Sunday, October 04, 2015

Tom Guild Is Running In Oklahoma Based On The Issues That People Care About-- Will It Work?


Have Oklahoma City voters had enough of congressional mad dogs like Clyde Russell?

Imagine a candidate's platform making this promise: "If elected, I promise to never vote to shut the government down!" As odd as it seems, it makes sense in the context of the infantile and nihilistic Republican response to not getting their way. And that quote is from Tom Guild, the progressive Democrat running for the Oklahoma City-based congressional seat held by reactionary government shut-down advocate Steve Russell. Or, as Guild put it:
My erstwhile opponent, freshman Tea Partier Rep. Clyde "Steve" Russell (R &Tea Party-OK), has committed another offense for which he should be told, "You're fired!" You would think that someone like Mr. Russell, who makes $285,000 in salary and benefits paid for by taxpayers, should at least be able to keep the federal government's lights on.

Congress averted a government shutdown by approving a short-term spending bill (until December 11) a few hours before the deadline. If the bill had been voted down on September 30, the government would have shut down and turned out the lights.  With enormous stakes staring him in the face, Russell irresponsibly voted "no" on keeping the government open and the lights on. Mr. Russell voted to shut the government down. A unanimous vote by the House Democratic Caucus saved the day and kept the government open for business. Russell's job performance is sort of like hiring a lifeguard for your backyard pool, who then drains the pool and goes home before your guests arrive to spend his pay check.

Fire Russell! If he can't even keep the government open, he is highly unlikely to accomplish anything useful for those of us who pay his salary! It seems he would destroy everything in his wake to defund Planned Parenthood and deprive American women of necessary health care services.
Guild and Russell differ-- fundamentally so-- on a wide range of issues, based on the life experiences each man has had. Russell doesn't see government as a force for improving people's lives. Guild does. This weekend Guild told his supporters that he has supported Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) from day one and that he still supports it, even though he sees room for improvement. "I was disappointed," he said, "that the public option was not part of the final bill, but the ACA is a very good start on the road to universal health care coverage in our country. Access to affordable health care is a prerequisite for reclaiming the American Dream that some Americans no longer feel is within their reach."
My Republican opponent, Steve Russell (R-Choctaw), incumbent and Tea Party member, not only voted to repeal the ACA (for the 51st time), he was a co-sponsor of a bill in the U.S. House to implement his unfortunate plan. His bill, HR 596, passed by the House earlier this year, was fortunately unable to muster the votes for repeal in the U.S. Senate. As a freshman incumbent, instead of helping Oklahomans and Americans gain health care coverage, Russell wants to take it away again.

As of mid-2015, here is what the ACA has already accomplished--

        10.2 million additional Americans have gained covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

        12.3 million additional Americans have enrolled and gained health care coverage through Medicaid and the CHIPS program.

        The uninsured rate for Americans from 2013-2015 declined 9.2% for African Americans, 12.3% for Latinos, and 7.7% for American women.

        55 million American women are now benefiting from preventive services coverage with no costs out-of-pocket.

       Health insurers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, and being a woman is no longer a “pre-existing condition” to deny women coverage.
If you'd like to help Tom make his case in a red district that just elected a progressive Democrat to the state legislature-- shocking the GOP establishment-- Tom's Act Blue page is right here.

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