Sunday, March 27, 2016

How Badly Out Of Touch With Their Constituents Are Democratic Members Of Congress?


Elected leaders in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii proved to be wildly out of synch with their Democratic constituents Saturday. I wonder if any of them are wondering how their own careers are jeopardized by the overwhelming rejection of their candidates and the establishment. A staffer for Senator Brian Schatz, a policy liberal who endorses strictly establishment candidates, told me while the votes were being counted that Schatz had backed Hillary, at least in part, because he is related to Madeline "Place in Hell" Albright, a rabid, unhinged Clinton supporter. But Schatz, who's #1 priority in the Senate seems to be Climate Change and the environment, was talked into endorsing the very conservative, anti-environment Democrat running as the establishment pick for the open Florida Senate seat, Patrick Murphy. I've been told that Schatz made his endorsement without knowing anything about Murphy except that he was Chuck Schumer's candidate-- and certainly not that Murphy had voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline every single time he had an opportunity to do so-- even joining the GOP to attempt to unconsitutionally remove President Obama from the decision-making process. Worse yet-- from how one would expect Schatz to look at an endorsement-- Murphy had voted with the Republicans for drilling off Florida's pristine beaches.

Schatz's excuse?
But Schatz wasn't the only liberal politician in Hawaii who endorsed Hilary. Sen. Mazie Hirono also backs a progressive agenda and so, more or less, does Congressman Mark Takai, yet both campaigned for the conservative Democrat who stands for preserving the status quo and against the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt wing progressive. The only federal elected official who backed Bernie was the most conservative of the 4, Tulsi Gabbard. (Schatz's for opponent, ex-Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, a conservative New Dem very much like Hillary, also endorsed Hillary. It makes a lot more sense for her than it does for him.) Progressive Punch lifetime crucial vote scores:
Mazie Hirono- 96.18 (A)
Brian Schatz- 93.17 (A)
Tulsi Gabbard- 74.31 (F)
Mark Takai- 79.12 (F)
In Washington state, both the state's senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and all 6 of the Democratic House members-- from progressive Jim McDermott to right-of-center, Wall Street-oriented New Dems, Denny Heck, Rick Larsen, Adam Smith, Suzan DelBene and Derek Kilmer-- endorsed and campaigned for Hillary Clinton. The 5 New Dems make a lot of sense; they're all just as bad or even worse than Clinton when it comes to the Republican-lite agenda they all embrace. McDermott, of course, was a disappointment. He's retiring and likely to be replaced by Pramila Jayapal, an ardent Bernie supporter.

Bernie's win in Washington was massive. With a record turn-out, he won 72.7% of the votes to Hillary's 27.1%. He won every single county in the state and she only managed to hit 1/3 in one county, tiny Garfield County in the far southeast of the state, where she won 40%. Garfield was Romney's biggest Washington County against Obama, where he took 72% of the votes to Obama's 26%. These are the ProgressivePunch lifetime crucial vote scores for the Washington Democrats in Congress. Note that the voting records of the 5 New Dems in the House are significantly to the right of their constituents.
Maria Cantwell- 84.90 (C)
Patty Murray- 87.14 (B)
Jim McDermott- 94.34 (A)
Denny Heck- 76.15 (F)
Rick Larsen- 74.93 (F)
Adam Smith- 71.87 (F)
Suzan DelBene- 70.92 (F)
Derek Kilmer- 69.70 (F)
In Washington, the congressional primaries are on August 2-- and the filing deadline is May 20-- but, of the 5 conservaDems in the House delegation, only Denny Heck-- the excruciatingly bad and ideologically-motivated chair of the DCCC Recruitment Committee-- has a primary and his opponent, Jennifer GiGi Ferguson, isn't considered a serious threat. She ran in the 2014 primary and only took 4.8% of the vote, down from the 11% she took against Heck in the 2012 primary.

[Alaska has no federal elected officials at all.]

Yesterday on CNN's State of the Union, Bernie told Jake Tapper that because of his momentum and the will of their own constituents, "a lot of these superdelegates may rethink their positions with Secretary Clinton... "I think when they begin to look at reality, and that is that we are beating Donald Trump by much larger margins than Secretary Clinton... And then you've got superdelegates in states where we win by 40 or 50 points. I think their own constituents are going to say to them, 'Hey, why don't you support the people of our state and vote for Sanders?'"

The Seattle Times pointed out that Democratic voters in the state are already demanding their elected officials-- superdelegates-- switch from Hillary to Bernie.
The Sanders triumph went against the advice of Washington’s top elected Democrats, who largely backed Clinton. From Bainbridge Island, Gov. Jay Inslee posted a “selfie” on Facebook of him and his wife, Trudi, who both caucused for Clinton.

“We have two great candidates, but I was proud to caucus for Hillary Clinton today … It was energizing to see so many Democrats passionate and engaged in electing a Democrat this November and beating Donald Trump,” Inslee wrote.

Inslee is one of the state’s 17 unpledged “superdelegates,” who are allowed to vote for the candidate of their choice at the Democratic National Convention.
Pramila-- time for a change

A majority of the superdelegates have said they back Clinton, including Inslee, U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and all six Democrats in the state’s U.S. House delegation.

But an online petition launched by Sanders backers called on those officials to heed the caucus results and commit to supporting Sanders instead of Clinton.

Jaxon Ravens, chair of the state Democratic Party, downplayed the superdelegate controversy. He said such delegates, including himself, do not have to commit to vote either way until the national convention in July.

At that point, he predicted superdelegates will coalesce behind whichever candidate has locked up the nomination.
One warning: one of the most far right of any Democrat still in the House, Minnesota Blue Dog Collin Peterson, who votes with the GOP on a consistent basis and certainly on every issue that is important to Bernie and his followers, announced that if he bothers to go to the Democratic Convention at all, he'll use his superdelegate for Bernie. Bernie won his congressional district on March 1 and Peterson said, "I'm voting my district. I'm going to vote for Bernie... He's got something going. He's tapped into something."

Blue America is asking our members to consider contributing to the two progressive running in Washington congressional primaries, Pramila Jayapal and Angela Marx, which you can do by tapping the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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At 4:48 PM, Anonymous wjbill said...

There is a special place in hell for anyone who does not agree with me!

At 1:29 AM, Blogger Jennifer Ferguson said...

I am Jennifer Gigi Ferguson and my votes went down in 2014 because I decided to run as an Independent. I had been following Bernie for about a year and decided I wanted to be able to vote for the people and work across party lines to get things done.

I am well qualified for this job. Much more qualified and in touch with the people than Denny.
I now have a campaign team which I have not had before. Let's cause a Political Revolution and take our government back. #PeopleBeforePolitics

Jennifer Gigi Ferguson

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Tonya Peterson said...

I was wondering if they were going to mention Jennifer GiGi Ferguson running for U.S. Congress in the 10th Congressional District; against Denny Heck. I see she posted a comment announcing her run :) Here's what I have to say:

Jennifer, you ran in 2014. Yes you ran as a Independent, and yes, you didn't win the election. But, that doesn't make you any less of a great leader or candidate. What that proves, is that you threaten the Incumbent and the Establishment because your not going to follow the status -quo; just like Bernie :). As we can see in the media the Establishment will do nothing to stop, which is why you need more voters to step up and support you. The people need to speak up and get involved; instead of complaining, do something.

I saw your passion to work for the people, I have seen your resume that has done more than Denny has in 4 years in office - you did that as a resident and volunteer- on your own time - showing your dedication and commitment to work and change things. You've accomplished so much. You have power!

Denny Heck, is a two-term political establishment good little boy. He thinks the people are dumb enough that he can just get away with it. He knows ordinary everyday people, don't pay enough attention to local politics. We know this now; well, I've always known it. People have just become content with him, settling, not thinking that WE DESERVE MORE. People have a bad habit and that is settling and not speaking up for what they believe in. THINGS ARE CHANGING. You deserve this seat - we deserve you representing us. If you go to Denny Hecks Facebook page it's filled with anger and disappointment. They share their stories and plea with him to pay attention and he doesn't care enough to respond to those issues. It's there in public view every day hundreds and may thousands of complaints. Then there is you, I have seen you answer questions at the CD-10 Caucus like a pro. You gave a veteran great advice and told him exactly what he needed to do to gain access to his benefits. He said, he had called Congressman Heck on several occasions, wrote letters and was feeling hopeless - YOU GAVE HIM MORE THAN HOPE, YOU GAVE HIM SOLUTIONS. I have heard many people tell me how much you have helped them over the years. My political science professor at CPTC told me about you too.Then the Chancellor of UW told me about you and your work for the community - impressed. I had to look into you more.

The people need to support you, elevate you and lift you up because you have been lifting us up without proper recognition for a long time. I am impressed by you. Thank you for your public service to us more than what we could ever get from Rep. Denny Heck.



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