Friday, June 26, 2015

How Can You Tell If A Candidate Is A Progressive Or Not?


DINO Maria Gutzeit has already proven how awful she is

Sometimes candidates lie about where they are politically to get support. Two of the worst Blue Dogs I ever had the misfortune to see in action-- Chris Carney (PA) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)-- swore to me on the phone before they were elected that they were dedicated progressives. Both are bare-faced liars. Probably the only way to be sure is to watch the voting records after the election. 

A handful of candidates are movement progressives, and you have nothing to worry about. When Bernie Sanders ran, when Alan Grayson ran, when Donna Edwards ran, they had already been toiling in our fields and they didn't have to do a lot to prove their progressive credentials; they live them. But they are the exception, not the rule. And with Beltway Establishment leaders like Chuck Schumer, Jon Tester and Steve Israel doing everything in their power to discourage progressives from even running for Congress, many candidates think they have to run as a conservative or even as a Republican-lite to get elected, a theme always encouraged and amplified by Schumer, Israel and Tester.

Yesterday a candidate already endorsed by Blue America, Lou Vince, sent out a letter to CA-25 residents. He has to face a conservative Democrat, Maria Gutzeit, and a Tea Party Republican, Steve Knight, and he appears to be leaving the conservative base for the two of them to split up. He made no bones about where he stands on the issues-- a huge no-no for DINOs and for the DCCC.

"As a Congressman," he wrote, "I will be committed to…"
Protecting Social Security and Medicare
Making college affordable
Raising the minimum wage
Reforming the banking system to protect our economy
Fighting against unfair trade deals
Rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure
Protecting our local environment and passing legislation to curb climate change
Fighting for our civil liberties and civil rights
Protecting marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose
You look at that list of priorities Vince is putting forth and you have to say "Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party" or, as Howard Dean put it several years ago, "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." The DCCC has been screwing up Democrats' chances to win this recently blue-leaning district for several cycles. And even though CA-25 would be one of the best pick-up opportunities for a Democrat, though not for a DINO like Gutzeit, the DCCC doesn't seem very interested at all.

We're trying to help Lou Vince, not just a progressive but a former marine and LAPD officer, win the seat. If you want to help-- and I hope you do-- please take a look at this page.

If you're a frequent reader here, you know how we feel about John Kline, the reactionary Republican from MN-02, a district just south of the Twin Cities. If you just wandered in here accidentally but still want to know something about Kline... here you go.

Yes, he's truly that horrific. Angie Craig is one of two Democrats seeking the DFL nomination to take on Kline. I asked a friend from South St. Paul, much of which is part of the district, if Angie is a progressive. He hemmed and hawed a little bit. "She is on all the basic issues," he told me. "But she's not Elizabeth Warren or Alan Grayson or Keith Ellison. The good news-- someone who grew up as a lesbian in the South, is never going to be a Blue Dog." Well... that's not really the case. Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ) and Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), indisputably two of the absolute worst DINOs in Congress, try tricking people-- primarily donors-- into thinking they're progressive and offer their gayness as proof. It does't prove anything except which gender they prefer to have sex with. So I knew I had to dig a little deeper.

Angie's official announcement statement offers some clues:
As someone who grew up in a trailer park and worked my way to the boardroom, I know that every family has potential and that every family deserves a chance to succeed. In Congress, I will work to protect public education, make college more affordable, ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and create jobs, and keep our promises to our seniors and those nearing retirement age. John Kline has had his chance to put middle class families first and he has failed. We deserve better.
Nothing wrong with any of that. Encouraging, in fact. But does it predict how she'll vote on the next TPP? I don't think it does. So... I'm going to talk to her on the phone and see what I can find out about how she thinks and how she makes decisions. And... I'll let you know. But one way or the other, this is going to be an important race. Obama won the district both times he ran, and both Minnesota senators, centrist Amy Klobuchar and progressive Al Franken, won the district in their own elections. If the Democrats run an actual Democrat-- and not some more of that DINO garbage the DCCC has been recruiting all over the map-- MN-02 can be blue again. But not with a Blue Dog or New Dem, with a progressive Democrat who backs ideas like this:

UPDATE: Democrats Are Very Thankful And Very Proud Today

After this morning's Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality was handed down (on which Ken will have more to say later today), the aforementioned Angie Craig, like many candidates, expressed her gratitude and her joy. "When I came out in a small Arkansas town in 1989, I couldn’t imagine that I would live to see this day. I’ve watched as countless families, all over the country, struggle for the same recognition that my wife Cheryl, our four children, and I were fortunate to be afforded in Minnesota. While today is a day for celebration, we can’t forget there is still more to do to stop discrimination against the entire LGBT community in areas such as employment and housing, just to name a couple... There are still millions in the LGBT community across the country who can still be fired just because of who they are – and there is no excuse for that. I worked to implement our non-discrimination policy at St. Jude, and I can tell you first hand that the effects were only positive. Non-discrimination should be the law of the land, and I’m ready to lead that fight in Congress. We can’t let the work ahead blind us to the fact that this is the most significant milestone in the LGBT community’s long journey to true equality under the law."

AMAZING BUT TRUE: The Supreme Court looks into the
Constitution and finds some rights for people who aren't rich

As Howie notes above, I'll be poking around today's decision at 3pm PT/6pm ET. -- Ken

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At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The good news-- someone who grew up as a lesbian in the South, is never going to be a Blue Dog." Well... that's not really the case. Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ) and Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), indisputably two of the absolute worst DINOs in Congress, try tricking people-- primarily donors-- into thinking they're progressive and offer their gayness as proof."

The execrable Jared Polis is all the proof you need that pretending that identity politics covers all democratic bases is a lie.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this old article and wondered if you’d look into the Angie Craig, Jeff Erdmann candidate face off. I’m still very in the mindset she will never win CD2 as she is exactly as you state- not a blue dog. A follow up would be great though!


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