Thursday, June 02, 2016

The Political Revolution Is Not A Personality Cult And It Isn't Only About Bernie, As He Keeps Explaining


Click on the image to read our message about Alex Law

This evening at 6pm progressive reform candidate Alex Law will be debating the candidate of the pernicious Norcross political machine, corrupt conservative Democrat Donald Norcross. The debate will take place at Rowan College in Sewell (Gloucester County, New Jersey) and Alex has been battling the Norcross forces to allow media coverage. When Norcross grudgingly agreed to do 2 debates, he was clear that he would not participate if they were broadcast. Tuesday's debate was in front of a room full of his cronies-- all of the crooked South Jersey elected officials, union bosses and campaign contributors who owe their livelihoods to Boss George Norcross. Needless to say, the public was not allowed in, specially after the hearty endorsement Law received from the most-read newspaper in the district. Alex gave a blistering speech that called most of the people out in the room, some by name, for their obvious, often blatant, corruption. It was an inspiring speech but at the end, the room was uncomfortably silent while Alex's dad applauded proudly. Over the course of the rest of the "debate" Norcross stuck to his hollow talking points, insisting that Alex wants terrorists to get guns and bombs. Alex laughed in his face but Norcross soldiered on in a course not even his allies take seriously. The handful of undecided voters in the room gathered around Alex afterwards and told him he had earned their votes.

Tuesday, author Will Bunch, in a column for the Philadelphia Daily News put young Law's race against The Machine in a national context, explaining how the Revolution can start in South Jersey. "[I]n Our Dumb Century of reality-show politics," he groused, "it has proven all but impossible to get voters to focus on the so-called down-ballot elections, or to get innovative outsiders to run for political office in that broad band between Congress and your local school board. This is not just a Trump (oops, I said it) thing. In Wisconsin earlier this year, an analysis showed that thousands of Bernie Sanders voters didn't bother to vote in a state Supreme Court race that was narrowly won by a conservative who opposes just about everything that Sanders stands for. That's just stupid-- but it's the People Magazine political culture that we've made for ourselves."

Bunch, like Alex Law, is a Bernie supporter, but writes that the math doesn't add up for Bernie and that he's not going to make it to the White House, something many Bernie supporters dispute. He's as disappointed as I am that "the number of serious candidates in 2016 promising to chase out the money changers is far less than... [what it would take to usher in] a real political revolution... If a real progressive movement is to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the Sanders insurgency, that won't come until 2018, and it's going to take a ton of work at the grassroots level." The same thing happened in Oregon's 5th congressional district, where Bernie trounced Hillary but where the Berniecrat running against the head of the congressional Blue Dogs-- a sleazy character who introduced an amendment to cut Social Security benefits-- was defeated 67,124 (72.6%) to 25,289 (27.4%). Bernie voters were... what? Not paying attention? Splitting their ticket betweent someone who wants to expand Social Security and end unfair trade agreements with someone who wants to cut Social Security and who aggressively backs unfair trade agreements? Bunch has hope this trend isn't going to carry over among Bernie voters in South Jersey.
[T]here are still a handful of real election plays left in 2016. And if you're serious about starting a second American Revolution, I can't think of a better place to launch your cannonballs than South Jersey. On June 7 in the Garden State's 1st Congressional District, Democratic primary voters can toss one of the worst machine hacks in all of Congress-- the anointed Rep. Donald Norcross-- for an idealistic reformer named Alex Law seeking to be the youngest member of the U.S. House.

Talk about a slam dunk.

Norcross is exactly the kind of Democrat who makes you want to burn your voter registration card-- a tool of special interests and big donors. Since a clear path for his ascendancy to Congress was carved with the resignation of another machine pol-- Rep. Rob Andrews-- in 2014, Norcross has used his safe seat to spit on both the environment (siding with Republicans on the destructive Keystone XL pipeline) and world peace (opposing the Iran nuclear deal). He's sided with the reactionary GOP on 39 key votes, more than any other Jersey Democrat.

But his lousy votes aren't even the best argument for dumping the incumbent. He's also the Washington branch office for arguably the most arrogant political machine in America, run by his brother George Norcross. As a state lawmaker, Donald Norcross's crowning achievement has been corporate welfare for campaign donors and other big companies who move a few miles and create a handful of jobs in return for huge state tax breaks-- a tool that's been exploited by the likes of George Norcross and their GOP pal Chris Christie. The program has done little to lift citizens of poverty-plagued cities like Camden from poverty, its alleged purpose.

Replacing Norcross with 25-year-old Alex Law, a former IBM consultant, would be the political equivalent of an earthquake. Law would oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and other projects that contribute to climate change, raise the minimum wage to $15, work toward changing the campaign finance system that makes the Norcross political machine possible, overhaul student debt, and push for legalized marijuana.

Recently, Law said in a video that the Norcross gang is "is a machine made up of the worst kind of politicians, ones loyal to machine first and constituent second. It is a machine with parts oiled by money plundered from the state and our hometowns. It is a machine people are afraid of." He's fighting back by spurning big-money politics just like Sanders-- whom he supports-- and using his computer savvy to target likely voters, especially millennials.

So, yeah, it's an uphill climb. Norcross has money, trade-union support, name recognition. But he's also a poster child for everything that rank-and-file voters say is what's wrong with American politics. One week from today, South Jersey Democrats have a chance to show that American revolution is more than just a Molly Pitcher rest stop on the Turnpike-- that it's a living, breathing thing.
If you go to the debate at Rowan College this evening, please say hello to John, the Blue America mobile billboard truck-driver, who's helping us get our message out about Alex... and about Norcross. And, if you can, please contribute to Alex Law's get-out-the-vote efforts by tapping on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

UPDATE: Scratch That Debate Thing Tonight

Looks like Tuesday's closed mini-debate was too much for Norcross to handle. Late last night, he had his crony, Loretta Winters (a kind of junior Wasserman Schultz creature), cancel today's, after finding out it was going to be live-streamed by NJ Pen. Alex explained what happened in a Facebook posting but the short version is that Winters has allowed her personal friendship with and allegiance to Norcross to get in the way of the rights of the Democratic Party voters in the first district to see a debate. She's been a saboteur very much the way Wasserman Schultz was a saboteur on behalf of Hillary. And Norcross has some kind of a gun rally already scheduled for tonight.

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At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you so beautifully sum up and diagnose the overarching binary problem of the system. Using New Jersey's Boss Norcross and the low-information Dem voters in Oregon and non-voters in Wisconsin as examples (Heh, the People Magazine Party people), you spell it out. It's the entrenched corrupted system and the dull wedge of the electorate who enable them that form some sort of unholy alliance, or an 'Axis of Duh'. Together they're the knot that prevents actual progress from being made, because every time you pull one end of the strand the knot tightens. I feel your frustration and echo it loudly. We've got to organize and shout it from the rooftops like you and your allies do so well here and seemingly tirelessly at DWT. I wish your degree of advocacy and activism could multiply like the mythical loaves and fishes. I admire what you do, and therefore who you are, tremendously. Thank you for it, including your kind and generous explications and exhortations here at your site, such that everyday folks such as myself have the chance to learn more and better.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that.


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