Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wisconsin Progressive Mary Hoeft Wins Landlside Primary Victory In A Swing District-- DCCC Runs For The Hills


Wisconsin's 7th congressional district, which stretches from Superior (across from Duluth) in the northwest corner of the state, all the way down to the Monroe County suburbs north of Eau Claire and east to Wausau, is easily the biggest district in the state. Traditionally Democratic, it fell to MTV reality actor Sean Duffy when longtime Democratic powerhouse Dave Obey retired in 2010. Just two years earlier Obama had beaten McCain in the district 53-45%. The DCCC has failed WI-07 ever since and today is replicating what it does best: trying to make sure Duffy, the most outspoken Trumpist in a state where even Republicans hate Trump, is reelected. Fortunately, grassroots Wisconsin Democrats have a very different idea. This year every single county in WI-07 went for Bernie Sanders in the primary, many in significant landslides.

Last week Mary Hoeft won the Democratic primary in her own landslide with 81% of the vote against her opponent Joel Lewis, despite Lewis having spent twice as much money as she did. That day Duffy also beat his Republican primary challenger but the important thing to remember about the WI-07 primary is that 33,746 voters cast their ballots for one of the 2 Democrats and 32,886 voters picked one of the 2 Republicans. This is not some kind of Republican hellhole. The DCCC hasn't figured out that voters are sending a message about the swingy 7th district. Pelosi and her clown car of DCCC power mongers are ignoring Hoeft, a strong progressive, the same way they are ignoring lots of progressives around the country who have won their primaries. In this regard, we've been mostly talking about races in Pennsylvania (Mary Ellen Balchunis), Texas (Tom Wakely) and on Long Island (DuWayne Gregory), Today, let's take a closer look at Mary Hoeft.

Until her victory in the primary, Hoeft was a professor of Communication Arts and French at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County in Rice Lake where she taught courses like "Finding Your Political Voice" and "Creativity and Problem Solving." Hoeft resigned from her position yesterday to dedicate all of her time to defeating Duffy. She was a Fulbright-Hays Scholar to Morocco, a Wisconsin Idea Fellow, and a "Teacher of Teachers" in Nepal. She recently authored a book about the death of her police officer son, The Betrayal of Officer Ryan Hoeft: a Conspiracy of Silence. Her daughter, Kelly is also a police officer, working in Madison.

Hoeft served two terms on the Rice Lake School Board and was President of the Board of Directors of Barron County Restorative Justice Programs, Wisconsin’s most cost effective alternative to the incarceration of first-time juvenile offenders. Hoeft spent fifteen years as a restorative conference facilitator, empowering victims to tell offenders how the crime impacted their lives and giving first time juvenile offenders the opportunity to make amends and avoid prison.

Goal Thermometer Former Congressman Dave Obey endorsed Hoeft’s candidacy, certain she will fight on behalf of families devastated by Wisconsin’s economy where poverty is at a 30-year high. Hoeft was drawn into this race when she saw the devastating effect the economy was having on her university students who could no longer only be students. They were working full time to pay tuition and support moms and dads who had lost their jobs or were barely surviving at minimum wage jobs. She's the newest candidate endorsed by Blue America and we invited her to tell us more about the dynamic in WI-07 between Duffy and herself. While you read her guest post below, please consider contributing to her campaign by tapping the thermometer on the right.

Sean Duffy must be stopped. Together, can do it!
-by Mary Hoeft

For six years, Congressman Duffy has faithfully served the needs of America’s wealthiest, its top 1%, while ignoring the needs of the people of the 7th Congressional District. Congressman Duffy must be stopped. Together, can do it!

Congressman Duffy is determined to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency designed to protect Americans from deceptive practices of Big Banks-- practices that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes to bankruptcy and brought our economy to its knees. Congressman Duffy must be stopped. Together, we can do it!

Sean Duffy has well over a million dollars in campaign funds. Hundreds of thousands of dollars came directly from bankers wanting to make sure their spokesman remains in office. Sean Duffy must be stopped. Together, we who can do it!

Congressman Duffy is a dangerous Donald Trump apologist who dismissed Trump’s second amendment veiled threats against the life of Hillary Clinton as "maybe not the most articulate" and urged his man Trump to "stay on script."

Seriously? Congressman Duffy advocates on behalf of a presidential candidate who can only be trusted if and when he stays on script? Sure, why not? Congressman Duffy understands better than anyone what it means to stay on script when advocating on behalf of Big Banks. When advocating on behalf of the middle class Duffy has NO script. He is mute.

The people of the 7th Congressional District don’t deserve a Trump apologist. They deserve a candidate who recognizes a threat to democracy when she sees one and isn’t afraid to speak out.

Congressman Duffy and Donald Trump must be stopped. Together, we can do it!

Because of my advocacy on behalf of clean water and clean air, my candidacy has been endorsed by Clean Wisconsin Action Fund. Sean Duffy received a 0% rating on the National Environmental Scorecard. I will be relentless in my fight against privatization of Social Security and will fight to strengthen the program by supporting the elimination of the $118,500 cap on taxable income. Sean Duffy supports privatization. I will fight for a single payer healthcare plan. Sean Duffy authored a bill eliminating the affordable healthcare plan and offered no alternative. I will advocate on behalf of public education that includes the first two years of technical college or community college. Sean Duffy is silent on this issue. I will fight against Duffy backed tax incentives that make it cost effective for company owners to eliminate manufacturing jobs and send their work outside our borders. I will fight for a living wage of $15 an hour. Sean Duffy is content with the $7.25 we now have. I will work to reduce incarceration rates, especially of first time juvenile offenders, an issue that isn’t even on Duffy’s radar. I will fight for a Comprehensive Healthcare Plan for our veterans, even stronger than Bernie Sander’s 2014 plan voted down by Republicans.

The people of my district deserve a Representative whose focus is on Main Street, not Wall Street. I promise my focus will be on the people of this district.

Congressman Duffy and Donald Trump must be stopped. Together, we can do it!

One more thing that isn't going to help Duffy in WI-07. Just over a year ago he voted to give Obama Fast Track Authority to negotiate the TPP in secret and to make it unchangeable by Congress. That's a very unpopular position in northern Wisconsin-- which helps explain why Bernie did so well there. And while Duffy is a big TPP booster-- I guess he plans to fight Trump on that-- Mary is against unfair trade policies that ship U.S. jobs overseas and compromise U.S. sovereignty the way the TPP does. She opposes it, strongly. Duffy supports it. That should make for an interesting debate segment, especially since he's only good at reading scripts and she's already legendary in northern Wisconsin for her powerful and effective debate delivery and her ability to think on her feet and deliver a knockout blow. This is a good race for progressives to invest it, no matter what the DCCC decides to do.

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