Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Do Beltway Party Bosses Chuck Schumer And Jon Tester Have Against Utah Democrat Misty K. Snow?


Yesterday we looked at the resistance of the establishment-- in this case, Pelosi and her incredibly incompetent and corrupt DCCC-- to getting behind progressives after they win their primaries against the more conservative candidates the DCCC prefers. I hope no one imagined I was exempting the DSCC from that dynamic just because I didn't mention them. But, just in case, let me mention them now. This is the DSCC's candidates page. It's not just their frontline candidates like conservative Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Patrick Murphy (FL), fracking lobbyist Katie McGuinty (PA), failed Blue Dog Baron Hill (IN), Patty Judge (IA), and Ted Strickland (OH) but even mentions candidates no one has ever heard of, like Tom Dixon (SC) and Jerry Sturgill (ID) and mentions that there are races in Louisiana, Alaska, and Kansas where candidates haven't been chosen yet and where the DSCC has no interest anyway. But one state not mentioned at all is Utah, where far right-- and quite unpopular-- extremist Mike Lee is running for reelection. The DSCC seems determined to ignore that race, especially now that the Republican-lite corporatist they assumed would win, Jonathan Swinton, was beaten on Tuesday by Misty K. Snow, a dedicated Berniecrat.

Establishment pols like Schumer and Tester who run the DSCC might not be totally thrilled with all the 15 planks that make up Snow's platform-- Clean Air, healthcare (single payer), getting money out of politics (Schumer's key to power), $15 minimum wage, women's rights, LGBT equality-- "LGBT people deserve full equality under the law, no excuses or exceptions."-- paid maternity leave, immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for people already living here," marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, including ending private prisons, an industry so many senators take contributions bribes from, clean, renewable energy, a plank that must make Schumer's skin crawl: Wall Street reform (reinstating Glass-Steagall, breaking up the "too big to fail" banks and implementing public, non-profit banking), college for all ("state colleges and universities should be tuition-free"), gun violence prevention, and a public lands agenda that isn't likely to please rapacious developers-- but I wonder how they relate to the fact that she's a transgender political leader. In fact, Snow is the first transgender nominee from a major party to run for a U.S. Senate seat. I don't hear the hypocritical Schumer celebrating that or making any announcements about it. (Blue America was thrilled and immediately added her to our Best Senate candidates ActBlue page.)

Throughout the primary, the 30-year-old Salt Lake City resident has given scant attention to her potentially historic status. She instead has campaigned on a progressive platform and promised to aggressively challenge Lee, whom she has repeatedly called "loathsome."

In unofficial primary returns, Snow had a 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent lead over Jonathan Swinton.

A marriage therapist, Swinton is 35 years old and Mormon. He described himself as a conservative Democrat who sought to govern as a centrist, similar to former Rep. Jim Matheson and Doug Owens, who is running against Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, for the second time.

Snow jumped in the race shortly before the filing deadline because she wanted to offer an alternative to Swinton. And while Swinton led in the state convention, Snow notched enough support to force a primary, largely by criticizing Swinton for advocating for limits to abortion rights.

It appears Utah Democrats were similarly eager to try a different approach against Lee, one of the nation's most conservative senators. Lee faced no challenge from within his party as he seeks a second six-year term.

Swinton said the results were "discouraging."

"We hoped more Democrats were really looking at the long game at this, trying to unseat Mike Lee," he said. "The reality is I've done my absolute best and run an honorable campaign."

Snow credited her primary election performance to her focus on "issues that Democrats care about."

She has called for a $15 per hour minimum wage, paid family leave, legalized marijuana, criminal-justice reform and free or reduced tuition for higher education, a platform inspired by presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. She said her goal is to boost working-class people such as herself. She's employed as a cashier at a Harmons grocery and hasn't gone to college, partly due to the cost and partly because she wasn't sure what career path she would like to take. Now she's seeking to become a federal lawmaker.

Snow began living openly as woman in October 2014 and believes being a transgender person, a rarity in U.S. politics, will drum up attention and campaign money, while her Sanders-inspired run will fire up Democrats and some independents.

A poll in early June, commissioned by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics, found that Lee holds a 51 percent to 37 percent lead on Snow. National political handicappers expect Utah's Senate seat to stay in GOP hands, but Snow believes she's in a strong starting position, particularly because most voters haven't heard of her.
Please consider helping Misty Snow make history and win a U.S. Senate seat (and end Mike Lee's career):
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