Monday, May 30, 2016

How Heavy An Electoral Anchor Will Trump Be For Republican Congressmen In November?


While Hillary and Bernie fine-tune their respective approaches to combatting Trump in the general election, it isn't just presidential candidates who will be running against him. Yesterday, Al Franken (D-MN), who won't be up for re-election until 2020, sent out a fundraising e-mail slamming Trump.
What could be worse than a Republican Senate that blocks President Obama’s ideas?

Okay, yes, a Republican Senate that blocks President Obama’s ideas while releasing hundreds of venomous beaked sea snakes into the Senate chamber-- that would be worse. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

No, what I’m talking about is a Republican Senate that passes Donald Trump’s poisonous agenda.

It’s bad enough that this majority is blocking much-needed progress-- but if Trump wins, they’ll be able to erase generations of progress we’ve already made, starting with the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform, and everything we’ve achieved since President Obama took office.

It’s up to Democrats like us to stop them – by taking back the Senate this November. Please pitch in to help the DSCC get it done!

I know what you’re thinking. We can't let Trump win. Look, I’m right there with you. And I’m going to fight to make sure he never gets anywhere near the Oval Office.

But if we work our rear ends off to elect a Democratic president and don’t take back the Senate, we’ll be stuck with the same gridlock we have today.

It’ll be another two years of Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz obstructing nominees, and stopping reforms in their tracks.

In fact, it could be a lot longer than that. The map is in our favor this year-- and we only need to flip four seats to win the Senate. But if we don’t get it done in 2016, there’s no telling when we’ll get another chance this good.

So let’s agree to fight as hard as we can to stop Donald Trump. And, yes, let’s agree to never Google “beaked sea snakes.” But let’s also work to take back the Senate and get our country moving forward again.

...If you want to avoid beaked sea snakes, just avoid the tropical Indo-Pacific. But if you want to avoid a Republican Senate majority passing Trump’s extreme agenda into law, it’s going to take some hard work.

Blue America is suggesting the best way to make sure there's a progressive Democratic Senate to stand up to a bad president and support a good one, would be to replace Marco Rubio with Alan Grayson and to replace Ron Johnson with Russ Feingold-- something you can help accomplish here.

Almost immediately after Franken's e-mail, I got one from DuWayne Gregory, the progressive Democrat running for Long Island's South Shore district that's held by somewhat unhinged Trump supporter Peter King. "King," the e-mail stated, "doesn’t share our values. He shares Donald Trump’s values. King and Trump want America to be governed by those who insult minorities and attack women. We’re working hard every day to let Long Island voters know it doesn’t have to be this way. Building our campaign up is key to turning this district blue in November. And we need your help to make it happen.

Although the DCCC is ignoring DuWayne's race at Steve Israel's instructions-- he's doing his old opal Peter King another solid-- DuWayne has no primary to win; he's the official candidate of the Democratic Party, whether Pelosi and her dysfunctional band of losers give him the time of day or not. Although many of the Blue America candidates are still in primary battles against conservative Democrats preferred by the DCCC, we spoke with several who have already won their primaries and who are now the official candidates of the party.

We met Alina Valdes from South Florida a few days ago and she has an interesting situation in her district. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is protecting her Republican opponent again and the DCCC is studiously ignoring the race. But, unlike Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, in neighboring districts, each of whom has stated unequivocably that they will not endorse Trump, the Miami Herald reports that "Diaz-Balart os more circumspect. Without mentioning Trump, he said in a statement to the Herald on Wednesday that he plans to back his party's choice. 'My intention is to vote for the Republican nominee.'" In a district with a 71% Hispanic voter concentration-- lots of Cuban Americans and the most Venezuelan-Americans of any district in America-- Diaz-Balart is taking a big chance when he puts his party over his country... and over his own constituents.

Trump's racism and bigotry aren't going over well in Miami-Dade. In fact, even reliable Republican voters are offended by Trump. During the Florida GOP primary, Miami-Dade was the only county in the state that Trump didn't win. Although Trump won statewide with 45.7% of the vote, Miami-Dade Republicans gave him an unimpressive 22.5%. Trump won 40,156 votes in the county, compared to Hillary's 129,467 votes and Bernie's 42,009. Yesterday Alina made it clear she has every intention of making sure voters in the district understand the connection between Trump and Diaz-Balart. "As a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 25th district and, more importantly, as a Latina, I find Donald J. Trump's statements about Latinos and women extremely offensive. We are a diverse group of people who made America our homes from many different countries but the vitriol and contempt the Republican nominee for president has chosen to use goes beyond reason and common sense. I give credit to the two Republican Cuban-American representatives from South Florida who have stated they could not vote for Mr. Trump for president. However, the third, Mario Diaz-Balart, who currently represents the 25th district, has given his support to the current nominee in spite of his hateful and hurtful words. He is no different than the man he is supporting in spite of the insults he has generally hurled at a large proportion of this district, which comprises from 60-70% Latinos. He has no consideration for the constituents that make up the majority of this part of Florida and I believe it is time for him to go home and retire from politics. Maybe then, he will learn a valuable life's lesson he should have been taught a long time ago... generalizations about a group of people should not be condoned and should definitely be exposed as the lies they are. Mr. Diaz-Balart is just as guilty for those insulting words as if he had spoken them himself."

Peter Jacob is another official candidate of the Democratic Party who the DCCC is ignoring. The DCCC sure doesn't like anyone behind Bernie, the way Peter is! But he's moving full steam ahead to take on Leonard Lance in a north central New Jersey district that stretches from the border with Pennsylvania (Hunterdon and Warren counties), clear across the state through Somerset and Morris counties and all the way into Essex and Union into the Elizabeth suburbs. This is moderate, swingy area is not likely to be Trump territory and Peter is as disgusted by the Republican nominee as most Americans are. "My Republican opponent, Congressman Leonard Lance," he told us yesterday, "endorsed Donald Trump within 24-hours of becoming the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.  Many in New Jersey boast that Congressman Lance is a moderate, but this endorsement proves that Congressman Lance will do anything to get re-elected. While serving in the New Jersey state Legislature, Congressman Lance was seen as someone who was pro-environment, pro-choice, and reached over the aisle to get things done. Congressman Lance was initially equivocal about the construction of a natural gas pipeline in our District, and now takes credit for it’s delay as strong local opposition rises and election season is here-- all the while supporting legislation that makes it easier to construct such pipelines in the first place. It is little wonder why the League of Conservation scored his lifetime voting percentage at just 23% on pro-environment legislation. In 2014, his pro-environment score was a mere 6%! Consistently providing contributions to Congressman Lance’s campaign has paid off for the dirty energy industry to have him support their agenda.  Congressman Lance voted to cut off all funding for Planned Parenthood, including clinics that provide health care with no abortion services. Time and time again, Congressman Lance has proved that he isn’t a leader for our District and our nation. Like Trump, he will say anything at any time out of convenience. Congressman Lance toes the party line as Washington becomes more divisive, partisan, and extreme." He's honing an attack that clearly ties Lance to Trump:
In my opinion, Congressman Lance’s immediate endorsement of Trump is a result of a ‘tea-party’ candidate, David Larsen, who has challenged him in every primary since 2010. Larsen came within single-digit points of defeating Congressman Lance in the 2014 primary. Congressman Lance’s endorsement of Trump is a political move to help secure the Republican nomination and putting an end to this perennial candidate.

This endorsement is also ironic considering Congressman Lance is the kind of bought-and-sold politician that Trump himself has spoken out against, at least during his primary race; one entirely beholden to special interests rather than the interests of the people. Is this the kind of face we want to project to the rest of the world? Do any of these "values" actually represent us? Or do we believe that we can truly make America great by leading the world with a vision that places the needs of the many over the desires of a few? We don’t need any more career politicians in Washington who solely serve special interests. We deserve public servants who will place people over politics and put the public back in public service.
Having won his primary, Tom Wakely is the official Democratic candidate opposing House Science Committee chair Lamar Smith in a district that stretches from downtown Austin to northeast San Antonio to include San Marcos, New Braunfels and the Texas Hill Country. Another Bernie supporter, Tom and TX-21 are being ignored by the DCCC. Tom's pathway to victory is clear, though-- even without the corrupt Beltway party bosses and the DCCC. This morning he told us how Trump fits into his plans. "Two weeks ago my opponent opted to endorse Donald Trump for reasons that seemed cut-and-dry to the Congressman, but they should have raised plenty of questions for all of our constituents. On his own campaign website in a post titled “Triumph with Trump,” he mentioned that although Trump wasn’t among his favorite presidential candidates, our constituents should be able to support his policies." Tom continued with natural fluency:
Cited among his reasons for supporting Trump was the fact that the presumptive Republican nominee’s policies seemingly resonated with the majority of American voters. Claiming to support a candidate who’s willing to say whatever he wants to get elected based on the man’s policies should be enough of a red flag, but Smith actually uses popular opinion polls in his blog post to back this endorsement.

Among my personal favorites listed were Trump’s willingness to rein in political corruption, his skepticism of the “recent trade agreement,” and his recognition of media bias. How can a Congressman who’s taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry in congruence with his rejection of climate science pretend he’s with the American people on reining in corruption? How can a Congressman who voted for the TPP pretend he’s skeptical of our recent trade agreements? And lastly, how the heck can a Congressman recorded this video in a congressional hearing pretend like there’s a media bias working against his party?


Moreover, Lamar Smith became one of the first congressional members to endorse Trump despite our Republican constituents overwhelmingly rejecting the presumptive nominee in the March 1st primary. Trump lost all 10 of the counties that comprise our district, and only garnered over 30% of the vote in two of our counties. That means close to 70% of Republican primary voters were against the idea of a Trump presidency. It’s nearing the end of May, so perhaps some of our Republican voters have changed their mind, but I’m having a hard time believing the majority have come around.

So why did Congressman Smith endorse Trump? It certainly wasn’t because he cared what his constituents, especially his Republican constituents, had to say about the matter. Maybe their policies really do align. Maybe the endorsement runs as deep as the candidate he’s supporting. I’m not sure which is worse.”
Bernie or Hillary-- probably both-- will be fighting Trump and Trumpism right into November. Please consider contributing to congressional candidates like Peter Jacob, Tom Wakely and Alina Valdes, respectively, in New Jersey, Texas and Florida, who will be fighting along side them... by tapping on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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