Thursday, February 18, 2016

In Politics, No One's Perfect-- Not Even Bernie

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Bernie's the best there is so, let's be clear from sentence one-- this is not meant to shake anyone's faith him him. Unless you were around when FDR was president, I have no doubt a Bernie presidency would be the most positive and consequential presidency in your lifetime. And mine. But he made a mistake when he was campaigning in New Hampshire. He allowed a highly flawed congressional candidate, Shawn O'Connor, to speak at some of his events. That's because O'Connor endorsed him. O'Connor, a Wall Street guy who was advocating cutting Social Security benefits a few weeks before his desperate and opportunistic ploy of endorsing Bernie to see what would rub off on him. Please notice, on the Blue America page for progressive congressional candidates who have endorsed Bernie, there is no Shawn O'Connor. That's because it's for progressives who have endorsed Bernie, not conservaDems, "ex"-Republicans or Wall Street shills who have endorsed Bernie.

O'Connor thinks he's progressive because he supports gay equality-- like New Dems Sean Patrick Maloney and Kyrsten Sinema, both of whom are, like O'Connor, gay, and are good on that one issue. O'Connor, who is running against an actual proven progressive, Carol Shea-Porter, wrote his campaign a check for a million dollars before launching a spurious Republican-style attack against her-- one of the country's most outspoken and respected advocates of campaign finance reform-- for being a big money shill.




He's trying to get attention from low-info voters by mouthing platitudes based on policies people like Bernie and Carol have been working on for years and years, while he was ripping people off on Wall Street and currying favor with the big donors who are helping him finance his slime-ball campaign today. Last cycle the Sierra Club spent $2,696 supporting Carol and Gabby Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions-- which worked with Carol on gun safety issues-- spent $529,350 on her race. O'Connor is demanding she not accept this kind of money and using a slight of hand to make it look like she accepts money from corrupt Wall Street PACs, which never has and never would. He's trying to claim a moral equivalency of taking corporate PAC money with the support Carol gets from small donors giving through unions and organizations like Blue America, the League of Conservation Voters, the Civil Liberties Union, Council for a Livable World, the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood and the Partnership for Democracy & Education. This deceitfulness is standard fare for Republicans attacking Democrats-- so it comes naturally for O'Connor.

O'Connor, in begging for support from the DCCC-- which even they had the rare good sense to turn down-- vowed to spend millions of his own to buy the seat, money he made when he worked at Lehman Bros and then worked scamming wealthy New Yorkers top dollar (charging $8,000 for five applications) to help them get into law schools. Recently he moved to New Hampshire from NYC to run for the Senate, but when he was laughed out of town he decided it try for a House seat instead. Since he's a newcomer, he doesn't know anything about Carol's powerful history of grassroots politics and both advocating for and practicing campaign finance reform.

"Since her first election," her campaign manager, Naomi Andrews told us, "Carol has always been a champion for campaign finance reform and for making sure that the voices of Granite Staters are heard in the election process. That is why, as a candidate, Carol has refused to accept corporate PAC and DC lobbyist money, and supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citzens United. She put herself through college working in factories so she is proud to receive support from labor-- working men and women, because she knows how tough it is for them. She is disappointed that he is attacking unions for supporting her.



 "The other pledge, to live on $15,000 a year, is just another attempt to get noticed. If he pledged not to use any of his own money to supplement his living costs, he would soon find that it is not possible. Wages really are too low. If he is still going to live his lifestyle by using his own money, then it's an insult to those in our state and country who are really struggling on those wages to pretend he is living like they are. Carol actually did raise the minimum wage in Congress and signed onto legislation to raise it again... In previous elections, Carol has called on her Republican opponents to join her in signing the People’s Pledge, which would prevent third-party groups from flooding our airwaves with millions of dollars in negative advertising. Dan Innis and Frank Guinta both refused to sign.



"She once again calls on the Republican opponents, and invites her primary opponent as well, to sign a stronger People’s Pledge that would include a complete rejection of self-funding, because self-funding means the campaign system is rigged for the wealthiest, encourages the richest to move to a state to try to buy a seat, and destroys the grassroots tradition, since there is zero reliance on or accountability to the people."

I guess Naomi didn't want to say it, but Shawn O'Connor, is just a mini-Donald Trump-- main differnce being that at least Trump has pledged to not cut Social Security. If you'd like to help Carol Shea-Porter beat conservaDem Shawn O'Connor and then reactionary Republican Frank Guinta, please consider contributing to her campaign here or by tapping the thermometer. Maybe O'Connor will learn the difference between a corporate PAC and a grassroots campaign... someday.

Goal Thermometer


UPDATE: The O'Connor Challenge

How can he live on the minimum wage or $15,000, a year when his property tax alone on just one of his houses-- an estate in Bedford, New Hampshire-- is $19,400? Does anyone in New Hampshire fall for this kind of typical Republican trickery?

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