Friday, August 14, 2015

Ann Kirkpatrick In Arizona? Don't Waste Your Time


Arizona needs a REAL choice, not 2 conservatives

Ann Kirkpatrick is a New Dem congresswoman from a swing district in Arizona, and the DSCC recruited her to run against John McCain for Senate. AZ-01 is immense, covering nearly half the state and the gigantic Navajo Reservation. The district is bigger than the state of Pennsylvania.

There is a 10-point Democratic registration advantage, but Democratic candidates have been unable to rally voters and the PVI is R+4. McCain won the district against Obama with 51% and Romney won with 50%. Kirkpatrick won the seat in 2008 after Republican Rick Renzi was indicted and forced to resign. Two years later she lost it, and two years after that she won it back, 52.5-47.5%. A cautious centrist by nature, she has a ProgressivePunch score of "F," and her lifetime crucial-vote score is a sad 51.41, indicating she generally backs Boehner's agenda about as frequently as she backs progressive initiatives.

The DSCC has set up a classic "lesser of two evils" contest. The race is McCain's to lose. Kirkpatrick has little to offer other than supporting women's equality, which for some voters will be enough. It's the kind of race EMILY's List will use to raise money for itself and for its corrupted executives and their friends and cronies-- a typical Beltway Democrats' kind of campaign that has turned grassroots Democrats off to "their" party.

R.L. Miller, co-founder of Climate Hawks Vote and chairwoman of the California Democratic Party's Environmental Caucus, attended an L.A. fundraiser this week for Kirkpatrick and wrote up the experience.
I got up close and personal with Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona senatorial candidate, tonight at a private home in West L.A. There will be significant pressure from the Democratic Party and closely affiliated groups to endorse her simply because she's running against John McCain. (She is so far unopposed in the Democratic primary, and McCain faces a minor threat from a minor tea party character.) For reasons set forth below, in my opinion it would be a huge mistake for progressives/climate hawks to do so, unless her platform improves tremendously.

1. She is a warm and pleasant person who seems to care about people. She was quick to point out that she accepts climate science. But...

2. I asked her point blank why she opposed the draft Clean Power Plan and promotes coal. Her answer: jobs. She went on and on about her huge rural district with four coal plants and the jobs they provide to Navajos and others. She wants to balance environmental protection with economic growth.

3. She flatly denied getting talking points from APS [Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest utility and one of the largest campaign donors for anti-environment congressmembers] to harm the solar industry, as this article says she did.

(Segue to Iran deal, which she is thoughtfully considering/hasn't made up her mind, voter fraud, and healthcare. Most people in this room are not that interested in climate and sort of annoyed with me at this point.)

4. She says she supports solar, notes a wind farm just opened in her district (true). I didn't call her out on this, because people want to talk other stuff, but she only cosponsored 2 solar bills in the 113th Congress and has virtually never spoken out or engaged the public on solar.

5. Her solutions: do the easy stuff first. Electric vehicles make sense along the east and west coasts because, arglebargle... something about geography, I can't even articulate why, but she very clearly stated that the Midwest is not ready for electric vehicles. Then use natural gas as a bridge from coal.

6. Then she started talking about clean coal, being researched at Northern AZ University, and at this point the people in the room just started laughing derisively.

Maybe the Democrats will get within striking distance of retaking the Senate and feel that they can't ignore this seat. Maybe this event served as a wakeup call regarding her inadequate climate platform. But I'd recommend staying away from this race for the foreseeable future.
R.L.'s analysis of Kirkpatrick based on environment and climate change can be applied to her pretty much across the board. Better than a Republican... but not worth the effort of resources to help her with her career. She's a typical slimy Chuck Schumer recruit, next to worthless. Courage and leadership aren't things that have ever crossed her mind-- other than, perhaps, avoiding them. The Blue America Senate candidates are nothing like her. They are fighting progressives who will stand up for working families and the good of this country first and foremost.

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