Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two Good Candidates In NV-04-- Let's Hope They Don't Cancel Each Other Out And Help Elect A Rich ConservaDem


Ruben Kihuen, Lucy Flores

It's been almost a year since Blue America took at look at the Democratic candidates lining up to run against Republican incumbent Cresent Hardy in NV-04 (a Blue district the DCCC managed to blunder into losing in 2014) and we endorsed the proven, accomplished progressive in the race, state Senator Ruben Kihuen. Although it's a huge, sprawling district, most of the population lives in North Las Vegas and Dems have a substantial and growing registration advantage, 46-33%. Obama beat McCain there 56-41% and then beat Romney 54-44%. No one could lose a district like that to the Republicans... except Steve Israel and his DCCC brain-trust.

There are 3 viable Democrats competing in a primary that will be decided June 14, Berniecrat Lucy Flores, a former Assemblywoman, wealthy socialite Susie Lee, the candidate of the casino owners and Ruben, who is backed by labor (as well as by Blue America). Unfortunately he's also been backed by the Reid Machine and, as of this week, by Bill Clinton. We're not holding that against him for one simple reason: his record of accomplishment. Promises and fancy speeches aren't meaningless but a record of accomplishment trumps everything else.

Although neither Clinton nor his wife are, the former president told Democratic voters in Nevada that "Ruben is a progressive champion and the kind of leader our party needs now more than ever... an experienced legislator with proven results." Ruben had already endorsed Hillary and Lucy had endorsed the actual progressive running against her. Bernie returned the favor by helping Lucy raise around $400,000 with an enthusiastic endorsement. Blue America is raising money for her (as well as for Ruben), in her case on the Bernie Congress ActBlue page, where she has been one of the most popular candidates, having taken in $1,591.09 from 271 contributors, about the same that Ruben has taken in from 220 contributors on the Blue America main congressional page, $1,845.58.

Ruben ran for the Nevada Assembly in 2006, beating corrupt conservative incumbent Bob McCleary in a tight primary. In 2010 he was elected to the state Senate, where he served as majority whip. The bills he's associated with, as a writer or sponsor, include SJR8 to raise the state's minimum wage to $15. So that's a bill be wrote and pounded through the Senate-- on the record and undeniable, yet some of the Bernie followers, thinking that only candidates who support Bernie can possibly favor the $15 minimum wage, deny this piece of history. He also wrote and was the chief sponsor for SB190, a bill that cracks down on employers paying women less than men for the same work and making it illegal for them to discriminate against anyone for discussing or inquiring about another person's wages. He was one of the key sponsors of SB259 which requires employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees and he wrote and was the chief sponsor for SB227, which creates a grant program for low income students attending Nevada State colleges and community colleges, providing them with up to $5,500 a year to help them pay for school.

Progressives need to beat the conservative establishment candidate, Susie Lee, not lie about each other. Lots of solid progressives back Lucy; at Blue America, we do too. But for a Bernie supporter to yammer on about how Ruben isn't a progressive is absurd, untrue and an example of pure ignorance. Ruben was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the NEA, Nevada's powerful Culinary Union, Raúl Grijalva (the first member of Congress to endorse and campaign for Bernie) and Xavier Becerra (a Clinton supporter), as well as by Blue America. Lucy was endorsed by DFA, NARAL, MoveOn and the PCCC. Several DC progressive groups have been unable to choose between the two. People for the America Way was enthusiastic enough about each of them that they endorsed both! Michael Keegan, PFAW president, told us that "Lucy Flores and Ruben Kihuen are strong progressives who are committed to reducing the influence of money in politics, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and investing in public education. Voters in the 4th district have two strong choices when it comes to congressional candidates who will move our country on critical issues like these. While the current representative in Nevada’s fourth district, Cresent Hardy, has compared legislation to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination to segregation laws and supported Mitt Romney’s infamous 47% insult, both Flores and Kihuen have made clear that they’ll stand up for all Americans."

We're talking about two excellent candidates and, for some reason, a wretched and rich conservative (Susie Lee) who hasn't been backed by the shitheads at the DCCC. There are strong rumors that the Chamber of Commerce, eager to protect Hardy, is preparing a big money attack against Ruben, fearing that he would be the most effective Democratic candidate. I'm curious to know which one DWT readers prefer. "Vote" for Lucy at the thermometer on the right or for Ruben at the thermometer on the left:
Goal Thermometer Goal Thermometer

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