Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blue America Endorses Paul Clements For Congress (MI-06)... And Donna Edwards Takes The Lead In Maryland


Last cycle Republican Fred Upton spent $3,941,684 on his reelection bid against progressive first-time candidate Paul Clements, who managed to raise $793,717. 68% of Upton's money ($2,668,096) came from PACs. Upton, who was first elected to Congress in 1986, was reelected with 55.8% of the vote. Steve Israel's vehemently anti-progressive DCCC refused to support Clements in this very winnable district, where Obama beat McCain 53-45% in 2008 and then was edged out by Romney in 2012, 50-49%. With Israel still controlling the DCCC through sock-puppet Ben Ray Luján, no one expects the DCCC to step up to the plate in 2016 either. But this week Clements once again declared he would be taking on Upton. He wrote to his supporters:
Last year we campaigned to protect our natural resources, to reduce the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics, and to improve the lives of hardworking Americans. The problems you and I saw have only become more severe, and the people condoning these problems are more entrenched in their positions. But the energy to fix these problems, the yearning for new leadership, has only grown stronger. This is our time... Last year you and I built the most powerful grassroots movement southwest Michigan has ever seen. Hundreds of volunteers here in our district joined hands with thousands of contributors across the state and country to propel our movement forward. In doing so, we proved something. Congressman Upton can be beaten. He will be beaten.
Blue America immediately endorsed Clements, who believes we can create a strong and sustainable economy that respects workers, protects the environment, and uses American innovation and technology to reduce our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, attributes that no one would attribute to Fred Upton. Clements is committed to protecting our open spaces, our rivers, and especially the Great Lakes. He believes it’s time for both parties to stop playing games with global warming and work together in Congress and with our international allies to reverse the terrible damage we’re creating for future generations.

"By making renewable energy a top priority," Clements told us, "we can lead our country into a new era of modern manufacturing, creating jobs and putting the brakes on the damage to our increasingly fragile environment."

He's an optimist when it comes to making sure the 21st Century is an American Century.
But we need to get government working for the people again... Democracy in America and American prosperity are in danger. If we want to restore the middle class we need to turn around increasing economic inequality and the tidal wave of money in politics. If we want a bright future for our children and grandchildren we need to turn the trend on climate change. We’ve given up too much to the wealthiest Americans and to politicians corrupted by money and power. It’s time to take back our democracy and to build an economy that works for all Americans.

We need to rebuild manufacturing in America, focusing on high tech and clean energy, on sectors with growing demand. We need to increase investment in infrastructure, science and technology. We need significant improvement in education in terms of quality, access and affordability, from pre-K through adult job training. We need to continue to improve health care quality and access while containing costs. We need to reform our criminal justice system and strengthen low-income communities. We need to raise the minimum wage. In order to achieve and certainly to sustain these successes, we need campaign finance reform.

It would make no sense to take care of the economy but to fail to protect the environment. The biggest threat is climate change. We need to take proactive steps to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy. Companies around the globe that profit from pollution and from depleting our natural resources need to cover the costs. The only way the world can address climate change effectively is with American leadership, so America needs to lead.

Protecting the environment and pushing back on Republican climate-change denials will once again be front and center in Clements' campaign. Here's how he explains it to MI-06 voters:
Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing the United States and the world. On current carbon pollution trends, due to rising oceans we could see not only New Orleans and Miami but also much of Boston and New York under water by the end of the century. Recent drought and forest fires in California offer a pale portent of what can be expected for much of the Great Plains, Southwest, and West Coast. Southwest Michigan faces threats to health, water resources, agriculture, and tourism, as well as the loss of many tree and animal species. The poor are most vulnerable, both within the U.S. and around the world. On current trends flooding, heat and drought will create millions of climate refugees, food crises, and, without greatly enhanced response capacity, widespread starvation. International and intra-state conflicts will increase, and governments will fall.

Climate change can only be addressed effectively with American leadership, but Congressman Upton, who currently represents Michigan’s 6th district, is spearheading efforts to undermine this leadership. He used to call for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it appears that the price of becoming chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee included his becoming a climate science skeptic.

Most crises are also opportunities, and climate change is no exception. There will be millions of jobs in clean energy manufacturing. We can bring many of these jobs to Michigan and the sixth district, but not without American climate leadership. Transitioning to clean energy improves health and local control. Internationally the choice is between greater international cooperation with American leadership and greater chaos and conflict without it. Increasing cooperation will help to address other conflicts, such as in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. It will help to turn China and Russia into partners rather than enemies.
Blue America has added Paul Clements to our ActBlue page, and we hope you'll consider making a contribution to his efforts. It's up to us. Clements is the kind of progressive truth-teller Steve Israel will never allow the DCCC to back.

UPDATE: Donna Edwards Is Winning In Maryland

Progressive champion Donna Edwards-- endorsed by Blue America-- is beating wishy-washy Establishment shill Chris Van Hollen in the Maryland open seat Senate race, according to a poll released this morning. The poll by Global Strategy Group shows Edwards at 42% and Van Hollen at 37%, outside the margin of error and despite Van Hollen's financial advantage. Donna leads among women, African-Americans and with younger voters and is beating Van Hollen in Baltimore, the state's biggest city. If you'd like to help Donna win this one and overcome the Establishment money going to Van Hollen, here's the place.

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