Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blue America Endorses Zephyr Teachout For Congress


You probably remember how excited we were to see progressive icon Zephyr Teachout take on corrupt conservaDem Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York in 2014. She did remarkably well outside of Machine-controlled parts of New York. She won 30 counties, some with over 70% support. This week she announced that she's running for the open congressional seat-- Republican Chris Gibson isn't seeking reelection-- encompassing an area she swept when she ran against Cuomo. Of the 11 counties that make up NY-19, the only one she didn't win, Broome, has almost no voters in the congressional district. The biggest county in the district is Ulster, where she beat Cuomo 69.95% to 27.41%. (Yes, that's a landslide-- and in the county where NY-19 is won or lost.) Dutchess is the second biggest county and she beat him there 57.51%- 40.36%. Then comes Rensselaer where it was Zephyr 63.42%, Cuomo 33.02%. In Columbia County it was Zephyr 77.91% to 20.43 for Cuomo. And so on.

This is a blue district that gave Obama and 53-45% win over McCain and a 52-46% win over Romney and the only thing that has kept it in Republican hands is obdurate DCCC incompetence. Have they welcomed Zephyr and the chance to win back a Republican-held seat? The DCCC would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive. That's what's evolved from the monstrosity made over by Rahm Emanuel, Chris Van Hollen and Steve Israel. A DCCC course admits they are actively trying to recruit a conservative to run against Zephyr now, just as they've done in districts all over the country. You can fight the DCCC and the Republican Party here.

Yesterday, Dave Weigel, writing for the Washington Post wondered aloud why she is running in NY-19. She moved into the district last year. "I am a country person. I enjoyed my years in the city, but I was very excited to move up here. These are the people I want to be drinking beer with and playing cribbage with... In the primary, I probably spent more time in this district than any other. I worked with anti-fracking groups, and I learned a lot about ideas people had for renewable energy. I got very excited about ground source heat pumps, I’ve got to tell you. Then I did a tour trying to get more teachers to run for office. Oh, and before that I did a book tour that was heavily on these towns. I kept driving around meeting people. Even this last month, when I was talking to people about getting in, I ran into so many friends... I’m drawn to the populist tradition. That means taking on big companies, and it also means a basic respect for people and a focus on decentralized power. And there are some decisions that should be made at the state level... I’m independent and I’m not afraid to stand up to the political establishment. But I also was raised to be very polite and talk to everybody. I’ve reached out to Democratic leaders across the state; I’d leave it up to them to talk to you and say how they thought it went. I think it’s really possible to be independent and honest, and have great human friendships, while fighting for what you believe in."

The Oneonta Daily Star emphasized that Teachout will focus on themes like the need to give people shut out of the political system a voice in their government and promoting greater reliance on renewable forms of energy.
Teachout has already been crowned the “consensus” candidate of the majority of the 11 Democratic county chairs in the 19th District. One other Democrat, Will Yandik of Columbia County, has been struggling to gain support while Teachout appears to be igniting the passion of party activists.

Two weeks ago, a throng of Teachout supporters packed O’Neill’s Shire Pub in Delhi in an event that Tom Schimmerling, the Delaware County Democratic chairman, said brought to mind an exuberant rally for Robert F. Kennedy decades earlier.

“We had this huge spontaneous turnout for her on a snowy night when there was a travel advisory in effect,” Schimmerling said. “There was more electricity in that room than I have ever seen. People were pumped, and no one would have taken ‘no’ for an answer on her running.”

Schimmerling predicted that Teachout will get the support of the county’s Democratic committee on Feb. 24.

In Cooperstown, Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said Teachout represents the Democrats’ best hope for taking the seat in November.

Teachout said she will have to work hard to raise campaign funds, noting, “I’m not independently wealthy.”
Besides Blue America, the Working Families Party and the PCCC have endorsed her right out of the box. What's attractive about her candidacy is not just her reliability as a good vote on crucial matters-- although with all those crap DCCC New Dems and Blue Dogs, God knows we need reliable progressive voters-- but her leadership abilities and her commitment to the values and principles that make America unique in the world and that will keep America progressing. She is a thinker, an organizer, a leader... and the long-in-the-tooth geriatric congressional party desperately needs that. The congressional party elders are two decades older than their Republican counterparts and no longer nimble or effective. The House Democrats need new leaders like Zephyr, like Pramila Jayapal, Alex Law, Bao Nguyen, Tim Canova, Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Jamie Raskin...

Zephyr, a law professor, gets compared to another former law professor now in Congress, Elizabeth Warren. Where Warren has moved Congress on consumer protection in regard to Wall Street, Zephyr is one of the country's foremost experts on campaign finance reforms and political corruption. Congress needs her desperately-- and so do the American people. This is a perfect race to get involved in and to beat back the conservatism and corruption inherent in the Republican Party and in the DCCC and the wing of the Democratic Party it represents. Please consider helping Zephyr Teachout's campaign today. Let's take back our country, one district at a time.

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At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"(T)he only thing that has kept (NY-19) in Republican hands is obdurate DCCC incompetence." Well, that and the fact that Col. Gibson was one of the few examples of that oft-mentioned and rarely seen unicorns - a Republican moderate. As an example, Gibson's first Chief of Staff came from unionized labor.


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