him out of the House is the big plus of his candidacy-- as long as he loses the Senate race. We don't know if his replacement will be any better, but we do know that his replacement won't be any worse.

Last cycle, when Saxby Chambliss decided to retire from the Senate, three of Georgia's worst right-wing extremists-- Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston-- all gave up safe House seats to run for the Senate seat. None of them made it out of the Republican primary. Even better news is that Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston are no longer Members of Congress. The bad news is that they have been replaced, respectively, with Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk and Buddy Carter, none of whom is an improvement over their predecessor.

In 2016 Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will be retiring from the Senate. Although Elijah Cummings and two right-of-center fake Dems (John Delaney and Dutch Ruppersberger) are also mulling runs for the Senate seat, two prominent House Members have already declared: progressive icon Donna Edwards (you can support her here) and Establishment careerist Chris Van Hollen. There's a decent chance that Donna's House seat in Prince George's County (MD-04) will be won by another top-notch progressive, perhaps State Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk. But over in Montgomery County (MD-08), it looks like there could be a real improvement as Van Hollen moves on and strong progressive activist State Senator Jamie Raskin takes the seat.

Tuesday we mentioned that centrist and careerist Tammy Duckworth is giving up her seat representing Chicagoland's northwest suburbs (IL-08) to run for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Mark Kirk. Although Duckworth isn't likely to be any better as a senator than she's been as a congresswoman, there's a good chance for a real improvement in the House. Although there are a couple of uninspiring centrist types-- Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tom Cullerton-- likely to run, populist State Senator Mike Noland is probably the frontrunner. His record is a clear indication that the folks in Schaumburg, Elgin, Carpentersville, Carol Stream, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village and Bloomingdale will be getting a good bargain. Noland has been working to decriminalize marijuana, and is one of Illinois's heroes on campaign finance reform. He considers a more progressive tax a moral issue.

Over the course of the next few weeks we'll be talking to some of the progressives running for these seats. The ones who genuinely have something to offer will wind up on this page. This morning two of the worst Democratic freshmen who lost in 2014-- Illinois New Dem Brad Schneider and Texas Blue Dog Pete Gallego-- announced rematches for 2016. They both broadly supported the GOP agenda and lost the support of Democratic voters. Why would anyone want to see either run again?

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